I have two of the hardest jobs in the world. For one, I am a student trying to better myself by getting an education. For the other, I am a nanny.
That’s right, a nanny. A there-when-the-baby-wakes-up, feeds-him, dresses-him and changes-poopy-diapers kind of nanny.
I believe it is an important job, and I make a difference.
I’m not trying to start an argument about whose job is most difficult. For example, many students who work long hours in restaurants could justify that their jobs are physically demanding and exhausting. And, that’s true.
But nannies have had a significant presence in family life throughout history. Whether acting as a governess for a royal family or a regular baby sitter, taking care of a child is a job that can help mold the youth of today into tomorrow’s better person. The nanny is the person to whom, for many hours a day, the child turns, from whom the child learns and whom the child mimics.
I suspect that many on a college campus are disdainful of those of us who work as childcare-givers. But, parents value their nannies. They will tell you that any person who spends time with their child is important.
I have been with one particular family since the little boy was only 4 months old. I have been there to teach him to sit up, walk, climb stairs, eat solid foods and speak some of his first words.
The baby is now a thriving 15-month-old. He walks, talks and is currently learning how to say trick-or-treat for Halloween. I was there for his birthday, his flu shots and the day he learned to say the cat’s name. I have been the only caretaker, aside from Mom and Dad, he has ever had.
Often, it is the nanny who creates and enforces rules the child learns.
Consider the fictional Mary Poppins who taught and cared for children entrusted to her because their parents were too busy. She taught them important life lessons beyond just being their friend, and the children respected her.
Some may scoff and think that childcare is not important work or that being a nanny or baby sitter is just a way to put off joining the real workforce.
But when I go to work in the morning, I know that I will be a staple of that little boy’s day.
I will be an important piece in the puzzle of that young life.
Erin Glatzel is a junior news-editorial major from Las Vegas.