Is A Nanny A Babysitter?

You found the perfect Nanny. She is sweet, loving, caring and honest. She comes with years of experience and stellar references. She has an exemplary resume and your children immediately love her. She answers all your questions and eases any fears you may have as parents hiring someone to care for your precious little ones. She tells you all the wonderful things she would do with your children each day of care and you feel comfort and at ease.

You offer her $13 an hour and she walks away.

You sit in bewilderment wondering what you have done wrong.

In the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, the going rate for Professional Nannies can range from $15 – 20+/hr (many start at $18/hr). The cost of living is high, and Nannies deserve a living wage. This is also their professional career and they rely on the income to provide for their families and take care of their basic needs.

Many times the word Nanny and Babysitter are used interchangeably. However, there is a difference.

What is A Babysitter?

A Babysitter takes care of your children when you are away for short periods of time. Their main role is to make sure your children are safe, play with them, feed them, help with bedtime routines and follow instructions you provide in regards to their basic care needs. They are great for date nights, after school care, occasional care and weekend care. It is recommended to hire a Babysitter who is CPR/First Aid certified, enabling them to handle emergencies if they were to arise.

What is A Nanny?

Professional Nannies come equipped with the skills and trainings needed to properly care for your children, engage them in age appropriate developmental activities and shower them with love. They are your eyes and ears when you are gone and make sure that your child is safe and well cared for. They teach your child, prepare their meals, do child related household chores, ensure they establish proper hygiene, help them explore the world through play and so much more. They are their teacher, their nurse, their comforter, their supporter and guide them to establish good behavior. They are responsible for their emotional, mental and physical well being. They are truly invested in your child’s life and can create routines to help them flourish and grow.

Many times they become like members of the family and stay with families for years to come. This is the stability which many families look for as they want their child to form a bond and great relationship with his/her caregiver.

Trainings and certifications such as CPR/First Aid, Infant Care, MAT, Special Needs Care, Child Nutrition, Oral Care, Early Childhood Education and more help them excel in their job and provide parents with that extra sense of security and comfort.

Along with a salary, Nannies and Families complete an agreement that outlines the Nanny’s duties so expectations are clear from the start. Nannies are also given vacation time, sick time, personal days and paid holidays as most professions warrant.

Lastly, Nannies are considered household employees and both Nannies and Families must follow applicable tax regulations and laws.

Not everyone can be a Nanny.

It requires trainings (ongoing), skills, lots of patience, ability to provide the best care in diverse situations and above all, a genuine love for children.

Which One Do I need?

Now that you know the difference, think about what you would require from your Caregiver. Make a list, and compare and contrast it with the above information. This is a great start as you begin your search.

Finding and Hiring a great Child Care Provider takes patience, time and resources. We can make it easier for you. Contact Khadijah today at Khadijah@mnannies.com to learn more.

About Khadijah

A former Nanny, Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.

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Raising a Mixed Child in Trump’s America

I live in Virginia.

The state where White Supremacists marched through the city of Charlottesville last weekend spewing hate. The state where a White Supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of protesters killing a young woman named Heather.  The state where White Supremacists beat and bloodied people who look like me simply because of the color of their skin. The state where I am raising my daughter.

My daughter…

I am an African American Woman. My Husband is a Greek, Irish, Scottish White American Man. Our daughter is a combination of our rich heritages and she is oblivious of the world around her. A world that will treat her differently due to the deep hues of her beautiful skin.

How can I prepare her?

This is a question I ask myself everyday.

When I finally start to find comfort in this world, racism rears its ugly head. It is all too familiar. It is an invader that comes knocking at my door, time and time again, year after year, season upon season, ever since I was a small child. It sinks its teeth deep, literally trying to rip away my beautiful dark skin.

Sometimes I look at my husband and stare deeply into his blue eyes, wondering if he truly understands the world that we live in. Does he truly understand that our daughter and I will never have the same privileges that he has. Does he understand my anger and my pain when another Black Man or Black Woman is killed ruthlessly in the streets just because God blessed them with deeper shades of melanin?

A world where ya’lls President states there is “hate coming from both sides” as we watch White Supremacists march down the streets of America in 2017 with tiki torches (tiki torches? really?), yelling “blood and soil”.

Do they mean the blood of my Ancestors that forever runs deep into the soil they walk on? Whom were beaten and treated like animals? Who were sold on auction blocks and not considered Human?

I look at my husband and wonder. Does he understand?

He does. And for that I am grateful.

Every chance he gets, he speaks out against White Supremacy. In a recent Facebook post he stated: “I don’t, by any extent, love all people who look like me. It is healthy and enriching to love your heritage, but don’t use it to revile or transgress against someone else just because they don’t share it.”

He understood my pain when people close to us voted for Trump and called them out on it.

He listens to me when I express fears of possibly not coming home at night simply because I am a Black Woman.

He tries to comfort me as I worry and ponder about how the world will look when our daughter grows up.

He listens when I call him out on his own prejudices. He is willing to learn and grow.

He marches with me in rallies against hate and injustice. He stands for what is right.

He gets it and together as a team we will raise our daughter. A mixed child growing up in Trump’s America.

We will teach her love, not hate. We will teach her to be vigilant and aware. We will teach her that not everyone is kind and for that we are sorry, however we will persevere. We will teach her marital arts and reasoning. We will teach her about justice. We will teach her that simply because her skin is lighter than others, does not mean she is better than others.

We’ll be ready if she ever comes to us and asks why people who look like her Dad forced this Nation to be built upon the backs of people who look like her Mom.

Racism has no place in our home.

We will teach her and hope in return she will teach others.

Our children are the next generation.

Children are not born with hate, they are taught it.

In Trump’s America, people don’t want to see families like ours together. They feel its a threat to their lineage, to their ancestry, to their forefathers to see a Black Woman with deep dark chocolate skin and a White Man with only a touch of melanin together as one, loving one another, cherishing one another, standing by one another, with a beautiful baby by their side.

We are America. A place of diverse, rich cultures. A melting pot of love. A Nation whose Native people were not White Supremacists. This is not Trump’s America. This is our America and it was already Great.

As parents of a mixed child, we will not stand for hate. And our daughter won’t either.

Will you join us?

About Khadijah

Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.

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Khadijah Lardas

5 Tips For The Muslim Mom Activist

After another weekend of raising awareness on HIV/AIDS in the Muslim community, I fell into bed exhausted. I just spent the week fighting bronchitis and realized I got back out there too early…too quick. I knew if I didn’t start making some changes, I would fail miserably and as a result, so would my activism.

I am a new mother and a wife. My daughter and husband have rights over me. I have rights over me. My faith has rights over me. My attention is needed for the ones I love just as much as I give to my activism. So I sat down and thought about what can I do to keep myself sane? What can I do to keep myself well?

What can I do that will create balance and still give me the space to carry out my passions?

I thought about extraordinary women like Khadijah (RA). She was a businesswoman, a mother, a wife, a leader and an activist for Islam. I thought about her example…and here is what I came up with:

My 5 tips for the Muslim Mom Activist.

Remembering Allah is number one. We must remember Allah in everything that we do, every step that we take, every relationship that we build. Sometimes a Muslim mom activist may become so engrossed in her work that prayer may be pushed until its forgotten, Quran may gather dust on the shelf, reflection and remembrance become a faded memory, and attending beneficial gatherings becomes instances of the past. Islamic health is as important as your physical health. It completes the balance, feeds your soul and gives that extra umph to be successful in your activist endeavors.

Family Time is important. Don’t abandon your family. Don’t abandon your family Don’t….abandon your family. Spending time with the ones you love is not only rejuvenating, it’s vital. Be present at home first and then be present for others.

Self Care – we worry so much about caring for others, that we forget to care for ourselves. If we are not healthy, the work that we try to do will not be healthy. Our bodies have rights over us and will shut down if we deny them their rights. Schedule time for self care, even if it is a simple as taking a day off and watching Netflix…and chill.

Boundaries – The 10 pm email can wait. Set Boundaries for yourself and not only will there be less stress for yourself, your clients will respect you more. We all want to be available for people we serve and care about, but it’s important to know that yes, you can still serve others and have boundaries in place. I use to run myself exhausted with always trying to be available for others that my mental health took a back seat and my personal relationships suffered. Boundaries is a key element for success.

Patience – Activism is not easy and it may take time to reach your goals. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. You got this. When life throws you lemons, catch those lemons and throw them right back. Let them know they are not welcome here. Roadblocks will not defeat you. Take everything with stride and remember Allah tests those whom he loves.

So here are my tips. My guide as a Muslim Mom Activist. I have incorporated them into my life and have witnessed its success.

Activism is important. Activism is necessary..but don’t forget about the ones who love you the most.

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Do you have tips of your own? Share them in the comments below.

About Khadijah

Khadijah Abdullah

Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.

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Dear Rayyan

Losing a child was one of the hardest things I ever had to experience in my life.

I remember how ecstatic we were when we learned I was pregnant. The next day I went to Target and looked at all the baby clothes. A smile broke out on my face as I saw all the pretty vibrant colors…..pink, orange, yellow and red. I imagined which outfit I would bring you home in. I picked up a tiny pair of socks and felt their softness between my fingers, imagining how cute your feet would be.

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We began talking about what if you were a girl? What if you were a boy? How would we decorate your room? Who would you grow up to be? What name would we choose for you?

The questions were endless!

We were young. Early 20’s and on our way to be parents. We still didn’t have life figured out (and we still don’t) but we were extremely happy that we would meet you soon.

We told our parents and close friends. We wanted those who we loved to share in our joy and happiness.

We were going to be parents!!!!

A few days later I knew something wasn’t right. We were at my friend’s house and had just finished a delicious meal. We talked about how our children would grow up together as their own children played happily nearby.

I felt a severe cramp in my side.

In the bathroom I saw I was beginning to bleed like a period, but I thought to myself: “How can I have a period if I am pregnant?”

All kinds of thoughts raced through my head. Oh dear God, please protect my baby. Please keep my baby safe. Please don’t let my baby slip away.

That night my husband and I rushed to the ER and our fears were confirmed.

I cried.

The doctor tried to console me and told me how sorry he was.

I cried harder.

That was the darkest night of my life.

You slipped away. I never had the chance to feel you kick. Give me heartburn. Watch my belly grow. Experience the miracle of God’s blessing…. a little human who would call me mom.

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For months I was in a dark place. I felt alone, helpless and didn’t understand.

My faith was tested and my marriage suffered.

I became swallowed in my grief. I felt God didn’t love me because if he did, why did this happen? Even my husband couldn’t comfort me and I pushed him away.

One day I woke up and realized my life wasn’t over and I had to keep on living. I was surrounded by people who loved me and wanted to be there for me. I wiped my tears away and started talking with others who experienced loss. We laughed, we cried, we hugged. Slowly I begin to heal. I started to smile again.

I also came across the organization Children of Jannah, a resource and support system for Muslim families who have lost their children.

I started living again. I broke free of the darkness.

Allah tests those who he loves. A true test of faith is holding on even through the most darkest times.

We never knew if you were a boy or a girl.

We named you Rayyan.

A name for both boys and girls.

A gate in paradise for those who fast and remain patient.

“Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6)

A few years later we met your baby sister Eiliyah (the beautiful one who grows in love and peace with God). She is God’s gift to us and a blessing for our patience.

She is our miracle.

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Many days we think of you and wonder how you would have been as her big sister or brother. You would have been almost 3 years old when she was born.

But we find comfort in knowing that you are at peace. You are with Allah and surrounded by other children like you. You are not alone.

You are the children of Jannah.

Dear Rayyan, inshallah we will meet you at the gates of Jannah. We love you and you will forever have a place in our hearts.

Love your parents,

Abu and Umm Rayyan

If you have experienced loss, please know that you don’t have to be alone. Please visit www.childrenofjannah.com for more information. If you would like to talk to Khadijah personally, please email her at Khadijah@mnannies.com. Together we can heal, one day at a time. 

About Khadijah

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Khadijah is the founder of Muslim Nannies and RAHMA (HIV/AIDS organization). She is passionate about helping the community and identifying resources to help others. She was invited to The White House and met President Obama in recognition for her efforts. She also writes for The Huffington Post. Khadijah resides in Northern VA with her husband and daughter.

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