I have a general rule of thumb for myself with the blog. When I realize that I’ve been thinking about something for more than a few days, I conclude it is blogging material.
I mean – if I’m chewing on something for so long and it’s keeping my attention – then surely you will too, right? Right.
So here goes.
A few weeks ago, my nanny mentioned that her friend, who is also a nanny, was in trouble with her employer. Let’s call her Nanny X. She watches Baby J during the day.
Seems that Baby J has taken to referring to the Nanny as Mommy X. That’s right, calling the nanny “Mommy” followed by the Nanny’s name. Now I don’t know about you but that would set me OFF if I caught my daughter referring to our nanny as “Mommy X.”
I mean – it’s tough enough to leave the house on the mornings where it feels like she likes the nanny more than me – but that would put me over the deep end.
A friend of mine once joked that we all needed to back away from our HR Offices one morning – a few of us were having trouble juggling motherhood and working and were probably threatening to quit……and I can say with certainty that I would need to be told to back away from my HR dept if I heard my daughter referring to our Nanny as “Mommy X.”
So, my nanny and I discussed this situation. She went on to point out that her friend doesn’t tell the boy to call her Mommy X. In fact, apparently the nanny corrects him and reminds him just of her name when he does so, but he is just over 2 and well, he says what he wants.
Or how he feels, according to my nanny.
She then went on to just say that the nanny spends more time with Baby J than anyone else and like in other situations she has seen, Baby J has gotten so attached to the nanny that it feels natural for the child to refer to her as Mommy X.
See, KT over here, I’m not buying a ticket on that bus. I’m not replaceable, I am the only Mommy and I’m the one that brought the child into the world, nurses her to health at 3am and provides for her at every turn. I am the mommy and am not sharing that title with ANYONE.
I’m pretty sure the mother of this little boy felt the same way because this Nanny was in the DOG HOUSE.
I pushed my nanny on it a bit more, asking her if it would bother her if her kids referred to someone else as “Mommy,” to which she replied “No.”
Again, surprised. Was she just more comfortable in her role as a mother than me? Was she just more confident than me? I wondered.
So off I went, for a few days, and thought about it. I thought about how many hours my daughter spends with the nanny, I thought about how many hours she spends with me, I might have been spotted loitering outside the HR department of my office a few times, just sort of lurking in the shadows cast off by the cubicles.
But I also thought about something my nanny said and something my friends and I have said, mainly in regards to our in-laws.
First what KT’s friends say. We believe “you get what you give” – you give a lot, you get a lot. You don’t give much, well then, you don’t get much.
The nanny’s believe that as well because they also work in households where the parents just aren’t around as much, where the nanny is tending to the child from early morning until bed time. They might even be the one that is there when the child is sick. So for them, to be called “mommy” is just a natural extension of what they are doing. They don’t encourage it but they can see why it’s happening.
A few more days passed and then I went to a birthday party…..and noticed that there were NANNIES present at the birthday party.
Which was held on a Saturday.
Naturally I was busily judging those mothers and wondering why in the hell they needed to drag their nanny out on a Saturday to attend a child’s birthday party with them? I mean – for real?
That following Monday, I made a comment in passing to my Nanny about this and she looked at me, smiled, and said “Now you know why the little boy calls my friend Mommy.”
For once, I was pretty much speechless. Because – is she right?
I mean, you get what you give. Don’t you?