Monday, May 17, 2010

Weirdness


Our family has a nanny. Okay, that sounds so weird to say. I envision a family that has a nanny to be wealthy and overtaxed with the burden of raising children; a mom who just "decided" that raising their offspring was "too much" for them to deal with amongst their day of croquet and bridge. The truth of the matter is that we looked at all kinds of childcare before deciding to go with a nanny. The cost difference was nominal and having one consistent person solely employed to be concerned about the welfare of just my kids was the next best thing next to me being there.
So far things have been going well. It is strange to have another person raising your kids in your house who on occassion comes across your laundry in the dryer which has your underwear, your husband's underwear and full access to the "real" size you wear. She does the kids laundry when she has time (huge score for me), she takes them to minor doctor's appointments, reads with them, takes them to the park. The nanny does not do everything exactly the way that I'd want, but then again, no one will ever quite do it just the way I want. After all, how can she? She is not their "mommy," I am, right?

The onset of weird started late last week. Thursday I took a day off to go on a field trip with my older daughter and to also cram in a doctor's appointment I've been putting off for months. I had a little bit of time between the two, so I called Nanny and asked if I could meet them at the park they were at since it was near my doctor's office.

It was really strange to come upon my kids playing at the park with someone other than me or my husband. They were excited to see me, but she was still very present. She played with them, chased them and laughed with them. To no fault of anyone, I felt in a small way like I was interrupting and slightly competing for their attention even though I really wasn't. Nanny kept directing the kids to me - I think as a means of making me feel like I was still important. I appreciated her efforts, but if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck...you get the gist.

Okay, I thought it's not often I get to be home in the afternoon with the kids so I'll do something special. It was a warm day so I suggested we stop and grab an ice cream - a sure crowd pleaser. "What do you want, J?" I asked. "He wants a banana ice cream on a sugar cone" said Nanny to the man behind the counter. My son was thrilled "You know what I like" he smiled and looked at Nanny. Knowing what my son likes is a good thing (or at least I keep telling myself). I should be thrilled!

Saturday morning we did a quick stop at Jamba Juice for my little ones before hitting the softball fields for the big kid. I pulled into the parking lot and found a spot. "Hey, this is where Nanny parks" said my son. "Looks like her and I are thinking alike" I smiled - no big deal. I walked into Jamba Juice and after taking our order the guy said to baby A, "Hey baby, I know you..." and then he looked at me with a puzzled face. "Does she normally come in with Nanny?" "Yes" I said. "I knew these guys looked familiar." "Yes, they like their Jamba's," I said. What else could I say?

Okay, one petty thing that happened was that another parent told Nanny that she looked great and that she's "...almost lost all of the baby weight!" I think that fact that she hadn't actually birthed the baby she was holding was a bit of a sting....people can be so stupid sometimes. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but this actually made me feel just a little bit better.

I'd like to preface that I'm not upset or angry or even really sad that the nanny has become a real part of our lives. In theory, it's the best thing I could ever ask for while working. One reason we opted for a nanny is because I wanted my kids to feel love and support from someone consistently in my absence. My kids know I love them, but they need to have hugs and kisses between the hours of 7:00am and 6:00pm when I'm gone too. The weirdness I'm confronting comes from feeling like I work so hard to give my family this life I want only to watch someone else live that life. It's just an odd sort of feeling...I guess I would equivocate it to a "sucker punch."

In my plight to be a happier, more positive person I'll say this: It could be worse, right?

Happy Monday!




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