Not just anyone would hire a Manny to look after their children. Yes, we said Manny and not a Nanny, as in a male caregiver hired to watch the children. Now, a lot of people think that traditionally, young females should fill in the role instead. But more and more families are actually hiring males to watch their children, and for good reason, too.
First up, a lot of people ask the same question: what is a manny and how does it differ from a nanny? To be honest, mannies perform the same childcare duties and expectations as their female counterparts. The only difference is that some families might prefer to have an additional male role model at home. If dad works all the time or if a single mom needs help with her kids, she might look to hire a male nanny simply because he might bring certain qualities into childcare that a female might not have.
With that being said, there are plenty of “rules” that mannies have to follow and some of them might not differ from what is expected from a traditional nanny. There are also lots of pros and cons to hiring a Manny. Here are just some expectations and rules that these families have.
20 Watch My Kid Like They Are Your Own
First and foremost, a lot of parents expect that you will watch their kids like their own. But is anyone really surprised? The moment a couple steps out the door, they want their manny to watch their kid like a hawk. And seeing how most mannies operate (The Rock style), that’s exactly what they get, too. This dad said on Reddit, “Questioning whether a man can babysit as well as a woman, to me, just extends the notion that a man cannot love, care for, nurture, challenge and engage an infant/child as well as a woman. Perhaps dialogue about your question could open some minds of mothers that feel men belong somewhere other than at home raising an infant.”
19 Behavior Management
One mom wrote on a manny online forum, “I have two boys who'd love a male
babysitter. As long as he doesn't let them mess up the house too much and doesn't become a role model for masculine butt cleavage, I'm good.” Now, you might think that having a manny will be all fun and games, but yes, they are expected to sustain some level of normalcy and discipline at home while the parents are gone. In other words, the manny’s employers expect them to enforce the house rules when they are gone. You might look like the “fun uncle,” but in theory, you shouldn’t be.
18 Confidentiality, Please
Just like Las Vegas, whatever happens in the house, stays in the house! Even when the husband and wife come home drunk off their face. You don’t talk about it with anybody – including your family, friends or girlfriend. Things will get awkward the next day as it is. One manny said on Reddit, “The parents were over an hour later than anticipated which I didn't mind since their kids were already asleep and mom and dad were excellent tippers. When they finally pulled into the driveway the dad came inside alone and asked for help carrying in his very intoxicated, passed out, dead-weight wife.”
17 Tech Rules
If you are the manny, do everyone a favor and just lay off the screens while you are with a couple’s children. You don’t want to get caught looking at something you shouldn’t be looking at, especially if you are on the clock. You’ll end up getting caught, one way or another. One disgruntled mom wrote on Reddit, “My husband and I hired a female teen sitter for our son, and she spent most of the evening viewing [adult content] online—amazing that she didn't know enough to erase the browser history!--so I know that gender isn't always an indicator.”
16 Family Philosophy
According to Babble, blogger Tasha Blaine writes, “A nanny relationship is like a marriage. If you don’t communicate, petty irritations can loom large. It’s often hard for parents to be direct, and even harder for nannies.”
This philosophy, of course, applies to mannies as well. If you’ve got a family that loves The Los Angeles Lakers, don’t walk inside the house with a Golden State Warrior t-shirt and hat on. Also, if you know that the family is gluten-free, don’t take the kids out to lunch at Subway, for crying out loud. Know their personal rules, preferences, likes, and dislikes before working with them.
15 Despite The Judging
That’s right: there’s a very good chance that the wife’s mom friends might be keeping a very close eye on you, and watching every move you make at the local neighborhood playground. Some of them might be suspicious of you, others quite frankly might be jealous. That’s because you are the only person in the playground that’s actually helping the kids ace the monkey bars, playing hide-and-go-seek and getting down and dirty in the sand pit to make some killer sand castles. And yes, everyone else is either on their phones or looking up from their phones to check you out. Don’t worry about it. You do you.
14 Not About Fitting In
Let’s face it: it’s a brutal world out there. And we are going to say what others think, but are just afraid to say out loud: the babysitting industry has always been a woman’s world. Because of this, a lot of potential families and employers might not see the good in you, simply because of that fact that you are male. Another mom wrote on a manny forum, “Last year, we had a 17-year-old boy come by for a babysitting interview. The young man seemed quite qualified, etc, but he didn't click with any of us. I've had the same situation with women, of course. I will keep trying. But, my son prefers maternal, warm, female energy.”
13 Keeping Schedules
Now, we don’t want to be judgmental here, but truth be told, a lot of mothers would agree that female babysitters do a better job of keeping up with the family’s schedule than mannies do. Now, don’t hold that to us, but we have a strong feeling that mannies usually go off track simply because they are having too much damn fun with their job. And is that such a bad thing? With so many people sitting on their smartphones at the park these days, it’s refreshing to see a manny actually get down on the floor and play a game of monopoly with a bunch of very happy kids.
12 Staying Discrete
Communication – just like at any job – is key between a good manny and his family. But, be careful of what you text, when you text it, or who you text it to for that matter. You won’t believe some of the mishaps that happen when you text to the wrong number. For example, one manny on Reddit said, “The mom texted me by accident when it was meant for the dad at work. Lots of ... innuendos for what was to come after the kids were asleep. Mom quickly apologized for her mistake but couldn't look me in the eye for quite some time after.”
11 Unexpected Visitors
We don’t care if it’s an out of town guest, your mama, your papa, your best friend. When you are taking care of a family, no visitors are allowed. But then again, mannies have seen some weird stuff going on inside people’s homes. One manny wrote on Reddit, “I have been a nanny for most of my working life, and working with kids can give you some very, very weird experiences, but the absolutely weirdest moment was two years ago when the wife of a couple I worked for would come home around the time the baby normally napped, with her lover. That's right ... under her husband's nose.”
10 Gender Roles
And while people have all different excuses not to hire a manny, one mother pointed out that her particular manny had a hard time crossing over specific gender roles. In other words, he didn’t want to play with Barbies. Another mom wrote on Reddit, “I would have no problem hiring a male, however, I have two girls and they prefer a female. I did have a male once and they complained that he didn't want to do hair, makeup, play dolls, etc. Perhaps it was just him and another might have done these things. I just went back to females at the request of the kiddos. It also has to do with the fact that I have only had the recommendation of one male babysitter.”
9 A Nurturing Instinct
As a manny, don’t forget that your main goal is to take care of another family’s children as if they were their own. So yes, let all of your instincts do the legwork for you. Show the family that you can be just as nurturing and compassionate as a female nanny. A mom wrote on Reddit, “Our sitters seem only to have other female friends who are interested in babysitting, so boys haven't even come up. But now that I have a son of my own, I'm aware of how important it is for him to see men as nurturers, not just women. A male sitter--who we trust--would be great!”
8 Being The Role Model Type
Let’s make this clear: no one is perfect. No nanny is perfect and certainly, no manny is perfect either. But with that in mind, remember that you are the child’s role model. Don’t forget to act like one, as the kids are watching you all the time. Another mom wrote, “I would particularly like a male babysitter, especially as the weather gets nicer and there are more outdoor activities they might share. I am a single mom, and I try to bring diverse and positive males into my son's life as much as possible. I can't be all things to him (much as I try!)”.
7 Easy On The Eyes
We might or might not be kidding here (depending on your sense of humor), but please don’t dress too hot. Especially if you are already hot on the outside. It might serve as a huge distraction for the wife, and yes, the husband might get a wee bit jealous, too. But don’t worry, this same rule applies to female nannies, as well. Whenever you are on the job, dress appropriately. You don’t have to dress like you are going to an office, but keep the beer pong references (and anything else wildly inappropriate, mind you) off of your t-shirts, please.
6 Manny/Family Relationship
If our kids get attached to you, there’s a good chance that we might keep you for longer than expected. And soon enough, you’ll become like a member of our family. You’ll be one of them, without the last name. Remember though, this is where things get a bit tricky and feelings might even get hurt, especially if things go south once something goes wrong. As Tasha Blaine of Babble puts it, “The longer a nanny is with your family, the more she becomes part of the fabric of your life. While a great relationship boosts a nanny’s self-esteem and commitment, many prioritize professional respect over intimacy.”
5 A 'Daddy' Problem Instead Of A 'Mommy' Problem
Hey, this is bound to happen. Kids are kids, and just like adults, they can get forgetful. With that being said, don’t freak out if one of them accidentally calls you “daddy.” That just means they truly like you, feel comfortable with you, and want to keep you around. Surely, plenty of nannies have heard kids accidentally call them “mommy” too. In fact, it’s quite common. But it shouldn’t give you a reason to run out the door. No matter what, you are still the manny. Now, what kind of daddy you are outside of working hours is none of anyone’s business.
4 Privacy Matters
We don’t like to keep secrets (and we certainly don’t like to teach our kids how to keep secrets) but if one of our kids happen to call you “daddy” please do us a favor and don’t tell the hubs. Trust us, it’ll be hard on him, especially knowing that you spend so much time with his kids as it is. It’s an honest, simple mistake, but one that might get some dads very emotional. Now, the only worse part about you being called 'daddy' is if that real dad starts being called “manny.” Now that will be confusing for everyone.
3 The Issue Of Cleaning Up After The Mess
Ok, this part sucks, but it has to be said. If you make a mess with the kids, clean it up. And that also includes the experimental slime that all the girls make thanks to the YouTube tutorials that have taken over the Internet. Now, we don’t want you to be an extra housekeeper, but just someone who is considerate enough to keep the house in the same shape as we left it. Tasha Blaine puts it this way, “While most nannies will cook, clean and do laundry for the children, they resent being asked to broaden those housekeeping duties.”
2 Fun Comes First
Technically, it is a job, but let’s face it: you are playing with kids all day long. So basically, it’s your job to have as much fun as possible. You get to play Super Mario games, hang out with American Girl dolls, go to theme parks, color, paint and make slim until the sun goes down. Ok, that last part might have been an exaggeration, but you get our drift. Have as much fun as you possibly can and it won’t feel like a job at all. One mom confessed, “Honestly there is no reason I would rather hire one [gender] over the other, for me the most important thing would be that the person is fun, intelligent and responsible with my child.”
1 We Appreciate You
Even though a lot of jealous mom friends might be giving you the side eye, do know that we truly appreciate you. That’s because good mannies are really hard to find. This mom wrote on Reddit, “When we can afford it, I'd love to hire a male babysitter. My
son has been in daycare for 4 months, where the staff is all female. Most of our nearby relatives are female. So my boy is a bit hesitant sometimes around men other than my husband. Every time my husband's brother comes over, there's a fairly long adjustment period that includes some crying. I think a male babysitter would provide my son with one more male role model.”
References: Reddit.come, Babble.com