Have you ever wondered what it must be like being a nanny? Don’t worry your not the only one. Here at Link Childcare we have decided to ask one of the nannies on our books exactly what its like day to day as an emergency nanny.
“As a last minute nanny, It’s advisable that the nanny should always be ready for work; as you could get a call or a text message at any time! Well, hopefully not between 11pm-6:30am as I will be asleep.
I woke up at 6:30am this morning and stayed in bed waiting for a 10 hours booking call or text to come in and not looking ready to leave the house. Instead a 5 hours booking came in. ‘That’s not enough!’ I tell myself as sat up and pondered if I should accept it or risk not working at all because I don’t need the work as I can afford to be laid in bed looking at my window which is pleasing to the eye but if you look closer, you’ll see water-stains on the wall where water has been sipping in from the rain. With this thought in mind I quickly accept the 5 hours work and begin to get ready, as I need the cash to replace the window!
Before leaving the house I pack my handbag. Remember the magical scene from Mary Poppins, when she pulls out endless items such as a tall lamp from her big carpet bag? I have a big bag like Mary Poppins too! It’s not made of carpet material, thank goodness and you’ll not find a tall lamp in it. However, you may find Tupperware filled with foods as it is highly likely that there won’t be any food for the nanny when she gets to her booking! Why? Maybe on this occasion since it’s a short booking, like a short-haul flight, families are not expected to provide a meal or a snack for the nanny! Another reason maybe; most of the families don’t have a nanny (as the child attends a nursery) and in their hour of emergency nanny need, would not had thought to provide food for the nanny. ‘How, rude!’ Don’t they know that I have thighs to maintain! These thunder thighs of mine cannot maintain themselves!
With my big bag ready and weighing on my left shoulder, I walked to the bus stop and looked at the traffic in the direction of my destination. On first sight, it looks slower than a one-year-old who has just learned to walk and insists on walking everywhere! For a brief moment, panic starts to irrupt in my mind and I tell myself, ‘you’re going to be late’ and frantically begin to search for my phone in my big bag, which feels like it has a bottomless pit. A few seconds later, I text a parent on the booking registration form to inform them about the traffic situation and apologise for a potential late arrival.
Bus journey over, I finally get to my destination. I knock on the door and a parent comes to the door with the child who will have the pleasure of my company for 5 hours. An introduction is made; I take my shoes off as I believe it’s polite to do so upon arrival in each home. I then try to converse in a non-overbearing or treating manner with the child, in the aim to slowly break the iceberg between the temporary nanny and her charge! The child, who’s two, looks at me suspiciously and buries their head into their parent for comfort. The parent shows me around their home, informs me of the child’s routine and then slowly disappears upstairs, out of sight. I say out loud in my head, ‘Phew, this booking seems okay so far! This parent is not planning on working in the same room as me with their child and then expects me to put on the performing circus act, where I constantly try to engage with a child who doesn’t want me anywhere near them, because their mother or father is around.’ Under circumstances such as the above, it’s very hard to achieve satisfaction for both the performer (nanny) and the audience (child). ‘Phew,’ again!
For 10 minutes the child doesn’t realise that the parent isn’t in the same room and all was well. I feel a sense of relief! Err, this feeling of contentment is short lived as I notice the child’s eyes and lips goes into the crying formation and a loud pitch scream follows! I silently think: ‘don’t worry, you’re a professional nanny you can handle this situation’ and then proceed to turn up the nanny charm by reading and singing nursery rhymes….
4 hours in, the crying had not stopped. It wasn’t consistent but it was there, on and off to remind me that I was a stranger and I wasn’t mummy or daddy. On the bright side, in my last hour, the child’s mood changes and appears more relax – just before I got my timesheet signed! Hallelujah!”
Nanny – Chyna B