The mother/nanny/child relationship is both beautiful and emotionally challenging at the same time. When we choose a caregiver, we want someone to stand in for us, be smart and trustworthy, show initiative, and surround our children with educational activities and culture. In essence, we want someone like ourselves.
Once they do a great job, we worry that we might be replaceable. We simultaneously want nannies to succeed but are frightened that they might be better at caring for our children than we are. This stems from our insecurities and self-induced guilt – not from reality!
Some keys to letting go of those misguided feelings are:
- Hire a great nanny, and understand the mutual respect for the roles that you and your caregiver play. You are a team! Remember it’s great for your children to know multiple people love them!
- There is no right way to raise a child. You aren’t alone – there are 26 million mothers–more than 72% of all moms in the United States today–working full or part-time! Paying for childcare does not make it wrong! Your children know you love them, and there should not be guilt associated with their care.
- The worst thing you can do is to fire your nanny. You also don’t want them to be “less motherly”. Both of you should be focused on building your unique relationships with your child.
- I try to be truly present in my office when I am at work. Then, when I am with my children, I enjoy every second of time together, and try to make the most of it!
When my children were learning to talk, from time to time they mistakenly called my nanny mom. Call me crazy, but frankly I just thought it was sweet. For one thing, when my nanny was out and about, people assume they were her children, and the kids simply picked up on that. Second, they always called me mom too. I’ve had my kids call me by their teacher’s names, and I call my kids each other’s names from time to time. If you have a great relationship with your kids, there is no reason to read too much into it!