Most home help clearly aren’t husband/wife snatchers, but our columnist still thinks there’s merit in handing over those child-minding responsibilities to Grandpa and Grandma…
It’s been widely reported throughout La La land that A-listers Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have struggled over the years to keep their marriage alive; even attending therapy in a bid to hold on to the love that obviously once drew them together.
Now this is admirable; fair play to them, because in my view, couples, especially those with children, should do everything in their power to try and keep their family intact; but as I well know, sometimes you just have to draw that line, walk away and, heartbreakingly, admit defeat. However, (and I’m no counsellor), if you’re trying to mend your fractured marriage readers; there is one thing you should never do and that is hire a hot, sexy, young nymphet to look after your kiddies or to work in your home a la Jennifer Garner and those other high profile, guileless women who came before her…Sadie Frost, Victoria Beckham and Maria Shriver immediately spring to mind. Seriously, what were they thinking?
Now it doesn’t matter if the father of your children is so gorgeous he’d make Adonis jealous or if he’s stomach-churningly Quasimodo-style ugly that he’d make an onion weep; the fact remains girls, that (in some cases) if you stick a little strumpet with bazookas so humongous they’d swallow up the entire Irish army and a desperate-for-any-opportunity-to-tickle-somebody’s-fancy hubby under the same roof the chances are that ‘cute hoor’ will coo and cackle like a sad bunny boiler until she’s snared that creep from under your nose!
Mind you, not all home help are husband/wife snatchers; most are highly professional people with no interest in anything other than getting the job done! And Affleck’s ‘affair’ is simply an allegation and not all hubbies/wives have it away with the staff. But if you want my advice…nepotism is yer only man…as in keep it in the family.
Ok, asking Grandma to mind the kiddies may mean you’re making the supreme sacrifice; especially if she’s a nosy old bint who’ll interfere and dole out unwanted advice regarding the ankle-biters’ fast food diet or tut-tut at the amount of time spent in front of the TV, which can be unfair and demoralising for you, but believe me when I tell you there are advantages to being surrounded by people you know and trust wholeheartedly; even if you constantly ask yourself “was this a wise move?”
When I went back to work No 1 daughter was left in the capable hands of my wonderful mother-in-law, and even if she sometimes muttered a disapproving “a mother’s place is in the home,” it was worth it to know my child was in her excellent caring and loving hands. When I had No 2, my darling dad, who, following early retirement, found himself at a loose end agreed (we were thrilled) to become our little girl’s ‘Manny’. Realistically, apart from mam and dad, there is probably no better person than a doting grandparent or family member to look after your cherished child; someone who will understand their moods and embrace their vulnerabilities, someone who will be a driving force and work to emotionally support your family and at the same time, you know they’ll keep their grubby hands off the merchandise, i.e. the weak-willed hubby/wife who’s suddenly become partial to a muffin top and a ra ra skirt or a set of abs.
Now I’m not saying it’ll be easy to deal with employing Grandma or Grandad, nay it will be a challenge – and you’ll need to look at the obvious resentments that may occur as well as the rewards your family will reap. I mean what happens if Nana or Grandad is an idiot and has a problem recognising who’s in charge and spends the first 6 weeks reporting to your 8-year-old for his homework routine instead of you?
Or then again, what if Nana is the argumentative, know-it-all? If this is the case, my advice would be to ask yourself if you’re prepared to hear a lot of negative, snide comments from hubby’s precious mammy. Personally for me the answer here would be a big fat NO and when the old bat had flown home I’d be the type who’d take the argument all the way to the bedroom and beyond. Yep, I’m the type of harridan who’d milk that disagreement for all its worth then go right back and pick the bones bare. So it was lucky my former husband’s mother and I adored each other and as for my dear dad, well he’s my hero and can do no wrong, meaning luckily, in my situation I was able to go to work each day with an easy mind knowing my kids and my sanity were safe.
That said, another piece of advice if you’re considering employing a relative is to be prepared to divorce your personal feelings, man up and tell them exactly how you wish your children to be cared for. I mean, ok, you’re not expecting to arrive home, bottle of wine chilling in the fridge, dinner on the table with Nana tucking the kids under the duvet, popping a brolly ready to fly away home as soon as she’s finished chirping ‘Feed the Birds…tuppence a bag.’
No, that bottle of wine will have to wait ‘till you’ve listened to a litany of arthritic problems, examine new liver spots and have discussions regarding lack of daily bowel movements before you convince hubby to drive her home but remain tight-lipped and humour Nana because having her (and granddad) as your kids’ carers means your family will always win through; will have mutual goals and will share a personal dedication that comes only with that strong bond, leading to a high degree of commitment that every family with working parents needs.
Take it from poor Jennifer Garner and the rest of those Hollywood wives who’ve dealt with hubby’s alleged, rumoured affair with the hot help, and who may now wish they’d stuck with the familiar…because in my view, it’s most certainly preferable to building a trust with someone else, someone who is clearly not committed to providing support to your family’s success or longevity.
Sometimes ladies, when it comes to protecting what you’ve got it’s not always a case of live and let live and to be honest, even though the majority of home help are consummate professionals who do not want your spouse, if someone tried to come between me and mine, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt the situation would quickly become a case of kill or be killed.