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 the...cool 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.