Dear Nannies: An Essay on Love and Life

Courtesy of Omarukai via Flickr Commons by Anonymous

In this flash of experience that is the mystery we call life, we nannies are very blessed indeed if nothing else. Being a nanny is inextricably linked with love. And love without limit is something that the world is in dire need of today.

Diametrically opposed to any lackluster notion of the past, nanny work is a cultural asset, one with many faces. As nannies, we become familiar with the current state and scale of humanity’s “family experience” almost by default.

We watch as new generations adjust their natures to the growing role of technology in their lives and we nurture them in the sacred experience of sharing that only happens with another human face to face.

At this historical moment the need for nannies is unquestionable. It is also a bright hope for what can sometimes seem a harsh and plastic consumer and career economy. Women (and men) who choose to become nannies (and mannies) are gifted, bright, and multitalented individuals. With our very special point of view, we can literally affect sweeping positive change. The return on this investment offers at least a three-fold reward: to our charges, to their parents, and to ourselves. It can be the epitome of a win/win situation if we embrace it that way.

Just as life’s great stream is always moving, so does the profession of nannying itself. Despite any new technology or scientific advancements, the eternal truth of loving kindness and interpersonal affection remain the same. The more we can align our professional roles with loving kindness and compassion, the more we can share quality interaction with the children we work and play with. To this end, there is value in what we do as nannies.

Many times our paths require that we rub shoulders with the barnacles of society, encounter the barriers, and help to melt the walls in and around the hearts of evolving young people and the families to which they belong. None of us are expected to be perfect in this equation, but we can be stable, healthy, and kind. This acknowledgement, contrary to some masscult ideas and marketed ploys for our attention, is a strong value to model for our charges at this time in our history. We are in a position to do much good.

Much like a spiritual practitioner would, in the growth of her being. By being present in awareness, alchemy ensues. Issues cease, conflicts find resolution, and nurturing growth thrives in the open space created. That doesn’t mean all expression will be sterile, it won’t and shouldn’t be, it should be human. With less attention focused on a problem we pave the way for the solution as it arrives. This is the art of the nanny.

Patience and grace are good foundational substitutes for our children today. These serve much more positive ends than demand and towering authority when our children act overly entitled and confused.

Having the feeling of the result we want accomplished with no attachment for how this result will come about is an advantageous position. It is truly an adventure to take up the quest and watch a wondrous being flower in our very presence. Each child is able to teach us much if we allow him or her to do so.

At times, being an objective observer provides valuable data and gives a family comforting support. Action that is out of alignment can sometimes disrupt a child’s learning experience. Many times this is a reaction and we can soften this element to bring harmony to a home.

One of the most important things we can do as nannies is to empower a child to discover his or her own free will. This must be done in a healthy, relevant, and safe way. As our culture moves toward infinite choice and children are making more decisions for themselves than ever before, it is paramount that we provide the regulated container for our children to learn to rely on their own innate selves.

In a healthful way, we assist the parents in facilitating this container’s creation so that it will be a strong support for each of our children, no matter what situation they might find themselves in. When children can see the results of their own easy, clear choices and the consequences these choices have on others, they are more suited to be active, sensitive individuals as the scope of their world steadily expands. The use of our own integrity and open awareness in a peaceful demeanor does an active, short attention span untold good.

A nanny’s best tool is herself.

To be in a position to affect a young person so closely is and should be treated as a joyous responsibility and a deep honor. By showing up and being our imperfect but present selves we convey a healthy, realistic model that can uplift and encourage no matter the circumstance.

Any panacea is going to be faulty. This time in history is proving this to be true and after all we are each unique individuals. The more we can expand our ideas about ourselves as nannies and the grand import of our contributions, the better we will feel and the better nannies we will be.

All of us have heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Nannies represent a village all our own.

Let us, dear nannies, be a conscious, happy village and a nourishing well to the children of our world so that they will have the opportunity to render this same service for themselves and one day for their own children, in limitless love.