Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Forget About Big Brother: Complete Strangers Are Watching

Through a a joke from friend of a friend, I discovered the world of nanny tattletale blogs.

I work in an industry fraught with issues, both real and media-fabricated. It's easy to say, "Just a nanny," but it's just not so. I walk a fine line between being a parent and being a domestic employee. In the absence of my employers, I am expected to fill their shoes - but not too full, mind you, as I'm not actually the parent. I have to provide structure and discipline, as well as creativity and fun. Like most nannies, I plan outings, read stories, facilitate playdates, drive the carpool, play games, bandage wounds, change diapers, help with homework, do laundry, wash dishe, and cook, often three meals a day. In my specific case, I also run selected errands, do some food shopping, sign for packages, and field home-owner-style troubles, such as supervising appliance repair, etc. I have been trusted by my employers to bring their kids up. That's huge. They hired me believing that I would do so to the best of my ability, and feeling that my childrearing ideas and techniques complemented theirs.

These kind of websites (introducing I Saw Your Nanny) foster every negative stereotype about my fellow nannies. Let me begin by saying that posting on these sites you're opening yourself up to the same judgement you're handing down. You say you saw a nanny on her cell phone at the playground. Do you, as a parent, never have a cell phone conversation yourself? You say you saw a nanny shout at a child. Have you, as a parent, never gotten so frustrated that you raised your voice? You saw a nanny reading a book, knitting, chatting with another nanny while Junior dumped sand or water on himself in the sandbox? Junior's just being a kid, maybe that should be ok. ... Oh, grow up, and stop tattletaling!

First off, how can you be *absolutely* sure she's the nanny? Black woman with white child? Could be an aunt, an adoptive mother, a family friend. Looks too young to be Mom? Could be a vastly older sibling, young aunt, cousin, next door neighbor. Latina with white child? See above.

Of course, perhaps worse, is that there are surely parents reading this blog. If you need to check a tattler blog to see if your nanny is reliable, perhaps you hired the wrong woman?

I can't stand the idea that this blog is treated like a valid source of information! Where is the tattler blog for corporate financiers? "Today, at Starbucks on Blahblah Street, I saw your bank teller order a double shot. She told her coworker she had a wretched hangover..." Ugh. We are a society of jackals without enough meaningful things to do in our days, if this is the drivel we get up to in our spare time.



Blogger dasein668 said...

Hear hear! Jackals indeed.

4/10/07, 4:27 PM  
Blogger Kahshe Cottager said...

This is horrible - right up there with Rate Your Teacher/Doctor/etc! Thankfully not everyone believes this kind of drivel!

4/11/07, 7:15 PM  

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