New Direction

To all my friends and family- I hope this letter finds you well!

As some of you may have noticed, recently I have taken a step back from posting and writing content. I have used this time to reflect on the direction of my professional path. I also used this time to dedicate more intentional efforts toward my husband and our marriage. All is well, and I am happy to be writing you once more.

 I would like to let you in on what new direction I have decided to move toward and what that means for the NannyBeth blog and more.

As many do, I found myself at a crossroads this past spring. I absolutely love what I do (and don’t plan on giving it up any time soon) however, there is a big reason why I had to begin thinking about changes.

My husband and I would like to start a family. I understand that many women choose to continue nannying even after they have had their children, but for me, I would like to stay home with them at least for the first year. The same amount of intentional time and efforts that I give to each of my little charges, I intend on giving that and more to my own. We are not there yet, but within the next couple of years we would like to grow our family. Exciting! This reality pushes me to think about stability and future professional plans.

Because of this, and the desire to further my credentials within Early Childhood Education, I have decided to go back to school. I have begun classes already and find myself enjoying the change! I am taking master level courses within Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. At the end of this accelerated program, I will be equipped to enter into the New Hampshire public school system as a lead teacher. As I expect of my little ones, I intend to keep learning, growing and pushing myself.

I am not done reaching and teaching as ‘NannyBeth’ by any means. I still have a strong passion for encouraging and equipping nannies and parents to train up their children in the way they should go! The capacity at which I will be writing and posting though, may change. I am now committed to clinicals within the school system, course work from multiple classes per term, as well as working the day job. This means that I will just have less time to dedicate right now.

I still intend on sharing and connecting with you, ladies! So, please, stick around! Thank you for your support and patience as I make these life changes.

Now, your turn…

Are there some changes that you are going through as well? Perhaps, you just started working for another family. Perhaps you are thinking of taking your nannying skills in another direction. Do you have a degree and have decided to pursue a different career path? Are you a mama and just found out your family will be growing very shortly here?

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what is going on in your world by commenting with your ‘New Direction’ down below and let’s connect!  

 

Hugs,

 

NannyBeth

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Training Our Children to Share

Please know that as we begin the process of training our children to share, it will involve both close monitoring and probable intervention on our part. Remember, our children are little learners and little learners require intentional and patient teachers. But be encouraged because in the end, training our children to share now will make things significantly easier later.

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We don’t only train our children to share because it’s a kind thing to do but because God has commanded us to have a heart of generosity with one another.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 says, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 

Though our children are not yet in charge of their own financial decisions, it’s good for us to begin exemplifying and training them toward a heart of generosity. It’s truly better to give than to receive! As we move forward with this in mind, it’s also good for us to remember that they are children and the learning process with be just that- a process. I mean goodness gracious- we adults still have a tough time with this whole sharing thing!

There are some things we need to keep in mind when we’re training our little ones to share…

  • There is a time for sharing and a time for keeping

It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘constant share merry-go-round’, but there are certain times when children don’t need to share- and that’s completely okay! A few of these exceptional moments/situations may be:

-Birthday’s

-Favorite toys (not 20 of these, but one or two ‘specials’ are definitely okay to keep for themselves)

  • When we share, we are showing kindness toward one another. So, when our children choose to share their toys, time and affection with others, it’s so important that we recognize their kind decision and praise it!

There are a few mindful phrases that can be helpful when training little ones to share… 

  • When we are asked or told to share by our parents/adult in charge, we listen and obey. (In this instance, we’re assuming that, as mentioned above, a child is being less than generous with his/her toys. It’s in this moment that the adult in charge would step in to make sure that all the children are able to get some play time.)

Ephesians 6:1 reminds us that children are to obey their parents because they belong to the Lord and it is the right thing to do.

When our children are asked or told to do something  within the realm of safety and appropriateness, we as parents and nannies should expect 1) a listening ear and 2) an obedient body.

  • If sharing and listening is proving to be too difficult and a child refuses to listen to instruction, then the specific toy or activity that is in question is now to be made unavailable for play.

If we can’t play nice and share a toy with our friends, then we can’t play with that toy at all. 

After a 5 minute wait period, the toy that the child was unable to play with can be revisited by asking, “Do you think you can play with this toy and also share with your friends? You have a turn and then your friend will have a turn. Do you want to try?”

  • We never take from another person’s hand.

When I use the word “take” here, it is referring to the action of grabbing or acquiring without permission from the person who is using it at that time. Usually I require that the “taker” give the object back to the other child’s hand and either 1) ask nicely to have it and wait for a response or 2) listen to his/her friends words of “No, not right now” and move on to some other activity.

  • If there is a problem, ask for help. Don’t take matters into your own hands. (pushing/biting/hitting/pulling etc.)

You may notice that I often refer to things you,he,she as- ‘we’. I find that using ‘we’ is useful because it creates the expectation that we ALL are to be kind, generous and selfless. The statements with a “we'”come off less pointed and more encompassing. The standard and expectation is for all, not just the child. So, instead of saying, “Don’t hit” or “You don’t hit”, I would say, “We don’t hit people”.

Training a child to share can prove to be very trying and very trying- let’s be honest! It requires a lot of involvement as we have discussed, but in the end it does pays off. When you experience that proud moment of seeing your little one offer a toy to a child who may not have one to play with, then you’ll know it’s all been worth it! So, don’t give up and keep on reinforcing those standards of kindness and generosity, Mama and Nanny. We’re in this together!

Have a fun or encouraging story about sharing? Please SHARE by commenting below!

Xx

NannyBeth

Arrows In Our Quiver

This past week in young married couples Bible study, we were discussing parenting and its challenges. A particular group of verses were brought up for discussion- Psalm 127:3-5. It says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” When we were asked to give our thoughts on this verse and the relevance it has to parenting/taking care of children today, I really didn’t have a comment. Now I do, and here is my response.

A quiver is a container for holding arrows, bolts or darts that can be carried on an archer’s body, the bow, or the ground.

If the verses describe children as arrows and the quiver is used to carry them, I would think that a quiver could represent a household or a family.

It says blessed are those who have a full quiver, or blessed are those who have a full household. One is blessed when there are those for you to love and to love you in return. One could go further with this analogy and think of what one does with the arrows in their quiver. When the archer is good and ready and has chosen the target to aim at, they pick out an arrow and mount it on the bow.

The act of mounting the chosen arrow correctly on the bow and pointing it toward the target could represent the raising and training process of child rearing. Up until this point, this arrow has only ever been in the hands of the archer but once the archer has decided to loosen this arrow and send it on its way, much of the archer’s hands on work has been completed. In the same way, once we have fulfilled our responsibility of raising and training our little ones up in the ways of the Lord, the ways of love, to the best of our ability, it’s time to release and watch the arrow fly. It may be a painful process. Fingers may get bruised or blistered, cheeks may be left with scratches in the release process, but it’s all worth it when the arrow is soaring through the air. One may be filled with comfort that in trusting God and doing all that could be done, this little one is now headed toward life’s target.

It takes courage and faith to trust that once the arrow has left its quiver and left the bow, that God will carry it from there until the end of its journey. Perhaps some storms will blow along the way. The arrow may be knocked off course. The arrow may even plummet to the ground in a gut-wrenching change of course. But it is in these moments that the prayers and love that launch these arrows have to be recognized as pushing the arrow on and the deep love that our Heavenly Father has for His children needs to be remembered. Trusting God within the process and especially after “the release” is so crucial. Power, purpose and perfection, friends! He never misses.

We must trust that if we have sought after Godly wisdom and guidance in raising and training our little one, that He will continue the good work He started. He will take our child, our arrow, from where we have to release it and direct its path.

There is more imagery in this passage that I absolutely adore. It has a special place in my heart. When this Psalm speaks of a quiver, it is important to know that quivers differ. Their differences are based on the archer’s preferences and individual strengths. Some quivers are carried on the body, others are attached to the bow and some are even designed to be placed on the ground. Here, I picture the traditional quiver worn on the body as the womb. This is when the child comes from the body of the husband and wife within the household. But what about the quiver that is attached to the bow? For me, it is lovely and encouraging to picture the quiver mounted on the bow as a household where the child did not come from the mother’s body but has been joined to the household by either adoption or fostering. I’m not certain that God will choose to bless me with the miracle of pregnancy or birth, only He knows that, but I am certain that God has chosen me to be a mother and bless a little one of my own. It is heartwarming to think that though this little one may not come as a byproduct of the deep love that my husband and I share, he or she will be part of our family nonetheless. It’s still our primary job to set our little one on the straight and narrow path. It’s our job to mount our arrow and when they are ready, to release them toward the target- just as the birthmothers beside us will be doing.

And finally, what about the quiver that is placed on the ground? I think this could refer to the children who are given direction from someone outside the household altogether. These little ones are picked up and pointed toward the target just like the rest but the circumstances are a little different. These arrows could represent the children that are touched by the teachers that have been placed in their lives. From three years of age till twenty-three and beyond, our children are often placed in the love and training of our teachers! Monday through Friday, from eight until three, our children are learning, absorbing and being guided one way or another by teachers. Our teachers carry a great responsibility in directing our children toward purpose.

Not one way of wearing the quiver is greater than the other. Each one is beneficial in its own way. Each one works to serve the same united purpose. The purpose of bringing these arrows to their target- their purpose in life. When we are united in purpose, encouraging one another through this process, no matter where our quivers lay, we will all succeed! We will be truly changing the world for good. When we begin to look at the commonalities we have with one another, we will begin to see the beauty in learning and growing together!

Let us come together as one body of sound mind in raising and training our children up as unto God! The arrow has a long way to fly.

 

My Story: Remembering How I Believed and Received

This is my story. Learn about why I’m passionate about what I do and what led me to where I am today.

My story begins and ends with my childhood babysitter who happened to also be a 5-Day Club leader. A 5-Day Club is a program designed to share the Good News of the Gospel with children within a 5-day span. This is done by playing games, enjoying some food and drink and learning stories about Jesus within a 2-hour time slot, each day for 5 days. This particular 5-day club was being held at my house, Monday through Friday, one particular warm, summer week when I was 6 years old. When Friday came, my babysitter ended our lesson that day with an invitation to believe in Jesus the Christ. I had come to love this Jesus that she taught about and because I knew her so well, I trusted her words. I rose my hand in an expression of wanting to know Jesus personally. She led me in a prayer where I acknowledged my sins before God and asked for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. I told Jesus that I believed He is the Son of God and that I wanted to know him more. When we were done, she hugged me tightly and handed me a Children’s Bible. As our 5-Day Club group dismissed, I bounced inside my house looking for anyone and everyone to share the good news with! I found my younger brother first. Within 20 minutes of telling him the condensed version of the good news Gospel and how great Jesus is, I led him into a salvation prayer there in our bedroom.

Looking back, I see how God used my relationship with my babysitter and her great faith she had in Jesus to be the catalyst to my acceptance of Christ! The heart that she had for my brother and I, the love and the compassion that she showed day in and day out with us, it all came together with her love and reverence for the Lord. She still has that heart for the Lord. I am glad to say that we still stay in contact to this day. She is married with two boys of her own and currently leads a campus ministry at the University of New Hampshire. Not only was it my babysitter who had this vital role to play in my salvation story, but it was my parents as well. My parents decided to place me in this 5-Day Club. They made the conscious decision to hire her on as our childcare provider. They took into account her strength of character, integrity and of course – skills with children. Thanks to my parents’ willingness and foresight to place such a great role model in my brother’s and my life; and thanks to my babysitter who had the love and faith that we needed, my brother and I both accepted Christ in one day!

This is my story.

This is my story of salvation.

My story became more complete when I myself, as a teacher, led one of my students in a prayer to accept Jesus.

I was teaching a reading class outside on our school yard lawn one spring day two years ago, when I asked my class if they had all come to a relationship with God, since we were reading a story about salvation through Christ. They all said yes accept one. I asked her if she believed that Jesus is the Son of God. She said she did. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart and life right then, and she said yes! We bowed our heads as a class and I led this little girl to salvation through Jesus! My heart could not have been fuller. When the end of the day came, I shared with her mother what took place that day. She cried with joy. You see, this story is full circle. This mother intentionally chose to send her third grader to a place where she knew the teachers had a heart for God. She made the conscious decision to pick a place of education and growth for her little one that would not only shape her mind but also her heart and soul. And once her child was in my classroom, I was entrusted with the task of developing her character and her academics, but most importantly, leading her to eternity with Christ. Just as this mother chose, her child chose- so did I. And none of this would have been possible without my own parents making positive, impactful decisions that would shape not only my life, but others.   

This is why I do what I do. This is why I encourage others to take responsibility of this great position you have been placed in. Growing little minds, hearts and souls is not a small task, friends! This is a job that takes encouragement from all sides, a willingness to continue growth within our lives and a confidence that comes from knowing not only why we are doing all that we do but how God would have us do it.

I’ve felt it placed upon my heart to build a community where parents and nannies can come together to encourage each other in raising our children up in Christ. It is my dream that we will create an uplifting and positively challenging conversation that will lead to not only the growth of our characters but the growth of our children’s as well.

Xx

NannyBeth

Meet Nickey!

I had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with Nickey, a professional nanny and the founder of The Nannyhood. Read on to hear her story!

  1. I had the amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with Nickey, a professional nanny and the founder of The Nannyhood. Read on to hear her story!

Would you please tell me a little about yourself?

Hi! I’m Nickey. I have been a professional career nanny for the past 13+ years and have had the privilege of working with some pretty rad kiddos all over the world! Some of my jobs have included travel nanny adventures and working in high profile positions. I am also the founder of The Nannyhood! The Nannyhood creates community & fosters friendships for nannies in their cities through “Hoods” (meet up groups)! It places value on resources and advocates for Nannyhood.

And just so you can get to know my personality a little better, here are some INCREDIBLY important facts about me (you may want to write these down):

  • Disneyland is my happy place. When I lived in LA I used to spend my days off there journaling and munching on churros.
  • I had a moose who lived in my backyard growing up and sometimes I’d feed it pancakes.
  • I name random strangers and try to guess their back stories. A lot. It’s a real problem.
  • I have a major taco addiction. I could eat them for every meal.
  • I make my bed everyday-even it its before I go to sleep.
  • I pretend I’m in a movie on a daily basis.
  • I collect people’s stories and turn them into art. People are the coolest.

Let’s be friends! You can link up with my adventures and The Nannyhood here:

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, website

How did you get into nannying?

Honestly, (like many others) I fell into it. I have always adored children and grew up sitting all the time. I was offered a full-time nanny gig by an acquaintance when I was 18 years old and I never looked back! #NannyLife

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Nannying definitely comes with its own stigma. How have you worked to fight this in your personal nannying experience? Do you have any advice for those facing the judgmental and ‘less than’ treatment from others?

Yes! This is most definitely a pet peeve of mine. . . and I try to handle it with as much grace and patience as I am able. I will admit, after being told, “you need to find a ‘real job’!” or asked, “you’re STILL just babysitting?” a thousand times. . .I occasionally feel like I may explode (I am human). I find that at the end of the day, battling this stigma is just as simple as educating people who simply don’t understand. I have to calmly explain the difference between hiring a babysitter for a day night vs. employing a nanny as a full-time employee. A nanny is a luxury item- they are private in home childcare. When I explain what it is that I actually do all day and that I’m like a surrogate parent. . . I find that 80% of the time a light switch goes off in their countenance.

What has blessed you most about working as a nanny?

Being welcomed in as part of an extended family. There is something so beautiful and humbling about parents entrusting you to care for their most precious treasures. When I find my unicorn family for that season and truly share in the milestones, the hard times, the sweet moments. . . I thrive. I love that I have extended family all over the globe now that I stay in contact with, travel with, and continue to love.

I also love the magic. I love that I have the opportunity to keep the magic of childhood alive everyday while I am at work. When I think about how much my childhood impacted me and how often I think back on it- I am always trying to be mindful of how I am treating and what I am teaching the littles in my care. I heard quote once that “they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. I want them to remember that I made them feel safe and special. I love to get them using their imaginations and seeing all of the wonderful stories, worlds, and artwork that they create. It’s all magic.

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How did you come up with the idea to start The Nannyhood? Would you tell us a little about what you hope to do with your business?

After a few VERY difficult nanny jobs and a lot of burn out, I realized as a nanny that my life was WAY better when I wasn’t doing it alone. No one really understands a nanny life another nanny- and community/support is SO important. I left my sweet little Manhattan apartment and drug my tired self to Colorado Springs to be around family and refocus. I started a local nanny group in Colorado and made us a social media handle to use throughout the month in between our outings. Turns out people liked it! It’s been a super humbling experience to revive emails from nannies asking for my advice or requesting Nannyhoods in their city. I am definitely enjoying watching it all unfold.

What kind of leader do you strive to be for the nanny community both personally and through The Nannyhood?

I strive to be the ultimate cheerleader and connector in everything that I do. At the end of the day (when it comes to The Nannyhood) I am passionate about connecting nannies to lifelong friends, mentors, resources and anything else that will edify them in their nanny career. I hope that I would always come off approachable and kind- and that The Nannyhood would feel like an oasis for all who are lonely or burnt out.

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Where do you see The Nannyhood in the next 5 years?

Well, that is such a brilliant question! I want to keep some things up my sleeve (wink*) BUT I will say that I want to see thriving & flourishing “Hoods” popping up all over the place. We are looking to launch some Hoods internationally later this year, which is super exciting! I love watching our little group from Colorado grow not only locally-but all over the planet! It’s so much fun to watch!

 

A special thank you to Nickey who took the time out to share her story! I admire her drive, her passion and her conviction to help others in the same way that she needed help a while ago. She has a heart of gold and I am happy to say that she has become a great friend! I look forward to working with her more in the future and I know that The Nannyhood has a very bright future ahead. To learn more about The Nannyhood and what they are doing, please remember to skip over to her site: The Nannyhood.

 

Have a blessed day, ya’ll!

 

Xx

NannyBeth