Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Princess Seeks Babysitter


Once upon a time, a princess met her prince, married him and moved to Germany, where she discovered – shock! horror! – there was no domestic help.

It has taken me a long, long time to get my head around domesticity. My favourite way to handle it is by outsourcing, but now and again I have to knuckle down and mop a floor. Thomas tells a story of how shortly after we started co-habiting in Johannesburg, we decided to do a big clean. He got stuck in in the bathroom, swabbing, and after a while came out and found me with my nose in the bookshelf.

T (sweaty): What in God’s name are you doing?
C (breezy): I’m alphabetising the books.

I’ve always had my priorities in order, me. He can’t say he wasn’t warned either – my mother told him when we got engaged that housekeeping was not my forte. Since then, I’ve learned to cook and bake, so I am getting better.

Now that we have three kids, I feel it’s only fair for them to live in a home that is relatively clean and ordered. So we have the divine Mrs M who comes once a week and leaves us scrubbed to within an inch of our lives and gleaming (what she achieves in three hours would take me two days and by the end of that time I’d have to start all over). We have the beautiful I. who comes every Tuesday night to iron and babysit – this surely is a win-win situation for us. And now and again the efficient H. comes by and sorts out the garden.

Not content with all this extra help, I’m now looking for a daytime babysitter. I have the chance to take on a third customer, and my hours are already full what with three kids, two customers, freelance work, friends and a blogging habit. Not to mention a husband who would like me to occasionally acknowledge his existence. I need a nice friendly someone to come and play with Ollie while I work. Will keep you posted on how the search goes.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

2 thoughts on “Princess Seeks Babysitter

  1. Aaahh I’ve done this so often – well look for babysitting help that is. It always seems to me a fraught activity and then suddenly, when you’re not expecting it, something turns up and another little wrinkle is ironed out of life. We used to have a cleaner, and now we just have a messy house. One of my colleagues called round for a cup of tea a while back and said ‘you really must invite X round here. It will do her no end of good to see a house in this state. She might stop being quite such a perfectionist!’ I really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this. My house – the cure for domestic goddesses….

  2. Oh mine is too! I would far rather read a book or write a blog or hang out with my children in the garden than scrub something …

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