My friends have a nanny. She's nothing short of amazing. She does the kids' laundry, packs their lunches, makes baby food, organizes toys, you name it. She arrives 10 minutes early and often stays a few extra minutes at the end of the day to let the parents take off their shoes and change into 'parent mode' after they get home from a stressful day in the office. I only hear good things.
What I don't hear is this:
'My nanny subscribed to a parenting website so she could get additional tips and tricks on how to potty train my kids'
'My nanny celebrated her birthday with us and posted photos of the cupcakes she and my kids made on her social media'
'My nanny changed her plans this weekend to come on an Easter Egg hunt with our family'
These are the things I experience hosting an au pair. She's not just a childcare provider, she's a member of our family. She's my parenting partner.
She's not just a childcare provider, she's a member of our family. She's my parenting partner.
She's our 3rd party, objective opinion when my husband and I are arguing about where to hang the new piece of wall art we just brought. She spends time while the kids are napping looking up ways to help our children's development or fun crafts she can do with them that afternoon. She created a Facebook group to send the grandparents photos of the kids daily. She went out shopping with her au pair friends and came home with fun things to do with our kids rather than new clothes (don't get me wrong, she likes to shop for clothes too). This is who I want watching my kids. Someone invested in not just a job, but a family. I am grateful each day when I leave my kids for work that someone who loves them that much is taking care of them every day.
Marisa is a host mom and mother of twins living in the Bay Area.