What do you do when you decide to stop nannying? We’ve asked 3 nannies to tell us what they did next.
I spent 11 years working as a Norland Nanny for several families in the U.K. and abroad, enjoying all the perks that come with nannying and travelling extensively around the world. What a lucky nanny I was! So why would I leave such an awesome job? I decided I wanted to do more. I wanted to make a difference and help those most in need so I decided to train as a Paediatric Nurse. It certainly wasn’t a ‘safe bet ‘: the pay is low and the hours are long, with ever-increasing pressures on the NHS. But it was the right decision for me. Whilst training I did surgical care, oncology, haematology and general paediatrics but I found my home specialising in Neonatal Intensive Care. I love supporting parents with premature or sick babies and seeing the babies go from strength to strength and eventually go home.
Giving up nannying was a tough decision as it meant leaving a job I loved and a family who were dear to my heart but for several years I had felt a desire to challenge myself whilst making a difference. I had started volunteering with TAMBA, the twins and multiple births association, supporting families with twins, triplets and quads who were in crisis. This was tough initially, meeting families with so little and who were unable to afford basic supplies. However, it was one of the best decisions I made as it opened my eyes to the realities faced by some families, and empowered me to believe we can all do something to help. Now I go by the name nannyoutnumbered on my Instagram page and have ignited my passion for all things multiple. I am lucky enough to be able to continue working with multiples whilst I work full-time as a Registered Paediatric Nurse on NICU. I will always be a Norland Nanny – it’s in my blood – but I am now also a Nurse.
After finishing Norland I took up a temporary role in south west London with two children aged 5 and 7. What started as a 2 month position ended up lasting 2 years. I really enjoyed living in when I first moved to London as it gave me a safe base and was also in an area surrounded by other Norlanders. A year in to the job I met my future husband and we decided to move in together which meant finding a live out job. This felt like a scary step! Norland prepare you so well for a job hunt that it can be a bit intimidating doing it on your own. After a few interviews and 2 weeks in a position that wasn’t right I finally found my dream job, on Gumtree (don’t tell Norland). The job was advertised as caring for a 2 and 4 year old, but it became very apparent at the interview that there was another on the way. This was another scary moment as a self confessed babyphobe. The family, however, were so perfect that I took the job on. My best advice to anyone taking on a position would be that it doesn’t matter where the family live, what the perks are, how many children etc. The most important thing in a job is the parents and the relationship you have with them.
I could waffle on about this dream job forever! I was lucky enough to spend 3 years watching the children grow and being involved in the family life. Flexibility worked both ways and this allowed the relationship to become stronger.
Getting married made me reassess what I wanted to do career wise and I realised that although I love being a nanny I wanted to have more career progression. I’d always pledged not to go into teaching, as a child if two teachers, but it allowed me to use the skills I had acquired as a nanny and feel like I was progressing professionally. The timing worked out with my family as they were moving out of London. I didn’t think I could do another nanny job as I would always be comparing it to that one.
I started a SCITT course in September 2016. This is where you train on the job and have one day out at uni each week. I now have my own Reception class in Newham. Training at Norland has been hugely beneficial with teaching as we do so many placements in schools. However, I can not stop my nanny nature and I now treat all the children like my own charges. I can’t seem to let this go even when they move up to Year 1 so I’m currently at 60 charges!
I was a live in nanny for 3 children for about 25 years. I am still very much part of their lives now even though they are 20, 25, and 30. When I left them I became a residential matron in a boarding school looking after 58 teenage boys aged 13-18.
As their matron, I make sure they are clean, tidy, have respect for other people living in the same house as them. You become a mother figure, I am there if the need a chat or just a moan and it often helps that I have an endless supply of biscuits! It’s great fun. Although getting them all to have clean rooms can be a challenge. It’s quite like being a nanny just with lots more children, that in my case are all boys.
I changed from being a nanny to a matron when all the kids I looked after grew up! I became a matron at the same school that two of my old charges went to. I felt going into a new nanny role would never be the same.
The best part of my chosen career now is watching 12 year old boys start with us at 13, a little frightened, and leaving us confident young men to go off to university or jobs and knowing I have played a role in getting them thus far in their life.