Nanny life is not as present here in Western Australia, (or I was just living under a rock?) and what was I going to do about putting us on the map?
PSA: One from WA in whom has never been to Sydney on their own should probably take this into account when attempting to tackle the CBD on a Saturday evening by themselves. One word: Woah.
Being a Nanny can be a pretty isolating job at times. It’s easy to forget that there are other people in this world who also have this enormously important career as I sing ‘The Grand ‘Ol Duke of York’ in pure darkness for the 98th time. I love having a place to vent on the days where my charges act like they have become the spawn of Satan overnight. (Just kidding, they’re perfect all the time. Kinda.)
So, I guess that’s enough about why I’m here and it’s time to move on to what I do. I’ve been asked by the Australian Nanny Association to give you a bit of an insight into the life of a Perth Nanny. So here we go!Disclaimer: I woke up Monday morning and decided that it was go-time to take notes, free from fabrication or embellishment. I am unsure whether to regret my decision or not. 7am: I am up at at ’em. Sort of. I may or may not have snoozed my alarm twice this morning.
7.45am: Out the door with everything I need for the day. I start my 30 minute peak hour commute to an inner-west suburb called Subiaco.
8.15am. I arrive and let myself in. I am greeted firstly by two hyperactive Wheaten Terriers. I yell a ‘Hello’ and Miss 12 responds from the library nook and continues back to being deeply engrossed in her novel. As I approach the living room, I find Miss 10 watching the television and O pulling the entire contents of a tissue box out onto the floor. He laughs, says “Hi” and continues with his very important project. Ah, he’s practicing fine motor skills, right? I make a mental note to put said tissue box in an unreachable place for 2 year olds when he’s done. Boss Dad emerges from the kitchen, asks me about my weekend and gives me a run down on how the night and their last two days have been.
8.20am. Miss 12 emerges and asks her Dad if they can go right now as she doesn’t want to be late for school. Rightfully so, I say. Miss 12 tells Miss 10 to put on her shoes, but she instead rolls her eyes back at her older sister. After another debate about punctuality, Miss 10 painfully complies as Peppa Pig ends. I laugh because it reminds me so very much of the years my brother and I spent going through the same routine. It’s kisses, cuddles and goodbyes before they leave O and I to sit and play cars.
8.30am: I’ve checked my nanny journal and find notes written by Boss Mum. Pick-up milk. Easy. It’s time for bags to be packed, shoes on and out the door to our local coffee shop and IGA. We ditch the pram and take the leisurely stroll on our own. This is one of my favourite parts of the day and I know O really appreciates the freedom. We talk about the trees, the grass, the trucks and the postman that just whizzed by. We practice our jumping, and our stomping, too. The trip takes 4 times longer than it would if we’d had the pram, but it’s more fun this way.
8.45am: One large flat white to go is ordered as O hides under the large table with a train and car in tow. His favourite waitress gives him a marshmallow and he quickly devours it before I can ask him to share with me. Those blue eyes and long eye lashes are getting the women already…
9am: We’re back home momentarily before we head off in the car to music class. We prepare our vocal cords by singing ‘Tiny Turtle’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’ on repeat the whole way there. Luckily (for me) it’s only a 10 minute drive. I inhale my coffee to stay sane. O tells me “No More!” and I gratefully comply after being a little offended. My singing surely isn’t that bad.
10.15am. Music is over and we head to the nearby coffee strip in Leederville to catch up with our best friend G and her Nanny, Emma. (Which is one of my best friends so that’s highly helpful). We watch as they tackle the naturescape playground with high interest. G spends most of the time telling O what to do but he happily agrees. We call them in for a brief intermission which lasts just long enough to consume some morning tea before they are off again. A lady yells at me for letting O climb up the slide in case he hurts himself. My attempt to explain that he will be fine and he won’t climb any higher than he knows how to falls on deaf ears. O proceeds to go from pretending to eat leaves to actually chewing on them and think it’s hilarious when I catch him out. Is it nap time yet? O and G are making me tired just watching them. Em and I chat about tomorrows catch up plans – Toddler gym it is.
11.30am: We’re back home and finally sitting still for a few moments. Is it too soon for another coffee? Surely not. O sits occupied by his train set as I prepare lunch. Today is chicken, cheese and carrot sticks. Fingers, toes and eyeballs are all crossed that he will eat it. I’d love to avoid a large debate. I hear an “OH NO” bellow from his bedroom and I rush to see what has happened. It’s a major emergency – the train bridge has collapsed. I get my best engineering hat on and fix the problem. Lunch is gobbled up at a reasonable pace, and the bridge has been mended, so we’re both content.
12pm: Do you hear that? Nothing. Pure silence. Ah, Nap time. Every Nanny’s greatest accomplishment of the day. I finally get around to stacking the dishwasher and tackling the small Mount Everest of washing that is forming in the laundry. How do children go through so many clothes in a weekend?! I whip myself up some lunch and take a seat to finish my latest blog post on nannynotions.com. Another Nanny friend calls and we organise a play date for Wednesday. Hooray, adult interaction! Not that I don’t love hanging out with O, but conversing with someone who can speak more than 3 words in a sentence is remarkably refreshing. I check through my Instagram feed for something to inspire me for this afternoons activities and start to gather the equipment that I need.
2pm. I hear giggles from the hall. Has it really been two hours already? A wild, pant-less, bed-headed toddler appears. Arms are open wide so sleepy cuddles are in order. I prepare some fruit for afternoon tea and we sit and read ‘Dear Zoo’ 49 times in a row without missing ANY pages. Sometimes it isn’t that easy to trick a 2 year old. I bring out the water beads that I found during my quest at nap time and we create an underwater themed sensory activity. Winner! O loves fish so he spend most of the time making them swim through the ‘water’.
3pm: Mama is here and O is ecstatic to see her. I give her a run down of the day as I am walked to the door. I get a quick cuddle and a see ya before I am off. Until tomorrow, dear O.
3.15pm: I get to the gym where my trainer is chatting to his previous clients. As I walk in, they laugh. I start my warm-up and ask them what’s so humorous. Turns out they we’re taking bets as to if I would be on time or not. Apparently I pay this guy to make fun of me? Lucky he’s actually a champ and is good at what he does. I refuse to admit that I have a time management problem. (My friends beg to differ.)
4.30pm: Gym and shower are done, and I’m off to pick up super dude number 2 from daycare. I arrive to the service to find E covered in a wide grin and orange paint. I get lots of big cuddles as he shows me his artworks from the day. I check his daily stats and write them in my phone so I don’t forget. I thank the girls as I grab his belongings and we’re off again. Our car rides are always fun as we head home. We chat about all the things we can see out the window and practice our colours. We’re pretty good at red and blue so far.
5pm: Unloaded and unpacked, we sit down to practice some puzzles. We choose the one with the farm yard animals and I leave E to discover the outcomes by himself as I recite the animal noises back to him from the kitchen.
6pm: Dinner is served! E insists on eating all by himself. This ends in an utter mess but he is proud. What more could you want, really? E helps me clean and stack the dishwasher before we head upstairs to start the bedtime routine. Maybe I can just stay and have a quick shut-eye while he sleeps, too?
7pm: I debate this idea deeply as I lay next to a sleeping toddler. Oh how easy it would be to stay and cuddle for a little longer but I decide to drag myself up and out of there as quietly as I can. No matter how long the day has been I always miss the giggles when they are in bed.
8pm: I finish the dinner time clean up and pack E’s toys away that have managed to spread from one contained area to all throughout the house. I sit down with my dinner and my laptop and begin my planning for this week. I decide to stick with the underwater theme for O, which means a trip to the beach is in order! You have to be appreciative of the great weather Perth spring time offers.
9.30pm: A tired Boss Dad comes through the door and I can imagine his day being just as long as mine. He thanks me for leaving him with a sleeping toddler and a tidy house. It’s all just part of the job! I head home feeling exhausted but with a full heart. There really is no better feeling.
You can read more of Jess’s adventures on her blog Nanny Notions.