The owner of a nanny agency named Merry Poppins to Order, Jacqueline Chatfield, told the Whittier Daily News that all the reports she got back from the nannies they sent to the Suleman home claimed she was “a great mom.” Calling her “a great client, a great mom,” Chatfield communicated with Suleman regularly regarding her childcare, and said the nannies enjoyed working for Suleman, who she described as “fair with her nannies.” She calls her a “responsible, caring mother whose only demand is that her children not be couch potatoes.” Describing her as not a demanding person, the only thing she always insisted on is that her children be active.
Chatfield’s agency, which normally charges between $8 and $15 per hour, depending on the nanny’s duties, is providing free child care for a year when Nadya Suleman’s octuplets are released from the hospital. They are carefully screening a head nanny to lead the team caring for the 14 children.
Chatfield met Suleman when she was a full-time student and is upset at all the vitriol aimed at her. Claiming that Nadya “…so loves these kids,” she says that while Nadya could easily get some kind of job paying $10 to $15 an hour, that it is important that Nadya complete her education. “…she needs something that will help her support all those kids.” Chatfield says the public needs to know that Suleman is very articulate, is a go-getter, and that she hopes the community and local businesses will be there for Suleman so that she can complete her education and gain employment.
I want to know, however, how Nadya justified hiring “nannies” for her six oldest children. How many women in Nadya’s economic group have nannies? Angela Suleman, Nadya’s mother, has stated that her entire teacher’s pension check went towards supporting Nadya and her children and that Nadya never gave her a dime.
My feeling is this — I totally understand Chatfield’s support of Nadya, they obviously developed a relationship over the years. It’s admirable for Chatfield’s agency to donate their services for a year; it makes me feel better to know that the octuplets will have qualified caretakers. Nadya Suleman may well have been a “responsible, caring mother” to her six oldest children, but octuplets are an entirly different story. To be fair to Nadya, I am sure neither she nor her doctor expected all six embryos to take, and for two of them to split into identical twins.
However, the fact still remains that, before the octuplets were born, an unmarried, unemployed woman who was pursuing advanced college degrees had herself implanted five times, resulting in six children. After the first four, there was really no need for Nadya to have any more children, especially since she didn’t work and had no income or husband, and already had one child with autism. Claims that Nadya implanted the last six embryos created during her previous fertility treatments because she is a Christian woman and didn’t want to see them destroyed don’t cut it, because she could have donated those embryos to women who needed them more than she did.
Also, Nadya has stated that she plans, at first at least, to live on student loans. These loans are supposed to be for tuition, books, and living expenses perhaps, for the student, not to support a single mother with 14 children! Using these to support her large family could amount to fraud.
I salute Jacqueline Chatfield for her loyalty and generosity, however. I hope Nadya Suleman remembers who she owes in the years to come.