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Old 10-23-2010, 11:06 PM   #81
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We are straying away from the OP's distressed post, but all this talk about nannies makes me itchy to chime in.

There are some countries that allow nannies to be "imported" from poor third-world countries. That takes care of the affordability problem, compared to having to hire indigenous nannies. When I first heard that, I thought that was a wonderful economic exchange. The foreign nannies get paid a higher wage than what they can get in their native countries, and their employers get some relief from domestic chores.

Alas, there is always the other side of the coin. I then learned of abuse of nannies. As nannies are female (ever heard of a male nanny?), as you can guess it, the abuse is sexual in nature. A friend of mine who took a job assignment abroad in a country who shall be unnamed here told of rich people hiring nannies as a way to get a harem.
You ever heard of a boss who is having an affair with his secretary? Or his secretary's best friend? Anecdotal stories like that only cloud the issue. You are missing a much larger point: Hiring a housekeeper should be something that the average American family should be able to do because their are so many people in this world who need the money.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:17 PM   #82
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Women are born to be care-givers and nurturing.
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Oh great, one of those.
Is that how far we've come with woman's liberation? Now, there it is wrong to recognize that woman are different than men is some respects? Good thing we can't totally hide our sexual organs, or people would be denying women have breasts and men have....

Great Khan, with an avatar like yours, I would think you would be the first to recognize at least some innate differences between man and woman, other than physical differences.

Have we really diluded ourselves that far where we ignore the fact that kids will, by first choice, run to the Mom for a big hug to feel nurtured? And that Dad is the one who must speak sternly to a child when s/he needs to be corrected?
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:34 AM   #83
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This depends entirely on your definition of higher-income. I know plenty of families with help. Not many cooks or chauffeurs, but plenty have weekly housekeeping crews, nannies, yard men, etc.

Clearly way more could afford this in Indonesia or Viet Nam, but it is common in the US too.

Ha
Ok, let's use some hard numbers: Minimum wage= $8 per hour. Hours worked per month: 176. Gross salary= $1400 per month. Minus: Room rental=$500/month. Cost of food=$200/month. Other benefits provided (cell, electric, insurance, clothes, etc.)=$200/month. Net salary to housekeeper=$500 per month.

Out of pocket expenses to you= $750 per month (assuming your costs are lower because insurance, food, etc are part of overall family cost package).

Now this is all legal and tidy. Your housekeeper, we will assume is on-contract from a Indonesia or Vietnam (just because I know prices there). They will be trained in English, American customs, passport, visa, and transportation (cost all taken out of the housekeeper's salary.)

In their home country, the minimum wage is $60 per month... someone working in manufacturing can be paid $150 per month.

Now you tell me if those figures don't make most people happy. On a 2 year contract, the housekeeper can send back home $10,000 (assuming $2000 for the contract agency). This is enough to buy an acre of farm land (or more), and a 3 room brick house with well and electricity. That's a darn good start in life for a young person in a 3rd world country.

You pay $750/month out of pocket expenses per year for a full-time maid and housekeeper. That ALONE is cheaper than most daycare centers.

Of course, you can't do this now because it is illegal. I give you these numbers because there are willing workers, and willing employers in the US that would love a maid. Economically, it is quite feasible. For some reason, Congress doesn't like that idea... so we all must run in the rat-race that much faster. (Or hire an illegal Hispanic).
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:55 AM   #84
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A friend of mine who took a job assignment abroad in a country who shall be unnamed here told of rich people hiring nannies as a way to get a harem.
I met a young, pretty nanny from France who was working in the U.S. as a way to experience the country. I don't know how many families she had worked for, but she said that in every single case the husband had tried to come on to her. Take it for what it's worth....
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:56 AM   #85
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I met a young, pretty nanny from France who was working in the U.S. as a way to experience the country. I don't know how many families she had worked for, but she said that in every single case the husband had tried to come on to her. Take it for what it's worth....
Okay, I guess that comes with the turf. At least concede the point that a family with two working parents, and two kids, should customarily hire a nanny to help out around the house.

Even my grandfather had a old-maid nanny to help around the house. That used to be common, not only in Europe, but the US too. In the '70s we switched the system of the stay at home Mom to the liberated wife who goes to work + cares for the kids + tries to keep the house too. At the same time, the father no longer comes home from work, sits in his easy chair, and lights up his pipe.

Mom and Pop now bust butt 18 hours a day trying to keep on top of things. Why not hire a nanny when billions of women of all ages all over the would love to come and help out for a very good salary. Same goes for young men who want to break out of the bonds of poverty in their home countries.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:44 AM   #86
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You must be joking...

And you worry about the stress on the nanny? You are joking, right?
No I was not joking but I was not explicit enough. I was responding to GoodSense's observation about most families in developing countries having nanny.

I came from a developing country too, and over there, a nanny is basically a servant with very low pay and no chance of a future.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:26 PM   #87
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Brewer,

Don't know if this is possible in your situation, but if it is I'd say you folks need a dose of grandparent intervention. My son and DIL sometimes start looking a little "twitchy" when their jobs (chem eng and mech eng) get stressful and the 3 kids (our marvelous grandchildren) have demanding needs. That's when we ask if they don't have some chores or errands we chould help them out with (just to occupy our time ) and that we have a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants we'll never use, so would they please use it while we babysit?

If the situation seems more serious, then we offer to trade houses for a weekend. We get our place all dolled up, some nice wine in the cooler, etc., and they come over here for the weekend and we stay at their place with the grandkids. Both DW and I plus son and DIL consider ourselves winners in that trade!
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:18 AM   #88
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My sister worked as a live in nanny to a school age child while in graduate school. Because the kid was in school when my sister was in school it worked out fine. She worked for a single mother who had a very high stress and busy career with irregular hour.

Hobo, even if we assume some differences between men and women in general (whatever the cause, and socialization certainly is a powerful force), you can't assume that any single person is more nurturing than another person or any single person is more aggressive than another simply simply by their sex. There is a wide range in human behavior and there are going to be plenty of males who love child care and plenty of females who do not and a whole lot in the middle. Additionally, just because you may have bonded to your own children and truly enjoy caring for them does not mean that you would want to care for anyone else's child.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:25 AM   #89
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Hobo, even if we assume some differences between men and women in general (whatever the cause, and socialization certainly is a powerful force), you can't assume that any single person is more nurturing than another person or any single person is more aggressive than another simply simply by their sex.
What she said. Just because something may be true in the average case doesn't say anything about an individual situation. And it also doesn't speak to *why* the average case is true (the nature/nurture thing; IMO it's some of both).
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:34 AM   #90
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Brewer,

Don't know if this is possible in your situation, but if it is I'd say you folks need a dose of grandparent intervention. My son and DIL sometimes start looking a little "twitchy" when their jobs (chem eng and mech eng) get stressful and the 3 kids (our marvelous grandchildren) have demanding needs. That's when we ask if they don't have some chores or errands we chould help them out with (just to occupy our time ) and that we have a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants we'll never use, so would they please use it while we babysit?

If the situation seems more serious, then we offer to trade houses for a weekend. We get our place all dolled up, some nice wine in the cooler, etc., and they come over here for the weekend and we stay at their place with the grandkids. Both DW and I plus son and DIL consider ourselves winners in that trade!
Sounds lovely, but my parents are not involved and hers are 1800 miles away. We are on our own.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:44 AM   #91
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I'm going on a man trip to Costa Rica next month to surf for a week, and while DW may not be thrilled with having to do all the house/kid stuff as well as go to her j*b (which she likes, btw), she understands the need for men to do stupid man stuff from time to time. I have a great wife, obviously.

So, yes, you need to go blow off some steam with the guys-- drink too much, use bad language, shoot guns, whateva...........Then when you get back you be able to handle everything, and appreciate the important things, for a little while longer!
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:53 AM   #92
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I have no creative solutions to offer, but even if the many offered above don't address your situation, you know that there are a bunch of people out there who care. And that's a good thing - right? right? you know that's right!

A new week & sunny & warm too. Have a great day.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:55 AM   #93
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Sounds lovely, but my parents are not involved and hers are 1800 miles away. We are on our own.
Hmmm....wonder how far Mr. and Mrs. Youbet live from the Brewers...
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:03 AM   #94
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I think Mr. and Mrs. Purron are even closer.

All kidding aside, I am glad we are at the point where my children are 25 and 21. I better keep that in mind when I feel longing for my younger years.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:07 AM   #95
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Hobo, even if we assume some differences between men and women in general (whatever the cause, and socialization certainly is a powerful force), you can't assume that any single person is more nurturing than another person or any single person is more aggressive than another simply simply by their sex. There is a wide range in human behavior and there are going to be plenty of males who love child care and plenty of females who do not and a whole lot in the middle. Additionally, just because you may have bonded to your own children and truly enjoy caring for them does not mean that you would want to care for anyone else's child.
Thanks. You said that far better (and far more tactfully) than any of my half-dozen drafts on the comment.

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I'm going on a man trip to Costa Rica next month to surf for a week...
Dude, you're killin' me. There will be photos of the surf, right?
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:22 AM   #96
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Hobo, even if we assume some differences between men and women in general (whatever the cause, and socialization certainly is a powerful force), you can't assume that any single person is more nurturing than another person or any single person is more aggressive than another simply simply by their sex. There is a wide range in human behavior and there are going to be plenty of males who love child care and plenty of females who do not and a whole lot in the middle. Additionally, just because you may have bonded to your own children and truly enjoy caring for them does not mean that you would want to care for anyone else's child.
Interesting observation. Honestly I have been traveling a lot since I retired and have some semi-permanent places where I spend time in SE Asia and South America. In third world countries, people of all ages and families in all types of situations live close together. With the warm weather, everyone is outside so I get to know many families rather quickly.

When I am in the US I have limited contact with the families with children at home any more. Most of my friends have an "empty nest" lifestyle. Also, big homes and established neighborhoods keep people in doors and make it difficult to meet the neighbors (and most are all in the same age group anyway).

If things are really as you they say are in the US, then there has been a real sea-change in society structure. When my kids were growing up in California 15 years ago, men and women tended to gravitate to certain roles with regard to child rearing. That is not to say roll sharing with regard to household chores, etc. had not taken a definite shift from, say, the 1960's or earlier when my mother was a stay-at-home mom.

However, even 15 years ago, the mother tended to be the care-giver and the father the disciplinarian with the children. And from what I see in other countries, those roles are still strongly maintained. I can see my 30-year old, unmarried daughter has a propensity to gravitate to her job and business where she is in a comfortable environment and more or less avoids conflicted situations with children.

I carried the viewpoint that men and women have innate pre-dispositions toward children. I certainly have heard about "stay at home" dads - but I thought that was a more a victim of circumstances, not by active choice. Apparently I was wrong and stand corrected.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:06 PM   #97
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I carried the viewpoint that men and women have innate pre-dispositions toward children. I certainly have heard about "stay at home" dads - but I thought that was a more a victim of circumstances, not by active choice. Apparently I was wrong and stand corrected.
I am not sure you are wrong when considering 80% of the cases. This is only today's party line. When you look at the physical dimorphism of humans it is absurd to imagine that there is not a fairly strong hormonally or neuronally supported behavioral duality also.

I also believe that we are wrong to look at post war American suburban life and from that conclude that roles allocated by gender are always wrong. Sometimes wrong sure. But even the most rabid nuture over nature supporter is much more likely to choose a female nanny or baby sitter. On average, it would be crazy not to do so. What people say about gender is notoriously unreliable, similar to what they say about other controversial topics. To get at what people deeper attitudes are, you have to contrive to somehow study hidden or unconscious motivations.

Postwar US suburban social style was essentially a toxic system, more toxic for women than for men. It was easy for them to become isolated, it was hard for them to work at part time or other jobs that dovetailed well with being the main caregiver, it was hard for dad to take let a school age child come over to his shop or store after school, grandparents lived elsewhere, often still in the city, etc, etc. add to this the breakdown of divorce taboos, no-fault, etc- and women were faced with a real economic dilemma. Curtail my career for family and children, and risk post divorce poverty, or pedal to the metal career focus. And in many circles social evaluations of what was proper or stylish changed-"Oh, you are only a mother?"

I believe it is at least as likely that more women than would really like it are being pressed into heavy duty breadwinner roles by today's economy. When manufacturing collapses, a lot of male jobs disappear.

If I were young today, I would go elsewhere to have my family if I could afford it, then perhaps return, perhaps not. It is also possible that I would just pass on fatherhood, though it was actually the best time of my life, and a great joy to me even today. I didn't realize how much fun kids would be, until I had mine. I was pressed into service to watch my two much younger sibs when I was a young teenager, but mostly I allowed neighborhood girls to come over and help, and they liked this a lot.

One thing I have noticed- when I show friends and aquaintances pictures of my grand-daughter, the women are almost all interested and often delighted. Most of the men, if they look at all, say stuff like "how did she get so cute when you are so ugly?" This is perhaps slightly less true with younger men and women.

Ha
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:21 PM   #98
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Hobo, for the record, your sample size must be really small to offer a blanket statement about the nurturing talents and natural affinity for children of women.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:43 PM   #99
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You pay $750/month out of pocket expenses per year for a full-time maid and housekeeper. That ALONE is cheaper than most daycare centers.

Of course, you can't do this now because it is illegal. I give you these numbers because there are willing workers, and willing employers in the US that would love a maid. Economically, it is quite feasible. For some reason, Congress doesn't like that idea... so we all must run in the rat-race that much faster. (Or hire an illegal Hispanic).
There is another option which is quite legal. That is to have an au pair.

At one time we did have a live out nanny which was quite expensive.

Then I heard about the au pair program.

Au pairs come to the US from another country for 1 to 2 years. They are paid minimum wage less the cost of room and board. By the way, that is not something that you as the employer choose how much it will be. There is a required amount that is deducted which is established by law. You pay currently $195.75 per week. You do pay a program fee to the agency (about $7700 a year). You also pay up to $500 for the au pair to take classes (the au pair program is a cultural exchange with an education component). The agency screens au pairs and gives you candidates. Then you do telephone interviews until you find someone to match with.

We had 4 different au pairs over 5 years in the program. They were all very nice young women who did a great job.

You might wonder why someone would be an au pair. It is very simple. In the vast majority of instances it is to improve English skills to improve their future marketability as an employee. It is very common that au pairs either have a college degree or will go back home and attend college.

It is quite a bit cheaper than hiring a U.S. nanny (although not as cheap as was suggested. And we really enjoyed each of our au pairs and it was educational for our children to have au pairs that ultimately came from 3 different countries (we had au pairs from Germany, Brazil and Thailand).
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:52 PM   #100
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I was pressed into service to watch my two much younger sibs when I was a young teenager, but mostly I allowed neighborhood girls to come over and help, and they liked this a lot.
I bet they did like it Ha. You're such a ladies man. This is clearly a skill you learned in your youth and honed to perfection in adulthood.
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