Life changes completely with kids. I know this is an obvious statement, but many parents will feel their whole identity changes once they have a family, and it can feel hard to understand who you are.
Before having kids, you had so much freedom with your life. You had dreams and passions and felt like you could try anything your heart desired. You worked hard to pursue a career or studied a subject you love. You then find a special someone, and before you know it you have a family, and you’ve cherished every moment. But very quickly you’ve gone from one identity, to many.
It’s not just you anymore. You are a mother or a father. You’re a partner. You manage a household. You’re also a family member, a friend, and you may be a working professional. You want to give yourself fully to each of these areas but with the busy-ness of life you’ve had to make priorities.
Having worked as a nanny for over 20 years, it’s my experience that parents have the following priorities when they have a family:
- Your Children
- Your Work Or Career
- Your Household
- Your Partner
- Your Family and Friends
While some of these priorities may be ranked differently for you, I’m sure the highest and the lowest priorities are the same. You feel like giving more and more to those around you, and this can mean giving less to yourself. As time passes and the busy-ness of life becomes the norm, it becomes even more important to make time for yourself. And that’s where a nanny can provide a lot of value to you and your family.
A nanny will be compassionate with how you’ve prioritised your life. They understand that your priorities have changed since having a family and will support every identity you have, especially yourself. A great nanny becomes an extension of you. They share your values, they know what you’re going through, and they’ll do all they can to have your back and support those you love most.
So let’s go explore each of these identities and understand how a nanny can add value.
1 – Your Children
For every parent, your children come first. It’s just natural. You’ll constantly be asking yourself questions:
Are they healthy? Are they eating the right foods? Are they sleeping? Are they keeping from hurting themselves? Are they okay? Are they getting enough attention? Do they feel loved?
You want to do everything you can, and you feel guilty when you can’t do it all yourself. A great thing about having a nanny is that they will foster the values and behaviours in your children. You are a team. They will help your child develop and care for them in their own special way. A nanny can provide the personalised care that childcare or after-school care can’t. You can work alongside your nanny to ensure they flourish and all their needs are met. You put your children first, and your nanny will too.
2 – Your Work or Career
For working parents, it can be a struggle to manage a career and a family. You may have spent years studying and are working in a job that you love, and while you love your family you also want to maintain your career.
There may also be a need to keep working, now that you’ve got a mortgage and bills that need to be paid. Some parents are able to step out of the workforce to care for their children, and that’s amazing. For those parents that choose or need to keep working, a nanny will support you and your family.
A nanny will be flexible around your working arrangements. They can come in the morning and calm the chaos. They’ll take care of the kids so that you can make your first meeting of the day. They’ll be able to pick up your kids from school, as most parents are unable to leave work in the middle of the afternoon.
They can shuttle your kids to extracurricular activities, and help them with their homework. They will also settle your children so that when you come home you have space to connect with your partner, have quality time with your children, enjoy time for yourself, and also get the sleep you need.
3 – Your Household
The next priority is probably running your household. The household chores may seem never ending, and everyone needs their own schedule. Many parents want their home to be in a certain order. There is a wonderful calm that will come from having each space tidy and welcoming.
Having kids though makes this quite difficult. You may not want to spend your precious downtime keeping the house in order, which means the washing pile in the laundry may be a little too high, or you may be a little behind with the meal prep. A nanny can be a real lifesaver with this.
While a nanny’s primary responsibility is to care for your children, some will be happy to manage your household as well. This could mean having food in the fridge, ensuring the pets are fed, preparing meals for your children, ensuring the spaces are left tidy and maybe even doing the laundry. They can provide bottle prep for the baby, or if your kids are older they can help with their homework. A great nanny can be thoughtful with doing things that need to be done where you don’t have the time.
4 – Your Partner or Your Love Life
Prioritising your partner or your love life is probably next on your list, and if so you may feel a little sad that it’s the case. If you’re a single parent and not in a relationship, you may be perfectly content with where things are at with your family and you’re not looking for things to change, which is wonderful. For those of you that would like to find some time for another person, it can be a little hard.
It can be especially difficult for working parents, when they really just want to connect but find themselves bringing their stresses and pressures home from work. And even when you’ve allocated time to spend with each other, you may not be fully present as you’re turning over all the things that need to be done in the back of your mind.
A great nanny will provide you with the much needed space to be fully present with your partner or to step back into your love life. While any parent can hire a babysitter to look after the kids, if you can’t fully trust the person you’re bringing into your home, you’ll never be fully present. A trusted nanny will be there for your children, providing you with the space and peace of mind to prioritise your significant other.
5 – Your Family and Friends
Next we have your family circle and your social circle.
Grandparents play an important role as caregivers in many Australian families. There is such a special connection between grandchildren and grandparents. In fact, about one in every four Australian kids under 12 rely on grandparents for care. The grandparent and grandchild relationship is based on pure joy and love. A wonderful aspect of having children is that your special bond also strengthens your relationship with your parents.
While grandparents can provide a lot of care, you may also worry for them as time goes by. As their health and memories fade overtime, you may need to be extra mindful of them when they’re looking after children.
You may also feel that as life gets busier you may not be connecting with friends and loved ones as much as you like, and you want to make an extra effort to stay as close as you can.
A great nanny will support you in staying engaged with your friends and family. They will provide the caring support while the grandparents are over, and they can help you plan for engagements so that you can maintain the friendships that mean a lot to you.
6 – Yourself
And finally, there’s the person you prioritise least.
You have a gorgeous family and a beautiful life, though you’ve put everyone before you. And as life gets busier and when things are stressful, you may be asking if you’re giving yourself enough attention. You may feel a little guilty with this thought. For some parents (especially mothers) even the thought of getting a haircut may be too much.
How could I possibly go for a haircut when I have all these things I need to do and people to care for? How can I find the time? And even if you found the time, who can I trust with the kids? How long am I going to be away? Shouldn’t I be doing something else more important?
A great nanny will have your back. They will provide amazing support for your family, which will also provide you with more space and time to reflect on yourself.
Having a family is so wonderful. Your life will feel so full of love, and you must ensure that you give yourself the attention you deserve. Regardless of what your priorities are, a great nanny will provide the space for you to do more for the people that mean the most to you. They’ll support you at home while you move forward in your career. They’ll help calm the chaos, and they’ll have compassion with your family. A great nanny will provide you with the time to spend with those you love.