When parents decide to hire a nanny, it’s usually because their maternity or paternity leaves have ended and they need an adult to watch over the child. Whether the nanny stays with the child full time or just for a couple of hours a day, that depends on the parents’ schedule, but it’s safe to say that in general the parents are away at work while she’s doing her job. However, are working moms the only ones who need a helping hand raising their children? Stay at home moms have more time to spend with the kids, they can see them grow and be more present in their development, so deciding to hire a babysitter in this situation can be quite an unpopular opinion, but there are actually many good reasons why you should do it. The mom and the nanny can live happily together and provide the best of care and education that a child can receive. Far from being a fad or a way of running away from responsibility, hiring a nanny even when you’re a SAHM can be one of your best parenting decisions.
Being a mom and working from home
In 2010, almost 3 million Americans were working from home and their number has been growing steadily ever since. More and more people prefer remote jobs because they pay well, offer a flexible schedule and reduce the need for commuting. Compared to an office job, working from home is indeed more permissive when children come along: you get to be there when they’re sick, drop them off to school and pay more attention to what they are doing. However, home jobs are not responsibility-free and freelance moms know this all too well. Working from home is still work: you have to reply to emails, stay focused on your tasks, answer calls, meet deadlines and be creative. When your home is also your office, the two worlds collide: you have to cook meals during your lunch break, draft spreadsheets while supervising the child, interrupting your work flow to check up on your child. Doing two things at once means you won’t be able to give your best at either one and you might end up neglecting someone. By getting a nanny, you will be able to focus on your work and still get to spend more time with your child. In a way, this is the perfect balance between being a SAHM and a working mom, because you don’t compromise on anything.
Avoiding the mommy burnout
Being a mom means juggling one hundred responsibilities at once. You have to cook, feed your child, play with them, make sure they don’t get hurt, clean up after them, all of this in addition to your usual household chores. No matter how resilient you are, you’re not a machine and the dreaded mom burnout will set in, affecting your physical and mental health. Coping with too many responsibilities means that you no longer have time for yourself, you start neglecting your own hobbies and little pleasures, your love life has to suffer and your schedule gets so chaotic you don’t remember what a good nights’ sleep is. Sharing all these duties with a nanny will give you more free time, more room to grow as a mom and as a person. You don’t have to do it all alone. The idea that a mom has to take care of everything by herself has only recently entered society. For thousands of years, multiple generations lived under one roof and it was common practice for stay at home mothers to get outside help when raising their children. So no, you’re not running away from responsibility by going to a nanny agency, because being a mom doesn’t have to exclude your physical and mental health. Decide what tasks are simply too much and you cannot do alone and get a babysitter for at least a few hours a day. Use this free time to focus on yourself and your child will see the improvement as well.
You get to see the nanny at work
Let’s face it, no matter how prestigious the nanny agency or how amazing the references, you can’t help but feel uneasy when leaving your child alone with the nanny. Mom anxiety sets in and you can’t even focus at work because you feel the need to call and check up on them. What if the nanny was negligent and the child played with something dangerous? Or what if the nanny is being mean to your child? You won’t have these moral struggles if you’re at home yourself and you get to see the nanny at work. Negligent or abusive behavior will be out of the question, you’ll get to know the babysitter better and, if at one point you have to leave the house, you’ll know that your child is in good hands.
Dealing with the challenges
Having a nanny to help you is great, but it’s not all fun and games when both mom and babysitter are in the same house. In fact, learning how to coexist can be quite challenging, especially for the mom. The biggest test is understanding that there isn’t a competition between the two of you. The roles are not inverted, you are still the mother and you call the shots. Your child will not love you less and the nanny is not your replacement, she’s just an extension of you. If she’s very good at her job, don’t see that as a threat; you’re lucky that you found someone professional who can be a good role model to your child. Also, try not fall victim to micromanagement. Unless you notice an unprofessional or unsafe behavior in your nanny, don’t interfere with her methods if the results are the same. As difficult as it might be not to take control, try to communicate in order to understand her approach.