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Kathryn Mewes: The supernanny who is now a struggling mum

(138 Posts)
MummRaaa Tue 10-Nov-15 08:22:25

This is quite a sad article, though part of me does want to say, "so it's not as easy as it looks then, love?!"

www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11977203/Kathryn-Mewes-The-supernanny-who-is-now-a-struggling-mum.html

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 10-Nov-15 08:28:30

I understand what you mean. However, I think that is a wonderfully honest and open article and I admire her very much for setting her ego to one side and sharing her experience with the world. Many wouldn't have.

Talkmeoutofthis222 Tue 10-Nov-15 08:32:27

I'd much rather read that than some fake 'I can juggle it all' type celeb.

Good for her. Cute baby too

twirlypoo Tue 10-Nov-15 08:33:03

^^ what lacontessa said.

I was a nanny for many years, specialising in children with behavioural problems. Having Ds on my own (ex left when I was pregnant) nearly broke me. Everyone expects you to be amazing and take to it naturally, but the birth was traumatic and I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I had no one to cover for me even for 10 mins and the lack of sleep caused me to hallucinate.

There's a huge difference between being a parent and being a nanny, we shouldn't knock people who are struggling just because they are good at their job.

MrsBalustradeLanyard Tue 10-Nov-15 08:37:00

I don't admire getting in a night nanny who won't go to a weeks old baby when it's crying, and guilts the mother because it's only for 'her conscience.'

At that age a crying baby needs a cuddle. Not the staff training the mother not to respond. FFS.

53rdAndBird Tue 10-Nov-15 08:36:56

With guidance from Hattie Weeks, who arrived some two weeks after the birth, Kathryn slowly became more confident. Hattie encouraged her to establish a routine and not to rush to Harriet whenever she cried, but let her settle herself to sleep in her own cot. “She reminded me of something that I always tell mothers: you need to teach your child independence and the sooner this happens, the better,” Kathryn says. By the time Hattie left, after six weeks, Harriet was sleeping through the night until 8am. “I was ready to go it alone – just as my own clients are when I leave.”

Yeah, wouldn't want our 2-week-olds being all needy and dependent hmm

JonSnowKnowsNowt Tue 10-Nov-15 08:45:54

I agree that it's an honest article and nannying is utterly different to parenting.

However she did annoy me with her new judgmental attitudes in the article. She's still being just as judgmental as before, just about different things. Saying that mothers who don't have a terrible birth experience are a bit peculiar, for example.

She strikes me as a very rigid person who needs absolute control over every area of her life, which of course makes having a baby nightmarish because you no longer have that control. She also strikes me as someone to whom external appearances matter disproportionately (make-up, clothes, immaculate house etc.) Many people are like that, which is fine if it suits them, but it annoys me when they consider that people who aren't like that (i.e. me) are failing. Rigid again - she seems to have no ability to realise that people are different, they have different priorities, and that there are different ways of parenting.

Bubbletree4 Tue 10-Nov-15 08:48:28

I think the thing is that if you are the super nanny, you get to go back to your own house at night and have a decent sleep. When you are the mum, particularly if the dad is absent/not hands on/v busy working then you basically get no break. You can't take a piss when you want or even have 30 secs to do it in peace. A big part of it is the fact that it's unrelenting - there is no break. My ds wanted to be attached to the boob 24 hours a day otherwise he would scream. I took to sleeping on my side in bed with him attached.

Redsparklybucket Tue 10-Nov-15 08:51:13

She needs to put her big girl pants on and get the hell on with it!

There are lots of Mums out there who don't have the luxury of being able to afford a night nanny, but we cope! We have to!

And as for an eye mask and ear defenders to keep calm in labour ffs!! I had a long labour then epositmy and theatre forceps delivery and a very fast natural delivery with my two, and the result was the same a baby!

They will change your life as I'm sure all parents will agree and no one said its easy!

MrsBalustradeLanyard Tue 10-Nov-15 08:53:25

Haha I did laugh at the eye mask and eat defenders bit! No wonder she thought labour was awful, things were happening to her and presumably she couldn't see or hear what they were. hmm

BabyTheCaveLion Tue 10-Nov-15 08:57:52

Who the hell sleep trains a 2 week old baby?

Alfieisnoisy Tue 10-Nov-15 09:02:55

I was a bit hmm about the sleep training at two weeks.

megletthesecond Tue 10-Nov-15 09:06:43

Did her husband go back to work within a couple of days of their baby being born?

nowirehangers Tue 10-Nov-15 09:07:53

I thought it was a great article, finally some honesty. I wish I'd read that when I had a newborn and being tormented by Gina Ford

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 10-Nov-15 09:15:08

I thought labour was awful and I didn't have a mask or ear defenders confused they would probably have made it a lot nicer, actually.

I had one friend who noted straight off with her (EBF) second baby that he was a 'very sucky baby' and so introduced a dummy aged 1 week. She said it was a lifesaver in terms of teaching him to comfort himself from the word go. Surely helping a baby to self-settle from 2 weeks isn't that dissimilar?

MrsBalustradeLanyard Tue 10-Nov-15 09:21:34

Yes but did she bung the dummy in his mouth then just leave him to cry after that? Probably not.

I'm baffled by this article tbh; the baby crying whilst she just goes about her business, the sleep training, etc. I know it's easy to feel under siege when your baby is tiny but there isn't much emotion or affection evident here.

VeryPunny Tue 10-Nov-15 09:21:45

LaContessa - Bit different introducing a dummy (helping them to settle, IMO, and reccommended as protection against SIDS) than leaving a baby to cry, because apparently it's fine and it's only the mother's concience that is hurting when a newborn is crying.....

As an aside I am cross with the "don't introduce a dummy because it interefers with BF" as the evidence on that is decidedly shonky - dummys are assosciated with something like a 2week reduction in breasfeeding duration at a year (so babies with dummies get to 50 weeks,vs 52 weeks for example), based on one study years ago, yet the NCT crew treat it as gospel....

I felt bad for her and wanted to give her a shake for "training" such a young baby, and give that ohter nanny she employed a wallop.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 10-Nov-15 09:28:22

Made me feel better !

No night nanny is sleep training a two week old. Many of us marvel at our second child who "learns to self settle" and then look back and realise that having that short delay while you deal with your first child, before getting to your second child every time they stir in their cots is the difference.

Eye mask and ear defenders though? That is quite bizarre

Francoitalialan Tue 10-Nov-15 09:43:09

Poor girl. Her agent must be gutted. That's her brand shattered.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 10-Nov-15 09:44:27

I think she gave him a dummy as a means to buy herself some time until he could do without her no longer (i.e. hungry rather than requiring generalised comfort). So a bit of a mix of helping him self-settle and making it so he could be left a bit longer (as we all do I think), rather than a binary 'never leave baby' and 'never touch baby' set of options.

That is interesting data punny, I didn't know that.

I think I have a lot of sympathy for her because I honestly wouldn't have said I loved or even necessarily liked DS1 until he was several months old. I found the whole experience of having a new child much more overwhelming than I expected and I struggled to retain a sense of self. She sounds rather similar to me tbh. I do love both my DC now (loved DS2 from the start as it happens) so I think it just took me a while to settle down. She probably will too.

53rdAndBird Tue 10-Nov-15 09:49:43

No night nanny is sleep training a two week old

From the article:

"“Someone else trained my baby to sleep while I walked around the block with the dog, sobbing with guilt and frustration."

Whoknewitcouldbeso Tue 10-Nov-15 09:55:23

I can remember her on This Morning a while back and I felt a bit sad then at how she didn't seem to be coping very well with being a Mother.

I don't really understand the sleep training thing as I just stuck DS on boob every time he woke in the night and then he slept again and so did I. I thought that's just what you did until eventually at 4-6 months they dropped their night feeds and slept through.

Did I do it wrong?

SweetAdeline Tue 10-Nov-15 09:57:28

Wowsers. Good for her not letting her newborn get in the way of painting her nails, dusting the mantelpiece or making sure there is a bottle of wine in the fridge for her husband when he gets home from work (because for some reason teaching him independence isn't a priority). hmm

EsmesBees Tue 10-Nov-15 09:57:36

The bfeeding classes she went to obviously didn't do a great job of preparing her for the reality of the first few weeks. Sleeping through til 8 at 6 weeks! I was happy to get a 4 hour stretch out of mine.

shutupanddance Tue 10-Nov-15 10:00:56

Pyjamas are banned after 9 am and her kitchen floor is scrubbedhmm poor baby

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