In Career, Discussions, Life, Money, Parenting, Women

“Where’s your nanny?”

I got a comment a while back that stuck with me for a while. I was recounting my days in my Week of Money Spending Diary posts, and someone wrote something along the lines of:

“Where is the nanny in all of this?”

My immediate reaction was:

Nanny?

What nanny?

If I had a nanny do you think I’d be so busy with all of this stuff?!? I would not be cleaning jack squat and I would sit around in perfectly tailored, manicured nails, playing with my son while she does everything.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

I think we have been so inundated with the latest and greatest “reveals” of how working mothers and fathers do it all and have it all owing all to the fact that they have a nanny.

This makes sense to some extent — if you have a lot of money, or make a lot of it, you should hire outside help to keep the peace at home and do the things you can’t get done during the day.

As much as I want to ignore that I am indeed in that super high upper crust tax bracket, it is clearly evident to me that basically every mother in my neighbourhood (even the ones who don’t work and are stay at home mothers), HAVE NANNIES.

They. All. Have. Nannies.

I know a woman who doesn’t work, and has two kids, and has not only a nanny but full-time daycare for both kids.

The nanny does the pickup, drop-off, and is at home doing the cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.


She basically doesn’t lift a finger for anything, but this comes at a price.

Daycare + Nanny = twice the price.

And granted, it would be safe to assume that yes, since I make all this money, I WOULD have a nanny…. but please give me some credit in that if I had one, I would MOST CERTAINLY TELL YOU that I paid for help and how much I am paying for it.

I do not hold back on what it costs to live my life, so I was a little puzzled that someone would think I would deliberately hide the fact that I have hired someone… when in fact I don’t have anyone hired for anything.

I would be the last person to hide having a nanny and pretend I’m some sort of Super Mom because I am not. I’m drowning on the worst of days, and feeling proud and floaty in the best of them.

It is even worse for me I think, because I don’t even have any in-laws or my family around to help. It is literally the three of us for better or for worse.

And yet, I am the only one who doesn’t seem to have any outside help. NONE AT ALL. Not even cleaning help.

The closest thing I have to a “nanny” is the preschool that he goes to while I am at work, but the drop off and pick up is all me, and he is at home with me full time.

Or that I drop my clothes off for dry cleaning if they need it (but wince each time).

WHY!?

I guess I’m a sucker (or martyr) for punishment….

I wrote a couple of thoughts on this under – First World Guilt: Why won’t we pay for help, and when someone asked me again why I wouldn’t pay for help.

I thought about it even more, and it is just two main things:

A) I do not like strangers in my home

I do not like people I do not “know” as family or friends, in my house, doing things that I feel like I am physically capable of doing.

I like being able to just wear whatever I want and walk around half naked if I want.

I feel strange seeing other people do things for me.

This is not how I was raised and I have a serious mental block in paying for this help and letting them do these things when I AM FINE and CAPABLE of doing them.

Note — my parents also do not have any household help but recently as they are getting on in years, I am asking them to hire some cleaning help as my mother cannot do it all (my father is lazy and useless, he is very patriarchal and thinks that he is above all this household work).

B) Nannies are expensive

I also do not want to pay for them. How much do they cost? At least $2000 a month? I know in preschool for just the day I already pay about $900… and that is SUBSIDIZED daycare.

If I had to pay the real amount, it would be for certain at least $2000 or more for their help. This is a real job, folks.

Full-time help for your child, where they care for them, feed them, clean the house.. this is insanity to expect someone to earn less than minimum wage to achieve all of that.

So… that’s about it.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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26 Comments

  1. Virginia

    How do you qualify for or subsidized daycare.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Easily. I own my own business and dictate my own income.

      Reply
  2. PP Gal

    This post got me thinking if a person grew up having a nanny when they were young are they likely to hire a nanny for their kids in the future? My siblings and I were raised to help around the house; sometimes it worked for my siblings sometimes it doesn’t. (I was and still the neat freak.) But later on, we are more independent and I grew up a minimalist without realizing what it was back then. Like others, I can’t imagine someone doing my laundry and tidying up my stuff. I would go nuts if things are misplaced.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      My siblings and I all grew up with nannies and don’t want one. We feel strange about it.

      Reply
  3. K

    I have a nanny.

    It is way more expensive than that in Australia. I pay $25 ph and she is here from between 25 and 45 hrs a week depending on my workload.

    I have a 6 yr old who home schools and a 1yr old who i breastfeed (but refuse to pump)

    I compare the cost of a nanny to me being a stay at home mum and it seems like a good deal. I am working on starting a school (as there is nothing where we live that i feel is suitable) so my 6 year old will go there when it is up and running then when my youngest is 2 she can go to daycare too. So it is a short term solution.

    My partner works 10-12 hrs days 5-7 days a week with ZERO flexibility he cant duck anywhere to do anything in his lunch hour as his work is 30min down a road with NOTHING on it.

    We have no family living close.

    I run my own consultancy.

    The nanny cooks and cleans (but she is not good at cleaning).

    For me it is worth it. I make much more than it costs me, i still get to see my kids lots and when i am with them i am not just rushing around getting everything done (but i still do have stuff to do – the nanny does not do everything).

    I also don’t feel guilty as my children are a priority of mine so it makes sense that i spend money on them (the nanny is by FAR our largest weekly expense, and they are not ‘spoilt’)

    I have often thought you could use a nanny or similar, you would be less stressed, it also doesn’t have to be a full time position and you don’t have to sit around and watch them you can just come home to a happy fed child, errands done and a clean house.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      In your situation, YES. I would definitely need help. When you have someone working such long hours and can’t help out, you need the help somewhere.

      I am happy you did get help rather than try to do it all on your own….

      I guess I could use a nanny as well, and it would be helpful to not think about certain things but I emotionally cannot.

      Reply
  4. Financial Orchid

    Uhhh… that comment might have been from me.
    Chinese nannies might be cheaper.. in cash. And they’ll cook and clean too. Do you make Chinese food @ home?

    Why am I so addicted to this site …

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I never thought about soliciting Chinese nannies… 🙂

      I don’t cook at home, my partner does and we don’t eat Chinese.

      Reply
    2. mia

      Cheap and paid in cash? What you are describing is illegal. It’s also exploiting the nanny (you’re paying less than fair wages) and putting your child at risk (no background check and no licensing like with a daycare center).

      Reply
  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    Yeah, that’s weird. Not mentioning a nanny is just weird if you have one. That’s a big damn deal!

    Most nannies that our friends have hired (in CA and elsewhere) not only do childcare, they cook and clean and even do laundry. And they don’t even charge the same as the nannies here who cost $2000+ a month plus two weeks of paid vacation + sick time, who don’t do those extras. While I would totally feel weird about someone doing the laundry, we only have 1-3 loads a week, I’m honestly A-OK with someone helping with vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down mirrors and windows, shaking out and washing the dog’s bedding, etc etc while they take care of my child while I work because that would be fantastic and that stuff wears me right out.

    I should note that weird is different from bad. I wouldn’t mind it in the abstract but once I envision someone putting away my laundry I feel eehhh about it.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      For the cleaning bit, I could think about a cleaner to come in once in a while, but even that.. I cannot fathom paying for it. I just can’t. I feel strange.

      Reply
  6. Jamie

    I agree with the comments above (or below), we are extremely lucky to have some “built-in” babysitting so to speak (mother in law lives with us and my mother is very close by). But, if we didn’t have family near by we would definitely have a regular baby-sitter situation because we still want to have time to ourselves and time together. We would go crazy without it! Do you read Bridget’s posts at Money after Graduation? She has a regular babysitter (granted she’s a single mom and an entrepreneur) but she doesn’t feel guilty about it and neither should you! Some daycares or care centres do a night service (like once per month, for example) where you can drop kid off and they play for an hour or two while the parents have a date night. That way a stranger isn’t in your home. Worth looking into!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      WHOA WHAT? Bridget is a single mother now? B is actually one of my blog friends but I don’t read her posts regularly — I barely have time to keep up with just filling my own blog with content…

      I was thinking about a daycare drop off but my partner doesn’t like the idea, he loves having Little Bun with us, he doesn’t quite see that I need personal space too.

      Reply
      1. Cassie

        Yep, she is. B found out she was pregnant as she was going through her divorce. She was paying for a babysitter while waiting for a daycare space to open up, but fortunately she finally got one.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Whoa. I am really out of touch. I need to start making an effort…

          Reply
  7. mia

    Just a note: most nannies will not do cleaning or household chores unless it is cleaning up after the kids’ messes that are made under their care. Nannies’ activities are restricted to those directly having to do with childcare while they are on the clock.

    Reply
  8. mia

    Just a note: most nannies will not do cleaning or household chores unless it is cleaning up after the kids’ messes that are made under their care. Nannies’ activities are restricted to those directly having to do with childcare while they are on the clock.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh. I thought they did all that — the nannies in our area do…

      Reply
      1. mia

        None of the ones here do housework other than cleaning up after the children’s meals, etc. If you go through a nanny or au pair agency, they won’t allow that.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          I suspect it is shadier than that. Not all of them, but it doesn’t seem to be very regimented.

          Reply
  9. raluca

    I agree with you: I’d hate a stranger in my house doing work while I was right there. It would make me uncomfortable. However, I have seen the impact that outside help has on families with small children and, when I do have children, I will want baby sitters and/or I will drop off my kids with friends and neighbours in order to have time off with my husband.
    My relationship with him is very important to me. My kids will probably not begrudge me 3-4 hours of every week to kiss their dad once they reach 18 :).

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would rather wait until he is bigger and let him go on playdates ALONE with other boys and families I trust.. and I would do the same with their kids. I feel better about that, knowing that they will know and love him as much as I do having seen him since he was a baby, than to have a stranger…

      Reply
  10. Sense

    I agree, I feel weird if people are doing things for me that I can do perfectly well myself! I feel very GUILTY and like I owe them if they aren’t getting something in return for themselves (e.g. with my student helpers, they get learning experience for their CV, a mentor in me, & a paycheck so I don’t feel as bad). However, I have been told by friends/family that I am too independent, absorb too much myself, and need to learn to ask for/accept help sometimes. No man is an island and all that…

    My mom and dad didn’t hire a nanny, but we did have a nice woman come over to babysit us once a week or so when we were very young, and then we went to an older lady’s house every day after school while we waited for my mom and dad to get off of work–a regular babysitter. I have to say, in your Diaries, you do seem very very stressed at times, and I often think that LB could use perhaps more exposure to other adult caretakers (also to give you a break). It’s not a black/white, all or nothing, a nanny or no nanny choice. A regular baby-sitter once in a while may be the best of both worlds!

    Also, once we were about 5 or so, my mom and dad shipped my sister and I off to my maternal grandparents for ~2 weeks every summer, and my paternal grandmother ~1 week every summer (we lived near her so saw her more often). It gave my parents much needed time alone, and allowed them to get house projects done without us in the way. My sister and I absolutely LOVED it, as did my grandparents, and today, my dearest, fondest memories of childhood are from those trips. When LB gets older, maybe ship him off to a trusted family member in France/elsewhere in Canada for a little while during school breaks!! He’ll benefit from it as much as you will, maybe more so! 🙂

    Also I am surprised to learn that nannies clean up–so they are housekeepers as well as child minders?! I can’t imagine a job less suited to my personality! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      So a few things

      1. Yes, I am stressed during the week. I guess at night I could use a night babysitter or playgroup/friend to watch him outside in the park as I get stuff done..

      2. I am SO SHIPPING HIM OFF TO FRANCE FOR THE SUMMER. YES. I AM DOING THIS. It is already in my plans that he will do it alone without us and then we will go and join up with him later.

      3. I thought nannies did cleanup too only because the ones here do — and they cook, clean, wash the cars, housework and care for the baby…

      Reply
      1. mia

        Nobody here would even think of asking the nanny to wash a car.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Huh… that is not what I read and heard so far…. although you’re right, I have not technically here in my neighbourhood, seen a nanny wash a car.

          Reply

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