Can someone please explain this to me? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why does a SAHM need a full-time nanny? I was at a beautiful park today with a friend, and there were a few moms there and one of them had a nanny. I just don't get that. I mean, if someone has toddler triplets or something...I don't know, maybe then it would make sense, but come on...this woman had a nine-month-old and a two-year-old. And she was with friends, too. She wasn't totally ignoring her children either, so again, why did she need the nanny? My friend was finding it so amusing, as she has really rambunctious twins and no help.

I guess it's the neighborhood - the park was in a pretty wealthy area and the whole mentality is different...but it sort of made me sick. Some people can barely afford to feed their kids and these women pay people to babysit when they are there. :
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#2 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 06:38 PM
 
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I'm not sure i understand what your saying.....what does that womans nanny have to do with other people not being able to afford food? I just spent a alot of money getting my front yard fixed, hedges trimmed and my fence fixed...other than the fence, i didnt *need* anything else....should i not have done that because some folks dont have two nickels to rub together?

That said, I sometimes wonder why a fulltime mom would have a nanny (i'm not talking about a mothers helper either). maybe she has a home business? Maybe the nanny is part time, and brings her along so she can chat with the other moms? who knows. I'll tell you what, i would love to have a housekeeper! someone to cook and clean! Think of all the time i could spend with my kids if i didnt doo all that stuff!
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#3 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 06:40 PM
 
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Maybe she has a job that requires her to get to work on short notice. Like a midwife, or an obstetrician, or something like that.
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#4 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 08:15 PM
 
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Maybe she's a WOHM who had a day off unexpectedly.

Maybe she's a WAHM who had a break. Or is an emergency worker.

Maybe she has an illness or other disability that isn't obvious.

Maybe she can just afford the extra help and needs it, having two kids and all.

I don't see the problem. Are we going to judge everybody by what they have?

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#5 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 08:30 PM
 
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I have nannyed for a WAHM who had me there so she could get some work done, but I was never with her to go to the park. I would take her kids so she could work. That said when I was working at a inhome daycare we had one mom there who had her 2 year old son with mental disabilities in care with us, she was a SAHM to her 4 year old and new baby. She had a full time nanny as well. This woman though was one who was germ a phobic, I mean to a serious extreme so I think she needed a nanny so that she could keep her house to the germ free level she expected. There were other issues as well, she had never really bonded to her 2 year old with disabilities and he was failure to thrive, so he really was best with us because at least with us he started eating and thriving, he did alot better in our care I am sorry to say. She was just a high anxiety person with serious issues over "cleanliness", so required a nanny and daycare to achieve that. I mean when her son was sick one parent was designated to care for him(the Dad) and could only go from the kitchen to his room and then had to strip and shower before being allowed in the bedroom. Sorry to rant but it was a bizarre situation, and I always felt so bad for the little boy because he was such an angel.
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#6 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 08:58 PM
 
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When our one friend's children were younger, they had a woman who came to the US to escape civil war in Serbia. She took care of the kids and did light housework when she wasn't studying to be certified as a nurse in this country. She didn't have to pay anything to live there in exchange for these duties. It was a wonderful relationship all around. The kids learned a lot from her and their mom was able to continue with her activities in the synagogue.

I don't see really what the problem is. If someone can afford to hire someone to help in the house, I think it is a great idea. There may have been circumstances as others have pointed out that aren't readily apparent. Maybe the woman was studying child development and thought this would be a great way to learn firsthand about the topic and earn a little money.

I work full time, consult on occcassion, and have to attend conferences and meetings that take me out of town at least 3 or 4 times a year. This year alone I will be out of town for on average 4 days at a time 5 times. DH has gone back to school full time. If I could afford a little help on a daily basis, darn tootin I would do it. As it stands now, we have someone who comes once in a while, usually when one or both of us isn't able to be here because of the above mentioned and takes care of Sam. When I was working on my last paper for presentation, I so needed someone just so I could get some work done.

I guess what I am saying is that getting annoyed or bothered by something as giving someone a job is a little odd to me. There are tons of people out of work.
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#7 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 09:08 PM
 
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If I could afford some household help, even a part-time nanny so that I could go to the park and have two sets of eyes on my kids so that I could talk to my friends in a lower stress situation, I certainly would do it. Not only would it relieve some of my potential anxiety and/or burden (like housework) so that I could spend time with my kids and have adult social time, I would also be passing the money around and employing someone who probably needs the work. Everyone wins in my mind. Don't see the purpose in critisizing someone else's parenting desicions...

Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi
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#8 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 09:18 PM
 
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When I lived in London, I nannied for a SAHM while the regular nanny was on holiday. She had one little boy but all day every day she was out shopping and visiting friends. That happens a lot there among the upper classes and nobody thinks anything of it, though most mothers do work at least a bit. They all have nannies, and the children get very attached to the nannies and have often have quite a distant relationship with their parents.

If you've read "The Nanny Diaries" about the New York nanny, it really is like that with some people.
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#9 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 09:23 PM
 
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Well, Lunamom, I see where you are coming from. Reminds me of Naomi Wolff when she was describing in "Misconceptions" how she and the nanny would bathe her daughter together, dress her in pj's together, and put her to bed together. I was thinking, "why the heck does it take two grown-ups to dress a baby?"
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#10 of 30 Old 06-10-2003, 10:41 PM
 
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Read "The Nanny Diaries". My wonderful sitter used to be a nanny. It's sadly all true and then some.

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#11 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 07:04 AM
 
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of course, we don't know the lady's personal situation, so we are curious, but not judging.

currently, we have a "nanny" (our niece) since I had to return to full-time work for 3 months. let me tell you how awesome it is!

to have a house helper to deal with the dishes, sweeping, laundry, etc, while dh and I can play with dd...we know that it's heavenly and will soon end! I think it's got to be every mom's dream to have the magic elves tidying up the house while you're upstairs helping baby fall asleep!
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#12 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 10:15 AM
 
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Maybe the mother has some underlying problem that wasn't evident as you watched her at the park. Perhaps she suffers from seizures or something and doesn't want to pass out when she's caring for her children.

What I don't understand is SAHMs who hire maids and such. Do they and their kids trash their house so badly that they're just too oh-so-tired to clean? Or is the purpose of having a cleaning lady simply so the mother can avoid doing anything other than making sure her children's lives are filled with her constant presence? Educate me.
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#13 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 10:35 AM
 
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I understand why some SAHMs hire cleaning help! If I could afford it, I would definitely consider it. Just because I stay at home, doesn't mean that I'm a good household manager. My house could use a maid.
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#14 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 10:37 AM
 
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I don't see anything wrong with having extra help if you can afford it. I'd be rather envious of her. Why does a woman have to have a medical condition to hire a helper? Who says the SAHM has to clean the house herself? I assume grandmothers and sisters are allowed to help out? so if these aren't available or willing, what's wrong with hiring someone?

And a 9 mo old and 2 year old have different play needs. I want to have another baby but this is the one thing that worries me most. That I won't be able to spend as much one-on-one time with the older child. I think the reason first borns often walk, talk, do everything earlier than later borns is due to extra attention they get.

If I could keep dh home 24/7, I'd be really happy - it's so much easier having two sets of hands. Besides if you had someone to do the boring stuff like cleaning then you'd have more quality time with the children. I love cooking everything from scratch, hate processed foods but have had to really cut down on my cooking after having dd. I feel guilty if I try to cook something time consuming now.
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#15 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 10:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by luvmyboys
What I don't understand is SAHMs who hire maids and such. Do they and their kids trash their house so badly that they're just too oh-so-tired to clean? Or is the purpose of having a cleaning lady simply so the mother can avoid doing anything other than making sure her children's lives are filled with her constant presence? Educate me.
If I had the money I would definitely hire someone to clean. It would give me more time to cook, deal with the never-ending mountain of laundry, make and get to doctor's, etc. appointments, go grocery shopping and, yes, hang out with my son.

My job as a SAHM (although I also go to school, so am not solely a SAHM) is to take care of my son, not to be a house servant. That said, there are some things (like making the appointments and such) that only a family member can do. For the rest of the stuff, I would be only too happy to delegate responsibility.
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#16 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 11:01 AM
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AS a SAHM who has eight children and has never hired a soul to do squat my initial reaction is to chuckle at the wuss but, seriously, if I had the money I'd likely have a woman come in 2X/week to do the heavy cleaning and I *might* have an aupair to help me with the kiddos (although not at this point in time )

My children are out of school starting next week and, believe me, a couple of hours out/childless a couple of times/week sure saves my sanity and preserves my attitude!!

DB
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#17 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 11:15 AM
 
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My job as a SAHM (although I also go to school, so am not solely a SAHM) is to take care of my son, not to be a house servant.
excellent point, and ITA.
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#18 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 11:44 AM
 
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What I don't understand is SAHMs who hire maids and such
Why is it the mom's responsibility to do all the housework? We hired a cleaning woman because DH doesn't want to do the heavy cleaning anymore than I do. Maybe I don't qualify as a SAHM because I have my own business but I sure think SAHM's are just as deserving of help as a WOHM.

And DebraBaker - congrats on 8 kids. I'm humbled just imagining what your day is like.
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#19 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 11:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by luvmyboys
What I don't understand is SAHMs who hire maids and such. Do they and their kids trash their house so badly that they're just too oh-so-tired to clean? Or is the purpose of having a cleaning lady simply so the mother can avoid doing anything other than making sure her children's lives are filled with her constant presence? Educate me.
I can tell you. If we could afford a maid to come weekly, it would be a great help. Dh comes home from work each week (he works out of town M-F) and doesn't see any difference in the house. It takes all of my energy to take care of the two girls, help ds with his homework, take ds to extracurricular activities, grocery shop, do laundry, cook, do dishes, etc. Now I do work out, but that is my only stress relief so I won't apologize for that. I don't have time to really "clean" the house, because I am too busy "maintaining." Sure I could clean but not without neglecting something. Since I am trying to ap the girls, that means they spend as much time in arms as possible which is hard enough to do while cooking and doing laundry. It would be close to impossible while scrubbing tubs and toilets, kwim?

Fortunately I have a dh would doesn't mind vaccuuming, mopping or scrubbing a toilet on his days off. He also cooks for me all three nights he is home.
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#20 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 12:54 PM
 
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Wow! Well, I guess that if it's perfectly acceptable to hire cleaning help, then it should be just as acceptable to hire a nanny.

Some women can't or don't like to deal with the household chores and hire cleaning help. Some women like things done their way and would rather hire someone to keep an eye on the kids while she cleans and organizes her home the way she likes it done.

I'll add that I AP'ed both of my children. I'd never consider hiring a nanny because it's just not something that I'd feel comfortable with. I'd also never hire cleaning help simply because no one does things the way that I like them to be done. I'm a perfectionist, what can I say? As far as scrubbing toilets, I wait until the kids are in bed. In fact, that's when I do most of my cleaning.
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#21 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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 :
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#22 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 06:34 PM
 
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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.
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#23 of 30 Old 06-11-2003, 08:20 PM
 
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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.
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#24 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 03:48 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 04:19 PM
 
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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....


Libby
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#26 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 04:27 PM
 
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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!!
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#27 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 04:58 PM
 
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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!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#28 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 05:55 PM
 
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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!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#29 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 06:00 PM
 
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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...

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#30 of 30 Old 06-13-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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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!
galadriel is offline  
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