The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned (So Far) From Nannying.

I’ve been a nanny for almost a month now and already I feel like it’s changed my perspective and thought processes on so many things. Here are the five that stand out the most to me thus far:

1. Schedules aren’t so bad. (Heck, sometimes they’re even necessary.)

If you wanted to be nice, you could call me a free spirit.  Exciting. Spontaneous. But if you’re waiting for me to find my keys, or you’re sitting in my disastrous car, or I’ve cancelled plans with you for the fiftieth time in a few months, it’s more than likely you’ll say I’m a completely unorganized mess. This is the truth. I am not the best at planning things, and though I’ve attempted to change, all plans usually fail in the first few weeks. I just haven’t wanted it bad enough. Being a nanny has made me want it bad enough. It goes like this: If baby is grumpy, I am not happy. If baby doesn’t get a nap, baby is grumpy. If baby doesn’t go for a walk/rock in her swing around 11am, baby does not want a nap. Ergo, I am not happy. I want to be happy. Miss Poppy and I got a schedule down pat within the first week and a half.

2.  Kids=Strength Training.

I  consider myself to be a pretty in-shape individual. I have a healthy BMI. I don’t mind seeing myself in a bikini. I jog about five times a week. All good things, eh? So I was rather shocked and annoyed when, after a day of holding a baby, my arms felt like they may fall off of my body. They ached, oh, how they ached. Three weeks later, they are still aching. I admit, I’ve never payed much attention to my arm muscles. As long as I stay slim, I really don’t mind being weak. Is that bad?  Well. It won’t last much longer. The mommy did inform me I would start developing muscles. Watch out, y’all. I may be a hoss pretty soon. Hee. Hee. Hee.

3. Kids=Sometimes smarter than you. (And by you, I mean me.)

As the littlest napped yesterday, Grayson (nine) and I went in the backyard for an afternoon swim. (yeah, I get paid for this.) I was in the pool and already swimming around when I looked up to find this young lady applying her suntan lotion and simultaneously scolding me. Here’s how the conversation went:

Grayson: Aren’t you going to put sunscreen on?

Me: Umm….No. I usually don’t burn too much. (A lie.)

Grayson: ….Are you sure you don’t want to put some on?

Me: Yeah, I’m okay.

Grayson: You could get skin cancer!

Me: Ohhh, fine! Fine, Grayson. You’re right. I’ll put some on.

Unfortunately, I only said this to appease her and as to not condone the receiving of skin cancer. Truthfully, I barely dabbed any on at all. Today I am bright as a tomato and in an extreme amount of pain from both my awful sunburn and aching arm muscles. Also, I have been humbled by a fourth grader.

4. Patience.

I am not a patient person, to say the least–But I am quickly becoming one. I don’t really have much of a choice when I have a job consisting of poop, crying and random bloody noses. Example 1: The other day Baby Poppy decided to run around naked and, much to my surprise, poo all over the floor. This happened to be the same exact time I ran out of baby wipes. That was fun. I’m learning to breathe before I act and think before I say. I’m also learning to just deal with the tough things as they come along. From the words of Mary, the four year old, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”  She’s right. Because sometimes life just gets crappy. In my case, more literally than symbolically.

4 .Re-learning the innocence of childhood.

There is nothing quite as perfect as hearing a one-year old giggle. Or watching her imitate your sneezes almost perfectly, and then giggling. Or feeling her head rest against your shoulder as she falls asleep. And there is nothing that really compares to receiving homemade duck-tape hair clips from a nine-year old. Except maybe receiving a hug and a “See you tomorrow,Christina!” at the end of the day, from this same nine-year old. Oh. And receiving a slobbery kiss from her four-year old sister. That too.

Put briefly, I didn’t think I could like three little girls not related to me this damn much. I’m a sucker.

13 thoughts on “The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned (So Far) From Nannying.

  1. I was a nanny for years and now I teach Preschool. I loved this blog. I could write a book about all the things I’ve learned from my days with children. Its a wonderful line of work to be in.

  2. Meg says:

    aww I love this! The innocence of children is one of the reasons I am becoming a teacher. Everyone should act more like a kindergartner sometimes. It’s amazing because, yea little kids grow up, and they’re not going to be innocent forever, but guess what?! there will always be a new batch of little kids right behind them reminding us of the little wonderful things in life! haha so it’s not all that depressing at all.

    “That was fun. I’m learning to breathe before I act and think before I say.”

    When i first read this I thought ti was going to say “i’m learning to breathe through my mouth, not my nose” or something of that nature pahahaha

  3. Great post Christina! The most wonderful sound in the world is a baby’s laugh – I think it’s my favourite noise. I did a lot of babysitting during my teenage years and your post brought back a lot of memories – it helps to have 3 nice kids. One of the families had 5 kids and they were all really *naughty* – no parental control at all – there were always great stories after a night looking after them!

  4. So true. Being around kids just gives you a new perspective on things, especially how inquisitive and direct they are. They are hard work too! Haha

  5. This is fun! I tried nannying for a while, hated it. The oldest girl was kind of bossy, but fun. The middle girl was obnoxious and refused to do anything I suggested. The youngest, a boy, I’m pretty convinced had Autism. He wouldn’t look at me, never said anything or even made any sounds except irritated grumbles whenever I touched him. All he wanted to do was page through books over and over by himself.

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