Last week, I was out for lunch with a few of my friends. While lunching, a comment was mad about moms that have nannies when they don't work, the Stay At Home Mom (SAHM). The comments were so nasty, you would think that the woman they were talking about was a complete DIVA and all she did during the day was workout with her trainer and get manicures.
I know this mom personally, and I know this isn't true. In fact, she is a wonderful parent that needs a mental break, and has the nanny do things around the house unrelated to childcare. Her child is very happy, and it seems that they've got a great balance in their lives.
We hear a lot of comments, and sometimes justification, on why a stay at home parent needs a nanny. A nanny can be an asset to any family, whether the mom (or dad) works out of the home or stays home. Here are a few reasons we see families needing a nanny in this situation:
- There is more than one young child in the family; if there are twins and/or a toddler and infant home all day, life can be stretched. An extra pair of hands can give mom a few extra moments to breathe!
- There is a child with special needs or high needs; just going to run a few small errands can seem impossible for one parent. A nanny gives some relief for the family, and the individual parent.
- One parent is pursuing other interests; if mom is taking some university classes, she may not be able to juggle the children and household duties on top of studying. A nanny can take the child out for a few hours, giving the child one-on-one attention and fun, allowing the parent to focus.
- The other parent works long hours or travels a lot. It can be very rewarding, but also isolating, being with a child alone all day. Healthy breaks make sure the stay at home parent doesn't become resentful of their situation, or their spouse.
- The nanny has special training or experience that can enrich a child's life; i.e. French speaking, music training, autism training, etc.
Parents should be supportive of each other, not judgemental about their arrangements. If anything, the parent should be judged based on the qualify of time spent with their children, not on their parenting or the amount of time the spend. I know from personal experience that if you don't have family and friends close-by, you may not get the relief you need. Getting extra help and paying for it shouldn't be judged.
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