I love Patrick and Lilly more than life. Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time has (hopefully) picked up on that. Those kids are amazing, and wonderful, and special, and have a huge chunk of my heart.
Which is why it pisses me off when I have to work extra-hard to get any sort of respect for being with them. Some people see nannies as hard-working and giving. I like to think of myself as both; thank you all. But there are so many people I encounter who make snap judgments when they learn I'm not the "real mom."
1- People assume their real mother doesn't care about them all that much. That couldn't be further from the truth. She's the kind of woman who couldn't stay at home 24/7 without going crazy; she's very successful in her career, but that in no way means she does not or cannot love her kids. She's obsessed with them. I send her pictures and quotes during the day. She spends her entire evenings and weekends going places and doing things with them, because she wants to.
2- People assume I don't care about them all that much. Personally, I couldn't be a nanny and not feel connected to the kids. Their mom mentioned once that one of her friends was worried her new nanny would get "too close" to her kids, and my twins' mom just stared at her. "If I'm not the one there with my kids," she told me later, "I want it to be someone who's going to love them as much as I do." And I have no choice in the matter. A person can't spend every weekday with two kids, shepherding them from 22 months to 3 1/2 years and beyond, without getting attached. So don't even imply that I'm in this for the money, or because it's "easy."
3- People assume the kids are neglected. Um, no.
4- People assume I'm not as invested as a parent would be. Again, no, and see above.
Sometimes I feel like their mom, their dad, and I are a triad of parenting. I wouldn't phrase it this way to them, because I always try to be careful not to infringe on what are truly their parental rights, but the feeling remains. Their mom consults me before most major decisions. We talk together about how to approach Lilly's tantrums and Patrick's hatred of real fruit.
For people who have a nanny to make it work, they have to include her up to and possibly even beyond the point where she is an equal. If more parents knew this, and more people knew it in general, I'd get a lot less pissy sometimes. (And, of course, it's all about me.)