Are we parents yet?

The Clements’ IVF Journey

Fail-parenting April 7, 2009

Filed under: General thoughts — Aria @ 10:33 pm

Is this really necessary?


This is a toddler bed. For $75,000. Each of the wheels is crafted from 100 individual pieces of wood. Hand-carved, hand-tapered, hand-beveled, and the fabric is all silk.

Kids who are nothing more than status symbols get stuff like this and end up like Audrey, the girl who got a brand-spanking new $76,000-Lexus for her 16th birthday, then proceeded to throw a hissy fit and scream and cry that she hated her mother and her mother ruined everything and it’s “not really the car I wanted anyway” – because she got it on a day before her birthday instead of at the party. Audrey’s mom failed as a parent. Period. Any kid that snotty and spoiled means the parents failed. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I was chatting with a friend today about people who have kids then pass them off to other people, which is sadly common in this area. Children are a status symbols, nothing more. How else can you explain this ad for a family looking for a “soft-spoken Mary Poppins type” with “All immunizations” (that’s actually listed), among other things, to be the latest collectible “Prada nanny” in this “a multi-staffed, household in Portola Valley” (the comma is there in the ad). The “Responsibilities include everything pertaining to the children, including driving, playing, dressing, feeding, light cooking or warming up food.” That is correct. Everything. But wait! That’s not all!! (You knew more was coming, like a late-night infomercial you can’t stop watching, maybe Billy Mayes, or that Vince-Sham-Wow guy.) They also want this whipping-girl, I mean, nanny, to double as an assistant. “And the assistant portion includes grocery shopping, gift buying, returning items, Internet research, buying on-line, bill paying, children’s parties coordination, photocoping, wrapping presents, etc.

Paying their bills?  All their shopping, from on-line stuff to gifts to groceries?!  And there’s the lovely etcetera at the end.  This is two full-time jobs wrapped into one 40-hour work week.  There’s a reason why parenting is tiring, and that’s because you do all this yourself, but you also have more than 40 hours to do it and usually the other parent to share in the domestic side of things as well as the child-rearing responsibilities.

This family is looking for a “second mom” to “assist” a “stay-at-home mom“. But I want to know what this “stay-at-home mom” is doing all day if the “second mom’s” “Responsibilities include:
Offer loving, attentive childcare
Take children to parks, libraries, museums, classes, school, …
Prepare healthy meals
Perform light housekeeping (kitchen clean-up, laundry) and errands

So the person they hire will be attending to the needs of the children, running the 4yo and 20-month-old to school and classes (whatever happened to letting children be children?), cooking for them, and cleaning.  Pardon me if I’m overlooking something here, but what’s really left for the mom to do?

I know parenting is hard work, but what’s the point of having children if they’re just going to be handed off to someone else for everything even when one of the parents is a “stay-at-home mom?  Why is the parent at home having a part in the actual raising of the children instead of hiring a full-time nanny to do it all?  It’s one thing to have help that is just help, and another when someone else is responsible for every aspect of the child-rearing (and even running of the household).   I’m not talking about families where both parents MUST work.  No, these are families where one person doesn’t work to begin with and still hires someone to raise the kids.

If anyone were to tell me I had to hand my children off for 40 hours a week, I’d but the hand that tries to take them.  Cody and I are having them, and that means WE will raise them.


6 Responses to “Fail-parenting”

  1. materix01 Says:

    Reminds me of the parenting of nobility in the past. Where the mother had little to do with her children. Still, I guess I can understand some of the ads. Sometimes you can be very busy with your career and you don’t have enough time to do some of the things you want to do. I survived on microwave meals and cared for myself most of the time between the ages of 8-17…

  2. xyneshia Says:

    Actually, I got my daughter that bed when she was three, it was totally worth the money. Also, I am the one who placed the ad. Stop judging me! LOL

  3. psychohist Says:

    What gets me about that picture is that the bed is outdoors. You don’t really want to leave silk out in the rain. I also wonder if it comes with horses (transformed from mice) to pull it.

    I guess it keeps woodworkers employed.

    I will say that it can be difficult in some circumstances to raise children on a single income, any more. Some of us are pretty much forced to hand off the kid for 40 hours a week, and make do with the other 128 hours.

  4. Aria Says:

    Materix, Psych,

    There’s a difference between having to use day care because both people have to work, and being a “stay-at-home mom” hiring someone else come in to do all the work of cooking, feeding, teaching, etc., for the children. If you’re able to afford to be home all day, what’s the point of hiring a full-time nanny unless you just don’t want to do the work of raising the kids? These are single-income homes that can afford multi-person staffs to take care of the home and kids so that the spouse/parent staying home doesn’t have to.

  5. armywife1996 Says:

    Devil’s advocate….what if that were Andrea Yates who’d place that ad? I think we’d all be in agreement that hiring a nanny would have been better than drowning her kids 😦

    I have 4 kids, and I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 12 years. When they were all 7 and under, I would have loved a nanny some days to just get a break, or to have time to spend one on one with each child.

    The ad says stay-at-home mom, could be she does work from home, could be she’s handicapped, or it could indeed be laziness.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts 🙂

  6. Aria Says:

    Andrea Yates shouldn’t have had children if she wasn’t stable. Kids aren’t a game. If you can’t car for them, don’t have them.

    Also, in this area, having a stay-at-home wife and a full-time nanny (as opposed to a day or two a week so mom can spend one-on-one time) to raise the kids are seen as status symbols. I guarantee it’s laziness. Here, mom who works at home is called a work-at-home mom.

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