The day to day, comical happenings and sweet moments from my life as a nanny.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Let's be's not all fun and games.

It can be so easy sometimes to use a blog in two different extremes. One: to simply talk about fluffy stuff and how great life is...making it seem like you are perfect and live this amazingly trial-free life. Two: use it to passively "bash" other people and make yourself look good.

I'm blessed to know a few wonderful women who set an amazing example of finding the balance between being real and honest about struggles and trials, as well as sharing triumphs and praises....without bringing others down. I find this rare and am usually scared away from the blogging world because of the drama that can arise from it. I also find myself taking the easy route of just writing the "fun" things and the cute little lessons.

My prayer for myself is that I can strive to be transparent, simply to show the real me and create a community where we can share our struggles as well as our fun times and praises.  Writing the "You know you're a nanny when..." seemed so silly, but it has honestly been a huge encouragement for me this last week as I struggle through some of the obstacles that come with the career of "nanny". Hearing that other people actually can relate has been so encouraging, as well as fun to read.  I want to take advantage of the open door and use that post and the beginning of a community from it to go a little deeper.

For you nannies out there...specifically, single, in your 20's nannies....
Do you ever find yourself frustrated and feeling like a miss-fit and totally misunderstood?  Do you ever feel like you're just stuck between being a mom and being a normal twenty-something year old? You aren't married so you don't fit in that category, but you are a full-time childcare provider so you don't quite fit in the single life...yet you're not actually a mom so you can't really have community there.

It's something I have struggled with since becoming a nanny....12 years ago. Obviously the age thing continues to change, but I always find myself feeling like I'm forcing social interactions and forcing myself to be "normal" around people my age who are NOT nannies. I can't seem to find my community "niche".

I love that people see my gift for working with kids and that my nick-name tends to be "mommy Kelsey", but yet a side of me hates that it seems to be in a "you don't really fit with us" sort of way.  Obviously this is my interpretation of it and my own insecurities go into that interpretation, but am I alone in feeling that?  There is something different about being a nanny. I can be a group of people, all my age, everyone with a different career and when it gets to me saying what I do I either get so you don't really "work" or the "wow, I don't know why you would ever do that" response. I automatically feel like the odd-ball.  Which then leads to feeling completely out of the loop when they all start talking about what they did Friday night or what good new movies are coming out...because all I can offer is "Hey, have you seen the preview for the new Winnie the Pooh Movie?" Or..."oh yeah I played Just Dance with a bunch of little girls Friday night."
I've gone back and forth on this whole "social" thing and hate that it bothers me, because really...I prefer to play Just Dance with a bunch of little girls on a Friday night.
 I LOVE what I do.
 I have a passion for it.
It's what God created me to do.
I'm good at it.

So why do I hate feeling so misunderstood and feeling like no one understands?

I could write a book of just "You know you're a nanny when..." moments, but I would need to include..."You know you're a nanny when...the only people who seem to get you are other nannies....and the parents you work for."
Anyone else have their struggles with being a nanny?   Anyone else hit the end of the day and wonder if maybe they should stop playing "mom" and be a "normal" twenty-something year old"?  But then remember why you continue doing what you're doing?
What are some things that keep you encouraged and remind you why you love what you do?

Here are some that I came up with the other night as I was struggling through this:

  • When a baby you have known since birth says your name for the first time. 
  • When you've had a really rough day of discipline issues, spilled milk, washing the floors three times....and then end it with little arms wrapped around you telling you how much they love you.
  • Getting a beautiful water color painting slipped under the door after a long hard day.
  • One of the kids so excited to share with you something new they learned or something they over-come.
  • Getting big, slobbery kisses from a one year old. 
  • Knowing you played a part in that something new. 
  • Being able to sit with parents and hash out scheduling, discipline tactics, new ideas, etc...and knowing you are part of a team. 
  • Spending each day knowing that you aren't just "babysitting" but that you are playing a part in molding a life.
  • Watching the parents get to be involved in ministry and know that you are able to help them be able to do what they do. 

These are just a few.

Would love to hear your feedback on this subject.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nanny community

Loved, loved, loved the comments to my last post. I was cracking up and totally relating to every one of them. I finally feel like I am not alone!
I'm hoping this "place" can become a sort of community for us nannies who live in the in-between of child-less freedom and the joys and trials of motherhood.  So fun to hear stories I can relate to.
Thanks ladies for sharing your "You know you're a nanny when..." moments.

I am about to head out to PA to go see one of my dearest friends get married....AND it just happens to be her birthday today ;) HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRITTANI!!!!

I can't wait to share photos and stories from the big weekend.
Until then I thought I would just share my favorite photo from today....

Isn't she beautiful? 
We had a blast, and were sweating like pigs (do pigs sweat?) taking little bit's one year photos. She is just precious. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You know you're a nanny when...

One of the most common questions I get when I tell people I'm a nanny is, "Cool, so do you, like, just play with kids all day?", or sometimes the "Wow that's cool so you just work for musicians, thats pretty fun right?"

HA. IS fun. and yes. I sort of "play" with kids all day.
What most people don't know is that I just washed my hair with blazing blueberry tear-free shampoo, survived quite the insane trip to target that included coralling 4 kids, spilled drinks, a tired baby, and a major check-out miss-hap, and am now reading about baby sign language.

I think I need to write one of those "you know you're a nanny when..." Those kinds of lists were huge back in the days of myspace and xanga....
So humor me.
Maybe this will give you a glimpse into the daily life I live as a nanny.

You know you're a nanny when: ( know you're a nanny of a musician/speaker/author family when)

  • You drive a car with carseats in the back seats and Highschool musical cranked up
  • Your perfume switches between, sweet potato puree, spit-up, hot dogs and baby sunblock. 
  • When the youth you work with want to play with your phone they realize all you have are baby, fisher-price games
  • Your most said phrase is "Oh, I'm just the nanny."
  • A "normal" schedule consists of different hours and days every week and spending weekends either traveling or staying home watching kids all weekend
  • You can change a diaper with one hand while holding octopus arms in the other (at least that's what it feels like)
  • 98% of your photos, tweets, status' are of or about kids
  • You can sing all the theme songs to Dora the Explorer, The Wonder Pets, and The Backyardigans
  • You get excited when Parent magazine comes in the mail
  • You are much better at socializing with the group of moms and discussing disciplining techniques than you are socializing with people your own age 
  • You're told you have a "mom" look when the need arises (I work with a youth group...they're real honest)
  • You get two types of looks when you are out in public- The sympathetic, "awww poor single mom with four kids" or the judgemental "hmph young, single mom with four kids."
  • When people ask if you've seen any good movies can ramble off every animated/kids movie but are pretty much clueless as to what "grown-up" movies are out
  • You watch the same Animated movie over and over for months until the next big animated movie comes out....then you watch that one over and over and over. 
  • You're constantly asked if you are ever going to continue your education to actually use your Psychology major (I always laugh at that one, I use it everyday)
  • You DO go out with your friends only to have a pacifier and baby wipes fall out of your purse
  • You realize at the end of the day that you walked around all day with dried oatmeal all over the back of your pants
  • You can stand in Target with your boss discussing/analyzing what the best sippy cup is
  • You can have the worst day and have it all turned around by a sweet hug from a five year old
  • When "Miss" has become a permanent part of your first name
  • You spend all day smelling baby poop...but are unable to pin-point the source
  • It's not out of the norm to walk around the mall with a baby in an ergo, a stroller and kids trailing behind you
  • Sunday is your dress up day, sadly not because of church but because the rest of the week you spent wearing baby-food covered sweats
  • You find joy and yet your heart aches when seeing simple accomplishments, like a babies first words, a kid reading you her first book, or facing fears and growing up
  • You can make a killer heart-shaped PB&J, the best mac n cheese and a grilled cheese to die for
  • You love analyzing birth-order and personalities
  • You know when every "Kids eat free" night is in your town
  • The workers at the local kids activity centers know you by name
  • When you go shopping for clothes your first priority is to find things that are "kid friendly" and easy to move in
  • You experience all this, yet have no kids of your own. 

I could go on and on.

Any other nannies out there want to add on their own "You know you're a nanny when..."?

Monday, July 11, 2011


I just need to brag for a little bit.
So I spent the last week (with LOTS of help from Angie and my friend Nikki) trying to pull off a couple surprises for my best friend.  Her birthday was Thursday and we just moved into a new place so I wanted to give her a complete room makeover. Jenna and I have been friends for almost 6 years now and we have moved more times than I can count, we've been through ups and downs, have had seasons where our friendship has been anything but stellar, and have walked through so many storms together. Through all of this having a place to call "home" has not been top priority so I felt it was time to start building up "real" rooms and a place that we can come home to.  
Jenna is incredible. I'm not sure where to even start.  The first time Jenna and I ever hung out was really not planned. We were all hanging out in my dorm room and we had a few mutual friends....well..our mutual friends all decided to leave and I was studying so stayed behind. Somehow Jenna was left behind too and long story short we spent the next several hours sharing our hearts with each other....and the rest is history.
We've been pretty much inseparable since then....minus a few tough seasons we walked through.
My favorite thing about Jenna is that we tend to have very eventful things happen during what should be normal days. She is the only person that can live through these events, laughing and making them into adventures instead of being frustrated and negative.
We moved all the way to Nashville and faced southern culture shock together, with no money and not even knowing where we would live. We saved money in jars to rent an apartment and moved in with no furniture, slept on sheets on the floor, saved again in jars to buy a couch from Big Lots, spent months working odd jobs and looking for change to buy food off the dollar menu, had our first garage sale experience in the pouring rain, have moved several times by ourselves, worked at 3 am putting furniture together in the Pier 1 parking lot in the snow....these are just a few examples of the things we have survived through together.
We've worked through the tough times and have been able to be honest with each other and grow our friendship stronger through them. We finish each other's sentences, wear the same clothes without even planning it and confuse our parents on the phone because we sound like the same person. She's the person I can stay up with till 3am talking about boys, life, God, the future and dreams. We've shared nanny jobs, had all our college classes together, were roommates all through college and have even traveled together.
   The funniest thing about it all....we could not be more different.   Jenna keeps me on track by being realistic and logical, she's a first born. I'm the middle child, spontaneous, leap before thinking type.    We balance each other out.    She made a spontaneous jump with me when we decided to go get two little puppies one day.    Pretty much she's amazing and we've both grown so much as individuals and in our spiritual walks because of what we have walked through together.
I thought it would be fun to share some photos through the years....Jenna, please don't hate me.

           typical night

                   (This was for graudation....funny part....the matching dresses was not really planned)

                 (drove a uhaul for the first time to get the couch we saved up for)
                     (we we're REALLY excited to get a vacuum)
                   (when we were jobless we would go to Ross and just try things on)
    (Our first Southern garage sale experience)

So now that you've had a little back story here is what we did for her birthday:
(My computer is totally full so couldn't edit any of these...but was to impatient to wait to post them)

 Before                                                                                                   after
 My little helpers

Gross lamp/night stand

 we had a midnight visitor
 Also...note...never make coffee when you are completely sleep deprived and being asked several questions by a five year will almost blow-up the coffee maker and need your boss to come to the rescue

Sawyer wanted to help so he fell into the teal paint

 almost finished with the accesories

 Angie's coffee vs. my coffee.....I like my straight up strong
 wall art
 we thought Jenna might like this
 we really wanted to play a joke and make some real cheesy BFF canvases
 TADA! Finished product

So that is the end to this super long post....pretty much I adore my BFF