Our nanny told me today that there were a lot of stereotypes based on the race of nanny families that nannies tend to have. As you’d probably guess, the average family these nanny friends have all worked for has been white, so any time they have worked with a non-white family, any good or bad stereotypes are based on usually just a single family or two. A couple of her nanny friends advised her not to take the job with us: “Chinese and Indian families are so demanding! They will expect so much and treat you terribly! They will nitpick you to death!” She said she didn’t get that sense from us during the trial, so she wanted to give us a chance, and so far, she’s glad she did. We’re the first family she’s ever worked for where she finally felt like she could be herself, she told me. “I feel like I can speak my mind and I won’t get punished for it here,” she said to me. “I can say things like ‘White people,’ and not feel like I just offended you!” She said she was particularly touched when she told me that the Trader Joe O’s I got her didn’t taste the same as Cheerios, and the next day, she saw the Joe O’s were replaced by a box of Cheerios. She said she was really surprised… in a good way. She even went home and told her husband how immediately I acted on that feedback.
Well, not all the stereotypes were bad. One nanny friend asked our nanny if we cooked a lot. She told them I did and would often offer her food, but she told me she had to decline occasionally because she was scared she would gain too much weight. This nanny friend told her that the last Chinese-Indian couple she worked for cooked so much that after just a couple months of working for them, she gained over 20 pounds! Our nanny said she did NOT want to repeat that for herself!