My capacity to love children has always run deep and been the most natural inclination for me. Perhaps it’s what made my career as a professional nanny and my role as a stepmother to 4 amazing, beautiful kiddos, feel like second nature for all these years. I never birthed my own babies, but anyone that tells you giving birth is the prerequisite to being a devoted, compassionate fan of gummy grins and sticky high fives, has probably never had the pleasure of working as a nanny.
This week marks a pretty special milestone for me. It’s been almost 30 years to the day since I have come full circle and returned to caring for an 18-month-old and am having the most fabulous time… along with some major flashbacks!
This is not just anyone’s baby mind you. This is my first nanny child’s baby! Yup, you read that right. My little Jacko is now a mother herself and gave me the greatest honor by inviting me to watch her own beautiful baby girl for 5 days while she and her hubby travel cross country leaving their precious little one for the first time, with me!
Almost 3 decades ago I arrived in New Jersey from England to meet my first Nanny family and was given the enormous responsibility of caring for their three children under the age of five while both parents worked. With only babysitting experience to guide me paired with an intense desire to learn and support, I dove into my role as their nanny growing and honing a career I had no idea would be mine (or could even be a career for that matter). I stayed with them for 5 wonderful years and they became family to me here in the US. To this day we celebrate their children and their children’s children, together, every chance we get.
To say my heart is full this week is an understatement! The relationships that can be built and maintained through the Nanny profession are surely some of the most rewarding and important relationships you will come to treasure.
To those out there questioning if being a New York nanny can truly be a career choice, I assure you it can. Continue your professional development along the way and raise the standards for in-home childcare. Remember the importance of self-care to have the reserves you’ll need for others and always stay open-minded to each family’s individual parenting style. If you do, you will succeed.
To the families worried that their nanny is too young and inexperienced or too old to be engaged and active, know that while valid concerns, it’s about so much more. Hire for your family based on kindness and compatibility. Teach the preferences you seek and let nanny’s unconditional love and genuine passion for childcare guide you as you hire. You’ll be so glad you did.