Does Your Wife Work?

It seemed surreal to find myself sitting in a courtroom next to attorneys,  a courtroom full of people, with my motherhood being put on trial.  It was like watching a movie about myself from a distance, at the same time I was also IN the movie while it was playing.

I watched my husband as he sat on the stand answering questions about the details of our seemingly ordinary life, mostly questions about me.  It was interesting to hear his thoughts, answers to questions spilled out into the courtroom as words and sentences for all to digest and make their own judgements.  

So many insignificant truths were taken out of context and twisted in an attempt to make me look like a villain.  A bad mother. Someone who had been careless and caused harm to the child that had been placed in her care by child protective services.

One of the questions that was asked about me and would be focused on for quite a bit of the two hours Mr. Ashton was on the stand, and much of the three hours I sat on the witness stand was the answer to this question…

Does your wife work?  Does your wife hire help?

Yes and Yes. {Gasp]

It was asked and the answer received as if the question was along the lines of Am I involved in International espionage, prostitution, crime, drug cartel ring.

The opposing counsel salivated, the smoking gun had come out.  The truth came out,  I have a part-time Nanny.

How many hours does she work? Does she leave the home?  Does the Nanny stay there while she’s home? Does she clean for her?  How much does she pay the Nanny? How much does she make?  Is the Nanny entirely for her convenience?  Does she not want to be bothered with her own kids?  Does the Nanny just watch one of the kids or does she help with the others too?

These are just a few of the questions my husband and I were peppered with about how I spend my time, and the help that I have.

They never asked my husband if he has hired help.  They never asked if he cleans his own office.  They didn’t ask if he works from home and how many hours he leaves his kids.  Nor did they ask the biological Father who proudly announced his parenting plan included full-time day-care in the daytime and the evening.  

I was intrigued with all of this, I started to feel like womanhood was on trial right along beside me.

Instead of rattling me, I felt courage and resolve begin to flow through my veins throughout my body.  I became calmer, and kindly answered all the questions about my “work” and my “help”. I felt like I was answering for every woman that I know. I felt like we were all sitting there together.

Sitting in that chair on the stand, I resolved right then and there, that I would never be ashamed for having help, given freely or paid for,  because I am a mother and a woman.

I have had help from my Mom, my mother-in-law, my friends, my aunts, my uncles, my neighbors, my church, I currently employ and pay several people that help me with my home and my business.

If you are a woman with no children, a women with 10 children, a woman with a newborn, a toddler, a teenager, a business, a special needs child or children,  or if you are a caregiver, or a few things from this list, I hope you know: WE ALL NEED HELP.

As a woman, I hope that you will find and accept the help you need to be the best you. I hope you will not allow any GUILT to enter your mind because of it. Most of all, I hope that like me you will NEVER ever apologize to ANYONE for it.

7 Comments

  1. Rachel
    November 8, 2019 / 6:00 pm

    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏!!!!!!! Yaassssss!! Mostly I find myself in the position of being the help for people, but you are right! We all need help and they never ask men, do they? 🤔.

  2. Virginia Falcon
    November 8, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    Beautifully written and I am sure, profoundly heard. As women, we all work numerous jobs in and outside our homes. It is essential to provide the labor necessary to be a “mom”.
    People who hire full time care seldom understand or want to understand the extent of needs of those being cared for.
    I admire you both professionally and personally. Your abilities astound me.
    And your encouragement for others is without limit. I think you are a Super Mom and Olivia is blessed to have you.

  3. Robert n Alice
    November 8, 2019 / 8:14 pm

    Alice n I truly admire you both for who you are n how you responded to the pressures put on you in court. It takes a strong person to go thru what you both went thru in front of those people. But like you said before you had the backing of someone more superior than what you were facing. Our Savior Jesus Christ was there beside both of giving you his guidence n encouragement. Proud of you n keep up the good fight for the sake of your daughter Olivia. We love you n family .

  4. Alli Richards
    November 8, 2019 / 10:38 pm

    Beautifully said Melissa!

  5. Hubby
    November 9, 2019 / 11:23 am

    Loved your post hun. You’re our rock. Thank you

  6. Jerry Behrmann
    November 9, 2019 / 9:02 pm

    Good grief! Does your wife have HELP? Has that become criminal activity? Women have always had HELP, if they could get it! Even in the 50’s when women stayed home and basically were not allowed to work. Someone wrote a book about it, called ‘THE HELP’! The HELP cooked, cleaned and watched the kids and absolutely for the convenience of the mothers.
    I cannot imagine what the judge, a woman, (and you know she has HELP) was thinking! I would like to have been a fly on the wall in her office after she listened to that line of questioning, you know she had a few thoughts she probably couldn’t repeat out loud. I know I do.
    Have to say, you’re one of the few people I know that could keep their cool while being maligned in such a way. The saying goes, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’? Do you feel stronger are you looking more buff? What you are is grateful, relieved and exhausted and a total Mom Champion!

  7. Nancy Davison
    November 10, 2019 / 1:41 pm

    This is such an amazing message I literally could not stop reading. We all need help and we all need each other.
    Such a beautiful message, and can’t help but why Patera for my cheek!

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