Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Mary Poppins,” he cried, “you’ll never leave us, will you?"

I think we can all agree that Mary Poppins is the ultimate nanny. Luckily, I'm just like her. Well, almost.

Did Mary Poppins ever play whiffle ball or tennis? Did she ever go hiking or take a trip to Living History Farms? Well, I do. She was a great nanny, but I guess she didn't do a lot of the active stuff. She stuck to her never-ending bag and spoonfuls of sugar, and we love her for it. I do my own nanny thing {including the whiffle ball}, but I still take a few cues from Ms. Poppins.

This is the third summer that I have nannied for the Nigg family. During the winter of my senior year of high school, I realized that I wanted to a summer nannying job and started asking around to families that I knew had kids. I came into contact with the Niggs through a couple connections I had from mentoring at church and babysitting, and it so happened that my sister had babysat for the Nigg family years back.

Everything about the family seemed awesome. One night they invited me over to meet everyone and just discuss few details. After meeting everyone at their house and talking things over, I knew it was going to be a great summer with them.

Now, in my third summer with them, the kids are all grown up! Two are in middle school, and one is even in high school. I know for sure that this will be my last summer with them, so I'm determined to make it our best one together yet.

In my two years playing Mary Poppins for the Nigg family, I have learned a few things and think I finally have the whole nanny thing down perfectly. Here's what I've learned in my time as Mary Poppins...

Being a nanny to older kids is very relaxing. Some might say it's boring, but I prefer the term relaxing. Not every day is full of activities and trips and excitement. In all honesty, some days we just sit on the couch and read or watch Netflix. And that's totally fine with all four of us. Everybody needs a low-key day every once in a while.

I have a lot of free time. Because the kids I nanny are older and like to hang out with friends and leave the house a lot, I'm not always busy entertaining them. Instead, I have a lot of time to do other things, like read and write this blog post. Last summer I even decided to sign up for an online summer class through the local community college to get a gen ed out of the way. This summer I'm taking two online classes through Iowa for my Fundraising & Philanthropy Communication Certificate: Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness and Introduction to Grant Writing. I love that I can be so productive!

It's easy to be the cool nanny... I love acting like we're all friends. It's fun to make jokes and hang out and mess around with each other.

...but I have to remember that I'm in charge. While I like to be the cool nanny who just wants to have fun, I also have to lay down the law sometimes. The kids have chores and other responsibilities. And sometimes they act up. Keeping them in line is part of my job, so that's when I like to look to Mary Poppins. Those Banks kids always respected Mary Poppins and usually obeyed her once they saw what she was capable of.

Older kids don't necessarily like to do all that kid stuff. Especially now that all of the kids are older, none of them really want to go to the zoo or the science center or Living History Farms or fun places like that. They think they're too cool for it. Hopefully I can talk them into going to at least a couple of those places because that's one of the best parts of being a nanny!

I would be happy being a nanny for life. I definitely won't be a nanny forever, but it's been fun while it's lasted. I have other goals and dreams that I want to pursue, but I could see how being a full-time nanny would be appealing and fun to some people, like Ms. Poppins.

Overall, I've absolutely loved my job the last few summers. I'll be sad to leave these kids {forever} at the end of this summer. I feel like I've truly bonded with them and created real friendships with them. It's been fun to watch them grow up, and I'm happy to have contributed to that in some small way.

Just last week the family got a wedding invitation from one of their old nannies, and they're all happy for her and excited to go. I'm glad to say I have a similar relationship with them, and it's safe to say they'll probably get a wedding invitation from me {ten or fifteen years down the line}. Thank you, Nigg family! I know this summer will be our best one yet.

Best summer job ever! What was your favorite summer job?

Lots of love,

P.L. Travers, "Mary Poppins"