Tag Archives: professional nanny

“Oh, You Are A Babysitter”

Matilda (Bluefairy Sarang)

I finally had a chance to finish reading “The Nanny Diaries” and watched the movie.  Despite some negative reviews, I found the movie reflects some views that are factual. I don’t mean those views are true. What I am saying is that they are based on someone’s experience, and are as valid as mine, even though my Nanny career is completely not like the one in the book/movie.

It can be frustrating sometimes to deal with people’s reaction when I say “I am a Professional Nanny”, and they respond, “Oh, you’re a babysitter.” (Didn’t I just say “Professional Nanny?”). After I clarify that a Nanny is not a Babysitter, I then get this long “Ohhhhh” with a particular facial expression, followed by “So that’s like a babysitter who gets a lot of perks, right?”

It really makes me laugh how people could not hear the difference between these two words, “Nanny” and “Babysitter”–they don’t even spell the same, or sound the same!!

If it is going to be up to someone to transform the view of what a Nanny is, it would be up to me, or us, the Nannies. Some of us do see being a Nanny as a job, rather than a career. A job that you would do before you land a career. And, there are people like me who are serious about being a Nanny. So serious that I feel the need to put a word “professional” in front of the word, “nanny”, hoping that people would respect for what I do. After all, title is quite important, right?

My dear husband said to me after watching the movie, “You should share your Nanny experience, so people know not all nanny-employer relationships are like that.”  True, not all are the same. I am not sure, however, if I write a book about my experience of being a Nanny, it would be “sellable”. It seems to me that people are drawn to dramas, rants, complaints, other than inspiration, or say, the good news.

I was interviewed by an ABC News 20/20 Primetime producer. She was working on a project that involves nannies and their relationship with employers. When she asked me how the conflicts were usually resolved between me and my employer given that I was raised, and came from another culture, I said, “If I experience any conflict, I always ask myself what am I reacting to. It is not my place to judge how my employers raise their children. Part of my job as a Nanny is to listen and carry out what is important to the family. If I don’t agree their parenting style, I would communicate that and not let it be a conflict between us. The conflict happens when I am being righteous about how they should raise their children. This doesn’t allow any room for dialogues or conversations.”  She said, “Oh. Huh, let me call you back.”  I have not heard from her since.

Maybe she got too busy and forgot to call me back. Maybe my story is too good to be true. It’s just not juicy enough to sell.