This week we decided to bring in another guest blogger to talk about HIS take on male nannies and what he feels they can bring to the household. Danny Wakefield (AKA Danny the Manny) has found himself caring for children for as long as he knows.
On top of his impressive Instagram resume, he is also an all-round great person and caring soul.
Let’s see what Danny has to say on the topic of being a male nanny
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve found myself surrounded by babies. I used to think that it was ironic that no matter where in the world I was or why I was there, I was always in the presences of young beings. As I’ve grown, I’ve found that it wasn’t irony that was drawing me to babies and young children; it was my destiny. The first time that I knew I wanted to be a manny was when I was twelve years old. It was at this age that I started babysitting regularly, and would often find myself daydreaming about becoming Angelina Jolie’s nanny. At the time, she didn’t even have children, but as her family has grown and blossomed, I am able to see why my twelve year old self was drawn to her.
As soon as I graduated high school, I dove into beginning my professional career as a manny. While supporting the daily development of children, I was also able to put myself through school to get my first degree in Early Elementary Education and a second in Early Childhood Family Studies with a focus on Child Development and Autism. When I finished my degree and was able to pair that with my experience, my career as a manny really took off.
Being a professional manny has not only taught me a tremendous amount about children, but also about family dynamics and how to navigate relationships with parents. I’ve learned how to create environments that open lines of communication while also empowering parents the be the best they can be, all along continuing to create a space for them to lean into the support I’m able to provide as a manny. There have been a few hard situations with families that I have been in, but I’ve always found that when one door closes with a family, another one always opens.
Through my career as a manny, I’ve also experienced some push back from society and parents alike in regards to my decision to be a male nanny. My abilities and credentials are often questioned. What I’ve found though, is that as soon as people see me with children, they no longer question my choices because they are able to see the level of passion that I have towards being a present, grounding force in the lives of children. They see the way that children flock to me in a way that can only be explained through experiencing it, not through words. They see that my gender doesn’t quantify the quality of care that I am able to provide for children; my love and passion for children does. As a manny, I can be mothering, nurturing, and be an example of positive masculinity all at the same time. I strive to create an environment where my kids feel safe to shed stereotypes and labels. I crave to instill confidence in them to find the courage to push beyond the boundaries of the boxes that society puts them in. I dig deep to drive through the constraints of societies stereotypes in order to live as my authentic self, and to be the best example for children that I can be.
One thing that I’ve loved the most about being a manny is being able to combine my passion for children and traveling the world. As an adventure manny, I often accompany my families on vacations and work travel all over the world. I’ve had the privilege of seeing the world in the best way possible, through the eyes of children. To date I’ve been able to travel internationally to Morocco, London, Paris, Tokyo, Germany, and Austria. I’ve also been all over the states including: New York, DC, Arizona, Florida, California, Washington, Hawaii, and Idaho. While traveling
with families I’ve found that it presents it’s own set of rewards and challenges. There is new layer of accountability and responsibility that comes with caring for children while on the road. I’ve traveled with families where I’ve been on the clock for the entire duration of the vacation, sometimes many weeks at a time, and also with families that consciously make sure that I get a bit of Danny downtime. I’ve found the most important tool to use while traveling with children is to bring as much of their routine on the road with us as possibly. I always make sure to pack their favorite bedtime stories, pictures to decorate the room with, blankies, and other small items that help them to feel at home while away. Over the years, my world has become so much more colorful because I’ve been given the gift of seeing it through the same lens as children.
There are many profound reasons that make this the perfect career choice for me. But what fills my heart the most is knowing that as a manny, I have the ability to change the lives of little beings. Those little beings then go out and change the world. As a manny, I have the ability to change the world, one little being at a time. While at the same time, those same little beings are changing my life – Danny the Manny.
You can follow Danny’s Instagram here.
If you’re interested in sharing your story of why you became a caregiver or if you’re looking for somebody just like Danny, please contact us here!