Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So You Think You Can Nanny? Part 3: Perks, Pluses and Positives

So the last couple posts I've been harping about how hard this job is- the crazy kids, out of touch parents, jam packed days, etc. But today I'd like to tell you about all the awesomeness that is my job!

Birthday Desserts
When I'm asked what I do, I often get a response something like, "Wow. How do you do that? I could never handle something so crazy like that everyday. Do you actually like it?" And I'm always telling people how much I love it and I wouldn't choose to do anything else! I was inspired to write this today because my "family" reminded me how great my job is and how much they appreciate me. Last Thursday was my birthday (26 yikes!) and they were awesome enough to give me the day off! So instead, Wednesday we had a special little afternoon to celebrate. Mom and I picked up the kids from school together then we took A and S with us to a nice little lunch at a cute cafe near White Rock Lake- I had a yummy salad and we all shared chocolate bread pudding with ice cream AND banana pudding for dessert! Then they surprised me with a gift certificate for a massage- such a thoughtful present! We went down to the lake and fed the ducks and then headed home. It's great to be reminded that you're appreciated and loved :)

So, in the spirit of this great day... here are 10 reasons why my job is GREAT!

1. Work Environment- Every day I drive 15 minutes up the tollway to the very wealthy North Dallas area. I pull into the gated neighborhood and drive down the streets lined with custom landscaping and multimillion dollar homes. I spend most of my days in a huge house with very high ceilings, walls of windows and marble floors. They have a formal living room, kid's room, laundry room, formal dining room, family room, casual dining area, gourmet kitchen, enormous master bedroom with equally huge bathroom, office, guest room, gym and yard with a pool. Keep in mind the furniture is top of the line, mostly modern leather, there's a flat screen in every room and it's basically your average million dollar home. So my work environment doesn't suck.I can't promise that all nanny family homes will be as awesome, but I figure if you can afford to have someone else watch your kids, you already have a nice place to raise them.

This is my boss, in my office.

2. Dress Code- I don't really have one. Most days I wear "work out clothes." Something like running shorts and a t-shirt, or yoga pants and a hoodie, with tennis shoes. On days where I know we have something to do, like take Baby A to the Little Gym or go out to lunch (like today), I'll wear what I call "real clothes" which are usually jeans and a shirt (other than a t-shirt), with sandals or flats. I set a kind of rule for myself that if I'm going to be in public with the kids, I'll look presentable. Otherwise I'm pretty much a roll out of bed and go to work without makeup kinda gal.

3. Freebies- Food is a big one. I am welcome to anything in their pantry and fridge, which is usually pretty good considering I do most of the grocery shopping (or at least make the lists) and the cooking. It helps save on our grocery bill when,most days, I don't have to eat lunch or dinner at home. I get a lot of "hand-me-downs" as well. For instance, we now have 2 top of the line air purifiers in our home that we never would have bought for ourselves. They got new ones, so we got the old ones. I have also received a super cool flashlight/industrial tazer thingy, that B got for his wife but she didn't want it so now it's by my bed when I'm home alone at night. I also just got offered a very nice road bike. Again, she got a new one so I get the old one (which has basically nothing wrong with it).

4. Days Off- Most days and weeks I have a pretty set schedule. However, they are also very flexible and understanding when I need a few hours off or even a whole day. For instance, we found out about a funeral out of town semi- last minute and they figured out a way that I could have the next day off so we could travel. I also (actually just today) had issues with our electricity and they were cool enough to let me leave and meet the guy, and it ended up taking forever so she was fine giving me the rest of the afternoon off. Granted, when I do get unplanned time off like this, they are either not working so they can watch the kids or they find someone else (usually grandparents) to take over. I don't know many other jobs that you can text your boss and ask to not come back in, and they just be cool with it. 
5. Bonuses- I have received very generous holiday and birthday bonuses and gifts. Either in the form of cash or nice gifts (like my massage gift certificate).

6. Fun- I get to do all kinds of fun stuff with the kids. We go to playgrounds and parks, JumpStreet, the Indoor Safari Park, roller skating, play places at the malls, shopping, meals out, and just about anything else toddler age kids think is fun. But, I guess you have to find doing that stuff better than sitting in an office, to consider it a plus. 
Playing with S at JumpStreet

7. Experiences- What other job pays for you to go on vacation, and also pays you to be there? I'm sure there are some, but none I can think of. I have been to Dubai. The family went, and took me with them. I worked and got paid but I also had an all expenses paid 5 star DUBAI vacation. And that, I can honestly say, would never happen to me any other way. They have also considered bringing me with them on vacations to Cancun, Africa and on cruises. I'll let ya'll know if those happen too!
Jumerai Beach, Dubai from my 5 star hotel balcony

8. Rewarding- It's an incredibly rewarding job and it all shows when you work so hard at teaching a child something as simple as colors or numbers, and one day they can do it all on their own. Baby A told me "A-woo" when I put her down for a nap the other day. And that is her way of saying "I love you." I kiss her cheek and tell her, "I love you, cookie. Sweet dreams," everyday. And the other day she finally said it to me first, she finally knew what she was saying. She is also recognizing colors, says tons of animal names and sounds and knows the names of everyone in her family. These are things I have taught her, and I can see it right in front of me every day.

9. Take Home Pay- Okay, this one I can definitely not guarantee for everyone. But I get paid half of my salary through their business and the rest is cash. I also get any overtime in cash. So what? Big deal? Let me break it down for you: my weekly income is $540.Every other week I get the full amount and the rest I get a direct deposit of $457.62. That $82.38 is nearly an entire electric bill for a month for our house. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying taxes, but it sure helps not to sometimes. Oh, also I usually take home around $60 extra a week for overtime or whatever, which adds up nicely too. It all just depends on what kind of agreement/arrangements you and your boss decide on. This way just happens to work well for both ends.

10. Hours- My hours are awesome. They used to not be anything special, was usually 8:30/9:30-5:30/6:30 when baby was still a baby. But now that both kiddos are in school all morning, I don't go in until 11:30! Example (this week): M 11:30-10:30pm (their date night), T 11:30-7, W 11:30-6, Th 11:30-7:30, F 11:30-6:30. This type of schedule works fabulously for me because I am so not a morning person. I sleep in till 9:30ish most days then get up and usually take care of whatever errands or house junk needs to get done, then head in to get the kids. I do get off a little later than the average person but it works fine for us because the hubby likes to go to the gym after work (or he's traveling for work so he's not even here) so we usually get home around the same time in the evenings. 

So there ya have it, folks. The glamorous life of a Dallas nanny. Really, it's not all that spectacular, I mean I don't get a free Benz or make big bucks. But for me, it's a really great place to be considering I love kids and hate offices. 

How could you not love seeing something this cute everyday?!?!
 Happy Halloween Everyone :) 


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