The process of returning to work, either after the birth of a child or after a long stint as a stay-at-home mom, can be one of the most trying, disheartening things that the mother of young children will encounter. Guilt over leaving your kids in the care of someone else, especially another woman, can lead to jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, and questioning your ability to effectively parent your own children. Hiring a nanny, though, can sometimes make you a better parent.
- Less Pressure and Lower Stress Levels – Overworked moms that are stretched to the limits and frazzled by the myriad demands of raising a family, running a household, maintaining a career, and juggling all of the details that come with each of those tasks may have a hard time keeping a smile on their face. Outside of post-war sitcoms, there aren’t very many women who could shuffle all of these tasks without feeling overwhelmed. Hiring a nanny is one of the most effective ways to alleviate the stress of wearing so many different hats; rather than barking at your kids in frustration, you’ll be able to focus on making sure that time spent together is quality time.
- Watch and Learn – Once upon a time, brand new, first-time moms learned the tricks of the trade from their own mothers. As today’s families become more spread out, the distance that separates parents from their adult children often makes it difficult or even impossible for Grandma to help a new mommy learn the ropes. A seasoned nanny, with her wealth of experience and impressive knowledge base, can help you become a better mom by helping you learn the ins and outs of infant and toddler care through leading by example, rather than from reading a library book. The process of learning through observation and mimicry is instinctual; it’s how children learn to process the world, and can be a very effective method for new, less-than-confident mothers to gain their own experience and a boost in self-confidence.
- Providing a Support System – Whether a nanny works full-time and lives in your home, or drops by for a few mornings a week to let you run errands, she’s helping to provide a valuable support system that makes it easier for you to prioritize and gain perspective. It’s important to remember that you’re not surrendering your children to another woman for care; you’re simply ensuring that you are the best possible version of yourself when you’re with your kids. Instead of struggling to wear a brave face that an intuitive child can easily see through, the support and assistance your nanny provides will allow you to enjoy every moment you spend together as a family.
- Staving Off Sleep Deprivation – New moms learn very quickly that the all-nighters of their college days in no way prepared them for the level of sleep deprivation and exhaustion that accompanies an infant home from the hospital. Between feedings, diaper changes, and plaintive cries for attention, there’s almost no time left for parents to feed themselves, shower, or sleep. This exhaustion is intensified for single mothers, and can exacerbate the symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD). Worsening PPD can further affect sleep cycles, leaving affected moms in a vicious cycle that affects her ability to effectively parent.
- Delegating a Few Childcare-Related Chores – While most nannies balk at the idea of performing chores that aren’t directly related to childcare, the ability to delegate tasks like kids’ laundry and post-meal clean-up will allow you to spend quality, enjoyable time with your children, rather than scrambling after them in a series of endless chores. Some nannies may even be willing to handle other light household tasks, provided that she’s adequately compensated for her extra efforts.
- Maintaining a Healthy Diet – Daycare centers often rely on mass-produced, preservative-laden foods that are high in fat and sugar and low on nutrients out of necessity; preparing fresh, high-quality meals for dozens of children simply isn’t feasible for some facilities. When children are cared for a by an experienced, capable nanny with a basic knowledge of childhood nutrition, they aren’t being exposed to the processed foods that their daycare-attending peers eat on a daily basis. As concerns over childhood obesity and diet-related health problems become more prominent, this often overlooked aspect of private nanny care becomes even more attractive.
- Help With Scheduling – While most women wouldn’t hesitate to call in an organization expert for an overflowing closet or a cluttered pantry, engaging a nanny for help with the scheduling of school and extracurricular activities still carries a stigma in some circles. Instead of feeling inferior and lashing out in frustration because you aren’t able to deliver three children to three separate locations at the exact same time, hiring a nanny for assistance with such tasks might be more effective and conducive to a peaceful style of parenting.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom overwhelmed by the demands of your first infant, or a busy career woman with school-aged children and too few hours in the day, the assistance and support that a professional nanny provides can be a blessing. Being a Super Mom doesn’t require an inhuman ability to be in several places at once; it means focusing on making every moment you spend with your family count.
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