I was a stay-at-home mom for three years. I would never say they were the best years of my life. Well, OK. The first one was. After that, they became hard, frustrating, boring, and sometimes lonely, too. I loved my kids, but I felt like I never got a break from them.
Unlike a job where you go to work, being a mother means never being off. There is no 9 to 5. You are on duty from 6 a.m. one day to 6 a.m. the next with little to no break in between. So yeah. If a mom can afford it, hiring a nanny so she can run to a yoga class or get a manicure or, hell, just drink a cup of tea with no interruption is pretty nice, indeed.
So why would any mom get down on her for it? A heated discussion on CafeMom's boards raised this issue, and the amount of judgement that it brought out was kind of shocking. My guess? It's a lot of jealousy.
Hiring help when you don't "need" it is a luxury. Even on days I have off from work, I will cancel our sitter because I feel guilty spending the $15 an hour when all I am doing is reading a book or getting my nails done.
Moms feel bad taking time for ourselves. That's a fact. And it's not made any easier by other moms who insist on judging them. Most of the time I know that judgement is really just insecurity and envy cloaked in superiority. Even so, it's hard to remember that when I am being judged.
Realistically we can all take care of our own babies. That's just a fact. But making it just a little bit easier on ourselves is no crime. Having the courage to ask for help is a strength, not a weakness. Of course, for women, especially moms, that is hard to do.
I am definitely the "I can do it myself" mom who never asks for help, never lets anyone do anything, and I often find myself strung out and angry at the world because I don't let other people do things for me.
If I could be a stay-at-home mom with a nanny, I would not only have extra time for myself, I would also have extra time for my kids individually. I could take my son out alone or take my daughter to get her nails done. I would be a happier, more relaxed mom, and my kids would learn that it's OK to ask for help and that other people are capable of caring for them.
It's a win all around.
Let's stop judging so much and start supporting. Stay-at-home moms who hire nannies are fine by me.
Do you stay home and hire a nanny?