House helps can be godsend, especially in the early weeks of your baby’s birth. Whether you are recovering from a natural birth or C-section, their role in helping take care of the baby cannot be underestimated.
From helping your little one to sleep or bathe, cooking and cleaning around the house, house helps come in handy, allowing frazzled parents some respite.
Faith Amoding’-Papa, however, was not so lucky when she gave birth to her first baby seven months ago. Her one-month-old house help started acting up as soon as the baby arrived.
Giving birth via Caesarian section, Faith needed utmost help to manage her pain, her scar, her movement and her new baby. But when they arrived from the hospital, her much needed house help seemed to have other plans.
“She had changed from being a hard-working girl a month ago, to a lazy bone. Her performance went from 80 per cent to zero and became plain rude, basically, everything she did indicated she was no longer interested in her job,” she narrates.
She and her husband sent the girl packing, and decided not to have any more house helps. And here they were, not only trying to expedite her own healing process, but also do their best to care for their newborn. But they were not changing their mind, they were going to manage everything on their own.
Faith remembers being warned by her mother about not being able to manage alone with a CS wound, but she could not imagine enduring another emotional roller coaster with another person. She stayed put and with the help of her husband, managed to do everything on their own.
And the first few weeks without extra help, she admits were terrible. Their lives seemed to be turned upside down because they were caught offguard at the reality of having a new addition to the family. The sleepless nights, diaper changes all day, all night-long and the unending house chores, you name it, took a toll on them.
Juggling postpaturm healing and everything else that came with taking care of the baby on their own resulted in her neglecting some of her dietary needs and her baby drastically lost a lot of weight.
“The paediatrician told us that losing weight was dangerous for a newborn. I was shattered. We had to realign ourselves again,” she says.
She is grateful for her supportive and hands-on husband who put in extra effort to assist with housework and help with the baby and soon they fell into a routine,” she narrates.
She says they came up with a meal plan for the whole month, so there was no fuss about what to cook and during weekends, her husband would help around the house while she rested.
“He had to learn how to change diapers, feed, bathe the baby and put her to sleep,” she chuckles.
They had a laundry lady that came in twice a week to do general cleaning since she could not handle heavy duties such us lifting water buckets and prolonged bending.
“My sister Julie, my friend Tina would also pop in once in a while just to check on us and hold the baby while I took some rest,” she recounts.
Soon, their baby regained her health and housework became manageable and what’s more, she even started to appreciate certain things about not having a helper anymore.
“Too many of us become super-dependent on our house helps to take charge and be in control of our houses,” she says.
Having a third person hanging around her household also was a bridge to her privacy.
A lifestyle blogger and a work-at-home mum says she enjoyed having the house to herself as well as peace of mind knowing that she has the eyesight of an eagle and reflexes of a cat when it comes to her baby.
But she was not going to live without a house help forever. When her baby turned six months, she needed to seriously get back to her blogging job and other side hustles. She was lucky to find a good nanny that has been taking good care of her daughter for the past one month.