Discussion |Nanny to Mummy

At pocketnannies we all love our jobs as nannies. But we are all yet to experience what it will be like when we are lucky enough to become mummies. We asked four lovely nannies what it has been like transitioning into being wonderful mummies; the differences, the good and tricky bits and whether they have returned to work.

We absolutely love their responces, all giving such an insight to what life looks like after you’ve taken that big step!

Rebecca

Firstly we spoke to Rebecca, a nanny of four years and a nursery nurse for four years previously in Cambridge and mummy to a gorgeous 16month old boy. Here is what she had to say about her experience.

I have found that there are so many differences between looking after someone else’s children and looking after my own, but I think the main difference is the huge amount of love you have for your own child, which naturally, you will never have for someone else’s. Sometimes I have to step back and think what would I do in this situation if I was nannying in order to think rationally, but likewise the way you act towards someone you truly love is usually something you do by instinct and sometimes you just have to follow your mummy heart and instincts! It’s a tricky balance to get right!
I think generally having a few years of experience, knowing how children think and work can just be a bonus when it comes to looking after my own. For example if your child has decided they don’t want to eat their dinner that day, I have learnt that the more you push, the more they fight against it. Making a big deal out of small things often creates a bigger problem and a tricky phase that will last longer. Children really do go through ‘phases’ and they really do pass. I have learnt that keeping calm and not providing them with dramatic reactions often leads to children moving on quickly and getting on with the day happily or whatever task is in hand! I think this is something you figure out when you have been around children for a while and I definitely use this rule with my own.
I think naturally I had expectations of myself as a mummy, I know what to do as a nanny, so I should know what to do as mummy, surely? But the reality is no, being a mummy is a whole different ball game and I’m learning not to be so hard on myself.
I have been very lucky to have had a lovely long time out of work since having my little one, but I am now on the search for a new part time position to get back into work and I’m really hoping to find a position suitable for me to bring him along with me.
For me the best thing about being a nanny is being that secure and caring adult figure for children when their parents can’t be. It’s a huge privilege to have people trust you to care for their most precious loved ones!
It’s really hard to choose just one best thing in particular about being a mummy! I absolutely love watching my son learning new things, exploring the huge world around him and taking everything in his stride. He teaches me so much and I think to be so proud of your own little one and to love them so, so much is really the best feeling! The sleep deprivation is definitely worth it!

Hannah

After nannying for twelve years and working in a nursery for two years before that, Hannah is now the proud mummy to eight month old Louis.

I don’t feel like there’s too much of a difference in the level of care as such when being a nanny or mummy but I’m more relaxed at home. Louis has a very good routine, but I’m a bit more flexible. For example I’ll let him sleep a bit longer/later in the afternoon if I’m feeling tired or need to finish getting things done around the house, as it’s down to me if he isn’t tired at bedtime. When I’m at work it’s important for me to follow the routine more closely and to be more organised so when the parents come home the house is tidy, the children are fed, happy and ready for some quality time with their parents before being tired for bed.
I have learnt so much throughout my years as a nanny. Before having a baby I had an idea about how I would bring up a child of my own and despite lots of people telling me it’s completely different when having your own children I’m proud to say I have stuck quite closely to my principles. Most of what I know as a parent came from my nanny experience. From the start I knew I wanted to get Louis into a routine. Over the years I have seen how important a good routine is, how children thrive and are happy when in one. This is no different with having my own child. Admittedly I was a bit obsessed with the idea of a routine over the first few weeks but it all worked out really well in the end. To start with I got Louis into a really good bedtime routine from a few weeks old, and I worked hard on that. As a nanny you get to hand the children back at the end of the day and have an evening. It’s so important for me to be able to wind down properly at the end of the day, have dinner and spend time with my husband. So I wanted this to continue when I had my own children.
Weaning was so much easier having done it before and having tried and tested lots of different baby products and equipment I had a good idea about what I needed to buy and what was gimmicky or not useful.
The first few days I found it really hard to believe I had my own baby. I remember looking at him and thinking “you’re actually mine”.
Before I had him I thought I would really struggle with how different my life would be and how my time wouldn’t be my own anymore. Even though I’m tired in the morning, I’m excited to get up and go into see Louis and get him out of bed for a cuddle!
I went back to work when Louis was 6 months. I now work two days a week 7:30-6pm and I take Louis with me. I care for a 17 month old, a 5 year old and 6 your old. I’ve been with the family for 6 years and I’m very close to them. With four children it’s really busy so sometimes I’m lucky and Louis’ grandparents are able to have him meaning I can really focus on my ‘work’ children and spend some quality time giving them 100% of me! Louis does love seeing them all and they also love him, but I do really enjoy spending time with them when he’s not there.
For me being a nanny is a very rewarding job. Being part of a family and watching the children grow up knowing you have had a huge influence on their development and personalities.
The best thing about being a mummy? Same things as being a being a nanny really, except the love you feel and get back is so much stronger.

Lucy

Lucy has been a nanny for over 17 years, before having her beautiful daughter a year ago. Surely, with all those years under her belt, being a mummy was easy peasy!?

Becoming a mummy you suddenly realise you get to do it all your own way. I’ve always had a “nannying style” but it has to conform to the different families you’re working for. With your own child you can do it all your own way and not answer to anyone! It’s actually quite daunting and I felt a massive weight of responsibility!
A lot of my nanny training went out the window in the first few months and I literally had to do whatever it took to get us both through the day in one piece! But once things settled down and I started getting decent amounts of sleep again, my training kicked in and I used all my knowledge and experience to help grow my little person!
The sleep deprivation and the surge of hormones in the first few months is something no one can prepare you for. I felt immense pressure to be a perfect mum after all my years of experience but I quickly learned there is no such thing as perfection! I should add that the pressure wasn’t from people around me, it was just from myself!
I went back to work 3 months ago and my daughter comes with me. I look after a little boy who is 14 months older than her.
My favourite thing about being a nanny is I have always loved the special, close relationships I’ve built with my charges and their parents. Getting to play a part in the raising of a child is an amazing thing!
But being a mummy – you can’t describe it. The love I feel for this little person is immense. She’s funny, cheeky and very loving. But the best part is that she’s all mine! I don’t have to give her back at 7pm everyday!

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Victoria

Victoria nannied for 11 years before becomming a mummy to Oliver, who is 2 years old and expecting baby number two.

Being a mum really is quite different to being a nanny. With my own child he will try to push the boundaries more, the bond is so much stronger and I’m more likely to give in to him as I’m with him 24hours a day; I can now see where parents can easily make the wrong choices for an easy life. When I’m at work all the children are treated the same and I find the children I look after tend to listen better and Oliver tends to eat better etc but at home he can be a monkey and try to demand different foods.
It can be very overwhelming when you have your own and it’s very easy to be tough on yourself, especially when trying something like controlled crying. When you were a nanny you could succeed in this or get the baby in a routine, know not give in at mealtimes, sticking to a rough routine, being flexibile and having a firm but fair approach to manners and discipline all help but it is tougher as a parent.
I have gone back to work and I take Oliver with me. I look after another two year old and a four year old. It’s great as Oliver always has a playmate and he is really great friends with the children I look after. I’m now expecting my second baby and Oliver will really miss his friends but I won’t go back to work with 2 children, I may look into doing something else
My best bit about being a nanny is that we can plan our days with fun activities, watch children grow and develop and it’s been great taking Oliver to work with me as I’m not torn between work or staying at home with my child, we get the best of both worlds. Also working makes me think about doing more activities with the children and classes which I may not do if I wasn’t working.
My favourite thing about being a mummy is having a little mini me who loves to copy me always wants a cuddle with mummy and see him grow and develop over the years and his own little personality coming out with a mixture of me and my husband.

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© pocketnannies 2016

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