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An Open to Letter to the “Guys” who Judge Nannies Based on Their Profession

Hello, sir, hello, handsome guy, hello, single guy, hello, tall man, hello, short man, in fact, hello, all you guys. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I sat down and considered everything for which I was grateful. The treasure that is my family, my health, my own spiritual renaissance, and my friends all came to my mind, and then I thought about the nanny community, and I had to grab my computer and begin to type. You see, “guys,” earlier in the day, I met a nanny who was emotionally broken by a lover who dumped her because he didn’t want his family to know that he was dating a woman who was –just a nanny!What would you tell my family if they ask you what do you do for a living,” he asked her! Adamant that she would tell them the truth, he refused to invite her to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner and told her that his family would think that she lacks ambition. What absolute nonsense, I thought to myself! Then, my memory brought me back to the many other women who have spoken to me about this very same ordeal that they faced at one point or another in their lives. They encountered situations where men either consciously or unconsciously try to demean them because they work as nannies. So, yes, I needed to write. I couldn’t reckon that grown men would judge women on the basis of their profession only.   

You see, “guys,” I’m so grateful to the nanny community, whose mission and job it is to provide care for the very vulnerable, that is, children. I think the idea of providing care to another person is a virtuous vocation, one that’s indeed attractive. The  nanny community comprises mostly women from all walks of life and from every geographic region of the world, women who have nestled in their hearts individual stories that are unique to them, women of beauty and grace, women of varying strengths, veritable fortresses, those who are vulnerable, those who have cradled the pain of the past in their memories yet are resilient enough to move on, mothers, grandmothers, educators, wives, and much more that would take me days if I had to type them. These are the women that make up the nanny community, women of all ethnicities, races, and religions, a melting pot of rich cultures. They are a group of diverse women who are often stereotyped and frequently viewed as illiterate, as women who simply push strollers in major cities in the United States by some sectors in society, a gross distortion of the actual truth.

Because of this distorted one-sided view that some of you men hold as your ultimate truth, you begin to view these women as less than, women who lack ambition. Consequently, some of you resort to ridiculing them simply because of their profession. Some of you echo sentiments such as “Sandra is only a nanny in America. I can’t believe that, “Garcon,” in your Caribbean dialect. When you ask her out on a date, she sees the disappointment and resentment in your eyes when she tells you that she’s a nanny by profession. What were you expecting, Mr. Pretend President? A medical doctor, a nurse, a biologist? Tell me, sir, what separates these women from the women who are nannies?

Brother, I’m here to tell you that what you think you know about these women is not so and that perhaps you need to broaden your own mind. Consider that many of these women have left their countries as professionals having worked in corporate jobs all over the world. Upon arrival in the United States, they are wise enough to know that they have to do what’s necessary to sustain their families. They transition to nannies and provide professional care to children. On the other hand, they may never have worked in a corporate environment or had the good fortune of obtaining a formal education. Does that make them lesser as women? Have you not realized that you are unconsciously trying to elevate your own status by demeaning another person’s profession or by riding off the successes of another person, a woman!

I urge you to forgo this foolish shallow-minded view. Come out of the psychological cocoon that causes you to judge a woman only by her profession! I implore to consider the nannies who have done exceptional things in their lives, the industrious hard-working women who have elevated their own family situations, those who have overcome mountains of obstacles to become better individuals, those who have been able to uplift their socioeconomic status, yes, by serving as nannies. Then think of them as the nurturers they are. They are the ones who hold a crying child to their bosoms and show these children affection and love, ideal qualities that are slowly disappearing from the moral construct of humanity.  

So the next time you happen to meet a woman who’s a nanny out there, look beyond the stroller. If you have sound cognitive abilities, dare yourself to see the whole being, not just this one aspect. See a potential lover, a mother, a respected wife, a contributor, and a business partner and take your mind out of its shallow grave. When you run into her in the streets of Manhattan or the in suburbs, don’t pretend you don’t see her! Understand that she’s not her profession. Her profession is simply one as aspect of what she does. Remember that the sweetest things sometimes lie deep within…open your mind and explore all facets of a woman, the whole being, again if you are mentally sound enough to do that.

Judging a nanny who provides love to a child when you are ironically searching for love is so paradoxical! Judging someone based on their profession confirms one’s immature emotional and cognitive abilities and highlights biases, something that you must deal with, sir, before you dare to date any woman! 

Alene Mathurin

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