Many of today's stay-at-home moms are finding that they can use a helping hand around the house and a nanny might be to fill that need. But a mom merely mentioning her choice to hire a nanny in social circles, even among other stay-at-home moms, often fuels the Mommy Wars debate. Judgmental comments that mom must be lazy or that she doesn't care enough about her family to do every single thing for them divide parents on this very personal decision.
Some stay-at-home moms may benefit from having a nanny, though. Look past these harsh criticisms to see the top 12 reasons why some stay-at-home moms need a nanny.
You Can Focus on Your Children
It may sound strange that having someone help care for your children can actually help you focus more on them, but it's true. Mommy burnout is a problem many stay-at-home moms face when they're taking care of kids 24/7. You can't even go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door or put the dishes away without little hands trying to grab the knives.
A nanny can step in to take care of your children when you need something as simple as a bath or someone to watch the kids while you go to the grocery store without four kids hanging off the side of your grocery cart. Nannies can also help with those essential household tasks like laundry, dishes and even cooking. Yes, you stay home with your family all day and could do all of those things every single day but wouldn't you rather enjoy quality time with the kids over quantity?
Hiring a nanny can give you more time to actually focus on your children without feeling like you're the one who's the nanny. The time you have with your kids is precious and being able to commit your attention to them without having a long to-do list hanging over your head lets you be mom without any distractions tearing you away.
You Can Focus on Yourself
Raising a family and managing your household doesn't leave much time for taking care of yourself. We always say our family comes first but we need to come first too.
Take better care of yourself by hiring help if you think you need it. A nanny can take some of that pressure you're putting on yourself so that you can spend that time on yourself instead. You deserve it. Recharging and taking a break from time to time will make you a mom who's better able to handle all of those daily parenting challenges that come your way, like diaper rash cream being spread all over your new hardwood floors or the sparkling hairstyle your kids gave the dog with a bottle of a glitter and some glue.
You Don't Have to Do It Alone
In many ancient civilizations multiple generations lived under one roof to help raise children. In ancient Greece, for example, grandmothers, unmarried sisters and widowed sisters would all live in the family home simply to help Mom take care of the children and do household chores.
While Pew Research reports more American households are becoming multigenerational, grandparents may not necessarily be moving in solely to help raise the children, unlike in Greek and Mayan times.
However, their presence in the home eases the modern-day do-it-yourself attitude stay-at-home moms experience when they mention they could use some additional hands to help out with the kids and around the house.
A nanny can be that person. You don't have to do it alone and you shouldn't have to try. A nanny may not be family but the right one can certainly feel like she's a member of yours.
You Don't Live Near Family
Many stay-at-home moms are berated if they even consider hiring a nanny. This guilt comes from both working moms and other stay-at-home moms.
Dig deeper and you'll find many of those same people have family in town to help out. Grandma pops over several times a week to watch the kids while Mom goes to an exercise class or Aunt Susan watches the kids Friday nights so Mom and Dad can enjoy a date night.
A 2015 survey found that the typical American only lives 18 miles from Mom. That may not be you and not having any family around can put a lot of strain on you to be SuperMom when you don't have to be.
You Need Stress Relief
For some, having a nanny who's a stranger, at least at first, seems like too much stress on top of raising kids and managing every aspect of your home. For others, having a nanny can help decrease those daily stress levels.
A nanny can fill in the gaps to help your household run more smoothly. Instead of having a to-do list that includes the laundry, dishes, cooking, picking up the kids from school and running two children in opposite directions simultaneously to soccer practice and dance lessons, you have a nanny to step in and take charge of the tasks you can't do as a human who can't be in two places at once.
Your Nanny Provides Convenience
How many times has it been time to go pick up your other children from school and your baby has just fallen asleep in her crib? Or, as much as you love them, how about those days when you're simply too sick to care for your children?
Having a nanny is convenient. Let the baby enjoy her nap while you or the nanny go pick up the kids at school. When you're too sick to stand, you can rest assured that your nanny will take good care of the kids so you can get better. A nanny is sometimes a much-needed convenience to today's family and the busy lifestyle they lead.
She Can Be an Extension of You
Nannies can be an extension of you, not a substitution for you. The right nanny follows your parenting playbook when it comes to discipline, beliefs and even teaching methods. The key is to agree upon all of your expectations, from household tasks to child care preferences, before hiring your nanny.
An experienced nanny adapts to the rules you've set out and essentially becomes another you. She doesn't contradict your parenting style and becomes your right-hand woman, so-to-speak, offering her help just as you would if you could clone yourself.
She's not you and she never will be, of course, but her presence makes your life easier.
A Nanny Can Be a Great Companion
Above all, a nanny is your employee. However, she can also be a great companion.
Stay-at-home moms often live in isolation. They may not have much in common with other at-home parents or they simply don't have time to go on outings with others. A nanny can become a trusted companion. She has a vested interest in taking care of your children and knows them much like you do. You're not trying to buy a friend here, but your nanny is in your home, caring for your children and can become a part of your household.
The right nanny can also become a companion to your kids. She's not their mother at all. But you can leave her in charge of your household and know your kids have a companion who cares about them while caring for them.
A Nanny Provides Consistency and Reliability
Hiring a nanny with a regular schedule, even on a part-time basis, can provide consistency and reliability. You don't necessarily find this with other child care options like Mom's Day Out and babysitting co-ops. A Mom's Day Out program can be more affordable than a nanny but is typically only offered on certain weekdays and in the morning hours. Babysitting co-ops are free but require you to also offer free babysitting services to other parents in return.
A nanny is a professional and a constant in your home once hired. She can be there on a set schedule during the hours you agree upon in the hiring process. Her presence gives your family someone who's reliable and who you can count on without having to rely on someone else's fluctuating schedule or a day care's strict hours.
She Helps You Be More Efficient
You take care of everyone and that can often mean you're pulled in many directions at the same time. You can't seem to get one thing accomplished because you're trying to get 100 things accomplished all at once.
With a nanny, you can establish a list of priorities she must follow so you can also set up your own list of priorities. You'll become more efficient in everything you do and get more of your goals accomplished too.
A Nanny Doesn't Have to Be Full-Time or Permanent
Having a nanny doesn't mean you're rich. Many household budgets can't afford the luxury of a full-time nanny. While nannies are typically a premium child care option, many part-time nannies have rates that can fit into your family's budget and schedule nicely.
Another option is to hire a nanny on a trial basis. You may only need a nanny temporarily, such as after you have a baby or if your family is facing a situation that would alter your usual schedule. Having a nanny doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment.
Your Family's Needs Matter the Most
Do you need a nanny? Bottom line, it's your decision.
If having a part- or full-time nanny makes your life easier, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. You don't need justification from others. As long as hiring a nanny is right for your family, that's what counts.