If you’re like most moms, you feel pressured to spend as much time with your little ones as possible, so you might not have considered the option of hiring a nanny. But you might be surprised to learn that hiring a nanny can be affordable, and might actively improve your family life.
Different Types of Nannies
The term “nanny” can refer to many different types of professionals. These are just some of the most common types of nannies to consider:
- Live-in nannies. A professional live-in nanny will live with your family, and you’ll be responsible for providing room and board, as well as a dedicated salary. They’ll be responsible for a variety of responsibilities, sometimes 24 hours a day, helping you wake up your children, prepare them for school, take care of them throughout the day, and ultimately put them to bed. They may also help out with other household tasks, as dictated by the type of nanny they are.
- Live-out nannies. Live-out nannies are nannies that live independently, and only visit your home during designated working hours. Those hours will vary, but oftentimes unfold while you’re at work, so there’s always someone watching the little ones.
- Nanny/housekeepers. Some nannies double as housekeepers, but this isn’t a given. Nanny/housekeepers are okay watching the children as well as taking care of tasks like cleaning the home, taking care of pets, and so on.
- Nanny/household managers. Nanny/household managers take things a step further, stepping in to manage the general household. For example, they may get groceries or run errands, so you don’t have to.
- Do note that there’s a strong difference between babysitters and nannies. Babysitters will watch your children and make sure they don’t come to harm, but nannies are much more invested in your children’s wellbeing and upbringing, scheduling more activities and accomplishing more responsibilities.
Hiring a nanny may seem like a cop-out or a distraction, but there are several benefits to hiring a nanny:
- First, nannies are going to save you time, especially if you hire someone to take care of the housekeeping or household management. You won’t have to worry about rushing home at the end of the day, and you won’t have to spend as much time taking care of the basic responsibilities of your child. Instead, you’ll have a more flexible schedule, and you can focus your time with your child doing things you enjoy. A full-time nanny can literally save you 40 hours a week.
- Next, you’ll feel much less stress. You can rest assured that your children are getting everything they need, and you won’t feel as guilty working long hours. If your nanny is also taking care of managing grocery purchases and other household responsibilities, your stress levels will reduce even further. When you’re less stressed, you’ll be able to appreciate your children more, and you’ll be able to stay healthier over the long term.
- Even though you love your family dearly, everyone needs some space and alone time. Hiring a nanny gives you and everyone else in your family more time apart, which can actually be a good thing. Your child will look forward to seeing you at the end of the day, and you’ll get more time to do the things you enjoy. You’ll all learn to appreciate your family time more, and will be able to build and maintain your individual identities.
Are There Disadvantages?
So are there any disadvantages to hiring a nanny? In some cases, you may feel jealousy toward your nanny or caretaker—especially if your child bonds with them. This is perfectly natural, however, and can ultimately be overcome by finding your own unique ways to bond with your child.
The other downside is, of course, the cost. Hiring a part-time nanny is within many mothers’ budgets, but hiring a live-in or full-time nanny can put a burden on your living expenses. In some cases, it can force you to work longer hours, resulting in a vicious circle, so make sure you choose a cost-efficient candidate.
Nannies aren’t a good choice for every mother or every family, but they do have the potential to improve the quality of your familial interactions (and give you the personal time you need to feel less stressed). Consider starting with a part-time, live-out nanny to see how the extra assistance can improve your life, and scale up as needed from there.