My summer home from college could have easily been spent working minimum wage at a local amusement park or fast food restaurant, but when my neighbor offered me a job nannying a little girl and boy 2-3 times per week, I couldn’t have been more excited. For high schoolers or students coming back home after college, nannying is the best possible job you can get, and since most parents still have to work while their children are out of school for the summer, they’ll probably be seeking some help. I absolutely love the kids I nanny, and here are seven more reasons why I think everyone should make their summer job a nannying one:
- They give you a chance to be a kid again. Think about it: would you rather be paid to file papers at a desk, or scatter pillows across the living room floor for an old-fashioned game of Hot Lava? When you’re a nanny, there’s no shame in being goofy.
- You get to wear comfy clothes. No uniform necessary. You can literally roll out of bed and go nanny. The only people that will be looking at you today will be the kids you’re babysitting, and they’re far more concerned with how long they can get you to play Tag with them than what your hair looks like.
- Free food! The parents of the kids I’m watching always assure me that I can help myself to any of their food during my hours watching their kids. And if you’re lucky enough to nanny a family that stocks up on fruit snacks and gold fish, you just hit a slam dunk. Diet Coke in the fridge, here I come.
- They’re the little siblings you never had. I’m the youngest of three, so I was never forced into learning how to cooperate and understand the brain of someone much younger than me. Many youngest-siblings or only-children end up growing up without knowing how to joke around with a kindergartener, and I’m so glad that babysitting allowed me to be comfortable with kids of all ages.
- It’s better and quicker pay. The primary reason you nanny is to make money, and although that’s certainly not the most rewarding thing you’ll get out of it, getting cash back quick is a huge plus. You usually don’t have to wait around for a paycheck that gets taxes deducted out of it. And the more children you’re looking after, most likely, the more you’re going to get paid. (Hint: it’s usually a lot more than minimum wage).
- To the kids, you are master of everything. Something as simple as coloring inside the lines amazes kids. Being able to fold up a piece of paper, make a few cuts and unfold a snowflake is astonishing to them. And don’t even get me started on all the games you can teach them to play on your cell phone. Unfortunately, these things aren’t quite as fascinating to anyone above the age of ten.
- They love you irrevocably. It doesn’t matter if it was an overall good day or one filled with lots of time-outs – when Dad comes home, the little girl I nanny always sobs that she doesn’t want me to leave. At least until I remind her that I’ll be back again tomorrow.
From learning how to calm down a screaming baby to figuring out how to entertain a 7-year-old, nannying can be so rewarding. Whether you choose to have children of your own or not, kids will always work their way into your lives, and it’s important to have a handle on how to get along with them. Nannying teaches you skills that you aren’t going to learn anywhere else. So before you fill out that job application to Wendy’s, knock on a few neighbors’ doors and see if they need any extra help this summer. (Most parents won’t turn down the opportunity for a date night!) You’ll be glad you did.