For those with abundant patience, a lot of love to give and a desire to make a difference.
It isn’t always an easy job, but there is perhaps nothing more rewarding for a nanny, governor, governess or tutor, than seeing the positive effects you can have on a child’s life.
BUT if you work full-time as a nanny or governess, you will soon notice changes in your own behaviour and perhaps even in your personality.
Have a look at our checklist of 10 ways to recognise that you work with kids below. How many of these can you tick the box for?
1. You have become the undisputed Lego master
The Taj Mahal, at 5,922 pieces? Easy.
5,195 pieces of Star Wars’ ‘Millennium Falcon’? Don’t make me laugh.
That’s right, your nanny job has turned you into a certified Lego boss. Your skills confirm your status as a Shaolin monk of Lego, and you laugh in the face of those 14+ Lego Technic sets. They don’t stand a chance.
You are also really, really good at colouring now. Put it on your CV.
2. You are an expert negotiator
Working with kids often requires a certain amount (that amount being a lot) of bargaining, and a solid understanding of how to use incentives. You’ll rarely get something for nothing with this lot.
‘Wash your hands and you can have dessert.’
‘Do your homework and you can have extra computer time.’
‘Brush your teeth and you can wash my car.’
Negotiation skills are key for any childcare role. And by now, you really know what you’re doing.
You have probably also noticed that you are excellent at changing the subject and steering conversations away from dangerous ground. Where do babies come from? Oh look, a butterfly!
3. You are now totally dependent on coffee
Despite nailing down the positive skills listed above, your coffee addiction is now wildly out of control. A triple shot espresso at breakfast to be followed by non-stop coffee breaks throughout the day until bedtime, when your heart rate is doing 200bpm.
Mmmm… Nice and calm.
Note to self: try to squeeze in some yoga on lunch break.
4. Personal space has gone out the window
It would be lovely to have a nice relaxing sit down on the toilet for 20 minutes, but sadly that’s no longer an option. You’ll get 30 seconds if you’re lucky. Hopefully all that coffee will help.
5. Your sensible adult diet has been forgotten
The never-ending issue. Every time the kids you look after have an ice cream, you’re tempted to join in. So you do. You have one too. Hashtag au revoir, diet.
6. Dirty hands, dirty hands
The bane of your life. Despite repeating ‘wash your hands’ on autopilot 400 times a day, your kids’ hands are plastered with a permanent layer of mud, paint, pen and glue.
And now yours are too! Good luck explaining to your in-laws why you have green hands.
7. You have an encyclopaedic knowledge of kids’ books
Having spent hours and hours reading children’s books, your knowledge of them is now so good it’s getting weird. But in the unlikely event you are kidnapped and only released upon successful completion of a Harry Potter or Roald Dahl quiz, you’re winning! Take THAT, life!
8. You can’t get kids’ songs out of your head
The unfortunate side effect of humming Ten Green Bottles, Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes and Five Little Monkeys all day is that everyone in earshot thinks you’re a weirdo. At best, you have an unhealthy obsession with children’s music. At worst, you’re having a breakdown.
Who needs mates anyway?
9. You avoid sugar intake before bed at all costs
Bedtime will be forgotten if a single grain of sugar is consumed, to be replaced with running around, jumping on the bed, play fighting and a 2am dance off so you’d better hide the Milky Ways under your bed. Ho hum, you can always eat them yourself later. Hashtag sorry diet.
10. You’re exhausted
Juggling all of the above has led to exhaustion. Lay off the coffees for 10 minutes so you can go and have a rest. You deserve one!
Disclaimer: This article represents a light-hearted take on the author's views on working with children. The views of the author are not necessarily those of Jobs in Childcare.
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