Nanny Captures Baby's First Steps, Sweetly Tries To Pretend It's New Information To Spare Mom's Feelings
Being a working parent is difficult enough. Sometimes, parents feel like they're supposed to work like they don't have kids and raise kids like they don't work. It's an impossible standard.
And you know what adds to the guilt? Missing out on some of those special firsts, like words and steps. One parent recently opened up about this experience on Reddit.
It's so special watching your child master new skills, but the couple's excitement faded fast.
"Our nanny, bless her, is a terrible actress," the Redditor continued. "She tried to be excited, but I could tell she's seen this before."
The silver lining? The original poster (OP) was actually OK with the whole ordeal.
"With my first, I would've absolutely died if anyone saw his first steps, but she's #2, and I'm not as crushed as I expected to be," the OP finished.
Other Redditors chimed in. Some commended the nanny.
"Kudos to your nanny for trying," one replied.
"That's sweet [that] she tried to pretend she didn't already see it. I was gearing up for your post to read about how angry and upset you were, and what a relief to see that you are handling it so well," commented another.
Though it's great the OP is cool with the situation, it's also understandable if she wasn't, though. One person admitted she probably would have had a different reaction.
"I'm on #2, and I'd be crushed. You're stronger than [I am]. Congrats on baby's first steps, though," one Redditor said.
"When my oldest was an infant, she was at the point where she was going to roll over any day. I carried a camera with me all the time to try to capture it…One day, my mortgage lady called. I walked out of the room to grab a pen, came back in, and my daughter had rolled over for the first time while I was out of the room. The poor mortgage lady had no idea what was going on when I burst into tears," admitted another.
Parents of all walks of life have felt this pain, even those who look like they have it all. In 2018, tennis superstar Serena Williams admitted she cried when she missed her daughter's first steps. And Anna Farris has admitted she sometimes struggles with working mom guilt.
The U.S. is the only developed nation without a federal paid family leave policy, and one professor recently called it the "most family-hostile public policy of any country in the western industrialized world."
Though none of these work-life balance tips are a replacement for paid family leave, you may find them helpful.
- Ask for help. Society often expects working parents to move from being professionals in the boardroom to a silly bath time monitor within an hour. That can cause major whiplash. Communicating with a partner, if applicable, or boss about how they can best support you can help lighten the load.
- Let go. Sometimes we're our own biggest critics. We're told we can "have it all," and we expect to be attentive parents, partners, and employees. But you can't give every task your all. You're going to be late to work if your kid has a tough drop-off on the first day of pre-school. Your train may get delayed, so you may miss bedtime. You're not an incompetent worker or parent. Be nice to yourself.
- Take time off. Parents don't necessarily get to go home, flip on Netflix, and chill. When the workday ends, the work is really only beginning. But taking a moment to breathe or asking a partner to handle child care so you can go for a walk can help you keep perspective on your busy life.
Being a working parent is tough and sometimes heartbreaking. The lack of support for families in the U.S. doesn't help at all. But remember: If you're doing the best you can, that's enough—regardless of what anyone else thinks.