15 Things I Have Learned From Being a Nanny
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15 Things I Have Learned From Being a Nanny

Never Grow Up

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15 Things I Have Learned From Being a Nanny
Daiga Ellaby

Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted kids. I started babysitting and working with children since I was fifteen. Almost two years ago I met a family who I now nanny for. I babysat for their older son, who's now nearly five years old. When they were expecting their second child, they asked me if I would want to be full-time with them and spend several days a week watching their children once the baby was born. I knew it would be a lot of responsibility, but I was so excited. I now consider them like my family and love their two boys like they're my own kids. I have grown a lot by being with the boys so much, and it's amazing watching them grow. Here are some lessons I learned from being their nanny:

1) You will say things and ask questions you never thought you'd have to. "Is that poop or chocolate?" "No, no, no don't eat the sand!" "Watch out, don't sit on your brother."

2) You can never turn your back on a toddler because they will disappear instantly. It is almost impressive how fast an energetic toddler can hide from you when you didn't realize you started a game of hide and seek. It's also impressive how quickly a baby can crawl up the stairs when you aren't looking.

3) You learn to pick your battles. If you know that taking the toy truck out of his hands is going to cause a complete meltdown, you let him take it to swim lessons. If you know the baby is just going to rip off his socks and throw them somewhere; you leave the socks at the house.

4) Walls are a canvas for creativity. One would hope this means walls are what you hang their adorable pictures on, but it's so much more than that. The parents have had to repainted their walls twice because the boys got into "washable" markers and let their creativity fly onto the walls on two separate weekends.

5) When traveling, the crying baby on the plane is not something to get super angry about and not due to lack of parenting. I went to New Orleans with them last year, and the baby was just exhausted on the way home and crying. Sometimes it's out of a parents control and despite them doing everything they can think of sometimes a baby is just going to cry.

6) Nap time is for everyone. When the baby sleeps, we sleep. Kids are exhausting.

7) If one person gets sick, the whole house does. When preschool started a few months ago, big brother got sick; then little brother got sick, then I got sick, then their mom got sick. Germs are everywhere with kids, its part of life.

8) Their victories, become your victories. I remember how excited I was when I finally got the older brother to go pee on the potty. I'm not sure who was more proud, him or me. Now the baby is starting to form little sentences, and I am so excited when he starts saying new words.

9) When you have kids, they come before everything. While these two boys aren't mine, I protect them and treat them like they are. I get tired, but those kids mean the world to me and could care less about how I look when I'm with them. I want to make sure they look good, have food in their bellies, are safe, and are having fun. I learned you could never judge a parent if they look a mess and tired because that just shows that they're probably giving all they had to their kids and ran out of time for themselves that day.

10) When someone compliments the boys, I take it as a compliment too. At the playground the other week, someone said "Is this your son? He is so sweet, he stood by, and let my little girls go down the slide first. He has such good manners." Again, while he's not mine I just smile and say thank you so much and then tell him how proud I am of him for being so good.

11) Laughter and happiness are contagious. Even if I'm having a bad day, when the baby starts laughing at himself I can't help but laugh with him, and it makes me so happy to see him happy. I believe everyone's energies can be contagious so I always try to forget any of my worries while I'm here and the boys make me realize there's so much more to life than stressing over one English paper.

12) It's little moments that will melt your heart the most. It's when the baby holds his hands up to be picked up, and immediately calms down and lays his head on my chest when I hold him. It's when his older brother grabbed my hand and had me walk him down the driveway for the school bus in the morning. Then he turns around in his seat and smiles; then he waves goodbye to me.

13) Cleaning is a continuous cycle. Between spit up, grass stains, mud, or markers on clothes laundry is done several times a week. It's impressive how "no-spill" cups can still make messes. Toys don't have a proper place, besides everywhere in the house. The couch is always the best place to hide things, and bottles always need to be cleaned. I am a neat freak so being a nanny has been a fun and constant cycle of me cleaning up after them. Some days they win.

14) They grow up too fast. I can't believe they're already almost 5 and 2. I remember rocking the older one to sleep, and I remember holding the baby for the first time. Now they're in preschool and walking. It's an honor to be such a big part of their lives and to watch them grow up.

15) Because of these boys, I have so much more respect for parents and know that I'll be ready to be a parent when my time comes.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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