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?