This week Be the Best Nanny Newsletter recognized National Nanny Recognition Week by sharing short essays by great nannies that love working in their chosen profession.
The perfect ending to National Nanny Recognition Week is reviewing the inspirational book Like a Second Motherby Barbara Blouin.
The book is a collection of oral histories, memoirs, and photographs compiled to honor in-home caregivers of children. There is no other book of its kind.
Barbara Blouin interviewed over 40 adults who grew up in wealthy families and who feel immense gratitude to the nannies and housekeepers who gave them love and nurturing.
Many of these caregivers have passed on; however, the current generation of nannies also has plenty to say about the family contexts in which they are working. Eight previously unpublished short memoirs are included.
Some of the caregivers were nannies but others may have been employed as housekeepers who took on the role of care giving with the children of the home. Some of the adults who were former charges describe getting more "mothering" form their nanny or housekeeper, than from their own mother.
For example, one former charge fondly remembers helping the nanny slave over a hot stove cooking meals for the adults. Then, the parents and their guests dined fashionably in a formal dining area, while the children and nanny ate separately in the hot kitchen.
These stories describe domestic working conditions from decades ago. It is truly painful to read about the prejudice of racism and classism some of the nannies and housekeepers experienced.
But, the love and gratitude expressed by the former charges of their nannies and housekeepers who helped raise them is truly inspirational. We strongly encourage all in-home childcare providers read this book.
Have you read Like a Second Mother by Barbara Blouin? What are you feelings about the book?