"Are you the nanny?" is not a question any parents should ever have to answer.

By Zara Hanawalt
September 23, 2020
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Let's face it: People who have children of a different race (or who appear to be of a different race) are still subjected to incessant questioning of the "are you the nanny?" variety. No matter how increasingly diverse families are becoming, we as a society still haven't quite mastered sensitivity where these families are concerned. Just ask Jeena Wilder.

Wilder, who is a Black adoptive mom of four, has fielded many of the questions members of diverse families face—and now she's speaking out about them. Wilder and her sweet six-year-old daughter, who is white, shot a video that's going viral on social media. The video is adorable and so fun, but it also raises an important point that'll resonate with other families who find themselves in similar situations. And the post will hopefully teach others that there's really no good reason to question the relationship between two people just because they may not look quite the same.

The video features the mother-daughter duo responding to a series of questions as they flash on the screen. "Are you the nanny?" (Nope). "Are you her mother?" (Yup). "Is she biologically yours?" (Nope). Some of the questions are even more ridiculous—like "did your husband cheat on you?" which is just so wildly inappropriate for multiple reasons.

But these questions aren't just frustrating or annoying or even hurtful—Wilder also spoke out about how insidious they (and the intentions behind them) can be.

"It's a lot of, 'Oh, are you the nanny?' No one has ever outright asked, 'Did you kidnap that child?' But that's what they're trying to figure out," Wilder, who also shared that she's been followed around stores when out with her kids, told TODAY Parents.

Wilder also shared that sometimes when she's out with all four of her children (three of whom are mixed-race), people ask if she's running a daycare. "I'm like, 'Nope. These four are mine. I take care of them all day, every day. I worry about them all the time. I'm their mother'," Wilder said.

No parent deserves to have their relationship to their own children questioned. Because Wilder said it best in an Instagram caption accompanying this video: "Do I love her unconditionally? Why yes, yes I do!"

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