Oh! So, you're a babysitter..."
Let me just start off by saying there is a difference in a nanny and a babysitter. A babysitter may be a date-night go-to girl or someone who watches the kids after school. The babysitter may fix a snack or help with homework but that's about the extent of a babysitter. Now a nanny has a few more roles. As a nanny, I cook, clean, do laundry, help with homeschooling/ homework, run errands, get groceries, drop off mail/dry cleaning, drop off/pick up kids and watch them by myself for weekends at a time. That's a lot! Please don't think that just because a family has a nanny that they don't love their children or lack the ability to take care of their kids themselves. This is not the case! Sometimes, especially with a large family who goes in nine different directions, an extra hand is needed.
Over the past four years, I've had the honor to work for the Druey's! The Druey's, family of eight, are made up of Kristin and David, Alex (21) Denver (17) Claudia (15) Kaidin (12) Luke (6) and Judgie (Dog; maybe part horse). The Druey's lived here in Arkansas up until about two years ago, where they moved to Ft. Lauderdale. Although I was sad to see them go, I knew that's where Mrs. Kristin always wanted to be and was extremely happy for her! This had been the best job and I thought It was over forever! Luckily, I thought wrong! When Mrs. Kristin asked me to come watch her kids in Florida during their anniversary, I was beyond thrilled and quite honored! Mrs. Kristin trusted me with her kids so much that she bought me a plane ticket to come watch her kids while they were gone. Sure, she could have hired someone in Florida, but she wanted me to watch her kids! That gesture alone made me feel so appreciated! Not only did she fly me in once, but twice and then asked me to come for the ENTIRE summer! Guess who got her tan on!
These past few years I've learned so much from this family! I just thought I would share with you some of my experiences working with this family and 11 Reasons Why I Love Being A Nanny!
1. You get to watch them learn and grow!
When I first started working for the Druey's, the kids were home schooled. Mrs. Kristin had most of their teaching done by the time I got out of class so I would finish up and help with "homework." Eventually, the kids transitioned to a private school. I remember sitting in the kitchen one night with Claudia, helping her work out the problems in her first paper. I've always admired how she can sit at the kitchen table for hours until she gets her homework done. Being able to watch her grow in her writing was really neat! After I helped her with first paper she got the flow of things and really excelled on her work from then on. The next week she proudly brought me her graded A+ paper. It warmed my heart that she wanted to show me her good grade and wanted me to be proud of her too!
2. You get to experience their "firsts"
Oh, little Lukey Luke was so excited when he blew his first bubble! We practiced all weekend so he could show Kristin and David when they returned! It was the cutest thing watching him try so hard, and spitting his gum in my face when he would "accidentally" blow too hard. Hopefully he will forever remembered the time when Candice taught him how to blow a bubble!
3. You get to love them like your own!
Our poor precious Luke sometimes has leg cramps in the middle of the night. There was one night, while the parents were away, that Luke was hurting so bad he was crying. He looked at me with those watery blue eyes, held his hands up to me, and asked me to "rock rock" him. Oh, how my heart just melted, of course I will hold you sweet, precious child! "Rock rocking" is something Luke does with his mother when he's not feeling well. She rocks in the rocking chair, holding and soothing him until he feels better. Up until that moment, he's never asked me to rock him. I held that sweet baby, rocked him and cherished every minuet of it. I got to hold him and love him like my own!
4. You get to be a kid too!
Maybe I was just blessed with an awesome family, but I've had a fun reliving my youth with these kiddos! While the parents were away, (if the kids were good) we had many of our own little adventures! We all got to play with Lemurs, Kaidin and I decided to go horseback riding through the Florida tundra. Claudia and I also tackled Busch Gardens in the rain and Luke and I had our own "date night." He was confused as to why mom and dad needed date night every once in a while and said that while they were on their date night, he wanted to have date night with me! How precious! (picture below before our "date night")
5. You get to make some of the BEST memories!
Before doping Claudia off at her super cool Busch Gardens camp, we actually got to attempt to explore the park ourselves. We drove four hours to get to the park and as soon as it's our turn for our first ride, it starts to pouring. We laughed so hard at our luck and raced back to the car. As I'm videoing our entire experience and explaining to my Snapchat viewers, "We drove four hours to run in the rain" Claudia says, "It was a memory though." Rain and all, it was a good trip, we stayed in the hotel, ordered pizza, prank called my mom, and made memories!
6.You get to embarrass them
Have you ever had that moment where you freak out because you lost your kid? While exploring Sea World, Kaidin happen to wander a little too far. Of course, I panic and when I find her I explained that if she did that again she would have to hold my hand. Guess who was COMPLETELY embarrassed in front of all of Sea World for 15 minuets? Oh how she hated me for those 15 minuets. "This is so embarrassing, why are you making me do this? I'm 11 years old!" Needless to say she didn't wander off again! Eventually, she looked back and got a laugh out of it. When she came home from summer camp she told me that her friends thought it was hilarious too!
7. You get to be the cool "Mom/Sister"
That time I was "MOM":
I'll never forget the time I took Claudia, Kaidin and the neighbors two kids to see a movie! As were getting out of the car, one of the neighbors kids says, "What if everyone thinks you're our mom?" Obviously, I didn't look anywhere near old enough to be their mom but the thought made me giggle. The girls thought it would be funny to call me mom as we were purchasing our movie tickets and popcorn. They laughed every time they called me mom, it was adorable!
That time where I was the cool "SISTER":
"Kaidin: I wake up in the morning...
Me: Feeling like P diddy. I got my glasses I'm out the door I'm gonna hit this city.
Kaidin: (looking at me like I’ve really lost it)
Me: Before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of jack. Cause when I leave for the night I'm not coming back.
Kaidin: (Still looking at me like I’ve really lost it yet, starting to grin)
Me: (FULL OUT DANCING)
I'm talking pedicure on my toes, toes. Trying on all our clothes, clothes
Boys blowing up our phones, phones
Drop-topping, playing our favorite CDs
Pulling up to the parties
Trying to get a little bit tipsy
Kaidin: (Big smile, bright eyed, and crying with laughter)
what was that? "
When I was Kaidin's age (11 or so) I listened to a lot of Fergie, Kesha, and Pink. Now Kaidin is our little diva, so when I busted out in song in the middle of the dentist office, she thought I was the coolest things since sliced bread! As SOON as we got in the car she said, "Can you play me that song? Do you have any more like that? Can you teach me the words? That was so COOL!" She went to summer camp for a few weeks and when she returned she told me that she shared with her friends the song and told them ALL about our dentist trip, she even knew all the lyrics! I've never had a little sister but I can imagine, that is what it's like!.
8. You gain a friend and mentor
When I first started this job, I never realized the impact Mrs. Kristin would have on my life. I knew I would grow close with the family but I would have never imagined I would find a best friend and a mentor. Over the past few years, Mrs. Kristin has given me countless hours of advice, council and direction. She has taught me God is love and how to love each person, even if they don't deserve it. From telling me to let go of those "Lug Nuts" (boys) to shedding light on family struggles, she's been there through it ALL. I'm a FIRM believer that God puts certain people in your life for a reason. I can't tell you how many times I have thanked God for not only putting this family in my life, but Mrs. Kristin as well!
9. You find a role model
The way Kristin and David talk to their children is EXACTLY how I imagine myself with my kids. I admire her and her husbands strong relationship! The adventures that they go on together, how they workout and cycle and most of all, how they pray and talk about God together. After 22 years of marriage they still get all giddy when it comes to date night! They laugh and play and you can really tell they truly are the best of friends. When the Druey's lived in Arkansas, David and I hardly ever spoke. One night while visiting the family in Florida, I was taken on a sunset boat ride through Ft. Lauderdale and to a nice restaurant just to celebrate me! I was real surprised when David was the one who spoke up and said,
"We are here to celebrate you and your accomplishments and to let you know we are proud of you for following your dreams and not letting anything get in the way"
At first, I was confused because I didn't know David even really knew I existed, other than that one weird time he drilled a hole in my toenail to relieve some pressure! Then I realized, every moment, memory and dream I shared with Kristin, she was sharing with her best friend and that's exactly how I want my future husband and I to be.
(Don't worry since then David and I grew a little closer. Being with the family all summer, we got to share many of jokes about the kids, to the kids, with the kids. He gave me some cooking tips and I didn't teach him how to "Judo Chop!" He was kind of disappointed in that.)
10. You experience the most memorable adventures
This is a LONG one but it's the most memorable adventures of my life yet!
We filled two Uhauls and a Yukon XL of the Druey's things and booked it to Florida! Guess who got to drive the Yukon XL with the two smallest kids.... ME! I wasn't sure how this trip would go, but I sure wasn't expecting what we had coming! So we're on the high way cruising along and stop at a Sonic for a quick bite. Mrs. Kristin, who's never driven a Uhaul in her life, notices the Sonic is actually closed and tried to make her way around the back, when all of a sudden I hear a loud thud. She just so happened to take out a part of the roof. YIKES! We investigate the scene and continue to pull around back where... ops, she sinks into a HUGE slab of mud where she is now wedged into two pieces of concrete. There's no getting this out on our own, were stuck, and calling for back up. Eventually, we all bust out laughing and Mrs. Kristin says,
"You just can't make this stuff up"
You really can't. Oh wait, it gets better. We stopped for the night, rest up, and by that time all three vehicles are together and we are hitting the road hard. After about 12 hours of driving, we decide to get a hotel, or at least we thought we were going to. Turns out, Daytona 500 was that weekend, and there wasn't an empty hotel room for MILES! "You just can't make this stuff up." We try and call nearly every hotel we can think of and... nothing. By this time were getting tired, delirious, and down right silly, cracking jokes and making fun of Mr. Cranky Pants (David) for not having the same silly "oh this is funny" spirit we did. We hop back on the road and travel until one of us decides we need to stop and sleep for a couple of hours at a fancy truck stop. "You just can't make this stuff up" We shower and FINALLY find a hotel in Jupiter Springs, Florida. We ended up driving 22 hours strait with four children, three vehicles and a series of unfortunate events. Lets just say we had an out of this world experience and "you just can't make this stuff up".
11. You become a part of the family <3
I know that I have mentioned time and time again how blessed I am with an amazing job with such a wonderful family, but I really have been. We've been together for nearly four years now and I've been honored to watch these children grow! Denver is now in military school, Claudia is branching out and making friends, Kaidin is cutting down on snacks and little Lukey Luke, well he learned how to blow a bubble! This summer was a blast! It wasn't always easy, and these are just the good stories, but to be able to be around this family for nearly four months and still want to come back, says a lot! Some might think that it would be weird, or awkward being around this family every single day, but I actually felt right at home! I was treated like a friend, a sister. I was treated like family. I may have been hired as a nanny, but I defiantly felt more like family!
To the Druey's:
Thank you, for all of the memories I will cherish forever. We've had so many laughs it's unreal! This has been the BEST job and I miss y'all every day! Your family will always hold the most special place in my heart. Mrs. Kristin and David, thank you for opening your home to me and allowing me to watch and love your children, I'm truly honored. Words can not explain how this job has helped me learn and grow as a person, friend, sister, parent, and nanny. Can't wait to see y'all soon!