Synopses & Reviews
When she was in her early thirties, Tasha Blaine briefly became a nanny. She expected an easy, nine-to-five stint, but instead she discovered the vast, varied, and fascinating world of nannies. Often overlooked and invisible, these women have a tremendous impact on the families that hire them.
To tell the true story of this largely unknown world of career nannies, Blaine immersed herself in the lives of three women. We meet Claudia, who left the Caribbean to become a nanny in New York and is struggling to support her own child she left behind. We get to know Vivian, a young, white, college-educated woman from Boston, who wins a Nanny of the Year award even as she absorbs the painful truth that her role in the family is shrinking as her charges grow up. And we witness the struggles of Kim, a dedicated Texas nanny who dreams of having her own family as she moves in with a couple expecting their first baby. Just Like Family exposes the fears and fantasies we have about nannies and takes us deep inside the real world of women whose job it is to care for someone elses children as their own.
When she was in her early 30s, Blaine briefly became a nanny. She had expected an easy, nine-to-five stint, but instead discovered the vast, varied, and largely unknown world of nannies. "Just Like Family" takes readers deep inside the lives of women whose job it is to love.
An intimate journey into the lives of the women whose job is to love
Claudia Williams had a superpower she used only under special circumstances. She could make herself invisible. When her employers bickered or there was tension in the house, Claudia retreated to the corner of the living room and silently flipped through a magazine. That was one of the qualities that made Claudia a good nanny. She did not get in the way. She could judge whether Betsy wanted to chat or be left alone; whether James was looking to play with the children or wanted them out of his hair. She shepherded Jackson and Lucy around the neighborhood, but she did not try to lead the family pack. Her job was a series of essential tasks - picking the children up from classes, arranging play dates, folding laundry - but there were few complicated decisions to make, and she did not weigh in on issues like schools or extracurricular activities or potential problems with the kids. If asked, Claudia would have offered her opinion. But she was never asked.
About the Author
TASHA BLAINE completed her MFA at New York University. After working briefly as a nanny herself, she spent more than five years researching and interviewing nannies at their workplaces and in their homes. Blaine was born and raised in New York City and now lives in California with her husband and two children.