Spotlight Sunday: Jalissa

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Jalissa and I live in a tiny town in Ohio. I have a passion (some call it a weird obsession) for Abraham Lincoln and turtles! I am what seems to be the only nanny to not like coffee, but depend on McDonald’s sweet teas after a long day. I nanny three energetic girls, I’m a co-admin of the Facebook group called The Nanny Narrative, and also run another Facebook page called Jalissa’s Arts and Crafts. After nanny hours, I enjoy reading my books, playing ping pong, eating popcorn, and painting or scrapbooking (really anything crafty I can think of). I also spend a lot of time with my boyfriend of two years and our families, I have two well behaved goldfish!

What led you to becoming a nanny?

I knew I wanted to work with kids everyday, but also knew college wasn’t the right fit for me. So I attended a nanny training school the fall after graduating from high school. I thought that nannying would be a great way to work with kids everyday and to allow me to love my job and take pride in what I do – and I was right.

Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.

If I HAVE to describe myself as a nanny in 5 words, which might be the hardest thing I’ve done all day, it would be stubborn, hard-working, clumsy, gentle, patient. I nanny for three girls, ages 5, 4 and 19 months. They are all amazing in their own ways, but also have learned how to stick together as sisters. And when it’s cleanup time, sometimes that’s not always a good thing.

Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?

You don’t know until you try. I love watching the girls try new things or new ways of doing something. They have such big imaginations and standing back to watch them is refreshing. Sometimes, yes, you have to hover over them when you know what the outcome is going to be, but the only way to learn is to do. I think it’s also my responsibility as a nanny to teach them manners and hold them accountable. I try to teach them the small aspects of everyday life that might make the most difference, in shaping them to be awesome human beings.

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What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?

What I love about being a nanny is that I get to be myself everyday at work. I don’t have to get dressed up and go into the office with a fake smile. I get to go to work with a messy bun and have a conversation about what Pooh is doing with Christopher Robin in this episode, or what the letter of the day is on Sesame Street. Kids don’t care what kind of clothes you are wearing or if you did your hair that day. They see you, their nanny, who is there for them and plays whatever game they want after lunch. What I love about being a nanny is that I get to keep my childhood alive everyday, while helping someone else grow into their own-self. (And I get to color, I love to color).

What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?

I think the thing I have found most challenging is being so exhausted at the end of the day. Sometimes I struggle to keep it together until the sun goes down. I am constantly on the go, heavy lifting, and trying to be one step ahead of all three girls. I was surprised at how much it takes out of me during the day!

What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nanny career?

You are interviewing them, too. I wish I could go back and tell 18 year-old me to ask more questions in interviews with families. Yes, you want to fulfill the family’s needs but you also owe it to yourself to make sure they are fulfilling your needs as well. I think that is important and sometimes gets forgotten by the excitement of a new interview or family showing interest.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

Arrive at the house and either make breakfast for the girls or sit with them while they eat. If it’s a school day, get them ready to walk out the door. Once they are on their way with boss parents, get toddler dressed and ready for the day. Clean up kitchen, bed rooms, and living area if needed. Maybe go for a walk or play outside. Do home lessons, and maybe a craft. Play, play, play! Eat lunch, take naps/ rest period. Get up and practice piano, then play until boss parents get home! Always busy!!

What is your go-to nanny outfit?

Usually leggings, varies from a cute shirt to an old comfy stained hoodie, and messy pony tail. Always a pair of socks, maybe two, my feet are always cold! But really, anything I can move around in and be comfortable in.

How do you wind down after a long day at work?

I love to come home and lay on my bed, usually it’s only a little while before I eat dinner, but it’s better than nothing. After a hot shower, I like to cuddle up with my bowl of popcorn, turn on my oil diffuser, and Netflix.

Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?

The only source I actually use currently is Pinterest . . . and what nanny hasn’t used that already? I myself am learning to branch out on my sources! And I’m actually getting some good ones from this blog – so thank YOU!!

The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves! What are your favorite children’s books?

Any Little Golden Book! I love those things!! Also, When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne and Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak. And Franklin books – I love that turtle!


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.

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