what does it mean to be a nanny??
sometimes people say things like “you’re just a nanny?” emphasis on the just. Or they turn their nose up at the thought that I’m working in a domestic position.
I made a choice to do what I do, and I love it. it’s a very different job than almost any other job you could have. The children themselves are like a walking, talking performance review, which fills ones heart & soul. But it means you HAVE TO be able to give 100% every single day and you can never slack.
You have to ensconce yourself in someone else’s family, and be available to them as needed.
I started thinking about how I would categorize my job.
It goes something like this:
- it means having constant patience
- it means changing explosive diapers
- it means cleaning up vomit
- it means changing crib sheets over and over and over.
- it means loving someone else’s children enough to let them use you as a human kleenex when they are sick.
- it means entertaining someone else’s child and stimulating them to reach all their necessary milestones.
- it means worrying that you’re doing enough to stimulate them and help them to grow.
- it means enduring countless car rides with a screaming baby who hates the car but has to spend 24 Los Angeles miles a day in the car.
- it means having no control over any decisions made on their behalf.
- it means being willing to run in front of a bus or a car should the child be in harm’s way.
- it means always being vigilant and aware so that no accidents occur and the children never get hurt while in your care.
- it means making sure he/she never eats something poisonous.
- it means worrying about their health. are they eating enough? too much? healthy enough? well-rounded enough?
- it means worrying about their safety 24/7, this isn’t a job that you can just walk out the front door and forget about altogether. it becomes a part of who you are, no matter what.
- it means teaching the children things that come up in conversation that are awkward like, “why do i have different parts than you?”.
- it means teaching them manners and enforcing “please” & “thank you’s” as well as things like flushing toilets, putting toys & clothes away and turning lights off or closing doors.
- it means giving your all everyday and never having the option to have a bad day.
- it means disciplining when necessary.
- it means running after a toddler, and some days not getting a chance to sit down or eat, drink or pee.
- it means holding and rocking a whimpering sick toddler for however many hours it takes to calm them.
- it means sitting in a steamy hot bathroom with menthol to help them breathe when they have a bad cold.
- it means disciplining and dealing with the bewitching hour tantrums.
- It means not getting any of the praise but doing a lot of the work.
- It means never doing anything half-assed.
- it means keeping them alive every day.
- it means showing them things, talking to them, teaching them about the world around us.
- it means saying “NO” or “Danger” or “Not Safe” 100,000 times a day.
- it means redirecting them from doing things they shouldn’t at least 100,000 times a day.
- it means thinking about their future and what they’ll be like. Will i even know them??
- it means wondering if you wili have made any long term impact on them or their lives. will they ever know how important they were to you?
- it means investing all of yourself to help grow this amazing child, because everything counts and matters.
- it means watching them grow up, and knowing that you can’t actually stay there forever.
- it means going home on Friday night alone and realizing that child that you are so close to, and love with all of your heart and soul, isn’t really yours. And all of those hours you’ve spent loving them, rocking them, caring for them, you still leave to go home alone waiting until Monday to see them again.
……..and then getting through the weekend without the children. No matter how much you love them, they’re only yours Monday thru Friday.
~ traci xoxo