Grandmother has some serious questions...

Grandmother's Love by Cynthia Snider
     I knew when my son married, he picked a smart woman who wouldn't be content without a career. I was surprised when she went back to work after only six week of maternity leave. Their first and only child just had her second birthday. I spent three days with the nanny and the child, before I finally convinced my son and his wife to let the nanny have a few days off. I suggested I was more than capable of caring for my two year old grandchild. We had a wonderful visit.  The time I spent with the nanny was also pleasant. She's quite lovely and really good with the child.
     Over the course of my ten day visit, things kept coming up that seemed over the top to me. If I asked, usually my son, he assured me this was the norm and how everyone handled things. I raised my children and still live in the midwest, so it is fair to imagine I don't understand how things are done in New York.
      I do think that if this is the normal and this is how children are being raised, then it's a very sad reflection of our times. I gave up discussing things with my son, who grew irritated. My daughter in law suggested I leave early, but I insisted to stay through Easter. I am posting this without any identifiable information for a reason.
     These are the things that I found worrisome.
      1. Most days both parents leave the house before the child is awake. The nanny is the person to first see the child. Either the nanny wakes her or the child comes to the nanny.
      2. When I would ask about an interesting learning toy that GD was playing with or an especially cute dress or even a sippy cup, no one could tell me where it came from, unless the nanny was in the room. If the nanny was in the room, she would know where it came from and how much it costs because it appears she is in charge of purchasing everything for the child. This included books, snacks, groceries, toiletry items like diapers and shampoo, even the umbrella stroller.
     3.  GD has two little friends she plays with. I met them both while I was there. They get together, one with the stay at home mother and one with a nanny. When I mentioned parts of the visit, like "That Daniel is a real cutie, what do his parents do?" Neither my son or DIL could answer. They didn't know where the children lived and didn't even appear to recognize the children's first names.
     4.   The nanny takes two classes at night so she must leave without fail two nights by 630. Because they tried and could not make this schedule work, they hired a second childcare provider who works Monday and Wednesday nights from 630-9:30. I suggested this was unnecessary and they got irritated, again with me. I was told that they had to give her enough hours to make it worth her wild and I just didn't understand. I asked what they needed to do until 930 at night and I was told that it didn't really matter because GD was usually in bed asleep at 730.
     5.   On the days I had the children, we had a day of very nice weather. I asked both seperately if they would like to meet us for a picnic or if I should come visit them at work with GD. They looked at me like I had two heads.
     6.   The nanny does not work on Saturday and Sunday. She does however, pre-make the child's meals for Saturday and Sunday.
     7.   When the evening babysitter called on the phone to see if I needed her for the Wednesday, I told her we did not but thanked her. She then asked me if they needed her at all Saturday. I didn't even understand the question, but I was there to spend time with my granddaughter so I said no. I couldn't get a straight answer but I think they are also using her now for weekend babysitting. Neither of them works on weekends.
     8.    I asked not because I was encouraging, but because it seemed the thing to ask, "so when am I going to have a grandson."  I was told that "soon, we don't want the children more than three years a part".
     9.   It seems exceptions may have been made while I was there, but I get the feeling that GD is most nights put to bed by the nanny too.
   10.   GD's birthday party was lovely. It was held in a restaurant with sweet decorations, candy center pieces. The children that attended were of varying ages, many of my DIL and son's friends and a few children nanny knows through Mommy and me music class. The nanny planned, arranged and handles all of the invitations.  You wouldn't have known this at the party though. She stayed off to the side with some of the nannies in attendance. She let DIL take the reigns and bask in the accolades.

     I am only 60 years old. I understand having a career and having a good nanny help you raise your child. I do not understand having a nanny raise your child. I ask you, is this the standard?


unicornnanny said...

This isn't standard but it is common. It's not ideal but as long as the child is safe and happy, try not to be judgemental. It will only cause strain in your relationship with them. Although I believe parents should make every effort to spend quality time with their children, I prefer jobs like this. Just be happy that your granddaughter has a good nanny. This is what works for them. This is the way they want it. If you butt in, they won't change. They will only push you away. Some people just aren't cut out to be so hands on with children. That may be the case for your son and DIL.

Nannytime said...

Yep.....unfortunately it's pretty normal. Many nannies spend more time with and know more about the children than the parents do.

Betty hedron said...

The nanny should be happy they are not spending time with the child because they are working. I worked for a couple where neither parent worked but they NEVER spent time with their children. They both called themselves consultants but lived off a shitload of family money. I could never find them, even in an emergency. When the child had to go to the doctor for illness, I always had to take them. I even scheduled annual visits, but the mom did try to make those, you know for appearance sakes.

Corina said...

Wow I feel sad after reading this. I work part time so I can be home too. Not judging if you have to work full time that doesn't mean you are a bad parent. But should try to spend quality time with your child.

Angi - nanny of 30 years said...

Personally, Id ask your son and his wife why the hell they had a child at all? Whats the point in procreating if you arent going to be there for the child at all? Sounds like the nanny is the parent. What a disgrace. I feel for the children.

FTR - I have NO ISSUES with parents that work (I come from a working home) but these two seem like they never spend any time with their child or even know about their child or the circle.

My 2nd father (adopted me) was like that - I don't consider him a parent to me at all. His schedule was out to work at 4am, home at 6 to eat and watch the news, bed by 8 and weekends was doing his own thing (chores, hunting, hanging with his friends). I was a tot when he became part of my life and I dismissed him when I was teen...havent spoken to him since, feel no remorse for that either.

They better shape up and be parents to a child they CHOSE to have or that childs life will suffer.

absofsteel said...

This sounds like every job I've had. I love my job and adore my charges, and in most cases really like my MB and DB, but I do often wonder why people even choose to have children if they're not going to participate much in raising them.

Jmaria said...

Quite frankly, the way they raise their kids isn't what other might seem ideal, but it's really none of your business. I'm also really appalled that you insisted on staying when your daughter in law suggested you leave. You have no right to do that. I find it disconcerting that you're complaining about your family to strangers, behind their backs. If you already addressed it with your son and DIL and they haven't decided to change, then it's time to let it go. Grandchildren or not, they're not YOUR children and their parents have the right to raise them as they please.

Anonymous said...

She's asking a question. She didn't say names or do anything wrong here. Just wants to know geez lay off. And further more her son and his wife clearly are not raising their child they have others doing it.

jkd83 said...

It really isn't any of your business how they are raising the child as long as they're not abusive. It is common in some families-if that's the way its going to be then be grateful they have found a good nanny.
I would stop with the comments about a second child, esp when you are putting pressure on for a particular sex. They cant control what sex the child is and you don't know their situation. Maybe they have chosen to wait or maybe its because theyre struggling to fall

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, I was saddened by this account. On the other, I realize I could ask my nanny to do more--clothing shopping, weekend meal prep, etc. to ensure my time with my kids is quality time. I'd rather be able to tell you about my trip to the zoo with the kids and not know where the clothes they were wearing came from than not being able to go to the zoo because I'm busy clothing shopping on my days off!

Anonymous said...

Really? Nannies arent servants. Make your own meals, buy your own kids clothes. You people are so lazy. We are your nannies not your maids. Get it through your spoiled head.