nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic


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Where have all the mothers gone?

Well, they’re not in the playground, that’s for sure. It is unusual to find any mothers looking after their kids full time during the week. Maternity leave is so bad here that to get three months off is seen as good! And after that, they all go back to work and hand the kids over to the nanny. The playgrounds are full of nannies from all over the world. I stand out like a sore thumb. I am probably the only mother in our local playground. Gaggles of nannies congregate to chat and watch over their charges, when they can rip themselves away from their phones. Giving a child any attention seems to also be a luxury as phones lure nannies from actually playing with the children they look after. There’s no shortage of people, mostly women, looking for nanny jobs. I spoke to one mother who had sacked her nanny on the spot for the way she treated her child and within a week another appeared. I advertised for a one day a week ‘babysitter’, a common term here, to look after J now and then and I was overwhelmed with responses from one of the many sitter web sites, mostly students looking for a bit of extra cash. And whilst the mothers are all riding the subway to work , J and I just trundle along to the park in the sunshine and play in the sandpit. Not sure who’s got the best deal there.