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Is Having a Nanny a Precursor to Cheating?

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Do you employ a nanny or sitter to watch your infant son while you work? One U.K. shrink says you've all but sanctioned his future infidelities.


woman holding boy

momlogic's Vivian: I do believe I've just read one of the most ridonkulous, bullsh*t theories I've read in a long-ass time. And trust me, I spend many hours of my day reading a lot of ridonkulous theories. Are you seated?

According to a book featured in the Times Online, the concept of cheating with "the other woman" begins as early as infancy for a baby boy -- if you've got a nanny in the picture, that is.

In his new book, "An Unsolicited Gift," psychiatrist Dr. Dennis Friedman says that by hiring childcare for your infant son, you are telling him it's OK to have two women in his life to meet different sets of needs. "It creates a division in his mind between the woman he knows to be his natural mother and the woman with whom he has a real hands-on relationship: the woman who bathes him and takes him to the park and with whom he feels completely at one," Friedman says. "As a result, he grows up with the idea that although he will one day go through all the social and sexual formalities of marriage, he will have at the back of his mind the notion of this other woman, who not only knows, but caters for, all his needs."

Friedman goes on to say that "each child has the right to have a relationship with a mother who is 100 percent connected" and that parents shouldn't bring a caregiver into the mix until after a child turns 1. And girls? He says they differ because they have "a different relationship with their mothers."

Sigh. SO gross. I've heard of a zillion creative ways men come up with to a) justify cheating and b) play on female guilt for having to work for a living, but this one is by far the most demeaning and patronizing of them all. Has Friedman NEVER met a single mom ... or anyone within the low/middle class, for that matter?

Our resident expert in such matters, psychologist Dr. Michelle Golland, seconds my fury at this audacious theory. "This is absolutely ridiculous," she says. "His is a privileged, archaic view of how and why women use caregivers. [Note: Friedman is 86.] It's clearly his way of making working mothers feel guilty. It's not about having an au pair so you can go to the spa. To live in this society, two incomes are required. We've had multiple caregivers in children's lives for many centuries. It only fell apart when communities dissolved, in the '40s or '50s, and women became more isolated. Prior to that, children were raised in neighborhoods, where everyone pitched in to watch the kids."

She adds this little tidbit about male adultery: "Historically, the rate of male extramarital affairs has remained steady because they spend more time outside the home," says Golland. "And since more women [have] started working outside the home, their opportunities -- and rate of extramarital affairs -- have increased also."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cheating is NOT something you can't help. A penis doesn't just FALL into a woman's nether regions. If you pull your pants down, you should expect to man up to the consequences.

Please feel free to vent your own feelings below!


next: Little Kids Don't Belong on Facebook
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Michelle Kelsey March 24, 2010, 9:32 AM

I do not even know where to start. I second the feeling of shock. What does it say about hiring a manny (male nanny) for your daughter? Or for that matter a manny for your son. This is such a narrow minded concept. It is amazing what some people will do and say to get a book deal. @michellekelsey

Black Iris March 24, 2010, 12:28 PM

The theory is gross and silly.
On the other hand, if you can afford to hire an actual nanny, you don’t really need two incomes. The dilemna of American families - if you can afford to pay for full-time high quality child care, you probably don’t need to work.

pls payday loan store  February 21, 2011, 3:16 PM

It is not just for a few states to sit and veto global approvals.

WeetcoiteBype March 1, 2011, 6:05 PM

I know actors come around and they always talk like that, but I don’t do publicity if I don’t like the film.

WeseCurge March 3, 2011, 7:33 AM

I started on an Apple II, which I had bought at the very end of 1978 for half of my annual income. I made $4,500 a year, and I spent half of it on the computer.

reurfbref March 9, 2011, 3:18 PM

I believe discrimination still exists in society and we must fight it in every form.

Eldedeelulp March 14, 2011, 1:16 PM

Life is like a very short visit to a toyshop between birth and death.

Attarveaginna March 31, 2011, 10:55 AM

Well, first of all, let’s go right to it. We’re going to balance the budget. We should live within our own means, and we should read the bills and work with the American people.


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