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10 Reasons I’m Happier Without a Nanny

I’ll admit I was smug. Our darling nanny, Maria, was the best and I knew it. She was so good that friends tried to nanny-steal her from us on multiple occasions. A model employee, she was a catch who took great care of our entire family. As far as a mom-proxy goes, I couldn’t have been happier. And so for the 3.5 years she was with us, our relationship was wonderful. Thankfully, it still is.

But earlier this year, Maria had to take some time off to deal with a health issue. What started as six weeks off turned into four months off, which turned into more months of her not being able to come to work. Initially, I didn’t replace her, thinking that six weeks wasn’t a big deal and I could manage my work schedule and the kids. And when every week of her being off turned into another week of her being off, I found myself in a groove. I was exhausted. But I had found a way to do both: parent and work. And by the end of the four months, I was starting to like being with the kids more and not being responsible for one more person.

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But when Maria was ready to come back to work again, we welcomed her with open arms and were happy to have her back. She’d been a part of our family for the past 3 ½ years and honestly, I wasn’t sure I could handle the schedule of the kids and work long term without help. I’d always had anxiety about being solely responsible for the day-to-day of my kids’ lives, yet now I relished it.

As the weeks went on, I noticed a change in my kids and in myself. We missed each other. I missed them. With Maria back, life was definitely easier and less hectic, but something was missing. So with heavy hearts, my husband and I decided to let Maria go. With both kids in school, we just didn’t need the amount of help we’d needed before.

It’s now been a few months without a nanny. As a working parent, it’s taking some getting used to. My days are lengthy and nighttime is no longer a time to relax. It’s a time to finish my work. And yet, I find myself happier doing both. Here’s why:

1. The Money!

Childcare is expensive and I often silently debated my income v. my nanny’s. My husband and I work hard, but we don’t have endless resources. It’s nice to know my income is going toward my family’s expenses and saving, rather than to pay someone else.

2. The Drama!

Even the easiest employee has issues. It’s to be expected. But moms, working or not, are busy. We want to deal with our kids' issues, not anybody else’s.

3. I Know What to Expect From My Day

My days are jam-packed, and every day goes at a fast pace, but I know what to expect from my day. I’m not planning my day around someone who may get sick or get a flat tire or anything else that may be in or out of her control.

If I can be there, I’m there. They can count on it.

4. I Don’t Have to Get Info on My Kids Second-Hand

Even getting info from the best reporter sometimes feels like you’re playing a game of Telephone. So I’m enjoying hearing from my kids' teachers directly and knowing exactly who they’re playing with and where.

5. I’m Not Responsible for Someone’s Income

My husband and I always try to treat anyone who helps with our kids like any business would treat an employee. That means holidays off, vacation days and raises. But my husband and I aren’t a business and being someone’s source of income can, at times, be daunting.

6. When My Kids Aren’t Home, No One Else Is in the House

Anyone else miss being alone in your house? I do. Now, when my kids are in school I get to be home alone. It’s fabulous!

7. I Can Walk Around Naked

I don’t, but I can. It’s fabulous!

8. Homework Gets Done Earlier

With a nanny, I’d have to wait to do homework until she had left for the day. That meant I often had to do the “battle of the homework” with a very tired kid. Now we can do it whenever he wants. Actually, we can do it whenever I want. Even better.

9. I Don’t Have to Miss My Kids' Milestones

Actually, I do have to miss some of my kids’ milestone if they both have something happening at the same time. But if I can be there, I’m there. They can count on it.

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10. Busy People Get More Done

Admittedly, I was only able to let my nanny go because I work a flexible schedule and don’t have to report to an office. If I worked 9-5, not having childcare would be impossible. But since I don’t, it’s possible. And I’m getting everything done somehow!

Now before you go thinking about letting your nanny go, don’t think everything is perfect. My floors are in desperate need of a sweep and I fold laundry while the kids eat dinner. I’m driving across town all the time, making me the worst paid Uber driver on the planet. And if you think my kids are getting amazing home-cooked meals every night, think again. My time is spoken for and cooking doesn’t always fit in. But no one seems to mind.

Image via Getty Images

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