As a nanny, when you find the right family it just works – and it had done for almost 8 years, until one day, last year, I got the heartbreaking news that my family would be emigrating. Today I thought it was a great point for discussion over on pocketnannies.
Never a truer word has been spoken than this lovely quote from Winnie the Pooh.
Leaving any job will always be hard – but having to say goodbye to a nanny family is incredibly hard. Whether you’ve been in a position for 2 years, 6 years or even more, it’s always going to be difficult due to the attachments you form with children, the unconditional love children give you, and the sheer amount of time that you spend with these children.
If you’re anything like me you’ll think of the worst case scenarios. For me it was being left with a pile of school uniforms, minus the children. And the worry of standing outside, alone, waving everyone off. There were other scenarios too. It’s heart breaking, but I think we prepare ourselves for the worst – almost to protect ourselves.
I found myself bursting into tears at random points, just thinking about the last time we might do something, or the laughter I would miss. People may ask you questions, why? what are you going to do next? And you’ll just have to deal with those questions. It will get easier I promise.
I will never ever forget those 3 precious children, but what I will learn is to be patient with myself – to understand that it is okay to cry, and those tears will need to come.
My top tips for dealing with this sort of departure:
- Make sure you hug them harder, and cherish every moment with them. I found myself relaxing the rules slightly, enjoying a few more treats together, for example.
- Let your emotions out, it is an extremely difficult time, and I think it’s important for children to understand that, and also that we can’t always bottle our feelings up.
- Talk about life in their new country positively, become involved in their next adventure and talk about it where possible.
- Find something to do – some sort of therapy so to speak. For me it was creating a lovely photo book of memories felt like therapy to me. It made me cry as I was writing it and looking back at he lovely photos, but it definitely helped.
- Make sure you have someone at home that evening, a shoulder to cry on, somebody to share a glass of wine with, trust me you’ll need a hug!
- Get someone to take photos of you and your ‘charges’ – you will treasure them and the memories most.
- Give yourself some “me time”. Take a break. I had decent break before I started working again, and I 100% recommend taking as long as you possibly can. You will need to recover. Letting go of a family is exhausting and you will need some time to yourself.
- Think carefully about what you want from your next position, it will always be a hard act to follow, but you should take extra time to consider your next role.
- And of course, it goes without saying – keep in contact. 🙂
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”