If I haven’t mentioned it so far on my blog, I have been a nanny for two great kids for the past two years. I came into their lives right before their fourth birthdays, and have spent long hours with them.
Working with kids is something special, I can’t even begin to describe it to you. It’s one of the few jobs out there that tests you in every way possible, while opening your eyes to this wonder that you don’t normally find working the more typical jobs.
Being a nanny is such a rewarding thing. You have these kids that completely depend on you, and if you do your job the right way, you can mold them into these wonderful little people. You can teach them things, you can help them overcome fears, open their eyes to new possibilities, and you get to be a part of these little lives.
It really is great.
When they were younger, they required a lot of my time and patience. In their first year of school, they were home more often than they went to school because their immune systems just weren’t ready. And the fact that they were twins and completely dependant on one another meant that if one was home from school, so was the other. What this meant was usually one would be sick for about a week, and then by the time they were healthy and ready to get back to school, the other one would have caught whatever kept the first home and the routine of being home would start all over again.
Care was constant, and I was worn and weary because I had thought there would be a lot more six-hour work days and a lot less ten-hour work days. Boy was I wrong.
Fast forward to this past Friday where I said my goodbyes to my little munchkins. It was an emotional day. One where the kids kept reminding me that this was the last one we would spend together. One where there were more hugs than I could count, all the silences were filled with them telling me how much they loved me and there were moments when their eyes misted over and they honestly didn’t know how to comprehend this big change that was happening to all of us.
I have been with them for two years. We have transitioned from tantrums and hitting, to discussing all our emotions, having all these deep thoughts and just honestly growing together. As much as I was swollen, miserable and wanting nothing more than to spend all my spare time lounging around my apartment and getting ready for the new addition to my family, my last day of work was bittersweet.
In a way I wished I was working back at the Bridal store where I used to be a consultant. Why? Because it was the daily grind. I had a long commute, I had an overbearing, micromanaging boss whose demands were unrealistic and mostly just barked at us to rub us the wrong way. Morale was down, we felt stifled and that was without all the emotional melt-downs from brides-to-be. As much as I loved my co-workers there, it was an easy job to walk away from. I left that place with my head held high and felt like I was breathing fresh air for the first time.
Had I still been working there while I was pregnant, I would have danced the jig out of that place, or any other place I have worked, to be completely honest.
But looking back over my shoulder at those two kids standing at the top of the stairs, getting a warm embrace from my bosses who have been these great and wonderful people who have shared in moments of my life just as much as I have shared in theirs, my heart-felt a little bit heavy.
It was like they were my little family, and suddenly I was saying goodbye to them so I could go and start my own.
Not every day was wonderful. As anyone with four or five year olds will tell you, there are days where they spend absolutely every last bit of your patience. Days where you bite the inside of your cheek and remind yourself to smile. But the other days, the ones where you are rolling around in the grass, pretending to be explorers as you walk through the forest, lying in bed beside them reading them stories or better yet, cuddled in the pillows of the fort we built on a rainy day. Those are days that I am going to miss so desperately.
Those are the kind of days that made me stop and hope that whoever comes into their lives next will be even half as much committed to those kids as I was. Who will be more like a big sister to them than a babysitter. Who will know how important it is to be hard on them when they need it, and to push them to understand things and not just shrug their shoulders and put them in time-outs when they are bad.
My last day was hard.
I never thought I would say that about a job.
And this past weekend has been almost surreal. In a way, I keep thinking that Monday is back to work. I am going to have to squeeze my every growing rump and belly into another pair of spandex cycling shorts (to keep my thighs from chafing in this heat) and throw on another “dress” that isn’t quite long enough as my stomach keeps growing and spend the entire day with them outside. Feeling my fitbit vibrate at about noon when I reach my 10,000 steps, trying to convince the kids that we can have just as much fun inside where it is air conditioned.
Monday is going to be an odd day for me.
I plan on keeping myself busy with all the things I haven’t done yet. I will finally pack my hospital bag (at 35 weeks and 5 days, I probably should have done this already), I will finish up the nursery and get everything ready for my baby’s arrival. Hopefully, the days will go by quickly and I will have my baby in my arms before I know it.
Until then, I guess I will just pretend I know what to do with myself.