What does a nanny do all day?
A question friends have quite often asked over the years………… surely you just play with toys, drink coffee and watch TV all day whilst I sit behind a desk, deal with an over bearing boss and a great deal of stress. I can’t even imagine listing everything a nanny deals with over their day but let’s just start with the fact that even if you did make a cup of coffee the likelihood of drinking it whilst it’s still hot is very slim. For years I never made a hot drink whilst caring for young children, the thought of a child ever getting near it and scolding themselves made me avoid cups of tea and opt for glasses of water instead.
Play time- even with the youngest of babies you end up sitting on the floor whilst they lay on their play mat, you shake toys, make up silly voices, sing for hours and think of stories to not only stimulate the baby but also your own brain. With siblings you find yourself dressing up as a cowboy one moment whilst singing a lullaby to the younger child who finds your cowboy hat quite stimulating.
Solitude- it’s a lonely job being a nanny when you don’t have colleagues around in an office you chat to over the day and go out for lunch. Quite often it’s just you and a couple of little ones. I know there are many husbands, boyfriends and partners out there who get talked at for an hour after you get home just because it’s been a quiet day and you haven’t had anyone to talk to apart from someone asking which colour is Gordon in Thomas the Tank Engine or do you think Peppa Pig likes to eat ice lollies.
Stress- yes a nanny deals with it on a daily, hourly basis. Being in charge of the most precious items of someone’s lives is super stressful, you try not to think about it too much or else you would wrap those little ones in cotton wool and never leave the bedroom. It’s stressful feeding a baby, ensuring they don’t slip and fall at the park, checking they don’t put something in their mouth at a toddler group they shouldn’t, keeping them well during an illness and ensuring you give them enough love and care to make them feel loved yet know they also have parents who love them even more.
Nursery Duties- in between caring and playing with the little ones you still need to ensure food is cooked, bottles are sterilised, toys are cleaned, plans are put in place, routines are met, washing and beds are changed whilst juggling a child possibly pulling at your trousers. It all seems simple when they are babies and sleeping long enough to get your duties done, but on a sunny day when all they want to do is stay at the park for as long as possible or not come in from the paddling pool you still need to get these duties complete before you leave for the day.
I feel I only touch on the very basics here, there are so many other things a nanny has to do, and let’s not forget one of the biggest parts of the job is communicating with parents, parents who may well feel they are missing out on some milestones, who come home stressed from their own jobs, who are tired from endless broken nights and then have to switch off from work to become parent again. So when someone asks what do you do all day, simply smile and ask “Do you have children?”