Would you hire a male nanny to look after your children? The concept of male nanny is recent, even in the modern era. However, with the gender role stereotypes more so in African culture, this may not fit in as expected of a man. Family dynamics keep changing day in day out. Furthermore, women who are mothers are still determined to grow career-wise. They are, therefore, forced to balance motherhood roles and work. Most women who are financially stable often prefer to hire a nanny for childcare services as they look for more significant career opportunities.
A Male Nanny?
Most people look down at the whole point of men being nurturing. However, Luka, a 25-year-old man from Nairobi, Kenya, is a nanny by profession. He has been doing this profession for five years now. His career started when he worked in hospitals and patient homes looking after older men and young children. Luka gained a lot of experience on how to nature children of tender ages and felt confident to become a full-time nanny.
During the first year of being a nanny, people used to shame him for his career, and he was not confident in telling people about his job. At times he would lie to avoid talking about it to people who would possibly not welcome the idea. Coming from a society where if you are not doing male roles such a building or driving, you are kind of not a man, this was not easy for him.
However, as years passed, he felt that being a nanny is the most rewarding experience ever. Having a little person look forward to seeing you the next day after a long day interaction is heart-melting. As a male-nanny, your day kicks off right when you walk in the door. It is just adapting, comforting, and being there, and it never ends.
“I love my work because it’s fun, and most of all, I get to be a positive role model to these children,” says Luka.
Rise of the Male Nannies.
The male-nanny, also known as manny business, is still unusual in African society despite the changes in male and female roles in workspaces. For many generations, parenting styles ingrained gender roles. Though even in western countries it is becoming more common for men to work in childcare. Clients who have worked with male-nannies say it is not essential whether the nanny is male or female. The most crucial factor is how he interacts with the children and how professional he is with his work. If the male nanny has all the qualities needed and the kids love him, they are very comfortable with him.
Imbalance of Positive Role Models in the Job Market.
In past years to this current era, there is an imbalance of the consistent positive female and the regular positive male role models. The perception of males can’t be nurturing plays a significant role in this imbalance. Culture and socialization, which bring about gender roles from the moment a child is born, also plays a huge role. Although the world is getting diverse, and these roles are changing gradually, most of us still practice them consciously and unconsciously in their daily routine. Ideologies such as masculinity and femininity are persistent in our lives. These cultural stereotypes and perceptions are false. Men can talk about their feelings; they are caring, loving, and nurturing.
If people and society, in general, can look past these factors, then significant market gaps and imbalances can be filled. In return, the levels of unemployment would reduce as people would seek out new opportunities. Therefore, we, as a community, must look forward to changing the whole narrative in general.