Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nanny Fawn Has Been Punked!

By whom you might ask?  None other than little Miss Genevieve.

I have many years of childcare experience: babysitting since I was 11 years old, 4 years of summer camp, 3 months in an orphanage in Haiti, and 6+ years as a full time nanny.  And while that experience has been somewhat helpful as a new mommy, nothing could have prepared me.

While working for other families you learn intimate details about their life, like it or not.  They can try to act as professional as possible, create guest accounts on their computers, not invite you to personal birthday parties, etc.  But you still learn a lot about them.  As a nanny (CONFESSION), it's hard not to judge.  You observe from an outward prospective what works and what doesn't and it is easy to suggest or demand that this or that be done instead. 

And so it has been true for me.  I would listen to a mom whine about how her children won't stay in their own bed at night, and in my head be rolling my eyes thinking, "just make them!"  Or I would hear dad complain that their child was misbehaving all the time and I'd say to myself, "be consistent with discipline!"  And while I still stand behind those statements, I now have a greater awareness and more compassion for the difficulties of being a parent and the multifaceted insanity that comes with raising little humans.

It's easy to say that I had many expectations going into parenthood.  Genevieve was going to be exclusively breast fed till 1 year old.  Genevieve was going to sleep in her bassinet for 3 months and then be sleep trained. Genevieve was going to be on a consistent daily schedule.  etc etc etc. 

It's hard to admit (vulnerably) that this is so much harder than I imagined.  I am freaked out of my mind that I've ruined her for life and she's only been alive a short 10 weeks.  Sometimes when I put her in her crib for a nap and she's peacefully awake in there by herself, my heart aches and I feel a guilt that surpasses logic. In my head: she's lonely! she feels abandoned! I must spend every waking moment showing her my love!  As for my agenda, breast feeding is SUPER HARD!  Babies come with their own schedules and they are incredibly stubborn.  And finally, forget the bassinet, I'd rather have her in my arms! Or god forbid on her tummy lying next to me. *gasp* I broke one of the ten commandments.

All of this to say, I've been duped.  Punked.  It's nothing like I thought it would be, beyond what I could imagine, and everything I want.  As I've made this transition into mother hood I've begun to realize that I don't know as much as I thought I did.  Sorry for acting like a know it all for so many years.  ;)


  1. Dr.Sears book "nighttime parenting" helped me get past the guilt of the various viewpoints.

    They are so little and don't understand. I don't know if this is true but someone once told me that when you leave their site(once they know you are you) they don't realize you are coming back at all. "They say" until they are about 12 months.