Tag Archives: Food for Thought

Holy Week Challenges (Pros and Cons of Being a Nanny)

One of my commitments for Holy Week this year was to write a blog post every day until Easter, and I’m not exactly off to a good start. You see, I already have writer’s block. Actually, there are a lot of blog post ideas swirling around in my head, but they would all take too much time to write out because they’re not fully formed. Just imagine trying to draw a complete image of a lion when the lion is mostly hidden in the shadows; you could make up the portion you can’t see, but it would never been as good as the reality.

Today, I’ve decided to put together just a little list of some of the pros and cons of being a nanny. This post won’t have much of my usual (or so I like to think) depth, but maybe it will bring you some enjoyment. I will begin with the cons because I’d like to leave you with the positive side.

Mary Poppins


1) No matter how much you love the kids or how much you sacrifice for them, they will never be yours. You may adore them. You may sacrifice all of your time and energy towards making them good, happy people. But you will never be their mom. One day, sooner or later (more likely sooner), you will not be their nanny any more. If you are the nanny of young children, they will quickly forget you and all that you did for them. You will never forget them, and you will miss them dearly because, even though you were never their mom, they were your children. 

2) There’s inevitably a bit of an awkwardness between you and the parents. You spend a LOT of time with the kids, but very little time with the parents (unless you’re like me and you’re constantly, accidentally over-staying your welcome); when you are with the parents, you pretty much only talk about what the kids did that day. They may even be just a little bit jealous of you because you see their kids more than they do. If you’re the nanny of a baby, you probably witness more of the “firsts” than mom and dad do.

3) “Parenting” is a whole lot harder because you have basically no control. Not only do you have to think through the Temper tantrumregular parenting stuff, “What’s best for my kid right now? What’s best for my kid long-term? What does my kid want?” you also have to think, “Are mom and dad okay with this? Is this what they would do? Is this a significant enough event that I should write it down for them?” and so on and so forth. You have to follow and enforce somebody else’s rules.

4) If you’re the nanny of multiple kids, you have to deal with parenting out of the regular order. What I mean by that is most people start out with one kid, they adjust to life with one kid, they have a second kid; they adjust to life with two kids, etc. As a nanny, you’re kind of thrown into the middle. Suddenly, you’re taking seven crazy kids to the grocery store when, just yesterday, you only had to take yourself shopping.

5) Unless you’re fortunate enough to be an au pair, you have to live two lives. One life as part of a crazy, beautiful family with kids and messes galore, and another life where you’re just a regular young adult, hanging out by yourself in your apartment. Those post-work hours, weekends, and holidays can be exceedingly lonely.


1) You get all of the beautiful moments and memories without the sleep-deprivation!  You don’t have to deal with night-terrors, midnight diaper changes, throwing up in the bed, wetting the bed stuff… yet.

2) You get to learn what it’s like to be a parent without the life-time commitment. You learn different parenting tricks, you learn child psychology, you help solve problems, make new things, and experiment. Every thing you use as a nanny you can later use when you have your own kids.

3) You learn. A LOT. And not just about parenting. You learn to be punctual, to keep calm in the face of a crisis, to be assertive and authoritative, to live in the moment, and to LOVE. Every day you’re learning something new and wonderful.

4) You’re making a relationship that will last forever. Maybe the kids won’t remember that you were their nanny, but if you keep in contact with them, they will be your little friends forever.

scribbles5) Nannying helps you to see beauty where you never would have seen it before: “Wow, Nathan! That is a gorgeous… um… what is it exactly? Oh! That is a gorgeous dragon!” 🙂 Without the kids I nanny, I might never notice how adorable a tiny pebble can be, or how marvelous a blue sky is, or how amazing a tiny flower is, or how supreme a moment of silence can be!


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Traffic Laws and Love

I have always been very conscientious about traffic laws, even as a kid. I never knew exactly WHY I wanted to drive the Car Crashspeed limit, make complete stops, actually slowing down at yellow lights, etc., other than the fact that I liked following rules, but lately, I’ve been doing some serious thinking, praying, and research in regards to this topic. I’ve narrowed my findings down to five “short” sections: Save Gas, Save Money, Save Your License, Save a Life, and Save a Soul. This may all sounds crazy, but bear with me.

Save Gas.

Save Gas: I have had many friends make excuses for speeding by saying that it’s more fuel efficient, but New York’s traffic safety website says otherwise, “You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. See www.fueleconomy.gov for more on this.” Why drive over the speed limit if you’re only wasting your gas and gaining very little time? Another website says, While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.17 per gallon for gas.”

Waste not want not.

Save Money: If you are pulled over by a police officer for speeding, you could have to pay thousands of dollars in fines. You

Save Money.

may be saying, “What if I never get caught?” and to that, I reply, but what if…? There are times in life when those “what if?” statements really bog you down, but they CAN be helpful. Maybe that little statement is your conscience, desperately trying to get you to slow down. What if today is the day you get a ticket? Or you get into an accident?

Save your License: If you drive more than 40 mph above the speed limit, your license can, and WILL, get suspended. Most people don’t have a problem with driving THAT fast (because, come on people, that’s ridiculous), so I won’t harp on this point.

Save a LifeSave a Life: Think about this, every time you drive over the speed limit just because you’re running a few minutes late, it’s like saying, “I care more about arriving slightly less late than for your safety. Imagine yourself saying that to EVERY SINGLE PERSON YOU PASS when you’re speeding. The same can be said for breaking any number of traffic laws, including but not limited to, cutting people off, passing on the right, not making complete stops as stop signs, texting while driving, drinking and driving, running red and yellow lights, and not stopping at the correct stop line at a light.

Save a Soul: This section will be broken down into two categories: Help Save YOUR Soul, and Help Save OTHERS’ Souls. Here’s just a little bit of food for thought. First of all, the Catholic Church teaches that we should obey ALL civil laws UNLESS they contradict the laws of the Church. To break a civil law (no matter how small and seemingly insignificant), could be a venial sin. What does it take for something to be sinful? An act must be committed freely, with intention and full knowledge of its wrongness. Therefore, if you know that speeding is wrong, and yet you freely Good driving, Joe!choose to do it for no good reason, couldn’t that be considered sinful?

Don’t speed. Save your soul.

What about those times when someone is tailgating with impatience? Or shouts angry things to you? Or cuts you off? Amen, amen, I say to you, you are not controlled by the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others. Live the truth, and they will SEE the truth. When you feel awkward, humiliated, and intimidated by other people, PRAY FOR THEM. When someone cuts you off and it makes you really angry, pray for him; maybe he’s distracted because his mom just died. When someone is tailgating; pray for her; maybe she’s in labor, trying desperately to get to the hospital. Maybe they’re all just impatient. PRAY FOR THEM. Not only will prayer bring YOU patience, it may bring THEM patience. What if you convert the nation by actually following its laws? Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Don’t speed. Save the world.

Save Souls.

I would like to set a challenge for all of you who read my blog (including myself): this week, as an extra prayer for Holy Week, follow ALL of the traffic laws, even the most menial and tedious. If you don’t feel the positive changes in your attitude by Easter Sunday, call me a liar and revert to your old ways… or give it another try. Be patient. Be kind. BE LOVE.

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