Meet “Marta,” My Cultural Au Pair

For you faithful readers out there, I’m sorry that I have been so lamely absent from the blog for about a month! “Me time” is just nowhere to be found these days. I remember back before we had a baby when my husband and I would comment, “Oh, we’re so busy. I mean between working out, shopping, going to concerts and plays, watching movies, working AND doing the laundry, I just want to lay around today. So, successful “laying around” could commence by watching an entire season of Alias in one 16-hour day or doing a little reading, taking a nice two-hour Sunday nap, followed by a stroll around the neighborhood. Oh, how blissfully naive I was!

This full-time working wife and mom who has a little guy with special needs that demands full attention–along with a house to keep running–is wondering how to get it all done. And, I just have one child, so kudos up and down to you moms and dads out there who treasure their few minutes of bathroom time as if they were given a day pass to a spa!

There’s just something about the mental toll that dealing with autism takes on a parent too. It’s not like life wouldn’t be busy if autism wasn’t a part of ours, but it’s also mentally, spiritually, and emotionally weighty. I don’t mean to be whiny…I’m just sleepy.

But, around our house, having a sense of humor has gotten us through some tough times. For instance, we have an imaginary nanny/housekeeper named “Marta” that my husband and I “call for” when we need some extra help. You know, like last night when I fell asleep at 11:30, only to be woken up by Josiah at 11:50 who seemed to think he was ready to play for the day. “MARTA!!! Could you come up and take care of Jo Jo while we sleep?”

“Marta! We’re kind of hungry. Could you fix Josiah a nice organic, GFCF meal and also whip us something delicious tonight?” “Marta, the house is really looking shabby. Could you please clean this place up, do the laundry and some ironing, go to the grocery store and set the sprinkler?” “Marta, Joe and I are heading out for our weekly date night. Have fun with Josiah. We’ll be back at 11! We love you.”

So, it was really funny about a month ago that we got an announcement from my son’s therapy center that the parent meeting that month was called, “Find Out How a Cultural Au Pair Can Help You.” I thought, “It’s my dream come true! Oh… and I also want to be a princess, and ride on a unicorn because that’s about as likely as affording a nanny.” I guess not a lot of parents were RSVPing for that one, so a follow up flier came out that said it was “surprisingly affordable.” Hmm. Affordable like having a second home and paying off an RV and taking multiple vacations affordable? Excuse my cynicism.

But, we had a good laugh because we thought of good old Marta. And, how much better life could be if we had her. So, if there are any Marta’s out there who would like to nanny for room and board (as long as you cook it) and maybe $100 spending money a month, let me know. What we could offer in return is the love of a sweet little boy, rested parents who appreciate you, and the satisfaction of knowing that even though you just cleaned up the living room, Josiah’s toys will be right back out all over in about 20 minutes. You’ll never be bored! And, we won’t make you wear a uniform. Oh, but if you also know ABA therapy, that would be awesome!

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3 Responses

  1. You’re so cute. Um, how’s that autism reality show coming? You might have a better chance with that than finding Marta. But if you ever find her, send me a copy!

    BTW, I was so glad when my younger sis and her husband recently had their 1st child. They used to complain about how busy they were… after work they’d go to the gym, then out to dinner, and then sleep in until 10 a.m…. they were just pooped all the time!

  2. Hee Hee! Now I kinda wished I’d gone to that meeting to find out exactly what “surprisingly affordable” really means!

    “Oh, Rosita…please take Landon to the zoo today and then to the park. I’d like to spend the day watching the final season of Gilmore Girls!”

  3. Hi, Tahni! Just a note to tell you I pray for you guys, and am so proud of all you are doing. Haven’t seen you in years, but I’m rooting from the sidelines. There are probably more of us holding your arms up than you will know this side of heaven.

    God bless you richly!

    Robin Lorenzen

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