I work full time as a high school teacher and I am a mom of three young kids. Can you picture how much laundry my family generates? The mess that my house must be in? Got that mental picture? Now double it! It is a never ending loop of cleaning, making a mess, cleaning and so on. I try my hardest to keep up but I have come to accept that my house will never look like the ones some mothers portray on Instagram. I chuckle when I see kid’s rooms looking like they were ripped out of a page from Pottery Barn…I mean c’mon. Sure, if I was a stay at home mom with unlimited funds and kids that never played with anything, I think I could copy that. If you have a life like mine and are able to do that, I praise you! I really do. My house looks decent considering what goes on inside but when you consider how little work I put into it, you’d wonder why it doesn’t look like a pig sty.
If you were to watch me for a week, you would scratch your head wondering “She hasn’t done any laundry yet there are no dirty clothes?” and “She has not time to cook when she comes home yet there is a hearty meal for the whole family at dinner time?” What gives? I have a magic lamp with a genie. Just kidding. I have something even better. I have the most amazing, generous, and self sacrificing parents in the universe. You might think I am exaggerating but you will change your mind when I tell you what they do for me.
I am a very fortunate human being to have all the support my family provides me. With the cost of child care, going back to work does not make sense as most of the money I earn would go towards the cost of someone else raising my kids. In Canada, before and after school care for 2 kids is $90 per day. Daycare for my baby is $65 per day. That is $750 per week or $3000 per month…that is more than I make at work. So how am I able to still work? Let me explain.
My parents live 20 minutes away. They wake up every morning and come to my house by 7:30 am. They help me get the kids ready for school and make them breakfast. I leave soon after as my school starts before theirs. That means that one of my parents drives the kids to school while the other watches the baby. Then comes home time and they do the pick ups too. During the day, when the two kids are at school, they are caring for my baby. Most of the time it is my dad watching him while my mom cleans everything she can get her hands on. That includes vacuuming and mopping once a week, dishes, dusting and so much more. They live in a condo where their maintenance fees covers all the water and electricity so to help us save on our hydro bill they take ALL my laundry and do it at their home and it comes back to me folded and put away. They also do my grocery shopping when they do theirs and bring it for me in the morning. Think that’s it? My mom also makes my family dinner the night before and brings it with her for me to warm up.
They do this 5 days a week! Can I add that they are 70 years old? I am 36 and I am exhausted just typing about this. They expect nothing in return except for us to be a happy family. They were sent from heaven. I could try to repay them every day for the rest of my life and I will never come close it. I haven’t even touched on the financial support they have provided us when things got very tough for us. There are no words in the English language that I could say to them that could ever fully describe how grateful I am for what they do for me and my family. The only reason my house looks like it does, the only reason my kids are so well taken care of is because of them. Sure, I work as hard as I can given the time I have at home but it does not not come close to what they do. My sanity is intact because of their help. I do not think I could cope without their support.
I love you mom and dad. I am forever indebted you. If I can learn to become like even a tiny fraction of the people you are, I would be content. Your grandchildren adore you. They would leave us for you in a heartbeat and I happy to admit that. You are the closest to perfection that I have ever seen. I strive to make you proud of me everyday and thank you for being the rocks that I can always lean on.