Thursday, February 11, 2010

Table Talk Thursday:Catching up with Jenn, who left her job last June.

This week we are going to catch up with Jenn, the nanny who shared with us the 10 day countdown of her last days with the family she had been with for 16 years. For those of you who are going through a transition, her story should give you hope, and for those of you who are about to go through transition, she has some great advice for getting through. If you will notice she used a lot of the ideas from the Nanny Transitions workshop to help her through the hardest times.

Jenn, thanks again for sharing your story with us, and thanks for the update. Much of the ease of your transition is due to your desire to make it succeed.

An update by Nanny Jenn
I left my job of sixteen years last June. It was so hard. I was an emotional wreck. I think I handled my end as their everyday nanny better than I thought I would. No, I know I did. I cried and mourned the loss of the everyday interaction. I talked to them often. I saw the kids about once a week in the beginning. I still see them pretty often. I see M (8) and Kyle (12) every 2 weeks or so. I alternate between them. I make a point to see them about once a month, sometimes more if I catch one of their games or other activities. The oldest is 16.5 .I see him about once every other month. He really doesn't have much time, as I said, he is 16.5 ....enough said on that. HA HA.
The middle child and I were very close and still are. He texts me about 5 times a week to say "hello". I talk to him on Facebook too. I know how lucky I am that I am able to see them so often and that my former employers are so good about it.
M the 8 year old did much better than I thought she would. In the beginning she called me all the time. These days it's about once or less a week. She seems to have grown really close to her dad. He is the one no longer working who stays home with them. I really like that.

I credit the transition going so well on a few things.
1. We had a natural end
2 .They were never made to feel like they couldn't call and in return they never felt like I wasn't a phone call away (as they say)
3. I made sure I had something in place for the youngest to get out her feelings. I gave her a journal when I left and a necklace. She wore half and I wore the other half. The journal we would swap every time we saw each other. I think it helped. In the beginning the messages were a lot of complaining when she fought with mom and dad. Now they are more about just what her week has been like.
4 We planned the first visit for me to come back after I left, before my final day so they knew I was coming back.

I still miss them. I think of them everyday. The time we spend together seems to go so fast. I had the youngest all day this weekend and still it seemed like time flew.
I know by little things that are said and things that I see that my kids miss me and things are not the same as they used to be but they are making it as a family and that is what is most important. I am able to let the little things go now and look back and feel good about the work that I did with that family for all those years.I guess I want to close by saying that it gets easier as time goes on. The memories and the bond that you build with your long term charges does stay with you.

I am happy to say that I am a nanny to a little girl who makes me very happy and I have amazing employers who really appreciate me. I shared my birthday this past week with old and new employers and it felt like a family. That is more then I could have ever hoped!


  1. Thank you, Jenn. That was lovely. And it helps remind me of the process as it has gone repeatedly for me.

    I just love your perfectly tailored parting (and yet never parting!) gifts for the middle child: the journal and half-necklaces that you share! The big heart that gave you so much pain also enabled you to think of just what you and this child needed to get through separating as nanny and charge.

    Thank you again for sharing your journey from this family's nanny to their still connected former nanny.

  2. Thank you so very much! I can't tell you enough how helpful hearing about your transition has been. I'm going through the same process right now for the first time. It was such a comfort to read your posts and see you mention many of the same things I'm feeling. Dreading the long weekend off, how the anticipation of what is to come makes things worse.

    I'm very emotional about it right now but I feel much better after reading your comments. It reassures me that the children will be okay as well as me and that it's not really goodbye but a change in how often we see each other.

    I'm considering getting the girls lockets as well. Thanks so much!