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Nanny vs Mommy?

Updated on May 27, 2012

There is a great rush for nannies, it seems, nothing new among the wealthy but more and more it seems the requirements are different. Especially for working mothers. Yet anytime we look for someone to care for our children we are impacting their emotional well being because of attachment issues.

This nanny philosophy is nothing new. Rich people have always had someone take care of their children. Actually during slavery, they also had wet nurses for their newborn.

Children were a part of the family but they were a part from the family with their own rooms, maids, nurses and classrooms in the house with their parents. They were touted out on special occasions to be shown off, like some prize pet.

Strange how some societies viewed this as normal. But they lost out on the bonding that takes place when children are young. What does that say about the development of the society.

Nannies to me are not the first choice for any mother especially a first time mother because when you allow others to supervise and interact with your children, nurturing and caring for them more hours than you do you risk attachment issues.

Children tend to internalize the fact that their parents spend more time somewhere else than with them. So relationships become stunted.

Nothing is more precious than developing children.

Having help is good, but inviting someone in that does the role of mommy is not. This varies but is still a complicated situation to find yourself in, especially as your children age. They will only go to those who they have bonded with and who they knew were available to them when they needed nurturing and security.

Nanny requirements vary by family needs but they must be interested and consumed with child care and the welfare of children.

They can be educated or not, speak a second language or not, be of any ethnic background or not, have other duties or not but then i think you are infringing on their job description when you start adding other duties to their day besides caring for your child.

What to look for, basics:

  • Caring
  • Patience
  • Teaching philosophy
  • Belief system
  • How they handle pressure
  • Good previous references
  • Basic saving skills like CPR, etc
  • Your feelings

Remember you are bringing a stranger into your household to take care of your most precious commodity. You are taking a risk, because this person is more than just an employee. It is difficult to fire them later on when your children have become attached and this in itself presents families with lots of problems later on.

Since nannies are professionals though or at least should be, your expectation of them is that they bring a lot to the table not just a 'cheap in home' care giver or more, depending on what is needed.

No matter what, you are paying them for skills that serve your needs.

One hitch though, they are involved in your everyday personal life and that is hard to distance someone from when they are right there. So you have to keep boundaries. Easy to say, hard to do and enforce. Which is why you have to maintain some professional distance and keep in mind that you may also need to protect yourself by adding privacy clauses in any contract of employment.


  • Maturity, age and health are a factor
  • Another language skill or not
  • Level of education or training background
  • Hygiene
  • Respect issues, like manners, punctuality, privacy etc

Mommy being there, Assets

  • nurturing
  • bonding
  • teaching
  • security
  • exclusive attention
  • value

Mommy guilt

  • fear
  • anxiety
  • can't concentrate, wondering about child and their care
  • panic
  • difficulty leaving the child
  • constant calling

Depending on the mother it proves hard for her to leave her child in someone else's care while they are young for any length of time. There are lots of reasons for this, and usually it is the best thing for a child because mother's are the most nurturing of the two parents but this isn't conclusive.

More and more mother's are choosing not to leave and if they find that they have to they would rather bring someone into the home.

Now a days there are stay at home dads, but this isn't new either but it does depend on the family dynamics and that usually starts with who is making the most money. Is that bad or good? It depends on the relationship.


Research states everyday that children form attachments early, way before the age of six and then establish lifetime links by the time they are twelve or so. After this age emotionally they change.

This is not conclusive, there are always varying factors, but typically, it is known that children do better in every area of their lives when linked with mommy, or an exclusive nurturer from an early age.


At the end of the day, it all has to do with attachment issues and it is always a fine line but mommy being committed early in a child's life is better for emotional development.

Time magazine had a recent front page, main article on attachment issues. The front page picture with a three year old boy sucking his mother's breast stirred up a lot of media frenzy. But it seemed to focus heavily on the attachment issues of the mother. Sad but true, because now it seems even mother's are struggling with when to release the child from the nipple.

Oh well it is still our freedom to choose on how we interact in our children's development.

But in my humble opinion if that child has a mouth full of teeth, talks and uses the potty on their own it is way past time to wean them from nursing at the breast. TMI Mom!!!

Yet anyone who knows me, knows that i am a big proponent of breastfeeding. Actually i am disappointed when new mom's don't stick with it, personally because it is so beneficial to both mother and child. So don't hate...


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