Tricky business. Kids are usually with mom. Not always. In my own family’s divorce my siblings live with my dad. Depending on where kids are, the parent they live with is usually a little more together emotionally or financially (hopefully both) than the parent they see on weekends/every other weekend.
And with divorces come feelings: pent up anger, frustration, resentment, remorse, loneliness, misunderstanding, lack of control ~ among many others
There’s no such thing as a healthy divorce. Divorce is the division of a family. Life changes 100fold as soon as two parents split. Dad no longer makes kids their lunches or watches them after school when he works at home. Mom doesn’t even know what lunches the kids like, and doesn’t have time to cater to kids after school. Dad is no longer at home. He lives somewhere else. It smells weird. His favorite shows aren’t heard on the television. The twang of his guitar is not recognized flowing from the living room anymore. You don’t hear his familiar cough down the hallway.
Everything about a kids’ world changes when divorce happens. Kids have lots of feelings about the divorce and don’t always channel them in productive manners. This can make a nanny’s job very hard, especially at the beginning stages of a divorce.
Often times, nannies will only communicate with one parent: the weekly parent that has hired them. The parent that the kids live with the majority of the time. Parent #2, weekend parent, gets thwarted. He or she isn’t filled in about their kids’ going-ons. They receive the shaft of the details. They may find out that their kids are experiencing new things when the details are no longer relevant. Parent #2 miss out on their children’s lives. They sometimes grow to resent their kids’ nanny.
<< & Don’t get me wrong. Every divorce is different. Some parents split because parent #2 doesn’t properly care for their children or show their desire to be with their children. This article highlights other cases of divorce, in which both parents long for their children, and have to suffer the pains of separation. >>
Now, why shouldn’t parent #2 resent nanny?
Their kids’ nanny spends way more time with their kids than they do. The nanny raises their child and watches them grow. They teach the child new games, new recipes, and how to do things more efficiently.
So the resentment grows. And twists. And sometimes is underlying parent #2’s reactions and responses to when nanny is brought up by children. And children begin to question nanny’s authority and intelligence. And child starts to defy nanny by siding with parent #2.
So there’s that.
Then theirs the whole children-dealing-with-emotions-from-divorce factor. Where each kid has his or her own way of dealing with the sadness and confusion experienced from mom or dad not being around anymore. Some kids cry over every glass of spilled milk. Some kids go from zero to ten on the anger scale in 5 seconds. Both scenarios are hard. And the nanny sees and deals with these emotions every day that she works.
A nanny is essentially a third parent. Someone to care for, look after, teach, listen and love the children that they’re responsible for. Nannies are special people that require extra-special training. Nannies always have to be on top of their game, and never lose their cool or show if they’re overwhelmed. Nannies have to remember that kids are going to have tantrums, parents are going to have fights, and families will never be perfect. Especially in times of divorce!
To all nannies, babysitters, and parents alike, cheers to long days, hard work, and bright futures!