I'm on day three of having a nanny, after our preschool closed over a month ago due to COVID-19, and honestly, I'm wondering why the heck I didn't get one sooner. Well, I know why I didn't get one sooner. Social isolation measures prevented me from hiring any kind of child-care help in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. So I've been maintaining my business, educating my child, and running my household without much help since our governor ordered the mandates. My business has suffered, and my typically happy child has become argumentative and short-fused. My house is constantly dirty and, my word, why are so many cups in use all of the time? Something had to give.
Over the last two weeks, our governor has loosened his mandates a bit — restaurants will be allowed to host patrons outdoors and certain public beaches are open. Yet schools remain closed, meaning I'm still frazzled.
I understand the risks associated with having outside help enter the home during the current climate. Anyone can carry coronavirus and the last thing I want is for any of us to get sick or to inadvertently expose other people. But I was exhausted from only getting five or six hours of sleep per night as I tried to squeeze everything in. My work was not the quality I wanted, my daughter was unhappy, my home was a mess. Sure, I was doing it all, but I was doing none of it well. So once some of the more strict restrictions were lifted, I waived the white flag and got myself a nanny.
Our family friend has a daughter who is college-aged and has moved in with her father since her dorms closed. We know her entire family have been taking precautions against COVID-19. Since she's been isolating and we've been isolating, we felt that the risk associated with having her enter our home was minimal. Our pre-nanny situation was not sustainable: I simply could not successfully run a business, homeschool a child, keep a home from being filthy, make sure there is food in the fridge, and maintain all other tasks that are associated with adulting, while keeping my sanity. As much as I hate to admit it, I am not superwoman, and I have to ultimately think about what is best for my daughter. She doesn't need a constantly stressed and exhausted mom.
For me, the risk associated with having a young woman enter my home, a woman whom I know is not socializing or physically going to the grocery store, is outweighed by the positive that we have already gained from having her come and help. My daughter is happy to have some fresh energy in the home and I can actually go to bed at a normal time because I can get my work done during the workday.
We do take precautions when our nanny comes over. She removes her shoes before she enters the home, she immediately washes her hands, and we have her avoid touching my daughter as much as she can. She has also committed to maintaining social distancing measures after she leaves, and her father is keeping a close eye to be sure she does.
I don't hide the fact that I got outside help from my friends. I want them to know that the only reason I'm able to knock out as much work as I do, or get as much rest as I need, is because I have someone helping me. I don't think it would be fair of me to pretend like I am doing it all on my own. I think we have to be honest about how we make it work and I'm not ashamed of needing help.
Getting a nanny during the pandemic is something that I wish I did sooner. It's not something that I hide, as I desperately needed the help. This has been one of the best decisions I made during COVID-19, and I don't regret it one bit.
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