Dear Miss D –
I’ve talked about the guilt of having my baby in daycare. I’ve talked about the guilt of taking her out of daycare, but I have not talked about you – the nanny.
For me, in theory, the idea of having a nanny was hard. So hard. I like my space and I NEED my privacy. When I first started dating Matt 13 years ago, I wouldn’t let him in my kitchen. My kitchen was clean, it wasn’t a situation where I didn’t want him to see my mess, but I felt like it was an area of my house that needed to remain private. If he wanted something to drink, I brought it to him, if we were having a meal, I would make him wait in the living room while I cooked. If possible, I would have probably kept him out of the bathroom too, but there was only so much I could do. I just like some areas of my house to be private. I know it’s weird. Luckily Matt stuck through it with me! And now that we have a more open concept house, I’m ok with anyone seeing my kitchen, dining, living area – and even the kids room, just stay away from my master suite.
A nanny had so many more feelings attached to it. Not only were they literally using all my stuff it also meant someone else would be with my kids all day every day. Someone else would see their firsts, dry their tears, and attend the weekday park and play dates. Someone would be in my house – my space, seeing how I lived on a daily basis. Another adult would interact with my husband about our kids, for what would feel like as much as I do. Someone else would play a role in the development of my kids. She would see the words we use, the way we discipline, the areas we put an emphasis on in their life, and the areas we let slide.
What at first seemed like a stranger would know how long it takes us to fix the knob on the dryer. See what we buy at the grocery store week after week. She would know when I woke up late and didn’t get the dishwasher emptied, or forgot to run it the night before. None of this is to say that having a nanny is bad, or I only dwell on the uncomfortable, these were just the ever-growing laundry list of fears that would run inside my head.
On the positive side, and yes, I’m going to take any small win I can. It means someone else would change most of the dirty diapers (Halleluiah), pick up the food from the floor for the one-hundredth time that day, help with the kids’ never-ending piles of laundry. These are things I can happily let go of and let someone else take on.
They say it takes a village, and I have come to truly believe that. My kids are so much smarter, stronger, and independent because there are so many people in their lives. It’s Miss D’s job to ensure my kids have a safe, fun, loving environment when I can’t be there with them. So, bring on the trips to the park and the farmer’s markets. Check out every library in a 2-mile radius. The kids store down the street is having a free music class – yes you can go, no, you must go! These things are important to my babies. They are the reasons we live in this city, so while it hurts me that I can’t be there for every one of these trips, I’m happy we found Miss D to be there in my place.
So, to you Miss D, thank you. Thank you for being the best nanny for my Linc and Lulu. Thank you for stepping in when I can’t. Thank you for drying their tears and the dishes. Thank you for running errands and our babies’ schedules. Thank you for the all the pictures! Thank you for filling in for me and putting the learning and development of my kids top of mind Monday through Friday. Thank you, I don’t know what we would do without you. You play such an important role in our family. And you are just that, a part of our family.
Mamas, do you have a nanny or babysitter? Are your babes in daycare? Do you feel guilty, relieved, something else? How do you handle it? What activities do you encourage your nanny or babysitter to do with the kids? Anything the daycare does that you love or hate? Anything you prohibit your nanny doing with the kids? For me, it’s important to have a good mix of education – like yoga and Spanish and story time, but also free play and park time, and trips outside. I don’t let my nanny drive with my babes. We’re lucky, we live in a city where everything is a 15-minute walk or a 10-minute train ride away. What do you love about your childcare situation?