15 Ways Nannying Beats Any Office Job

Photo by miriampastor via Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo by miriampastor via Flickr Creative Commons.

by april rozell

Ever wonder why nannies love their jobs so much? I get asked all the time what I do for a living and people are fascinated to hear that I really do enjoy my career as a nanny and that I couldn’t picture myself being in any other field.

Are you ready to step into the fun, exciting life of a nanny and take a break from your boring 9 to 5 office job? I’ll walk you through the best parts of my career as I share with you the top reasons why being a nanny is better than working behind a desk.

1. Your inner childhood emerges, no matter how old you may be.

Why spend time sitting in front of a computer screen or hovered over a desk when that time could be spent sitting on the floor building a tower out of blocks or putting on a puppet show with your charges? There’s something about playing alongside a child that brings out the inner child in all of us. For me, I love to make snakes and spaghetti out clay and play with dolls just as I did when I was 5. Even though as nannies we are there to be the child’s protector and guardian, it’s fun to be their playmate, too. I even enjoy trips to the zoo, museums, and parks! One simply does not have that luxury in an office setting.

2. No two days are the ever the same.

At a typical office job, you may punch the clock at the exact same time every day, sit at the exact same desk, and do the exact same tasks as the day before. Day in and day out. A nanny does have a routine, but parts of it are always changing. One day, we may have a zoo visit planned for our charges, and the next day may be a rainy day spent inside doing crafts. There are always challenges each day. It keeps a nanny on her toes. It allows our work days to fly by, rather than sit at a desk watching the clock in hopes that 5:00 comes fast.

3. Imaginations are a career requirement!

One of my favorite parts of being a nanny is being able to watch my charges’ imaginations run wild. Just the other day, I watched the 3-year-old boy pick up an empty diaper box, put his stuffed animals in it, and pretend as if they were going on a train ride. It brought a smile to his face as well as mine. I love that young children are fascinated with the world around them. They are always asking questions. They are constantly learning while they explore and play. I am always learning something about children, too, and it’s nothing I could learn from a book. Being a nanny is a continuing learning experience. Office work may involve some learning, too, but let’s face it, it’s not quite as interesting!

4. A laidback dress code is a major perk.

We’ve all had days where we just want to stay in our pajamas. Believe me, this feeling comes around more often than not for me. As a nanny, we have some flexibility with our daily clothing choices. I can’t count the number of days I have arrived to work in my favorite black yoga pants with my hair in a ponytail. Plus, every day can be casual Friday if you want it to be. You have the freedom to wear jeans all through the week, or wear shorts during the summer. Office jobs require their employees to dress in a not-so-casual way: in skirts or dress pants or suits along with hair and makeup done nicely. Not only is that type of dress code uncomfortable, it’s also expensive! Imagine dropping several hundred dollars on a new wardrobe just for the office? It’s nice to spend money and shop for quality, everyday clothes and be able to wear them to your nanny job as well. Oh, and did I mention, no shoes needed when working inside the home! I’ll take that anytime over wearing heels for 8 hours a day.

5. There’s no boss hovering over your shoulder.

As a nanny, parents hire you with utmost confidence and trust that you will do everything that’s expected of you during the work day. That’s a lot of responsibility, but it also takes a lot of pressure off. Unless you are employed in a setting where the parent(s) are also at home with you during your work hours, you have some room to breathe and relax a bit. You are your own boss. There is no boss looking over your shoulder telling you to get something done before the deadline. Our office-working counterparts, on the other hand, have to worry about finishing tasks on time, every time, facing tons of pressure from their boss.

6. Coworker drama is nonexistent.

Many workplaces have drama galore, with coworkers talking about others behind their backs, outcasting other coworkers, or just being plain mean like they are in high school or in the movie “Mean Girls”. There can be bullying just like there is in school. Such behavior makes for a miserable workday and dreadful work environment. It’s a sad fact of life that any workplace with employees potentially has to deal with this behavior. As a nanny, you don’t have to deal with coworkers. It’s just you in your workplace. No drama, no backstabbing. And your charges will love you no matter how you look, how you talk, what kind of lunch you bring, or who you are dating.

7. Nannying offers more flexibility for your own childcare.

Not that I can say I have this benefit myself, but I do have other nanny friends who have the wonderful option of bringing their own children to work with them while caring for their charges. Not all families are up for this idea, but some are. Some believe it’s a great way to get their kids to socialize with children outside of their family, and I’d have to agree. It also saves on childcare costs for your own child. Hey, office workers, would your bosses allow you to let your toddler tag along to your cubicle? I doubt it.

8. Live-in nannies get room and board.

For those nannies who have live-in positions, this means they care for the family’s children while having that family’s roof over their head at the same time. This could be a wonderful option if it’s something that interests you. It could be a major benefit if you are trying to go to college part time in the evenings and don’t want to live in a dorm. Doubtful if any corporate employer would offer to allow its employees to sleep under their desks.

9. Enjoying the outdoors is part of your job description.

In the beautiful summer sunshine, who wants to be cooped up inside the walls of an office? As a nanny, we have the freedom to get outside, run around at the park with our charges, and enjoy the warm weather. Even in the winter (for those of us who enjoy the snow), we can go outside and make igloos, snowmen, and throw snowballs. Personally, I love to go to take a sled ride with my kiddos.

10. Being part of a child’s development is SO rewarding!

There is nothing more rewarding than being part of a child’s life from birth to school age and watching how much they progress and grow while in your care. It’s a fact that nannies spend a great amount of time with their charges while the parents are away working. We have a lot of influence on a young child’s life. This is also a plus for nannies who are not yet parents themselves. It allows us to gain knowledge on successful naptime routines, discipline techniques, eating habits, and ways of learning. It allows us to have an advantage before having a child of our own. Now that I’m an adult, I can think back to my childhood caregivers and teachers, and who really made an impact on my life. You never know, the child you care for now may someday grow up to be a successful adult and think of you that way, too.

11. Nannies can travel and vacation with the family.

Some families choose to bring their nanny along on vacations to help assist with childcare away from home. I have personally traveled to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas with a prior nanny family, and was thankful to have had that opportunity. Although I was there to take care of their child, I was allowed to have free time for myself to relax by the pool or do some shopping. Even while I was “on duty”, the child and I would walk around the resort, visit the aquarium, or have a bite to eat together. If it weren’t for that family inviting me to tag along, I may have never had the chance to go there myself. Most times, nanny vacations with the family are “all expenses paid”. Your airfare, room, and meals are paid for, all while you are also being paid to do your job as a nanny at given times. This is a great way to see the world if you otherwise wouldn’t travel. A huge plus!

12. Better relationship and communication with your boss.

I currently work for an amazing family with two wonderful parents and two fun-loving children. I have a great relationship with my bosses, specifically my MomBoss, who shares many of my interests and is an upfront honest person. Although we can laugh and joke about things, we are also professional toward one another. I like that as a nanny. I feel comfortable approaching my boss with a question or concern rather than feeling scared or nervous about what my boss is going to say. You always hear about the dreaded bosses at office jobs. Feeling comfortable and having open lines of communication is extremely important for anybody to be successful in their career, no matter what field they work in. That’s why being a nanny is a huge advantage in this category.

13. Healthier lifestyles

Nannies don’t sit in an office chair for 8 hours a day. We are up, constantly moving around, chasing, and lifting kids. We are on the floor playing with toys. We are standing in the kitchen preparing meals. We are cleaning up and changing diapers. All of this adds up to lots of calories burned! I also make it a point to sit down and eat lunch while the kids are eating. I love to set a good example of how meals should be eaten: family style, not in front of the television or with a phone to my ear. I actually sit down with them and we talk about different subjects or the types of foods we are eating. It also allows me to slow down my eating and not scarf my food because my time is limited. Kids definitely pick up on these traits too.

14. Pay is better than low-level office jobs

I didn’t want the subject of pay to be a huge part of this article. There are so many other reasons why I love my job before pay comes into the picture, but it’s something that is a factor for many nannies. When I worked at a daycare center years ago, I felt overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. That reason, along with several others, is why I decided to give up my daycare job and move on to the nanny life. Many of my friends who work at office jobs, including jobs for well-known companies, are making $10 an hour or less, but have potential to make much more. Pay rates vary by region for nannies, but in the Pittsburgh area, I’ve seen averages of $15-16 per hour to start for 1-2 children.

15. Nannies have great job security.

Childcare and education will always be an in-demand career field. People are not going to stop having children. While the big companies may be laying off employees, there will always be families looking for nannies. While it may take time to find a good match, it’s not impossible. So many of my high school friends who went to college and spent tens of thousands of dollars for a business degree are sitting at home unemployed, while I am thoroughly enjoying my nanny career and will continue to do so for years to come.