I’m Totally Jealous of Moms Who Have Help

Tell me if you know a mom like this: she has a bunch of young kids, maybe works part-time, but she seems to have an enormous influx of help available to her. Family members who willingly babysit happily, friends and family always dropping in, regular date nights with her husband thanks to the babysitter that she gushes is “just the best” and basically a non-stop network of support that enables her to live a full and busy life, even with very young kids. This mom seems busy, yes, but content and happy.

Do you know a mom like this?

I feel like I know a lot of moms like this and if I’m being totally honest with you right now, I’m going to admit something. I am totally and completely jealous of her. Because help as a mother just seems to be one of those things that not every mom can find.

I once vented online in a support group for writers how impossible my life as a work-at-home mom seemed to be. My deadlines don’t care when my kid is sick or when one forgets her lunch and when there is something going on at school. My husband is gone and I am here with my kids, plain and simple, so no amount of “leaning in” or waving my feminist flag seems to change that. But in the group, one lady just came right out and asked, “Well, why don’t you just hire a sitter and work?”

If only it were really that easy.

Maybe I’m crazy, but nothing in my life seems to be that easy. Where are all of these magical, mystical babysitters that will come to my house during daytime hours to babysit for a rate I can afford? By the sounds of some people on the Internet, you would think good babysitters were just chilling, waiting for me to call them and gift them with my potty training toddler and preschooler who still can’t wipe his own butt. I mean, really. Can we please admit that 1) it’s freaking hard to find any sort of help when you’re a mother and 2) taking the steps to find that help takes an enormous amount of time and energy in the first place, which we don’t often have. I don’t have time to ever fully shave my legs or get my laundry done, but you think I have time to scout out babysitters and trust them with my kids’ lives? And then, um, pay for them?

Since becoming a mother, truth be told, I have never felt more isolated. I have spent the great majority of my children’s lives at home with them, totally alone. It is with a rather sheepish but slightly defensive heart that I confess to you that I feel so alone as a mother that I actually get jealous of people who post about being sick. You know, the Instagram posts like, “Spending a day in bed trying to kick this cold!” or “Thank goodness for Netflix binges, this flu is no joke!”?

I’m jealous of those types of posts because there is no option for me to just go to bed when I’m sick. It feels like a downright freaking luxury to be able to actually just go to sleep when you’re tired or put yourself to bed when you’re sick. I can’t even fathom it! It’s pathetic that I used to take such luxuries for granted and it’s even more pathetic that I would ever be jealous of someone else’s ability to take an actual sick day. But it’s the truth. There’s no one to call if I get sick in the middle of the day. I dread the thought of getting sick because it feels like one more impossible task to try to figure out how on earth I will take care of myself, too.

I don’t know if this is the way motherhood is supposed to feel, but it’s all I know. I am jealous of mothers who seem to have help without really working for it and I’m jealous of how effortless a lot moms make it look. I’m jealous that I can’t seem to find “help,” whatever form that may be and I’m jealous that I don’t even know the first place to begin. Getting “help” in my day-to-day life as a mom honestly feels impossible.

So if you’re anything like me, please know that you are not alone. If you’re lacking that built-in, natural support system that I think a lot of moms have and probably don’t even realize is not the norm for all of us, let me just say I feel you. I know how absolutely bone-crushingly exhausting motherhood can feel and I know how overwhelming it is when someone makes it sound like getting a “break” should be easy, instead of this seemingly insurmountable task.

We all need help and support, but some of us just need a little help to actually find it. Here’s hoping we all find the help we need — especially on those dreaded sick days.