Role Reversal: Why I Let My Nanny Boss Me Around
The nanny/mom relationship is a complicated one. I could write a book about it (hmmm, note to self – write a book about the nanny/mom relationship). We’ve had the same nanny for six years – she’s pretty much a part of the family and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be able to leave for work every weekday morning and not worry about whether or not the kids will be ok. Which is one of the reasons why I let her yell at me.
If you have ever shared an office with me or even stood near my desk at one point while I was on the phone with “Susie”, you’d hear a conversation that went something like this:
“Yes, Susie. I’m sorry Susie. Don’t be mad at me Susie - I won’t do it again. Anything you want. Um- any chance I can talk to the kids now?” She’s got me by the balls (so to speak) and she knows it.
Here’s why else I let her abuse me – er, I mean, yell at me:
1. My kids are six and two…and I’m still not entirely convinced I know what the hell I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong – I know the basics, like make sure their seatbelts are buckled and don’t let them eat poo. But Susie seems so much more SURE of herself than I am – so I end up listening to her.
2. If she ever quit, we’d be SCREWED. Look, I know plenty of (somewhat crazy) moms who have gone through five nannies in one year – but I think I’d have a nervous breakdown if Susie ever left us. My husband? Not so much. KIDDING – I said I was kidding.
3. As one of my friends recently put it – Susie is “The Godfather” of the nanny mafia. She runs the show with the neighborhood group – they call her for advice, offer insider tips on some of the other moms and I wouldn’t be surprised if they give her a “piece of the action” when it comes to protection from rival nanny groups. In any case, I’d be afraid if we ever did anything to make the Tony Soprano of my neighborhood unhappy.
4. My kids love her – and actually listen to her. I could tell my son fifteen times to pick up his LEGO pieces and he acts like he has a hearing problem. But come Sunday night, he’s SCRAMBLING to clean the playroom up so it’s nice and tidy for Susie’s arrival Monday morning.
5. We love her. Look – I love my husband too and he lets me yell at him. So why not let Susie yell at me? And the thing is – she always does it with a twinkle in her eye. She is never malicious or cruel – there’s an undercurrent of humor when she’s giving me a talking to about not buying the right shampoo for the kids or not wiping the cream cheese off their mouths before I send them to school. Or um, not buying the iced tea she likes.
We won’t need Susie forever – and while there are times that I want to kill her and vice versa, it will be a sad day for our whole family when we do have to part ways.
What about you? Do you have a…special relationship with YOUR caregiver?