Stay-at-Home Moms Need Nannies, Too!

Rant 41

nanny stay at home momI 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?




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nonmember avatar female mike

The title should read"sahm need babysitters too". "nanny sounds like a full time job.

jessy... jessyroos

I love it. I absolutely believe that parents need to value themselves outside of their parenting role. If someone can afford to have a reliable caretaker around to give them a chance to take a break or pursue a hobby, I see absolutely no problem within that. Especially because taking time to value yourself as an individual actually makes you a better, happier, more relaxed parent!

cleo_... cleo_is_mine

You cancel your babysitter when you have a day off from work? Last minute? So the girl is counting on working that day and you just go ahead and cancel her? (You used the word "cancel" which I find an interesting choice whereas if it was something planned ahead, you might have said "I don't schedule her on my days off". Just sayi'n!!)

handy... handy0318

Cleo, interesting response to a blog about not judging other mom's but offering support instead.confused


I haven't hired a nanny, but I have sent the kid's to their grandma's for the day just so I could have some time to do things like meet a friend for lunch, or recoup from being sick, once even just to have a day to clean out the closet in my room. I'm lucky that my m-i-l is both retired and right next door.  If my mom and m-i-l weren't so available, yes, I probably would have hired a sitter to watch over the kids sometimes.

What we tend to forget is that for most of history, women were not all on their own... families were much larger and tended to stay geographically close, if not multiple generations all under one roof.  So, a mom often had her own mother or m-i-l, aunts, sisters, cousins and even older children to give her a break so that she could do things without having a little one clutching her 24/7. Things have improved in a lot of ways in this modern world, but social isolation is one price we're paying.

SKDMo... SKDMom1020

First of all, what you are talking about is an occasional babysitter so mom can get a break and do some things for herself, which I am sure everyone can agree is necessary.  When you use the term "nanny" people tend to think of a regular live-in sitter who raises the kids FOR the mom.  Watch the "Nanny Diaries" and you will see what I mean.

It was your "job" comment that struck a nerve with me:

"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"

What about women who are moms and HAVE to work outside of the home?  When I get home from work I immediately go back to my 1st job as a mom.  Only I have to try and get everything done in a few hours in the evenings that stay at home moms have the whole day for.  I am not saying that stay at home moms have all the time in the world, but it is different.  For one precious year I got to stay home with one of my 3 kids, and I was busy all the time, but it is a different kind of busy.  The stress of "how am I going to get everything done and actually sleep?" isn't there.  Or the sadness of missing so much of their childhood isn't there either.  There are a lot of moms out there who work but still can't afford a nanny.  But forget that, what I want is a a MAID!!! 

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

Nice point handy, about the close extended family! I know my friends in the US say that their extended familes tend to be scattered all over the place, i can't even imagine that!!

Being a mammy is a non-stop job. You don't sign a contract handing yourself over to the kid for X amount of years, you're allowed 'me-time' too, and i think some people forget that!

illeg... illegallyblonde

I don't have a nanny but I have cleaners:-)

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I wish i could afford to have a sitter sometimes. But i dont. I sent my kids to school and preschool and go back home to do my other duties. Been home for 5 years and i cannot wait to be done with school and get a job. Tired of bein to broke to do anything for myself without guilt

jalaz77 jalaz77

SKDMom1020-me too. I want a maid. I love the time with my kids but coming home after work to clean and get kids ready for the next day is rough. Yes hubby helps but it's still rough. I want the time with my kids the chores can screw off. I work 3/12hr shifts a week so those days are long if there is stuff to do when I get off.

kelti... kelticmom

handy0318 had a great point. Mom's "doing it all on their own", is a fairly new concept. Up until the last 100 year's or so (and still in most other countries), the mothers family lived nearby, if not with the mom. In village settings in Africa and South America, all the moms and older women and girls watch all the children. Mother's who could afford it have had nannies since Biblical times. There is no shame in accepting or soliciting help so you can have some "you" time.

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