Thursday, August 7, 2014

5 Reasons I Enjoy Being a Nanny

Kid lead exploration
     Although I am not a parent, I'm grateful for those who have chosen to be. If it weren't for them, I would not have the privilege of experiencing the everyday pleasures brought by the company of children. Sure, there are times when I've been able to relate to movies like "The Nanny Diaries," but the joys have far outweighed any undesirable elements.

Nanny positions have had a perfectly timed way of dropping into my life. I have come to recognize this work as part of my right livelihood. My current position (for the set period time of five months) is an ideal mix of teaching yoga, massage therapy, and spending time with children. There is also the added entertainment of living in community. Although this nanny situation may be unique, there are 5 things I have noticed about being a nanny which have been consistently wonderful:

1: Lightheartedness Required

There is no time for being grumpy. Going with the flow and not taking things personally are important job skills, which also happen to promote happiness!

2: Laughter & Learning

We all know laughter is good medicine and kids are inherently hilarious. Even though caring for children has plenty of challenges, frequent laughter keeps my overall stress level low. Along with the laughing, I learn (and relearn), many things forgotten. Kid's are constantly teaching me how to see life with fresh and original eyes.

3: Lack of Agenda

Children generally do not live for some other future moment in time. I find this lack of agenda refreshing. They prefer to linger in the moment (true quality time), with very few references to past or future. Since children prefer the present moment, it encourages me to stay in it too.

4: Supports My Yoga Practice

There are times throughout the day when children are engaged in something (alone or with siblings/friends). I take some of those moments to fit in a yoga or short meditation practice. Sometimes this catches their interest and they will join me. It must be an approachable, flexible practice, in case it needs to be abandoned it in a hurry. Practicing random yoga adds to a positive atmosphere for everyone.

5:  Unconditional Love & Honesty

Emotional ups and downs happen to everyone. I love how children tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves. I respect their directness, honesty, and most of all the generous sharing of unconditional love. One moment I may get an earful of opinions and frustrations, in the next moment there is a hand reaching out to hold mine. Grudges are very short lived, and forgiveness happens fast.

Sea star with hula hoop

I imagine that my life will continue to include the company of children. Finding a young friend to spend the day is always just a phone call away. Child energy puts more sparkle in my step. I may not otherwise think of photographing a sea star with a hula-hoop, wearing a bathing suit over my clothing, jumping on a trampoline dressed as a ninja, or having a luncheon in a cardboard box. Suggestions like these have become very important to me.