I hate the titles that are given to an all-important role in our world…nannies, caregivers, au pairs, baby sitters. Frankly, if you look at what a “nanny” does – it would be more inspiring and respectful to reference her by her daily activities; she is a Story-Teller, a boo-boo kisser, a cuddler, a climber, a dancer, a puppeteer and most importantly a dreamer & believer. (which I will explain later)
Every working mother knows that angst and daunting feeling; what will I do for childcare? We begin assessing, rationalizing, making lists, talking to other working moms and questioning everything. Every child is special – and ours is no different, we want them to be treated that way.
When I returned to work, I was looking for non-traditional child care. I wanted something small & quaint with personalized attention. In-home child care was the way for our family. So the search began…wow, how overwhelming and intimidating. At the time I wouldn’t have put it past myself to begin practicing the non-respectable “nanny poaching”.
I had visions of the Mary Poppins — and with incredible faith that everything happens the way it’s suppose too…into our lives walked Ali. (I call her our answered prayer, guardian angel and so much more)
Ali has been a part of our family for 2 years and she is soooo much more than a “nanny”, a “caregiver”, a “babysitter”. Frankly these titles disgust me…because they take the personal love & attentiveness she gives Bear away. Inside our home Ali is the little sister I never had, our Mary Poppins and most importantly our little girl’s DREAMER & BELIEVER.
What do I mean by “Dreamer & Believer”??? We all know that every child has no inhibition when it comes to daydreaming. But I soon realized that a child will begin believing in themselves and their dreams AFTER they see others believing in THEM. No daydream is too big for Ali to encourage and dream along with our little Bear. That’s why we call her our Dreamer & Believer.
Ali lives the awe-inspiring quote from Rose Kennedy; “One hundred years from now the world may be different because of the role I played in the life of a child.” This is not a job for Ali, it’s a passion.
I think about the Nanny Diaries – my husband and I are not the absent parents, rather Ali has endured her fair share of overly-structured parenting. We welcomed her with a 32 page binder, monthly goal sheets, family meetings, discipline scale and a daily feedback form. And to think Ali can smile respectfully, pick-up our little girl (kiss her on the cheek) and say; “come-on Bear let’s go to the basement and make a fort”. We love her with all of our heart.
The lesson for me is to never casually reference someone as a “nanny” – rather recognize the gift they are giving a child by “dreaming & believing” with them.
Children are our future and the “dreamers & believers” are significant enablers.