Mothers and Nannies Part 2
I particularly wanted to find out whether a parent’s (cause) behavior could affect the level of care provided by even a “high-grade Nanny” that is, Nannies I have observed who are dutiful and loving caregivers. If this ‘cause-effect’ could be applied to “high-grade Nannies”, it must obviously apply to less considerate Nannies. In other words do parents’ unwittingly create their own childcare problems? In order to answer that question I interviewed Nannies from different backgrounds.
Nanny 1 – Polish (Undocumented Nanny) – “Anna”
Nanny 2 – US Nanny – “Lisa”
SECTION A: ABOUT YOU
Anna – Employed 4 years 7 months.
Lisa – Employed 9 months.
Why did you become a Nanny?
Anna – I needed money to travel around the United States.
Lisa -I’m not sure. It just happened to be the first job I found when I moved to NYC.
Do you have certified qualifications if so, where obtained?
Anna – I do not have any.
Lisa -I am only qualified by the mother’s standards.
Did you have to leave your country of origin to work as a Nanny? If so, where and how often to you visit home?
Anna – I left my country over 4 years ago. Back then I did not have any idea that I am going to stay so long and taking care of kids. Well, I have never visited my country since I left.
Lisa – (not applicable)
What has experience of working with children taught you in terms of providing boundaries, emotional care and intellectual stimulation?
Anna – That (it) is an amazing experience. First of all I found out a lot about myself. I did not even realized how much patience and how much I could possibly endured. This is extremely hard work sometimes. In terms of emotional and intellectual stimulation I found out myself as someone who is showing the world to somebody who do not know anything. This is very serious position that we are in. We are carrying such responsible for that little person we simply cannot make any mistake.
Lisa – Boundaries. Very important, but almost impossible to achieve. There are times you feel (like) THE MOTHER (Nanny’s capitalization) especially at bedtime and the mother/father is not there. Putting the child to sleep always brought up this issue of boundaries because I wanted to comfort and (be) motherly but only to a point. My schedule was non-existent. I felt my personal time was ignored because you have to put the child’s needs first – how can you argue with that? At times when I was asked to work later into the evenings I knew I would be there after midnight and had to be because if I wasn’t there, who would be? They (parents) couldn’t leave her (child) with anyone else because she screamed and cried the entire night. I became the only person they trusted with this job – and because I cared about ****** (child’s name) I stayed. Emotional care was very tricky. ******’s mother was very sensitive and volatile, while I am very calm and patient. I felt a lot of fights could have been prevented if ******’s mother had been able to stay calm. ****** (child) needs a lot of emotional care. She would cry a lot. I was constantly reassuring her that her mother would come back for her.