Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Instinct and the Nanny Murders

I stumbled across the news of the nanny tragedy this past weekend and the sadness of it overwhelmed me.  So overwhelming that I found myself seeking out story after story about it.  I kept wanting to find any trace of "they saw it coming" or anything to help me think that this could have been prevented.  Not because I want the family to feel guilt for not seeing something coming -- that's the last thing I want for them.  But because selfishly, I need to know this couldn't ever happen to me or anyone I know.  There is something about shock tragedy that leaves me craving answers.  NEEDING answers.  It leaves me with an uneasy reminder that things happen we don't understand, will never understand, yet we have to find peace anyways. 

Through the massive amount of time I spent researching this sad story, I came across some different "expert" opinions.  One said that when hiring a nanny, parents should have them psychologically tested.  A week ago I would have laughed at this, but after reading the story, I found myself thinking, 'Amen Brother!' Yet, I know if I were hiring a nanny for Paisley, I would feel stupid, overprotective, or crazy for asking someone to be tested in this manner (I would be because she is a dog, but ignore that fact).  But why? Why should we feel dumb doing everything we can to protect the thing we love most?

When you are a teenager, you are your most precious possession.  But we got in the car with people we shouldn't have.  We went to parties with irresponsible friends.  We drank beverages handed to us by older guys.  All with the fear, that if we say "no" we will be outcasted, labeled uncool, never to recover from the humiliation.  This mindset followed us to college.  If I don't say I am okay with this, the sorority/frat won't have me, etc.  And then into our adulthood -- if I am an overprotective mom, no nanny will work for me.

Some of this is true.  They might think I am uncool, I might not get into the sorority, and I might get told "no" by a nanny -- but so what? At what cost are we sacrificing our instinct for our ego?

How many times do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in a dark parking lot, yet embarrassed to go in and find a security guard, you walk to your car anyways? Often times nothing happens, and we get in our cars feeling relieved that we didn't sound the alarm for no reason.  However, it only takes one time.  Something could have been going on in that parking lot that we weren't aware of, it just didn't effect us this time.  Your body is uneasy and giving you an alert -- don't ignore it.

I don't think this story about the nanny should be ignored -- by anyone really -- especially those with children or who plan to have children someday.  It's a reminder that things are not always what they seem, and people will surprise you -- in good and bad ways.  Don't be afraid of hurting someone's feelings if you feel like a situation is shady.  Don't feel like you are rude if you call each and every reference a nanny provides to ask a million questions, put cameras in every corner, or pop home unexpectedly.  Do what it takes for you to find peace of mind with your decisions about who you hire.  After you have done your due diligence, you should feel comfortable with your choice.  And if you still don't, then look for another solution to your childcare dilemma.

Trust your instinct -- if something seems "off" it probably is.

Next Post: How to Trust Again

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