Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Monday...

...something 'bout that day!

I have never really liked Mondays, they have always meant the end of a weekend and 5 more days until my time was mine again. 

Then I became a nanny. 

Mondays are still not my favorite day but I no longer dread getting out of bed and heading into work. My secret?

 Planning something fun to do. 

The Mondays that drive me nuts are ones like today. They are the days I don't have any plans with the boys, where I lazily stay in my PJ's until noon, and Bug wont take his morning nap. 

My favorite Monday's are the days where I am proactive. 
I make a plan to get out of the house, go to the park, the aquarium, even just a walk. 
Or if Bear is out with his mom I put a Jillian Michael's video in and get my work out on during Bug's nap.

How do you deal with your case of the Mondays?


Monday, July 7, 2014

What is it Like being the Nanny?

To me it is normal and natural. It’s just life. But in the last month I have been asked several times in a variety of ways what Nanny life is like. The most recent time was on my trip home from NY at the airport. I was buying a pack of gum and got into a conversation about all the flight delays with the lady at the register. We ended up talking for a while as she learned that I was a Nanny and had several questions. Her co-worker and she genuinely seemed intrigued so I answered them more in-depth then I normally do in such conversations. As I walked away from the conversation I heard the cashier say how interesting of an occupation I had. 

Being a nanny interesting, huh? In the year I have been doing this full-time and all the years part-time I would have never qualified what I do as interesting. Then on the long flight home I got to thinking, from an on-lookers perspective the fact that any capable, self-sufficient person would choose to help raise someone else’s child has to be a bit interesting. To me it is normal life, to someone else it is the most bazaar thing ever- that I would actively choose to deal with dirty diapers, crying toddlers, and messy meals all day. 

Yes I do it everyday and people want to know why. Every family is different so every nanny situation is different so I am only going to answer for my own experience. Here as some of the questions I have come across to help enlighten the curious readers?

How many hours do I work? Personally on average 40 hours. Monday – Friday with an occasional weekend or night thrown in there. Many nannies work for multiple families averaging 60 hours+

Do I live with my Nanny-Family (NF)? Yes I do, I am called a live-in in the nanny world.

Do I have my own room? No they make me share the laundry room with the dog ;-) Yes I have my own room and own space. Most live-in's have their own room, on a VERY RARE occasion is a nanny asked to share a room with their charge. 

What's a charge? It's nanny lingo for the kid (or kids) that a nanny takes care of.

Are you on call 24/7 or have down time? I have down time, when I am off-the-clock I can check out as I wish. Out of respect I generally let my NF know where I am going and when I will be back but as long as it’s not illegal or harmful to my job or their family it is my time.

When you are home, off the clock, are you expected to work? Similar to the above question, when I am done for the day my NF is great at that being my time. Not every NF is this way. I often feel like I am a roommate then a nanny when the work day is over. Occasionally I will be asked to make a bottle, feed Bug, or watch Bear when he is outside. But this is because I have told them I am okay with this, it is not every day (nor every week), and I totally feel like I could say no and it be okay.

Do you have to clean or do laundry? I don’t have to really but I do. When I sat down with my NF the first week here we went over the job and naturally anything related to the boys I am asked to do: their laundry, emptying diaper pails, their dishes, and swiffering every few days to clean the dog hair (kids play on the floor). This is minor and totally part of the job. As I am building a nanny-community I have heard horror stories of NF wanting the whole families laundry done, hard cleaning like windows, moping, and dusting to be done. This is not the case at our house. 

Do you love the boys? Ummm…YES. I couldn’t do what I do everyday if I didn’t. That does not mean I love every minute and that I love the dirty work that comes with the job.

How long will you be there? I have NO clue. My first “contract” (yes most nannies sign a real contract) was for the end of June 2014. In January I signed up for another year. I might fulfill this year and leave or I might stay on another 5 years. In this field there generally is no cut and dry time frame. The end just happens. The kids or parents no longer need you, family dynamics start to become unhealthy, or one or both parties just knows it is time to move on. 

Won’t it be hard to leave? Heck Yes but I can’t think about that part until it happens.

What do you do all day? Depends on the day. We have a pretty good routine - mornings while Bug sleeps Bear and I find activities like Play-Doh, coloring, painting, or baking.  We try to get outside everyday  we can. Once or twice a week we take a special outing (check out Friday Field-Trips). While the boys nap in the afternoon, I do laundry, clean up a little, work on my blog, watch TV, read a book in the sun, or catch up with a friend or family member.

And my favorite...How do you do it?  I just do. I never know how to truly answer this question. How does a mom of 5 do it, how does a school teacher do it, or a firefighter. or police officer, or military personal…they just do. To some it is bazaar that I would choose to pick a career where I am “stuck” with two kids all day, but I feel that way about someone who chooses to be “stuck” in front math equations and scientific evidence all day. We all have our talents and passions. Yours may be with numbers while mine is with kids. Mentally my job is not stimulating, I have days where I long for adult conversation, and wish that the diapers would stop coming but every job has it's bad points. To me getting up every morning knowing that I get to spend the day playing with Bear and Bug and that I get to make an impact in these sweet boys lives is the best motivation on how I do my job.