St. Martin's Press
From the playground to the playroom, mothers and nannies are engaged in a relationship like no other – they are sometimes co-parents and comrades, often confidants, and much more than employer and employee. It is a complex relationship that touches on issues of love, trust, and money. It can be a wonderful collaboration between two women who care for the same child or it can be a difficult situation with unfulfilled expectations on both sides.
Mothers can be obsessed, conflicted, and confused about how to manage caregivers – but they also must contend with how they feel about having another woman take care of their children. Caregivers love the kids, but often run into trouble dealing with mom. And Nanny Makes Three goes behind the scenes of domestic arrangements to discover what moms and nannies or au pairs are really thinking about each other, the kids, their respective jobs and their identities.
In this eye-opening book, Jessika Auerbach plumbs the depth of this unique child care relationship and presents a perspective that draws from both sides. Mothers’ and caregivers’ genuine and unique voices are equally represented giving a balanced view to this highly complicated, emotionally charged relationship.
Anyone who is a mother, working or not, or thinking of becoming a mother and wondering how to juggle career and children without dropping the ball somewhere along the way will gain invaluable insight from And Nanny Makes Three.
“The relationship between any working mother and the caretaker of her child involves some of the most intense, important, conflicted, and complicated interactions a woman is ever likely to have. Once a mother returns to work - full-time, part-time, any time and anywhere - it’s the one relationship that almost more than any other will keep her awake at night, make her furious, desperate, grateful, and guilty.
As a mother who both loves her children and needs her job, it’s also often a relationship she wishes she would never have to have. Yet from the moment it begins, it becomes hopelessly and forever entangled with her view of herself, her love of her family, and her need to support them. In this way it becomes instantly and inextricably folded into the dialogue every mother carries on within herself, with her partner, her colleagues, and her friends: If playground, cocktail party and book group conversation is anything to go by, the topic of nannies, what they do to us and what we do to them is right up there with talk about love, sex, and school waiting lists.”
--from the Introduction
Jessika Auerbach was born in Germany, but grew up primarily in England. She studied at the Institut des Sciences Politiques and the Sorbonne in Paris and at Oxford University, and since that time has lived and worked as an editor and writer in New York, Connecticut, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong. Her four daughters were born on three different continents, and she and her husband remain happily in touch with almost all the nineteen nannies, au-pairs and part-time babysitters who have provided them with childcare over the years. She currently lives with her family in Singapore, where she is working on her next book.
Mothers and Nannies Tell the Truth About Work, Love, Money, and Each Other