We had a rough night…

We had a rough night last night -- for whatever reason, Kavi did not sleep well, and was loud enough that even when I wasn't on duty, I got woken up. So every hour or two from 10:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., I was awakened. No fun.

Still, today feels luxurious. Nilofer's sisters are in town, so she doesn't need her babysitter, Laura, today or Monday -- so she asked Laura if she'd like to pick up some extra cash coming down and watching Kavi, and Laura said yes. So she's here now, and is feeding Kavi her applesauce even as I type this (sitting at the same table), and it's just lovely.

It's funny, there's this whole debate around nannies and au pairs and the like. There are a lot of parents (mostly moms, it seems) who seem to feel very strongly that unless you do the majority (or all) of the parenting, that you aren't really a parent, and shouldn't have taken on the job. And this just seems really odd to me. Whether you have someone around to help for two hours a day, or eight, or twelve -- in the end, you're still the parent. It's your final responsibility to make sure your child is cared for. I suppose there are some kids that are raised entirely by a nanny, and that does seem a little odd to me, but I think that's the exception, not the rule. Most folks I know who have childcare (at home or elsewhere) are still really involved in parenting.

I suspect those folks (mostly women) who disdain the nanny wouldn't speak up nearly as strongly if, say, your sister lived next door and came by every evening to watch your kids and give you a break. There's a lot of class politics involved in paid help, which is a whole other discussion to get into, and which I'm not even going to start right now. :-) For me, I'll just say that I'm very glad that we can afford a little childcare help, and I think Kavi will have a mommy who is happier and more relaxed and cheerful with her as a result.

(My parents used to tell us that they NEVER used a babysitter with us, not even to go out to a movie. All I can say is, they're stronger folks than we are.)

Plan for today: catch up on e-mail, sew up one of Ellie's favorite toys (a pink stuffed octopus) that she started destroying (so it'll last a bit longer), look at my seeds and figure out if there are any I should be starting in January, do some more unpacking (no, we're still not done) and sorting of clothes for charity, go to the garden store (to get a pot for my jasmine) and the grocery store (to get curry fixings for Sunday's brunch), make Kavi's next doctor's appointment. If I finish all those, I may try to write -- but I may not, because tomorrow Laura's friend Jarmila is coming to watch Kavi from 9-5, and I'm going to try to do a real writing day. I have major plans for the YA novel. And then Laura comes back on Monday. Very exciting.

This evening, Satya is stopping by around 6:30 to hang out for a while, hopefully have some dinner, and then around 8:30-9ish, Karen is coming by on her way to a convention in Michigan; she's going to crash here and then head onwards in the morning, so we should hopefully have a little time to talk. Especially if she wants to wake up around 4:30 with me and Kavi. :-)

3 thoughts on “We had a rough night…”

  1. While I agree with you about the class politics and hired help, I think there’s another difference (in people’s perceptions) between a nanny and one’s sister who lives next door: the former is a “stranger,” while the latter is “family.” (I put “family” in quotes because a close friend can also count.) Family helping to raise one’s kid is ordinary and accepted and seen as a good thing (at least up to a point), while “leaving your kids to be raised by a stranger” is a bad thing.

    Some nannies and parents negotiate that by the nanny becoming essentially part of the family; others have other approaches.

    …Maybe there’s also some monogamy-like mindset: one person (or one couple) “should” be able to provide for all of the child’s needs!

    …Anyway, the flip side of “you’re still the parent” is that no matter how involved the parents are in raising the kid, other people are also going to be involved. In most cases, for example, teachers are going to have a lot to do with it. Even for homeschooled kids, they’re going to have some kind of interaction and engagement with the rest of the world at some point. And that’s a good thing; we’re a social society, maybe a social species.

    Okay, I stop babbling now and go to work.

  2. Your mention of jasmine reminds me….can you do a continuation of your last post about plants? (No green thumbs in our house). Can you also include a link to the last post?

    The one thing I’ve learnt having become a mom (and boy, I’ve learnt a lot….breast feeding, multitasking, being more patient etc.) is to respond to “loaded” (i.e. judgmental) questions or comments by either politely taking a stance or smiling and looking away.

    -Avril

  3. I wonder how many of the “no-nanny” parents would send their children to a private school? Teachers are strangers we pay to care for our children, whether through taxes, or tuition.

    Anyway, I’m a wee bit biased on this subject, what with having been your nanny, so I’ll hush now.

    Many hugs & kisses to Kavi, from me, please!

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