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, 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.