Welcome back. I know, it is hard to stay focused on your studies in the summer… So this week, let’s talk about life on the “playground”. Nannies need a good social atmosphere too, right? A community shares a common locality or culture. We as nannies live in a familiar world that can unite us in a short instant. I am amazed with the community I have that stretches across the world; most relationships sparked with just a basic commonality. So let’s have a brief lesson, then you can get back to your summer fun!
Lesson 1: Community Can Encourage You
Let me first recognize that community can be both positive and negative, encouraging and discouraging, simply put… good community and bad. Community CAN encourage you, if you surround yourselves with the right community. Some may be saying. I don’t know any nannies in my city? That is a whole other lesson, but I would recommend to get is started yourself. Oh and by the way, if you are reading this, you have a community! We are glad that you are here with us, and on facebook!
Sometimes our jobs can be discouraging. We can feel like we are failing our kids, or that we are struggling to teach the right lessons. Within community you have the opportunity to share ideas, bounce suggestions, and even admit failures to request advice. Be a nanny that puts a stop to gossip or complaining if it shows up in your group. Set the positive tone. We can relate to each other and each other’s experience. Don’t complain about your kids, employers, agencies, or other nannies to others or online. It simply makes you look bad and unprofessional. There is always a way to discuss issues while protecting privacy or bringing others down. Think before your speak.
Example: Nanny Emery wondered if she had taken the right job. It was only week two, but the teens Aaron and Sheila seemed to enjoy making her life miserable. “Am I your Fraulein Maria?” she thought. At breakfast with a nanny friend, she shared how she had thought maybe she had made a mistake with this job, Nanny Ronda suggested that maybe it was like the Sound of Music. The kids were from a divorced family and could have strong trust issues. Maybe hanging in there and loving them despite their attitudes is just what they need? Nanny Emery, left breakfast with new eyes and couldn’t wait to get back to work on Monday.
Lesson 2: Community Can Challenge You
A community of nannies, whether local or stretched across this country, can challenge you. Veteran nannies seem to be such a powerhouse at this. Often I have heard and seen nannies reaching younger nannies to simply challenge them. I personally have felt this many times over the last years, and seen how friends of mine have benefited and grown from nannies reaching out to them. It is great to be able to be honest, admit where you are at in your career. If your community is a good one, they will admit they are also not perfect, support you, and if they are like my nanny friends, start throwing out experiences and help. Many times, I have come from a Nanny Night Out with a new strategy to test with my kids. I feel empowered and encourage. I feel understood and supported, even in my failures. If you have a desire to grow, there are nannies just waiting to mentor you – no matter your age.
Example: Nanny Lisa had triumphed. She finally created a discipline reward that seemed to really help 3 year old Mac. She was excitedly telling a few nanny friends about her marble technique, each time that Mac had great behavior or made a good choice ad Lisa’s request, he could add a marble to his jar. When the jar was full he got a reward – like an ice cream cone or trip the fire station. Nanny Mae knew she could change and mold that for 6 year old Luci… what a great idea she’d picked up from today’s play date!
Lesson 3: Community Can Revitalize You
Something about being in community is revitalizing. It is so important first of all to know that you are not the first one to be experiencing what you are. Hearing cute, hard and real stories from other nannies, seems to relax me. I love connecting with our nannies of multiples to see if they have dealt with the things I have. It is important to meet other nannies or mothers for play dates, and get some adult conversation in, even if it is brief as you work with your kids. If not with a play date, set aside time to meet with other nannies on a consistent basis. You will benefit!
Example: After 1 year of isolation (working without taking the kids out and about), Nanny Tina was excited to get the twins out. She loaded the stroller to meet Nanny Belinda at the park. They shared only 40 minutes of time, mostly spent with the kids, but still managed to get in a sentence or 2 with each other. Nanny Tina left the park feeling strong and encouraged. She thought it silly at first, since she had barely spoken to Nanny Belinda, but the small support and understanding went a long way. She looked forward to their next meeting!
Only one assignment today: Comment here or on Facebook.. Your most rewarding thing about Living in Nanny Community. No need to raise your hand and wait to be called on… just shout them out!