Those of us Dads who blog spend a lot of our time championing equality amongst the parents.
Dads are as good as Moms is our rallying cry. So, would it follow then that boys are as good as girls when it comes to babysitters?
Not so fast.
In a recent search for a Nanny to come and help out our family, a male applied for the job. My wife and I immediately had a Ward and June Cleaver moment. “Why would a man want to look after kids?” We shuffled the application off to the side, and didn’t phone him for a follow-up interview.
I admit our fear-based headlines in the news gene kicked in. While there’s nothing wrong with a man looking after his own kids, a guy wanting to look after someone else’s kids is somehow suspect. Creepy. Odd. I don’t want to say child-rearing is ‘women’s work,’ but, in a way, that’s what our bias is saying.
Well, New Yorkers are bucking the belief.
John Brandon runs NYCMannies.com, an agency devoted specifically to people looking to revive the 80s sitcom Charles In Charge. The agency believes Mannies are a better way to raise your kids, just not everyone knows it yet.
“People were coming up to me all the time asking where they could get mannies,” Bravdon tells Business Insider. In an era of split families, men as nannies can bring a positive male role model into a single mom family.
“We’re basically providing a big brother service with guys who are athletic, high energy and can keep up with young kids and plan activities. The kid I work with now is so tired at the end of the day because I don’t like to sit still and I’m always encouraging him to try new things.”
So, perhaps, it looks like the well-heeled in NYC are skipping the social services that organizations like Big Brothers provide and hiring their own. Could it drift to live-in mannying, housecleaning, cooking, and chauffering? I asked some blogging Dads about hiring males to look after their kids, and while some of them have their sons taking first aid courses to pick up babysitting jobs in the neighborhood, few admit to the same bias my wife and I have.
Many on the list were babysitters as kids and a few of them even spent time as a Gary Poppins.
So where do you stand? Would you hire a neighborhood boy to babysit? Would you leave your kids in a daycare with male teachers? Would you hire a manny to live in your home and be the caregiver when you’re at work?
Image via Anthony J