So caregivers, what do you do when that moment of much needed silence hits your day? When you can stop and breathe. When you can sigh and let your shoulders go. Sometimes, there are days when this childless silence is needed more than most. When your humor is going down the drain with the food children threw on the floor and the snacks they refused to eat. Sometimes it is just plain hard to do what we do. Sometimes I feel exhausted. Sometimes I doubt myself for sticking to my guns. Sometimes I wish I could be the caregiver who practiced empty threats, because then I wouldn’t have toddlers mad at me. But that’s not who I am. And that’s not who this family hired to help raise their children.
We nannies helping to raise a generation. These children will grow up someday and they will need to be equipped with the right values and lessons to survive. These babies will become their own people without our supervision. People who need to follow rules. People who need to practice kindness. People who need to earn rewards for themselves. People who need to value their words.
Sometimes that seems like an awfully big responsibility for a nanny. But it doesn’t mean I can give up or give in. What it means is that… I have to have to stick to what the rules are, I have to practice kindness (even in the face of tantrums), I have to go through with punishments and I need to value my own words by allowing my actions to match my spoken consequences; even if it isn’t fun, even if they don’t like it, even if it’s tiring and hard. Because I am raising people, strong people who need me to be strong, too.
So in this rare moment of silence, I am choosing to reflect back on my day and remind myself that even though it was hard doesn’t mean I acted wrong. My exhaustion is rooted in doing what is right for these kids. And this afternoon, when the sleeping bears wake, it will be a fresh chance for hugs and kisses, for stories and playing. Because, in my silence, I remember there is value in what I do and there is eternal love for these little chickadees; who despite the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, always find a way to make me smile.