We are Catholic moms who follow the basic tenets of Attachment Parenting. We are different personalities; we're not clones, so you should see some varying opinions on different subjects. Join us as we continue on this exciting ride known as Catholic Mothering!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What a sad story...

I have recently finished reading the book "White House Nannies" by Barbara Kline. I'd read about the book somewhere online in a blog, and found it in our local library system by checking the online catalog.

It was a pretty quick read, maybe one night's worth of reading. I routinely plow through books pretty quickly, and this was very easy to read.

However, it was also very difficult to read. The world she writes of is not unknown to me; I used to live in DC back in the 80's. As a young single woman, my cares were not about childcare or nannies or balancing work and family. However, I became close friends with a family through my parish with little children and took on the role of "big sister" and babysitter. I even went on a vacation with them with the understanding I could help with the kids, and they'd go out to dinner a couple of times alone.

May I just say that this is a very depressing experience of parenthood? I submit to you, that for all the influences and wealth (it ain't cheap to hire a nanny) and opportunities these children will have because of their family background, they suffer from a lack of influence by their parents. Sadly, they will probably never realize what they should have had, nor will the parents completely realize what they've lost.

These parents have traded the natural parent/child bond for their careers. I personally believe their priorities are very mixed up, and I feel very sorry for these children whose lives are managed by a succession of one nanny after another, instead of by their parents. The dysfunction present in some of these families is almost unbelievable, and yet you know it is true. We see the fruit of all this around us, in the children influenced by this upbringing, in the parents who see children as just another accessory in a "glamourous" life.

It makes me very grateful for my own upbringing, and convinces me that the choices I have made will have long reaching consequences for my own children. And it also makes me incredibly grateful that I didn't buy into the lifestyle I witnessed myself 20 years ago in DC.