Thursday, February 24, 2011

Twenty-four seven

First of all, let me admit that I enjoy reading a trashy magazine from time to time. Sometimes, as happens when surfing the net, I accidentally find myself arriving at a gossipy website. I try not to make a habit of it, but there you go. It happens.

When I read articles about celebrities and their use of nannies for their children, I'm often amazed at the bitter, judgemental tones of these many authors. Even a sense of smug superiority.

I've decided that - whether they know it or not - they're jealous. Pure and simple.

How on earth do these writers know, for fact, that these women love their children any less? Have they been inside their homes? Have they personally witnessed the interaction between these parents and their kids? I very much doubt it.

If there's one thing that I've learned over the years, jealousy is a huge factor in motivating people to be nasty. They may dress up their judgements in all sorts of justifications, but when you boil away all of their reasonings, you're usually left with jealousy. Or ignorance.

Before kids, I was hasty to judge celebrities for employing nannies.

Then I became a mother.

Now - while I have no desire to offload my children to another person to raise, or to shirk my duties - I'd be lying if I said the idea of occasionally having someone around to help out didn't appeal to me. Hell, I'd be happy with an afternoon once a fortnight.

One of the downsides of moving overseas, away from family and friends, is losing the supportive network and not having a single person you can call on to mind the kids for a couple of hours if needed. I'm not going to turn this into a whinge about that, though, because J and I knew what we were in for when we decided to make the Big Move, and I'm grateful for the adventures we can have here.

But as much as I adore the Faery? I love the days where she's at preschool. I love having a break from thinking of ways to stimulate and entertain her. I love not having to listen to her whinging about wanting to watch more TV, or being bored. I love not hearing those annoying cartoon voices for a while.

I'm not terribly good at the play aspect of parenting - not much times passes, then I am the one whinging I'm bored.

I can only interpret so many drawings...
(apparently this is me, asleep and dreaming about a pig)

A qualified person to help out, stimulate and entertain her? Sounds good to me.

Here is the catch, though - nannies cost money. A lot of money. Money we absolutely need for more essential things. Bugger. And considering I'm not working right now - therefore not bringing in any money - raising my kids full time is my job for now, but this doesn't mean I wouldn't like a break at times. This gig is 24/7.

Which brings me back to the bitchy articles about Angelina Jolie and friends. I can guarantee that if I had six kids, and oodles of cash to spare, I'd be employing a nanny or three. You bet I would. Just because a woman has chosen to have six children - in a loving home - it doesn't mean she should be a martyr and juggle everything herself.

So when I read these judgemental articles now? I don't feel jealous, but I do feel a tug of envy at how lovely it must be for these mothers to have just that little bit more freedom at times. I'm not going to hold that against them, either. That's not really in the spirit of sisterhood.


  1. Oh my ... I completely know what you're talking about. We don't have family/friends to call on either so it is just us. We've had two evenings off in five years - not complaining, just saying. We are eligible for respite because of William's Asperger diagnosis but I have yet to take it up. I should use it while I can.

    And I'm telling you, if I could afford a nanny I'd bloody have one!

  2. Love the drawing by the way. She draws you dreaming about pigs beautifully.

  3. Two evenings in five years? Wow. We've found a lovely, trustworthy babysitter here, so have managed to have a handful of nights out since moving here. I think I'd have gone loopy otherwise!

    How long will you be eligible for respite? It might be worth trying - Melbourne's such a great city for date nights.

  4. I think I will as it is a bit less expensive than the babysitting. We are eligible until he turns six so that would make it just over 12 months.

    To tell the truth, I felt guilty using it because I always thought there was someone more deserving. The early intervention people are the ones who told me to grab it with both hands.

  5. I love my kids but I would take any and all help available to me.

    Those brief moments I grab away from them are what keeps me sane and renews my love of this crazy-making gig.

    I ain't no matter to this cause...

  6. Matter? I think I meant martyr.....

  7. I had my first kid-free outing today in about three weeks... it was bliss.

    How good does it feel to park the car and then just get out and go? No faffing round with kiddy car seat straps, no setting up the stroller... just shut the driver door and walk away without a backward glance. Not to mention driving in peace and quiet!

    I ♥ me time.

  8. I completely agree with you...if cash was free flowing, I would absolutely find someone we could rely on to help us out, and I wouldn't stop there...I would also like a cleaner and and outsource my ironing :o) .....

  9. oh, and I meant to say that I LOVE that the Faery didn't forgot your boobs!!!

  10. Oh, Jen... how nice would it be to have someone else do all the cleaning? That would be heaven.

    Yes, the Faery most definitely remembered my boobs - but they're kind of hard to miss in real life, too ;)