After teaching for a term in Essex when I first arrived in the UK in April 2014, I was more than ready to move to London and try something different. I knew that teaching would always be waiting for me when I returned to Australia and I wanted to try something else that would provide opportunities and experiences I wouldn’t otherwise be able to have. That, coupled with my experience with working with children sent me on the path to finding a job as a nanny.
After a hectic but amazing Summer of 2014, I was running low on cash and just couldn’t bare the thought of tackling the gruelling task of finding an affordable but suitable place to live in London, so that’s why I decided to look into live in nanny positions.
I signed up with an agency that recruits Aussie and Kiwi nannies and attended a few interviews, of which one in particular stood out as my ideal job. Once back from Croatia I moved straight in with the family to do a one week trial with them. It all went well, they wanted me and I wanted them and that weekend I moved in, simple as that. It was all a bit of a whirlwind at the time and I got so busy that my writing really suffered (hence the massive lack of posts for the last year) and I didn’t want to write about my job until I had really settled in.
But here I am at the end of my one year adventure as a nanny and I’m ready to tell all (or almost all).
I worked for a family with 3 children, a girl 12, a girl 9 and boy 4 who live in a lovely area in North London. The family are incredibly wealthy and I’ve been introduced to a way of life that I never thought I would see. The house I lived in for the year is a huge 2 century old building that was once a hospital, it’s 2nd grade heritage listed and is absolutely beautiful, some rooms in the house were designed to replicate the magnificent 70 metre yacht that the family also own. Needless to say when I first arrived for my interview I almost felt unworthy of stepping into such a home but after a few weeks it just feels normal and I forget the impact it has until I witness other people seeing it for the first time. I had my own room and ensuite on a separate level to the rest of the family so it didn’t feel like I was living on top of anyone which was nice.
I worked long hours, from 7am until around 8:15pm without much of a break during the day depending how busy I was. Some days I would work right through without stopping and other days I had quieter afternoons where I could get a break or just potter along at a slower pace.
My daily routine was something like this: I got the kids up and ready for school, cooked lunch for the young one, took him to and from various morning activities and then to his afternoon nursery. Once all the kids had finished school and nursery I picked them up and did the after school activity run, then, once home it’s making sure homework is done, bathing the young one, sometimes cooking dinner, although not often, and then getting them ready for bed.
It was long days and it could be really exhausting but it was also fun too. One of the reasons I was really keen to take this job was for the travelling opportunities. This family travel every single school holidays, which is basically every 6 to 7 weeks. I’ve gone on a few amazing trips with them throughout the year but I will tell you about those in later posts!
One thing I will admit to is how hard it was settling into a live in position, it sometimes felt like I didn’t have much of a home. I couldn’t have friends over and it made for lonely evenings and weekends if I didn’t feel like getting out much, but on the other hand I was basically out every minute I could, making the most of London and my friends here. On the plus side I had a huge room and wardrobe with heating and air conditioning plus my own bathroom which is such a luxury in London, especially when a lot of people I know share rooms with 1 or 2 others and usually a bathroom is shared between even more people.
Some days I loved my job and was so glad I found it and some days I wanted to run back to teaching where I could work normal hours and have my own place. But I wanted a challenge, and it was a challenge I got, looking back over the last year I’m glad I took the job, despite the long hours and the sometimes crazy lifestyle, I made some fantastic friends, got to spend a year with 3 lovely children, went on some incredible holidays that I’ll never have a hope of replicating and I got to work towards saving for my own travel in the mean time.