Why do some people struggle to say, ‘I need to hire a nanny’?
I was interested to read about Melania Trump seeming to deny having a nanny in this Business Insider article, preferring to publicise the fact that she is a full-time mum to her son. This New York Post article meanwhile claims that Donald and Melania did hire a nanny for their son Barron.
There’s certainly no shame in being a full-time mum, but neither should there be in hiring a nanny. Admitting to yourself, ‘I need to hire a nanny’ could be the thing that helps you become a better parent in many cases. I know that when my children were young, trying to juggle work and childcare nearly sent me over the edge. Hiring a nanny was the best remedy and took me out of a stressful cycle of using family, nursery and playdates to try and fit in my work.
It’s hardly surprising that saying I need to hire a nanny can fill some people with worry when you look at Instagram. One of the most common Insta-account types is the mum-blog, depicting wholesome fun and delicious home-cooked meals, slim healthy-looking mums, and perfect-looking homes. It can make non-blogging mums feel inadequate that they aren’t as on top of things as these Insta-mums seem to be. If these mummies have help, they don’t talk about it on Instagram – and that’s a problem.
And it’s not just bloggers – celebs almost never talk about help they have at home, when it’s clear that the majority of them do pay for an extra pair of hands to help with childcare.
Of course, to counter the mummy-bloggers, there is a growing collection of naughty mummy Instagram and Facebook accounts, showing the nappies-and-all reality of parent life, often with a healthy dose of humour thrown in. Both types have huge and diverse followings.
However, if you look at nanny blogs, they seem to be aimed only at other nannies, with tips and ideas for nannies needing advice for their day-to-day. They’re a bit of a closed shop. What we’re saying is that there’s not a lot of encouragement to hire extra help out there, because people often simply don’t admit they’ve hired someone to help them cope.
Ask for help
Well, we’re aiming to be that encouraging voice. Yes, OK, we’re a household staff recruitment agency – that’s our job, to provide nannies and other household help. But, we genuinely want to change the face of the market and help parents gain the help the need.
We’re not talking about some one-size-fits-all nanny, but someone who can help the whole family, not just look after the kids. And we certainly don’t think shame about hiring a nanny is healthy for any parent.
Part of our initial talk to new clients is in establishing exactly how we can help make your life better. You might even be surprised by what that admission of ‘I need a nanny‘ can lead to. Sometimes, for example, we turn the nanny role on its head and encourage parents to use the nanny one day a week to do other household jobs while you look after the children. This not only helps you allay any guilt about not spending time with the children but provides a good change of scene for the nanny, too. And it means you don’t need to stress about the housework.
Whatever help you need – part childcare, part house care, or full-on full-time nannying if your work starts at 8am when you leave to catch the train and finishes at 8pm when you arrive home – we can work out the right solution.
When we set up 14fiftyseven, one of the aims was to drag the idea of household staff into the 21st century. Part of that idea is that we think you shouldn’t have to consider the thought, ‘I need to hire a nanny’ as something to be keep quiet.
Susie Osborough, Director
14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.