What I've Learned From Being A Nanny

Friday, July 28, 2017

Other than some time spent working in a local coffee shop, I have been a nanny since I graduated college in 2013. I never planned on being a nanny. I always thought I'd work at a newspaper, magazine, or something similar. However, I took a nanny job in August 2013 in an attempt to escape a part-time job I hated, and it ended up being a path I would be on for the following four years.

Nannying is a challenge. It has the ability to bring out my flaws, push my limits, and make me want to pull out my own hair. But it also brings about the sweet hugs and kisses from adorable little people, wonderful opportunities to share the love of Christ, and lots of fun memories.

There's a lot of things I've learned about myself and life from being a nanny, and today I decided to highlight a few of them.

My Patience Needs Work

I'm pretty sure most of you know this by now, but my patience is sub-par at best. I get frustrated by things that probably shouldn't frustrate me, and even though I don't let my anger take over outwardly, I often feel like I am going to blow a gasket on the inside. And there's nothing like taking care of a two year old to test your patience.
I have known for a while now that my patience needs some work, but as a nanny I am very aware that it needs a lot more work.

Sometimes the Little Things Are Big Things

On a more positive note, one thing being a nanny has taught me is that sometimes the little things end up being the big things. The willingness to run through the sprinklers even though I don't have a change of clothes. The choice to sing his favorite song for the 12,000th time. Or the kindness to growl like a dinosaur with him even though we've already been growling for 10 minutes. Those little things make Mr. T feel loved and let him know that he is cared for. When we've had a bad day the day before, when I come in the next morning he is usually glad to see me. He typically has forgotten the bad day and instead, he remembers the care I have chosen to give him.

When we take the time to participate and show kindness in the little things- to listen, pay attention, and play with them- we are investing in bigger ways than we know.

Sometimes I Just Want My Mommy Too

I'd be lying if I said that it was never frustrating for a kid to constantly ask where their mama is, but at the end of the day I totally understand. I want my mommy too, kid. Maybe if we both lay on the floor and cry together both of our moms will show up at the same time 😋

Eating Healthy Doesn't Have To Be Hard

Mr. T and his mom are vegan (minus eggs). This means that snacks and meals consist of things like hummus and carrots, edamame, and lots of fruit in order to get the nutrients that he needs.

Even though I am a big believer in meat remaining in a persons diet if it can be helped, I will totally admit that their lifestyle keeps junk food at bay and Mr. T doesn't feel like he is missing a thing. He loves the foods that his mom buys him and he eats it right up.

It just goes to show you, if there's no junk food in the house to eat, then you are bound to eat healthier options (and like it).

Everyone Is Different

Being a nanny to different kids over the years has allowed me to see that no one child is the same. Just because I am caring for a boy doesn't mean he will be anything like the last boy I cared for, and just because two little girls are the same age doesn't mean they will function at the same level.

I think most of us understand this when it comes to kids. But for whatever reason, when it comes to adults we expect everyone to be just like us, think just like us, agree with all of our quirks and preferences, and function on the exact same level that we do. But if kids don't work that way, then why do we expect adults to? Why do we adjust the way we do things depending on the kid, but when it comes to adults we ditch the grace that we would give to a child?

I'm not saying that adults should be allowed to act like a child without being confronted, but what I am saying is that if someone struggles in a particular area that we don't, or if we function differently than someone we work with, we should remember that just as every child needs the grace to grow and learn, so do adults. This is something that I struggle to remember, but it's certainly an important lesson.

Being a nanny is challenging, but it is also rewarding. It's nothing something that I want to do for the rest of my life (or for very much longer, for that matter), but it is a job that teaches me important lessons and that allows me to be a witness in the lives of little, impressionable people. It doesn't always feel like a blessing, but it is, and I am thankful for the lessons being a nanny has taught me.

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