Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Nannies and Moms

I was at Borders yesterday, which I use as my personal bookshelf. Too cheap to actually buy books, I read them twenty pages at a time at the bookstore cafe.

Here's what I picked up:
I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson and The Nanny Diaries: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus.

These novels both look at the mother/nanny relationship, but from completely different angles. Pearson's book is from the mother's point of view who is overwhelmed by work, home, and guilt. She feels guilty for not making meals for the kids, for her kids watching too much TV, for leaving her kids for days for business. She's so guilty about not having homemake cakes for her kid's Christmas party that she buys store bought mince pies and distresses them at 1:00 am to make them look homemade. Then she hides the boxes, so the nanny doesn't find out.

The McLaughlin and Kraus book is from the nanny perspective. It portrays the rich and idle mothers as cold bitches, who are too busy too hug their children and who live in beautiful but unchild-friendly New York City apartments. These women are too self centered to feel guilt.

Which portrayal is the most accurate? Well, I told you I only read twenty pages of each book, so I don't know. You read them, and tell me.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who caught my mistake re: mothers in nanny diaries.

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