Dear nanny of my friend's children...

I watch you at the park, and this is what I want you to know…

Dear Nanny of my friend’s children,

I’ve seen you at the park, at coffee shops and at the local playgroup.

I’ve seen you doing the school run and the sports-dash in the afternoon.

I see you pushing the pram and carrying the endless bags of snacks and clothes and cuddling toys.

I’ve seen you wipe the nose of the kids you are with and kiss a bleeding knee.

And I want to say thank-you.

You love them almost as if they were your own.

I know you love those children almost as much as if they are your own. I can see your devotion in the way you hold their hand and listen while they tell you for the 14th time about how Iron Man’s weapons are more effective than Superman’s strength.

And I wonder in amazement how you have the patience for it.

I know you are getting paid and you get to go home at the end of the day but the level of commitment and enjoyment you show is beyond what many of us Mums can muster up on a daily basis.

You don’t have to be so kind. You don’t have to be so engaged. No-one would know if you sat on your phone and read the latest headlines or if you gossiped to your mates all day.

The only one around to tell on you is a doe-eyed two-year old.

You blow their snotty noses and wipe their tiny bottoms and clean their tiny faces without a second thought and it takes me by surprise for a minute to see how some people can be so utterly selfless in their lives.


I watched you at a playgroup only the other day. I saw you take your little charge by his hand and walk him around. He wasn’t much interested in the other children only you. I saw you comfort him when he was sad and make him laugh by pulling funny faces and I wanted to pull out my smart phone and video it for his Mum to see.

It’s hard for mothers to put their trust in another woman. To place their faith blindly in a human being unrelated by blood and recommended only on word of mouth.

Look, she's not Mary Poppins, but she's the next best thing.

If his mother had seen it what would she have felt? Warmth, comfort, reassurance, happiness and possibly the tiniest bit of jealousy that her tiny son was so obviously enamored by another woman.

I see other women mistake you for his mother and you gently correct them.

I then see him reunited with his mother – in the playground or around the neighbourhood and I see how his love differs for you both.

I don’t have the need for a nanny to care for my children as my job can be done from home. I am lucky, and I know that.

But my faith is renewed in the ability of a community to care when I watch you, Nanny-of-my-friends-children.

And please do know – we do watch, us other Mums, we watch and we learn and we are in fact in awe of your skills.

So thank you.

Do you have any nanny stories to share?