On Tuesday's episode of The Morning After podcast, host Kelly Stafford had her nanny, Tata, answer a few parenting questions from listeners and talk about how she balances work as a live-in nanny with having a family of her own.
Tata has been with the Stafford family for over five years as a 24-7 nanny, something the family was initially against.
"We did not want a live-in, we just thought it would be kind of an invasion of privacy at first," Stafford said.
Kelly and Matthew Stafford share four children, Tyler, Chandler, Sawyer and Hunter, and Tata has quickly become a permanent fixture in the Stafford family.
"Having her in the house has been the biggest blessing — again, she just makes our family our family, it just wouldn't feel right without her there," Stafford explained.
The women also talked about their bond as mom and nanny and navigating Stafford's "mom knows best" approach with Tata's expertise.
"I think as parents, we are prideful that we're doing it right. You know, we know our kids, we're doing it right and sometimes it's really hard to take a step back and take advice from anybody. It was really hard for me at first," Stafford said of her first experience trusting Tata's judgment over her own.
"The first day I brought my kids home, she was like, 'You know, you can totally have them in your room with you, but if I'm going to be feeding them through the night, I don't want to wake you up, you're going to be pumping, I don't want to be invading'… and I'm like 'Yeah but it's fine we'll do it.' I got home and I said Tata get the rooms ready, I am not having them in my room anymore," Stafford said, noting that accepting Tata's help is something she is still working on.
"I keep learning from her and I'm prideful ... and I realize, 24 hours later, I'm like, 'She was right,'" Stafford said.
Tata is married with two children and Stafford herself wonders how she can balance her personal life and take care of the Stafford kids 24-7.
"I can't even be 24-7 with my children so I don't know how she is," said Stafford.
Tata is aware of how intense the role may seem to others but implores onlookers to take everything with a grain of salt.
"People are very quick to judge, 'Oh you're 24-7 and they always need me at the house,' but they don't know. You only see the superficial things, you don't think about what they do for us and time off or for my family when it comes to us," she said, expressing that many people don't get the full story from the outside.
"People just see a picture post, 'Oh my live-in nanny,' but they don't see the inside and let's stop being quick to judge and just say, 'Oh, we don't know what the deal is or [what] the dynamics are,'" Tata said.
She also explained that she wouldn't be able to pursue her dream without the help of her supportive husband, who "doesn't complain" about her time-intensive career.
"My husband always tells me, 'I will never remove you from something that you love,'" Tata said. "And this is not only love to my career, love what I do, love being a nanny, love being hand in hand with Kelly… it's the love I have for these girls, they are part of my life too, they were born in my heart and I am so thankful for it."
Kelly shares the love and then some, sharing that Tata is more like a spouse than a nanny to her.
"I can't handle calling her a nanny. I can't because she's so much more than that. So when people ask me, I'm like, 'My wife? I don't know. She's like my better half, Matthew's the better quarter."
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