Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I realized this weekend that even my best friends judge me for having a nanny. Not in a "you're a horrible mom" way, to be sure. But in the way that "she has a nanny" is one of the first things that comes to mind when they think of me. It was a reminder of how complicated and multi-facted the nanny issue is. I used to go back and forth on "to nanny or not to nanny" all the time. I've gone through all the cliched mental hoops--will she be raising my kids; am I being selfish; etc. etc. And I've rounded the bend and truly now chant as mantra "Get a nanny and get over it."
So I thought I had exhausted every possible thing you could think about nannies.
But lo and behold, I was wrong. Tasha Blaine's new book, Just Like Family turns the mental gymnastics so many of us engage in in terms of nannies on its head. Instead of the usual back and forth on whether to get a nanny in the first place, it addresses a question that I had never yet asked: What does my nanny think of me?
It's a great read and much more fun than The Nannie Diaries and its ilk because Blaine's portraits of families and nannies are so real. She somehow manages to capture all the nuance of the complicated dynamics of nanny families in a way that made me re-examine assumptions I had thought were firmly tested.
Educational and absorbing...but, for what it's worth: I still will be emblazening "Get a Nanny and get Over it" with rhinestones on a tshirt very soon. You think it's crazy? Nah. This is crazy.