How Much Help Do You Get As A Parent? 

In her book Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes writes about how she spent “every single morning” of high school trying to make her hair look like Whitney Houston’s hair. “Hours and hours of my life given over to a hot curling iron and a bottle of hair spray and burned fingertips,” she describes. But she could never get it right. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she learned Whitney wore a wig.

The moral: It would save people from a lot of unnecessary strife if everyone was more transparent about the help they get.

On Offspring, we’ve been publishing a column called How I Parent, in which we feature the routines, hacks, triumphs and fails of notable parents. Some of you have pointed out that many of our profilees use nannies/au pairs and/or house cleaners and have a certain amount of privilege.

We are working on exploring a wider spectrum of diversity, socioeconomic and otherwise, and appreciate your comments and ideas for making the column more real, more helpful, better.

In hearing from our How I Parent guests, I know that I’ve appreciated the honesty around the support people get. It’s something parents don’t talk about enough. I believe that being able to peek into the logistics of different families can help everyone make more informed choices and also understand that no one can do it alone.

So I wanted to ask you, readers: How much help do you get as a parent?

I’ll go: My daughter goes to kindergarten and an after-school program, which allows my husband and I to work full-time. Before that, she went to a private preschool. We have a house cleaner who comes every other week. Both sets of grandparents live nearby and babysit at least once a month. We acknowledge and are grateful for the resources we have.

Share your own situation if you’d like. Let’s take the wig off of parenthood.


Comments

    Me and my wife work full-time with a 2-year-old who has her own pretty full schedule for the weekdays:
    Monday - Spends the day with Gran
    Tuesday - Full day of day-care
    Wednesday - I work from home juggling work with looking after my daughter, we do Mini Maestros together (half hour lesson, takes about an hour and a half all up including travel)
    Thursday - My wife works from home, with a swimming lesson that day also
    Friday - A second full day of day-care

    We don't currently have a cleaner or anything, but we think we could do with one every other week as well.

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