As a non-mom blogger, I will make no effort to compete with the great motherly blogs out there.  How could I?  I’m not a mom.  I’m a nanny.  My husband says I’m better than Mary Poppins {to which a friend recently retorted that I must use two spoonfulls of sugar…haha…}

A common point for teasing caregivers is of course to say something like, “What a great gig!  You get paid to hang out with kids and then get to drive away kid-free at the end of the day.”  I won’t pretend for a minute there isn’t some truth in this.  It’s wonderful to receive paychecks.  It’s wonderful, especially on long days that included some sort of temper tantrum, to retreat to the serenity of my car as I drive home and replace the noise of battery-operated Fisher-Price lullabies with the radio station of my choice.  Care giving IS a great gig…..however…..

the “yeah, I just get to drive away!” joke isn’t one I choose to make.

A mom once told me, “You know, I spend a lot of time at home with my kids, but my kids aren’t the only thing I have to take care of.  They’re the most important thing, for sure!, but I can’t always give them my full attention.  When you come over, you kind of get to do that.”  She laughed.  “It must be nice!  I might be a little jealous!”

In nannying I’ve found a unique opportunity to practice the easier-said-than-done art of just being with and enjoying kids for who they are.  I have the chance to intentionally show children affection and help them know and feel the depth of their worth…and there isn’t much else pulling me in opposing directions.  I’d never thought of it this way before, but I don’t also need to clean the fridge, get an oil change, and take Fido to the groomer:  I’m just there for the kids.

Since the mother shared this comment, I sometimes pump myself up on my drive to work with a motivational speech of sorts.  That’s right:  I’d love to say I wake up everyday with all the motives and heart of a perfect nanny.  Some days I come pretty close, others, I’m miserably far from the target.  On the off-target days, I take an extra spoon full of sugar in my latte and choose to own my attitude with a little pep talk:

“These kids will be spoiled by my affection today.  By my willingness to listen to their ideas.  By my genuine curiosity about what’s on their hearts.  They love to play, so I will play hard today.  I will forsake the annoying adult in me that thinks too much about clean-up time and wants to skip ahead a few hours to nap.  The kids in my care will get my best from me today because I’m deciding right now I want them to have it.”

Ensuring safety and meeting physical needs, as well as a few minutes here and there swiping Clorox wipes and picking up wayward grains of rice from ALL THE WAY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE KITCHEN are realities for parents and nannies alike, but I believe there is plenty of room in the every-day-ness of a day to be fully alive, responsive and in tune to little companions.

And maybe the thought is crossing your mind right now, like it is mine, that big people enjoy receiving this kind of devotion, too.

Who in your life needs to know you are willing to set aside time to share in the things they love–just because you love that person?  What can you deny yourself today to leave someone close to you feeling like the most important, loved person in the world?  Working with kids, I learn constantly that it normally doesn’t cost me much;  it starts with an intentional adjustment in my thinking.

My father-in-law treats his grand kids like they are the most precious and special people in the world. Here, they count how long it takes the sun to set.

So there ya have it…. I don’t joke about getting to drive away from the kids at the end of the day;  I’m finding it’s a lot more rewarding {and just plain fun} to shift focus off my stinkin’ self and onto what more I can give of myself during the time we are together.

{Now when I have kids of my own, who’s going to tap me on the shoulder and remind me all this?}  :)

Today, let’s foolishly abandon something we don’t really need to love someone who really needs to be loved.

♥  stacy

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3 Responses to my best from me: forsaking the annoying adult within

  • Brianna says:

    Hey Stacy! Love the blog and love you too! Keep up the good work!!!! And…if you need any help when you decide to post the how to for making a house of tape…you know who to call!!! :)

  • Autumn says:

    Oh, that selfishness sets in so quickly sometimes. Thanks for reminding us to just put down that little thing, um the internet, to love. Psst, I don’t think anyone will have to tap you on the shoulder when you are a mama!

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It doesn't always make sense-the way we live. We decide that's ok. People don't have to get it. Welcome to Foolish for Light, a place for exploring the counter-intuitive life of a light-chaser.

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