When I was little, I had a lot of different babysitters that looked after us, because my parents went to work. We went to their homes, or they came to us. There were a lot of negative experiences for me, but there are a few sitters who have really stood out to me, and they were the ones that made me want to be a babysitter and a nanny when I got old enough. They were women that were caring, creative, and understanding. They’d sit with me on the grass and look at clouds. I could tell them anything. They were like a best friend and a caregiver all rolled into one.
Nicole was a young girl, probably around 13, who looked after my sister and me when we lived in British Columbia. She used to play My Little Ponies and Barbies with us, elaborate games that would go on for days. We looked forward to her coming because we knew we’d act out the next installment in our toy soap opera. Helen was a lady in Brockville that we went to when my mother went to work. She made the best crafts – I learned how to make friendship bracelets with her, and she would have brand-new craft kits she would open just for us. Julie would take us to the park all the time and chase us around and play games of house with us. And Crystal would let us watch movies that we normally weren’t allowed to watch when my parents went out at night.
As a nanny, I try to emulate all of these women who were engaged, creative and careful to always look at it from a child’s point of view. They made every day special, and we looked forward to them coming over. They would read us stories, cuddle us if we were upset or scared, and you could tell they really loved their work. I am honoured to be among those ladies, and I wonder where they are now – I would love to tell them in person how I feel.
I know several ladies now who join the ranks of the really great babysitters we all remember. J is a homeschooling mama who also runs an alternative preschool for kids in her area. She’s amazing – creative, always thinking ahead, and taking her kids out to amazing places. Her photography is outstanding and her ideas out of this world. A is an international nanny with a thousand stories – some of which I hope she will share on this blog! And O works with an agency and has stories galore, good and bad, to tell about the families she meets and the kids she’s with.
Happy Nanny Appreciation Week to all nannies and caregivers – without you to pave the way, nannies like me would not strive to be as good as we hope to be! I’m proud that I’m in the profession with you awesome ladies! And check out this post on how to appreciate the caregivers in your life – this is a blog I’ve recently discovered and it’s great!