I will get to ‘the nanny diaries’ in a minute, but first I just had to share some excitement. I picked up my super secret wedding errand today! I dropped a certain something off at a certain place to have a certain thing done on Monday and just two days later, that certain something was ready! Yay for speedy service!
Now onto the reason for my post title. I have been working as a nanny for the same family (two kids) for over a year now, they were 8 months and 2 and a half when I started. When I first moved to San Francisco and in with Chris, I wanted a job and fast! I wanted to be able to contribute and not feel like I was any sort of burden, financially or otherwise. Of course Chris didn’t think I was a burden, but I’m sure you know what I mean! You want to be able to hold your own.
So I went out on a search to get any job I could find, but hopefully something through the weekdays and where I might meet some people. I ended up working for several miserable months as a bicycle rental salesperson down in Fisherman’s Wharf. Probably the worst job I’ve ever had. The commute to Fisherman’s wharf from where we used to live was a nightmare and I spent most of my days in a single person booth filling out paper work (not quite the social, meet people job I anticipated!). I slugged it out for a couple of months making my awesome $10/hour until I had had enough, which just so happened to coincide with our Hawaii trip to Maui! Yahoo!
Once that blissful week of freedom was over however, it was back to reality and I needed something new. Being a registered nurse in Australia (I flew out to the U.S the day after I graduated from University!) I knew I needed to do something that would feel worthwhile to me, something that involved caring for someone else in some way. And so I turned to Care.com to see what was out there. It didn’t take long before I interviewed with the family I have been working with ever since, and so my life as a nanny began!
While talking to the mum of the kids the other morning (she’s great and we get along really well), she was asking about my wedding shoes and I told her that they definitely weren’t the most comfortable pick, she advised me to have flip flops/thongs on hand to change into. I told her that I definitely would even though I am a big time ‘heels girl’ and would happily suffer through the pain and she laughed because she said she had no idea what I liked to wear, where I went out, what I did, besides the general “what did you get up to this weekend?”. It wasn’t an important conversation but it started me thinking about how strange of a job being a nanny really is.
All at the same time you have to be; a friend, a confidant, an entertainer, a safety monitor, a counsellor and at times the bad guy. You love these kids to death, protect them like they’re your own, and yet…they’re not. I have seen a lot of their ‘firsts’, patched up scraped knees and elbows, sung lullabies and been the brunt of many tantrums. I spend roughly 6 hours a day with these kids and with this family, in their house, with their things but when it comes down to it, we really don’t know each other at all! And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because at the end of the day it’s a job and you want that separation between your personal life and professional life, but in a profession that is in so many ways so personal it’s a strange contradiction.
I’m sure that a lot of you saw the movie ‘The Nanny Diaries’ with Scarlett Johansson that follows the life of a New York City nanny and the ins and out’s of the nanny community. Well in a lot of ways it was crazy overdone, and it a lot of ways it really wasn’t! I have heard stories that would make you laugh, make you cringe, make you cry and make you think people should need a license to have kids!
It is definitely a challenging, interesting, strange and totally rewarding job and I love it (for the most part). I am starting to think though that if I ever want kids of my own, I am going to need a new gig! If anyone’s interested in birth control that pays you, I suggest looking into being a nanny!
Not kidding at all Just kidding!
Well, it is now 4:40 and so dinner isn’t tooooo far away, but my sweet tooth is biting hard and I feel like baking! We shall see what comes of this!