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Stay-At-Home Mom Asks If She'd Be 'Selfish' To Hire A Nanny For Her 2-Year-Old So She Can Pursue Her Hobbies

Photo: Fernanda Greppe / Unsplash 
stay-at-home mom and child

Parenting can be an isolating endeavor, especially when your kids are young. It can feel like your whole world revolves around them, with little time to tend to your own needs.

One mom wrote to the r/parenting subreddit wondering if she was wrong for seeking out one specific way to take care of herself.

The stay-at-home mom asked if she’d be ‘selfish’ to hire a nanny for her 2-year-old so she could have time for her hobbies.

She explained that she’s been in a full-time, stay-at-home parenting role for almost all of her toddler’s life, writing, “I had had no break since birth except for three or so months when I managed to go regularly to the gym.”

She credited regular exercise with helping her get physically in shape, boosting her serotonin levels, and improving her mood. Her husband cared for their son in the morning so that she could work out until it became “too difficult” to balance it with his work schedule. 

RELATED: Woman Says Her Husband Won't Let Her Be A Stay-At-Home Mom, Despite Him Making $975K A Year

The anonymous mom lives in Ireland, while her own mother and other family members live in a different country. She shared that her mother-in-law “has no interest” in helping with childcare, and neither her father nor her father-in-law are in the picture. 

She said that she’d only ask her friends for help in an emergency, and her husband works long hours, making her the primary parent with almost no outside support.

   

   

She looked into daycare, yet because of a national insurance crisis, there weren’t any open spots, and the wait time was up to two years. 

The responses that the mom received on Reddit were wholeheartedly in favor of her hiring a nanny as a stay-at-home mom. 

One person declared that the decision wasn’t at all selfish because a “happy, healthy mom makes for a happier, healthier family.” Another person told her that hiring a nanny is selfish "but not in a bad way."

“You have the right to think of your own well-being, too,” they continued. “If you keep denying your own needs, physical or mental, you could get bitter, overwhelmed, [and] depressed… So taking care of yourself helps you to take care of your child.” 

Stay-At-Home Mom Asks If She'd Be Selfish To Hire A Nanny For Her 2-Year-Old So She Can Pursue Her HobbiesPhoto: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Another parent shared the perspective they’d gained after years of staying at home with their kids, writing, “I tell all new stay-at-home parents that if I went back in time, I’d hire some childcare just for me.”

“It’s not ok to put all your interests on hold for years and years on end,” they said. “There’s such a thing as too much sacrifice.”

RELATED: Stay-At-Home Mom With A Full-Time Nanny Shares What She Does All Day & Why She Needs Help While Her Husband Works

All too often, women are expected to give all of themselves to motherhood without asking for anything in return.

Telling moms they’re superheroes for taking everything on is a demeaning and damaging narrative, one that ultimately denies women any agency or identity that’s separate from being a mom.

As one wise person advised, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes, we have to buy our village, and that’s okay.”

   

   

Another commenter also invoked the idea of needing a village to raise a child, saying, “One way that a village works is by allowing moms to be their own people.”

“Some people get a village built in, some people pay for one," they continued. "The latter is no less valid.”

Part of raising well-adjusted children comes from parents modeling the ways they care for themselves, which includes taking time alone to decompress and reset. The expectation that parents, especially moms, should leave themselves behind once they have kids leads to feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. 

Being a present, mindful parent is rooted in showing up for your children, showing up for yourself, and giving yourself the love and care you need to be your most nourished self. 

RELATED: Even The Best Mothers Get Overwhelmed — How To Survive When You Feel Trapped

Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.