Posts Tagged ‘family assistant’

We’re Ecstatic To Have You

October 3, 2014

That’s good.

Because today kicked my ass.

I realized when I was riding my bicycle home that the difference was that I did the pick up from school today of the older boy while the younger accompanied the mom to a doctor’s appointment.

The hour to 45 minutes of time that I have had the last couple of days with the little guy while the mom picks up the big brother are super vital minutes in my daily schedule of staying on top of all the things.

Man.

All the things is a freaking lot.

“We are afraid we are pushing you too hard,” the mom said tonight as I was leaving.

Oh shit.

I can’t keep up.

I am not a 29-year-old.

They are going to let me go.

“We don’t want to push you into leaving,” the mom continued.

Oh.

Well.

Fantastic.

“What can we do, I know the double stroller is horrible and we can get a new one to make your life easier,” the mom continued.

Yeah.

That.

The stroller does suck balls.

The family probably paid a pretty penny for it too, strollers are not cheap, especially double strollers.  Even the crappy ones are expensive, unless you are shopping for a double doll stroller at the dollar store on Mission Street.

But their’s is terrible.

I joked with the outgoing nanny that I now knew her secret to top fitness, it’s pushing that stroller around town.

It’s problem is lack of maneuverability, plus the bar is a little too low for a taller gal like me, I can push it in a straight line, but turn a corner, it’s heavy and cumbersome.

So yeah.

New stroller is definitely in the future.

Thank you!

I am also trying to be so on top of everything that I probably look a wee bit frazzled.

When I acknowledge what I did today I have to say, I did a lot, even though I did not get it all done, there were dishes that needed to be put away and laundry that did not get folded, but.

I went to the corner market and picked up food staples for the house, made a big salad for the parents, made sautéed garlic mushrooms for dinner, prepped after school snacks–sunbutter on crackers, strawberries, and peeled clementines, prepped milk, ran the dishwasher, steamed a head of cauliflower, went to pick up the eldest from school while mom ran the youngest to the doctor’s appointment, took him to BiRite for a treat ice cream cone the mom had sanctioned, went to Dolores park to watch the construction while he ate the cone, then to Mission Pool and Playground, a trip to the Pirate Store to look at the aquarium and to dig through the hidden treasures in the store, then back to the house, played in the garage, washed out the stroller, put away half the dishes from the dishwasher, did a load of boy laundry, then took both the boys to the Farmers Market and came back with loads of food–including a roasted chicken for dinner, fed them dinner, washed fruit for the week, ran the baths, played pirates, administered meds, transferred in to pajamas, built a blanket fort, and tried to catch my breath in between it all.

Let me not forget adventures in brushing teeth, potty training, tantrum negotiating (really your toes are super cute, but not on the table please while eating dinner), reading of many, many, many stories, and changing of diapers.

It is a job.

It is a job I like.

It is a job that is kicking my butt.

But.

“We know this is a lot and we’re ecstatic to have you and want to do whatever we can to make this easier,” said the mom, “really, let us know if we need to pull back on certain things.”

And yeah, there is probably a need for that.

But I think it also has to come from me.

I cannot rush myself trying to get it all done.

I do a poor job then and I am frantic, which is not how I want to be at work.

So, I just have to acknowledge, I can do as much as I can do and if it doesn’t all get done, that’s ok.

It is not indicative of me being a bad nanny, in fact, quite the opposite, it’s indicative of me being proactive with the boys and putting their needs first while I am working there.

I want to keep things as tidy as I can, but sometimes the mess is just going to get ahead of me.

I will keep up on the laundry and garbage and diaper pail, the loading and unloading of the dishwasher, and the breakfast, lunch, dinner food prep,  the compost and the recycling to the best of my abilities.

But first and foremost I am a nanny, so the boys come first.

I want to do it all.

And maybe.

Some days I can do it all.

But I can’t expect myself to always be able to nail it.

I can see that I am doing the best I can and the parents are aware of it.  I was afraid that the mom would be upset with me not being quite as on top of things, despite the many things I did do today, like holding a little boy for over an hour in my lap and reading him stories before nap time because he’s been under the weather.

Just that.

I am worth my pay.

And I am grateful that it is noticed.

I really do want to be the best nanny ever, ever, ever.

And the desire for perfection can bite me in the butt.

I am allowed to ask for a little down time, for a break, for a minute to sit, eat lunch, catch my breath.  I am aware that the parents know this too.

I just need to communicate and not be afraid to talk.

They want to engage with me and help me do the best I can too.

I really get that this is a team effort for them and I am already considered a valuable part of the team.

I am also super glad that tomorrow is Friday.

Whew.

And I get my first paycheck!

Yay.

I also get solid, almost drunk with it sleep, the deep kind of sleep, wherein you have worked your butt the hell off and you fall out like nothing doing when your head hits the pillow.

Like that.

 

But Mom!

September 27, 2014

I don’t want to go to school today.

Hack!

Hack!

Cough.

Sniffle.

Sneeze.

I actually do want to go to school tomorrow but I don’t at all either.

I will be getting up a half hour earlier than I have all week-long to go to an open house at the school I am looking into for graduate work next year–the application for the fall semester 2015 opens November, that’s just a couple of months away.

And the open house was heavily recommended by the admissions officer I spoke with on the phone just prior to leaving for New York.

September is turning into quite the month for me.

Ending a job.

Beginning a job.

Burning Man.

New York.

Graduate school investigation.

“Honey, why don’t you take it easy for a day or two, sit back, put up your heels, relax, this new job is taking it out of you,” he said to me on the phone earlier when I checked in.

In between the end of the work day, grocery shopping, and doing the deal at Our Lady of Safeway, I made a phone call to get some perspective and clarity.

Mostly, I think, I just really needed to check in with a human voice that was not one that I work for.

Not that I don’t like my new job.

I do.

I really do.

It’s just been a big, full, overwhelming at times, transition.

I had my first day all on my own and it was great.

Full.

Busy.

I never really had down time.

But I did have time to find things and make things and help the mom prep for the weekend, run to the store, food prep, cleaned out the fridge from the week, recycled, took out the garbage, did the compost, took out the diaper pail, cleaned the kitchen from breakfast, put away the dishes in the dishwasher, took a walk with the youngest boy in the morning when I first came on, negotiated lunch time with him, read stories, put him down for naps, organized the bedroom, the nursery, and rearranged the books in the older boys room.

And that was before I had my own lunch.

I was just sitting down to eat my lunch when the little guy squeaked.

Oh shit.

Then I remembered the other nanny had said that he often would do that, sit up, babbble a little bit, then re-settle himself and sometimes sleep for another half hour or more.

Yes.

I was able to eat my lunch and navigate through my calendar and make some notes about the boys schedule and my schedule in the next few weeks–I’ll be helping some extra hours next week and also the week after–one will be in regards to the eldest boy having a school holiday for two days and the other is a work trip function for the dad.

Then it was time for the nap to be over and the snack to be had and the milk and a snuggle with grandma and grandpa.

Then mom was home and the oldest was back from school and we had an outing to the park and to the book store with the grandparents.

After that I went with the family to Sugoi Sushi on Valencia and had an amazing meal en famille.

Watching a two-year old eat sushi rice is an incredibly messy and entertaining time.

I also felt very much a part of the family and needed and wanted and that was great.

At times the boys have done some push back in regards to certain things, behavior at the playground, some playful testing of my boundaries, but really they seem to be adjusting super well to me and I to them.

That’s not to say that there were a few moments when I was exhausted and wondered, will I be able to make it the year.

And it’s just the first week, which means, it gets easier, I will establish routines and systems and I will navigate my way through.

When we got back to the house the mom wrote me a check, my bonus, for $300 to help me transition until next week when I get paid from the accounting firm they use.

I am so grateful to be working for people who appreciate and care for me and support me as I support them.

I feel really lucky.

“They are lucky to have you,” he told me point-blank.  “Really lucky, don’t forget that.”

I won’t.

But I am grateful too, to have this opportunity that seems to be working really well for me to pursue a graduate school goal as well.

So.

Despite not wanting to get up early tomorrow, my first day off from a full and busy week, the alarm is already set for 7:30 a.m.

And I will get up and shower and get my breakfast on and go.

The one thing I may decide to do differently is not take my bicycle.

It will mean that I have to be on MUNI much longer than my bicycle ride would be, but I think the ankle needs a break.

I had to take some ibuprofen pretty much as soon as I walked in the door and I have been icing it the entire time I have been blogging.

It is doubtful that I can take the entire weekend off from my bicycle, but I can take tomorrow off.

Sunday will be my day of rest.

I have nothing planned.

Just grocery shopping and making food for the week, which is a chore, but one that is quite helpful in making my week smooth and easy.  I’ll probably stay out here in the Sunset the entire day and just market and cook and read magazines.

That’s the plan for the weekend.

It always feels like a lot of work, and when I acknowledge it, it is.  I worked a new job for 40 plus hours this week, rode my bicycle back and forth to work every day for the first time since I injured my ankle (13-15 miles every day), went to do the deal every night, wrote morning pages every morning, and blogged every night.

No wonder I am tired.

I suppose I best get used to it.

That’s what I hear graduate school is all about.

More work.

And that’s cool.

I would rather work it out than not.

I’ll see you on campus soon!

Whoa Boy

September 24, 2014

It’s about to be a party up in this nanny gig.

Tomorrow the grandparents are coming into town for a six-day trip to visit the boys and mom and dad and the new nanny and the old nanny and the dog.

Oof.

It’s going to be a lot of adult navigation of space on top of two little monkeys.

And the are capricious little things.

Bath time literally had me in a sweat.

Juggling a two-year old boy and a four-year old boy into and out of a bath is no small feat, and then into pajamas, and then ready for story time and snuggle with mom and dad time.

I realized about half way between juggling one little guy and the other, potty training, the older boy also taking care of business, that I had forgotten the towels for the boys and not gotten the pajamas either.

I had been busy herding the cats up the stairs after dinner, dishes, kitchen clean up, and a mellow wind down moment on the couch with two new books from the library at 24th and Bartlett.

The day went by quickly.

It was pretty non-stop go from the minute I walked in.

Which is good, but just a little exhausting at the moment.

Day two.

No whimper.

Lots of BANG!

The boys have a great routine and routine is what saves a nanny behind every time.

It’s also a task keeping to that routine when you are fresh to the scene.

The out going nanny has been absolutely fabulous helping me adjust and there’s no awkwardness at all between us, which has been helpful.

There’s been a moment or two when I have felt odd asking the mom a question, but had no qualms asking the other nanny.

“Camera’s?” I asked yesterday as we walked to the park.

She nodded, “yeah, I’m pretty certain there are, I could even show you where I think they are.”

Nah.

I’m good.

I act like I’m on camera anyway most of the time.

I have been in so many households now with nanny cam or a drop cam or some sort of surveillance that I just assume it’s there.  However, it is nice to know.  The last place I worked in Cole Valley had camera’s right out in the open.

I will never forget the weekend I was cat sitting for them and I was watching a movie and had riotous gas and was letting them fly, I mean, no body was around, the cats didn’t care, and as I shifted on the couch, I heard the camera shifting with me.

Scared the crap out of me.

Well, thankfully, not really.

But I did swear.

I was not at my best, had relapsed for three weeks into some really negative food behaviour and the reason I had gas was I had just eaten a box, yes, an entire box, of cereal, with milk, and was at that time also consuming a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

I am lactose intolerant.

Not a huge amount, I can eat dairy, but it, well, makes me gassy.

Let me tell you about mortification.

They had seen the entire thing.

Not me at my finest I can say with complete candor.

So, I am used to being on camera, still it’s a nice thing to know and I don’t have any plans on testing whether or not they are actively engaged in watching me or not.

I suspect I already have been closely observed, and that’s fine.

I’m with two new boys and despite my squeaky clean record and my many years as a nanny, sometimes it takes a family a few days to trust.

Mom and dad do a lot of work from home, it seems doubtful that I will have much away time from the parents, they have a big home office right off the kitchen and they will be very much a part of my day.

My very, very, very busy day.

“Yeah, I was a little resentful at first when I started with them, I was taken aback at the amount of work, I think they should rename the job and be a little more accurate about it,” the other nanny said today in the kitchen as we were preparing food for the day while the youngest was napping and the oldest was still in school.

“Mother’s assistant,” she said, rolling out a pizza crust on the counter top, “is probably more appropriate, don’t get me wrong though, I love them, they are a great family to work for.”

The job is definitely above and beyond the nanny experience I have had, much more marketing, errands, household running, organizing, and cooking than I have experienced.

Household assistant for certain.

That being said I feel like it’s a great fit for me.

I am organized and capable and despite being a little overwhelmed, let me remind myself it is only day two of the position, I feel ready to take it on and grow with it.

I am also hoping to grow with it as the youngest boy enters into pre-school next year.

The family is still going to need help, but not as much as what it does now.

This seems to be the perfect fit for the imminent heading off to graduate school.

“There’s an open house this weekend!” An acquaintance said that I had not seen in years said to me this evening after work; turns out she is in a program there as well.  “You should come.”

“I am, I RSVP’d last week, I’ll be there.”

“Yeah, and don’t do the PsyD, it’s too long for what you want, do the Intensive program, get your MFT, and then you won’t have to spend a quarter of a million dollars to get your degree.”

Good fucking point.

I’ll still be laying out a pretty penny, probably around $50,000, but it’s certainly a bit less than $250,000.

Besides.

Should I decide later on that I want the PsyD, I can go back to it.

But first get the MFT and transition, perhaps with this family, it seems like a good fit, from nanny to therapist.

It’s still going to be a couple, three years.

But it’s going to happen.

One sweet little day at a time.

But it will.

I just have to show up for it.

And get a really good nights sleep tonight.

There’s going to be a slew of people there tomorrow.

I got to gird up my nanny pants.

I’m going in.

Easing In

September 23, 2014

Day one down!

Whew.

I can relax now.

Bahahaha.

Oh shit.

It’s a new job, new family, new routine.

New dog!

Awesome dog though, it’s nice working in a home with an animal, especially an animal that is all about giving me the kisses when she sees me.

Plus, there’s the added plus of an in home vacuum cleaner.

After lunch this afternoon I was looking about for a dust buster or broom and dust pan and the outgoing nanny said, “oh don’t worry about it, the dog will eat it up.”

Ok then.

I will probably worry about it anyway.

That is my nature.

I worry about getting the schedule right, the food right, the laundry right, where’s the light switch, how do I turn this on or off, where does this, that, the other go.

And I have to take a breath and pause and relax and now that, hey lady, it’s like your first day, chill.

It went really well too.

The boys like me and I quite adore them.

They are two and four.

And perfect and boy and all things digging, pointing, throwing, garbage truck, fire truck, bang, clang, sand, bugs, dirt, “nature,” and snuggly and read books and hugs and good smells and adorable.

The youngest already clambers right into my arms and languishes there like a little man adrift on an island of words, “read more, read this, next book, read, please.”

Yes sir.

God.

I love kids that love books.

The family is fortunate to be in a neighborhood that has a good library and also a used book store with a decent, albeit small, children’s section.  I foresee many trips to the library.

There is so much to do in the neighborhood and I am so grateful I know the neighborhood.

I am back in the Mission.

And the commute, yes, it’s long, but it’s not too bad.

I did it today in 40 minutes.

I gave myself nearly an hour to do the ride.

I left wanting to be mellow, get there in a timely fashion, have time to wipe the sweat from my brow, not push myself or wrench on my ankle, to gather myself and go in relaxed and easy.

I was leaving a phone message and doing a check in when I saw the mom come out of the house and walk down to the garage to play with the littlest boy in front of the house.

He was dressed in a firefighters outfit, I was, of course, won over in an instant.

I joke that I like nannying so that I can dress up my charges.

There is something deep and satisfying about it, maybe because I did not play dress up much as a child and certainly did not have costumes at Halloween.

One year, sixth grade (fyi sure way to be marked a pariah in your school) I dressed up as a homeless woman with a hunchback.

I thought I was being really clever with my costume.

I did not realize how sad it was and of course my mom didn’t have the spare cash to outfit me, I just put together what I thought would make a great bag lady and smudged dirt on my face to complete the look.

Maybe it was mascara, I’m not actually sure, but as I was already treading on ostracized waters, this costume was sure to sink my ship.

Lucky for me I am a smart kid and figured out right away when I got to school and saw the costumes the other kids were wearing that what I had on was not the Halloween costume of choice, EVER, I went to the bathroom, got rid of the hunch, wiped my face off, straightened out my clothes, ditched the bag (I think I actually had a brown paper bag with crumpled up newspapers in it) and re-emerged as myself.

“Where’s your costume?”

“I forgot.”

Yeah.

So, perhaps I like dressing up the kids I work with to compensate for that lack of childhood acceptance that I wanted to have, I can see that; you know insight, perspective, etc, etc.

The family I am working for has the cute costumes on lock down.

Which is awesome.

I will definitely be dressing up for Halloween with them.

I will also be doing a lot of household assisting.

Which I rather enjoy.

It makes the day go by faster and gives me extra stuff to organize and prep and do.

Grocery shopping, picking up cleaning, doing the boys laundry, sorting and rotating toys, preparing food, cooking, for both the boys and doing some food prep for the parents.

I love going to the market and I adore cooking, so combine the two and I am happy as a clam to assist.

The oldest boy is in school from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or thereabouts, I don’t actually know that exact time, what I do know is that I don’t start until after he’s already at school. Which makes the cooking and market running and errands doable.  I will come in and only have the youngest boy until about 2:45 p.m. then either the mom or I will pick up the older at school and I will have them both through dinner and on until bath time.

My schedule will be Monday 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. then Tuesday-Friday 10:30a.m. until 6:30p.m.  I get paid, and taxed oh yes, the tax forms have all been filled out, once a week, direct deposit, for 40 hours a week.

The family wants 45 to 50 hours and I will start out with 41 hours a week and see what else I can work into.  Any hours over 40 and I am paid cash.  Knowing me I will definitely work the 45 and possibly on occasion 50 hours, but I told the mom nothing over 50 hours.

I am just not a good nanny when I work that many hours.

I am excited to work for them and get to know the boys and to be back in the Mission.

I wish I was living in the Mission too, man would that be a huge help, but I don’t know that I could find the set up that I have here in the Mission.

The other nanny lives with her boyfriend in Noe Valley in a 800 square foot apartment, they pay $3,000 a month.

Uh.

No.

I’m fine right where I am.

And the bicycle commute will be my gym membership.

It means an hour and a half commute on my bike daily, but it’s a great work out and as I was zipping through the park on my way home this evening with the delicious smell of woods and evergreen needles in my nose, the stars over head and the wet smell of fresh-cut grass, I thought, yeah, I can do this.

At least for today.

Day one new family.

Success!

 

 


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