Ashley & Brielle at the park during a work-day!
My husband and I never actually weighed the pros and cons of having a nanny vs. placing Brielle in daycare. As two working professionals with long hours, we knew we weren’t organized enough to have her in daycare. The thought of packing her bottles and food and clothes and having her ready for the day at the same time we were leaving, was simply daunting. So just before I went back to work, we hired our nanny. She quickly became part of a well-oiled machine. She and Brielle fell in love (which I love), and it made my mornings so “easy.” She would walk in at 8:00 AM, and I would walk out by 8:30 AM. We had it down to a science.
Until the day our nanny's mother called and to tell me she was in the emergency room and wouldn’t be able to work that day. It was a beautiful day in June, and I had no court appearances on my calendar, so I embraced it. I called out sick, and Brielle and I went to the park with some of our friends. We enjoyed a picnic lunch and I joked with my husband that I could get used to this lifestyle. The next day, our nanny was still in the hospital. I managed to rearrange a few things, and I stayed home again. This day wasn’t so sunny, and Brielle wanted no part of her nap. (I was also feeling like she wanted no part of being home with mommy). We had what I will call a somewhat difficult day, resulting in a few power struggles over her eating and sleeping.
She won them all, of course.
I had to stay home for the next three days after that while our nanny remained in the hospital. (She is thankfully recovered, healthy and back at work now). I loved that I got to experience every minute of Brielle’s day, watch her face light up when she learned something new, and know what she ate and when she slept without asking anyone else. However, by the end of day four, I was ready to call for back-up. I couldn’t figure out how to get anything accomplished other than during the brief time she was napping. (IF she was napping). The laundry. A shower. Target. Anything.
Seriously, how do you stay-at-home moms do it? At least while I am at work, I can take a quick break and run an errand. I can eat lunch with two hands. I can go to the bathroom without leaving the door open. I had no idea how valuable my day-to-day routine was.
It’s been said so many times, but I think it’s time we quit comparing the working mom gig and the stay-at-home mom gig. Every single day we are all facing our own challenges, and at the same time, there are intangible benefits to both. For now, I am thrilled that our nanny is back and our well-oiled machine continues to run. For the next time we experience a slight setback: who wants to meet me for a picnic lunch (with drinks)?
Ashley Vallillo Manzi lives in Hoboken with her husband and one year old daughter. She is a family law attorney with Ziegler Zemsky & Resnick. With focus on prenuptial agreements, divorce, alimony & child custody, Ashley sees her role as "helping someone arrive at a new beginning." On the weekends, Greg, Brielle, and Ashley love to go out for brunch, playing in Church Square Park, or chasing the birds along Sinatra Drive. With lots of friends and family (her siblings live here too!) this family is always on the go.