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“I Don’t Mix With Other Nannies”-What? Did I Hear You Right?

I truly believe that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions and that although others may reject a person’s particular stance on an issue, as evolved and rational people, we must learn to respect ideas that may conflict with our own. I have been hosting nanny events, and the goals and central themes are geared first to help change the mindset of some nannies to help them realize what a valuable contribution they make to society. I hope that nannies will reject the false beliefs that exist about their profession. One is the mistaken idea that the nanny profession is not a real one and that the job does not require a great amount of thought processing and is therefore reserved for society’s illiterates. These are fabricated notions fueled by the lack of knowledge about the nanny profession, engrained in the psyche of people refusing to learn more about the nanny’s job and who are reluctant to put aside their own stereotypes and beliefs.

What is particularly disturbing for me is when some nannies themselves, through their own irrational actions, help fuel the false notions that exist in some sectors of society about the nanny profession by deviating from the values of the profession. I feel I must sound the alarm when some nannies themselves are guilty of perpetuating these false notions by refusing to concede when necessary and to commit to making changes that would perhaps cause another to reconsider his or her stance on the profession. It is further troubling when nannies fail to participate in the efforts geared to advance the profession via professional collaboration with nanny groups and so forth.

It is beyond my comprehension that some nannies refuse to participate in nanny activities because “they don’t mix with other nanny professionals,” as they say. As much as I respect other people’s opinions, statements like these give us a glimpse into the many reasons the nanny profession has not truly advanced to where it could have. The perceived lack of unity limits possible progress, and we all know that great strides have occurred in this world only when a group of people has banded together and fought for a common cause with great intent. As such, this almost juvenile mindset of not “mixing with other nannies” and denying oneself the opportunity to become trained in various aspects of childcare is worth revisiting by the guilty parties. This attitude of superiority, the false notion that perhaps I might be better than members of a particular group are, is nothing short of ignorant. The source of this type of attitude and behavior might be rooted in conflicted mindsets. These nanny professionals conceivably fear others’ knowing that they are working nannies and, therefore, they are afraid to collaborate with other nannies and nanny organizations.

This is why it is easy for me to forgive those holding these positions, but I do respectfully ask that they seriously consider their stances—after all, they have nothing to hide. They should remember that the nanny profession is in fact a noble one. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry.” I implore you to be the best nanny you can be. Doing so will leave a positive imprint on the children’s lives you have been chosen to be a part of, and through your service, these children will see the best side of humanity.

Therefore, I pen this blog not to ask you to change your attitudes, because I realize that only you can do decide to do so. Perhaps, I can reach your conscience and help you realize that isolating yourself from other nanny professionals and encouraging your nanny comrades to do the same does not affect the people organizing the events to benefit the advancement of nannies. It does not affect the nanny professionals who work together to face the increasing challenges and demands of the 21st-century nanny. It does however affect those who will fail to get trained, those who will continue to remain in a psychological cocoon, who refuse to evolve, who refuse to view childcare outside of their unique narrow lenses, and who fail to recognize today’s zeitgeist as it relates to childcare. Though I will continue to respect the ideas that may be contrary to my own, a part of me cannot help but wish that we will all realize that great strides were only made when people banded together. Consider the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s; consider the work of Dr. King, and then examine yourself. Understand that “no man is an island” and that collective purpose and unity is the way forward. Perhaps we need to condition the crabs that are in a barrel to recognize that if they are ever to leave the abyss of the barrel they have been stuck in, they must help push their comrades upward to escape the barrel and that they, too, could find their own escape through collective collaboration—and not by pulling others down.

I hope to see you exercising agency in the nanny profession through collective collaboration!

Alene Mathurin

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