Me / Our Life Now / Parenting

Who is raising MY child?

ME!! (Well, Mark too…I guess! haha!)

 

I was talking to my friend the other day about parenting. She spent some time recently in NYC and whilst traveling around the city, central park, Brooklyn, etc, observed a lot of children with adults/care-givers who clearly weren’t their parents, they were nannies. Apparently, in New York having a nanny is quite common. Now, I’m not in a position to have a nanny, nor would I even think about it. Its not even an issue I’ve given much thought to, until the other day.

I mean, I don’t think I’m a judgmental parent at all…you won’t see me blogging about how I’ve got it all figured out or how some parents are doing it all wrong (Parenting 101) but when I hear about families who have nannies, I get a little concerned, alarm bells start to ring. My instinct is to defend the working mum or dad. I know a lot of women who struggle with the choice to go back to work when they have children, every day they carry guilt with them when they leave the house. “Am I making the right decision for my family?” They struggle to leave their child with another family member part of the day or in daycare the whole day. Then I hear that families have nannies even when only one parent works, I wonder why? Why would a couple have children and have someone else raise them for the majority of their lives?
The morals and beliefs I want to instill in my child are passed down to them by me, if I’m not in their life, who’s morals do they learn?

I’m not against families having nannies to help out, if the parents work full time. I’ve been a nanny, I worked with a wonderful family, with 2 wonderful kids. Both parents worked and spent quality time in the evenings and weekends with their children. I was not a live in nanny, I didn’t have sole responsibly for the children, their parents did and the children knew it. I didn’t decide how to discipline the children, the parents did. I can’t imagine any other way it would work. Or should work.

I know every persons situation is different but if having a nanny is becoming a trend, a status symbol, then I fear for the future of those kids. If one parent doesn’t work and just needs a nanny to look after the children whilst they go for coffee/drinks/shopping/gym, then I worry what kind of life these children are going to grow up to have. Will they be bitter, resentful towards their parents? Will they understand what having a child is really about? Love, Respect, Trust?

I know its a controversial subject, parenting, but what are your thought? Should people have kids if they aren’t in a position to raise them? Or is having a nanny a good substitute for a parent, at least the kids aren’t in daycare all day or latchkey kids?

What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Who is raising MY child?

  1. First of all, Hi Louise! 🙂

    Secondly, I think our concept of parenting has evolved a lot over the past couple of centuries, and now we see parenting as a very hands on, personal approach. We want our children to understand our own beliefs and our ideas of love. The family has become very private. We don’t raise children in tribes or villages any more, and a lot of people get upset when talking about parenting, because we have instilled this idea in our minds that how a person raises their child is a private and sacred thing. Not to say that this idea is wrong, as I believe the relationship between parents and their child is very important, but recognizing that an outside perspective can be beneficial to the child and to the parent is important. I think nannies are chosen by parents through a pretty rigorous process (or at least I’d hope so…), and that the parents would select someone that represents their thoughts and beliefs as much as possible. Letting a child have some outside influences can help them to open their minds and be more understanding. I think nannies and daycare help children socialize and adjust to the outside world. It helps take them out of the cocoon of their home to grow as people. That is pretty much the same concept as school, but as with all things, moderation is key. I don’t think that having a nanny 24/7 is healthy for a child, but sometimes it is necessary to have a nanny, especially if both parents work, to create some consistency in the life of the child. I think as long as the parent makes sure that the child knows them, and knows what they believe in, while allowing their kid the freedom to develop their individuality alongside positive influences that the parent has chosen, would be ideal.

    • Firstly, THANKS for commenting and taking time to read my blog 😉
      Secondly, I think we are saying the same thing. Everything in moderation. I mean, I’m with you on all of your points raised, its true that parenting has evolved. I parent completely different from the way my own parents raised me, I’m a lot more open to advice if I need it and I’m not scared to say when I’m struggling. My parents did not do this, their way was the right way and that was that. Personally, I think people get upset when others judge their parenting styles because there are so many different ways of doing things and every child is different, no-one knows your child better than you.
      I also want my daughter to have as much interaction with others as possible, whilst still being aware that the morals I instill in her are the ones that are important to our family. She can only learn those from me. Children learn by example. Another care giver may tell me those things are important to them, in an interview for example, but how can I be sure they are instilling these things, on a daily basis, when I’m not there….especially if I’m not around much to observe this. (I’ve heard of nannies as young as 18yrs old moving in with families to nanny full time for their children, that surely doesn’t substitute parental care?)
      Its inevitable that children will grow as individuals and change when they attend school, they will learn certain behaviours, not necessarily the difference between right and wrong. (I’ve worked in schools and know that as much as teachers try to teach children right from wrong, they are fighting a losing battle if the parents don’t also teach the children this at home.)
      The point I am making about nannies is that they are possibly becoming more of a status symbol, as oppose to a necessity for some. Especially in families where only one parent works. Like I say, everything in moderation, but I’m not sure if this is the case.

  2. Louise, i think your blogs are wonderful to read and this topic was a good one too. as i lived many years in a third world country i had the same idea. seeing people taking their full time nannies out on weekends also made me think. dominican couples who had time off on a weekend still would prefer to take the nanny to have a more easy day off i guess. i never saw it as a status symbol but when you consider those ladies wearing white covers and coats it might as well be. who knows. for me it was always very important to give my morals and values and unconditional love to my own kids. its a different way to grow up with your own parents and family and ideas then to be taken care of by others i am sure. its hard to explain without sounding judgemental but i guess having a caring mom and or dad is a very luxurous thing in the world these days and it always has been. i am sure there are lots of rich people in new york too who realize that every day or at least i hope so. one of the nice things i enjoy living in amsterdam is being able to live without nannies and have a great life style too, including kids but also have privacy when needed! now i wish you good luck after 4 kids and 4 imigrations Louise! 🙂
    one big hug from amsterdam.
    Pauline

  3. Hi Sweetie,
    Love reading your blogs,

    First of all, I’m not sure that to have a nanny says anything about status, if you have more than one child then, it’s often just as economical as other childcare options.

    I have come across the ” ladies that lunch” type mothers that have a nanny for said purpose, and I do think it a little odd.
    It’s not something that I would have wanted to do, and I think perhaps had I taken that root, I wouldn’t have the same close relationship I have with Hector, having said that, I do think that as long as mum is confident in the choices that she makes it can work.
    I believe confidence parents make for confident kids.
    Apparently midweek boarding comprehensive schools are on the increase in the UK, Once again, not something we’d opt for, but I do think it really works for some.

    Avril

    • Thanks mrs…yeah, I agree, as long as the choice is made for the right reasons, it will work. You’d know better than me how stringent the interview process is for nannies. I just hope its the same for all families. xo

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