Nanny, Nanny Boo-Boo!

Posted: August 31, 2011 in child, parenting

Are nannies good for kids? I’ve always wondered that. I don’t know anyone (personally) who had a nanny in his/her life, so the concept is completely foreign to me.

But, is it good to have someone else raise your kid because you’re too occupied to do so yourself?

As far as my upbringing goes, I came up in a two parent household and they were the predominant authoratative figures in my life. My dad worked days and my mom worked nights. So, one of them was always around to make sure I received the “home training” I needed to be a responsible adult. The closest I had to a nanny was my grandmother. She would babysit me when my mom had to go into work early for overtime. Although she wasn’t a parent, she was still a relative. Someone who would always be in my life.

Nannies aren’t always permanent. Sure, you have some familes who treat their nanny as part of the family, but how often does that happen? How often are nannies fired for stealing, sleeping with the husband/wife or for just being bad at the job?

What happens when the child gets attached to the nanny and she quits or gets fired?

What is the child’s relationship with the nanny? Do they view her as a mother or as an older relative?

Some richer people have a nanny for each child, so how do those relationships work?

“Girl, so I told Angelina and Brad that I need a raise!”

I’m not really stating an opinion on this because I know so little about the subject, but I see so many red flags. So, maybe someone who has experienced it, knows someone who has or just has their own opinion on it can explain it to me.

Please provide feedback below. Thanks!

  1. Jewels says:

    Well this topic is close to me because I am a nanny. I was the director of a daycare for years and quit to try nannying when I got sick of corporate child care. I have been with the same family now for 4 years. I started when the youngest (of 4) was 3 months old and she turned 4 in June. Personally I was raised by my mother and father. Mom was a stay at home until after my youngest sibling was in school full time. I can't imagine growing up the way the kids I nanny for do. I feel so bad for them…then again I feel fulfilled knowing that without a person like me in their life they would be starved for attention and love (not that their parents don't love them…but they are too busy to show them daily). I work 7:30-7:30 Mon-Fri. I do not take sick days, I get 3 weeks paid vacation, it's all over the table and I am treated with full "parenting" rights and as a part of the family. I am attached to the children and I know that they are attached to me. Hell I don't think the parents could run things without help (though I'm not naive enough to think I'm not replaceable). There are awkward times when the little one cries when I leave or doesn't want me to leave, or they call me Mom in front of the parents…but for the most part it runs smoothly. I am sorry this is long winded. I guess what I'm saying is that it is best to be able to raise your own children but when that isn't an option I really do think that having a nanny (the right nanny mind you) is the next best option. This means finding one that has the same values, child raising techniques, punishment (time out-never hitting in my case) and who fits in with your family. I got lucky-or rather they did-and it's been a great relationship. Anyway…that is my opinion. As far as I'm concerned getting love and attention from me is better than getting none at all. The bottom line is these parents aren't stay at home parents. It is me or somebody else and as much as I love those kids I'm glad it is me. Again…sorry for the long response. If you have any other questions let me know. 🙂

  2. Thank, Q says:

    Wow, Jewels, that's great! Blogging strikes again as I now have been put in touch with someone who actually does one of the things I know absolutely nothing about.I've always been torn on the nanny thing because from the outside looking in, I'm thinking, "why have kids if you're not going to take care of them?" It almost seems no different than a deadbeat leaving the kids with grandma. But, I can kind of understand things a bit better now. If the right nanny is chosen, the situation may not seem as dire as I once thought. The calling you "mom" thing is still kind of sucky for the parents, but then again, I guess they asked for that with the lifestyle/career they have.This really opens up a lot for me. Thanks for being so candid.

  3. LilPixi says:

    Good one!I know this. While some mothers may find it convenient & probably a godsend to have somebody else look after their kid when they cannot/are too busy, I don't think I could do it. It would break my heart to know I wasn't having those moments with my kid through their growing up, but that somebody else was who's not even family, or at least considered family, like a best friend.This is why I'm a firm believer in the way life was back in the 1950's.

  4. TQ. Interesting questions you pose. As a thoughtful man, I think I should hire a nanny for myself and report back to you. My therapist tells me I'm stuck at the pre-pubescent stage, and maybe a good nanny could help me break through to full puberty.Maybe Jewels will apply.Which reminds me. Is this where the childish kids taunt "nanny-nanny-boo-boo" comes from.FRICKLE RICK PERRY! (Appropriateness added due to content)

  5. Lawfrog says:

    Very interesting question! I tend to fall on your side on this one Q. I do not understand why people have children if they are just going to leave them in someone else's care all the time. There are situations where nannies are not only desirable, but necessary. For example, I babysat the children of a woman who had two sets of twin boys two years apart! She hired a couple of nannies to help out when the second set was born because at that point, she had four children ages 2 and newborn. She needed the help. After they were a little older, she started working from home and took care of them herself. The kids know who their parents are, they are well behaved, very smart, and delightful. That is due to their parents being there for them.I do not think it's a bad thing to have a nanny necessarily, but the nanny should be a helper NOT the parent. The parent needs to be the one doing the majority of the care, period. It's one thing if you have to work, as many of us do in this economy, but spending time with your children, being there for them, that should never be outsourced to anyone.

  6. Thank, Q says:

    @ Lil Pixi – The 50's did seem so simple on "Leave it to Beaver" episodes, didn't it? I agree with you on your points, but in all honesty, I don't think the parents care if they miss those milestone moments of their kid's life. If they did, they'd do whatever it would take to make sure they were there.@ Mooner – I think Jewels is set where she is now, so your offer better be pretty substantial. Especially if overnight stays are involved. Let me know when your research is done. SN: "Frickle?" LOL!@ Lawfrog – I love your answer. I think you laid it out very well. Even if they're necessary, the parent should still be the driving force in the kids' lives. Well said.

  7. Erin says:

    Have you seen (or read) The Help? It deals with a lot of these questions… really makes you think. I personally think that it CAN work with a nanny and parents, as long as the parents are actually PRESENT in their kids' lives, not just "present" as in "around the house" – but I don't have any experience with that at all.

  8. Thank, Q says:

    @ Erin – No, I haven't read or seen "The Help" yet, but I do think I'll go see the movie at some point. I've gotten a lot of good insight on this from here and Twitter, so I do think it can work if done correctly like you mentioned.

  9. Jewels says:

    Thank Q-you are welcome. It is no skin off my back to share. I will say that I agree with the comments saying parents should be involved. In my case I won't pretend they are. I take children to skating, hockey, karate, baseball, dance class, cub scouts, stay with them when they are sick, take them to doctors, dentist, and other appointments. Hell, just today I took 4 kids back to school shopping. I take them to the aquarium, library, parks, playgrounds, movies…I do it all from getting dressed, brushing teeth, breakfast, lunch, homework, dinner, showers, and anything else you can imagine in the course of a day. Mom and Dad assist me in morning and then come home to clean kids, homework done, and get to play for an hour before bed. They are not nearly involved enough though in their defense I see them try. They both have high profile jobs, Dad is a VP of a development company and Mom is a partner at a law firm and they love their children but the balance is not there. As for Mooner-the kids have to grow up some time and just like Mary Poppins I will have to move on…I'll let you know when the time comes. haha.

  10. I'm OK with using a nanny if both parents are working, but I am shocked to see how many stay at home moms use nannys!

  11. I wish I was balling like that to have a nanny so I'm with you: I don't know. But I will tell you an interesting fact. When my grandmother came to America back in the days, she used to be a nanny for none other than John Wayne! My grandma raised his kids in Beverly Hills you dirty pilgrim.

  12. Thank, Q says:

    @ Jewels – Well, I'm sure the kids will turn out well aside from the fact there could be some resentment towards the parents. I know careers are important, but why have kids if your career requires a majority of your time? That's just me though.@ The Budget Diet <– new Twitter follower! 🙂 I have no idea why a stay-at-home-parent would need a nanny unless they're the Octomom. To me, that's just being lazy.@ Iz – Your g-mom was nanny for "The Duke?" Get out of here! Does she have photos? That's pretty cool right there.

  13. This is a tricky one, Quincy. I was very clear before I had kids that I would raise them full-time. I could have got married a couple of times before I did but the men would not have been able to support a family on their own wage. So I didn't marry them. Does that sound cold? Maybe, but I have values and discipline standards and I wanted my kids to grow up with them. That is one of the most important things about being a mother IMO, it's not just about changing them, feeding them and putting them down for a nap. The nannies I see around me often have poor English speaking skills, no effective discipline and sit around a lot seeming to do as little as possible. That is not what I wanted for my kids.The other issue I have about having a nanny is the attachment a child has to a nanny. Eventually the nanny moves on and the child can be distraught. We're told all the time not to introduce our child to our latest boyfriend (if single) until we know the relationship is serious because of attachment issues yet we have no compunction about the same problem when it refers to a nanny despite the relationship being far more close.There are, of course situations where it can't be avoided, but mostly I think we are way too casual about employing nannies. Unless of course we think the nanny will do a better job than the parents and then we have to wonder why the parents are having children at all. Life is about making choices and I would make many difficult choices before I would hand my child's welfare and emotional development over to someone else.

  14. Thank, Q says:

    @ Allison, that's a great comment. The main thing that stuck out to me with what you said is why have children in the first place? I wouldn't buy a dog and pay someone else to care for it, so why do the same with something as precious as a child? And if you go that route, then you really have to put some serious thought into it and make sure the nanny you hire is a nanny for life. Bringing different nannies in and out of a kid's life is similar to running boyfriends in and out like you said. Again, great comment!

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