(To prevent professional burn out) As I write this, I sit in the kitchen of a family I do some date night babysitting for. It’s my second babysitting job for the day. To add to my schedule, at around 8:15 this morning, one of my Mom Bosses called and asked if I could babysit.
I told her that I could the morning, or the afternoon. Those times didn’t work out and as I hung up, I cried from relief. But, as I sit at the kitchen table, after the kids are asleep, she texts me to see if I could babysit tomorrow. I say yes. What’s my problem?! Welcome to the 65 hour work week, with no “weekends.”
As nannies, we spend almost every working hour (and a lot of non working hours) seeing to the needs of other people. We unload people’s dishes, and we fold their laundry. Sometimes we vacuum their homes and we almost always do dinner.
If we don’t set aside the time to put ourselves first, it can begin to seem as though there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Sure we love our nanny kids and our parent bosses, we show them love by doing what we do.
But if we don’t make the time to do something for ourselves, be it a pedicure, or a gym session, or to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy, we soon find ourselves stuck in cycle of endless work.
There’s no sun, there’s no light, there’s no break. And you know what? You deserve a break. A caregiver is not all that you are. Whilst being a caregiver is a huge part of your generous personality, it shouldn’t consume your entire existence. Put yourself on your priority list to prevent burnout and to win back some work life balance.
So after working 65 hours one week and 50 the next, I have an appointment for a mani-pedi with a girlfriend. Because I am not just an exhausted and happily overworked nanny, I am a girly girl who likes her nails to be sparkly.
Nannies, I give you permission to take time out for yourself. I give you permission to say no to the 3rd babysit job for the day. I give you permission to protect your weekends and I give you permission to reserve the right to be picky with your jobs.
Mostly, I give you permission to sit on the couch in your pyjamas after a long day and watch trashy tv. It does not make you any less of a responsible nanny, nor any less educated, respectable, or professional. It makes you strong.
>>> So what’s your plan for the weekend? Lots of RnR I hope!
Abby Sneddon is a professional U.S based nanny. She currently works with two gorgeous toddlers in a nanny share arrangement and has a professional background in private Montessori preschools. Abby believes the best way to teach a child is to lead by example and carries this notion through every aspect when it comes to health, wellbeing and fitness, raising well-developed children, and education. Abby blogs at The Nap Time Nanny.