Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am working this week, highly resentful and full of guilt. It is March Break here and while some kids are lucky enough to be sleeping in and going on fun trips (even if just a road trip) my poor kids are being schlepped to daycare for the whole day. It just isn’t an option to take time off work right now, fiscal year end, stakeholder review bleahdeeboringbleah, so the children suffer. I do have Friday off, however, this is the “funnest” day at daycare because, wait for it, wait for it, it’s pyjama day, movie day, and the government stipulated rest time of 1 hour is ignored! Hoorah! The girls want to go to daycare that day just to be able to give mandatory rest time a big fuck you (ahem, my words, not theirs, I hope!)

This brings me to a New York Story. I was staying in the Tribeca/SoHo area, lots of young families around and a couple of parks/schools nearby. My first afternoon there I found my Starbucks, found a park, and positioned myself for some hardcore people watching. Did I spot celebrities frolicking at the park with their young ones? Nope. Was I witness to a crime scene being filmed for Law and Order? Nope. Did I have to fight off talent/modelling agents, telling them I’m just not interested in fame and fortune? Yes, but that’s a given (juuuuuussssssttttt kidding). What I witnessed was the high ratio of little white children to little non-white women. The park was at capacity with nannies and their charges. I started talking to some of the nannies, asking about their jobs and their hours. They laughed at me when I asked what time the parents get home from work and relieve them of their duties. As clich├ęd as it sounds, the mothers of some of these children did not work. They were just busy with other things (insert nannies eye rolls here). Literally. Shopping, lunching, excercising, committee work, etc. etc.

I don’t consider myself a judgy person, but I can’t help but judge this. I guess I feel pretty raw right now, wishing I could be at home with the kids instead of working period. And these women obviously have the means to be at home, and choose not to. I totally get needing a day/few hours/minutes to yourself, but to engage someone else to look after your children on a full-time basis (some of these nannies see the children wake up and put them to bed) just kills me. I can see an argument against me, asking why I don’t insist on downsizing everything in our lives, but that just isn’t realistic right now, and I do feel the need keep up my “skills” in the workplace because you never know what the future holds – it’s a security thing for me.

Oh, and you should have seen how pimped out these NY strollers are. Probably more expensive than my mini-van!


Pauline said...

I'm not a mother, but what those spoiled NY chicks seems selfish. Their children are going to grow up with fond memories of their nannies, not their parents, which is crazy!

Getting away from the family once in awhile is once thing, but if you want to cram every minute of your day with spa appointments, lunching and pretentious activities, at the complete expense of your children, then you shouldn't have kids! Period.

Mis(s)Mannered Mom said...

If you want the "inside scoop" read The Nanny Diaries. A real life NY nanny (at one time)wrote it after her experience working for a family. Shudder. It became a movie too with Scarlett Johanssen. All in all-I can't understand it one iota.

Nat said...

One of the most exceptional things about not working is that I got to spend a week with The Boy pre-March break. I feel your pain. That family time is precious.

He's in camp right now, because I'd booked it assuming I'd be working. He loves it. Art camp. Alas.

But like you, I know this time is limited and precious.

meanie said...

pauline - i know, right? i'm not sure they will even have fond memories of their nannies, some of them definitely treat it as a job and there didn't appear to be a whole lot of warm and fuzzies (in some cases, not all)

MMM - read it, loved it, but wanted to think it mostly fictional.

Nat - Yup. It is nice to spend time with them (and it is also nice to have a small break for yourself as well).

alison said...

My girls are in daycare this week too. I have to hand it to them though, they are all excited because my caregiver lets them play outside and has crafts! and colouring pages! and more crafts! and special lunches! It definitely helps with the guilts that they like it there so much.