Tell us about yourself!
Hi, I’m Stephanie! A teacher turned nanny, a wannabe blogger who always forgets to blog, a dog mom to Gary Busey, Jr, a fiancé, a Potterhead, an active nanny community member, and soon, I’ll have the Newborn Care Specialist course completed! I taught preschool for nearly 9 years before jumping careers and I haven’t looked back since! I also have this dream to have a spectacular blog about all things kids. Unfortunately, I somehow seem to lack the time. Maybe one day? Until then I guess I’ll just keep signing up to speak at Nannypalooza and National Nanny Training Days. 😉 I’m also a huge advocate of every child needing a Harry Potter book collection!
(Note: You can check out Stephanie’s blog here).
What led you to becoming a nanny?
I loved teaching… until I didn’t. I got extremely burnt out by the constant changing of expectations and being told how to do things. I loved having freedom in my classroom and meeting kids where they were. When that freedom was taken away from me, I lost my passion. Within a month of ending out my last year teaching, I had a friend connecting me with my first, and current nanny job! I’ve now been here for 3.5 years and am excited for another 3.5 years with them!
Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.
Caring, Creative, Committed, Patient, Protective. Nanny Bear comes out quite often.
Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?
My childcare philosophy has changed so much over the past 3 years! I have gone from a “don’t take any crap” philosophy to a more relaxed and loving approach. I still hold my nanny kid to high standards and expect him to at least try things, but I also try to be aware of his feelings and working with him on how he can express those feelings. My main goal is to set him (and future nanny kids) up for success.
What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?
The relationships. Both with the parents and the kids. I’ve also built so many new relationships with teachers, therapists, and other parents and nannies. It’s also a wonderful feeling to feel like a part of the family.
What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?
Being my own advocate. It’s hard when everything falls on you! I have to be my own HR departments and negotiate my pay, benefits, and expectations so the biggest thing I’ve learned, is how to say NO. The more you say it, the easier it gets. But that doesn’t always make the guilt any easier to deal with. I’ve had to grow a thicker skin, and that’s scary sometimes.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nannying career?
Contract! Contract, contract, contract. Do your research before signing with a potential family. Make sure you’re aware of laws regarding pay. Be aware of standard benefits and what you can and can’t compromise on. Don’t underestimate your worth. Fight for your worth and your legal status as an employee. If they aren’t willing to pay you on the books and treat you with the respect you deserve, don’t settle. Follow your instinct.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Currently I work from about 9am-6pm full of school and activities, but with nanny kid #2 due any day, things have been a little crazy lately! Once baby is here, my hours will jump a little while we all make the adjustment!
What is your go-to nanny outfit?
Leggings, tunics, and sweaters or hoodies. The only comfortable things there are 😉
How do you wind down after a long day on the job?
Tuesdays are Fixer Upper days! I love me some Chip, JoJo and shiplap! Every other night I usually have tasks to work on between various group challenges I’ve joined, trainings I’m taking, seminars I’ve agreed to speak at, and wedding planning. If I somehow don’t have anything specific to work on, I’m usually watching a movie or reading a book!
Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?
Well I help run a Facebook page so of course I recommend us! Come find us at The Nanny Chronicles! I also recommend the books Einstein Never Used Flashcards and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.
The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves! What are your favorite children’s books?
Harry Potter of course. What Potterhead wouldn’t recommend them?! Some of my other favorites are Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak), Giraffes Can’t Dance (Giles Andreae), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Bill Martin Jr.), Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein), and The BFG (Roald Dahl).
Disclaimer: Not Quite Mary Poppins obtains legal permission from a parent or guardian though a signed media release form for any photos that display children’s faces. All identifiable photos are posted with express permission.