To say that the role of the nanny is one of great responsibility would be something of an understatement to say the least. Charged with looking after both the children and the home of the hiring family, it’s technically about as much responsibility as any one person will ever have to bear alone. Of course, the vast majority of nannies revel in what they do and wouldn’t change their jobs for the world. Agencies like RockMyBaby in London are seeing record volumes of new nannies coming forward all the time – for those who make the cut, it’s a career area with some unique rewards.
Nevertheless, experts are constantly reminding those already working within the industry than in order to give your best, you need to be your best. It’s all well and good to immerse yourself in what you do on a 24/7 basis, but there is such a thing as nanny-burnout which is an eventuality that’s far easier to avoid than it is to combat should it set in.
How can a nanny be sure to take their own interests into account for the good of themselves and the family they work for?
It all comes down to thoughtful and regular self-care.
First and foremost, it’s all well and good to be tirelessly dedicated to the family you work for, but not if it’s slowly but surely grinding you down at your core. Leading experts including doctors from the Mayo Clinic regularly advise nannies to ensure that just as is the case with all jobs and career paths, some kind of divide remains between your working life and your private life. No private life means your working life is the only life you have – a sure-fire recipe for an early burnout.
Avoid Stressful Situations
You’ll no doubt find yourself juggling a thousand stressful situations at work every day while going about your business. As such, while it might be easier said than done, it’s the general consensus of experts that stressful situations while not on duty should be avoided. Stress and anxiety cloud judgment and can impair decision-making – neither of which will help you to become the best nanny you can be.
You cannot and will not provide even remotely competent help and services in general for the family you work for if you are not in a good state of health…period. It’s one thing to work yourself to the bone, but when you find yourself doing so to such an extent that you’re getting sick, it’s time to take a step back and maybe calm things down a little. A sick nanny is no good to any family and will only constitute an inconvenient expense, so it’s up to you to keep tabs on your health.
Get Out and Active
For live-in nannies, it’s of crucial importance to dedicate plenty of time to getting out and about, away from the family home in which you both live and work. It’s quite common for live-in nannies to fall into routines that see them largely confined to their workplaces for most of their time, but experts insist this is not a healthy way to live. From evenings to weekends to longer vacations, it’s crucial to get away from work from time to time even if it does happen to also be the place where you live.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If there’s something you don’t know – even if it seems something wholly remedial – it’s up to you to ask as many questions as necessary. The very best kinds of nannies in the world today are those that accept they will always have a lot to learn and thus are not afraid to ask questions. There may be something you need in order to enhance the care you give the kids or even something about your own work you’d like to change for your own benefit. Never be afraid to ask for what you need.
Eat Well, Sleep Well
Last but not least, perhaps the single most important rule for any nanny to follow in the quest for becoming the best they can be is to eat well and sleep well without exception. For some nannies, missing meals or sleeping on a rather irregular basis sets in as the norm. Sadly, if and when your body does not have enough fuel or is not given enough rest, it impacts and impedes every function and thus quite literally everything you do.