A nanny by definition, is a person who provides childcare within the child’s family setting in addition to the legal guardian’s care. The concept dates back to the early 1300’s and can be found in all cultures across the world. The phrase “it takes a village” has held true since the beginning of humanity when stakes were higher and survival was the main goal of day-to-day life. In western culture today, this concept still holds true but in a less literal sense. Instead the goal is to provide the best, most well rounded care for the child while supplying support to parents by alleviating some of the burdens of parenthood.
RELATED READING :: Are Nanny Cameras Appropriate or Invasive?
While this all sounds positive there is a negative underlying presumption made of the mothers that do hire nannies by society that they are either lazy, unattached or unfit. Today the pressure on women and mothers to “lean in” has never been stronger. We are supposed to thrive in all aspects of life including our intimate relationships, professional careers, friendships, caregiving, and personal appearance. The village aspect of life has faded and personal success has taken precedence. Unfortunately, with this additional pressure the mental health of this demographic is suffering and the ability to ask for help is shamed. Luckily, in the past 5 years women’s issues have been trending and the support and education that has been lacking in the past is beginning to circulate. With this, women are turning their back on the burden of trying to do it all alone and becoming more open to asking for the help that is so needed and deserved. Which brings me to my own personal story of finding our nanny, my Mary Poppins.
I am a mother of three girls ages 6, 5 and 2. My husband is a partner in a holdings group that requires significant travel and long hours. Last year, I took the plunge to co-found Birthbabybody and essentially give birth to my 4th baby, which is my business. From March of 2021 until February of 2022, I was the primary caregiver to my girls, running our household and building a business. Everyday felt like groundhogs day and I was doing my best to accomplish all my given responsibilities alone. Although I was around people all day I felt isolated, exhausted and was mentally struggling. While I was moving through life at this unsustainable pace my girls were also paying the price. They were all in extended care programs at school, they were in no extracurricular activities, they were only getting an hour or two with me a night which usually consisted of me doing chores. Multiple friends told me I needed help and that I was going to burn out which ended up happening. One friend even went as far to write a nanny job description for me and submit it to boards. The hardest part of this process for me was coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t invincible and that there was no shame in being vulnerable by asking for help.
Within 3 days I had multiple people interested in the position which was a hybrid role of a house manager and nanny. Alyx was the first person I spoke to and I was shocked at how quickly all of my stress and concerns of welcoming someone into our home in this capacity melted away. We instantly connected and agreed on parenting methods, the importance of clear communication and the responsibilities of the position. After a successful trial day with the girls and getting through the awkward financial agreements, Alyx officially became part of the family.
The day Alyx started my whole life changed. Instantly knowing that there was another person whose sole job was to support and nurture my children brought peace to me in a way I’ve never experienced. My girls are in after school activities, out of extended care, and getting quality time with us. The house isn’t in shambles, and life is just running more smoothly overall. Alyx is providing our lives with more than we even knew we needed. She lives with us which is a blessing beyond measure, she loves our girls and protects them, she goes out of her way to make sure I am supported on top of her day-to-day responsibilities. There is not an ounce of shame or regret for needing help and finding someone to share in the parenting and adulting responsibilities with us. It truly does take a village and in order for women to “lean in” we have to have the support system in place to thrive. I love my nanny, and Alyx is such an invaluable part of our family to whom we will be forever grateful.