Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Nanny Diaries?

I work part time. In real estate. Which is brilliantly flexible and my boss is totally accommodating when it comes to the hours I work, around the kids. And I love it.


School holidays are tricky. No school or kindy means I need to rely upon out of hours school care for Olivia and Charlie,  and childcare for Lexie.

Just quietly, they all love it when they get to go to these environments. They don't go often enough to get bored by the care surroundings and generally they get to do a whole stack of stuff that they maybe don't get to do at home like make a huge crafty mess and not have to clear it up. Or play on Xbox for hours...

The problem I have is that some of my work is just an hour or two at an appointment.

Today I literally just had two hours work to do. Nothing more, nothing less. And call me stingy, but I am reticent to pay for three children for a full days care, when I really only need a few hours...

Lovely husband is up to his eyeballs in work, so was I was reticent to ask him.

Enter the babysitter. Hurrah! She is also on school holidays (from year eleven) and she sent me a text, as a reminder that she was available for whenever I needed her. Day or night.

Oh thank you lord.

She is seventeen and utterly enchanting.

The daughter of a colleague that we have known for a number of years, she has become our best and number one and favourite babysitter.

The kids adore her and she is laid back, fun, easy going but responsible. She loves the the kids as she feeds them lollies and beats them at UNO, but she also takes no shit when it comes to four year old tanties and sibling bickering.

She is as slim as a reed and requires no feeding - at most, she helps herself to the fruit bowl.

She knows our home like the back of our hand and even Perry the dog adores her.

So, this morning I left the kids in their jammies.

I brushed no ones hair but my own.

I put my make up on, and enjoyed an extra coffee.

I even, gasp, left the breakfast dishes in the sink and the beds unmade.

And in she swanned, my angel of a babysitter, my children beside themselves in excitement to see her.

With the most casual and easy of handovers, I kissed the kids, and walked straight out of the door without so much of a backward glance.

And drove to work.

No drop offs. No lunchboxes. No driving round in a well timed triangle between childcare and school, avoiding the worst of the traffic. No time wasting chit chat with anyone.

I just left them to it, and went to work. Simple as that.

I know now, and am deeply deeply envious of how bloody lucky my husband is - he gets to experience this ease and luxury and convenience every day!

And when I arrived home? They were all happy and rosy cheeked. She had played games with them the whole time and also managed to bake biscuits with them. The dishes were done and the beds made. They had been for a walk, and were in the final stages of a tricky puzzle before starting a Wii tennis challenge. Stimulated, content, and organised. Bliss, I tell you, bloody bliss to come home to.

Having a nanny for the day - it felt, quite frankly, like I had a wife!

What about you? Do you use childcare? A treasured babysitter? Out of hours school care? A nanny? Tell me what works for you?


  1. I would like to find a baby sitter like this, we don't k ow many people in our area though and I don't even have a babysitter if we need to go out.

    Have often thought about an au pair, a live in nanny for a few months. Heaven.

  2. Miss A and I walk into our 'second home' at 7.15am and leave at 5.30pm each day. I work for a lovely Irish family whom I adore, and Miss A and I equally adore Master B, who is 18 months, and the perfect playmate for Miss A. I'm actually a nanny/housekeeper/cook, and although some days I do go a little stir crazy, I love knowing that I am making their family life run so smoothly. (What a suck I am!) I'd love to be your nanny Lucy. xx

  3. Can you clone her and send her over on the next flight?

    I don't have any family near, and I work from home so school holidays is just me really. I have a friend nearby who babysits and I do the same for her and I know she would step into the breach if I was desperate. Some of my friends have live in au pairs - I'm not sure I would want someone living in my house but it seems to work great.

    Don't let her go! She sounds a godsend!

  4. deer baby stole my thunder lol!

    Lucy please clone this girl :o)

  5. that girl is a DOLL! how amazing she is! I have a friend who started as a paid babysitter & she has developed into an extra nanna for our kids, although the need is not there much anymore as I now work nights, not days & hubby is here with the kids. she has a key to my house & would pick the kids up from school & bring them home to here. she would wash, hang out & fold clothes for me coz she felt guilty sitting around reading my magazines!

  6. I mainly work around the school hours and at night time, switching to skeleton hours during holidays (I need the break too!). This year I've travelled a bit with this blogging gig and I now have a casual nanny, the daughter of Flynn's old kindy teacher, who fills in the gaps including school pick-up till my husband gets home. It's taken the pressure off and she is a dream!

  7. You have a dog named Perry? You know for Halloween what you have to dress him up as right?

  8. I'm a nanny and I'm convinced that it's the best job in the world. I can't believe I actually get paid to hang out with kids, play games, watch kid's movies, bake cupcakes and read stories. Too good to be true. xx

  9. Please, please, please can you loan her to me? She sounds perfect!

  10. My son is now 11 and so we let him stay home by himself if it's just a few hours during the day. However, when he was little he went to a daycare center...but I worked full time so I didn't feel bad about paying for it.

  11. YAY for Nannies!!

    Hey Lucy ... I finally had something to get all Drab2Fab about!!
    Where did it go?

  12. Hi Lucy..this one sounds like a keeper. Though from experience, even though I loved babysitting from a young age like your lovely girl..if I thought the parents were exploiting me at all I would eventually refuse to work for just a hint..why not give her a present, a bonus or a treat every so often..just to keep it sweet!

  13. I'm lucky - I have two doting grandmothers who always happily look after the kids, but they're not as wonderful as your little gem!
    @ClaireyH - friend of mine has an au pair at the moment and LOVES it. Can't remember what nationality - think American - but for $200 a week and room and board it's well worth investigating...

  14. I want your nanny too!!! Send her over!

  15. Oh yes indeedy - heaven, bliss. Any paid work I do is from home these days and the boys are at school So my treat is a babysitter on Thursdays - for hubby date or girlfriends night. Coming home to a tidy house and little people tucked up asleep does wonders. Not available to everyone I realise. Maybe friends in this situation could team up and offer the experience to eachother? Just a thought...

  16. She sounds wonderful. You're very lucky: good babysitters are hard to find and keep around.

  17. Love this post! It's heaven to be able to walk out of the house, sometimes the very messy house and just know that... they will be fine, all will be well, it's good for the kids to have time with other adults.

    We have a lovely young girl who comes to babysit, my little lass adores her, she's 19, groovy and studying to be a teacher. Wee lady used to cry but not for a long time now.... what a relief.

    Sharing the gratitude!


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