Nannying, weight loss, and College

UGH. Just a big fat over weight UGH.

Before I begin what I’m sure is about to be lengthy vent-style post, let me talk about week 3 of The Skinny Snowman Challenge!
I finished week 3 with 10 more points than last week. Still not my best, but better than the week before so I won’t complain. I rocked out the Weekly Challenge of eating “clean” for a day which basically was just cutting out anything processed. Which is surprisingly easy to do since I don’t really eat anything processed as it is. I coincided that challenge with Meatless Monday, making it even easier to do. I honestly cannot even remember what I made for MM however…I think it was vegetarian enchiladas? Yes, that’s it. They were very meh…I didn’t even give them the courtesy of taking a picture.
Other than that, I rocked out the week with walking and drinking my water and a that jazz. I haven’t run, however, since the Friday before last, which is really depressing. Hell, I think it’s been even a week longer than that. I just haven’t felt like it. Ever since the chest pain saga I was really deterred from it all. Hopefully I’ll get back into it sooner than later, but right now I’ve got a mean cold that has got me way down.
Anyways, were in to week 4 of the challenge! I can’t believe there’s only one more week of this awesome challenge. I totally plan on continuing meatless Mondays, and to continue everything I love about the challenge. (3 servings of fruit and a veggie with every meal are probably my most favorite part! I never really cared too much about how many servings I got a day, just as long as I had something. Now I’m all about it!)
Oh, bonus about the Skinny? I’m down 4.4 lbs! Who got me to my lowest weight in 8 years, 188! I am now 65lbs and some change lost and feeling fabulous. I remember feeling awesome this time last year, but then after seeing Christmas and New Years photos of myself I was alarmingly depressed by the way I looked. I had lost 20-30 lbs by New Years and somehow I believed at 220-230 that I looked fuckin slammin. Not! I mean, yes…my confidence was much better and I was happy, but those pictures were so terrible I am surprised they didn’t throw me overboard. For the first time in years I’m not afraid of the camera. I know now that I look awesome, and if I happen to not like a picture of myself because it makes me “look fat” I KNOW it’s just a bad angle or an unflattering view because I am NOT FAT. That is such a liberating feeling to embrace that it almost brings me to tears.
I do still shy from mirrors, especially my bathroom ones, only because I don’t want to catch myself at an unflattering angle. When I have taken the time to do myself up I LOVE the mirror. But most days I just roll out of bed, put on different “comfy” clothes, brush my hair blindly and head to work. Three little boys don’t care how I look, and I don’t see the point in dolling up when I know I’m going to get sweaty or thrown up on or have orange juice spilled on me at some point. It’s a little trick, not looking in the mirror, that I started doing when I first joined WW. The first few weeks of losing but not seeing results would really fuck with me. So, I found that I was much happier with my weight loss when I wasn’t constantly looking in the mirror judging myself. It was especially hard not to do since our bathroom has the three-fold mirror. But I ALWAYS have them folded out, exposing our medicine and deodorant, but that’s what works for me.
Speaking of what works…I’ve been a fu time nanny for the last 6 years. I’ve worked for a number of families, from all different walks, ages, genders and even in a few different states. I don’t want to step on any toes or to offend anyone, but I just feel that in my small amount of years doing this that I’ve learned SOME things. In no way shape or form to I think of myself as a parent, no do I pretend to even kind of know what it’s like to be one. I am aware that having a child of your own is in no way comparable to being a nanny. I GET IT. But that being said, I also feel like being a nanny gives an objective stand point on being a parent. You have the ability to not be as hurt by the tears that come from a scraped knee, or to not be as manipulated when they ask for candy before dinner. It’s much easier to stick to the rules, because more often than not that kid is going to behave 50 shades better for you than their parents…simply because you can tell on them. In being a nanny I’ve learned the importance of nap times, routines, schedules and forcing a child to eat their food. Not saying that a parent doesn’t know these things, but I think a lot of times it comes with trial and error. Such as learning what not to so with the second child. That’s how I learned with my charges (Kids I’ve nannied for). My first nanny job ever was with twins! Little 2 month old twins. I was in well over my head and I remember crying multiple times because there was no way I could make it. Through them there was a lot of trial and error, but with two babies at the same exact age it was even more important that I had them do things at the same time…eating, sleeping, playing etc. which meant routine/schedule and not deviating WHATSOEVER. I took that lesson into my next family and so on and so forth.
Now here I am, 6 years later, and I’m still learning. I’m now with three boys, ages 3, 6, and 8. I am tested by them on a daily basis and in the beginning had no idea how I was going to make it. I cried in frustration and anger. I didn’t know why they wouldn’t listen and I was absolutely too stubborn to call their mom or grand mother, who can put the fear of god into those kids, because I wanted to prove to myself that I am capable of getting these boys under control.
Most days are insanely hectic and outrageously testing. I arrive at 5:30, waking them up by 7am (if they’re not already up when I get here…) I keep the older two from killing each other while showering, picking out their clothes, cooking them breakfast (most days it’s just cereal or waffles though), and helping them with homework. The youngest is up most days when I get here, but goes right back down for me when his mom or grandmother leave for work and he will stay asleep until 8. But that time from 7-8 feels like it goes on for days some times and I have NO IDEA how his mom or any mom does it on a daily basis. This is my first time with older children during a school year. I once had a summer nanny position for 4 children, ages 1-12 and that was intense! But not even a fraction as frustrating and difficult as this can be some days. But then again it was summer time and things were far more relaxed.

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I started writing this post around 5:30 in the morning, and it is now 1 in the afternoon. I’ve gotten two boys off to school, too one boy to pick up my order of Christmas cards, took him to swim, addressed, filled, and stamped all the cards and sent them off, fed the boy lunch, got him to bed, vacuumed their house, emptied the dishwasher (the refilled it) took out the trash, put away toys, switched over some laundry, and NOW I’m finally back to writing the blog…so where was I?
Basically, I’ve learned as a nanny that no matter how much I think a certain way is right, it is most likely never going to be that way once I leave. I do not give snacks every time they’re asked for, (50 times before we leave for school alone I’m asked for candy), I do NOT allow children to drink soda, I make them brush their teeth after breakfast and lunch (of course before bed too if I’m there), I make them eat their fruits and veggies, I stick to timeouts and naptimes, and overall the kids always know how our day is going to go. There’s no guessing. Well, sometimes there is. But there will always be nap time! I love naptimes :) however, more often than not all of this shit goes out the window once I leave. With every single family. Do they just not care? Is it like me with my dogs when I discipline them and can’t stand to see their sad faces 5 seconds later so I give them treats? (I honestly think that this is how parents must feel about their children. My dog took a shit RIGHT in front of me yesterday…I smacked her behind and INSTANTLY felt horrible and picked her up and kissed her and told her its alright) Do they do it to fuck with me? Do they enjoy their children bouncing off the walls on caffeine an sugar? Is it fun to have your kids sleep in bed with you every other night? Is it enjoyable when your kid doesn’t take a nap? I mean…what the hell? Sure, kids fight me on sleep and food and taking a bath and EVERYTHING…but after a few knock down tantrums and screaming (on their part) they usually end up just getting used to it. Before, with this current family, the youngest would SCREAM bloody murder every morning when I would put him back down after he was up with his mom at 5am. I’m sorry, I just don’t see the point in a 3 year old being awake before 7 or 8. He literally would punch and kick me as I carried him to bed. Now? He just reaches up for me or walks back to bed on his own. And he will be sound asleep until I wake him at 8. He used to cry so hard at nap time he would vomit. I’m NOT joking. But thats how he gets away with not taking naps for his parents…hes learned that if he cries hard enough he wont have to nap. Now? Right after he’s finished eating he says “now I brush my teeth and go to bed!” Like he’s excited about it. He would crumble into pieces every day when I would dress him. Fighting every piece of his outfit down to the socks? Why? I have NO clue. But now it makes no difference to him what I dress him in (as long as there’s Spider-Man underwear). But his parents still fight with him pretty regularly about these issues. Is it just easier as a parent (especially with multiple children) to just give in? Always?
I’m in NO way saying the people I work for now are ill equipped or that what they do is wrong. It’s this way with almost every family I know, almost. Even families I don’t and have never worked for. So parents out there…why does this happen?

As far as college goes…I’m finished for the semester! 4 more classes next semester and I’m all done…for good! So far I’ve gotten two grades back from two classes and they’re BOTH A’s! Woo hoo! This is probably my biggest relief right now because I was really getting overwhelmed with school four night a week and working all day on those days, plus trying to stay on track with my weight loss and all of that.

Somehow I managed to lose 24 lbs during this semester! I finished all of the Christmas shopping for 7 nieces and nephews, the boys I work for, and a few other kids Joey and I think of as family, as well as some for my friends and Joey. They’re even all wrapped and under the tree. Now I just need gifts for our parents and were all done :) I even managed to get the Christmas cards out before Christmas, which I did not see happening. I have been uber stressed about that and I was able to create them last night and they were ready for pick up this morning.
With all of this stress and craziness, I’ve managed two A’s so far, and significant weight loss. So when people tell me they don’t have time to eat better or workout it takes every inch of my being not to roll my eyes.

That used to be me.

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One thought on “Nannying, weight loss, and College

  1. First, brace yourself for the longest comment in the history of ever. :-)

    I was a nanny before Scarlett was born, and I was not half the parent then that I am now. But I was AWESOME at being a nanny.

    My roughest days back then wouldn’t make me flinch today. But being a less-experienced parent didn’t effect how good I was at my job. I was SO on top of it with my three boys that even years later at Mary’s birthday party, they wouldn’t budge after their mom called them six times to the car, but they happily gave me hugs and hopped in the van as soon as I spoke up. Now imagine Matthew jumping at my first request like that and tell me how hard you laugh! The objective standpoint makes a colossal difference and you have legit parenting skills that those mothers don’t have because their experience is limited to the dynamics of their specific family. A parent gets tunnel vision. We sometimes think that our kids aren’t even CAPABLE of doing things that a skilled-enough nanny can magically make happen. Nannies have credible insight, but (unless they’re really inept) the parents will have insight of their own too, so it’s important to talk to them as much as you can about the reasons behind doing stuff the way that they do. Either so A.) you guys can get on the same page and double-team that shit. Or, B.) you can learn from each other.

    I’m pretty sure after the Connecticut shooting, a lot of kids were spoiled this weekend. We’re majorly ruled by emotions and partially by how others will judge our kids’ behavior and all that stuff we SAY we aren’t, but it isn’t about just wanting to give in to a bunch of complaining. When Spencer had his bus accident, I was at work. If I were at home, I probably would have packed my own kids up for a babysitter and rushed to the hospital and not given a flying number two if their hair was combed or they were wearing matching socks when they arrived. But because I was at work and couldn’t leave until it was over, I played a phonics game with Evan because it’s all that I could do, and it ended up being the first time he ever beat me, so we celebrated and everything. When his mom arrived, he was all smiles, hair combed, and wearing matching socks with his pajamas.

    Sticking to protocol is a nanny’s one and only objective. Even if she’s distracted by other things going on in her life, impressing her employers at the end of a 4:00 shift will come first. Everything else waits. So making that specific chunk of time run smoothly is where your focus is. Then you get a break. Then you get to return fresh. Then you get a second chance to do it even better. And you TRY to do it better because it’s a reflection of your ability.

    Parents have a bigger picture. There’s more to include in their considerations and that smudges the line of good vs. bad.

    My parents stopped over unexpectedly last night and let Matthew lick brownie batter right before dinner. I could have made a fuss about it. But you know how I see it? Maybe someday when my grandchildren are sitting on his knee, that’ll be one of the memories he passes down to them about his relationship with my parents: them popping in unexpectedly, shaking off the cold with boisterous open-arm hellos, and spoon-feeding him brownie batter while he was supposed to be cleaning his room. Scarlett ate horribly and you can bet that because we let her turn down most of dinner last night because she was stuffed from half a cupcake, she’ll try it again the next time we have a food she doesn’t love. She’ll also expect access to batter that it never even dawned on her until yesterday she could ask for! I brought it on myself, but if I had to do it over again, I’d make the same decision. A nanny wouldn’t.

    A parent also carries most of the burden of character development and that shit gets REAL complicated.

    The tone I take with Mary is the tone she takes with Matthew. (If I snap at her sarcastically because that’s what she responds to, she might immediately stop talking back to me, but she’ll instinctively speak to Matthew that way every time he opens his mouth.) If I bark orders at Matthew and utterly refuse to hear his backtalk, he barks orders at his friends and utterly refuses to hear what they have to say. Mary watches me yank Matthew up by the arm ONE TIME and forcefully place him in time-out? Guess what, not only does she handle stress that way with him at home (except exaggerated because she has even less self-control than an adult)… That’ll be her go-to way of handling a disobedient child when her first baby-sitting job comes up. Not because it’s what she sees most often; strictly because she saw it have the most immediate effect. ALSO, a nanny gets to call the shots. A mom has to run all her shots by dad and do a lot of stuff she wouldn’t do if it were all up to her. That parenting decision a nanny thinks is fucking moronic might be the best compromise mom and dad could come up with after arguing about it for six months. Matthew sitting up late to watch the Walking Dead with us and Mary having a facebook is not worth the cost of them having parents who don’t want to look at each other.

    To a nanny, the gentle approach I try to take with my kids would probably be scoffed at. But as their parent, I know that there’s a greater good behind my decisions. I’m teaching Mary patience and I’m teaching Matthew the power of listening by demonstrating that I can have it/do it with them. I’m showing them that I can cooperate with their father even when we have apposing views on VERY important issues. I’m trying not to ruin Scarlett of her soft-spoken, gentle nature. If I were as hard on the other kids as an objective third party (or, you know, their dad :-P ) might wish for me to be, that delicate way of hers would be totally choked out. I also don’t want my kids being stressed because I’m stressed. And if I were expected to be at my absolute most professional every minute of every day until the day those kids literally put me in the ground? I’d be a much worse mother, trust me!

    Anyway, a nanny needs to know up front that the parents are willing to let her be a major influence on the way things run for the time she’s in charge, or this is gonna keep happening. My mom tells all her daycare parents that she won’t potty train their kids alone because it won’t work. If she’s going to put them on a potty plan, the parents are obligated to stick to it at home, or she’ll abandon it too. I would have a serious talk with them where you hash out a few of the areas you know you guys aren’t handling the same way. Ask why they do it their way, and offer your strategy to see if it’s something their willing to get behind. My bosses had experience with multiple nannies and they both told me at separate times that it’s a learning experience for them too. A family whose never had a nanny before might not realize how much you depend on their cooperation.

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