These days my most important relationship is…with my nanny. Call me stuck up…snobby…selfish…bratty…entitled…baby…a half-assed mom. Call me whatever you want. This is me giving zero fucks. I couldn’t survive without my nanny. I couldn’t parent without my nanny. Sometimes I joke with mom friends that I could totally be a single parent and raise my son with his nanny.
My nanny has been with our family since Mason was 6 months old. She has practically raised him along side my husband and me. She comes three times a week and if I could afford it, I would build her an apartment on my property, so she would never leave. I tell her this all the time. She loves my son like he is one of her own and that’s good enough for me!
I never thought I would have or need a nanny when I became a mom. A nanny was not part of that motherhood fairy tale I had envisioned for myself when I became pregnant. I was going to pop that baby out of my vagina and instantaneously be transformed into the domestic goddess, stay at home Pinterest mom I was destined to be. Even though I had never been much of a do-it-yourselfer before, of course motherhood was going to change that. Motherhood was where I would grow into my undiscovered talents of baby food making, cooking, and crafting. Obviously the joke was on me!
Lots of tears, anxiety, and a postpartum depression diagnosis later, it became clear that I wasn’t much of a do-it-yourselfer when it came to motherhood either. Our baby nurse stayed for 6 months until a mom friend helped us realize it was time for more of a “nanny” figure to help out. And thank God for this mom friend–because she introduced me to our nanny, the best nanny in the whole freaking universe–a nanny I would probably try to poach if she was with another family.
My nanny does it all. You see, I never did make that baby food. Well, not like I thought I would. My nanny makes dinners for my son, puts them in tupperware containers in the fridge, and then I take them out, put them on a plate, microwave them, and ta da! Dinner is served! And she does his laundry–and I hate laundry! Do you now how much laundry one tiny human can have? Sheets and towels and five changes of clothes each day and let’s not forget about all the other sheets, towels, and clothes he sweat on, peed on, shit on, threw up on, etc. I’m more than happy to put the laundry away but I hate doing it–and folding it.
My nanny teaches me things. We trust our nanny when it comes to parenting, so we often let her take the lead when it comes to that stuff like Mason’s schedule and getting him potty trained before his fifth birthday, which is probably how it would turn out if his actual parents were in charge. She told us when it was time to transition from the bottles to the sippy cups, from the diapers to the pull-ups to underwear. When it was time to get him used to the potty by putting him on it every night before bath time. When it was time to give in and switch to a big boy bed. And how not to give in to his tantrums by walking away and ignoring them. I’m happy to take her advice. She has raised tons of babies including four of her own. I’m a first-time parent and like most first-time parents, I usually don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I
My nanny keeps me sane. I don’t want you to think my nanny does everything, even though she does everything. And I 100% know how fortunate I am to be able to have her. The chores that she does and the help that she gives and the time she spends with Mason allows me to have the time to focus on myself. By now, you should know how much I value that “me” time. Having that time allows me to focus on my writing, something that really feeds my mind, which in turn helps my body and spirit. Me time is something I need to be the best mom I can possibly be to Mason. I get to spend quality time with him while not having to stress about all the stuff I didn’t have time to get done. We can enjoy our Mommy-Mason time together at the playground, reading books, singing songs, having dance parties, playing trains and cars, baking, learning our letters and numbers, and just being silly. I’m completely aware of how self-absorbed all of this sounds, but this is the mom I am. I’m the stay at home mom with a part-time nanny who needs an afternoon nap, and hates doing laundry and making lunches and dinners. I do all my errands when Mason is with his nanny because I would rather avoid the meltdowns he loves to have whenever we end up at Target, the grocery store, mall, or any other place that he can’t play with new toys, run around in, or destroy.
My nanny is family. Mason’s nanny is part of our family. She knows our family. She supports our family. She loves our family just as much as we love her. I talk to her as both a mom and friend. She probably thinks I’m a bit cray. She doesn’t judge my need for daily naps. She knows I’m always on some new diet. One week it’s no carbs. Another week it’s no food, just shakes or smoothies. Sometimes she stays late when my husband is traveling a lot for business. She checks in when any of us are sick. I mean, she even stayed with me overnight at the hospital with Mason when every other family member was out of town. She is compassionate, warm, nurturing, and an all around positive presence in our household. I can’t apologize for embracing that. I always tell her she can never leave me. We all know it takes a village to raise a child, and in a place where I run with mostly male relatives, she just happens to be mine.
Maybe nannies aren’t your thing. Maybe you want to spend every waking minute with your children. I don’t. Maybe you love weekly gym classes and swim lessons and soccer games. Maybe you think I have it so easy because I have a nanny. But how would you know? What’s hard for me might not be so difficult for you. We are all different. We are just the moms we are. We are just trying to survive motherhood with some part of us left intact.
If I had to choose between giving up all my possessions or giving up my nanny, see ya possessions! (And I really do love shoes–they are your friends no matter what the scale says). I completely own this about myself, no matter what you might think of me.
So short of my nanny shooting me in the arm, I could never part with her. I hope she stays with us forever and ever and ever. Actually, if she shot me in the arm, I would probably fall to the floor in a pool of my own blood and call out to her, “So I’ll see you at work tomorrow?!”