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While at work during the day, I love to get texts from my
nanny with updates about my kids’ activities or a cute picture of them smiling
during lunch. But the middle of the
night text from my nanny gave me pause, because I knew it was unlikely to
include a picture of my kids or a funny thing they said. As I read her text I didn’t know whether to
laugh or cry.
I couldn’t tell whether she was mad or amused or
afraid. I only knew that I was sweating
profusely at the thought that she had read some of the things I had written
about her, even though we have a good relationship and I didn’t think there was
anything “bad.” For the rest of the night, I berated myself for not seeing this
coming. I mean, I’m not the Pioneer
Woman, but anyone with a wireless connection and a computer can find me. In my head I scrolled through all the posts
that featured my anonymous nanny and wondered how offensive or wrong she
thought it was.
I knew I never meant to hurt her, but nevertheless, she was understandably skittish about the way in which I process relationships.
It wasn't that she was upset exactly. But she was concerned. She had seen this post and was worried that I might one day write a post about something that bothered me instead of talking directly to her. And I could see her point. In the past, I had avoided confrontation about matters that made their way to my blog. She was understandably worried that I might air our dirty laundry on the world wide web.
Funny, I often worried that prospective employers might find
my blog and wonder about my sanity, civility, judgment—or all three. Every so often, I would clean up my language
and tone down my snark just in case one day I decide to run for public office
or work for a high-security organization. I never, however, considered how it might feel for someone I had hired
to find my words.
My nanny and I had a long talk about the things I’ve written
on my blog—some of which are about her and some of them are about other
caretakers we have worked with. I heard
her out and commenced a deep soul searching. I knew I never meant to hurt her, but nevertheless, she was
understandably skittish about the way in which I process relationships: very
publicly and very much through my own one-sided vantage point.
While the details and full outcome of our discussion are
private (because I’ve learned my lesson!), I have made changes to how I think
about what I write about the people I entrust to care for my children. They deserve my respect and their own privacy
as much as they deserve that paycheck at the end of the week.