Nannies: The Great Divide

I have had two jobs since I had my two kids and here's what I've figured out...the biggest divide between working moms in the workplace is who has a nanny (or stay-at-home partner) and who doesn't.  One example that happened to me recently was at a roundtable meeting with 5 women - all working mothers. "Where's Michelle today?" asked our marketing manager, Monica. "Oh, I think she's sick," inserted Jessica. "No, Gracie (Michelle's daughter) is sick so she's home with her," said Iris. "Well, that is different," stated Rita.  Rita is the only one of us who has a live-in nanny. When Rita's kids are sick, the nanny takes care of them and Rita comes to work. When Rita is sick she takes care of herself while her nanny takes care of her children. Rita's kids are about the same age as the rest of our kids. She works the hours that are best for her - she never needs to leave early to make it in time somewhere to pick up a child. I'll be honest, I get jealous when I hear Rita reciting her grocery list to her nanny over the phone so that the nanny will know what to buy at the store. It makes me think about my husband and I negotiating who is going to go to the grocery store at 9pm on a weekday or a Saturday night...or worse yet trying to wrangle through a grocery shopping with both kids in tow.  My life is set up this way partly because I don't have enough money or space in my apartment for a nanny, but partly because I don't like to "outsource" even the most mundane parts of parenting, such as picking up from school. That said, I have been fantasizing about what it would be like to have a nanny. I could have a third child. I could stop worrying about using up my sick days and personal days at work. I could go grocery shopping only when I WANT to! I could stop trying to manage communication with my husband about who is going to take which child to swimming while the other child stays home sick. Most of all, I think about how much more I could give at work. Maybe Rita really has the golden ticket after all.    

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