You get a nanny? No fair.

The title of this article is a little misleading and really – it’s just intended to make you click over to read it 🙂 Now and again I’m tricky that way. You can blame my college English professor who told us to utilize titles to get reads.

No one has told me that our getting a nanny is unfair, however, I’ve gotten a great deal of, “Really? Wow. How nice. I wish I could get one, too. How lucky you are.”

This made me ponder a little…

I thought back over the years and over what it’s taken for us to get to this point. Allow me to spill my guts a little. The story goes something like this…

My husband has been in business since 1987. I started my Personal Child Stories (PCS) business in 2007 and bought Mommy Perks in early 2009. When I began PCS, I was pregnant with my second child, I was working in a Preschool and attending college at night and on the weekends. We lived on campus at the school because the rent was cheap and allowed us to save up some money to buy a home.

Fast forward…we moved to a tiny town in the woods (Friendly people – yay! Skunks – not so yay!). We decided to toss another kid into the ring and by this time, I was running two business from home, my husband was running one and I had put my Elementary Education degree on hold. Our businesses began to grow and we needed help.

We were able to hire a full time sitter because my mother-in-law left us some money. We wanted this gal to save up enough cash so that she could leave town and go to school. That’s what she did! When we lost her, we struggled for two years to find another sitter. We landed one that we thought was perfect. Sadly, her overbearing male companion talked her into quitting.

For the next few months we struggled to find a sitter again. Our long lost beloved sitter returned from school to watch our kids for just a few weeks…then GONE. To get married. In and out of part time sitters, we’ve had a hard time staying focused, getting our work done and following through with jobs in a timely manner. We love our kids, though, and want them around so one day I told my husband, “There’s really only one way to fix this. We have to find a live-in nanny and figure out how to pay for that. Otherwise, we’ll need to sell one of the businesses.”

My entire family got super ill back in February and while they were all down and out, I made it my business to go Online and search for nannies.

I signed up at a nanny site in order to view resumes, bio’s and so on. As I searched, I saw one bio after the next with lines from Mary Poppins and sweet as sugar quotes about how amazing and wonderful children are.

I’m not delusional. I know how hard kids can be. I was a nanny for over 16 years for children ages birth-13. I now have three loud and independent children of my own. It is in NO WAY a frig’n bowl full of sugar to raise kids. People sometimes ask me, “Is it hard being a parent?” And I reply, “Only if you’re do’n it right.” It’s tough. It’s tiring. It’s hilarious and belly-laugh, split-your-pants funny but yeah – it’s dang hard.

I didn’t want a Mary Poppins nanny. I wanted someone realistic. I stumbled upon one bio that had just one line: “Finishing my degree in child development.” Ah, hah. Child Development! Perhaps she understands kids and how their little minds work! Maybe she knows how tough this is and wants to live with a family to learn more, before teaching?

I emailed her and she emailed back. From there, we began to chat and agreed to Skype. I told her that some folks view kids as just too stressful…I wanted to know how she felt about that. She said, “They are stressful. Everything in life can be stressful. You just have to find ways to deal with it.”

Sweet. Frig’n. Reality.

My husband and I work hard for the income we make. We are not wealthy. So having a nanny come here is by no means a non-sacrificial choice. We’ve made the decision, though, that having a nanny and keeping our businesses is worth the trade-offs.

For instance:

We have just one car. We share it. Sometimes that means one of us has to walk somewhere – but that’s okay. My rear end is only being helped by the walking time.

I had my friend Becky hack 12 inches from my head so that I could donate my hair to make a wig for a child with cancer. That was the last time I cut my hair: November of 2010.

I haven’t had my nails done since…oh…my sister’s wedding. She is about ready to welcome her 4th child so it’s safe to say it’s been quite some time.

I had a pedicure once. It was back when the local college was offering them for 50 cents – so the girls could train.

We rarely shop for new clothing unless it’s on clearance (my mom taught me to do this). Even if we really like something expensive we think, “Is that something we need? Or do we need that money for something more important like buying shoes for a kid in town or helping to sponsor a child at the school?”

When I do have extra money, I oftentimes spend it at my client’s websites, buying from them. It makes them feel good and I get wonderful, educational or useful products for my kids. Supporting small businesses also helps the economy so…yay!

I love to make games and toys for my kids from recycled products and I buy things from yard sales and thrift stores – so that our money lasts longer and we’ll have enough left over for a trip to get ice cream or dinner out. Or…to buy something for one of the kids we Mentor here in town.

Rather than spend money to get myself nice new shoes or a new handbag, my kids get books and puzzles, games and crafts. We have over 2,000 books in our home right now. My jeans have holes in the tooshie area but I just wear a long shirt to cover that up 🙂 My husband has holes in his jeans, too, so I guess it’s fine. Our hole-filled jeans can be BFF’s.

I don’t even own a credit card any more. I don’t charge anything and have to pay cash to buy my business supplies – which means I must budget pretty wisely.

We don’t take fancy holidays as a family – we usually utilize my sister’s time share, if anything, as the rates are low and the vacation spots are fabulous. We don’t even have to leave the state. I traveled a lot as a kid and some day we’ll travel again. For now, though, I’m content with in-state trips or staycations at the local hotel.

We are not poor but we do have to be thrifty in order to use our money as wanted, in the ways we feel are most beneficial to our kids and our community and clients.

So you see – when people tell me that we are “lucky” to be getting a live-in nanny, I want to reply: “This has nothing to do with luck. This has to do with hard work, perseverance and sacrifice. We are paying her what we could be spending on all kinds of other things…but don’t.”

Our businesses/clients mean a lot to us and so do our kids. We run our businesses from home so that we can be near our children and help them grow up, play with them, dance with them, sing with them, make crafts, teach them to eat healthy foods and teach them to be kind.

My regular readers know how anti-entitlement I can be. I’m a bit of a nut case when it comes to that word. It makes me cringe and a small amount of vomit comes up into my mouth when I think about how entitled people are these days. It’s different when you’ve worked for it, though. It’s different when you’ve earned it. When you’ve made choices and sacrifices in order to get the things your time and hard work have paid for, it’s empowering.

So I’m happy to say now that we’ve earned this. No luck about it. Just hard work.

And now…I’m off to get ready. The nanny arrives in less than 8 hours and it’s a 2 hour drive to airport! {I’m already planning away about what more I can do to promote my clients…now that I’ll have time to really focus! Whoo Hoo!}

Signing off for now. Over and out.

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