The Nanny Stigma

Many times when I tell people I'm a nanny, I get a certain look--and it's not a kind one. There's a certain judgment behind having gone to university for 4 years and be working a position I didn't need to spend the time and money of college for. However, without college I wouldn't be successful in this career. I balance a household. I balance the lives and learning of three children. I understand the three year old's brain due to child psychology and courses in elementary education. I can juggle a crying baby, a 3 year old playing with a permanent marker, and the doorbell ringing in a moment's notice because I had to juggle 18 units, a part time job, and an internship in one semester. I worked hard for my degree and I will continue to work hard in my career, even if I'm not applying the Uncertainty Reduction Theory and Brown v. Board of Education in my daily work.

Contrary to what many of my friends believe, I don't sit at the family's home and watch TV all day. I run a household. I shop for groceries, get kids to and from school, fold laundry, and do the dishes. I change poopy diapers, wipe away tears, make blanket forts, and see who can get higher on the swings.

It takes a special person to do all of this, and to do it all well. For those of you who work in an office, a hospital, or a classroom, that is great. I hope you love your position as much as I love mine. And that is the key focus here: I LOVE MY JOB. I wouldn't change being a nanny in a heart beat. I wish I could make it a life time career. It's not easy and some days I want to cry, but it is the perfect job for me. When a six year old says her lunch time prayer and thanks God for her "nice nanny" or the three year old tells you "Girls rule, boys drool, so call your boyfriend and tell him he drools," your heart melts... and it makes you realize you're exactly where God intended you to be.

Nannying isn't for everyone. I could never work in an office and have respect for those who do. Each person has been given different gifts from the Lord and we must use them in our own unique ways. If we all had the same skills, strengths, and passions, the world would be a boring place with a lot of accountants and no acrobats. So the next time someone tells you that they're a nanny or a stay at home mom or a pastry chef or a circus clown, don't give them that look. Learn more about their job and admire the way they use their gifts.

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