You would be surprised how many times this question really runs through a nanny’s head. Im sure this is the case for many professionals in different career fields, but my goodness, we could arrive to work on time, cook, clean, hug kiss teach protect and even stay late and work additionals hours and still wonder if we are doing enough! It’s like, we know we do a lot…but do we do enough?!
here’s what I mean..
- You set a goal for the day or the week at work, and because you didn’t accomplish it, you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Maybe you missed a birthday craft that you were supposed to do. I can tell you this eats me up every time I head over to our shared calendar and I realize I’m a day late on a family member’s birthday and we didn’t get to do a craft for them! Here’s the reality though. Sometimes, we ask for far too many family member’s birthday, and/or anniversaries, and let me be quite honest, unless they’re an immediate family member, they aren’t looking at the calendar eagerly anticipating our birthday craft we did for them. Or maybe you planned to cook a delicious meal at the end of the week and time just didn’t allow for it the way you hoped that it would. You can’t control everything. The very fact that you plan to do so much for your Nfamily, says to me you do a lot.
- You find yourself ACTUALLY sitting down to take a real break during your NK’s nap time. Take it from someone who has nannied for work from home parents, and even parents who work outside of the house. It doesn’t matter, for some reason we feel guilty for taking a 30min or hour long break during their nap times. The reality of this is do you know what will happen if you don’t take that break? When those children wake up, you will not be able to keep up to speed with them. Sit down, breathe, make a personal phone call, eat something other than the kids macaroni and goldfish, and recharge those batteries. People in corporate america receive multiple 15-20 minute breaks throughout their work day on top of a 45 min-hour long lunch break. Your break on the other hand depends on IF that child naps or not, and for how long…I suggest you do yourself a favor and take that break because…it’s not promised tomorrow.
- You coincidently have had plans outside of work every time your bosses ask for you to babysit for them. WHY ON EARTH does it feel like this happens more often than not!? I don’t think you’ll ever not feel bad about this one. I’ve been a nanny for going on 8 years now, and I STILL feel this way. But be careful about making extra commitments to babysit outside of your normal nanny schedule. If you don’t think it’ll catch up to you, it will, and no one wants to have nanny burn out. It’s real and it’s depressing. Plan your babysitting accordingly.
- Work was fun…a little too much fun…like, I didn’t even feel like I was working type of fun. Do you ever feel bad about having too much fun at work?! I do, and I hate that I feel this way sometimes! Isn’t this how work should be everyday? We raise children for goodness sake. One of our biggest expectations is to make sure the children have fun! I have a play group and all of the little ones are around the same age and I love each and everyone of the nannies and their nanny babies in the group. We have a ton fun, our kiddos play super well together, and we all just look out for one another which essentially just makes nanny life 1000 times easier. If you feel bad for having a ton of fun through what you do, just remember how productive you were when you feel under lots of pressure and as if you’re not having fun at all..
- You can’t seem to “read” your bosses and their emotions when you tell them things about how you spent the day with their child, or they respond very short which may come off as rude or bothered… Listen, our job is important to us, and we want our bosses to see our hearts and the efforts we put in so when they respond to something in a less enthused way, our feelings get hurt a bit. But I can tell you we are taking it too personal more often than not. Our bosses have long work days just like we do and sometimes when we are telling them all of this “stuff” they may have gotten off of a horrible phone call moments before. Most of the time it’s not you, and we have to remember that they have stressful days that are sometimes hard to hide.
- The room was cleaned, and so was the playroom…but now it’s not because well…the room and the playroom belong to a child.. Every room is not going to stay put together and clean unless you keep the little ones out of the house. Don’t beat yourself up over that. Just mark how many times you wiped food off the counter, or put legos away only for them to be taken back out by your charge.
- Your boss presents things relative to their child to you (a new class you should try, or a book they’re reading, or a new skill they want you to work on them with) and you feel as though they’re sending a message about something you’re not doing.. Sometimes as a professional nanny, I feel like I should be the one hip to the latest and greatest of things relative to my nanny family. But I have to remember that there are going to be things my boss discovers that I may or may not have even heard of that they may want me to implement into the work day. That is fine, and it doesn’t make me less of a nanny for possibly not knowing about it or not mentioning it to them first. And it shouldn’t make you feel like you’re not doing enough either.
The next time that feeling of “am I doing enough” comes to taunt you, remember that smile you received from your charge or go through your phone and look at how 90% of your memory is taken up of pictures and video that you take of your nanny kid(s) and send to your nanny family…
always remember, you are enough!
until next time, toss your confetti and celebrate nanny life.