Never in my life did I think I could have a job being a babysitter for multiple days out of the week. Here in Houston being a “nanny” is definitely a popular job. It is very common for busy city families to pay someone to watch their kids for hours out of the day.
So, I decided to create a care.com profile 2 years ago to see what jobs I could find that worked well with my schedule. After a few weeks of looking through the hundreds of postings for “needed nannies” I came across a family of three children that needed a nanny who could do after school pick ups, take the kids home, make sure they do their homework and make them dinner.
My first nanny job was perfect. The hours were very reasonable and worked out great with my class schedule. I absolutely loved getting to know these kids and being around for some cool moments of their lives. They definitely have a special place in my heart, being that they are the first kids I was a nannied. I felt so blessed to be a part of their family for almost a whole year.
Unfortunately, they ended up moving back to Canada summer of 2016, but I still keep in touch with them and send letters any chance I get. Not knowing what I was going to do for the upcoming school year, my awesome “boss mom” (what I call all the kids’ parents) referred me to other moms that she knew would be interested in having a nanny. I was so happy when she told me she went ahead to do that because I felt a little weird asking her to refer me to other moms. But it turned out so great and I was able to find a new nanny job for a family in the summer as well as set up a new one for the fall with another family of 4 boys all under 10 years old.
Yes, I know what you guys must be thinking… 4 boys?! Well, to be honest, over the past 8 months I have grown to have so much love and care for these boys. Yes, they are a handful. But I always cut them some slack because they’re still young and have so much to learn. I try my best to teach them to be kind to one another, have manners, and especially to obey and respect their parents. They have grown up not needing to worry about anything because their parents provide over and above for them. Currently, we are working to show gentleness and kindness to each other, but sometimes it gets a little difficult when I am too nice. Listening to instructions, being responsible and respectful are just some of the skills we are tackling.
My schedule with this new family is a little inconsistent compared to my previous nanny job. For the most part, I work 2 days out of the week, every week. Sometimes I will work more days if she needs me. I usually spend time with the 3 younger boys and try to keep them occupied at home while their mom is out with the oldest. When we get home from after school pick up, I always have them do their homework first, and while they are doing their homework, I prepare a snack. These boys sure can eat. The 6-year-old is usually a bottomless pit, always saying “I’m still hungry!” Once they have done their homework, either their mom has written a list of things they need to complete for the day, or they can play or do whatever they are interested in at the moment.
Some things the boys like to do are crafts and drawing, playing outside, reading books, playing with toys, etc. The 6-year-old is really into bow and arrows right now, so lately he has been playing with his new bow and the arrows his mom bought for him. That usually keeps him pretty occupied. The 4-year-old loves to ride around in his new jeep battery car. He got it for Christmas and he loveeeess it. The 9-year-old is into football, so if he feels up to it, he and I will throw the football back and forth for a while until my arm is dead. These boys sure do keep me on my toes and I have learned so much about the way to care for them, how to discipline when needed and how to just love on them when they do dumb things.
Tricks of the trade
I have developed a few tricks within the past 8 months of nannying these boys. Since there are times where they would rather challenge me than cooperate, I’ve had to make up a game or something fun to do. The youngest one loves to play games with me, and when I tell him I’m going to beat him at something, of course, he always wants to win. When it’s bath time I say, “I’m gonna beat you to the bathtub!” And he says, “no you’re not!” Instant excitement for a race goes down, and he wins because I start to slow down… but I could totally beat him if I wanted to. Lol. As far as the other boys, I haven’t quite gotten a steady game down with them, but I do have a few incentives so far… like if you do this, you can play with your toys, or watch a TV show… etc. I know that’s probably not the best thing to do because then they expect something in return for everything, so I try to balance it out and make sure they know that they have responsibilities. Through it all, I have loved getting to watch these boys, getting to know them and doing my best to teach them how to behave better and be kinder with words and actions.
I’m thankful for all these opportunities to take care of different kids when they are at such an impressionable age. Yes, some days are more challenging than others, it’s a huge responsibility but I would not trade this job for anything, I absolutely love it. Ultimately, my goal is to be a support to growing families and be light in their lives.