It’s 9.30pm on a Wednesday night. I’m accompanied by a glass of Tempranillo and (now) half a block of Cadbury.
I am tired. Oh. So. Tired. I keep thinking of how my friends with kids that they created – and therefore are responsible for them indefinitely – must feel everyday, and then of me who gets to hand the ones I help raise back at some point.
Do I even deserve to feel this way? Deep down I know I am entitled to, but right now I doubt myself entirely. This kind of tired is not one caused by lack of sleep, however.
I’m drained. I am exhausted. My tank is empty.
It has been a brutal day. I am not too proud to admit that.
My charge managed to fracture 2 bones in his arm – on my watch. What made it worse was that the said event occurred just 3 hours after his new baby sister was introduced to the world and my 5-day stint of proxy parenting was scheduled to begin. I couldn’t make up such an impeccably timed series of events if I tried. A completely unavoidable situation, but that mere fact didn’t stop it from hurting any less.
After an hour of wailing, an abundance of tears (from us both), 2 X-rays and some decent pain medication, he was asleep. All 17.5kgs of him lay like a large weight in my arms and across my knee. I thought to myself;
“No one tells you about this when you become a Nanny.”
While I cannot stress the importance of being adequately trained in First Aid for emergency situations and discussing what protocols to follow when being faced in this type of situation, that wasn’t quite what I was referring to.
I’m talking about the emotional investment you have in the children. It’s about loving them to the ends of the earth but at the same time, not too much.
You cannot overstep the boundary, but we all know the purpose of individually catered care is to create secure, safe and personalised relationships with our charges. It’s about remembering to ask Miss 12 about her basketball match on Monday morning because I know it will make her day, memorising the way Mr 2 likes his toast to be cut for breakfast.
It’s learning to be part everything. You will have more hats to wear than fingers and toes combined. The taxi driver, house manager, chef and professional blanket finder. A toy car mechanic, lifeguard, judge, party planner and developmental specialist. Add also teacher, coach, carpenter, storyteller and nurse.
“Don’t you just play with kids all day?” They ask.