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Why Is Help A Four Letter Word?

Ava Amurri Martino shares tips on how to prepare a delicious, dairy-free hot cocoa bar!

A Motherhood dynamic that still really surprises me, even four years in to my own parenting journey, is the continuing stigma surrounding childcare.  Every time I’m confronted with it, it really shocks me.  I regularly have people (mostly women, mostly mothers) “reaching out” to me on social media asking me why I have a nanny for my kids.  I normally stay fairly calm, and respond that since my husband and I work full time, do not have local family help, and work very inconsistent hours, full-time childcare is a necessity for us.  This is, of course, a pretty logistically obvious answer.  But I can’t help but wonder, in those moments, what if I didn’t work full time? What if I worked part time, or not at all, and simply wanted to have some help with my children? Would that make me a bad mom in these people’s eyes? Why, in this 21st century, have we lost site of the “village” that families have relied on for centuries– and why have we created a meritocracy for the concept of plowing through the experience on our own?

Eva Amurri Martino's two small children play with their nanny in the family room of their connecticut home

I’ve noticed this cultural trend in other ways as well.  It is not enough to be in good physical shape, we must also be in good physical shape while being able to eat “whatever we want”.  That is more impressive, somehow.  It is not enough to have a clean and safe home, we must also run it and decorate it, and throw parties, and cook balanced meals and tidy up and organize by ourselves.  That makes us more impressive adults somehow.  It is not enough to be nurturing parents, we must also do it on our own…even if doing it on our own makes us exhausted, depleted, overwhelmed? Does that make us better for our children? All families are different, some have help from family, some find help from friends, some find help in the form of strangers who are hired and become like family– but why does having (or wanting) to hire help (as opposed to finding it organically) somehow relegate the quality of parenting? And why does it make a parent with “help” less than a parent without? I have always believed that as parents everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, which is one of the most beautiful things to witness about parenting– but I firmly believe that no one parent is purely “Good at it” or purely “bad at it”.  Everyone is some kind of mix. It’s been an interesting journey for me to make peace with the judgement that having a full time nanny can bring.  But I’ve always been transparent about our nanny’s role in our lives, most of all because of the great value she brings to our lives!

Marlowe and Major Martino snuggle their nanny in the family room of their connecticut home

I believe that having different people with different life views, different experiences, and different backgrounds brings so much to our children’s upbringing and education. The proverbial “Village” isn’t just for support, it’s also for context! We’ve been lucky to have a couple great nannies for our kids–our current one is hands down our favorite ever, and hopefully will be with us for a very long time– and the common thread between them has been how different their cultural background is from our own. Our nanny now is from a Spanish-speaking country, and I was thrilled when she agreed to speak Spanish with our kids.  She sings spanish songs to them, cooks food from her country for them, and even has some great parenting hacks up her sleeve that are from her own upbringing.  I love it! I think when kids are exposed to different ways of living, and people with greatly varying histories, it really opens up their horizons and teaches the deepest forms of empathy. And beyond this as a child rearing concept, I also just love her personality, and think she’s a great person for my kids to learn from.  She’s kind but firm, intelligent, very funny, totally tough and brave, and completely independent.  I hope Marlowe, especially, picks up on all these qualities.

 

The thing I love the most about our nanny, though, is how much she loves my kids– and how much they love her! Before I ever had childcare, I always used to wonder if working away from my kids and having another woman spending so much time with them would make me jealous.  I’ll admit that there have been a couple times in the past four years when I’ve gone to pick up my kids, or get them after a nap and they’ve flat out rejected me and called for their nanny (LOL) and if I was already feeling guilty or depleted myself it would sting.  I’m being honest! But overwhelmingly, my feeling has been the opposite: when I see my kids loving these incredible women who help me raise them– and when I see these women love them so completely– it makes my heart sing.  Because who doesn’t want MORE love for their kids, both from others, and within their kids hearts?! When we take our nanny (“Yaya”) on trips with us, my kids get so excited and always say “Is Yaya coming? The whole family, Mom?!” And they always include her in every family list, experience, and exciting news to share.  It makes me so happy that while I’m working they have so much love surrounding them.

Marlowe and Major Martino snuggle their nanny in the family room of their connecticut home

I guess my point is that when people nastily ask me how it feels to have “somebody else raising my kids”, my feeling is always that it’s pretty great, actually.  Because don’t villages always raise us? Our communities, our schools, our friends, our families and peers? I feel lucky that my kids are learning from some great people in their lives, and that we are all focused on raising them in the most loving way possible.  I don’t feel that my kids get less because of it at all.  And so I’ve learned to let go of the negativity, and the shame, and the exhaustion too.  And to just feel lucky that I have the help from such an awesome person.

I’m curious about your views on this topic. Do you have family, hired help, or daycare for your children? Have you ever been shamed for having help with your kids? Please share in the comments below!

 

Photographs by Julia Dags

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97 Comments

  1. Trixie says:

    I was a driver/nanny for much older kiddos when I was in college and it was a great opportunity. Especially for me to see and learn and be loved by another family! It was great to see the work ethic, drive and love from a different family that was more relatable to me. It is a great opportunity from both sides. Ignore the haters! <3

    12.19.18Reply
  2. Mary Ellen says:

    I love this post! I live in Switzerland away from both our families. I also have a full time nanny and am currently looking for a new job. At first I felt guilty about having a nanny and not working. But honestly I need this time (to learn french) and take care of myself. Plus both my kids enjoy their time away from me too;)

    12.19.18Reply
  3. Carmen Ongay says:

    I wished I had! I too did not live close to family and was new to the area when my kids were toddlers. It was extremely difficult and exhausting working full time (extremely demanding job), cooking, cleaning, spending quality time with the kids and still getting them to and from their activities. Oh yeah and spending time with hubby which always took the back burner!

    12.19.18Reply
  4. Stephanie Stefanoff says:

    Hi Eva,

    I’m a new mommy, and my views are mine personally–meaning, I would never force them on someone else. I believe everyone has a right to parent the way they see fit, and we, as a society, shouldn’t judge them for it. You’re right in that it takes a village to raise a child. My husband and I are very independent, and we want to raise our children on our own terms without outside interference–family, friends. I want to learn and grow with my children and be their compass/nurturer in all ways. I’m a bit wary of being judged myself or having people call me a snob or “too good to ask for help” or even “selfish” but at the end of the day, this is my kid, my life and I’ll do what my husband and I think is best.
    At the same time, when I do require child-care, I’ll either hire a babysitter or enlist a grandparent, but again, my choice.

    Great post!

    -Steph

    12.19.18Reply
  5. Tricia says:

    Eva,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for talking about this! I have been a professional nanny for the last ten years. I’m back in school now for Elementary Education and have one semester left. I have always loved being a nanny but I have not always been treated well for it. People don’t understand that nannies are not just “babysitters”… we become part of the family. We love the kids and parents so much and are so happy to help and be there when parents need to work. It is a partnership and community. I’m so glad you are trying to make nannies less taboo. I really appreciate this topic and the way you speak about your nanny!!

    12.19.18Reply
  6. Katie G says:

    I am a mom of a 2 year old and we moved this past summer where we don’t know anyone and our closest relatives are 4 hours away. I am a stay at home mom and although I love it, it takes a toll on you especially when you have no one near you. I enrolled my daughter this fall into a 2 yr old pre k class. It’s only 2 days a week for 2 hours but as much as I wanted it for her, to get more socialized, it just as much benefits me. That 2 hours goes so quickly but I can do errands much faster and just have a bit of time to me. And I’m excited to pick her up from school to see how her time there was.

    12.19.18Reply
  7. Jordan says:

    I am so happy your family has found “the one”. I’ve been along for your journey with different nannies and am privy to how tough that’s been! While of course there are exceptions to this type of judgement, (wealthy individuals that still would judge) I do think it has a lot to do with class. It feels to me that most individuals that condemn the help are ones that can not afford it. I do come from a middle class home and can imagine any judgement from people in my life would come from the jealousy of not being able to hire help. This is an unfortunate but common human flaw. You are so entitled to take advantage of the help you can get. Who wouldn’t? I’m certain those that put you down would change their position given the opportunity! Not fair to make you feel bad for it.

    12.19.18Reply
    • Blair says:

      Agree

      12.20.18Reply
  8. Jenny says:

    I’m a stay at home mom and still have help with my kids (helps with the depleted feeling I sometimes get as a mom)! I love that other people love on my kids and teach them things.

    12.19.18Reply
  9. Irina Visan says:

    I love this topic. While we don’t have kids yet, my boyfriend and I have different views over getting help. My mom stayed home to grow us up. Still she would have someone help with cleaning once a month or so. His mother worked and never had any help. So of course our opinions reflect our upbringings. Still trying to get him over that so that we can hire someone to help with cleaning 🙂 did you and Kyle had any differences?

    12.19.18Reply
    • Gisselle says:

      My husband and I were raised the same way as you and your boyfriend and are having the same discussions about childcare! I would love to hear if Eva and Kyle had different views about it as well!

      01.02.19Reply
  10. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for sharing and YES!! Direct from a parenting book I read recently that has stuck with me … “You’re not a wimp if you use a babysitter or house cleaner. You’re not selfish if you get away for lunch with a friend or an exercise class. Too many parents undermine themselves with guilt. Give yourself credit for all the good work that you’re doing. And get yourself some help.”

    12.19.18Reply
  11. Ann says:

    I’ve gotten some grief from some family members who think it’s “insane” that I have a nanny for my daughter; I work full time and my husband has a job that has him traveling often on short notice. We live 1,000 miles from the nearest family member and our nanny begins to provide a safety net for us. It’s frustrating to live in a place where we have to pay for EVERY minute we’re away from our daughter – no grandparents or aunts or uncles or cousins to step in in a pinch – but I feel confident knowing our nanny loves our girl and takes great care of her. It allows me to feel human while contributing at work and getting to the gym 3 times a week. I want to scream when people judge child care choices.

    12.19.18Reply
    • Melanie says:

      This is a great perspective on how a nanny is a safety net. Child care is not 100% reliable and it must give a comforting sense of mine knowing she will be there.

      12.19.18Reply
  12. Susan says:

    I’m a grandmother to a 2 year old and a 4 month old. Their parents both work and the kids attend daycare which costs almost $50k a year. They can’t really afford a nanny plus preschool for their soon to be 3 year old. Yet, he’s used to the stimulation of daycare so staying home with a nanny all day would probably not work.
    I stayed at home with my 3 but did have au pairs to help out. I feel we were very privileged. Most people can’t afford that.
    Having help is great and for us, au pairs from different cultures was wonderful, but this country just doesn’t provide reliable, inexpensive (obviously subsidized) childcare. The less privileged amongst us need quality help too!

    12.19.18Reply
  13. Emily says:

    Thank you for this post!! It certainly does take a village to raise a kid. Personally, I think it takes a village just to exist as a human being! haha Our society definitely makes us feel like we have to be all things, all the time and if we need help, we’re failures. It’s EXHAUSTING, not to mention absolutely ridiculous and sooo not the way we’re built as a species. Good for you for taking care of your family in the way that’s best for all of you!

    12.19.18Reply
  14. Melissa says:

    This topic is one that I love talking about. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but when I was younger I attended an in home daycare along with my sister from about age 1-6/7. We would get there really early in the morning and get picked up around 5/6pm. I loved my daycare provider, but I did use to feel some contempt for my parents because we didn’t get to spend much time with them and I always felt as though they chose their jobs over us. As I got older, my view on that changed, as my daycare provider is still a part of my life and I even have babysat for her grandchildren. She is always the first person to reach out on my birthday, and I’m genuinely grateful for the awesome experience I was able to have playing with other kids every day that I still interact with on social media or see around town. Granted, not everyone has this same luck, but I think it can be a great experience!

    12.19.18Reply
  15. Stephanie says:

    This is a funny subject and I don’t think you can fully get it until you have kids of your own. I once judged a mom of three who had a cook, cleaning help, and nannies on two shifts. I remember thinking, “why did she even have kids if if she isn’t going to take care of them?!” Fast forward to me having a baby, and now, I have a nanny and I wish I could hire more help! Being a mom is so hard and you constantly feel depleted. I am so grateful for my nanny and I cherish everything she does for my family. I get it now with that young mom of three and her nannies. She’s a superstar. You’re a superstar mom too. People that judge aren’t parents, or forgot what it’s like to have young kids.

    12.19.18Reply
  16. Amanda says:

    Girl. Preach. Why anyone shames mothers or fathers, (but let’s face it how many times do dads get asked why they have help????) is beyond me. I don’t know the statistics but I would venture to guess the majority of child neglect and abuse goes hand in hand with parents who are overwhelmed, stressed and with a lack of help and support in their parenting.

    12.19.18Reply
  17. Abbi says:

    Oh my gosh, this is so well-timed for me!! We’ve just welcomed our 4th boy in 5.5 years, and I’m beating myself up about needing a full-time nanny to deal with the chaos. And why?! I love the idea of bringing more love and patience into a family, and that’s such a succinct way to put it. Thanks for posting your views on this- it’s helping put things into perspective for this sleepy mom.

    12.19.18Reply
  18. Kristen says:

    Hi Eva! I’m shocked that you get negative feedback about having a nanny or enrolling your children in daycare, how else are you & Kyle supposed to work? In this day & age, every family is different and yes, it absolutely takes a village! I was a nanny for many years as a teenager in CT and I’m still close with the families I cared for. It can be an invaluable experience for the whole family! So happy you found a wonderful caregiver to welcome in your family.

    12.19.18Reply
  19. Ali says:

    I don’t find this subject to be “taboo” but I also don’t have the same kind of public scrutiny as you. In fact, if family isn’t nearby, nannies or daycare are just what people do in my area if both parents have a career.

    Since my husband and I both work full-time and have 1hr+ commutes a nanny is a necessity to do preschool pickups and getting our older child off the school bus.

    I wish we had family nearby for free childcare help but we don’t! We had a beloved nanny that just moved so we’ve gotten a new one, which has been an adjustment…. curious, how did you find your nanny?? (If you want to share)

    12.19.18Reply
  20. Elisabeth says:

    This is a great post and good for you for having this stance and not feeling too much mom guilt. I think we have enough mom guilt for everything else. I have to admit, I’ve felt jealous of families able to afford a nanny, because I’ve always understood why this kind of childcare would be ideal. I stay at home and raise my son. And, let me say, it’s really hard and exhausting. I feel like I lose myself sometimes. At the end of the day, I can’t even remember what went on in the past several hours. We don’t have help here either, and I wish we did.

    You’re never going to look back and wish you didn’t hire these wonderful women to be a part of your kids’ lives. And when I see what you do in a day, I couldn’t even imagine doing it with full time help! You are a busy boss woman!

    12.19.18Reply
  21. Lindsay says:

    I appreciate this post so much! I babysat a for a couple families regularly throughout my teens and worked with kids throughout college but nearly 5 years ago I began nannying full time for the older sister of my best friend. When I started she’d had a baby girl who was 5 months plus she had a 7 year old stepdaughter and helping raise them has become the most enriching experience and one of the very greatest gifts I’ve ever been given! She and her husband and both the girls quickly became family to my husband and I. We’ve shared adventures, holidays, triumphs, losses and all kinds of milestones. The bond we share feels truly sacred, they so completely brought me into their family and it’s so nice to read that your family loves and values your nanny in that way. It is clear you see her as not just a help to you and Kyle but also as a mentor, protector and loving influence for your kids. 6 months ago that baby I nannied was a 4 & 1/2 year old wonderful little girl ready to start school and I was pregnant with my first child so I stopped working but other than my regular hours spent in their home and with their kids each week nothing has changed. We have weekly play dates, we go to their kids karate lessons and birthday parties, the 7 year old is now nearly 13 and still comes to me for all kinds of advice and encouragement, something I cherish. We just enjoyed our annual “family Christmas dinner” together and when I need someone to watch my 3 month old son, they’re the first people I call because they show him the same overwhelming love I feel for their kids. It’s a beautiful relationship and only a benefit to us all. We all try to make the best choices we can for our families and I’m glad you aren’t letting the ignorance and judgement of others impact how you feel. They don’t know what they’re missing!! Happy Holidays Martinos (including Yaya of course)!! 🙂

    12.19.18Reply
  22. Jillian says:

    Truth!! I have worked full time out of the home and now am at home. Having loving, reliable child care is a deal maker or breaker. But more than that having your children give love and be loved by more people. It is not them solely raising them, it’s sharing in the joy and sadness of raising kids. Our children called their provider momma Aneshah. She was Arabic and Muslim and loved my children more on days my patience was thin and disciplined them on days I was a pushover. We were a team, with my husband too, of course. 😉

    12.19.18Reply
  23. Kat says:

    Eva, your article spoke to me! I totally agree- childcare is a wonderful thing if you area stay at home Mom or a working Mom. As I sit here with my stomach flu four year old girl, I am SO thankful I was able to take my 1.5 year old son to daycare today! He is able to be away from our sick ridden home and I can pay attention to my daughter while she tries to get well. Don’t get me wrong- I have Mommy guilt for doing that and I sometimes feel guilty for working. But then my kids get to see their parents working hard to provide for our family and also enjoying a career. I work part time and my husband full time and the early childhood center our kids go to has been wonderful. We have even made best friends from our kids friends! Daycare has been the best for our family. I always say ‘to each their own’. Thanks for a good read.

    12.19.18Reply
  24. Glenda says:

    There’s never too much love. I never lived around family, so friends helped each other out with kids. So much so that the friends became family. Ignore the haters. Some have all the help in the world, but for social media they portray like they do it all. Supermom. Superwoman. Very unrealistic. They have to live up to this persona. Life isn’t about perfection. Too much judgement. Do what makes you and your family thrive and happy. Be happy. Be loved.

    12.19.18Reply
  25. Sophia Gullo says:

    As a nanny myself, I love how beautifully honest this is! When you’re a nanny it is so important to work as a team with the parents or parent. I have worked for families in the past who were embarrassed or ashamed to say they had a nanny which made me feel uncomfortable. The expectations that are placed upon parents and especially moms are impossible and make it seem like they have to do it all with NO help! Mothers should not be shamed for having a nanny. Thank you for writing this!

    12.19.18Reply
  26. CB says:

    You have so many great posts and I’ve been following you for a long time but this is the first time I’m commenting because I think you really nailed this topic and I appreciate you sharing what works for you and your family. I work full time and I’m the primary earner in our family and my kids go to daycare. I’ve struggled internally and externally with others helping take care of my kids, but the time I get with them is quality time and they get a better parent who has been able to provide for the family and use their skill set that I worked my whole life to build a career around. This is especially important for me as I have 2 girls. The people who work in childcare and teaching are saints and have special hearts – I’m just glad they can be a part of our children’s lives. Thanks for such a poignant post.

    12.19.18Reply
  27. Sophia G says:

    As a nanny myself, I love how beautifully honest this is! When you’re a nanny it is so important to work as a team with the parents or parent. I have worked for families in the past who were embarrassed or ashamed to say they had a nanny which made me feel uncomfortable. The expectations that are placed upon parents and especially moms are impossible and make it seem like they have to do it all with NO help! Mothers should not be shamed for having a nanny. Thank you for writing this!

    12.19.18Reply
  28. Jordy says:

    I was a nanny for a couple years as I was finishing college, and I stayed with the family for a bit after graduation. Even my own mother gave me weird cracks about why they would need me, when the mom was just teaching yoga on the side here and there (mind you, this was a job for her and it took a lot of time, it wasn’t just “for fun”). It bothered me a lot.

    I loved my job and I think it was a great experience for me. I know for a fact that the mom and dad appreciated having me. Both parents always made me feel good about my care for their kids. They loved that I was more creative, so I’d think of crafts they never could. Or when I’d get the girls to do something the parents could never because kids hate listening to mom and dad, right? It’s just a different relationship.

    Whether you send your kids to daycare, stay at home, or hire a nanny – they all have benefits for you and your kids. However, it’s everyone’s individual choice and people need to stop judging. Everyone is different and they need different things.

    12.19.18Reply
  29. SHAUNA CREECHLEY says:

    Having lived far away from family and being on my own with our little – I would have loved to have a nanny!

    My husband worked at home and people didn’t understand why we thought we needed childcare. You can’t work and watch your kid.

    We didn’t live in an area that offered options for a nanny or childcare and the worst days were when you just need a nap or support when everyone has a cold or is ill. We eventually were able to find an in-home caregiver, but it wasn’t what we wanted.

    I honestly think the judgement stems more from the financial ability to afford the nanny. Any parent needs support and help and recognizes it. We recently moved close to family and the difference is amazing.

    My husband and I had the stomach flu and the fact my sister was able to pick up our daughter and watch her while we were ill. It was a revelation!

    I am glad you were able to find a good fit and add a member to your family.

    12.19.18Reply
  30. Kirsty says:

    Great post, Eva. I’ve always worked and our two – now 19 and 22 – always had nannies. We are still in touch with all three of them and the kids learned so much that I couldn’t teach them. One was amazing at art and my girl now draws beautifully and is so creative.. I can barely manage a stick figure! Like you, we didn’t have family help close by. You do what’s right for you and your kids. No apologies needed. Ever.

    12.19.18Reply
  31. Sheila says:

    Eva, I can see both parts of what you are saying. I worked too with my 2 kids. I think it’s perceived as, (my own opinion) u come from $$ and was able to live a privileged life. Being that, opens up so many doors to you that doesn’t happen for most of us. I’m not saying u don’t work cuz I know you do. You, like many other celebs, get VIP wherever you go, free merchandise, special treatment on trips and then commission on buying. There are alot of those things that are financially out of reach for the couple’s with family and both work. Makes little sad that people who work just as hard, if not harder, will never come close to making the $$ that celebs or their offspring make due to who they are related to. Yet, it is the fans that do this and alot of celebs seems to forget. I was always a worker and don’t mind working for what we have, never did. My dream was to be a mom first. As a hairdresser and a Nurse working ft, you are considered just out of poverty financially. I would have given anything to be able to spend their childhood home with them. To play, cook, live and just have them with me and still be able to pay my bills would have been my dream. We did what we could and did it with no help as we did not live near my family. My hubby’s Family was of no help at all. I think some women feel that if they had the choice, they would do different. You n Kyle do what works for you and your family. Not everyone has same Family dynamic Happy you have found someone to love n care for Lowie n Bubba. I just think there are alot of women who would stay home if they could afford to for at least the primary years hate that society makes it completely impossible. We both worked and lived within our means and could not give our 2 kids all they deserve. It’s a sad situation for those who do the right thing and never win. I wouldn’t shame anyone just wish this world was alot different. God Bless You all. I’m sure you will have a great holiday.

    12.19.18Reply
  32. Vanessa says:

    Love ❤️ this post! We too have a nanny and I know there is no way we could manage without her! She is family and we love her, my boys especially 🥰

    12.19.18Reply
  33. Grace says:

    You described the unique relationship between a family and nanny so beautifully. I’m not a parent myself but I was a nanny to one little girl for two years starting when she was 3 months old. I am still very close with her and her family. I often feel emotional thinking about what a blessing it was to be trusted to care for her and love on her and what a pleasure it was to be able to provide support to her parents. As my husband and I discuss having children of our own I always say without a doubt that whether part or full time we will have a nanny for many of the reasons you discussed above.

    12.19.18Reply
  34. Melissa says:

    In my country it’s pretty common to have a full time nanny but other moms will still judge or find something else to judge you for… And in the end, I’m pretty sure that everyone would take one if they could. It’s better for everyone if mommy isn’t completely overwhelmed!!

    12.19.18Reply
  35. Alison says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m a mom of a 2 and a 4 year old. My husband and I both work fulltime and we have zero family nearby. We have a nanny for our youngest (my oldest is in preschool). I truly believe that happy parents = happy kids. I love that I get to work and have some time to myself. It makes me feel more sane! I also value that my daughter is so loved by her nanny since both my parents have passed away. I think having daily input from an adult other than her parents is important for her development. I don’t understand this martyr culture of having to do it all. As you so eloquently said in your post, in the past no one did it all alone, they literally had a village to help them.

    12.19.18Reply
  36. Brenda says:

    Thanks for another great article. When I raised my children, I was lucky to have my Mom always available when I needed her, but also available when I didn’t need help. She loved to just have them over to spend the night, sometimes just one at a time and sometimes all of them. Now that I am a grandmother I do the same for my two who live here. It brings me so much joy to have such a special bond with them. My other grandchildren don’t live where I live, so even though I spend as much time as I can with them, it isn’t the same as being 10 minutes away. I feel so blessed to be able to finally experience what it’s like to live where my grandchildren live. I am sure your Nanny feels very blessed, as well!

    12.19.18Reply
  37. Katie says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read today. It really DOES take a village! I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse full time (3 days per week, sometimes more), and my husband travels every other week. I’m stressing about my son starting full time preschool in the fall and don’t know how I can make it happen WITHOUT a nanny. Your words have inspired me that it will all work out for our family. Thank you!

    12.19.18Reply
  38. Alisha says:

    I have recently come across the judgement myself. My daughter goes to preschool and I do drop off line and the babysitter picks her up. Recently I had gone inside to drop her off. One of the teachers said, “oh we don’t see you! We usually see your nanny.” Then at pickup I was the unfamiliar face. I had to explain that I was the mom. I was down about it. But honestly I think you can tell an engaged mom vs one who isn’t. My daughter always goes to school with her hair combed, matching clothes, appropriately dressed. Any activity or dress up day they have she doesn’t miss!

    I hate that I have to work but I try to be there for her all the time. I know I can’t volunteer as much as I would like at her school or plan as many play dates but my life revolves around kids.

    12.19.18Reply
  39. Heather says:

    A beautiful and honest post! Thank you for sharing!!!

    12.19.18Reply
  40. Lauren says:

    What a fantastic post! As parents, we all need to life each other up vs. tear one another down for doing things differently. I was a nanny for a while and loved it, and was so happy to offer personal help to a family in a way that meant so much to them. As a stay-at-home mom now, my friends/neighbors and I rely on each other to help out so we can all focus on self-care when needed. It really does take a village, thank you for reminding us all! Hugs.

    12.19.18Reply
  41. Janine says:

    I was a nanny for 12 years and loved it SO much! The girls I watched were in my wedding, I am also a godmother to one of them. Another family I cared for holds the most special place in my heart as I cared for them for 7 years! I love them like they are my own children. Now that I have my own kids, I occasionally have them come over for sleepovers and my kids LOVE it! I wish I had the help like I was! My parents don’t live in CT anymore but my sister is the BIGGEST help and also the best playmate. I do admit it would be nice to run to the grocery store solo during the week, but for me, I take so much pride in the fact that I am my kids’ main caregiver (my hubs is a rockstar before and after work!). I freelance, creating custom cakes, so it is very challenging at times but just requires som creativity to keep them occupied and some very late nights of baking after they go to bed. After losing twins, I couldn’t imagine not spending every second with my rainbow babies and it works for us. I believe that you have to do what works best for you to make you the best mom you can be. 🙂

    12.19.18Reply
  42. Yasmin says:

    I’ll admit I’ve had my judgy thoughts about moms that have kids, but would rather be out doing anything else other than watching their children. But lately I’ve also wondered why as women we suffer so much in silence. I have no family help from my side. We only have my MIL who works full time and doesn’t live too close. I’ve chosen to do everything on my own and it has been so hard. I have a hard time trusting strangers so I’ve never hired a nanny even though I’ve thought about it so many times. I can see that I’m burned out and yet I still continue to do the same things. I think a mom/parent can not be a good parent if she’s falling apart and I think it’s very important to get the help you can get when you think you need it. If I could only practice what I preach though.

    12.19.18Reply
  43. Gab says:

    Hi Eva

    As a nanny this message touches my heart. I have just finished nannying 2 kids for 4 years and they have become my extented family and I theirs. I am so overwhelmed by the love they can give me. I have been with them since there youngest started school, helped their oldest deal with anxiety, parents separate and get back together, family holidays, grandparents passing away and all the school bake sales. They truly changed my life. Thank you for sharing.

    12.19.18Reply
  44. Amy Norton says:

    I have too many thoughts about this. I moved 4 hours from any family & friends and had my son. We had a retired teacher become our nanny even though I was a stay at home mom…because she lost her husband and was looking for a way to find joy, while I had a very high energy little boy who drained my low energy self.

    Also, I was a live-in nanny starting when their kids were the ages your kids are. My parents suddenly moved away while I was in college and living at home, so I had no family or place to live. That was 26 years ago and my nanny family are still like family to me.

    People really look at things one-sided, as if you are enslaving someone to help you out. But they don’t ever stop to think that the help actually needs you and your kids just as much (if not more).

    As long as your kids feel loved then what’s the issue? Geez!

    12.19.18Reply
  45. Demeah Nelson says:

    Such an interesting topic! I am a mother to 7. Ages range 22 down to 14 months. I have had a lot of help over the years from my family and some childcare when necessary. I really feel the pressure had been put on us by others through comments and questions. My 4 children from first marriage I didn’t ask for help but from my parents and they were the ones to give me advice and time. My 3 from husband now we cant ask for help because we are given the “you made the choice, you have to figure it out” speech from his parents. My parents live out of area so hard for them to help but I have had them come for few days to few weeks to help me always willingly. I work from home which is a blessing but can feel like a curse at times lol. Bottom line my relationships with people that know me best are the usually the ones to want to help without made to feel helpless.

    12.19.18Reply
  46. Anya Wyers says:

    I love this post!!! Thank you!! I have two littles (4 and 1) and we have had my oldest in day care since I returned to work full time when he was almost 1 and I worked out of the home. We now have both kids in day care three days a week while I am home, having quit my job to switch careers and follow my dream of becoming a writer, working from home.

    It’s nowhere close to the shame you’ve felt (for which I’m sorry to hear you’ve gotten such a hard time…why aren’t we as women and mothers building each other up?!) but I’ve gotten a few comments about my kids being in care part time even though I’m working from home in a job where I’m my own boss and I don’t exactly have a set schedule (I’m writing my first book!). I just will never understand why there are such negative opinions about having help and I think you’ve explained it beautifully! To see your children thrive with other people caring for them and about them is really a beautiful thing! My husband and I could never do it alone! Especially because we don’t have any family close by to help, so we also have a wonderful babysitter so we can have date nights out! We’ve been babysitter-shamed (is that a thing?) by close family (don’t get me started) and I will just never get it. People fail to remember that they are individuals as well as parents, not to mention that our kids go to school eventually, too!

    Thanks for your post!!

    12.19.18Reply
  47. Sasha says:

    I think it’s cultural. It’s very common in the East to have full time help for kids, in fact we have one for each!! I agree with your sentiment though – women need to giv each other and themselves a break xx

    12.19.18Reply
  48. Emily says:

    This is so well thought out and actually quite profound. I think you’ve hit on something that is really the root of all competition between women. The truth is a lot of it stems from resentment and this expectation that women do yohave to do all of these things regardless as to whether or not they can actually afford them financially emotionally spiritually. Everywoman would like help but because not Everywoman has it, they put themselves in competition with others telling themselves they don’t want it and that they are better for doing it alone. Write more about this!!!

    12.19.18Reply
  49. Emilie Stobert says:

    💗

    12.19.18Reply
  50. Katelynn says:

    Hi! I truly believe you have to do what you have to do to raise your kids! I don’t have my own yet but I have had the fabulous opportunity to be a nanny for a family that considered me one of their own and to do still to this day. To the point where they were high up on my list of must have guests at my wedding next year. As a social worker I believe children need to be nurtured especially in their early days. There is NO shame of having extra hands! I think it’s wonderful!!!

    12.19.18Reply
  51. Chriss says:

    Thank you for this post. Ive nannied in various capacities (live-in/out, part-time/full-time, vacations/weekends, etc.) in NYC for the past 15+ years. Some of these families have become like my own —because I was treated like an extension of their family. I was visible and validated. . When I was accepted into a fancy graduate school —the family i was working with celebrated with me. Because we are part of the same village. Being invisible or treated like a “servant,” is the consequence of a parent who feels threatened or ashamed that they need help…that they are human. They shouldn’t. I love love being the gal who comes around and gets to share in their adventures for a few hours—the laughs, the “firsts,” the chaos…and then I get to go home. At the beginning of every job I’ve had there is the awkward navigation of the mother – nanny relationship. I get it. A stranger has been dropped into an intimate part of their life and there is fear the fun and newness i bring will trump their role as a parent. I’ve seen this manifest in lots of moments that we later laugh about. But no…that’s not how it works. I can never take your place. That’s an unbreakable & different bond. There is more than enough love to go around. Just let your relationship develop naturally. Ok this essay is clearly an act of final paper procrastination. Love your blog.

    12.19.18Reply
  52. Amanda says:

    I love this post. I’m a nanny and I’ve been with the same family for almost 8 years. As the kids grow and go to school my work has lessened, but now I get to bring my baby with me to work and it’s amazing to see this extended family we’ve all created. The biggest compliment of all came from the youngest who wrote for a school project that she wants to be a nanny when she grows up. Your family and Yaya are so lucky to have found each other.

    12.19.18Reply
  53. Yvonne lipes says:

    Hi Eva,

    I’ve lived two lives. One as a SAHM and as a working mom. I’m very fortunate to have both my father in law and my mother as shuttlers/babysitters for our children.
    I would only entrust my family or friends to watch them. That’s my personal choice. I’m sure if I found someone fantastic they would become a staple in my home.
    I’m tired of all the judgement we get consistently whether your working, staying home with the children (which is still work), whether you have a nanny, no help or not. We all have one goal as mothers and parents. To raise children who are well rounded, grounded and sweet.

    12.19.18Reply
  54. Jill says:

    Very nicely put. I was always interested in your nanny and wanted to know more about her. I love the village mentality. ❤️

    12.19.18Reply
  55. Katie says:

    PREACH!! I’m a SAHM of 3 with one on the way. Once a week I (when our schedule allows it) I send my littlest ones to daycare for a few hours so that I can have a break. Sometimes I clean, grocery shop, etc. Today I had lunch with my husband then stoped by my old office and caught up with coworkers. It was glorious. Those few hours help me reset and refresh so that I can be a better mom, friend, and most importantly wife.

    12.19.18Reply
  56. Laura says:

    You know what I feel?? Sooo happy for you!!! I think it is simply terrific that you can not only afford a full time nanny but that you also take her on trips and make her part of your lives. Reading this just makes me happy for you.

    My hubs and I both work full time, and we send our two young children to a really wonderful (also expensive) preschool– they provide meals, sunscreen, diapers (although thankfully we’re out of that stage), and everything my kids need during the day, including a loving, nurturing, learning environment. At times, I feel that guilt, that sting. Someone else is giving my children breakfast, someone else gets them up from naptime. But you know what, I also feel so lucky in life to also be able to afford wonderful childcare and have it be such a positive part of my children’s lives. I do wonder what it would be like to have a nanny instead or work less or not at all. But then I think about how the grass isn’t always greener and what works for some may not work for others. So I just try to feel satisfied and happy with the choices my husband and I make for our family. Sometimes I wish I had a nanny just to be around when we are home so I can get stuff done. Does it mean I love my kids less or feel less of a participatory parent? Nope. It means I’m human. 🙂

    So good for you. Good for your family. You all seem lovely and happy and full of love. And that’s the best outcome of all. Let people judge. We all do at some point. Cheers to you for having a wonderful childcare option for your family.

    12.19.18Reply
  57. Cesiums K says:

    I am a full time working mom and have been since after 4 month maternity leave, my husband was in the Army and away and I had the option to stay home but I love my career also so I went back! I was lucky enough to have one of my sisters watch our son, from there a nanny when my husband was finally home. He’s 7 now and in school but one of my family members continues to make comments about how he had a nanny and/or was in preschoolat 4 as though mom guilt doesn’t exist enough. I love your perspective on this topic! It’s so important to make sure everyone knows the village can be compiled of family members and not family members and as parents, choosing that village is apart of loving our kids! Thank you for this!

    12.19.18Reply
  58. Audrey Munroe says:

    Hi Eva! Thank you for writing this but more importantly thank you for always speaking about your Nanny. You are one of the select bloggers/influencers I follow who does and it’s so nice. I mean the ones who don’t aren’t fooling anyone! I always wonder what it’s like for those people to come across their employers social platforms and think “wow you curate me out of your life, yet you wouldn’t be able to curate any of this without me!”. Props to you!

    12.19.18Reply
  59. Monica says:

    I’ve been following you since, you were dealing with “nannygate” in LA. I’m so happy you found a wonderful person to help you with your babies.
    As far as my experience with child care, I’ve been lucky to have my family watch my children when they were young, but before I had my family available to watch my kids, I had an older lady watching them and I swear she would give me guilt if I ever had her watch the kids on my day off (even though I already paid for the day) to run errands. She would give me the, raised eyebrow, and condescending look, when I’d drop them off. People will always judge, even your own babysitter. LOL.

    12.19.18Reply
  60. Melanie says:

    This is so on point! I was a replacement nanny for a family whose full-time nanny was on maternity leave. Even though I was with those two boys for a few months, I loved them and wanted to help raise them.
    Could you elaborate how you communicate your parenting style to your nanny? What type of discipline you and your husband prefer? What are the guidelines you have for her?

    12.19.18Reply
  61. Kolyssa says:

    First of all, this is sarcastic, how dare you make sure your kids are taken care of. Lol. You’re doing a fantastic job, and that’s not sarcastic! I have 3 kids and I’m a stay at home mom. I also work part-time doing graphic design, photography, and my lifestyle blog. I don’t have any help besides my husband, who sometimes can’t be around as much as he’d like due to work. It is beyond exhausting and the state of my house is level 10 disaster zone a lot of times. I just have to pick my battles, which means a lot of times I change the diaper, read to my daughter, finish editing some pictures, and pick up my kindergartener BEFORE I can get to the dirty dishes or laundry. If I could have some help that would free me up to accomplish much more in a day’s time!!!

    12.19.18Reply
  62. Jennifer says:

    This post really hit home for me. Both my husband and I work full time jobs, mine of which is a work from home type job. I have help caring for my daughter but am lucky enough to have family close that can do it. Regardless I have gotten so many looks or comments from other people, mostly women wondering why I need help to care for my daughter during the week. My response always feels like I am trying to defend what I do. My job is extremely busy and needs my undivided attention so trying to work and care for a toddler just doesn’t end up going well. In the end I give both only half attention and am left feeling worse. I don’t have the luxury of being able to not work but even if I did I see nothing wrong with having help. My daughter loves the time she gets to spend with her grandmother or grandfather each day. She has such a special bond with them and it makes my heart melt. In the end I think she learns and grows even more with the exposure from others. I think as parents we are hard enough on ourselves without having to deal with others judging us.

    12.19.18Reply
  63. Catherine says:

    Beautiful post. There are so many ways to love your children and that’s all that matters. This was a great read because while I’m not in the same boat, I identified with your comments about how nothing is enough anymore. I’m a full time mom and I drop my 15 month old at a family day out program twice a week for 6 hours a day. Every time I mention he’s in “school” I feel the need to counter it with “I’m also a full time masters student.” I’m going to stop. Because sometimes you need help and you don’t need a single excuse except you just need it. I don’t have family near by either…keep on keepin’ on 😊

    12.19.18Reply
  64. Nell says:

    Eva,
    Great article! When my children were young both my husband and I worked full time so both of them were in daycare from a very early age (8 and 10 weeks old). I had such mommy guilt for years about dropping my kids off at daycare and it affected my experience with both work and parenting. But as I look back now (they are 13 and 9) I can see how daycare benefited them and me at the same time. There are postives and negatives with every child care situation – you have to pick the one that is best for your family. 😊

    12.19.18Reply
  65. Ruslana says:

    We had our nanny for 2,5 years untill my daughter went to preschool. This woman was my seviour when I couldn’t be with my kid. And now, event though she doesn’t work for us anymore, she still comes sometimes for tea and a talk.
    When my daughter just started preschool, our nanny picked her up for a couple of times. The teacher found out about who she is and gave me this “unsolicited comment” about the nannies. This was very unpleasant! But unfortunately I can’t escape such attitude in my community.

    12.19.18Reply
  66. Robyn says:

    Eva, Good Morning!! First a hug. Your blog post today is one I have read about and thought about for years. My baby girl is 23 years old now. When she was Marlowe and Major’s age I wore many hats, as well. I too run my business from home and work different hours. My husband, while his office is at our home, travels some. Our family was nearby but aged as the years went on. My daughter was my first priority but isn’t it nice for them to learn socializing skills by learning from other families that we love and trust. It does take a village. In fact in many villages it’s a community effort to raise their kids. If our kids stayed home all day long with one person it would be a bland time. Getting them out to experience life is a gift. You love your kids. It’s so obvious in the sparkle in their eyes. Who decided that strangers are allowed to judge us and tell us what is right for our family? You keep doing you. A darn (not the word I was really going to type 😄🤣😂) good job!!! Thank you for all that you do. So appreciate you!!! Merry Christmas!! Hugs

    12.20.18Reply
  67. A.M. says:

    This is a wonderful post that starts to get at this awful notion that asking for help somehow makes you a lesser mother (because let’s be honest, for better or worse the dads just aren’t bombarded with this!). I do think you’ve missed an incredibly important piece of this broader topic – which is that you have the financial luxury of “asking for help” in whatever form you feel is best, in this case a full time nanny. We have very similar circumstances – have a full time nanny and live/work in a community where that is very much the norm.

    Your post is very personal, as it should be, and so this isn’t meant as criticism! More that, one of my major frustrations on this topic whenever I see it is that the parents who write about it never address the other side of the issue – which is that often many parents don’t have this luxury of being able to afford “help” – whether it be daycare, a nanny, etc.

    This struggle of feeling that asking for help is a failure really only exists in certain financial circles. For most of America it’s just a matter of daily survival to try and figure out childcare while also working full time. That’s a totally separate post in itself, or several! But I do think in something like this it’s at least worth recognizing the gratitude you must feel for being lucky enough to be in the situation to faced with these decisions and wonderful options to begin with.

    12.20.18Reply
  68. Kelli Janczewski says:

    This is a great article Eva. There is a stigma and there shouldn’t be. We had an aupair live with us for 4 years and she was amazing. She loved our kids and she was part of the family. When she had to leave we were so sad and since then we have struggled to find more consistent childcare. My kids are now all school age so we dont need full time but it is still great to have sitters come over. I work out of the house and still need someone to come wrangle these kids up which is ok. And the other night I had a sitter so I could go shopping in peace. It was amazing! But having help doesn’t make you less of a mother. I have come to realize that anything to help bring some sanity back in to an already stressful and busy life is great.

    12.20.18Reply
  69. Mary says:

    I have worked my ass off for endless years and actually postponed motherhood for this reason, then struggled to conceive and when I finally had my son at 39 all that I wanted was to be 24/7 with him, absorb every little moment and do everything on my own or with a little help from my hubby : his food, his baths, changing diapers, cleaning his toys and clothes and everything.OK, I adored and cherished every day no matter how difficult and exhausting it was but let’s face it : my angel is almost three and something’s gotta give😥😉😓 I didn’ t work since giving birth because my job was far away from my home and I had noone to take care of my little one and I didn’t want to send him to daycare from 10 months old.Fortunately I had the right to reserve my job until the kid is 6 although without payment after the first year, therefore I chose to be at home but boy, has this taken it’s toll to my marriage and to my mental and physical state : I have become exclusively a mother and only a mother, I have forgotten to be a woman and a partner.With no help available from grandparents,due to age and health problems, only a cooked meal perhaps sometimes and some company for my kid with me present always, I realize that I absolutely need a nanny at least once weekly in order to be able to get back on track with my marriage and breath a little.My son will start preschool next September so I think it will be better.But when you dont work people tend to think that a nanny is a crazy luxury even for 3 to 4 times a month and I am afraid even my own husband thinks this way, he’ s skeptical and hesitant to leave our kid with a stranger…I mean if god forbid even the slightest bad thing happens or our son is not taken care well from a nanny I think that we will have huge problem and I will be the one to blame so it is also important to be on the same page with your hubby.It is great that you and Kyle are on the same page and love to have a good nanny for your kids, this way it is easier to cope with any criticism that comes from others.And you know what : let them envy you 😉 I mean who wouldn’ t want to have help and be able to have a balanced family, personal and professional life ? From your experience what are the most important traits that a nanny should have and which are the red flags ? I wish you write a post about it.Best wishes for Happy Christmas and the most amazing New Year!!!

    12.20.18Reply
  70. Amy Becker says:

    Before having a child I knew I wanted to have a stay at home nanny. Fast forward and I had my nanny ready to go when my daughter was 8 weeks old. I started working from home then and I had another 4 weeks at home, and was able to be with nanny and baby as I transitioned back to working in office. Six months after baby was born, I left my company and decided I wanted to stay at home with our daughter full time. The nanny was let go. I absolutely love it and can’t imagine leaving her. I’ve realized that for us finding a balance is key- I use a babysitter vs nanny for 3-6 hours a week, but otherwise we are with her. I think it’s a luxury to be able to stay home with your babe (if that’s what you want) and I don’t take a second of it for granted. Looking back on my attitude of having a nanny- I feel so stupid. What was I thinking? Why would I want someone else to have the experiences that I should be having? I don’t want to miss a thing! I think back to having a nanny come in and holding my 8-week old baby- again- why did I give a moment of that up? Because I thought I had to. I’m grateful I have a choice and I’m loving every minute. Help is soooo important and I use it only when I really need it. I also noticed when I had a full time nanny that it was a little too easy to depend on them for a lot of things, whereas now I’m only trying to use help for a few hours a week, I’m really able to prioritize what I really need help with. I’m loving the experience of being with my baby now 21 months old and she’s the most amazing thing!

    12.20.18Reply
  71. Alyssa says:

    I was a nanny for a family with 4 kids for 3 1/2 years and I LOVE those kids as my own. I was fortunate enough to have a family that also treated me as an extension of their family and even now, 5 years, after I left we spend birthdays, holidays and weekends together. It has made me realize how important it is to not only have my future children be safe but to also have them feel completely loved! It is impossible for parents to give their all 24/7 so why not let someone else love them and be there for them when you can’t!

    12.20.18Reply
  72. Tasia says:

    Great post and well said. We use day care and I have the same feelings about our kids having various role models and interactions.

    12.20.18Reply
  73. Shonie says:

    I was raised by a huge village. My family was lucky to live near relatives that were willing to help my parents but we also had nannies. I loved being around so many people as a child. I’m definitely a better person for it!

    12.20.18Reply
  74. Jessica Binnie says:

    Great post! and so important!

    12.20.18Reply
  75. Melissa says:

    Hi Eva,
    Love your blog . I think that’s great you have child care . It’s a personal choice . My choice is a ka stay at home is never to leave my children with strangers . I feel it’s my responsibility to take of my children. I do have family to help out though . Different strokes for different folks .
    Have a beautiful Christmas 🌲

    12.21.18Reply
  76. emily moran says:

    No shame in the nanny game! I nannied for years in LA to get me through college and beyond. My observation is that while having a nanny is absolutely not an issue, the entitlement that can come with justifying the necessity is. Having a nanny (while definitely a large expense) is a priveleged position. Plenty of women have full time jobs, put their children in after school programs (my parents made me play every school sport as it was free after school care), and still have to cook + clean + bathe + do everything else. Most women have nannies because they don’t want to take on absolutely everything that comes with having a child, and that’s ok. You’re probably a very present parent as a result of outsourcing some of those responsibilities, but that is indeed a luxury that can’t be ignored or explained away as a necessity.

    12.24.18Reply
    • Just curious– how is it a luxury if I work full time, as does my husband? I need to provide childcare for my children and don’t have family help. I feel super lucky that i have a great job, but I wouldn’t be able to afford childcare if I wasn’t working full time

      12.26.18Reply
    • Ali says:

      Emily – while this statement may be what YOU believe to be true, it is definitely NOT always the case and you cannot assume so.

      We have a 6 & 3 year old, both work in Boston full time with an hour+ commute each way, and we need a nanny half of the day when preschool and kindergarten is out because there are no options for my preschooler after school. There is no program that exists near me for that age-group except for daycare. I have had him on the wait-list for the daycare in our town going on a year and a half, so that still isn’t even an option.

      We also have no family nearby who can help us, so a nanny is really our only option. Or me or my husband quit our jobs to be home after school.

      When they can both be in the same after-school program perhaps we will do that, it is a little bit more to pay for a nanny, but just because someone puts their child into a program OR has a nanny doesn’t mean they are avoiding aspects of parenting. It’s survival to get through this time while they’re young and both parents are working and enjoying their jobs. Agreed it is a necessary luxury and we feel very lucky we can afford to have a nanny while we work!

      01.07.19Reply
  77. Nicole Roe says:

    It’s funny how when I had one baby I wanted to do it all myself- work part time and take care of him, now that I have three I’m like yea my kids are in school every single day half day, some days longer, yes I have a babysitter often enough and yes when family is able I send 1, 2 or 3 their way. The one who seems to give me the hardest time is my own mom all my friends fully support ALL the help you can get.

    12.25.18Reply
  78. Dana says:

    Love this post so much

    12.30.18Reply
  79. Jessica says:

    I had a nanny for my son and daughter , there is 5 years between them. I do not “work” , I have an unconventional job whereby I take care of my special needs brother in a group home setting, I over see staffing , appointments etc, in addition I write. My hours are flexible. I have been asked many times over the years why I have a nanny when I don’t work, why did I have kids to have another woman see their “firsts” .. my response is , I was a person with my own needs before I had kids & that doesn’t disappear. To be a good mom I have to participate in self care . My nanny helped me be a wonderful mother to my kids! I regret nothing .

    01.02.19Reply
  80. Sara says:

    This touches me closely. I live in a small town on the Tuscan coast in Italy and I travel a lot for work, specially in summer. Both my hubby and I work on our own, and we have families nearby, so we manage to have grannies helping us With our 1 yr old kid OR we try and adjust our schedule in a way that, when one is busy, the other one is around. BUT! I’d love to have someone professional from outside to help, as you sag with a different background. Sometimes grannies can’t and it would ve great to have someone to rely on. But It’s not really in the culture where we live, so basically you cannot find nannies!!

    01.02.19Reply
  81. Agata says:

    Hi Eva!
    I myself am not a mother, but I can share my experience from when I was a baby and growing up. In my country having a nanny is slowly becoming popular, but when I was born in the 90’s it wasn’t a thing. My father was working, my mom got back to work 3 months after giving birth to me and my grandmother was also still working full time. Shortly before I was born, my grandfather was sent for a ‘obligatory retirement’ and he wasn’t dealing well with it. Then I was born and he was taking care of me while my parents were at work. Back then it was something very new and shocking actually. A man! Staying at home! Taking care of a baby! Sure it was challenging, because at first my grandma had to go back and forth from work just to change my diaper, but he eventually learned how to do it and it was just us two. Although I am 25 now, I can vividly remember all the time spent with my grandfather and I will cherish it forever. He taught me so much and always treated me with respect and as an equal companion. It will be three years in March since he has passed away and I miss him dearly.
    I grew up being rased by working parents and grandparents and I believe that you can have both. I don’t think there is anything shameful about reaching for help.
    All my love,
    Agata

    01.02.19Reply
  82. Kelsey says:

    I grew up having au pairs (basically a nanny but they came from a different country and lived with your family for a year) and loved it! It was so cool to meet a new person each year and hear about their home country and enjoy the chocolate and candy they would bring us 😉 We had 11 overall and we still keep in touch with them to this day! When I studied abroad in Germany during college I was able to visit several of them and it felt like I was spending time with family even though I was thousands of miles away from home. My parents both worked full time and we did have family nearby but it was so much easier for them to have a dedicated person to care for us 4 kids and such a cool way for us to learn more about the world.

    01.02.19Reply
  83. Anna says:

    This is such an important post & topic. As a now-adult raised by two working parents who had the means to provide me with a nanny who I adored, I think you’re providing your children with something so special.

    I learned so much about my nanny’s beloved Brazilian culture through the years – the food, the music, the sports, the language.

    Keep doing your thing, Eva!

    01.02.19Reply
  84. Joann says:

    I was a nanny for six years to three little boys and it was so rewarding and wonderful for me at that time in my life- I love this post and your views on your nanny as being a part of the family. The boys I nannied would include me in drawings of family and had a hard time understanding why I didn’t celebrate things like Christmas Day with them. It has been nearly six years since I stopped being their nanny to finish school and I remain close to them. I agree with someone else’s comment though, I have encountered my fair share of judgement and snobby behavior for being what some consider “the help”. The family I worked for never treated me that way but a friend of theirs, who I still encounter once in awhile, every time says ohhhh aren’t you so and so’s babysitter? 🤦🏻‍♀️. I’m nearly 34, married with a child and a degree in healthcare and yet she still feels the need to be rude each time I see her. The judgement is going to come no matter what is my point I guess, don’t worry about the people who can only feel good about themselves by cutting others down (and I’ll try to take my own advice lol).

    01.02.19Reply
  85. Christina says:

    I just want to give you an alternative point of view. I was a nanny for a family for many years and it was an amazing experience. I loved the family and I really cared about the kids. I became very close with them and did everything I could to help them. Their parents worked full time so I picked them up from school and got dinner ready for them and took them to their activities. The parents always spent the weekend with you. The kids over time opened up to me and would shower me with affection. Here is what I want you to know, they missed their parents. They would always tell me they wished their mom was more involved at school, or that their dad took them to practice and they wanted to be around them more than just at night. They started to treat me like their mom and I realized it was misplaced affection for their parents. One time I had cooked dinner and we were all watching a movie on the couch and their mom came home and they greeted her and then came back to the couch while she went upstairs to take a shower. I asked them if they wanted a snack and they said, “Christina you are the best mom ever.” The mom was at the bottom of the steps and I watched her face crumble it was so awkward. They only felt this way because I was the one cooking for them and taking them to practice and doing their homework with them. Their parents took them on trips and provided everything they could for them but I saw first hand how the little things a parent or a substitute parent does really means something to the kids. I’m not saying anyway is the right way, but I saw first hand kids who never went without, but still wanted and in my honest opinion needed their parents instead of a nanny. It broke my heart and I watched their hearts silently break too. It can be confusing as a nanny to fill that motherly role for children you know wish their mother was doing instead, and then to place all that love on the person who is there. Just an alternate perspective.

    01.02.19Reply
  86. Kelly Wissbroecker says:

    I am a nanny of two boys and a new mom. I bring my son to their house everyday. I love being a nanny and I love those kids so much. Having my son there feels like the best of both worlds. The only downsides are that I seldom (never) get a break and that my workload hasn’t changed I now just have another little one to contend with. The family I work for treats me and my son like family and are so kind. My husband and I could not have asked for two greater “big brothers” for your son.

    01.02.19Reply
  87. Gabriela Gonçalves says:

    This article is so great! I’m a speech pathologist and I work with young kids all over NYC and the kids with nannies always do so well and make such great progress because nanny’s love kids (duh) why else would they be in that profession! And parents can follow through with my techniques cause they simply have a more manageable workload. My husband and I are heading for the ‘burbs in a couple of months (after a complete reno of a house that hasn’t been updated since 1955) and my parents are planning on moving closer with the “it takes a village” mentality. They themselves raised my sister and I in a three family home that housed my godmother and my grandparents. But I can’t help what wonder what can we do to help the mom in need who doesn’t have either option? I know a lot of us may feel like offering to help may make a mother feel even more self-conscious or insecure in her inability to do it all, all the time (I know this has backfired on me this way before). So how can we shift the culture driving us to think if we can’t do it all we don’t deserve to have a child? I say offer to help whenever you can and accept help when it’s offered.

    01.02.19Reply
  88. Gisselle says:

    This is a beautiful post. As someone who plans to be a working mom, this post is so encouraging. I believe that having a positive mindset before we do something can help us so much when the time comes, and this post is so real and encouraging! You have a wonderful, admirable outlook on raising your children. Thank you for sharing.

    01.02.19Reply
  89. io says:

    I am from Greece and here its super common to have nannies and help for the house etc. Feel no shame ladies..whatever you need to be happy and calm..which translates into the rest of the family being happy!

    01.03.19Reply
  90. Emily Hudson says:

    This was beautifully put and I agree with you 100%!!!! Not having kids of my own yet, I can totally relate to the quality of life the love from a nanny brings, because my brother and I were raised by nanny’s from all over the world! I never felt my parents were not there, or not present, both also working full time jobs as well. In fact, providing this type of upbringing is so important to me, that I’d be bummed if I couldn’t include the help! *noted to fiancé* lol! I think you’re doing a wonderful job on all different fronts of your life and I’m always inspired by you and your family! Thank you for sharing this post…it’s reminded me of how lucky I’ve been and how enchanted a childhood can be with amazing people around to help shape you !. I still have very close relationships with the women that helped raise me to this day…and so does my brother. I’m sure Marlowe and Major will absorb the best of it all, like we have. Happy New Year!

    01.03.19Reply
  91. Milena says:

    Very well put together post! My favorite line is about how every parent is “a mix of good and bad” in his/her way. As a stay-at-home mom, I actually feel pressure in the exact opposite way from my mom friends who work full time. They often talk about how they are so glad that their daughters (especially) can have a mom who is independent and works as opposed to a mom who cooks, cleans and drives them around all day. I am sure they don’t mean it to be hurtful but sometimes it is. It makes me doubt if I made thr right decision to stay home with the kids while they are little, even though I know that it was. Of course I want my daughter to have a career, but if she chooses to stay with her kids while they are little, I hope her contemporaries won’t look down on her for it. God knows being home with them 24/7 and doing absolutely every single thing is incredibly hard and tests every fiber of my being. I guess it goes to show that moms will be judged no matter what they do, because it’s impossible to please everyone’s point of view.

    01.03.19Reply
  92. Terra Scholz says:

    I have both been a nanny and employed a nanny. It is a very sacred position. Children often need someone to talk to, learn from, and laugh with other than their parents. Parents sometimes need the viewpoint of another adult who sees your children more objectively. A child can never have too many adults who love them. Thanks so much for addressing this topic. May I remind everyone reading this to respect and love your darling nannies. Praise and thank them often.

    01.03.19Reply