Would you hire a male childminder? More than half of HerFamily readers wouldn't
Just 46% of HerFamily readers are open to the idea of a male childminder
Journalist Jordan Mason told Scary Mommy recently about a message she received from a 'well meaning' friend, advising her against the idea of hiring a male childminder.
It was this friend's opinion that "boy sitters can have a tendency to be more inappropriate with things that come out of their mouths, things they do with their bodies. Girls, by nature have a more mothering spirit...think about how different it is for your boys to stay with your husband vs. you… you can probably keep a house clean, read books, make a craft, type recipes, post on IG for work and keep everything functioning. Not saying men can’t… it’s just natural for women. When I walk in after the boys are with Andy I think in my head, “at least everyone is alive”.'
Jordan herself however, has a less prehistoric outlook and says she "thought about how great it would be for little boys to have a kind, well-rounded, responsible older boy to serve as a role model. It wouldn’t hurt if they also liked to talk about Pokemon, throw a baseball, and laugh at fart jokes."
This brought to mind a Reddit thread from a couple of years back that sparked debate amongst readers about the topic. It's safe to say opinions were divided on whether hiring a male childminder was appropriate.
"If they otherwise fit any criteria I had, yeah. Why wouldn't I?"
"If I have a daughter, it would be a female nanny. If I have a son, it would be a male nanny. I feel that children, at such a young age, relate most to the same sex. A positive same sex role model is also not a terrible thing."
"I’d be cautious about it. Not because men are incapable of caring for children, or that they’re predatory, I just hear too many stories of male predators, creeps, etc. who take advantage of the vulnerable. This puts me at an aversion. It isn’t fair to good male nannies, and I feel very bad for them. But I would still consider hiring them if they had good credentials with plenty of references."
"No. I know it's not fair and I know not all guys are alike, but I've had too many creeps and abusive sorts in my life as a kid to be comfortable with leaving an infant or toddler alone with most males. It's my baggage, but it is what it is. I have no problem with male teachers or babysitting. Mine had both, but not til they were 6 and old enough to communicate about subjects like that better."
We asked you, the HerFamily community about your thoughts on hiring a male childminder or babysitter. The results were nearly an even split, with 54% of the readers surveyed unwilling to consider a male caregiver for a variety of reasons.
"It might be sexist, but I just think women are better with babies."
"I have two girls. I don't really know why but I wouldn't want them with a man all day."
"There's a difference between mothers and fathers and same with childcare. Always go for a woman."
My own son was very lovingly and expertly cared for by a man for six weeks, while we waited for a creche place to become free when I started back at work.
A very close friend who I know to be amazing with children, having played a large part in his little sisters' upbringings, offered his services. I bit his hand off.
My son adores him and I hope they'll always have the relationship they developed over the course of those weeks. I can happily say it didn't even occur to me that my son might be better off with a woman. He couldn't have been in better hands.
What do you think? Would you hire a male childminder? Is this internal bias something we need to work on changing?
Or are there good reasons for choosing a woman instead? Let us know in the comments.