Re: Childcare providers-are you raising someone else's child?
Yeah, I agree with dr comer. Of course my nanny is helping raise my child. I would definitely be questioning the money I spend otherwise. Also my roomate helps raise my child, and my downstairs neighbor, and our many friends who help keep the rugrat from knocking in his own fool head and who discipline him when needed.
None of these folks replace us as parents, though. I set the house rules, and the terms of discipline. I provide toys and transport and schedule activities for when I am away. (I'm a bit jealous, because while I am procrastinating here at work, the kid is going on a play date to a farm today with his baby girlfriend.)
Our nanny is a friend of ours from before we had kids. She lives in our "sister-commune" (large house of friends who are roomies, about six blocks away), so we hang out a lot socially. I think one of the hardest things for me is finding a balance outside of her working hours. I mean the kid dotes on her, and she on him, which is great. I kind of feel like I have to watch him a little more closely than I would with other friends, to keep him from being a clingy barnacle in her "off duty" time... and yet, I also don't want to interfere too much because I know they enjoy each other's company.