Nanny... Who?

Photo courtesy of  PhotoPin.

Photo courtesy of PhotoPin.

by nicola manton.

Nannying can be a highly rewarding profession. We get to spend our days with a great deal of freedom to plan fun activities for our charges, as well as spending time outside exploring neighborhoods, museums, and more. Unfortunately, it can also be a thankless profession. Nannies are often taken for granted and overlooked when it comes to being recognized as an important part of our charges’ lives. Of course, there are a lucky few who are treated as members of the family and are seen and appreciated for all that they do. There are times, however, when many of us may feel like ghosts.

When you spend the majority of your time caring for a child, you become attached, developing a strong relationship with them. Nannies are there in the parents’ absence to encourage good choices, provide healthy meals, and soothe them when they are hurt or sad. It makes you feel like you are an important part of their lives. But then comes a reality check, like when your charge is starting a new school and MomBoss has to prepare a scrapbook of the most important people in his life. I flip through the book and see his parents, his grandparents, and people that he's spent maybe a week or two with his entire life. It's not like I'd expect to be on the front page, but I thought I'd at least make an appearance somewhere within the pages.

It's hard to be disappointed for long though, as it does make sense. I'll be important for a few years and then I won't be needed anymore. I'll be a vague memory, remembered on and off over the years as that nice lady who used to take care of them. That's how it is for many nannies; it's the nature of the job and we love it anyway. Over the years, I've learned not to take these things so personally; they too will become a memory to me and it doesn't mean that I'll care any less for them, just that I'll do so from a distance. I'll take a step back and focus on taking care of me, too. If we become so invested in our jobs that we forget who we are without them, then where will we be when they've moved on? We can do our jobs well and with love, while also making sure that we are fulfilled in our personal lives; ultimately making us better nannies, partners, friends, and individuals.