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Nanny-Nanny Boo-Boo: Current Thoughts on Childcare and Tasks I’d Outsource

baby eating

Credit: Nadia Phaneuf

You know when you’re not a parent and you get all judge-y about what you would and would not do when you become a parent? And then you actually become a parent and realize how Judgey McJudge-a-Lot you were? That’s how I feel about my prior and current take on nannies.

I used to think nannies were ridiculous. A way for the rich and super famous to have kids yet not really have to get their hands dirty. And for some ridiculous people (like a mom on Pregnant in Heels who was complaining about being “up” all night just because she could hear her nanny with the kids all night), I’m sure that is the case. However, being a work-at-home mom, super busy with a crawling tot who is drawn to any and all danger zones, I can really see the benefits to having in-home childcare.

If I were fabulously wealthy and could pay to have a helping hand regularly? I would take it in a heartbeat. Granted, I’m a huge control freak when it comes to my daughter’s care, so I wouldn’t be able to relinquish much of the decision making when it came to most of her day-to-day care, and I would be super involved and check in all the time and probably drive my hypothetical nanny bonkers. But a peaceful few hours here and there to get some work done, while my daughter was still around and I could check in whenever I wanted? Heck yes.

And it’s really not the baby care that’s the part I’d like to outsource. Diaper changes, bathing, feeding, reading, playing—that’s all stuff I signed up for willingly. It’s the multiple thankless support jobs I could do without. A list:

  • Laundry. Laundry. Laundry.
  • Disposing of diapers and the diaper trash.
  • Changing the impossible-to-change crib sheets.
  • Cleaning the sippy cups and all of their ridiculous parts.
  • Back in my pumping days, washing all of the pumping paraphernalia.
  • Cleaning the highchair tray.
  • Cleaning the crumbs and muck in and around the high chair.
  • Washing bibs.
  • Disinfecting baby toys every now and then.

Hmm. From the appearance of my list, it appears that mostly I’d outsource anything to do with cleaning. That comes as no surprise.

When it comes to baby care, is there anything you’d want to outsource? Would you ever want to have a nanny on hand? —Erin

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  1. Heather says:

    No, I would never want a nanny on hand, as a mother and wife I signed up for the job, and I am a full time student in college, and my husband works long hours. Way back in the day when our parents were kids they didn’t have nannies and their parents didn’t have nannies either…I feel lazy and incompetent if I could/would ever get one. Yes, there are jobs I hate to do, but whether I have a child or not, I still have to do the dreaded laundry…or clean dishes…there are days when it gets hard and a break is nice…but that is when we all just stop and take a breather…

  2. emilyg says:

    I could never work at home AND watch my little one (15 mo.). I’d never get anything done! Oh, and I’m with you on the cleaning around the high chair part…

  3. Bubbles says:

    Nope, I wouldn’t want a nanny, but I would definitely take a housekeeper. I was a full time graduate student, worked full time outside the home, and my husband worked long hours. And I desperately needed a housekeeper LOL! Thankfully, I would not feel lazy or incompetent or guilty. I just feel like I need help and it is never wrong to ask for it.

  4. Atisheh says:

    @Heather: When I was small, my parents lived in the same city as their parents, and they got help from them. My grandparents got help from *their* parents with childrearing. So many people live away from family these days, and have no one to help with things unless they pay them. The idea that the nuclear family has to do everything by themselves, with no help from anyone else, is incredibly new in human history. And it’s a great way for parents, and especially moms, to make themselves crazy.

    I would not feel guilty for outsourcing anything. I bore the child for ten months, I brought him to this world, I nursed him, I get up when he cries at night, I feed him on the days when I take care of him (my husband takes the others), and I will help to guide his education and formation as a human being. I’m playing the long game.

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  6. sistersister says:

    I would only use a nanny when I wanted alone time with my husband and other special times. If he has days off or vacation, I would have no problem with hiring a nanny to be around for those hours that we wanted to share alone or that he wanted the house quiet for rest and I needed to work. Maybe a nanny would also come in handy when taking the kids on day trips to the zoo, museums, etc, or if my husband and I want to take a vacation. Other than that, I don’t think a nanny is needed daily. I would never have a live in nanny. If work at home is the issue, I’d rather hire an administrative assistant than to hire a nanny.

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