Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 years ago

Ten years ago, I started with my first Nanny family. A Swedish Family with boy/girl twins. I had just shut down my daycare of 16 years, to get a better paying Nanny position in the Silicon Valley that gave me benefits. I was a single mom, raising 3 teenage boys!

The transition, going from a daycare owner - being my own boss, to a household employee is different. I was no longer calling my own shots. However you do have to weigh the pros and cons, which I had and this new opportunity was best for me, and my family. I could no longer keep up with the wear and tear of my home, that owning a daycare would incur. Plus I was tired. I'd work all day, and was still working on the weekends, cleaning the daycare etc. I never had a work less weekend. This was perfect. The pay was awesome (no more quarterly tax payments) and I had free-paid medical. (compared to paying $200 a month for my plan) I worked 50 hours a week, 5 days a week. Average for live out Nannies in the Silicon Valley.

My job with this family had it's challenges - a language issue. They spoke Swedish in the home, and wanted to me to teach their children English. At times, I could not understand the Mom's English and I would keep asking her to repeat and it would get uncomfortable with me - making me think, she must think I am hard of hearing.

The children were learning - my English! Even my American slang. Their English, and the way they talked, sounded a lot like my own children. Swedish kids, with a California accent, with a little bit of Midwestern and southern slang (from my parents) It was cute. Their Grandmother once told me, they speak Swedish with a California accent!

As the years went by, I became a valuable part of the family. and I knew it. Their home, was like my home away from home. I loved it there. It smelled good, was clean - I was comfortable. They added another baby, and the twins were in school. My duties changed, as they grew older. My hours were shortened, and my days of the week were different, to fit soccer practices, ballet and swimming lessons. It worked for me. had remarried during this time - moved and a few times.

Then one day, my mom committed suicide. My dad had died the year before, and my nanny family was aware, of my mom's depression and I had taken some time off now and then. The children were older, in school and it was easier for us to do that. With this tragic event and being the executor of my mom's estate, we decided to make our getaway out of the hustle and bustle of the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, to a more rural community. Sounded great, only it was time, to say, good-bye.

Good bye's are hard. Especially to children you have helped to raise. I do go down, a couple times a year, so the parents can getaway, for the weekend and it's my chance to be with the kids, now in middle school and grade. We email back and forth. The children, even wrote references, how much they loved their "Gra-nanny." Me!

You never know how good you have something, when you no longer have it. I miss them and the children more than anyone will know. I love living in my rural community but I realize, I will never again, have what I had with this family. Yes, 10 years ago, I started with this wonderful, Swedish family with boy/girl twins, and they stole my heart, forever!

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