Have you been parenting by proxy? Opting out? Taking the easy road? Luxuriating in the comfortable, air-conditioned surrounds of the office? Partaking in spontaneous slices of orange-and-poppy seed cake for the IT Manager’s birthday? Wallowing in endless trips to the barista downstairs for a double-shot latte?
All the while someone else does the hard yards with your kids? Are you guilty?
Have you been popping into the supermarket on the way home – to buy such delicacies as toilet paper and fresh bread? How about a bag of pre-cut carrots, much needed night nappies and a couple of kinder surprises to assuage your guilt – instead of rushing for the bus and bolting from your stop, desperate to get home for bath time?
Have you been letting a nanny take the heavy load while you spend all your time earning money? Then shame on you. You’ve been outed. You’ve been shamed for not caring about your very own flesh and blood.
You’ve been told in no uncertain terms to get your priorities straight. Feeding your kids and paying the bills doesn’t count if you can’t be bothered to make the Term One Kindergarten Mother’s Morning Tea.
The very nannies that you trusted to do your parenting have turned, revealing all in a News Limited exposé on how time poor parents are failing in their duties, leaving their nannies to pick up the slack.
The Australian Nanny Association has said that with the rise in two-parent working families, many activities traditionally filled by parents are being increasingly filled by nannies. This might include things like attending school meetings, homework supervision, packing lunches and ferrying kids to multiple activities.
Melbourne nanny Alice Vandersteen told The Herald Sun, “I do know of nannies that have done the parent interviews at schools. The one I went to was a ten minute update of how the child is going, how they are fitting in and general behaviour, which I relayed to the family.”
You outsourced the coconut ice for the cake stand? How very well could you?
If anyone bothered to talk to parents who actually sent a nanny to a teacher interview, a sports carnival or a doctors appointment ,they’d find that the parents weren’t trying to opt out, they actually didn’t have a choice.
Work commitments are sometimes unavoidable. Bosses get sick, deadlines get extended and shifts get scheduled for times you simply cannot change
But Victoria Principals Association president, Gabrielle Leigh, told the newspaper that she didn’t think it was appropriate and was “horrified” by the idea. Are you as horrified as she is? Let’s hope not because in reality, it’s not really that big a deal is it?
WATCH: It's not just parents with nannies. How else have things changed at schools since we were young? Post continues after video...
Kid are adaptable and flexible. If you can’t go to the swimming carnival and instead sent Gran and Granddad, your child will survive.
If an unavoidable work meeting meant you missed the odd parent teacher interview and you had to send a nanny, then at least you had the foresight to send someone. Many many parents don’t even bother to show up.
On the whole ‘parents avoid such events because they don’t want to go’, they don’t go because sh*t happens and they can’t, not because they don’t want to be there.
And let’s face it if you WERE going to parent by proxy, it wouldn’t be school teacher interviews you’d would outsource would it? There are many, MANY things I would prioritise over that like, lets see…
- Dealing with a three-year-old who has dropped a much longed for scoop of soft serve ice-cream from Mr Whippy straight onto the sand.
- Negotiating screen time with a six-year-old dead set on playing Minecraft until he drops.
- Pushing child number one on a swing over and over and over again on a Saturday afternoon in an overcrowded park with child number two on repeat demanding, “Its’ my turn NOW.”
- Trying to channel Martha Stewart when your five-year-old requests the highest, fluffiest, chocolatiest hat for the Easter Hat parade.
Now those are time I would happily parent by proxy.
Have you been parenting by proxy?