Tuesday, December 6, 2011

18 years

Today is a very special anniversary for me.
On this day, 18 years ago, I started a new job caring for a 6 week old boy.
Eighteen years later, I am honored to say that I am still with this family.
As a nanny, you never know what a job will be like. You never know if it’s going to last a year, or 10 years so anniversaries or “nannyversaries” as many of my friends call it, are special and I believe they should be recognized and celebrated.
Fresh out of my nanny training program 27 years ago, I had high hopes for what the Nanny profession held for me, but in life there are no guarantees.
My first family was a great experience for me. They had never had a nanny and I had never been a nanny so we all learned and grew together.
 I loved working for them, and I have so many happy memories of times spent with their entire family. As a nanny the best that you can hope for when a job ends is that your relationship with the family doesn’t end but simply changes.
After I left my first family, even though I still got to see the children, it was so emotional and painful for me, and there really was nothing out there to support nannies going through that process. Eventually my pain and what I learned from that experience was the catalyst for me to start my “Nanny Transitions” workshop and blog. But in the meantime, I still had to make a living and I just didn’t think that I could start over with a new family, and feel that bond, feel that connection and feel that sense of success and fulfillment that I had the first time around.
When I started this job, I had no idea all the changes that were in store for me.
My new employers were so excited to have me, and they were so appreciative of everything I did. They were successful professionals, older first time parents, transplants from other states with no family locally, and very open to listening to me and working together with me as a parenting team. 
They always went out of their way to thank me and make sure that I knew that they were glad to have me.
I worked a lot but I loved it, I enjoyed watching this baby grow and develop and he was so much fun. It’s one of the best parts of what we do as nannies and it’s why I am still passionate about my profession.
In 1995, two years into this job, I met my husband and we married 8 months later. He too became a part of this family.He owned his own business and the fact that we both worked a lot was one of the things that helped our relationship to work.
In 1999, my work family welcomed a baby girl. All of our lives changed the day she was born. By now my oldest charge was 5 ½. The first time we took him to the hospital to meet his baby sister, he looked at her lying in his moms’ arms, he gently grabbed her hand, and looked into her eyes and said “I will never forget this day as long as I live. I will never be lonely again”  We were all in tears from his heartfelt words.

We all know that a baby has the ability to turn your world upside down but we loved every minute of it. There is something about a new life that renews your spirit, and gives you hope for the future.
As the kids grew, and went to pre school and eventually full time school, I was fortunate that I was able to ebb and flow with this family and their changing needs. We always worked together and they respected my right to have a life beyond my work.

These days, my kids are 18 and soon to be 13 and I still have the privilege of working 2 days a week.
My greatest joy in life has always come from caring for children, and caring for other peoples children as if they were my own, is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
I have never been sad that God didn’t bless me with a child of my own because God has filled my life with so many children, and so much love that I never felt a void from not being a mother. I know that it’s not the same, but for me, it’s enough.
I believe that it takes a strong woman to allow someone else to truly love her child and I can say that both of my female employers (,mom bosses) were strong women who influenced me professionally and personally. I can also say that both of my male employers (dad bosses) were amazing dads who loved their kids a lot. I learned a lot from each of them.
So you will have to indulge me a bit today because I am feeling extremely sappy and incredibly blessed to be celebrating my 18th year with a very special family.
We don’t all get to stay this long, we don’t all get to know how our kids grow up and what their lives will become, sometimes it’s our choice, and sometimes it’s not.
There comes a time in this relationship where you realize that there is never going to be a time when you quit and walk away forever. You realize that no matter what obstacle you encounter, you will all work through it together. You realize that life may change and your relationship may change, but it will survive the toughest times because all parties are committed to making it work.
So today, I have a grateful heart for great employers who have grown to be an important part of my life, for a husband who supports me in all I do, and the 2 kids who made the last 18 years fun, memorable and life changing.

Monday, July 25, 2011


There wasn't much response to this mug give away but I want to thank Brandi and Kristen for commenting.
Brandi, you are the recipient of the Nanny Transitions Mug.
It will be mailed to you.
Enjoy and thanks for your participation.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Share a tip for a chance to win a Nanny Transitions Mug

I know from experience that the best way to gather information is to go straight to the source.
If you are a nanny in transition, or if you have been a nanny transition at any point in your career (which includes most of us) share your best tip for getting through the tough times.
I will be giving away a beautiful "Nanny Transitions Mug" on Monday July 24th.
Just leave a tip in the comments section and you will be entered to win.
The Mug recipient will be chosen via random.org and announced on this blog July 24th.

Guest Blogger on Nanny Biz Reviews

I was honored to be a guest blogger on Nanny Biz Reviews.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Elephant in the Room by Glenda Propst

We have talked a lot on this blog about the difficult transition of leaving a family but one of the most difficult transitions that we have not really addressed fully is the transition of leaving a family after you have been there long term.

As professional nannies, we have all heard parents make these statements “You are so wonderful, we are going to keep you forever” “We want you to stay till the kids go to college” “Please don’t ever leave us”

Now when parents make statements like these, at the time they make them, they mean it with all their heart but crying babies grow to be toddlers, toddlers grow to be preschoolers, preschoolers become school age kids and in what seems like the blink of an eye, your charges are in school full time and you morph into a household manager, errand runner, jack of all trades kind of nanny who does a little bit of everything.

If you want to stay with a family long term, you have to roll with the punches and you have to redefine your job description as you grow with the children.
Many nannies (myself included) have been fortunate enough to grow with a family, and as you stay with a family for 7-10 years there comes a time when you all realize that this relationship is important, and valuable, and lifelong. You realize that in all the ups and downs of life, you will always find ways to work together to overcome the challenges that life throws at you.When this happens it is “Nanny Magic” If you are fortunate enough to have experienced this at least once in your career, you know what I am talking about.

The problem with this kind of relationship is that once the kids graduate from High School you have to face the reality that you might have to re think this relationship and the reality that this job will not last forever.When this happens you realize that this family will always be a part of your life, you will always be a part of what the children do, but you have to think about what is next for you.

It is easy to stay safe and cozy and often times the parents don’t even want to talk about the elephant in the room, but for your sanity ….you have to.

So what do you do to protect yourself when you go through this transition?

*If you are smart, you will have an ongoing dialogue with your employers from the beginning of your job about how they envision you growing with the family.

*If you are smart you will be saving and planning and getting ready for the next phase gradually by easing into other things. Maybe you take come college courses, maybe you take on a part time job teaching preschool or even working in a retail store for a change of pace.

*No matter what it is, you should always have a plan for what the next step is going to be.

*If you haven’t made a plan yet, you need to make one now and if you haven’t had that “talk” with your employers, you need to do that.

If you make the decision to have this conversation with your employer it does a couple of things. The first thing it does is it puts you in control of your situation, the other thing that it does is open the door to communication. That doesn’t mean that in one conversation you and your employer will make all the decisions about this transition but at least you can start to talk about it and share your thoughts about how to work it through.
The worst thing that you can do is to ignore it, thinking that if you don’t bring it up neither will they because sooner or later you have to deal with the future and the future comes way too soon.