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We Have a Stay-at-Home "Mom" (And It's Not Me!)

We have an official new family member! We’ve added a live-in nanny/housekeeper! This someone is not just anyone. This someone was already family, just now playing a much deeper role in our family — Hubs’ little brother (27), “Uncle B.”

Life the last few weeks with our new addition has been great. I couldn’t have dreamed it any better. But Uncle B has been trying to get a job — any job — and I couldn’t help but think, “If he starts working, that will ruin everything!” THIS is his job, his contribution, and it’s a great one — he’s happy, we’re happy, the kids are happy…

Our son looks up to his uncle so much and when I asked, “What’s your favorite thing about having Uncle B here?” he said, “He will always play with me when you or dad don’t have time.” I smiled, but it broke my heart a little. But it’s so true! And having Uncle B here for that kind of stuff is a good thing and an important thing. And honestly, I don’t want to play GI Joe or race hot wheels for hours on end — that’s not on my priority list as a mom. I also asked if he minded sharing his room — he looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No! Plus I finally get to sleep on the top bunk!”

So Hubs and I discussed it and decided to make a proposition to Uncle B. “We sort of don’t want you to get a job,” I muttered, not sure what his reaction would be. “We have enjoyed things the way they’ve been the last couple weeks and you’ve been a great help playing with kids, running them around when we’ve asked, doing housework, etc. If you could just keep doing that, we would love for you to continue to stay here and we’ll pay for your community college classes and you could go full-time during the day while the kids are in school.” He was stoked – yay! He said he’d been stressing about finding a job because he thought we wanted him to and this was a huge weight off of him. It’s a huge weight off of me too — for many reasons.

Gone is the weight of dropping off the boy at school, then getting home and having just an hour to hang up or fold a load of laundry, load or unload the dishwasher, pull out dinner, make lunch, eat breakfast AND get ready for the day before getting on the road for the long commute. Maybe I’ll do my hair more often now instead of just throwing it back in a ponytail or bun every day. Maybe I’ll make my lunch every morning to take to work instead of running out of time. Maybe I’ll stop being perpetually 10 minutes late to work every day (OK, maybe not on that one). And maybe I'll feel like I can make it to the gym more evenings, without the looming pressure of cleaning the kitchen, more laundry and making the kid's next-day lunches along with my freelance work. I'm delegating!  Woohoo!

It gives me enormous peace of mind that someone is there to play with the dogs and exercise them, to pickup my kids from school and take them straight home, with adult supervision, so they stay on-task and complete their homework… or to take them to the park on sunny days to play and be active when there actually is no homework. Someone is there to take something out of the freezer to thaw for dinner if I forget. To bring in the mail, to fold the laundry, dust the living room, drop off the boy at Boy Scouts if Hubs and I both need to be at a counseling session for the girl. Someone is there to take them to that pesky 4:00 dentist appointment twice a year or to distract one kid when we need to pow-wow with the other, return the library books and run to the cleaners.

And now that we know the situation will be more permanent than we originally thought, I’m thinking of maybe converting our doggie/music room to a bedroom for Uncle B so the boy can still have sleepovers and not have to necessarily share his room with a grown-up and vice-versa. 

So we’ve got a full house of 8 beings: Dad, Mom, Uncle B, the Girl, the Boy, and three dogs — and we couldn’t be happier.