Saturday, March 2, 2013

To be a nanny is to be ready... for anything.

Nannying is not for the faint of heart, nor the weaker stomach. Whether that jar of peas the babe just ate for lunch is about to be regurgitated onto your newest blouse, or the diaper s/he's wearing fails to hold the number two that just occurred while sitting on your lap, you just have to roll with the punches and laugh off every "oops" that happens. When working with young children, they frequently do!

On a more "expect the unexpected" note, sometimes we as nannies have to take one for the team and be the accountable caregiver that the families who hire us know us to be. For example, if you have plans after work that you've been anticipating for weeks, and the baby's parent falls ill while the other is out of town, you're going to cancel those plans due to the heart that got you the job in the first place.

Yes, I am speaking from pure experience. All of the above, I have endured. Yet I still live, love, and look forward to each day that I work as a nanny, because children are our future, and they're brilliant. Their innocence is amazing, as is their imagination- always soaring. The smallest moments, visions, and noises that fascinate them, bring hope to me for humanity in our future. It is how we mold our children today that will make or break the world we live in tomorrow. As nannies, we hold a great portion of this responsibility whether we realize it or not. I think it's best that we take note.

As for being prepared for the unexpected, there are a few things we can do to prevent absolute nightmares of instances from going from bad to worse. Fortunately, the mother of the baby I care for shares a similar clothing size, so if/when we have an "oops," I can simply borrow an item of clothing. For those who don't have this relationship with their employer though [as I also haven't in past jobs], I highly recommend keeping a change of clothes at the house where you nanny, perhaps tucked in a corner or the closet in the child's room. If this is uncomfortable, then you can always carry an 'emergency bag' in your car or on your shoulder if you, like me, commute to work every day. Inside this bag, I highly recommend keeping things like a toothbrush and toothpaste, makeup, a hair brush, any hair products you absolutely swear by, feminine products, and anything else you absolutely cannot live without should you have to unexpectedly stay overnight.

Again, speaking from personal experience here. You'll save yourself from making a $59 purchase (like mine you see below; Gap bag included) the following morning, as I did. Learn from my loss, and prepare in advance; it could happen to anyone!

Lastly though, this all comes back to the role we take on as nannies from the get-go. We are caregivers, and we play a great part in the childhood of the little ones we're watching after while parents are working and unable to. We are their eyes and ears, but we are also their hearts and minds during this time. So if that child needs an extra hug, or reassurance, or a boost of encouragement, we are here to provide that. If the family is in a moment of crisis and needs our personal sacrifice in order to make it through a hard time, I believe it's an option that is left to the caregiver, but it is one I highly recommend, as it's acts of kindness and love like these that do not go unnoticed. ;)

The week after the baby's father fell ill with the flu prompting me to cancel plans so that I could stay the night, I fell ill with the same, severe, stomach bug. Not only did they pay me for the three days of work I had to miss, but they also came by my apartment with the following 'get well soon' package:

Best of luck to you, fellow nannies! Please let me know if there is anything you'd like to see written about in future posts. I'd be absolutely glad to do so!


Brittney Schering


  1. I'm not a nanny, but I bet we moms could learn a thing or two about being prepared from you! It's great that you've got such a wonderful family to work with.

    Good luck on the A-to-Z! Just a quick note, but your Word Verification is on. Some people will skip blogs once they discover they have WV.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Shannon! Greatly appreciate the kind words.

      I've turned off Word Verification! Hopefully this will prevent the skipping of my blog. ;) Thanks for the advice! About to check out 'The Warrior Muse' right now!

  2. Just stopping by from the a-z challenge. I've worked as a nanny as well and I'm now a mom. I think working as a nanny is tougher because at least with your own kids you can at least think you know what to expect. When you work for someone else, there is no control. I worked for a family in Russia and they never put diapers on their little boy and they just let him run all over and pee everywhere.

    You sound like a great nanny, all the love you have for kids. Have fun with your adventures in nannying and the blog challenge.

    1. Hello Jessica! Thank you very much for stopping by. I totally agree- being a nanny is a bit chaotic with the lack of control factor that I think parents don't recognize from time to time. Totally get what you're saying and appreciate your empathy. :)

      Yes, the family that I nanny for is wonderful, and it helps that the little guy I look after is an absolute peach! About to visit your blog now. Thanks again!