“Nannying is hardly a real job in my opinion”
That was a comment that someone posted on Twitter yesterday and it hit me so hard that I really, really, wanted to act like immature teenage girl and fight with that person.
I assume girl who said that was babysitting on occasion, probably polishing her nails by the pool( see, I can generalize and be mean too) and therefore, she might see nanny job as “not a real job”.
In the past when my boyfriend’s work buddy asked me what do I do, I avoided the question.
When my former employees asked me what is my plan after this job, quickly I would say I am planning to enroll in college this fall. On my resume I tend to put lot’s of fancy words to disguise the fact that I am a nanny. Plain, old, just a nanny. I am always interested to hear and see other people’s perspective and learn something new, and here is what I learned after years of pretending I am something I am not, because I am shamed and looked down on for being nanny.
If I let someone else determine how important my role and my job is, I am giving them power to mock and make fun of my career and profession.
When I hide what I do, I make it possible for others look down on me, because I look down on me.
I am not in this job for the money, but often I forget that my pay is way higher than average. I often forget all the perks and amazing things that make this job the best one I ever had.
Here is reminder to me and to other amazing, wonderful childcare providers that we are important.
We are making a change here, and we are doing the dirty work that others don’t have time or desire to.
I became better person since I am working with kids. I developed in so many different ways and here are some of them that make me happy that I choose to be a nanny:
I grew up.
I had to. I landed my first nanny job by “fake it, ’till you make it” and I was desperate to show myself and others I can do it. I had this opinion similar to the one at the beginning of post, that it’s not a big deal and I can do it, everyone can do it.
The fact is – NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A NANNY. At least not a good one.
I became hard worker.
To get to the point where I wanted to be and to gain respect I was so eager to get, I pushed myself hard. I read books, watched documentaries, movies, I researched. I worked full time for 2 different families to gain experience. I Pinterested for hours to find the best crafts, sleep and potty training ideas and soon enough, I became what I am now – professional. Yeah, I use simple language, and I don’t have certificate or degree (but remember, I am enrolling this fall 🙂 ), but I am freaking good at this nanny thing.
And when I see I am missing on something, I’ll push, learn and do what I can to become the best I can be. Only after I take a nap with a child, of course.
I became tolerant.
I see parents, children and affluent neighborhood’s differently. I saw so many different personalities and ways that parent raise/don’t raise their kids that in this point all of this has shaped me and taught me to be tolerant, accepting and understanding. We are all different. We are all doing what we think it’s the best in the moment.
I see poor rich people, and I see happy poor people. I see parents and I see people who hand their kids over. I see rules, and I see free ranged kids. I judge sometimes. Not because I care, not because I think that people are doing it wrong – any way they are doing it, but by stating my opinion (even when it’s wrong) it will create a space, option and communication with others and it might teach me (or you) something. It might educate me, you or that parent how to be better and happier.
I found my inner child.
In those awkward teenage years and early twenties, everything was revolving about being cool, being grown up.
I focused on being accepted in adult world that I forgot to live. Smile, giggle, tickle, roll on the floor, build a fort and watch a cartoon. Being nanny has made me see things as simple again. In this exact moment, what will make me happy? Yes, I need to pay bills, and I just got a car I can’t afford. And yes, it’s too early and I hate my job sometimes, but in this exact moment if I have chocolate milk and blow some bubbles with my nanny kid – how can that not bring a joy, and silly, instant happiness to both of us?
I am more mature (or at least getting there).
This goes along with other things, but I am so different now. I learned what is important, what not. I am choosing things and people in my life wisely, based on their opinions and ways they treat me, their partners, kids, waitress. Growing up, that didn’t matter as much, but now I can see how big impact those small things have.
It taught me what parenting is like.
I know being nanny doesn’t automatically makes me parent, and I never want anyone to assume I am seeing myself that way, but it did show me some parts of what will it be like to a parent.
I get to raise children, explore with them, try different discipline and educational ways and I learn with that. I changed more diapers than most of the parents, I soothed and potty trained more kids and dealt with more poo, pee and puke than what it is normal for a parent.
I feel that gives me some kind of preparation for future. I know it will be harder to deal with kids 24/7 and I am not saying I can ever understand how much harder/better that is – but I am sure being nanny has given me advantage among many.
It taught me how marriage works.
Over the years I witnessed 6-7 long term relationships and marriages that were all unique, but the same in a way. I got to observe family dynamics, arguments, celebrations, happy and not so happy moments and it helped me alter my expectations and behavior in a relationship.
Being a nanny helped me see what is ok in domestic relationship, and what not. It helped me see how much better marriage can be if both partners are equally invested in marriage and in parenting. I believe I am more aware of things that I can do as a partner and parent to make my future marriage blossom.
I got whole new appreciation for dressing up.
Being in yoga pants, barely brushing my teeth and being sweaty, covered in baby puke all day, makes me that much happier when I do get that moment to actually dress up.
Putting make up on, a dress and high heels seems like such a huge deal these days.
I don’t mock people who have “baby on board” sticker.
To be fair I really don’t know what is the purpose of those, but I know that 30% of my driving I am not looking at the road, I am passing water bottle, snack, putting Barbie’s clothes back on, singing freaking Elmo Song (Ta da da, Ta da da, Elmo song – I bet you can’t get it out of your head now) and being focused on that nugget in the back.
Seeing that sticker at other cars is like a warning to me “Watch out – Because I am not watching the road at all”.
Being a nanny showed me so much more about life, parenting, myself, jobs, careers and people than any other job could, I feel.
I am being mocked, made fun of, looked down on, disrespected, underpaid. I got way too many sexual and indecent offers, I had to deal with so many issues that are not mine and day by day, I am growing stronger, better, smarter than I could ever imagine.
I am a nanny. Proud, happy, badass nanny, and as one of my Twitter Nanny friends said:
“If you think nannying is not a real job, go tell that to my brand new PAID OFF car”
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