Tell us about yourself.
Hey! I’m Nickey. I have been a professional career nanny for the past 13+ years and have had the privilege working with some pretty rad kiddos all over the world! Some of my jobs have included travel nanny adventures and working in high profile positions. I am also the founder of The Nannyhood! The Nannyhood creates community & fosters friendships for nannies in their cities through “Hoods” (meet up groups)! It places value on, resources, & advocates for Nannyhood. After a few difficult nanny jobs and a little burn out, I realized as a nanny that my life was WAY better when I wasn’t doing life alone. No one really understands nannies like other nannies- and community/support is so important.
And just so you can get to know my personality a little better, here are some INCREDIBLY important facts about me (you may want to write these down):
- Disneyland is my happy place. When I lived in LA I used to spend my days off there journaling and munching on churros.
- I had a moose who lived in my backyard growing up -and sometimes I’d feed it pancakes.
- I name random strangers and try to guess their back stories. A lot. It’s a real problem.
- I have a major taco addiction. I could eat them for every meal.
- I collect children’s books.
- I make my bed everyday- even if it’s before I go to sleep.
- I pretend I’m in a movie on a daily basis.
- I collect people’s stories and turn them into art. People are the coolest.
What led you to becoming a nanny?
Honestly, (like many others) I fell into it. I have always adored children and grew up sitting all the time. I was offered a full time nanny gig by an acquaintance when I was 18 years old and I never looked back!
Describe yourself as a nanny in 5 words.
Fun, adventurous, creative, structured, magical.
Describe your nannying approach. What is your childcare philosophy?
I would say that my nannying approach is a great balance of boundaries/routine and spontaneous fun (and a pinch of magic!). I believe that kids need a structure/routines to help them feel safe (and that loving them doesn’t look like giving into their every whim). While I do plan out most all the week with outings, playdates, crafts, sensory play time, and other fun things- I believe in letting them “be bored” sometimes. I believe that children need that space to learn how to entertain themselves. By not constantly feeling like you have to fill every single moment of their days with enriching activities, outings, camps, etc. they will learn to become more self aware, innovative, and learn to think creatively.
I also believe in instilling love and kindness. I love to teach my charges to use their creativity for kindness. Some of our favorite ways to show kindness in our community is to make art pieces and little gift to leave out around town for strangers to find. It’s so sweet to watch them light up as they make a complete strangers day and put a little more love back into the world.
What do you enjoy most about being a nanny?
The magic. I love that I have the opportunity to keep the magic of childhood alive everyday while I am at work. When I think about how much my childhood impacted me and how often I think back on it, I am always trying to be mindful of how I am treating and what I am teaching the littles in my care. I heard quote once that, “they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I want them to remember that I made them feel safe and special. I love to get them using their imaginations and seeing all of the wonderful stories, worlds, and artwork that they create. It’s all magic.
What part of nannying do you find the most challenging?
I would say that there are two things that are most challenging to me. The first would definitely be bringing up any issues or drawing boundaries with my employers. It’s not always easy to chat through a breach of contract, saying no to staying late every night, asking for a raise, or telling them you need to chat about any behavioral issues happening with their kiddo (to name a few). Nannying is not like any other job on the planet, it’s so intimate.
The second would have to be leaving my kiddos when a job wraps up. I don’t know about you, but when I nanny . . . I do it with all of my heart. It’s just the way I am wired. I can’t just be “the help”- I thrive in family. Because of this I have a very big grieving process when a nanny job ends and I transition into not seeing them everyday. I have been blessed that most all of my families allow to/help keep in touch with all of my former charges, but I have moved quite a few times and the distance can be hard.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning his or her nanny career?
Make nanny friends! You need to find your tribe. Support and friendship when nannying is vital. No one will fully understand what you are going through at work like other nannies will. Also, I think finding your unicorn family is so important in this profession. If you see red flags in an interview, go with your gut! Nannying can be such an amazing job when you find a family who respects you (and loves you back). It can be very difficult if you are with a family who doesn’t value what you do or disrespects you. Be your own best advocate!
What does a typical day look like for you?
It is a different season for me at the moment. Normally I would be working a full time nanny job, but at the moment I am working a couple of part time nanny gigs while I am working on the launch of The Nannyhood. A typical day for me is working in a local coffee shop on Nannyhood for half the day and nannying for the other part of the day. Sometimes my nanny half day with look like breakfast, outings/classes/playdates, lunch, and nap time. Sometimes it will look like nap time, outings/classes/playdates, dinner, bath time, bedtime routine.
What is your go-to nanny outfit?
Oh, man! Leggings… all day every day! And a graphic tee. Those are my usual go-to’s. I also have been known to rock the occasional over sized cozy sweater, tunic, or beanie. I am all about comfort when I am at work chasing toddlers and rocking babies.
How do you wind down after a long day on the job?
I love to journal, do creative writing, painting, talking to strangers….But after an especially demanding day at my nanny job, it’s dinner and Netflix in bed for the win! No shame.
Any childcare books, websites, or resources you recommend?
Finding some online nanny groups for support and camaraderie is super helpful! Here are some of my favorites…
Some of the blogs/articles I love are…
I don’t know about you, but I love me some nanny swag. If you haven’t already hit up these shops, do it!
The gals behind Not Quite Mary Poppins are always looking to grow our bookshelves. What are your favorite children’s books?
I collect children’s books… so narrowing this down to a few is painful, ha! ANYTHING by Dallas Clayton. I adore him.