I am a stay-at-home mom living in a neighborhood where many children are cared for by nannies. I interact more with these women, during the work week, than I do with other moms. They are the ones I see at the playground or at the library. My perception of myself as a mother has been shaped more by nannies than the so-called “mommy wars.” Any shame I have felt is rarely because of other mothers, and, despite what the Internet will have you believe, I find we are genuinely supportive of one another.
I do feel judged by nannies. I feel many of them believe they are better at caring for children simply because they have done it longer. I feel many of them just don’t like me for no reason at all. However, this post is not about those nannies. I decided to forgo the mean-spirited approach and instead focus on the childcare providers who have shown me kindness. To those women (and men), I say, thank you.
Thank you for helping to gather up the spilled contents of my diaper bag, while I try to calm a screaming toddler.
Thank you for smiling at me when you see me playing with my child.
Thank you for saying hello to me at the playground.
Thank you for letting your charge play with my son.
Thank you for offering encouraging words when I am questioning whether I am a good mother.
Thank you for keeping your feelings about your boss from clouding your perception of all parents.
Thank you for telling me it gets easier if I am having a hard day.
Thank you for understanding that we both want the same thing: to protect our children and help them thrive in a difficult world.
Thank you for acknowledging me as a mother.