Migrating from the beautiful island of Trinidad & Tobago, young, no work authorization, inexperienced, and no college degree, I needed to find a job!
I needed to support my daughter and myself, and nothing would stop me from getting what I wanted.
Now that I think about it, I’ve been pretty independent starting at a very young age. Hmm!
Anyway, because of my situation, there were quite a few setbacks, and the only option I had at that point was to either find a babysitting job or work at a daycare.
And so I did just that.
I got a job at a home daycare, and to be honest, It was terrible!
The owner was lazy, mean and required me to work from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
I was an assistant, and my duties were to care for about eight kids.
My take home pay was $140 per week.
Who else thinks that was high-class robbery?!
Nevertheless, I stayed in that job for a few months, but I couldn’t wait to quit!
Eventually, I did when I couldn’t take it anymore.
Then Came My First Job As a Nanny...
After I had quit that job, a family friend told me about a family that needed someone to care for their son.
I went on the interview, and she hired me right away!
That job was excellent in the beginning but turned sour after a few months.
The family kept adding to my duties. They wanted me to cook, clean and take care of the baby all at once.
I told them it was difficult for me to do all the housework and still be able to give the child 100% of my attention.
I also shared with them my preference for only caring for the child. After all, that’s what I was hired to do, and as he is my top priority when he’s in my care.
They were not happy about this, but they agreed to it for a short while, until they started demanding that I go back to doing the other chores.
After a while, I got tired of the pressure they put on me, so, again, I ended the job.
I went on to find more jobs, but it seems as though there were some major issues with every family I worked with,
Most of the time I left because of the way they treated me.
So What Lessons have I Learned As I Went From Job To Job?
I learned quite a lot from those short-lived nanny positions. Of course I’d like to share those with you, so continue reading below.
1. Communication – Communication is very important and is necessary for every relationship, whether it’s a friendship, marriage, or employee- employer relationship.
If you do not communicate with your employers and let them know exactly how you feel about doing extra work that was not agreed upon when first hired, they will automatically assume you’re ok with doing everything including caring for their child(ren).
On the first day of your interview, you need to have a list of the things you are comfortable doing as well as the things you’re not comfortable with doing.
You also need to share that info with your potential employers when the topic arises.
2. Boundaries – Like communication, setting boundaries is also important.
If you do not set boundaries, trust me when I tell you, people will find ways to take advantage of you.
Set your limits, let your boundaries be known, and ensure they are respected.
3. Respect– Respect goes along with boundaries. Families should respect your time and decisions, and you should respect their time and decisions, too.
Always be punctual. Arrive to work on time and if you are running late, give them a call.
Ask the parents to be home on time and if they are going to be late, let you know ahead of time. Earn your respect and hopefully, it will be given to you in return.
4. Self-worth– Friends, knowing what you are worth, and placing high value on yourself is fundamental to your success.
Love yourself unconditionally. Never allow anyone to make you feel inferior. Never allow anyone to take advantage of you.
Though temptations may arise, and you sometimes feel to curse or fight, take a breath, calm yourself, and think before you act. No matter the circumstance, stand up for what is right and do what is right.
5. Take Risks– Take risks because you’ve only got one life to live, and you should be living that life to the fullest.
I use to be afraid of quitting jobs because 1) I was usually desperate for a job, and 2) I feared that I will never be able to find another one.
I quickly learned that nothing could be further from the truth!
Though I genuinely loved taking care of kids, I wanted to be happy while doing it.
If I were not satisfied with the way parents were treating me, I would set desperation aside, kicked fear out the door, and I left!
Why? Because I knew deep down in my heart, I did a magnificent job of caring for these kids, and I deserved to be treated like a darn good human being! If not with love, at least, with respect.
What are your thoughts? What lessons have you learned from your past experiences as a nanny? Don’t be shy, I’d love to hear all of it!