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July 17, 2005

another Modern Love mommy moment

What is it with this column? Are they actually looking for writers their audience will find irritating? Ever since Ayelet Waldman's "What's wrong with me for wanting to blow my husband more than I want to hug my children?" piece , which riled people up so much that it actually inspired an Oprah episode, I haven't met a Modern Love column I didn't hate. Or at the very least, Love/Hate.

Today's confessional comes from a Brooklyn mom who feels really really nostalgic for her messy youth...and who found reading her nanny's blog really really disturbing. I'm guessing most parents/employers would not be thrilled to hear the semi-sordid details this girl was disclosing, but I think the mom's response was equally creepy. Mostly I think this brings up some interesting issues about the deeply underappreciated value of childcare... what we expect from the people who care from our children, and how we deal with them when they don't meet our expectations. Here's the mom's side of the story, and the nanny's.

by rebecca at 9:21 PM
in baby | parenting


Grr. So glad you found the nanny's side of the story.

What is especially lame is the fact that the parents never said to the nanny, "Thanks for telling me about your blog...I know blogs are personal, but can you please keep our family out of it?" That's all that had to happen. As for mom missing the party days. Give me a break. I spent Saturday night listening to stories from some other moms at a cocktail party about how cool their east village babysitters are, what they wear, what they listen to... We were worshipping these young women with cool lives. I babysat for a long time in my mid-20s and was very responsible and loved the baby I took care of. I also spent my weekends in dive bars and having sex. Thank God. I was 20-something?!? Of course, I did. I don't even think I had hangovers! I'm glad my employeres didn't know about it but, I would expect that any self-respecting vaguley hip (or formerly "wild") mother would understand that the pre-marraige years should be wisely spent on having fun... Sounds like this nanny wasn't even doing anything sordid. A reference to a Tucker Carlson fantasy is very prime time.

I wonder if this whole thing is just a paranoid version of the common fear moms have of being judged by the nanny? Sometimes I feel like I see nannies who seem to have been hired purely for their blank, robotic stare. I seriously wonder if these nannies are chosen b/c they seem less of a threat: too nice and dumb to make anything out of your private conversations or critique your paretning techniques. Poor kids have to babble away to a catatonic woman all day, but at least she won't be blogging...

comment by ceridwen Morris at July 18, 2005 9:19 AM

I think a lot people think you can't possibly have moved beyond the desire to drink numerous tequila shots and make out with strangers unless you express contempt for the practice, for others as well as yourself. And of course, you can't possibly be a good mother if you have any desire to do anything nasty...or even much of anything else at all. You're certainly not supposed to be having sex fantasies, or thinking of time with the kids as "work". Is someone who's caring for children as a career choice subject to the same judgments by proxy?

comment by rebecca at July 18, 2005 11:06 AM

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