I’m not sure what our reaction is supposed to be to the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be hiring a part-time nanny to help with the royal baby when s/he enters the world next year.
Though insiders tell Us Weekly that Prince William and the former Kate Middleton “want to be as hands-on as possible” when it comes to raising the heir to the British throne, they’ll need someone to pitch in when they’re attending to their official duties.
So are we meant to be smirking and saying, “Oh, sure – like they were ever going to go it alone”? As if we really expected the Duchess to wear a baby sling when greeting foreign dignitaries, or excuse herself from the Wimbledon finals so she can change a poopy nappy.
Or should we be seething with envy that they can afford to bring in the best child-care help in the world, when we ourselves have trouble scraping together $10 an hour for the teen sitter down the block?
Here’s a better idea: Why don’t we quietly applaud the Duke and Duchess for acknowledging what the rest of us parents already know – raising a child is a team effort?
Children are wonderful, miraculous, inquisitive little people. They also take a huge chunk out of their parents’ time, energy and resources (both financial and emotional). Even the most devoted at-home parent craves a little space and personal time every so often to recharge so s/he can come back to the darlings with renewed devotion.
Once upon a time, solo child-rearing was a rarity. Tribal communities and multigenerational households ensured that kids were watched by a close-knit team of family and friends. Now it’s a point of pride to take an all-by-myself approach. Hire a sitter for a night out? How selfish! Let Grandma watch the kids? Why burden her when the kids are my job?
Maybe Kate can become a role model for all the moms who feel a twinge of shame for working outside the home, as well as for those who stay home but long for an afternoon that doesn’t involve Play-Doh and Doc McStuffins. Let’s watch her cuddling her baby in the nursery and playing catch on the grounds of Kensington Palace – but let’s also watch her hand the little Prince or Princess over to a loving nanny as she goes to raise money for charity or bring comfort to needy people across the globe.
She’ll also be teaching her child an important lesson: It’s okay to ask for help.
What do you think? Is it okay for the royal couple to have a nanny?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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