THE BLOG
10/27/2012 10:43 am ET Updated Dec 27, 2012

A Defense of Nannies, In Light of the Indefensible

I am crying for the Krim family.

On Thursday, New York mother Marina Krim returned to her apartment to find two of her three children dead and her nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, bleeding from a self-inflicted wound. According to The New York Times, Ortega had fatally stabbed Krim's two-year-old son and six-year-old daughter, then tried to take her own life, while Krim was at a swimming lesson with her third child.

It's every parent's worst nightmare. Literally. But what has followed is inhumane: A torrent of finger-pointing from the press and the public that implies the parents are at fault. They didn't check the nanny's references thoroughly enough. They weren't good parents. Why did they even need a nanny in the first place?

And the underlying assumption -- that nannies are untrustworthy -- has been perpetrated by stories of nannies exposed as liars or sexual predators.

In the wake of this unimaginably horrific event, it's important to remember the facts: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the "parent is the perpetrator in most homicides of children under five." In fact, in the decades between 1976 and 2005, parents were responsible for 60 percent of homicides of children under 18. Other relatives committed 7 percent of the murders; 3 percent were committed by strangers. And 23 percent were by male acquaintances.

These are horrible statistics. But they prove that the tragedy in New York was an anomaly.

But we can't be there for our children every second of the day. We leave them with teachers, family members, babysitters, nannies and neighbors.

It takes a village to raise a child -- that's the truth.

Yes, we should all be vigilant about who is taking care of our kids. But let's not let this horrible tragedy scare us away from the amazing, loving nannies who are part of so many families today, who can be there for our children when we can't.