How To Tell If You’re Too Dependent On Your Nanny

I had a nanny for several years and she was awesome. Having someone on payroll allowed me to work from home and start my career as a parenting expert. When my kids went off to school full time, I had to let our beloved nanny go, which was difficult because she was an integral part of our family.

But sometimes there is a blurry boundary between what nannies provide in a family and our roles and responsibilities as parents. Wonderfully loved and competent nannies are desirable, but it also means we are more likely to rely on them too much.

Previously on HuffPost:

After all, the kids are having a good time and being looked after, while you’re able to go about your business. But without being aware, we can accidentally slide down a slippery slope until we are so dependent on our nannies that instead of providing much needed family help, we allow the presence of a nanny to deteriorate how healthy families should function.

So, to help you avoid this, here are six signs you have fallen into the nanny dependency rabbit hole:

You’re secretly jealous of the nanny

You may find yourself experiencing unpleasant feelings of jealousy because the nanny seems to be emotionally closer to your children and their friends and teachers than you are. You may begin to feel like an outsider to your own family.

This feeling, while understandable, is not healthy, so if you do feel jealous, ask yourself what can be done to get rid of these feelings in a healthy manner. It may be that you’re not spending as much time with the kids as you want to, and while this is perfectly normal and fine, it may mean that you should try to spend a bit more quality time with your little ones instead of relying on the nanny to be there all the time.

Your kids aren’t learning to be independent and responsible

If your school-aged children still expect someone to clear their plate from the table, or hang up their coats after they dump them on the floor, it could be that they are still reliant on the care their nanny provides.

Rather than letting this happen (after all, it’s not fair for the nanny nor for the kids), as parents we should be taking this time to educate them on managing their responsibilities on their own. We all want our kids to grow up to be self-sufficient and thoughtful.

You have to consult your nanny about everything

If you have to ask for a lot personal information about your children, like what they want for their birthday, if they like chocolate or vanilla cake, and who to invite to their party, you may be a bit too dependent on the nanny. These are questions a nanny should be asking you, not the other way around.

You’re debating hiring a second nanny for the baby that is due

Believe me — you do not need to have one nanny per child in the household. Unless you are royalty or Beyoncé, your children can absolutely share a nanny.

One of the most important lessons a child can learn is that when others are busy they need to be a team player and wait while other peoples’ needs are being met. This can easily be learnt when a child has to share a nanny with a sibling.

It’s time to re-think how much care our children really need and by whom.

You haven’t done a chore with a child in tow for a long time

When exactly was the last time you were inconvenienced by the presence of your kids and didn’t hand them off to the nanny? Let’s face it, doing the grocery shopping is faster without a kid in tow. Yes, it’s much easier to leave the kids behind and head out solo, however, we can’t ditch the kids for efficiency reasons every single time you need to be out and about.

The reality is, you have kids and life doesn’t run as smoothly as when you were childless — but that is what you signed up for.

The reality is, you have kids and life doesn’t run as smoothly as when you were childless — but that is what you signed up for.

You haven’t played with your child, had a meal with them, or been home for tuck-ins in a long time

If all your information about your kids has come from updates from the nanny instead of from actually making time to create a parent-child memory, this is a cause for concern and a sure sign of dependency.

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Author: Alyson Schafer