I had lunch the other day with a mom friend who was looking to hire a very part-time nanny for her son — to share with another family for a couple of hours one day a week. She had already offered the position to the woman when she happened to overhear the nanny with her other full-time charge. It was time to leave preschool and the kid wasn’t cooperating — she told him he was acting like a baby and she threatened to leave without him.
That was it for my friend — she decided not to hire the lady and said she would absolutely take issue with the nanny condescending to her son that way. Unacceptable.
I kind of hoped we could just change the subject but when she went on for a bit and made it clear she was mildly outraged by what the nanny had said, I copped to the fact that I’ve probably said the same thing. I couldn’t give you a date and time or anything, but I’m sure at some point, when someone was tantrum-ing out, lying on the ground, crying, and refusing to leave someplace, I probably said something along the lines of “come on now, you’re acting like a baby” and “OK, I’m leeeaving now….” As in, stop that — get up, please, and let’s go.
After I admitted my sin, my friend said, OK, she had probably said the same thing at some point, too. But she expects more — better, more controlled behavior — from someone she pays. She expects more from a caregiver than from herself.
Hhmmm. I’m not sure what I think about that. Full-time kid-wrangling is a tough job and sometimes frustrating — whether you’re the mom or the caregiver. I’m not always 100 percent happy with the choices I make during any given day and I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect a nanny to be above reproach either.
What do you think? Should we expect better behavior from a caregiver than we expect from ourselves? Does paying someone mean they shouldn’t make the same “mistakes” moms sometimes make?