Around this time last year, I had lunch in a popular Hamilton diner with Mabel’s Label’s co-founder Julie Cole and we were talking about my insane work-from-home-while-looking-after-my-3-kids schedule and the strain it was causing the management of the momstown business. The whole time we talked I was either rocking my stroller with one hand or bouncing the babe on my lap trying to settle a 4 month old.
Julie finally just looked at me and said, “Dude, you need a nanny!! End of story. I’m finding you one!”
I chuckled. I was all “I-can-do-this” mentality and I don’t need a nanny. I had figured out a “system” of one kid in kindergarten two full days, a 2 year old in daycare the same two days and heck, I was able to type and breastfeed at the same time – so all was good! I was a proud mom entrepreneur deep in the trenches of business and babies and I could do it all by myself. Thank-you very much.
Then one day, when I was in a fit of tears from utter exhaustion and completely over my head, my husband looked at me and said “You say this is working, this is not working. Maybe your friend Julie was right.”
A nanny??? There’s a picture I never painted for this stay-at-home-mom.
Out came the calculator and some figuring how that would be manageable. Apparently, the Canadian live-in caregiver plan is the way to go as it’s a less expensive option. Did we want someone to live in our home? Would our privacy go out the window? I was a proud mom, could I let go of the reigns enough to even allow someone to help parent my children?
The big answer is YES. Yes, I could and YES I did.
The decision felt right to me because I could still be here. I was on hand for nursing the baby. I could still be here for kisses and school drop off and pick-ups. I could work in the DAYTIME (what an achievement in the mom entrepreneur world). Hey, getting help even meant I could volunteer in the kindergarten classroom or go on preschool fieldtrips because I wasn’t tied down with a baby and no sitter.
There were so many positives. Yet, I underestimated the positives.
Hiring our nanny was the best decision our family has ever made.
Our beautiful nanny, Gemma, has been a true gift. She’s genuine, generous and loves our kids. Her heart is open to my children and she has taken care of my family in the exact spots I was struggling. I consider us a daytime tag-team. Gemma manages the kids and we work in tandem over the schedule, switch between pick-up and drop-offs, and devise a quick plan each morning.
Having Gemma here has allowed me to feel like I now not only have the time, but the right, to focus on another passion – my business. All things have flourished - our family, our kids and the business with our new system.
Because I have been here as a full-time mom day in and day out for five years, I am eternally grateful for all the work our nanny does. I know how many times a day that darn kitchen floor needs sweeping, I know the kids will complain about going to the park again and I know how long it takes for bickering to start. I understand how hard it is to wrangle 3 little people, their bladder management, their hungry snack bellies and fit in their outdoor play and nap schedules. Being a mom and being a nanny are HARD jobs.
Which is why I cringe and want to scream when I hear someone refer to their blessed nanny as “The Nanny”. Grrrr, the disrespect and lack of understanding utterly kills me.
Our nannies – they are helping us raise our children. Don’t call them “the nanny”. It shows no compassion for the honest and tough job they are doing. It’s rude and condescending.
The same people who refer to their nannies as “the nanny” would hit the roof if their husband called them “the wife”. It’s plain rude. Yet so ridiculously common!!
Your nanny is a person – refer to her by name. If that takes too long to explain or you’re describing her to your outer circle who doesn’t know her? Please, refer to her as “our” nanny.
Don’t get me started on “issues” people have with the housekeeping their nanny does. This makes me irate. The job of the nanny is to be a NANNY, play with your child, engage them and help you raise them into the best possible person. Not to keep the floors sparkling. That would be a maid.
Perhaps this is a blanket statement that will get me into trouble, but I find, moms who have never been home full-time with their kids often are too hard on their nanny. Have you ever tried to do all the things you expect “the nanny” to do?
The popularity of the book and now movie, The Help, drives home this point even further. These gracious, wonderful women who choose to move into or arrive at our homes every day, are angels. They are not “the help” or “the nanny” they are women with their own lives who have deliberately chosen to help us with ours. Our nannies help over-scheduled, busy families keep a resemblance of ‘normal’ in our lives and that balance is created by caring, supportive women who are undervalued and underappreciated.
Our family has a beautiful arrangement and we are beyond lucky to have found each other. I count my blessings every single day that Gemma came into our life and is helping us nurture and love our children. xo
PS: Ironically, this week, momstown minds wrote an article about the top 3 ways to find your own awesome Nanny - click here to read!