Being a good role model, not so easy at times.
Recently I had the pleasure of attending a school function for the girls and then joined the family for dinner at a restaurant afterwards. I was really touched to have been invited out to join the family. It’s nice every now and then to be reminded that the family (but the kids mainly) really do appreciate my contributions.
The school function just happened to fall on a day that I wasn’t working. I know what you’re thinking, as a nanny you actually got a day off?? But I did. So I took the time to put a little more thought into my appearance. I went to a little more effort than the usual ensemble of thrown together clothes that 95% of the time is covered in various forms of dog slobber and/or baby-sick by the end of the day. I even ended up wearing boots that had a bit of a heel. Nothing out of the usual to me, but it seems I made quite an impression on the girls.
Shortly after all three girls arrived home from the school event they mysteriously, and voluntarily I might add, disappeared up to their respective rooms to change for dinner. As The Twins descended the two flights of stairs down from their rockin’ top floor pad (it’s going to be so perfect for when they morph into moody teenagers) I couldn’t help but notice they seemed to be negotiating the stairs with quite some difficulty. A closer look informed me that they’d managed to put together a clothing look that kind of resembled my own outfit, complete with some serious high heels (OK they weren’t kitten heels but wedges can still be gnarly!). I smiled and helped them both down the last few steps, complimenting their grown-up outfits and not thinking much more of it. That was until Miss Charlie attempted to descend the stairs herself a few minutes later. She’d managed to change into the most sparkly outfit I’d ever seen. It was so shiny I had to blink and wished I had sunglasses to shield my eyes. Even worse were the shoes she’d managed to squeeze into, should a six-year-old even own high heels? Surely there’s an issue of morality at play here? I quickly took her hand and marched her back upstairs to her bedroom where I sweet talked her into moderating her outfit just slightly into something a little more age appropriate.
We all enjoyed a lovely family dinner, lots of laughs and bubbling conversation (of course everyone talking over the top of each other and vying for attention, that’s normal right?). As I bid them adieu and made my way home, I began to think that I really must pay more attention to how I conduct myself. Having mainly worked with boys in previous families, I’ve not really had the experience of being a true role model. Yes I’ve maintained and upheld a code of ethics, instilled rules and decent behaviour onto them and lead by example. I’ve played devil’s advocate at times and moderated arguments of “right” and wrong”. But I’ve never had to think about my actions as a female, as a woman, as a big sister and how this might influence the young girls around me. I was reminded that I am now a role model to these girls; Miss Charlie at six and The Twins at 11 look up to me.
So girls, I gladly accept the role as “mentor”. I hope to do you proud and exceed your expectations.
And a little word of advice from me to you, just something I’ve experienced from time to time:
‘High heels hurt your feet!’
They really do. Yes they make our legs look pretty and give much-needed height at times, but sometimes they’re just not worth it. So try to hold off on them as long as possible, ballet flats look just as cute. Oh and one other thing, a classy woman never ever takes her heels off and walks bare feet. Never ever, no matter how much your feet hurt. Just don’t do it. Just smile and wave girls, smile and wave.