I got a job! So any guesses on what I now do for a living? No, I'm not a burglar, or a donut maker, or even a brilliant film director. I don't work on an oil rig or as a flight attendant on some obscure airline. I do work from home--er, not my home, but in someone elses' home (not a burglar, remember)-- as a Nanny!!! I'm so excited! My intentions are to write here and there about some of my experiences Nanning without breaching the families' privacy and trust.
The boys I watch are four and almost two, and they are both really quite adorable little monsters. (Mike can attest that I use "monster" as a most sincere term of endearment). While I love spending time with the kids going all the normal activities (playing in the park, at the beach, the zoo, the science center, and at home; watching "Dinosaur Train", playing trains or Play-Dough, blowing bubbles, etc. etc.), I've been thinking a lot lately about how this gig is perfect for me right now in my life.
Here are FIVE reasons why I love my job (in no particular order):
1. It's 8-5, M-F....Full time. Paid vacation. Whatever. The works. Over the years I've worn my fair share of occupational hats--from babysitter to lawn-mower, to waitress, to ER receptionist, to assistant activities person in an elementary school, to administrative assistant--and in all of these, I don't think I've ever had a full-time job. Granted, I've always been in school while working before, so about 20 hours a week was all I could handle on top of my studies. As a post-grad, finding a full-time position was challenging but also necessary for both my sanity and mine (Get it? Necessary for both my personalities?). This one fit the bill, and it feels so good to be doing something so fulfilling for a large chunk of my day.
2. It's lucrative! Being a nanny pays well compared to other entry level positions I could be getting at this time in my life (*I don't want to sound like an arrogant jerk so that's all I'll say about this one).
3. It's fun! Like I said before, we do everything from blowing bubbles to building forts. As a Nanny, you basically get paid to run around acting like a four-year-old all day. And part of the fun is getting to watch the children grow up and parrot some of the phrases you say, like "Oh, Darn" and "Let's head out!". You get to become this quirky addition to the household and teach these children something because you're there so often that they pay attention to you. It's a really special place to be.
4. It's both a structured and a flexible position. One of the highlights of this job is that I have joint and independent control over the household. Let me say that again; I work in tandem with the parents to ensure their goals for the children are met, and then I independently control the flow of the children's schedules, how the house runs and how their day goes in general. These two opposing facts make my job infinitely better than some I've held. Not only do I feel grateful for the parental advisory and loose structure they've set for their children (including basic household rules, daily schedule, and feeding and napping routines), but it's so great to be valued for my flexibility and creativity. I am required to think and plan activities and meals in advance, but I'm not monitored 24/7 and have free range to modify our schedule if the kids are sick, sad, tired, or want to do something else during the day. How many office jobs do you know that allow you to run around all day unsupervised and do whatever you want (within reason)?
5. It's 8-5, M-F... While I'm grateful for a full-time position, I'm also glad it isn't a 70 hour a week thing. It's nice to come home to Mike at the end of the day, unwind, and relax without pressure of deadlines to meet or other stressful homework. If something didn't go well the day before (like potty training), we can try again tomorrow and frankly, I don't have to worry about it when I'm done with work. It sounds funny but as much as I want children and can't wait for their arrival, a Nannying job allows you to be a fun friend and influence in a child's life without being their parent. I can help them solve problems, learn to read, no hit their brother, and pick up their toys and leave the serious love, heartache, and discipline to the parents. It makes my job easier knowing that.