Nanny Diaries
 
My mother always used to say, "If you dont have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". This was something she learned from her grandmother, and it no doubt goes back through generations, as sayings generally do. 

It's finally come the full circle; I use the little catch-phrase on a daily basis when practising non-violent communication. In other words, the ways in which we listen to others and communicate openly, honestly and kindly.*  It's trying at the best of times, but with social networking now being the focal point of communicating our feelings, I worry that the generations hiding behind a screen do not see the reaction of their peers when speaking out. True meanings gets lost, along with humanity. For the children growing up in such a technology based world, it is even more challenging to realise the full impact that words can and do have, or the emotions that go hand in hand with language. We need to really take the time to be with them one on one, and explain the way human interactions and emotions work. 


This is where I come in.


The majority of my generation is beginning to take adult life seriously. They're settling down and starting families of their own. But not me. I am a Type B Nanny. 

According to Scarlett Johannassan, Type B Nannies provide "sanity time," every afternoon to a woman who mothers in the mornings and evenings. Except in my case, I'm in charge from early afternoon until late evening, when the little cherubs' eyelids finally grow heavy and close, for a mother and father who are dedicated to their work and study. (Does that upgrade me to a Type C?) 


After nearly three months out of action, i'll admit i was concerned about how I would cope with the work load of naughty children. I spend a good five-six hours after school with the three precious beans, four days a week. 

This is the cranky part of the day for young kids, hence "if you dont have anything nice to say..." has come back to bite me on the butt. 

But it feels so good to be so needed by another human. Once upon time, mothers knew best. But in this day and age, if you can't relate to Siri, listen to you Nanny. **


Day one and I was in love with them, whilst simultaneously almost killing them.

The youngest, giddy with the excitement of introducing me her puppies, forgot the fence was electric and just about bolted her neck off while jumping up and down. 

I'm talking high voltage and multiple shocks. I make a damn good first impression. 

At least I know that she's able to communicate well when she's hurt. 


I was initially concerned about attachment issues. Each night, the kids kicked up more and more of a fuss when it was time for me to leave. After story time, I'd tuck them in, sing a lullaby and sneak out quietly. But as soon as they sensed departure, they'd be clinging to my legs and covering me in kisses. 

I've since realised that attachment is part of the job description. The 'L' word is going to come out and that's okay. All I have to do is explain the feeling, let them know that even though I can't stay forever, I'll stick around and be there for them for as long as they need me, (or in some cases don't need me, thanks Nanny McPhee). It's also okay to discipline the child while their parent is present. In fact, it needs to happen. They need to know I have power over them at all times and their parents also need to know I can handle any type of behaviour. This Nanny has no weak spots kiddies!

Sure, eventually i'll leave and saying goodbye will be a hard transition for both parties. But I'm forming a human relationship, investment in another person is important. It was never going to be easy and this family is truly one to be treasured.  


And you know what else? I'm going to be the most prepared full-time mum ever. I may also be 50, but at least I'll have experience: Practically perfect in every way.










Footnote* For further reading: Non-Violent Communication, A Language of Life

Create Your Life, Your Relationships and Your World in Harmony with Your Values

By Marshall B. Rosenberg, Arun Gandhi

**NOT an example of NVC