Looking at my son, an adage that’s borderline cliché came to mind. “No one is fully prepared to be a mother.” While that has always been true, there’s a double learning curve today. Not only must we master all the domestic arts, but we also have to adapt to an increasingly global society. Trying to do everything can quickly become overwhelming.
It’s easy to think we’re exaggerating. In fairness, it would be easy if we cared less. I didn’t research nutrition or recipes when I cooked only for myself. I was more productive before I had to wrestle things out of a baby’s mouth every ten minutes.
As moms, we want to give our children the best of everything. That’s why we opt for the roomiest, most efficient car. Even while writing this, I’ve frequently stopped to tend to my little one. The only reason I work from home is for his benefit.
Even knowing this, I’ve struggled with asking for assistance. Sometimes we assume that because we care the most, we’re the only ones trustworthy enough. Other times, we don’t want to feel burdensome. Eventually, we have to accept that we can’t do it all. Alone, there’s never enough time nor hands.
I’ve had to swallow my pride and ask for help with several things recently. One of the main ones is taxes. Taxes were easy to file before—I would simply file a free tax return online via my preferred tax filing program. I worked for a company which meant my employer took care of most of it. All I had to do was verify the totals before April 15th.
Since most people can’t explain just what is a disregarded entity and other tax topics, hiring a professional to navigate your business’ taxes is a wise move. Upon working as a freelancer, I became responsible for keeping records and paying taxes quarterly. Simple, right? The difficulty comes in accurately estimating income and expenditures before they happen. There are also many situational write-offs. As much as I enjoy learning new things, I’m not savvy enough in tax law. One error could cost my family thousands, and it’s not worth the risk.
In a similar vein, I don’t have time to follow the stock market. When my family is ready to save and invest, we will likely make a plan and find a professional. While I should have a basic understanding of how it works, I don’t need to know everything about stocks, bonds, and savings plans. It’s more important that I know everything about my kid.
On a different note, I’ve become increasingly aware of how much I depend on my loved ones in maintaining my health. Although there is a great deal of work involved, being a mom isn’t a job. There’s no clocking out and relaxing. I’m, effectively, always on call.
Spending all our time caring for the health of others can often lead to mom’s neglecting their own. We all need loved ones to help make sure we don’t fall into that habit. As much as I love my family, sometimes I need a quiet space for myself. A solitary hour to decompress can help me recharge. Then there’s always the possibility of developing depression. That certainly isn’t a battle you can fight alone. Sometimes, even if we don’t want to admit it, we also need professional help.
For some reason, I’m most frustrated by the physical limitations of motherhood. I can’t change a tire anymore unless my kid is asleep. I’m utterly dependent on others for regular maintenance, vehicular or otherwise. Most people would say I should be grateful for an excuse to avoid hard, manual labor. I admit it’s petty, but I hate being unable to do something seemingly simple.
Although I’m the chief errand runner, I’ve had to outsource groceries. I used to laugh at the idea, but I’ve learned to appreciate its efficiency. As my son ages, he takes up more of my time. On any given day, besides housework and my part-time jobs, I could be taking him to doctor’s appointments, play dates, local activities, or weekly lunch at his dad’s office. I no longer have time to stroll through the store and hope he stays in a good mood.
There’s nothing shameful about outsourcing. Sometimes it’s the best we can do for our family.