Why Having a Nanny Helps Me Be a Better Mother
When: Last week
Where: At a favorite Gastown restaurant in Vancouver, Canada
What: Chatting over cocktails with my friends
On the rare occasion of going out with my old college friends, I typically wake up regretting that last glass of sangria. However, last Sunday morning, I woke up regretting what I should have said to my old roommate, Victoria.
Here’s the story: My former University of British Columbia classmates gathered together for a lovely meal on a perfect June Canadian evening. Our dear husbands had all agreed to babysit our kids for the night. As we were catching up on each other’s lives, I shared the exciting news that I had hired a nanny to help out with my three children.
“A nanny?” questioned Victoria with clear condescension in her smile. “I love my kids too much to have them raised by a nanny.”
I gritted my teeth and painfully grimaced in her direction. The waitress showed up on cue to save our table from my response. And by the time we ordered, the moment had passed.
But to the rest of you across Canada with preconceived notions about having a part-time or full-time nanny, allow me to share what I should have said :
“Oh, dear Victoria, thank you for your concern, but my part-time nanny allows me to be the mum I always wanted to be. Because of my nanny, I can accomplish all of my mundane household tasks quickly and efficiently on my laptop without saying to my children, “Give your mum five more minutes to get this done” and “S-h-h-h-h, Mum needs you to be quiet while I make this phone call, and “Hey! Why don’t you watch two hours of television while I pay the bills, e-mail your teachers, and make your dentist appointments?”
Because of my nanny, I can creatively plan and efficiently shop for nutritious and delicious meals without the distraction of my kids at the market.
Because of my nanny, I can go to yoga class or meet up with a friend for coffee or go the library unencumbered.
Because of my nanny, I have the energy to be the best mum I can be when I am with my children: I am organized, energized, and relaxed.
What I should have said was, “A nanny, Victoria? Of course! I love my kids too much not to have a nanny.” And then I would have raised my glass to toast my roommates, all of our children, … and, of course, my nanny.