I need a babysitter for my daughter so I've been perusing the listings on Sittercity. Most of the child care providers on there are female, but the other day, I came across a "manny," and I hesitated.
A lot of moms must have this reaction because he wrote in his profile: "Let me put your fears to rest," and "the woman in my profile picture is my wife."
I guess a lot of people feel funny about hiring a male babysitter to take care of their kids, which is kind of strange when you think about it, because most dads are men. I have absolutely no problem with my husband or my daughter's grandfathers taking care of her so I'm not sure why I felt a little "twitch" when I saw this guy offering his babysitting services.
Some people are okay with having men watch their sons, but not their daughters. Yet according to Janet Rose Wojtalik, author of The Seven Secrets of Parenting Girls, it can be a very positive thing for girls to have a male caregiver.
One mom on our site asked if anyone would consider hiring a manny for their kids; most people said no, although some were open to the idea. Here are some of the responses:
"I would never even consider it-no male other than DH will be caring for our children."
"Probably not. Men, besides my husband and dad, make me very uncomfortable. I think it comes from watching too much Lifetime Television when I was younger."
"Absolutely! I've met some guys that are amazing with kids and we be very happy to have them take care of my kids. It totally depends on the person to me, not their sex, age, race, or religion."
"If my boys were little enough to have a nanny, it would be cool with me-as long as their background check and references were good. And if they were hot-a plus!
"As long as he is qualified."
"I had a male friend who would have made a great manny, but no one would hire him and I couldn't understand why. Now that I'm a parent I get it. Although most men are surely trustworthy, good men, there are more potential child molesters among men than among women. It's just too difficult to the many decent good men from the few nuts. I'm not going to take any chance at all with my kids. As difficult as it would be to hire a female nanny, I'm not even going to consider a male one."
Do you think a babysitter's gender is important? Would you hire a male to take care of your toddler? Or do you think that qualifications are all that matter?
Written by Suzanne Murray for CafeMom's Toddler Buzz