Saturday, September 25, 2010

heart(s) of service

There were moments in this past year of nannying I was sure I wouldn't make it. Unhappiness engulfed me. Then, through a variety of different channels I was reminded how beautiful it is to serve. To give ourselves to others. I personally have a hard time thinking of living with a heart of service when I'm not volunteering or doing missions in a foreign country, but we do it every day. We serve in our work.
I remember one specific morning I had ushered the kids off to school and their mother left for work. It was a Monday and their dad had taken care of them for most of the weekend while mom was out of town. She asked me to pick up the playroom before the cleaners arrived. I was technically off the clock but I trudged into the basement like a good nanny to pick up a few toys. I looked up and before me lay a tornado. Missing couch cushions, playing cards EVERYWHERE and more matchbox cars than I could count. I was livid. Then I remembered I wasn't just doing this because it was my job, I was to serve this family. They might drive me crazy but out of a heart of service I am obligated to serve them- and we all have to believe that in the end it's worth it.

My lessons in service did not end there. I spend my days with three year olds. My patience is being tested on a new level, I'm struggling. Every day is a battle. A good battle though. I appreciate growing pains.
I'm also thankful to have people who remind me what serving can do for the soul. My darling friend Becky sent me this text message this morning:

"Good morning! Hope your weekend is off to a good start. If its not going so great ask God for a way you can serve someone else today. Helping others brings joy :)!"

Becky was right (per usual). After a haircut I took my grandmother mattress shopping (another exercise in patience). It did bring me joy (and the cracker barrel afterward didn't hurt, I am Southern to the core).

It's easy to lose a nanny when they don't take their profession as an act of service that brings them joy. It's easy to lose any employee that way. So find JOY in what do by finding JOY in serving others. It's not easy, but it's worth it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

they learn from the best...

I believe I've mentioned before that my parents work for many of the families I have/still babysit for. There is one family I ADORE (we all have favorites).
Seriously though, I adore these parents and their three children. I've been around each one of them since birth- & the oldest is now 15. Really, they're more like family.
Family #1 has a neighbor with younger kids whom I've watched before and whom my parents also work for. Apparently family #2 has a new babysitter...the eldest son of family #1 :-). Mom #2 just raved about how sweet he was and how much her kids loved him...


I am not in the least offended (I have a full time job, {praise the Lord} remember)...

I'm beaming with pride. I am well aware that his fabulous parents are 99% of the reason he's such a catch in the realm of male teenage babysitters...but this nanny is hoping that I taught him a lesson or 2 along the way.

Here's to teaching them all we know!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

cry me a river

So occasionally, I poke around the internet and read blogs or forums about nannies- to unblock writers block and such. It's always parents who are complaining, never the nannies. These people are ridiculous.

Some of the subjects I've found recently:
- Nannies eating habits (I struggle with this enough myself, back off).
- The social life of your nanny (see above).
- Nanny cams (do NOT get me started, a different topic for a different day).
- How to keep your nanny happy. I was very pleased to see this :)!

I have a suggestion, instead of using online forums to whine about your nanny, try taking care of your children yourself...

(call me harsh, but know that I DO believe in nannies and what they do. I love nannies, I just think individuals who abuse the privilege simply shouldn't have it).

...I also offer the less harsh alternative of having an actual conversation with your nanny about your concerns. Your nanny is an employee, if there is a legitimate problem that affects your child(ren) address it like an adult. If your just being nosy, grow up.

My second suggestion; if there is a laundry list of problems with your nanny you might have one (or both) of 2 issues. You have some major control issues you need to let go of. As a {recovering} control freak myself, I understand fully but also expect you to let go (it can be done). Second possible issue? If your this uncomfortable with your nanny you did not do enough research before going into this. Read the blogs prior to hiring, check references, run a background check or even try taking a candidate out to dinner (business' take job candidates to lunches and dinners all the time). Get to know your potential employee and that list of anxieties will shrink considerably.

Don't fret mom&dad, a mutually happy nanny-family relationship is possible. For now, let me answer our question (how to lose a nanny in 10 days?) like this: blog about her ;).


P.S. Or him. I'll address the subject of mannies (a male nanny, duh) another day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

how to make a nanny happy in 10 days


The arrival of fall, pumpkin spice lattes, (georgia) FOOTBALL, and for my Atlanta Braves a race for the pennant (my mom also turns 50, shhhh).

(for a nanny cooler temperatures mean kids can frolic outside and get that energy out for much longer, coffee is even better than before and Saturdays now have a whole new meaning).

It's also labor day weekend. I hope you nannies out there are not traveling with your employers. I hope you have a very adult weekend filled with intellectual conversation. If you are working take full advantage of this "last weekend of summer" with the kids. Squeeze in a tan while keeping the boogers from drowning, feed them all the ice cream they want, and if you're really bold ask for a raise (I LOVE FALL, can you tell how happy it makes me??).
I'm off to the white beaches of Destin for my first and only vacation of the summer (I will be with the kiddos I teach until 6pm tomorrow night though {dedication}). Counting the hours until I can soak up these last moments of summer & then fully welcome autumn.

Here's to the changing of seasons {in every way}.