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Can someone please explain this to me? - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Okay, I guess I'm going to eat my words here after my original post, but I can see hiring someone to do housekeeping but not a nanny! I guess that might be hypocritical, I'll admit it...but I live in a fairly large house and it takes hours and hours to clean the whole thing, so right now I only get to do a little at a time. I hate the fact that my whole house is never sparkling clean at once - the bathrooms may be really clean, but the shelves are dusty...or the shelves are clean and the floors are mopped, but the tub and sinks could use a scrub.

No, I didn't know this woman's situation, but I guess I was wondering why, if there wasn't a reason such as a seizure disorder (kind of extreme) or a WAHM thing, she really needed to pay a nanny. Just seems excessive to me. If I came across as judgmental, I really wasn't - I even spoke to her and she seemed pleasant enough and all. It's just one of those things that makes me go :
post #22 of 30
I suppose this will be one of those times when we'll have to agree to disagree.

Honestly, unless it's for a medical reason or if the mother has many children, I roll my eyes at a hired nanny.

I still don't understand hiring someone else to clean your home unless you have several children, you work, go to school, etc. I can relate to having a big house but if you work out a plan and stick to it, it's not always as hard as it may seem. Do a little bit at a time instead of trying to accomplish everything within a short time period.

Personally, I'd rather just do it myself and save my money to take my kids out to do something fun.

I just thought of something - Now I know that most likely none of us will ever know the story behind this woman's need for a nanny, but what if the nanny's purpose was to be more of a companion for the mother than an actual nanny? Maybe the mother was a single mother or her husband works or travels alot.
post #23 of 30
If I was a sahm and could afford it, I would still have the nanny we have for the pixie. I don't have any medical condition that would require it. I'm not a helmet-haired lady-who-lunches. But, it is a lot of work (as everyone here knows) raising a child (let alone 8! DebraBaker, let me and and again ). And, not every day is perfect. Not every day am I capable of holding him every moment while he is teething (and holding him is the thing he wants the most, so he can wrap his fingers in my hair and zone out). At the least, I would like to bathe so he doesn't associate nursing with rancid b.o. and don't want to abandon him to the floor and our dog ("nana" though she is!) if he really needs contact with a human. His nanny, is a competent and compassionate person who I feel we are privileged to have working for us. I have no family here in the city, though we have lots of friends. So, she is kind of an 'auntie' for him. He doesn't know yet that we pay her and, when I see them playing together or meet them at the park after work or see how he greets her in the morning, I know that her behaviour to him is not just the result of being paid. I am grateful we found someone like that. And, I consider it my duty to pay her well and do my very best to make sure she is 'taken care of'. To not nickle-and-dime over anything, to be concerned about her life (as much as she wants to confide, I never pry), to be willing to help out when there is a rough patch (and this doesn't always mean money, it can also mean changing the schedule temporarily, for instance).

And, I have someone who comes in once a week and spends 4 hours doing a total blitz on my apartment (which is very small, and, yes, I could spend time on the weekend doing it...in addition to the grocery shopping, the laundry, writing letters to family, friends and government officials who aren't doing what I voted for).

I pay them fairly, they pay taxes. I pay taxes. If I could afford a whole domestic staff, I would hire them. I could definately find things for them to do.

And, to put a different perspective on this (cross-cultural one): A friend of mine who died a few years ago grew up in Australia pre-WWII, during and after. In the late 1940s, her family lived in India for a while. She had had a privileged life in Australia and they had had 'dailies'who came in and cleaned, laundered, ironed, etc., etc. However, she was still expected to be tidy and not make more work for anyone than necessary (it was not considered polite to make EXTRA work for servants...and I still would hold by that nowadays). In India, however, the house they took for the years they were there came with a veritable fleet of staff, by what she described. And, they were honor-bound to keep them on AND find work for them. If they had let them go, there would have gone economies of several families. So, Dierdre was told by her mother to start leaving her clothes on the floor. She was . AND, everyone got breakfast in bed, with each item brought in by a different person...instead of the whole thing on a tray. There was more, but you get the idea.

It is difficult to be an employer under any circumstances and an employer of domestic staff is even more delicate. Not everyone succeeds at it.
post #24 of 30
Now the nanny can eat too. And her gardener and probably her cleaning lady too. Good for her for feeding the world while letting the people she is helping to feel have the dignity of not having to take handouts or beg for their food.
post #25 of 30
Wouldn't we all like a little help sometimes? I know that if I could afford it, I would love to have an extra pair of hands to play with my dd and an extra pair of arms to help out, especially if I had a few kids.

Lunamama, I guess I can understand where you are coming from. During summer break in college, I was hired as a nanny to a family with a SAHM. My reaction, at first, was just like yours. I figured this was a hoity-toity family with a lot of extra money to burn who didn't want to be bothered with their kids. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The mom, who was in her late 30's, had just had her 3'd baby. She already had a 2 1/2 year old and a 4 yr old. They basically wanted someone who was going to come in and play with the older two while the mom devoted some time to the baby. Anyone with a newborn can understand how much time that takes! Far from being a detached kind of family, they were totally AP and very involved in their children's lives. IN fact, I learned sooooo much from them that summer. I also saw the benefits of AP. The kids were awesome and the parents totally taught me how to handle certain situations in a compassionate, yet structured way. They couldn't have been more involved and loving.

I grew to really love those kids and they loved me. The mom had extra time to do some of the stuff she had to get done around the house as well as devote a little time for herself. The kids were totally happy because they had a playmate (me) who took them to the park, the zoo, the museum, ballet practice, T-ball practice....etc. They were simply fortunate enough to be able to afford to pay someone to be with their kids. The way I look at it, if you have your sister or someone who is doing it for free, great. But, if you don't have such a network and you can afford to get extra help and you find someone who your kids love, then more power to you. I hope that answers your question!

What bugs me are parents who get a nanny to do all of the work while they employ a hands-off approach. But, that's a different story....

post #26 of 30
Oh, and count me in as one of those people who really would ove to have a cleaning lady. Before dd was born, we had someone to come and clean once a month. After dd, however, with all of the expenses, we can't afford it. I can't even begin to tell you how much I dislike the menial tasks associated with cleaning our home (and we have a 3 bedroom condo, not even a house). When we move next month to a house, I don't know what I will do! So, yes, I would get a cleaining lady in a heartbeat!!
post #27 of 30
I see the diff between a nanny and maid pretty clearly. A maid spends time with the house. A nanny spends time with the kids.

Personally, I don't understand staying home and wanting someone to live there and spend time every day with my kid. I don't get it. Unless I had quintuplets or something. And even then I'd rather do the mothering while they did housework.

Anyway, I'd love a maid. Please, bond with my toilet all you want. I don't think it will miss me!
post #28 of 30
It is sad that in our culture we continue to expect that a “mother and a father” be able to care their families on their own. The concept of “it takes a village” is simply not taking hold and that is sad. The expectation that a stay at home mother should be able to care for her children on her own is a big part of the problem in our culture and we should be careful of the ways we reinforce this view. The more quality help (be that from a nanny, extended family, friends, a house cleaner, government assistance and etc) that families receive the better off we all will be for it! And, when be begin to expect help, we just may get it!
BTW, I was in the park last month and saw a famous woman with her son and two nannies. One spoke French and the other Italian. I was GREEN!
post #29 of 30

one more thing...

My sister in law -and best friend- lived with me for the first year of my daughters life. My husband and I got lots of help and my daughter had one more person to love and care for her all day and night. I miss her...
post #30 of 30
Cleaning help, nanny, sign me up! I only have once child, which is all I can handle, my house is a disaster and it's hard to imagine having TWO kids. I'll take all the help I can get!
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