Not On My Watch

The Nanny Gig

It’s a huge thing this Nannying gig. Really huge. Life and death huge in some cases. Well, where babies are concerned anyways, then it most definitely is!

But here’s my big question: What to do when something goes wrong? With whom does the blame lie?

Bub banged her nose quite severely on the arm of the couch one day not long ago. She was bouncing around excitedly and ended up face planting the couch. Silly Bub!
The end result: some severe carpet burn, some blood and a whole lot of crying!

It looked worse than it was, and once we had calmed down I was able to stop and think and assess the damage. I could see that she didn’t have any immediate bruising around the nose and eyes.

Her nose wasn’t broken – tick!
Her teeth didn’t come through her lip – tick!
She’s not bleeding internally – tick!
By all accounts it’s superficial – oh thank god!

After a good half an hour of consoling my poor little munchkin, some serious off-key lullabies and a warm bottle to send her off to peaceful, I just cried my eyes out and now I’m exhausted sleep, I turned on myself. The full weight of criticism came attacking and self-doubt was rife in my head.

How could I have let this happen!
Her mum leaves her entrusted in my care and look what happens!
This is not good enough, imagine if it had have been more serious!
This is my first day back at work after having four days off over Christmas.
Maybe I’m not cut out to be a nanny.
Clearly my motherly instincts are desensitized after having time off.
Maybe I’m not a natural at this gig after all.

Poor baby Viv, too little to communicate herself and understand.

Not-So Broken Nose

A little later I called BossMum to inform her of what had happened, letting her know the details and that Viv was OK save for a rather large red bump on her nose. I then divulged my anguish. Telling BM that I was so sorry to have let this happen, On My Watch!

To which she said:

This kind of thing happens all the time. She’s getting more and more mobile these days. She’s not aware of her spacial distance just yet. If it wasn’t you, it would have happened to someone else! Don’t blame yourself! I’m just glad you were there to do some first aid and give her warm cuddles, you’re her other mother you know!

She then confessed,

Don’t feel bad, I accidentally left her sitting on the couch the other day and walked off to the kitchen to put her nappy in the bin and next thing I know she’s fallen of the couch and face planted the hard carpet floor with a deafening thud! So I know what it’s like!

After some careful reflection I went back and just sat watching Bub sleep in her cot, checking constantly to make sure she was still breathing. (OK so I guess I do have all the motherly instincts after all).

The ordeal got me thinking, of the heavy responsibility we take on as nannies. To bear the responsibility of caring for other people’s children.

  • When driving them in the car.
  • When giving swimming lessons in the pool.
  • When taking them out and about in busy places.
  • When walking them to school.
  • When overseeing all education and developmental milestones.
  • Even down to the ‘feed them responsibly, bath them safely, provide emotional and mental support effectively’.

It’s a huge thing to take on, this Nannying Gig, and mustn’t be taken lightly.

And so I state again, with strong conviction, and with 110% dedication to do my every bit to ensure that my little children do not experience hurt. I say:

Not On My Watch!

For I endeavour to be Superwoman. Or, at the very least, SuperNanny.
They don’t call me NannyShecando for nothing!

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18 responses to “Not On My Watch

  1. Great post. I can identify with your feelings – as parent, teacher and now grandparent. Things will happen no matter how vigilant we are. We can’t prevent every accident, but we do what we can to limit the occurrence – ever mindful.

    • You’re so right Norah. We just have to do our best to control the surroundings and limit the chances. That being said, a little battle bruises can be a good thing for character development, so long as it’s not too damaging or irresponsible. How old is your grandchild?

      • I have two beautiful grandchildren. Artie is 4 and Anna is 2. They are lucky to have two wonderful parents, four grandparents, and an aunt and uncle who love them dearly. While not now, they have had their share of nannies too who, like you, did wonderful things with them. Keep up the great work. I love hearing the tales of your little ones’ escapades!

  2. So true hun! You wouldn’t believe the accidents we’ve had. At first I would cry when he hurt himself. Seeing your little one cry breaks your heart at the best of times. .. but when you feel like you might have prevented it! Yikes.
    But I’ve learnt at last that it just happens, happens to us all. I know a certain oma who lost an entire nights sleep after letting her grandson accidently fall off a chair. But you gotta shrug it off. fab job supernanny! I’d let you babysit anytime! ♡

    • Oh no, poor Oma! Was the little man ok? It’s the worst thing ever to see them cry but these things happen, all part of growing up. At least you can tell by the sound of the cry whether it’s really bad or they more just got a fright.
      Can’t wait to come and visit real soon!

  3. As a step mum I constantly feel on the fence of your exact feelings.
    I am a parent, but they are also not MY children (biologically speaking). I have to be my own person and find my own role in the boys lives, but I have to respect their mothers wishes and think what would their mum want me to do right now and sometimes it is tough and you feel the pressure if the kids are sick or hurt!!

    • I can completely understand how you feel. It adds a whole other dimension doesn’t it. The same family that I was referring to in this post is actually a blended family. The older twins go between us and their mother’s house. It really does create a very different dynamic, for both their StepMum (my boss and biological mother to the 2 other girls) and also for me. They will ask me for sleepovers, play dates, activities and I not only have to consider my perspective, their step mum’s but also the values and wishes of their biological mother.

      • We manage but it’s sure a challenge for the mind to remember the schedules! Hats off to all of the Step Mums out there parenting children that they love as their own 🙂

  4. Lovely that the Mum was so understanding! Babies do just get into all sorts of strife in seconds. My little girl has a scar on her head from carpet burn! She toppled (on Dad’s watch) from the sofa (I am still pretty grumpy at him though LOL!)

    • Oh no poor little poppet, she’s such a cutie too! I bet you must be more than a little grumpy with him, even if these things do happen all the time. But yes, I am very lucky to have such an easy going and understanding boss – they’re hard to come by at the best of times let alone when your boss is also the mother of the children!

  5. Poor cherub .
    I can relate too – i once babysat the children of a cop and i was SUPER VIGILANT about those kids, checked they were breathing (5 & 6yrs or so). When I have children here for play dates I am extra careful too to watch them more closely than my own boys.

    • Isn’t it interesting how we watch other people’s kids more closely than our own (well in my situation, I watch the friends they have visiting more closely than my usual kids). I guess it all comes down to that feeling of responsibility.

  6. Thanks for linking up again super star nanny 🙂 it happens doesnt it and that was pretty minor glad you picked yourself up pretty fast. my 18month old is forever bumping and bruising it seems she has no sense of fear and launches herself off and into things. sometimes i let her do it, i’d rather she hurt her self falling from the lounge to the floor than from a wall to concrete.
    Thanks for linking up for Sunday Brunch xxx

    • Not a problem, I’m enjoying the camaraderie that your Sunday Brunch Link Up is providing!
      Good point, sometimes it’s better to let them experience the consequences in a minor and controlled situation as opposed to them having no fear and ending up damaged!

  7. As a child I used to babysit and take younger kids to the park all the time, now I wouldn’t dare. The realities of what COULD happen loom large. Despite the fact anything could happen even on the mother’s watch and frankly the sitter is blameless I still won’t do it. But good on you and your ‘not on my watch’ attitude!

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