Confessions of a Nanny


The Good:

Working as a nanny has forced me to able to juggle multiple personalities, children all are different and same with parents, at the same time. Also, time management is a skill I've honed thanks to having multiple children doing different things and having to get them everywhere on time. The money, when you're working with higher middle class and above families, is great! A lot of times families will guarantee hours and pay a set salary regardless if you work all the hours or not. All the families I've worked for give paid vacation time, paid holidays and Christmas and birthday gifts. Also, most of these people are influential and can help you with internships and even job placements after you've stopped working for them in a nanny capacity. 


A lot of times you will have the opportunity to have some downtime when the kids don't need you specifically, like when napping or sleeping or at an activity, for you to do homework or other things. If you aren't big on cooking, you'll learn or use the skill a lot of times because many families require you to make lunch or cook dinner. There will be times when you get to go to the beach and just "hang out" with the kids, too. My personal favorite is when I'm allowed to go mini golfing or ice skating with the kids and that is my job for the day.


The Bad:


Not every family will work for you so you really need to understand what the position entails, get a feel for the family and the children before you can commit to a position. I've had two families that were miserable matches for a few reasons. They were horror shows!


One family thought I was a personal slave and that they essentially owned me even though set hours were discussed. I was constantly told to work extra hours (around 15 more weekly) without ever being compensated or asked. This is rude and shows lack of respect for you as a person and your time. As a student, it is even more disrespectful because it isn't like I hid being a student from them. The same family had a mom who spoke down to me as though I was beneath her which made communicating with her unbearable. The daughter was a nightmare and took all her anger and frustration out on you which made dealing with her ridiculously stressful. I lasted with that family for three solid weeks before promptly moving on. 


These things can and will happen. Does it mean every family will do this? Absolutely not! As I pointed out earlier, I've worked for dozens of great families who treat me like a person and tried to respect my boundaries and personal time. 


The Reality: 


Children aren't perfect and working with children on a Monday through Friday schedule isn't for everyone. You can have great kids but there will be days where they have tantrums, are argumentative, get nasty and so forth. You have to be able to deal with this and keep moving forward without holding those things against the children. Some people cannot separate that which leads to a just all around bad vibe. That isn't good for you or the children.


Bonding with the children and family is supposed to happen. If a child doesn't bond to you then there's usually a wall up and that makes your job more difficult because bonding and liking you usually go hand in hand. When you're creating a bond it is important to realize that children bond differently and will respond differently. Some are quiet ones who will just want to sit next to you randomly and watch television with you while others are loud and demand your attention. Note that when you bond with the children, it will emotionally impact you when the position comes to an end. 


There are ups and downs, perks and drawbacks and good days and bad days just like any other career path or job. Just like not everyone is good at math, not everyone will be a good babysitter or nanny. A lot of nanny positions with older children require that you can help the children with their homework and study so you should be prepared to do that. There will also be times where you're essentially being paid to go to the movies or ice skating which is a nice perk and balance to the normal "weekly grind." 


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2 comments

  1. Love the article! Being a nanny must be a great experience! And we love the quote you choosed, finding the fun and the positive is the best way to go through!
    We can't wait to read the next article!

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  2. I'm starting a nanny job in 3 months and I loved hearing what you had to say!!!

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