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.


  1. Kels, I love your heart and so glad that you share it so freely. I am not a nanny but I know how being a "misfit" can is very odd to be 30, never married and no kids. I get very odd (& sometimes hurtful) questions about why am I trying so hard to focus on a relationship with God instead of finding a man. Or the most hurtful is the comment/question..."you're 30 and aren't dating or married? must be gay then." Believe it or not I have heard that several times. I want to wait for the person that God has for me before I give my heart away. I LONG to have a husband & family, now I just have to wait for God's timing!!
    Love you friend!!!

  2. You are definitely not alone, believe me. I think the last time I fit in with people my own age was when I was 2 (haha). It's so hard because I know that I probably fit in more with the "mom crowd," but they don't often "get" that I "get it." I have faced an added "distancer" because my dad died of cancer when I was 19...and it's hard to get excited about "having a good old time" when you've seen and been through so much hurt and pain. My priorities are just not in line with those of most people my age. I guess I have found that my struggle to relate to many people has always been a catalyst to push me closer to Christ...I know He always "gets me!" I also am so thankful for the incredibly valuable lessons I am learning as I care for children and see different parenting styles...I know I will one day be a much better parent for it! Though people my age often look at me like I'm from outer space when I talk about my life, and moms often look down on me when I try to relate to them (even though I really do understand what it's like to have had a screaming baby on your hip all day and several more running around the house like banshees), I try to remember that this is only a season...and they are missing out if they don't care enough to try to relate to me.

  3. I felt that way before. But not now... recently God has given me a wonderful spirit of contentment. I have been a nanny for several years. I'm currently a live-in nanny and 23 years old. I've come to learn that even years down the road when I am married and I do have children... my "waiting" season will be replaced with something else. Everyone is waiting for something. Being a wife and being a mother won't make me any more content (I'm sure I'll be so happy to have both desires in my heart filled), but I won't be more content in that. I can only be content in Christ.

    I've always been a very future-thinking type of person, up until only a little while ago. I would always think about what the week looked like up ahead, the month, dates in the future, especially days where my schedule looked extra busy. It made my present miserable because I might of been in the present physically, but my thoughts never met me there. This past week God really challenged my heart to live "in the moment" while it is called: "Today". To enjoy- "the now" - in Christ. I cherished being a nanny to these children so much more when I started to do that. Instead of filling my thoughts with: "I'm in an awkward phase of life right now, just passing through... waiting to be married and be a mother." I embraced the now and I fully trust that God has everything all worked out. Time already passes so fast, I don't won't to miss the moments now- I'm gonna live them out with all I have and enjoy it.

    While being a nanny you can be misunderstood, I believe no matter what your profession this can happen. What about an OBGYN who delivers babies all day and longs to be pregnant, but her and her husband can't conceive. Even though she probably knows all about pregnancy, women may still think she can't relate because she's never been. The truth is as a nanny we can relate to a big extent- but not all the way. Just like the OBGYN who's never been pregnant-- she may know a lot about pregnancy, but she's never felt kicking, shifting, hiccuping inside of her. Her body has never been taken over to bring life into the world from her own womb. It will be different with our own children. God is teaching us each so much now-- preparing us for motherhood, as He does I pray you enjoy today with all you have and realize it's ok to be misunderstood by others. God understands your heart like no one else can since He's created you. The good news is He's never far and He's always ready to listen.

  4. P.S.- I just realized from another blog that you write that you've traveled to Haiti, right? That's so awesome! I just got back from there several weeks ago helping in 3 orphanages.

    P.S.S.- I'm praying for you. I know God has great things in store for your life to bring Him glory!

  5. I relate to every word you just said. I am praying for the contentment that Alisha mentioned. And my have, Kelsey - "Spending each day knowing that you aren't just "babysitting" but that you are playing a part in molding a life." That's what I have to remind myself of every single day. How IMPORTANT is that! Major. :)