What’s Wrong With Hiring A Night Nurse? (POLL)
Let Mommy Sleep is a Washington, D.C.-area business that provides overnight services for new parents. Licensed and professional nurses can be hired to stay at night for as many days as a client wishes and get help with sleeping strategies, swaddling, and tips for a better breastfeeding experience. The nurses also care for the baby overnight if Mom wants to get some sleep.
When this story about Let Mommy Sleep was published on the local Fox affiliate’s website and discussed on their Facebook page, all hell broke loose. People accused mothers who use this service of being lazy and asked what the point is of having children if you don’t want to take care of them.
Denise Stern, who founded Let Mommy Sleep had this to say in a recent Washington Post article: “It’s important to note that 100 percent of the time, parents want a partner and temporary support person for a few nights or weeks because they have no family help. They don’t want a parental replacement. We’ve been with hundreds of families and I can tell you we’ve never had a parent—literally not one—who ‘just doesn’t feel like getting up at night.’ It’s the opposite—parents want to do everything they can for baby and sometimes this means reaching out for help.”
At the time my twin sons were born in 2011, I had a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old at home. The boys were delivered via C-section—from which one does not recover overnight. One of the boys had to stay in the hospital for two days after his brother and I were released. My husband had taken time off from work, but there were limits to what he could do to help. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.
Very luckily for me, my sister—who lives a 90-minute drive away—stayed with me for two days after we got home from the hospital. She drove me to and from the hospital and shopping, took care of my daughters, cleaned my house with my mother, and cooked a few meals. She was extremely helpful in the middle of the night because she got up with the baby and brought him to me to nurse and took him back to the crib when I was done. I wish she could have stayed longer, but she had to get back to her own family.
I would have gladly paid for a night nurse had I known about such a service and it was available in my area. I’m not sure why people think they can and should do it all when it comes to taking care of a new baby. In fact, it’s highly doubtful that those who say they do it all themselves are being truthful about that (Nobody has ever given your child a bottle, changed his diaper, taken care of her while you napped, babysat while you shopped, or taken care of him in day care so you could go to work, etc? Did you ever send your baby to the nursery at the hospital so you could sleep? Come on, now).
Having a baby is joyous, but it’s highly stressful and exhausting. If you can afford to hire a licensed and background-checked professional to come into your home and give you help and advice, please do it! I think the last couple of generations of parents love to say, “I do it all myself,” but if that’s really so, it’s a recent phenomenon. Your parents and grandparents probably lived close to extended family and had sisters and mothers to help them. I think Let Mommy Sleep is a business that exists, and will thrive, partly because our concept of community and the way we live aren’t the same as 30, 40, or 50 years ago.
I’m withholding criticism of mothers who are doing whatever they can to take care of themselves so that they can be the best parent. We’re all doing the best we know how to do and when we find out there’s a better way, we usually do that, too. It’s not laziness; it’s common sense.
What about you? If you had the means and needed the support, would you hire a night nurse? Take the poll and share your comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.