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11 Things You Understand If You’re A Nanny  

I’ve been babysitting since I was 11 years old, and I’ve been a full time nanny for three summers so I have a lot of experience with all aspects of the nanny life. While it is without a doubt my favorite job, it is definitely different from the traditional 9-5. Here are 11 things I have learned from 10 years of childcare.  

 

1.) Kids are disgusting. 

Don’t get me wrong they are adorable and I love them, but children — especially toddlers — are little germ magnets. Nannying over the summer, the number of times I had to tell the kids to wash their hands, not pick up bugs, or not put things from the dirt into their mouths was insane.  

 

2.) You lose any sense of personal space. 

The other day I was sitting on the T on my way back from work and some woman’s toddler climbed onto me to look out the window. She was very apologetic, I hardly noticed because kids climbing on me is like 90% of my job description.  

 

3.) Children will sass.  

I’ve worked with kids from ages one to 15 and the sassiest child I ever had was a 10-year-old girl who made a protest sign about bedtime. It read, “Bed Times are Bad Times”.  

 

4.) Driving with kids is terrifying. 

You are never more aware of every single thing on the road than you are when there are two children in the back seat.  

 

5.) You have entire playlists of “kid friendly” music.  

It took one instance of the first few lines Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” blasting in my loudspeakers for me to make an entire playlist of Disney music and never set my phone to shuffle again.  

 

6.) The “Work Wardrobe” means something very different.  

I lived in Nike shorts and Sorority shirts the whole summer, which is honestly the dream.  

 

7.) You start to “mom” your friends.  

I would, and still, constantly take head counts and do check-ins with my friends and sorority sisters whenever we go out. I have to remind myself to not ask questions like “was that a good choice,” “do you need a snack” or “do you need to pee before we go cause I don’t wanna stop."  

 

8.) The “Nanny Bag” is too real.  

Over the summer I would have a tote bag that had everything under the sun to keep two children alive: several snacks, at least one water bottle, a first aid kit, toys, wet wipes, Kleenex, and a book or two. I would end up with a pair of socks or shoes in case of emergency, too.  

 

9.) There are varying degrees of annoying kids shows.

This summer the kids I nannied were really into Paw Patrol, which was honestly incredible and full of cute puppers. For every good show, there's also something like Caillou, the literal worst.  

 

10.) You grow immune to tears. 

I used to give into crying kids, or at least feel annoyed by them in public, but after years of toddlers throwing tantrums over their chocolate ice cream being too cold, I can tune it out. I was in Disneyworld over spring break (tantrum central) and realized it didn’t bother me. Honestly, I was just glad that I wasn’t in charge of the kid who was having a meltdown.  

 

11.) You wouldn’t trade the job for anything.

Sure kids wipe their noses on you, and sure you get kicked in the face a few times, and yes the hours are long and you don’t have coworkers, but nothing beats how happy kids are when you arrive or how much it means when they learn something from you.   

 

Like I said, it’s a great job, it’s a difficult job, but there is nothing I would rather be doing.