Ok so technically this is my version of the nanny diaries. It is not a diary entry, nor a copyright infringement on the novel...it's a blog post...you know what I am trying to get at.
I have been a nanny for a few months now and if I could describe it one phrase, it would be "a wild ride". I have babysat before multiple times growing up, but babysitting and nannying are two very different animals. So when I began this new career, it was quite the departure.
After leaving my retail job at a high end outerwear store in SoHo (such a mouthful) because the hours did not work with my auditioning schedule, I sought out different jobs I could do. I applied for various dog walking websites but the jobs were too infrequent. So, that was when I signed up for Sitter City, which is an online platform where parents can find care takers for their kids. You have to go through a whole process to have your profile go live on the website including a background check and, after that was done, you can apply for jobs you find on the site or wait for parents to find you. I applied for some and parents responded but a lot of the time the hours they needed me and the hours I could work did not match up. Either that or the people on the site that sought you our were just odd. One lady emailed me asking me how skilled I was at "forcefully giving medication in the morning". Thank you but no thank you. With that, I began to lose hope and gave up on seeking out jobs online and decide to wait it out. I figured it to be a bit like fishing- I cast my line (published my profile) and now I just had to wait for a bite. (that fishing reference would make my dad proud...I think).
Life kept on moving and I figured out ways to keep busy while I was jobless (that was a fun three weeks) and then one day I received an e-mail from a mother who had found me on the website. We emailed back and forth and everything seemed to work with my schedule and what she was looking for etc. I was ecstatic. I felt like I just won a year supply of free chicken fingers but instead of chicken fingers it was a paying job. I went on two interviews and also had a test night with the kids where the parents left for dinner near by and I watched them for an hour or so. I guess it went well and wham bam thank you ma'am the job was mine.
Starting off, I was super nervous because the last nanny had been with them for 8 years (since the kids were born) and was more of a second mother figure, whereas I was more of an older sister figure to them. So, I quickly tried to learn the kid's quirks, likes and dislikes and their similarities as well as their differences. I tried to make a connection to the kids and be a rule enforcer but **fun** at the same time (which is a lot harder to do then I expected) I became familiar with the area around their home and hung out with the other nannies.***
***quick side note. A lot of the other nannies around where they live are that maternal figure, older and mostly from the Caribbean. There is a huge park right next to their apartment building and all the kids from the surrounding buildings come and play there after camp and school. The nannies usually watch (and yell for the kids) from the nearby park benches while the kids play in the middle of the park. I will sometimes play soccer or run around with the kids but if I am sitting on the park bench I will try and strike up conversation with the other nannies. Sometimes it works grand and we have a quick polite interaction but other times they want nothing to do with me. I am determined that by the end of the summer I will wriggle my way into their hearts and become a part of their nanny clan. That being said I have met some really nice younger nannies one of which has been from Denmark (maybe she will want to start her own nanny clan with me, I'll ask today)***
Looking back, this job was nothing like I expected it to be. It is like I am a single mother with two kids every day and yes, it is exhausting but it is also so rewarding. Seeing how I influence and shape these kids' lives makes me extremely happy. My job is unlike any one else's that I know of (unless they are a nanny also, duh). My hours are funky but it works amazing with my audition schedule. My "dress code" is anything I can get dirty and/or be ready to play baby or battle robots in. My calendar is mostly play date reminders and my photos are pretty much all dogs that we see at the park. My bag is filled with wet wipes, bandaids, and snacks (so many snacks) and over all I love it. I have learned so much about the kids but also about myself and it has been such an amazing adventure so far.
I have an awesome job. I get to play pretend, run around the park, do arts and crafts and help two amazing kids learn and grow everyday. I could go on and on about them but I have to end this here because I have two kids to pick up at robot camp and I don't want to be late.