6th March 2018
Nanny anxiety realness and why it shouldn’t be ignored
It has been quite a few weeks since the last blog post and lots has been going on however, I do only write when I feel truly inspired by issues, topics and recent events within the industry.
Like with all careers, we go through the motions and the ups and downs can be extreme depending on if it is an actual career you love and chose to do compared to doing the job purely to pay the bills and survive.
These days we see so much around us about people making money based on what they are truly passionate about and what ignites their soul, yet it can seem daunting and unreachable to many.
Being a Nanny is one of those careers that you can really mould to adapt what you’d like for yourself, at least most of the time anyway! Especially if you have the travel bug and would like to experience living outside of your home town/country.
You’ve really got to be invested though, and not just half heartedly, I mean fully invested.
I had my moments as a Nanny I won’t lie, and there were days when I seriously questioned why on earth I was putting myself through this.
The constant panic about being 1 minute late due to no faulty of my own (traffic, car problems etc) the fear of speaking out about any issues I felt uncomfortable with that may have been happening in the home or related to the child, and even good factors such as making valuable suggestions, showcasing my ideas and reccomending new things for the children to do.
When you find yourself in a situation like this, it is very easy for anxiety to sneak up on you and start poisoning your mind with thoughts and situations that are far from true and may never happen.
Why allow it to get to this stage? Why allow yourself to be a victim of whatever situation is going on around you in the workplace?
One key tip is to not get caught up in any family drama that may be occuring. Yes, as a Nanny it is engrained within us to want to help, be a shoulder to cry on (I’ve been there!) and try and fix things outside of our job role. The reality is, it really isn’t our place to do that.
Then we have the ever ongoing issues of not knowing whether you are coming or going, what your schedule looks like, when you are needed until, when you can eat/drink/sleep and if they even realise you are there!
The amount of amazing career Nannies I have spoken to lately that are struggling with workplace anxiety is frightening and we all know this can have a detrimental effect on the children too because of how aware they are and how much they pick up on.
I’ve also noticed that negative coping methods can creep in such as excessive drinking on weekends/days off, bad eating habits and just lack of self care in general.
This is all soooo sad!!
If you think about how much you do per day with your charges. It isn’t just a case of keeping them alive, it’s about what you can teach them through play, your conversations with them, the meals they’ve had and any developmental milestones they’ve reached- it’s quite a large responsibility to uphold and even that in itself can cause you to panic and feel under pressure.
So when you feel undervalued by the parents, or that your work isn’t being recognised it can start to harbour within you leading to your body showing this through different ways.
Below I have listed common ways in which I and many Nannies I have spoken to have experienced these effects and ways in which they showed themselves:
- Weight gain
- Social anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Constant inbalance in emotions/ moods
- Low self esteem
- Skin problems such as psoriasis
Now this is of course not happening to all Nannies, but if it is happening to you and you are wondering how the hell you can turn it around then you are on the right track!
Start by pinpointing the exact parts of your job that are getting to you aka make a list and acknowledge every single part that gets to you!
Is it the lack of communication between yourself and the parents?
Do you feel they are asking too much of you and you feel constantly under pressue?
Maybe you’d like more routine/ freedom within the structure to incorporate some of your own unique skills to enable the childs development to move along at a good pace?
Or (and this is usually the main one) you’d like more of an understanding from them that you actually have a life and would appreciate knowing your shifts in advance so you can maintain a good work life balance.
Most of the time, just having the courage to use our voices and call a meeting with the parents is enough to clear the air and allow yourself to relax and feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Don’t forget, parents are busy too and can forget to be on point with things at times especially if they have very demanding careers and this is one of the reasons they hire us as a professional to basically run the show! Which is a huge honor, but of course can lead to a few bumps along the way.
Allow yourself time to figure out the above and just remember, what’s the worst that could happen?! Take control of it before it goes too far.
You’ve got this!
Until next time,