Surviving Nannydom: The beginning of a column series detailing being a nanny
As a recent university graduate, I can’t help but lament the state of the economy and question my own degree of choice.
Magazine journalism? I joke, rolling my eyes. You majored in journalism at the wrong time, lady.
With newspapers, magazines, and other publications largely downsizing staff, my hopes of finding a job — never mind those little things called paying jobs — dwindled.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the months since graduation, it’s that God is good, and the benefits of being actively engaged in your church community can reap unexpected benefits.
In my case, employment.
Through the assistant pastor’s family of the church I attend, I came across a young woman in need of a nanny to look after her two children.
Until that point, the past few months consisted of endless Craigslist and online queries for jobs, none of which yielded the results I desired. With so much time on my hands as my husband was away for two months of Army ROTC training, the opportunity to nanny came as such a blessing. While a far cry from my major, working with children existed in my realm of “comfort,” especially because I love children and had experience from day cares and numerous babysitting stints.
The additional benefit, which my husband loves, is that it’s the perfect way to curb my maternal instincts that have plagued me since our wedding more than two years ago. I think I wore my poor husband out with my constant snuggling, batting of my eyelashes, and sweetly asking, “Is it time for babies yet? How about now? Or now?”
But let’s get real.
Working as a nanny is not just holding a content, sleeping baby, and playing house with a beautiful 2-year-old — which is what I naively hoped for.
I failed to consider the sheer amount of poopy diapers, spit up, food thrown or spilled, boogers, and crying I would face.
Day one broke me in quickly. As I began changing the 4-month-old baby, James, I smiled at his happy, giggling face — until a stream of fluid landed on my arms and in my hair. I had no idea what happened until I gazed south.
Lesson learned: Children are sneaky, and changing diapers is not a chore to be taken lightly and without care.
Welcome to day one of nannydom, Kelli. Hope you survive.