Ever since I was a kid myself, I’ve always loved playing and taking care of younger kids and babies. I’m a kid at heart who loves to watch little ones play, learn, and grow. Once in college I wanted to find a job that would be rewarding, and I could wake up excited about. For me I quickly realized that was nannying. Back in 2013 I applied for my first nanny job with two little girls. That job set my career path and changed my world.
My favorite age group to nanny is newborn to 2 years old. For some this is their least favorite, but for me it is the best! I get to watch their little wheels turning in their head as they learn and grow. Milestones happen so fast in this age group and observing these is so rewarding.
There are so many parts of my job that I love. But watching them learn is my favorite. Seeing their excitement with every milestone makes it that much better! From crawling to walking and everything in between, there is so much reward in being a nanny during these years.
For advice to a new nanny, I’d say be patient, with yourself and the kids. Learn about the age group you are going to be working with, and get yourself comfortable ahead of time. But also remember that kids are not cookie cutter, there is no one size fits all. When working with a new family in the beginning ask questions. Familiarize yourself with the job and the children. It’s so important to keep communication open with your family. If you have concerns you need to voice them, people are not mind readers and concerns kept to yourself can create an uncomfortable workplace. Most importantly though, have fun and enjoy what you do!
I would advise parent to allow for open communication with their nanny. Voice concerns with their nanny and listen to their nanny voice her concerns as well. Frequent “check-ins,” especially in the first few months, are extremely helpful. For parents that work from home, it’s important that you give the nanny space to do her job. It can feel uncomfortable and overbearing to the nanny when she feels like she’s being hovered over. It’s best to voice concerns or critiques at the end of the day than the middle of the day, unless it is a dangerous situation.
There are so many challenging aspects of nannying, but it’s important to have the patience to get through them. Tantrums, for example, can feel extremely frustrating on the job. Finding the skills that work to help the child through their tantrum can be challenging in the moment. I’ve learned patience is key when helping a child through a tantrum. Tantrums are often caused by their inability to appropriately express their emotions.
I’ve been in situations where two great families have offered me a job at the same time. There’s a number of factors that need to be considered in these situations. For starters I look at the pay, which job offers more money? Which one has more responsibilities for the pay? I take the location and work hours into consideration as well. Which location is better for me, and given the work hours what will my commute look like? Benefits are also an important thing to consider. Things like travel reimbursement, health insurance, sick days, and vacation days. The most important thing I would take into consideration is which family I felt the better connection with. Nobody wants to go into a job that they’re miserable with because they’re unhappy with the family they work for. When it comes down to it, I think your gut is usually right.
Julie R. has been a professional nanny for over 8 years. She’s currently working with a sweet one-year-old boy and is looking forward to growing with the family. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her dog and exploring the outdoors.