Why do we become Nannies?
There are a few reasons:
A) It’s your dharma.
B) It’s a job that does not demand formal qualifications and/or equipment.
C) It pays cash in hand.
D) It’s flexible.
E) It can be incredibly easy to perform.
F) You are your own boss (if both parents work).
G) It’s better than being a waitress.
I’d like to say I began in this industry because of A) but at the time it was mostly a combination of B-G. In the beginning I chose this ‘profession’ because I suck as a waitress, I am allergic to Corporate America and I needed quick cash to pay mounting bills. And yes … it was easier than housekeeping or walking dogs.
Despite how a person ends up ‘Nannying’ there comes a time when they fit into one or two categories: A) the career Nanny who develops skills and a reputation over time; and B) the Nanny that has no other option.
It’s a weird gig to be honest. A Nanny has to play Bad Cop when mom’s around so that mom’s not upstaged in the children’s affections. A Nanny can’t be too friendly with daddy, even if he acts like a puppy dog around her. A Nanny works against herself knowing the longer she is in the job the quicker she will lose that job. A Nanny must secure a reference for long stretches of employment or she won’t get another position easily (even if her ex-employer treated her unfairly, a Nanny MUST get that reference).
A Nanny will be privy to family secrets, dynamics and histories, yet when a Nanny leaves, she may never see the children again. Nannies are often the objects of anger by children who miss working parents. Nannies often hustle 2nd and 3rd jobs on the side to make a decent salary.
Nannies offer themselves emotionally on many levels and sometimes boundaries become blurred. Nannies must love but not too much. They must nurture and then leave. When they are needed but not wanted they stay. When they are wanted but not needed they depart. Nannies move through society like emotional concubines.
If a Nanny is fortunate, skilled and smart her work can become a journey that takes on sacred meaning. Her life will be woven with strands of multiple loves and priceless experiences in trust. A successful Nanny’s path will be shared with scores of little footprints. She will see herself in all of ‘her children’ and they in her.
It is a gift to be compensated for loving a child to its full potential. To watch and observe a personality bloom, a character build. It can be one of the most rewarding jobs on earth if the intention is to honor children.
How do you feel about your Nanny? Nannies – how do you feel about your work?