When choosing the perfect person to take care of your children, your instinct might tell you to choose a woman. However, there’s a growing demand for male nannies and babysitters, and some very compelling reasons to give a ‘manny’ a chance the next time you need a break:
1. Using a male sitter from time to time teaches kids that men are equally capable of looking after them, and that both men and women can assume traditional caregiving roles. That’s a lesson we want our children to learn, right?
2. Both boys and girls need strong, positive male role models. This is not just for kids who don’t have contact with their fathers. Now that so many of us don’t have our families nearby, we lack the network of uncles, grandfathers and older cousins who would traditionally fulfil this role.
3. Depending on your child’s interests and personality, they might get more out of a male sitter, who may be more interested in running around, playing football or watching superhero movies for hours on end.
And if you need some further convincing, here’s a quick Q&A with Luke, who when he’s not busy being an actor doubles up as a brilliant Manny on the Bubble app…
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Enthusiastic, friendly and reliable.
What’s your relevant childcare experience?
I have two small cousins that I regularly look after to help out their parents. They can be a handful but I love them dearly, and they gave me my first experience looking after little ones.
Professionally, I’ve nannied for a family in Wimbledon for a year. They have four children: two sons aged 13 and 6, and two daughters aged 11 and 8. I’ve also done ad hoc jobs for various other families.
What’s the best/worst job you’ve done to make ends meet?
I worked as an usher in a theatre straight after drama school but it wasn’t for me: short hours, bad pay, watching other people on stage doing what you want to do. Nannying enabled me to enjoy work, offered decent pay, good and flexible hours, and it’s something I feel very passionate about.
What do you love about being a Manny?
It is something I have a natural talent for. Being an actor, I have an openness and bubbly kind of personality and when I’m working with kids around the ages of 6-8 we usually click from the off. I get kids, they get me, it’s simple. I also enjoy knowing that I’ve done a good job. Recently one little boy I looked after said “we like you because you play with us properly and most babysitters just look on their phone the whole time”. That made me happy.
How do you keep the kids entertained?
It’s a simple case of asking what they want to do, and doing it with tonnes of enthusiasm. If they want to play monopoly then, by god, you play monopoly, and don’t just use that as an excuse to let them get on with things. It’s good to get them laughing so I can be a bit silly, tell jokes. Basically it’s all about committing to everything you do, because that’s what kids do when they play.
Mannies are becoming more and more popular – why do you think that is?
Having a male and female role model is a very important thing. Children need someone to be able to emulate and look up to and it’s good if that’s not always a woman. If you’re setting a good example by being a reliable, playful and friendly older guy, then that can only be a good thing. Actors make terrific nannies as we’ve lots of energy and are taught to be curious and enthused all the time, which are great qualities for looking after children.
What’s great about being on Bubble?
You set your rate of pay. It’s flexible and tailored to you. And the best part is that there’s no transaction of actual money, and so no awkward discussions!
Ready to give the Mannies (or Nannies!) on Bubble a go? Download the app today.