Busy celebrities are often hiring nannies and housekeepers to help make their families run smoothly. But one pop icon took us by surprise at how she seemed to regard her children’s nanny – or nannies. Our parenting expert and mom, Katie Bugbee, had this response. Tell us what you think the nanny’s relationship in the family should be.
In a recent radio interview, Mariah Carey announced that she fires nannies like "this" and snapped her fingers to show the speed in which she kicks people to the streets.
Why so picky? She doesn’t want anyone getting too close to her 3-year old twins. She explains: "And I hate doing it, but I have to because they try to make themselves more important in the baby's mind than me."
Oh, Mariah. Sweet Mariah. You just don’t get a nanny’s role, do you?
Let’s start with what all working parents know. We know it hurts when your child accidentally calls her nanny, "Mama." Or calls you by the nanny’s name. We know our hearts fall to the pit of our stomachs when our babies reach for their nanny instead of us. But we also know that this is exactly why we hired them.
I interviewed 22 nannies before I found "the one." (Let’s call her Mary.) And it wasn’t experience that drew me to the winning candidate. It was the nurturing, love and creativity I saw in her. I knew she’d love my babies. I knew she’d become part of our family, and treat these children like her own. And I also knew Mary had traits and interests that I flat-out don’t – cooking, enjoying messy crafts, and playing in the snow.
Yes, there are many weekends we spend at the crafts store buying lots of goodies for the kids to do…with their nanny (she is so clever!). And when the snow falls on a Sunday afternoon and I want to make hot cocoa and cookies, we get out the igloo building kit…for Monday with Mary.
I thank God for this second Mom in our family on a daily basis!
But I also know that there’s really no replacing the love a parent gives or receives. My kids still run to me every evening, reach for me when they bonk their heads, and light up for each "Mommy Day." I’m mommy. No matter how much they love Mary. So Mariah should feel comfortable knowing that she will always be Mama Numero Uno to her babies, as long as she’s giving them quality time (better than quantity!), adoration and structure.
Mariah, you and I both work really hard. And I know we both love our kids with every ounce of our souls. People may criticize the fact that we leave our children in a non-family member’s care each day, but regardless of why we do this, leaving them with someone they love almost as much as their mom (or dad) -- is a gift. This is what the best nannies do – they love and help raise your kids like you would. But they do not want to take your place. Just like your husband doesn’t want to usurp your role either. Each person can play different parts – all coming together to raise the happiest children possible.