I thought I knew it all…

Tips and Advice

I was nineteen, I was fully qualified, I had trained to become a Nanny for two whole years, I knew everything there was to know about child development, child care, child psychology, I knew it all.

I had been offered a job to look after a three month old, I accepted it, I was confident, I was going to be living in, I was going to save some money and then I was going to travel. I had it all planned.

What more could I have asked for? I haven’t even finished my training when all of this happens and they were willing to wait for me!!!!

WRONG!!!!!!

Yes, I was trained, I was qualified, I knew almost everything I was going to need to know about the job, how to look after this little bundle of joy, how to feed her, how to make sure she hit the major milestones but what I was not prepared for was the whole Live In thing.

I had lived with a family during my training but I was paying them to stay there (well, my parents were), I could come and go as I pleased, I could ask friends to come over, I thought I could handle this.

It hit me really hard to live with my employer, they were great, I cannot say one bad thing about them but having to be up all night with little one, having to then work all day and only have one day to myself did hit me a little hard.

Living in takes a toll on you, it has its positives and it has its negative sides, just like anything else but not knowing what they would be, I admit, I was taken aback.

During my training I never had the opportunity to discuss the various options with anyone, I was of course aware of what Live In and Live out meant but I was naïve and young and assumed that I would be fine with it.

I was (fine) and I am fine about it, in fact at the moment I live in while on duty and I live out while off duty and it works wonderfully but it is an adjustment.

The positives of Living in

  • Commute is drastically reduced
  • You have no expenses to worry about so it is a great way to save money

The negatives:

  • You are always there and available
  • You most likely will not be able to have friends over
  • You don’t actually ever get away from your job

But I digress; this will be a topic for another post!

To be a live in nanny you need to have the right sort of personality, you need to be able to roll with the punches, you need to accept that there will always be something that needs doing, you need to be a team player, you need to be a little thick skinned not to take everything to heart and you need to realize that some things can wait till tomorrow. When I first started working I would work and work and work until I found nothing else to do that meant I would not go to sleep until 1 or 2 am. Looking back I think that others must have thought: “ how silly she is” but I know that had I not done what I did, I would not be the nanny I am today. It taught me to let go of certain things and to hold on to others, to learn not to control everything.

Over the years I have lived in and out and while living in I have had the oddest things happen to me, here are some of them:

I had one parent go through my dresser drawers on my days off. Once I realized what was happening I left notes in the drawers to remind her where to put things once she had moved them. She stopped quite quickly after she realized the notes were for her!!!!

I would find all three children in my bed in the morning, they would all crawl out of their beds during the night and would all snuggle in with me; (loved this one!!)

My room was in the basement of a huge house and Dad used to wander around in his underwear in the basement (really did not like this one!!!!!)

I don’t think any of us are prepared when we accept our first Live In position, I think nobody really talks about this unless someone asks the question. I don’t want to discourage anyone from accepting a Live In position; I do think that it is a great way to go if you have the right personality.

I am sure you have a lot to add to this post so I am going to leave it open for comments and discussion.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Ambre
    March 4, 2016 at 8:59 am

    God I feel you.

    I’ve been a live-in nanny for 6 years (8 if you count the 2 years I first spent as their au pair) and it’s just been a MESS of ups and downs. While it definitely has its advantages, what really takes its toll eventually is the fact that you’re with the family ALL. THE. TIME. There is just no getting away, except when you go out of the house, but usually it’s only for a few hours at a time. It really put a strain on my relationship with the parents (especially the mom) because I couldn’t get away, but same thing, they couldn’t get away from me either haha.

    You’re always there for last minute baby-sitting (and if you’re a people pleaser like me you never say no), they don’t worry about overtime, you tend to take on a lot of extra responsibilities in the house (aka free maid service), and say goodbye to EVER sleeping in if your room is near the kids’ (mine was).

    I think people considering becoming live-in nannies really need to think about the “lack” of independence that comes with it, it’s definitely not for everybody.

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    March 4, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Great points Ambre, thanks for commenting. Living in is definitely not for everyone, it is not for the faint hearted!!!
    You are right about the fact that it is not only us who can’t get away from the family but it is the family who cannot get away from us too. I always compare being a Live in nanny to being in a relationship.
    Good luck Ambre!

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