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men who change diapers change the world

Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Mannys (slowly) invade America (thank you Britney Spears!)

 An alert reader, found this excellent piece in the Daily Telegraph by British reporter Sarah Ebner on male nannies or mannys.  She interviews Holly Peterson's for her book The Manny due for American release in a few months. Peterson (who has 3 children) notes "Boys play differently to women, the nanny is more of a comforter, while the manny is a 'throw me across the room' kind of guy. They fool around, play football and are happy to run around and around the park.''  Of course we knew this all along, in an old At-Home Dad Newsletter article I wrote 10 years ago  daycare daddy John Wise said "The only structure around here is snack, nap and lunch time." Wise calls it the "rhythm method". "Why would you want to break that rhythm by forcing another activity when everything is fine. If things are running smoothly we will continue with it as long as the kids are enjoying it." 2 other day care daddies I interviewed for the same story had a similar "let the kids run around" style.  

We can thank Britney Spears (and her Fed-ex) for sticking this whole manny issue into the limelight last year,  but an  interesting stat may reflect the true public opionion. In an online survey from a Tinies Nanny Agency quiz it was revealed that four fifths of mothers would feel threatened by a female nanny, but only half of the dads felt the same threat. 

Posting on the manny story in the message board last week "Carlos" wrote:

 "Careers have been more important for a long time.. take a look at the before school program that includes breakfast.  or the after school "latch key" programs.  it seems that most of America would rather "farm out" time with their kids.  The saddest part is that most of the time the second parent is working and earns just enough to pay for the new cars in the driveway, and day care expenses.  I even know a few stay at home parents that send their kids to day care 5 days a week....(so they can have a break)....does that qualify as a stay a home parent?  or is it skipping out on the kids and perusing laziness as a career?     I think it's about time that The "Manny" gets some attention. I'm waiting for the debut of "Super Manny"....

Posted by athomedad at 3:19 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007 9:14 AM EST
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