Tuesday

Stay at Home Mother Asks.............

Received Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I am somewhat new to the New York City area. I relocated from San Fransisco 4 months ago with my husband and two small children. I have met nannies and other mothers and hosted playdates at my home as well as visited homes with my children for playdates. At 3 and under, the children still need to be accompanied by an adult. Why is it that no one ever stays to help clean up after their children? Is this the norm here and should I just deal with it? I could never accompany my child on a playdate and not stay and clean up after the child. And by clean up I mean put or help my child put away any toys the children played with.
Just curious!

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear SF mommie..goodluck! From what I have read in these blogs..things are VERY different in N.Y. I too would never dream of accepting a playdate in a home without helping tp cleanup! I wish you all the best..maybe you will get lucky and find more Ca. transplants to associate with!

allison said...

I am a mother who works away from the home. I happen to have the brightest and best nanny in my employ! She has mentioned this to me. She and I assumed stay at home mothers might be taking these liberties with her because she was the nanny. I am somewhat relieved to find this is not the case.
But I do think basic etiquette dictates that you participate in the clean up.

Anonymous said...

DO these other mothers have "help" like housekeepers? Maybe they assume that you do to. I know many mothers who go through their entire lives without ever picking up a child's toy (or cleaning up child vomit), Etc. My point is not to bash certain UES mommies but to say, don't take it personally.

Anonymous said...

nobody is bashing ues..just pointing out facts!! Things are abit more spoiled in NY

Anonymous said...

I do not live in NY. Let me tell you how glad I am that I do not. While I am sure there are wonderful people living there..I will tell you that the women bloggers representing NY are catty,spoiled and down right mean!I am sometimes shocked at their behavior on this site and an not at all surprised to read the OP! Assuming that everyone has 2 nannies and a fulltime housekeeper is absurd. And not helping to clean up or atleast offering is just simply rude but as I said,after reading months of their comments..rudeness seems to follow suit! Sorry CA mommy!The best you can do is pray for a transfer!

jmer said...

I think it might depend on where you live. My friends on the UES have complained about this--and also been told to not bother to clean up so-and-so will do it when they go to play dates. So, perhaps the housekeeper mentality is at play. However, we live in a more middle class NY neighborhood where a lot of folks seem to have moved to get away from some of that crap and live more affordably. I find it to be more civil. Moms and nannies help clean up at play dates, give away (instead of sell) stuff they don't need anymore to other moms, give suggestions for everything from sitters to faster commutes for out-of-home working moms... It's a different world! But, yes, that behavior seems more prevalent in NY than anywhere else I have lived. Good luck.

Nanny B said...

You could also try mentioning in parents earshot "why don't we work together and clean up the toys" to the children, that way, mom or whoever gets the idea that you want things cleaned up. I have done that in the past and it works quite well, even if the parents themselves don't help, the child is more likely to help. Also, make a race out of it, or sing a song (clean up song) and see who can clean up the most at the end of the song, or if you don't want it competition, give each child a specfic toy to put away and make sure to use lots of praise either way. If a child refuses to help clean up and the parents are looking at you like your crazy, just make a remark like, "gosh at the end of the day, who wants to spend it cleaning up all the toys left out" people can be clueless,

a nanny

jc said...

Jmer,
You references one of my biggest pet peeves. I have noticed that people who are more middle class are more likely to give away things they don't need. Why are people on the Upper East Side more likely to sell their children's old clothing to turn a buck rather than give it to their nanny or housekeeper?
That makes me angry.
I try to keep a well organized house. When I am tired of something or no longer need it, whether it is an old television, a hutch or a pair of seven jeans; I give them away. And that doesn't make me special. That is the normal and right thing to do!

Anonymous said...

I could use a new pair of sevens:)

I agree, give it away.

Anonymous said...

The only reason I am able to dress my kids in Mini Boden, Hannah Andersson, Garnet Hill and the like is because I know that if I keep them stain free - I can sell them on ebay! The Old Navy play clothes I'll donate - but not the good stuff. Okay bring it on about what a bad, mean person I am. Maybe if I'm lucky someone will point out that I'm not setting a good example for my kids. I just can't wait.

karma said...

You aren't a bad example so much as you are an idiot. I love buying clothes for my children. I do it more for me than I do for them because obviously they as toddlers, they don't care or know the differemce. If I had to be concerned about allowing a shirt or dress to be stained, I wouldn't buy it. I do buy the nicest clothes I can find- Oilily, Versace Young, Amore, archimde, cakewalk, Petite Faun, sonia Rykel, etc. for my children. Some get stained. My children PLAY. Yes even in the DIRT. They are children. When they are through with their clothing, stained and unstained, my housekeeper gets first pick of what she needs for her child and the rest go to a woman's shelter!

Of course, I hear you can sell your soul on ebay.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother who frequently hosts playdates on the weekends, as I work during the week. I am not from California, I am a native New Yorker. Yes, other parents help clean up. In my 4 years of playdates I have never encountered what you've encountered.

My nanny has never had a bad experience during the weekday playdates either.

Speak up to the people you associate with. Some people need coaxing to exhibit good manners.

Either that or be a little more picky about who you invite.

Anonymous said...

As a long time nanny on the UES, I have had playdates with all kinds of people from nannies and moms on Park and Fifth Aves. to the building super's wife. Economic status has nothing to do with who helps clean up and who doesn't. Good parents, and nannies set an example for their children by offering to help clean up, whether it is a stay and play, or drop off and pick up playdate. Since I always insist that my charges and I help pick up, generally the favor will be returned when they come to our house.

Anonymous said...

DB A life time New York gal nanny and a mother. We meaning the children I care for and myself, when we are at a playdates we always clean up after each other and help with lunch prep and clean up after we are done. AS THEY SAY.. DO ON TO OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO DO ONTO YOU!!! Its the right thing to do.I agee with and have done what nanny b has done. NOT ALL NEW YORK PEOPLE,NANNYS,PARENTS ARE RUDE!!!!

Anonymous said...

People are so materialistic! A toddler doesn't care if their clothes came from some fancy expensive boutique or if they came from Walmart. Shouldn't that money be put towards something more important - perhaps a college fund.

not a grubbing meiser said...

I think if you are buying the clothes and have to make sure your children don't stain them so you can resale them, you are living beyond your means. That sounds like a vile human being! God forbid a child skin their knee.

I don't have any problem with people of means buying expensive clothing. Especially because when you can truly afford something, you are less likely to be a grudging meiser.

Anonymous said...

My best advice,
make playdates with UWS mommies!

L. said...

"I think if you are buying the clothes and have to make sure your children don't stain them so you can resale them, you are living beyond your means."

There are play clothes, and there are "nice" clothes. Kids being kids, nice clothes sometimes get ruined, too, but making an effort to keep them looking as nice as possible, in order to sell them for a little cash, is not "living beyond your means" -- it`s being smart and practical. Sure, giving them away is always generous, but not everyone can be generous 100% of the time.

I am originally from Connectict and am now a SF mommy. My playdate experience here has been mixed -- there is no special West Coast protocol. There are rude people and considerate people everywhere.

"Selling my soul on eBay" said...

Thanks 12:13.
When I said that I try to keep the "nice" clothes stain free, I meant that I rub some stain stick on before throwing the clothes in the wash. I by no means limit my children according to what clothes they're wearing! They paint, play in the mud, go on bug hunts and yes - scrape their knees. Their experiences come before my ability to sell their clothes later. And to the bitch who wrote in at 6:53 -can you name some more uppity name brands? How about 5 more. Can you give us 5 more? Lol. What a stuck up hipocrite you are.

Anonymous said...

11:50:

What's so special about UWS mommies, or are you just doing the highschool cheer-a-thon for the home team?

The UWS is too cookie cutter for me. Yawn.

Anonymous said...

People should clean up after their kids/charges. Period. Or, don't expect to be invited back. I've had this mother who drops her 3 year old off for a playdate with my nanny and come back and pick him up 2 hours later. She did not help clean up. We're not free daycare and my nanny is only responsible for my kid! Needless to say, my nanny and I made excuses when she requests another playdate. There are tons of other kids whose mothers/nannies have proper ettiquette.

Anonymous said...

3:12:

Why would you allow another mom to drop off her kid EITH YOUR NANNY? Is your nanny getting paid extra to watch another child?

Not my definition of a playdate.

Anonymous said...

EITH?

Anonymous said...

Simple typo. WITH is what it should have said.

I loathe when sitters are taken advantage of, and I'm the MOM, not the sitter.

jmt said...

lol. thanks. I thought EITH was another esoteric shorthand like SAHM. Eat In The Home?
My mother's friend had grandchildren that would come over and TRASH her neat living room, the mom saying nothing, then leave. If they were allowed to do this at their Grandma's imagine what they do on playdates! They were not popular kids. Here's a case of the mom and kids needing a lesson in what's expected. It's common decency to leave it cleaner than you found it. If mom didn't have a clue, who will teach her children? All you good people will have to, if only in self-defense.

Anonymous said...

1) I clean up after or during playdates, as appropriately.
2) I'm not rich. I live in a not-so-chic neighborhood in NYC. I get my kid's clothes for free whenever I can. If I had more money, I would do the same, because it makes sense. They grow out of them so quickly. Sure, I'd buy a few nice items here and there as needed. But that money can be better spent on her education. I will admit to being strapped for cash, but hey, I have the opportunity to sell a really nice, costly stroller that is in near mint condition. But I chose, to give it away to a dear, generous friend who's son is having his first baby. It's the RIGHT thing to do.

dripping with sarcasm said...

Wow, 5:44 - you are most definitely going to heaven. What an absolute saint you are. Good for you nice lady, good for you.

Stroller Mom's #1 Fan said...

8:48 you sound like you have another window open. Um, like an ebay window where you are checking to see how much someone bid on some used up onesie.

Ewwww!

Charities provide PICK UP services and BINS at Shopping Centers to make GIVING as easy as possible for people. As opposed to EBAY which is a pain in the ass!

Anonymous said...

What I don't like about this forum is the nasty, rude tone of so many of the posts. In the comments above, mothers have called each other "bitch," "idiot," and "hypocrite"! Why is everyone so full of venom?

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way. I never leave my childs friends house without first cleaning up and thanking them.