I can’t give you childcare. So I give you this.


If I’ve preached anything, I’ve preached, “Give yourself permission.”

Permission to think bigger. To have big ideas that take time and space to form. Give yourself permission to give them that time and space.

I serve women in my business. Therefore, I’ve also found myself preaching,

“Get a babysitter.”

Feel like you have too much to do and there’s never enough time? Get an after school babysitter from 3:30 to 5:30.

Feel like a shitty parent? Get a babysitter and take Saturday completely off so that on Sunday when your child starts literally every sentence with “I want,” you don’t scream in his face, “WE ALL WAAAAAANNNNNNNT. ”

Go without something else – eating out, haircuts, a gym membership, WHATEVER.

But get a babysitter.

Nothing is wrong with you.

You are not broken.

You are not bad.

You need space.

I preached that because I believe you can’t claim your personhood if you don’t have some time, outside of client-work time, that is kid-free.

Then Covid-19 happened.

Now the internal monologue doesn’t sound like, “I want a babysitter but I have to defeat the societal message I’ve absorbed a.k.a. The “Inner Mean Girl” who says I don’t deserve a babysitter.”

Now, bringing a babysitter into your home carries risk, for that person and all the people they contact and for your own family and all the people you contact. A babysitter is another touchpoint that could spread the illness.

That’s if you even have the money or financial stability to hire someone.

So what does that mean now?

I wish I knew.

…..

When I worked as a marketer, my favorite part of the whole enterprise was the idea that marketing was about connecting a person to a thing that they needed to solve a problem in their lives.

But we all know that a lot of our most agonizing problems don’t have solutions we can buy.

When I identify those kinds of problems, acknowledge them, and name them, and bring them out into the light by talking to my friends and colleagues about them, I’m not solving them.

But I am banishing my shame over my struggle with them. (Thanks, Brene.)

And I am finding other women who are struggling with the same problem as I am, in private and ALONE.

Alone. As we struggle with so many unjust problems in this society.

I am bad because not having child care is not working for me.

I can’t get my work done. What are my clients going to think of me?

I want to get a sitter so I can pick up the pieces of my mental health. I hate how selfish it feels to say that.

I’ve always wanted to homeschool anyway. I mean, I wanted to do it maybe 5 years from now but I guess I can make this work!

Other women on Instagram are doing well with this. What am I missing?

….

Nothing is wrong with you.

You are not broken.

You are not bad.

You need space.

…..

Before Covid-19, we were having a conversation about questioning the default position.

The default position that everyone’s needs must always come ahead of our own as mothers, wives, and workers.

When Covid-19 happened, the collective sigh I heard from some women who had just started questioning those defaults was something like,

“Ah, I knew it. I knew I didn’t deserve that child care. I knew I didn’t deserve that space for myself. And here’s the ‘universe’ confirming that for me.”

Am I saying you should get a babysitter? No, I am not commanding you to get a babysitter.

But I do know that we can’t wait until Covid-19 ends to question the default position that we should martyr ourselves because we are moms and that’s what moms do.

We don’t have to decide that because we don’t have time to tend to our personhood separate from our kids, that means we should deny we have the need to tend to our personhood right now.

I’m starting to think maybe it’s never been about getting a babysitter.

A worldwide catastrophe cannot tell you that you don’t deserve your personhood. Only you can decide.

Maggie

Scroll to Top