I asked on twitter whether people would have liked a Nanny (if they could have had one for their newborn) and the majority of people said no. I’d just happened to be perusing the online gossip websites (always a bad idea) and had seen a few photos of celebs with their Nannies. One celeb in the news at the moment, Simon Cowell, was pictured on the beach with his girlfriend and their 10-day-old baby, and a hoard of assistants including a Nanny.
It made me think. Would I have liked to have had help with my 10 day old baby? I also wondered why, 10 days post-birth, you’d want to be on the beach anyway, but that’s up to them I guess. Personally, I’d rather (and was) just at home, trying to sleep when I could, drinking cold tea and getting to know this crying wailing thing I brought home. Also, it would have taken me several months just to shave my legs to be beach ready.
For me, I don’t think I’d have liked a Nanny to be there from the get-go- I’m just not sure how I’d feel about someone else doing all the things I have done for my baby. It was hard, and I cried, and laughed, and felt like I was going to collapse with exhaustion, but I kind of feel pleased that I did it. Through this, I learnt a lot about me, learnt to be a Mum, and got to know my baby. I understand that for some people, it is their preferred option, or one that fits into their lifestyle. One person commented on twitter that if that is what happens in your family that may be the natural thing to do – which is of course true, we all follow in the footsteps of our families to some extent and what we perceive as normal and average is largely based upon our past experience.
Sure, when I am tired at night it has crossed my mind frequently that having a nanny or someone to take the baby for a bit would have been bliss. I have left the baby a few times during the last year to go out for the day, or at night. Having help like this I think is good. It’s healthy to have a break once in a while, (if that’s what you want to do of course – I know plenty of people who are happy being with their babies 24/7). Sometimes even if it is just to go to the loo on your own, or have a bath.
I can see how if you need some support, such as support with breastfeeding, or if you have more than one child, having an extra pair of hands could be really useful. Having someone there to support you at all hours in your own environment would be great. Having someone take the baby away from you and care for your baby whilst you do something else – especially a newborn – I just don’t think I would have liked that.
An interesting thing that came out of my chat was that many people commented that whilst they would not want a Nanny, they wished they had a cleaner or someone to do the household chores. This, I totally agree with. A year later and I am still trying to get a hold of my washing pile. Ironing is non-existent unless I accidently sit on a T-shirt. Washing Up is the cause of many an argument. Taking that all out of the picture and having someone do this for you, would be lovely.
Maybe we need to promote the fact that many of us would like support with these tasks. I wish I would have asked people to come and help me do these practical things in those early days. When you have a newborn, worrying about washing up should not be on your mind. I think a lovely present to a new mum may be to pay for a cleaner for a few weeks or even be the cleaner yourself or with friends (personally I would have loved this, I guess it’d be wise to ask the people in question first before you start bleaching their kitchen sides).
Why we all worry so much about the household chores, as well as caring for a newborn is interesting. I have blogged about this before, so you can read my thoughts there, but for me, I really don’t understand how overnight I suddenly became the master of all things cleaning related.
Taking that particular issue off my hands – yes please. Leave me with the squishy baby though thanks.