Welcome Speech for “Nanny Connect Breakfast Event
I am delighted to have you here to participate in the first “Nanny Connect Breakfast Event” hosted by “My Nanny Circle.” I am aware that many of you have travelled great distances to attend. This is a testament to the enthusiasm we share collectively for the nanny profession. I am not unmindful that many of you have taken off work to be here, to share, to add your voice to discourse on the nanny profession, and to advance our cause, which is to educate society about the meaningful contribution we make as professionals in the lives of children, their families, our families, our communities, and, ultimately, American society.
I know you are fully aware that much must change in the nanny community to benefit the nanny profession. You are professional nannies after all. I know that each and every one of us professional nannies shares a commonality: our sincere love for children and our awareness of the fact that we are able to positively shape these children’s lives.
Perhaps you have been viewed as an illiterate woman who simply pushes strollers in the streets of major cities. I say to you, caregivers, do not be fazed by the distorted ideas some segments of society hold about the nanny profession and you. Perhaps you have served a family faithfully and loved their children with a sincere and compassionate heart yet the family has defaulted on the promise to respect you and your services. I say to you, caregivers, do not be discouraged. Do not bear ill will or allow resentment to cause you to trespass against another. Know that the world possesses as many great families as kind and loving caregivers like you.
Instead, my friends, continue to serve with dignity, with respect, and with love whether for traditional families, same-sex families, single-parent families, or families that have created a unique definition of who they are as a unit. You see, sometimes love, gratitude, and respect come from the places we least expect. It was the love and kindness of a gay couple thirteen years ago, my employers at the time, and their children, that shook the core of what I thought I knew about love.
Thus, I implore you to love the children in your care with a kind and compassionate heart. Know that no matter what a woman’s or a man’s idea of your job, you are phenomenal and that success is subjective. Your strength as a caregiver is evident in the tender embrace you give to a child, and your insurmountable riches, in the glimpse of the character and values of the children you have helped to raise. Likewise, your rewards will be great. Know that struggles will come, especially when working in such an intimate setting like a private home, your workplace, but remember to take the high road. Never compromise your dignity, discipline, or respect. Recognize the power of dialogue and cradle that knowledge in your heart for use as often as possible.
When you leave here today and return to your nanny and playdate groups, the parks, playrooms, and museums where you nannies sometimes meet, or to your unique nanny cliques, offer peers motivation. Give them your shoulder to lean on, hope, and encouragement. Shore up the many who care for children here in the United States while their own children are away from them. Share what you have learnt today and be relentless in your mobilizing efforts to benefit the nanny community. And if an outsider asks when you plan to find a real job, like they sometimes ask, confidently tell them that you are exactly where you want to be. You are enough!
I thank you for being here. I value you as people, as professionals, as parents, as siblings, and as children. You are phenomenal because you love children who are not your own as if they were. Not everyone can do that. You are phenomenal because you are able to juggle your own family dynamic and enter another family’s dwelling and be a positive addition to that family. Not everyone can do that, either. This is why we are here today, to celebrate the profession, to celebrate you as professionals, and to break bread together as a community, as a family, and as children of God.
Confucius once said, “What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand.” So let’s do it together; let’s forge ahead as 21st Century Nannies. We know what must be done to rise above our challenges. So now is the time to do it together. Now is the time to bridge the gap that exists among nannies of different ethnicities, religions, cultures, and languages. Now is the time for you to acknowledge the importance of your profession. Now is the time to recognize your value as people. Now is the time to realize that there’s power in numbers and that what brings us together is greater than what divides us.
I thank you for your service, for the love you have for children and their families, for being the movers and shakers that you are, and for being a part of this community, your circle, my nanny circle.
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