The Benefits of Hiring a Male Nanny
May 21, 2015 · Posted in Caregivers, K-5 Kids, Parenting, Preschoolers · Permalink · Comments Off on The Benefits of Hiring a Male Nanny

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John Brandon is known internationally for founding his first company, NYC Mannies. He has been interviewed on CNN International, Good Morning America, ITV (UK), as well as other major media outlets around the world. Having worked for years as a manny, John brings a unique perspective and passion to the childcare industry. He is a published writer on the subject of caregiving and mentorship. Having grown up without a father, John understands the need for kids to have positive role models in their lives. Visit www.MyManny.com for more information.

 

As the owner of MyManny, an agency for hiring male caregivers, I am often asked why people should hire mannies. I can only answer from personal experience. When I was 14 my father died. I needed older male role models to play sports with me, encourage me, help me with schoolwork, and mentor me as I faced the challenges of growing up.

In 2013, I started working as a manny in New York. I had years of experience working with children as a camp counselor, high school teacher, and babysitter. I wanted to be a “super-nanny” –to teach, educate, mentor, and tutor. My goal was to make a difference in the lives of the kids I was working with. This led me to found MyManny, to provide this kind of service to many New York City families.

Mannies aren’t just great for kids without dads. Most of the parents I work with are married couples that work full-time and need extra childcare support. Mannies are educated and well rounded. They a workforce of young, college-educated men who also tend to be active and athletic. They can tutor in various subjects without charging tutoring rates as well as teach athletics without having to hire a private coach.

Growing up in New York can be challenging. There is so much external stimulation that kids in New York have to navigate. My goal, for myself, and the mannies who work at MyManny, is to form deep one-on-one relationships, help children focus, give them physical outlets and help guide them as they grow. As men, we offer a different and important sense of protection and help to keep children safe.

Being a manny is more than just a job. It’s a chance to make a positive impact on a growing child, and to be a support for the entire family.

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A Win For Nannies Is A Win For Women
June 8, 2010 · Posted in Caregivers, Parenting, Social Action, Work/Family Balance · Permalink · Comments (1)

The New York State Assembly and Senate have recently passed versions of a new bill instating the rights of domestic workers. Sick days, paid vacation, and overtime will finally be protected benefits even for domestic workers who are not legal citizens. The New York Times article, For Nannies, Hope For Workplace Protection describes the bills that Governor Patterson will likely combine and sign into law.

This legislature will help close the gap between domestic workers and the rest of the workforce. The fact that these rights are only being granted in the year 2010 highlights that this is not only a work-status issues but a gender issue as well. Discrimination against women is alive and well. Domestic workers are by and large women. We as a society still collude in thinking that this is lower status, invisible work. Women’s work. These changes will be a major step forward for our society and a move towards recognizing the care of children and home as truly important work.

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Anna Karenina’s Kid Went to Daycare
February 11, 2010 · Posted in Buddhism/Parenting, Caregivers, Parenting, Work/Family Balance · Permalink · Comments (1)

kramskoi-neizvestnaiaby Bethany Saltman

Ok, so it wasn’t daycare—it was a governess. And yes, I know Anna threw herself beneath a train and died, so it’s probably not going to help my cause to be comparing myself to her. But wait: Tolstoy, the original family man, believed that Anna loved her son so much that she was afraid to divorce her dull, mean husband for the fabulous (-ish) Vronsky because the kid’s life would be ruined. In the end, she was so tortured by having to choose between her son and her lover that she couldn’t take it anymore.

But Anna is no super-mom. Far from it. This is how Anna feels coming home from some lovely evening out as her son runs to greet her:

“Her son, like his father, produced on Anna a feeling akin to disappointment. Her fancy had pictured him nicer than he was in reality. She had to come down to reality in order to enjoy him as he was. But even as he was, he was charming, with his fair curls, blue eyes, and plump, shapely legs in tight-fitting stockings.”

My point is that EVEN Anna—depressed, obsessed, tragic, not exactly playing on the floor in stretchy bottoms—is portrayed by someone I respect as a loving mother. And I—nursing, feeding, playing, sure, a bit melancholy, sometimes down, but mostly pretty present, but sending Baby to J’s for home daycare 20-odd hours a week so I can teach, work, write, be alone, run, do this—feel totally guilty and shamed by the world (notice I said “feel,” not “am”—I don’t actually believe that everyone is scorning me, well, maybe a little).

The last couple of weeks I have been on break from school, and had this idea that I should not send Baby to J’s since I wasn’t technically working. For the most part she went as scheduled, but boy, did I pay for it in anguish. Turns out I worked my ass off—beating myself up is a full-time job!

This morning I dropped Baby off in my running gear, all ready for when I returned home. On the drive there I was prepping myself, wondering if I would lie if J asked me casually if I was going for a run. Would I say that I already went, embarrassed that I would do such a thing while my child in is the care of another? What kind of woman must I be?

She never asked.

This article first appeared online in Chronogram Magazine, January 15, 2007.

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Soho Parenting in The New York Times!
February 4, 2010 · Posted in Caregivers, Communication, Parenting · Permalink · Comments (1)

new_york_times_logoSoho Parenting is mentioned in today’s New York Times article “How to Speak Nanny” by Hilary Stout.  Yay!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/garden/18letters-NANNYSTORIES_LETTERS.html?ref=garden

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Sweep the Minefield: Mother and Nanny
September 22, 2009 · Posted in Caregivers, Communication, Parenting · Permalink · Comments (2)

MineSweeperSSThe relationship between mother and nanny is like a minefield. The surface can look undisturbed. Some pieces of the terrain are truly safe, but a step in the wrong direction and you touch on the explosive issues of jealousy, judgment, class, race, guilt, and fear. It is the unusual mother-nanny relationship that does not have these issues brimming somewhere under the surface.

Women capable of managing hundreds of people at work become physically sick at the thought of asking their nannies to do a simple task. Long time babysitters tip toe around showing affection to the children for fear that parents will be envious of the relationship. The bottom line is that the necessary blurring of boundaries between intimacy and employment make the nanny-mother relationship fraught.

There is no way to eliminate all these dynamics but there are a few things that can make the relationship a more smooth and honest partnership:

  • Approach your nanny as a professional employee.  Make a clear and detailed job description and employee agreement. Vacation days, salary, sick days, holidays, overtime and responsibilities all should be spelled out.
  • Have a weekly or biweekly meeting that is set in stone and sacred.  Making time to discuss all things related to children and home on a regular basis keeps the relationship collaborative and helps to avoid resentment and miscommunication.
  • Praise the work this person is putting into your home and family. Children feel more comfortable with childcare when they see the positive relationship between you and the caregiver. Make sure hellos and goodbyes are warm and respectful.
  • Keep your nanny abreast of all family related changes that will effect her: everything from vacations and pregnancies to play dates and schedule changes.
  • Remember that your nanny has a personal life outside your family-be sensitive but not overly involved.
  • Discuss discipline on a regular basis, consistency is key with children and you will want to be on the same page.
  • If you have the sense that the relationship is not working for you, the nanny or your children –make a change.

Many women come to depend on and feel a deep appreciation and affection for their caregiver. Nannies can feel a sense of connection and pride in their important job.  Remember that true mutual trust is earned over time and cultivated by working on communication. Recognize that the mother-nanny relationship is tender.  Jealousy, frustration and irritation as well as gratitude, admiration and mutual love of the children will inevitably be part of the package. This relationship has the potential to be a nurturing, enduring and pwerful experience for all involved.

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