Saturday, November 28, 2015

Would You Tell Them the Difference?

I've read several blogs in the last year about how frustrating it is as a nanny to be called a babysitter. Usually I shrug them off. I mean yeah there is a difference between being a babysitter and a nanny. A big difference. But is it worth the energy getting mad?

Last week our Hispanic house cleaner in her broken english told me as she smiled at little Roo "you good babe-sat", I interpreted it as you are a good babysitter. I found it rather endearing and sweet. But as my cousin asked me this Thanksgiving "Are you still out in Seattle babysitting"? I suddenly felt degraded. 

I mean I haven't seen her in years so I can't fault her for her not really knowing what I do - so I didn't bother to correct her. But as my sister introduced me as a "professional babysitter" to all her friends I flinched. Visibly apparently, as my brother commented on the fact that I must really not like being called a babysitter. Which I guess I officially don't.

For the first time I felt degraded. Really degraded. Here I am a woman in her late 20's, making great money, taking courses and classes yearly to stay up to date in my field. A full-time working woman with certificates spending countless hours reading for professional development and I am compared to a high school part-time job. A part time-job that I spent many years doing. I paid my dues, I spent nights working my way up the pay-scale (as I will continue to do as I keep taking classes), I have graduated from my babysitting title.

So yes, it may seem little. A person might not know the difference between a babysitter and nanny - assuming they are the same thing. But it is not little. The difference is real (both in pay-scale and job description).

Next time someone calls me a babysitter, I might just speak up for our field and inform them of the differences. Because most people mean no harm in calling us nannies babysitters. They just don't know that there is a difference between the two. Would you tell them the difference?


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Oh, the Places You'll Go...

"...You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights."
                       -Dr. Seuss

When nannies start talking about some of the perks that comes with our job a variety of ideas start gathering; guaranteed hours, nanny car, never dressing up for work, play-dates, fun trips to the local sites, vacation days, sick days, on and on the list goes. This almost non-exhaustive list is because each family is as different as the snowflakes that fall each December in my hometown, but one perk is usually stands out above the rest. A perk that most nannies hope to be asked to join in... 

The vast majority of nannies that I know hope that at some point their nanny-family will ask them to travel on some wonderful vacation with them. Whether it is a weekend on the coast or a week in Paris traveling with a nanny-family can be a great way to see new sites at very minimal cost to the nanny (before it seems all rainbows and butterflies, usually the nanny is still required to work her normal work week in addition to extra hours in return - still a great deal in my opinion).

For me the places that I'll go have been more because who I have met in my profession instead of traveling as a professional. The relationships I have built with the families I worked for bled into their families and friends. I have become the "additional" daughter, sister, and auntie in some of these families. I have felt honored and blessed to be able to grow from an employee or "the nanny" to much more. 

In 2010 one such relationship led to me to one of the most beautiful places I have explored thus far, Hawaii. Now in 2016 I will get to enjoy the perk of who I've met because of nannying by joining the high fliers to China. My exMom-Boss has a twin and this twin currently lives in China. With an upcoming break and an incredible ticket price I decided to take up the offer to visit her and her family. With an excitement in my heart, a future stamp in my passport, and the need to buy a new suitcase I am grateful not only for the places my nannying takes me but the people it brings into my life.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Roo is in his crib fighting sleep. As he fights his essential need for rest I am reminded of men and women who have fought for our greatest desire freedom.

Pearl Harbor War Memorial, 2010
In America it is easy to look at the last 30 years and wonder if we still need a military to fight for our freedom. We haven't had an actual battle take place on our soil in what 70 plus years? The last time we were truly attacked by another formal military was Pearl Harbor (this is not a researched statement just an assumption). It is easy to think of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afganhanstan as fruitless wars. I am not a history buff nor a professional historian so I am not going to make a validating or invalditing comment on that thought process, none the less when we hear about sending our men and women over to these "hell" like situations one wonders why.

We have our freedoms, we fought against the Brits to win our freedom. We fought against the world in WW1 and WW2 to keep our freedoms. America has even fought itself to keep the rights of the states and the people within the states. So why do we keep fighting wars that don't seem to be ours? Why do we keep risking and loosing lives our men and women? Well France of course.

I think France as why we continue to fight battles that might not necessarily be "ours" to fight. In 1781* when the French navy ships finally reached an almost hopeless American soil, spirits lifted and the airs of change began. France decided freedom was worth the fight, not just their freedom but freedom of their fellow humans. So they set sail and helped Americans finish the fight for freedom.

Whether you agree with they whys of war or not, please don't forget that men and women are daily fighting for not just American freedom but the freedom for other nations. A freedom that we honestly take for total granted here in the states. So before you take another shot at our military power or governmental strong hand, before you go all political on the rights or wrong of war, remember. Take a minute to remember the men and women that have served and fought for you to be able to voice your opinions on war. Remember the soldiers who have suffered their own personal hell and come back to people hating them for it.

Most importantly if you see a veteran today, not matter your opinion of war, thank them for serving. Some veterans choose to serve, some were drafted to serve while others wish they had never served - but the reality is they all did. They all went to war in our place. Please thank them for fighting for humanity's deepest desire, freedom.


ceconner© 11.11.2015