How to Nanny

When I started to nanny, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I knew one thing though; I loved children. I didn’t find many resources on nannying, and I didn’t know any other nannies to answer my questions. Three years later, after working for over 5 families, through babysitting and nannying…I’ve learned a lot.

Inspiring me to write this post are a few new nannies/babysitters who are starting out who have tons of questions. I’ll be answering some basic questions and some vital ones as well.

1) “What should I expect on day one, the first day I’m alone with the kids?”

Realistically? Chaos. The kids are going to test you and push you, to see what you’ll do, where you’ll set the limits. They’re probably used to their parents/guardians, teachers or instructors. You don’t want the children to fear you. Likely you just want the kids to like you; this is normal. I made a mistake in my first nanny gig, I was overly nice and the kids started walking all over me, this is NOT OK. So early on, be kind and loving but firm with rules and expectations. If you do this, it’ll make the time you spend with the kiddos so much easier and fun.

2) “I’ve had multiple families offer me jobs…how do I pick?”

This requires you to think about what’s important to you. If the parent prefers you sitting on the couch all day watching TV with the kids but you believe outside time is important…problems could arise. If you hate cooking but the family expects you to make all the meals from scratch, be realistic and honest with yourself. It might be a challenge finding a family that’s a perfect for but in my experience, it’s possible to come close 🙂 One more thing. Of course money is part of it but trust me, you’ll be much happier with the loving family who pays less than with the high paying family who ignores the kids. If you’re anything like me, this will break your heart every time it’s time to leave.

3) “I feel so awkward playing with and disciplining the kids when the parents are around. HELP!”

This is so normal. It still happens to me sometimes. The kid wants milk…do I get it or let the parent do it? You want to be useful, but avoid over stepping. You also don’t want to sit there like a slug. Just be friendly, chat with the parent about what happened during the day. In my experience you don’t want to become best friends with the parents. They are your employers and when money is involved, things could go south.

4) “I spend 48 hours a week with these kids…I love them! Am I allowed to show them how I feel?”

Yes! It’s part of the job; pretty sweet if you ask me. Having a child love you will change your life. But remember once again that they aren’t your kids. You get to leave(the tantrumming monsters) at the end of the day!

5) “It’s a job, but I play with kids all day…what do I wear?”

This is a fairly common question because yes you do want to be professional, but professional as a nanny is a whole lot different than professional in an office setting for example. I’ve worked for numerous families and I’ve never had an issue when I wear my normal casual clothes. I like wearing comfy leggings, tank tops, warm socks and moccasins. Sweet right? Hopefully the parents don’t care since you’re there to take care of the kids and what you wear should not matter. Tip: You have breasts? Put your tits away. Kids know where to find milk…nipples. NO. I was alarmed the first time, so just cover up.

6) “Do I bring my own lunch or do I eat their food?”

This is a good topic to bring up when arranging your employment with your boss. I’ve had families welcome me to eat whatever I want, and others expect me to bring my own lunch. I would suggest asking your employer! Personally I like eating my own food, perhaps not plain pasta or whatever the children decide they want so I bring my own lunch and snacks everyday. Once when a family said help yourself, I was on my period and ate a whole box of crackers with cheese…and ending up feeling SO guilty, I immediately went and replaced the crackers…so keep this in mind when parents say “help yourself”.

7) “I believe kids need a good spank sometimes, but I don’t know the parents dicipline methods…what do I do?”

Another sceniro where you need to talk to your employer. They aren’t your kids, and even though you’re taking care of them…you still need to go by the parents rules. Every family is different and acknowledging this is very important for a good relationship. Most famillies I’ve worked with use “time outs” or “quiet time”, but this varies so make sure to check.

What did I miss? I couldn’t answer all your questions so if you have any needing answering, write to me below in the comments! I am also hoping to hear from parents, any questions for me? What do you think of what I’ve written?  Thanks for reading! 

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dreams; a personal post

Without saying any numbers, I’m young. I’ve had the dream of opening my own daycare for a few years now after realizing it’s not totally impossible for me to achieve. Would it be easy? Of course not, when has opening a business and keeping it running easy? Never. So add children into the mix and you have a recipe for a disaster of many kinds (financial, my sanity, etc etc).

I’d like to think that I’ve somewhat proven to myself that I am able. No, nannying isn’t the same but it’s a lot of the same principles. Some problems of mine are:

Timing: first I would like to get higher education…1-2 years later. Opening a daycare isn’t an overnight endevour, let’s be honest. I would add another 2 years to that for my next points/problems:

Money: of course. It’s expensive and I happen to live in one of the priciest areas on this continent(great!) Buying a house alone would cost me upwards of 1 million dollars, and let’s be honest…I could work until I was 109 and still be paying for that house!

Space: since housing prices are soaring and I would like to stay in this area since my life is here, where does this leave me to open a daycare? I could rent a space, but I find these “retail spaces” so cold, and they often lack outside area which if you’ve read my past post, is VERY important to me.

Reality(?): by the time I figure this all out, earn the money, and start it up…I’ll be wanting a family of my own. Oh well fuck! Of course I can’t plan everything that will happen in the future but I do like having a plan.

Any advice, words of encouragement? Do you run your own daycare? Are you completely clueless in the area but have something to say? Have you opened a business? Tell me I’m crazy if you want! I would love to hear from ALL of you.

Thanks!

Child care principles

Being a nanny for twin boys, almost 2 years old sounded tough when I began the job over a year ago. At the time they were learning to walk and talk. Fast forward 13 months and these “babies” are now scheming, back talking, smart little guys.

How…how did these sweet babies turn into hell raisers? Of course I love them, I spend 40hours a week with them. But at the same time, after a year, it becomes tedious, draining and you start to wonder if you’re making a difference at all. Is this normal for any job?

My beliefs on childcare are fairly simple after safety and love:

1) outside time is vital. Being outdoors, exploring and learning about your surrounding is so important when you’re a child. Learning to control your body while you climb, interact with other people, understand how nature works to some degree. Bonus, it usually tuckers the kids out…longer naps = win!

2) independence. Kids should learn on their own, fail, try it out another way, adapt, etc. I find a lot of parents and care givers baby their children through everything which of course we want to do…who wants to see those we love fall on their face in failure? But this is part of growing up and becoming a self sustaining person. It’s tough! Last week one of the twins I work with couldn’t climb the play structure while his brother was racing up it, I mean that’s no fun! But I stood beside him and encouraged him up, was there to catch him if need be…and 20 minutes later, he did it! You should’ve seen the look on his face. There’s a time and a place for this of course, but independence in children is so important!

3) books! Reading! I can’t stress this enough. My mom is a librarian, so yes I’m likely bias but books books books! They’re fun, they have life lessons, fun pictures, and the things you learn from books is endless.

Yes, it’s SO tedious when the child wants to read freaking Curious George 89 times in a row but oh well, at least they’re interested. I find that so many of my educated friends don’t make time for pleasure reading anymore. (Pleasure reading = what YOU want to read, rather than textbooks). I challenge you people to find 1 book that you are genuinely interested in and read it, you’ll feel so grounded. As we get older I find we read less and less books.

What are your child care principles? What am I missing?

Happy Saturday:)