The (Major League) Perks of Being a Nanny

Nannying is the go-to summer job for collegiettes™. I mean, why wouldn’t a fabulous twentysometing want to change diapers, make endless PB&J’s, and clean up boo-boos from 9-5? But seriously, the reason so many girls do it is because rumor has it that nannies make bank. While the rest of us slave away at (probably unpaid) internships, nannies get unlimited refrigerator access, the flexibility to design their own schedules (um library, park, and pool all in one day? Yes please.), and relaxing TV/magazine time during naps. Sounds like the life. Of course, there’s more to it than that. Meet Paige Bosworth and Laughlin Kane, two Wake students and seasoned nannies who are giving it a go yet again this summer. Here’s their take on how to snag the best nannying gig around.

Her Campus (HC): How did you get into nannying?
Paige Bosworth (PB): I think nannying is all word of mouth.  Every babysitting job I have ever had has come from recommendations.  I actually got this summer’s nannying job after I had babysat for the family over spring break.  I had heard about the family from a friend who was going out of town for break and had passed my name along to the mom.  After babysitting the entire week, the mother let me know that they would need help during the summer, which landed me this summer job.  I think it is very important to realize that even a single Saturday night babysitting job can lead to other opportunities.  Leaving a good impression as well as keeping a good rapport with the families you have babysat for is a great way to ensure that they think of you the next time they need some help.
Laughlin Kane (LK): I have always loved kids and babysat a lot in high school. It was something that allowed me to spend some time at home since I am hardly ever home during the year but still be out and about while staying active and busy.

HC: What's a typical work day like?
LK: I usually start around 8 or 830 (when mom and dad have to head off to work) and finish around five--everything in between depends on the day/week/hour. Sometimes the kids are involved in a camp or activity (think tennis, swim team, soccer, ballet etc.). Otherwise, we fill our days playing at the park, the Atlanta zoo, childrens' museums, the public library, or at home. Often times, the kids in the neighborhood will be out playing in the cul-de-sac and "my kids" loves to do that, too! Its pretty much the same thing many of us remember doing when we were little. The key is that you can't stay in one place for too long--their attention spans aren't that long!
PB: The current family that I nanny for is very structured.  I was told by the mom that after I pick the two kids up from school they are to have a "healthy" snack, we do any homework that the 7 year-old has, which mostly involves about 10 pages of reading.  The kids are then sent to their rooms for 30 minutes of "quiet time", and the remaining hour or so the kids have free play.  The mother instructed me absolutely no TV; I assume this is due to the fact that the parents save this for when they come home for work.  Each day I expect emotional meltdowns, which are really just fake tears, fighting, and know-it-all comments.  While all of those things really test your patience, I've learned some ways that can help in tough situations.  

HC: Why did you choose to nanny rather than do a more career-driven summer job/internship?
PB: To put it simply, I make more money nannying than any job or internship would ever pay me.  I needed to make bank this summer because I am going abroad in the fall and the pound is expensive!  This 3 days a week nannying job allows me to make a lot of money while still being able to have some summer fun.
LK: . "I personally believe that the reason that U.S. nannies . . ." – sorry, I couldn’t help but make the Miss South Carolina joke. But I feel like I will have my whole life to have a career/job and that I should take the opportunities that I do have to experience different, "non-professional" aspects of life. For me, life's too short to always be cooped up in an office or desk. I mean, for those of you who don't know me, I am certainly driven, dedicated, and competitive as all get out, but we're young now, and I want to take advantage of that luxury. Plus, nannying in the daytime allows me to take LSAT classes in the evenings/on the weekends and "pursue my career/job" in that way.  

HC: How can you market being a nanny for your future career aspirations?
PB: Being a nanny requires a person to have many traits that can easily be applied to other work scenarios.  Patience and creativity are two traits that are extremely pertinent for a nanny.  The multi-tasking skills a person learns while taking care of children are also valuable to have.
LK: I think that by having other people trust me with their kids shows that I am responsible, dependable, and a master problem-solver. Let's be honest though, in this day and age, how much does any past job really affect one's likelihood of being hired? Sadly, it seems to be not how qualified you really are, but who you know. 

HC: What are the biggest perks of being a nanny?
PB: Two of the biggest perks are having more freedom to decide what to do from day-to-day and the high hourly wage.  When a nanny spends close to 10 hours a day with the kids, there is a lot of freedom to decide how to bide mine and the children's time.  I'm not stuck in an office all day, and I don't have a long list of tasks that have to be done.  I can go to the park one day and go to the pool the next.  I can have the kids play in the backyard or do a craft in the kitchen.  Other than the occasional errand that needs to be run, I decide the fun agenda we have for the day.  While nannying isn't always a fun time, getting generously paid to be constantly entertained is a great way to spend the summer.
LK: Biggest perks: flexible schedule, precious children, lounging at the pool, continuous activity, and visiting with other nannying friends and their kids.

HC: Rumor has it that nannies make bank over the summer. True?
PB: I would have to agree.  There is no other job where I can work 3 days a week and get paid the way I do nannying.  When the hours are long and the pay is significantly above minimum wage, working just three days a week ends up being very lucrative.  
HC: What's your one piece of advice you'd give to girls wanting to nanny full-time in the summer?
LK: Find a family with sweet kids. People say you can do anything for a summer, but rude, ill-behaved kids can really make your life’ h-e-double hockey sticks.’
PB: It's all a balance.  The hardest part of the job is to be fun but still be taken seriously. I've realized, however, that with patience, a balance can be found.  Always have a good attitude, but take a serious tone when need be.  Kids always try to pull one over on you, so stick to the parent's instructions and use good judgment in situations when the kid swears that "mom always lets me have candy after snack."

*Photography by Laughlin Kane and Hannah Kay Hunt