September 28, 2006

It's So Hard To Find Good Help These Days

You think the nanny slipping the kid a Happy Meal's a problem?

Try coming home and finding out your sitter practically starved your kid instead. I mean, is it really so hard to make Oreo waffles?

Memo to Nanny: No Juice Boxes [nyt]
related: Flying Private - Think of The Children


I always hate these articles about neurotic parents, but then end up reading them to the end! Ok, maybe I am neurotic but seriously I would not want someone giving my 2 yo soda.

[this time, aren't you glad you read to the end, though? -ed.]

I struggle with the nanny question.

I'm guilty for paying someone far less than what the task is worth. I'm ashamed because it 'feels' wrong for anyone but parent or grandparent to watch your children. Slipshod though it may have been, it's how I was raised. When I was growing up, only those with their noses in the air and more money than they deserve outsourced their child's upbringing to a nanny.

That's not the reality, of course, but reality doesn't always have much to do with emotion. We make almost triple my parents' peak combined income, and it still feels like a struggle. How do people afford 5000/month mortgages anyway?

Perhaps I should have been more ambitious, so we could afford to have one of us stay home. Is that a weakness? I'm secretly annoyed at my parents for living so far away and not being part of their grandchild's daily life, like my grandparents were part of mine. It's not contemporary to expect this, but my father's family were immigrants and my expectation has a sort of half-life.

A lot of people struggle with the socio-class issues. Just watch the face of anyone who say sitter instead of nanny.

We're constantly struggling with the food issues (they're not bad, just minor things like snack times and eating sweets), but i honestly had never thought of all the socio-economic issues before. Talk about making me feel paranoid.

and j.b. brought up a good point: "nanny" vs. "sitter". She takes care of them 2 days a week while I'm at home the other three, so I feel justified in the semantic nuances of using the word "sitter", but by now I've really stopped caring. And if the girls still haven't snacked too much to eat dinner when we get home, then I don't care about that either.

What's most important is the way my girls giggle and shriek with delight when the nanny (sitter?) arrives in the morning. The fact that they love each other means so much to us that we can overlook so much else. Funny how that works in so many situations.

that's how we've dealt with all the issues j.b. addressed.

Our daughter is in "day care" 4 days a week. The woman who watches her is wonderful and really loves our daughter. Her husband comes home about 1/2 hr before I pick her up and they adore each other.

They do not have grandkids, so they treat my daughter as a granddaughter - for better (they care a lot about her growth and well-being) as well as for worse (they spoil her).

With both our families being far away, at least we feel good that she is staying with her third set of "grandparents".

I am expecting my first child in November. I have worked as a nanny/sitter over the past ten years in America, Japan, and Europe. I have worked for very rich families and not so rich ones... In every case regarless of salary I cared for thier children with the love and concern I will use with my own. As for food I am an extremely health concious person and I always was very concious of what I fed the children. Many times more health concious than the parents. A caregiver is certainly not doing themselves any favors allowing children to eat junk... it creates mood swings and temper tantrums. However in many of the places you take children for fun or educational activities provide nothing but junk to eat. i have found that I nearly always have to pre pack healthy snacks when heading out to swim/ice skate/movies. And if the parents don't have healthy food around the house I often have to go out and buy it myself...out of pocket. Many times perhaps it is not the nanny's fault the children aren't provided with healthy snack but the world at large which is set up to offer and vast array of temper tantrum inducing junk food stands.

The web site that article links to, I Saw Your Nanny, is like crack. I just wasted half an hour reading the posts on that blog.

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