Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life As I Know It

A full-time job leaves one pretty busy.

Well, the truth is that I am not all that busy, but I am gone from home a lot, and that makes me feel busy. I leave every morning at about 6:50am and work until 7pm. I have a very large break in the middle of my day, and since I live pretty far from work, I spend my break time going to the gym, and then eating lunch and reading at Manfriend's apartment.

What could I possibly be doing that leaves me with this much time (which is, at its most, 5 hours)? I am a nanny.

I looked for office jobs. I am not sure I want to be a teacher anymore, and I wouldn't be able to find a job anyway, with the way budget cuts are working out these days. I'm also not sure I would even want to teach a classroom of 35 children (which is what a lot of classrooms are at these days). When looking for office jobs I realized that the salary I could make on my zero office experience was crazy low. I'm not beyond working for little money - I've certainly done it before, with much more stress. But, when the opportunity of a nanny job came up, with a lot more pay - I had to take the dive. First, I had to ask my mom if she would think any less of me for being a nanny. Being a nanny is not a respected profession. Being a professional babysitter is not met with a reaction of  "oh, cool". Well, maybe it's met with "Oh, cool", if the person is trying to act not surprised by your low goals.

But, the thing is that with my resume of a human development and education degree, my years working with children both in and out of the classroom, and my ease with kids - being a nanny just fits. Sure, it ain't glamorous, but it's a job. And, I'll be the first to say - a pretty good deal.

I work for a busy family who recently moved to Portland after the mom took a job here. The dad is still looking for a job. They have two girls, C who is 4 1/2 and H who is 2 1/2. C is a sweet, precocious, assertive, and active girl. H is an ornery, stubborn, and temper tantrum-filled crazy girl, but when she smiles, it's pretty sweet. The girls actually BOTH go to school during the day. I help get them ready in the morning and take them to school. I pick them both up in the afternoon at different times, do an activity, make dinner, do baths. I do their laundry and their dishes, and walk their dog. Sometimes I think "What am I doing?" Most of the time I think "This is a pretty sweet gig."

I have just finished my second week of working with the family, and things are coming around. There are still cries for mommy and daddy. There are still temper tantrums. There are still very difficult discussions about dinner choices - but we're coming around. This afternoon, as I picked up H from daycare, she ran to me with open arms, a first. She actually let me carry her. C has started protesting when I leave at night. Things are looking up.

I cannot deny that this has been a gift from God. I remember sitting in my room in Mexico, looking at this job opening and thinking "Should I?" I called the nanny placement agency when I got back to Oregon, had two interviews, and the job was mine, and I know they had their choice of nannies. I'm extremely grateful for this job - I could have been searching forever, and instead I have a great job. Also, big huge thanks to my brother who is letting me borrow his car (without which, I wouldn't be able to have this job).


  1. Hey, nice to catch up on your blog. So I see you're back in OR. I have a few good friends who worked as nanny's for years. I get where you're coming from about the perception of being a nanny. It's tough times for jobs right now, and I think many/most people would give you credit for working in an area where you're skilled. You never know where you'll be in a few years, but right now if this fits, hold your head high!

    Also, when my friend finished nursing school (in her late 20s) the mother she nannied for helped her get a nursing job. They are so competative around here, it was a real blessing for her to have worked for a family connected w/ the exact hospital she wanted to work for.

    I took a secretary job (my title was actually secretary, not administrative assistant) and I know it was probably viewed as beneath me, but it worked for me at the time.

  2. I am really excited for you! Sounds like a fantastic job and you are right- it's a real blessing.

    Enjoy the time you get to spend with those little girls :)