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Just Like Family: Inside the Lives of Nannies, the Parents They Work for, and the Children They Love
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Just Like Family: Inside the Lives of Nannies, the Parents They Work for, and the Children They Love

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  27 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 largely unknown world of nannies. Often overlooked and invisible, these women also hold great power in the families they work for. Blaine was learning what so many parents want to know: What does our nanny think ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Like Tasha Blaine, I once took a job working as a nanny. Also like the author, I thought it would be a relatively easy gig that would allow me the freedom to write while working in a nice, supportive environment. We both quickly realized that working as a nanny is one of the most intense, draining, undervalued, and emotionally taxing jobs in our modern society.

In Just Like Family, Blaine combines her personal insights, her MFA, and several years of research to closely follow the lives of three d
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
As a nanny, I found it really interesting to look into the lives of other nannies. Why there're there, what kind of situations they find themselves in, how they deal. It's a strange role to take on: being a part of a family but never truly being family.
And, I love how the author emphasizes the love. I realized it myself a little while ago: My job is simply to love. Without that, the rest doesn't work at all. You have to give in to it, even though you know that someday you will also have to let
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was absorbed in this for awhile, despite never having a desire to be a nanny. Still don't. I saw experiences I'd had, in a different environment. Workplace dynamics are similar, I mean. I read a little over a hundred pages, I think, before I skimmed. I hoped and hoped things would improve for Claudia. Vivian was quite self-centered and overbearing. She also seemed like one of the creepiest people imaginable. And I'm an avid horror reader! Kim's situation--I wanted to run into the book and resc ...more
Terry Tracz
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
While this book contains interesting information about being a nanny, the few examples were told in pieces, so the reader feels like they are jumping around between plots for no good reason. I would have enjoyed hearing about each family in their entirety, with analysis at the end to compare and contrast their individual experiences.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read. I’d love to read more of these stories. I’d definitely recommend.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just Like Family by Tasha Blaine was another book that I just picked up on a whim during my pre-vacation library spree. I love reading stories about people. Not necessarily autobiographies, although I do like them…more like case studies of a person’s life or lessons learned from a certain period. I think I enjoy earing about a life other than my own and about someone who is very different than I am. And that’s what attracted me to this book.

Just Like Family gives you an inside look at the lives
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Intriguing! Tasha Blaine interviewed hundreds of nannies for this analysis of the "neither fish nor fowl" relationship of nannies to their "families." She chose to focus on three: Claudia, a single mom from the Caribbean, Vivian, a college educated nanny who aspires to the Nanny of the Year Award, and Kim, a middle-aged, recently divorced nanny living in with new parents. I loved reading about the controlling, demanding parents (Kim's employer is deep-fried wack with a side of control slaw), but ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love good narrative non fiction and this book fit the bill.

I became interested in this book when we hired a nanny eight weeks after my son was born. She often talked about what it was like working with different families. I also learned a lot about what nannies hated from her harrowing stories of nannies working for other families. (I live in one of those neighborhoods where you don't really know your neighbors. Needless to say I learned a lot about the dysfunction, and peccadilloes of all the
Bridget Bailey
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was going to be a story about a nanny and her relationship with the family. I didn't realize this was more of a true story following three different nannies and their struggles. It was an ok read but only because i thought it was something different and I would not have picked it up to read knowing what it was about. It does provide some insight into the world of a nanny but not enough to make you want to read more and see what happens or pick up another book like it. If you ...more
Leigh Kramer
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Just Like Family examines the world of nannying. The author spent 5 years interviewing nannies and the book focuses on 3 of their stories. While the 3 profiled do have interesting stories, I'm not sure they're the best representation of the industry. An interesting (detrimental) thread was how co-dependent all 3 nannies are and how that played out in their work and personal lives. A more well-rounded approach would include someone who is not documented, as well as someone who gets along well wit ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Really compelling for a first-time author, an account of the trials and tribulations three professional nannies in New York, Boston, and Austin, respectively. Offers more perspective on the caregiver's world than anything I've yet read, but be prepared for the story to break most sympathetically toward the nannies as a result; the perspective of parents who have had bad experiences is totally absent from this work.
Jul 27, 2009 rated it liked it
The author focuses on three nannies working in Boston, New York and Austin. Nannies were not part of the social fabric where I grew up, but I have been interested observing my DC-area co-workers make the choice whether or not to employ them. I appreciated that this book was written mainly from the perspective of the women working as nannies, whose position as an employee in an often-fraught relationship seems the most difficult.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
When a friend recommended this I was afraid it might be fluffy or sensational, but it was a straight-forward and compelling look at the personal and professional lives of three women working as nannies. Lots of food for thought in the dilemmas of valuable, but often poorly compensated, workers and the families they work for, and the rewards and complications of becoming devoted to children who are not your own.
May 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
I don't feel compelled to finsih this at all - it's disjointed and has no clear focus - am I supposed to feel bad, admire, worry about the nannies, is it a book about their attempts to rise above their station or the awkward familayt dynamic or justifying the enterprise as a whole? Written like someone has watched one too many documentaries, I found the overall premise interesting but the execution boring.
Joella Tunnell
Oct 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book takes you in detail into the lives of both the nannies and the wealthy families they work for. The families have to trust their children to someone they don't really know, and the nannies learn to love the children they take care of and will have to give up as the children grow older, while at the same time endure having to leave their own children in the care of someone else. This was a subject I had never given much thought to, so found the book fascinating.
May 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting look at the lives of three nannies and the families they work for: a Caribbean nanny in New York City; a white, college-educated, Super-Nanny type in Boston; and a live-in nanny in Texas. At times it got a bit repetitive and I'm wondering if it would have been more effective as a magazine article as opposed to a full-fledged book, but definitely a worthwhile read for anyone who has or has ever had a nanny.
Oct 27, 2010 rated it liked it
I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. The story of three nannies in very different life circumstances working for families in even more different lives. Well worth the read.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, sociology
It's an interesting subject, and I liked how it was told through the experiences of three nannies working in different areas. However, the writer isn't that great. Some of her descriptions fell a bit flat. It was a decent read.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Using the stories of three very different nannies, Blaine demonstrates the ups and downs that come with the profession and the delicate balances nannies must achieve in order to work within a family unit. A worthwhile read if only to learn about a vastly different kind of job.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
the most realistic look into the kid/nanny/parent dynamic i have read so far. not as intelligently written as it could be, but entertaining. she picked 3 nannies to shadow, and did a good job of it. a little sad, but a good, quick read.
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nannies or parents with nannies
I enjoyed it! It was interesting to see how these women's lives were very similar to mine in many ways. I'm glad there is a book out there that is more believable than The Nanny Diaries.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Not bad, got better as I read. Kind of like the Nanny diaries, but with three stories and I believe more based on actual interviews with 3 Nannies.
Dec 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
Laura Mallard
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
A must read for anyone who has worked as a nanny or who has thought of hiring a nanny. Very realistic!
Jul 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating look at the world of nannies and the families they work for.
It is nonfiction and based on a series of interviews.
Ayelet Waldman
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Compulsively readable NF about nannies.
Ileana Pacheco
rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2015
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Jul 16, 2009
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Gray Moxley
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Aug 11, 2019
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