3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Live-in Nanny

Just a little over 9 months ago, I accepted a job in Hawaii as a live-in nanny. I’m from South Carolina. I lived with my sister and my parents lived pretty close by as well. My life wasn’t perfect. I struggled a lot, but I always had them there for support. But I gave everything up and I moved away for this job.

I took a huge risk accepting a job not only so far away from home, but off the mainland all together. It has always been my dream to live in Hawaii ever since I visited the big Island of Hawaii when I was 7 years old. I was excited more than anything and because I was so excited there were a few things I forgot to do when I accepted this job.

I wouldn’t say I messed up, but I wasn’t careful and well, I lost my job and I’m having to start all over. It hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been stressful because I basically have nothing and the only help I have here on the island is from my best friend that lives here. My parents are trying to help out the best the can, but it’s hard because they’re not even here.

This has all been a learning experience. Being a live-in nanny has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve had a place to stay, a car to drive and food to eat. All I had to do is wake up and I’m already at work. I could stay in my pajamas all day and not even have to put on a bra. But at the end of the day, I’m already home. I miss that feeling after a long day of wanting to go home and get away from work. I couldn’t do that. I just went to my room. The kids were always around. I missed having friends over and movie nights at the comfort of my own home. And no privacy. Ever. Would I be a live-in nanny again in the future? Maybe. If I was planning on moving somewhere completely different than Hawaii, yes. This job got me here and I don’t regret taking the job at all. But next time, I will be more careful.

If you ever plan on being a nanny, especially a live-in nanny far away from home, then please, please pleaseeee don’t make the same mistakes that I did. These are three things I wish I knew or had done before becoming a live-in nanny.

1. Have a good contract!

Seriously you guys! Have a contract and a good one! Don’t leave anything out! I did and that’s how I pretty much got blindsided. I did not put anything about taxes or what happens if my contract was to end sooner. Most jobs you get at least a two week notice…not me. I got a week notice. After that week was up, I had no job and no car. Luckily, my friend and I had already planned to move in together, I just ended up moving in sooner than planned.

I was supposed to work for this family for a year. I ended up working for them until the end of march because they wanted to put their children in daycare. Although, I understand why they made the decision, I wish I had a heads up that they were even considering that option and didn’t plan on spots opening up for the kids so soon and not wanting to lose those spots, I wish I had a heads up.

So, next time I plan on putting in the contract that if the parents are putting the children in daycare or if they plan on being a stay at home mom, that it needs to be brought up and discussed ahead of time. If they plan on ending the contract early, then I need a few weeks-month notice. Not only that, but also agree on some type of payment to buy me out of my contract so I’m left with nothing.

Also, have a tax plan with the family and put it in the contract! We discussed taxes and they were supposed to claim me and take taxes out of each payment. Then after a few months, they stopped and in the end I’m left having to claim my taxes, not even knowing how to do it. I could have ended up in a lot of trouble or just stuck because it would appear that I went then last 9 months without a job.

2. Taxes!

Like I shared above, have a tax plan! Call the state and federal tax companies and ask what you’re supposed to do to be claim your taxes as a nanny. Do it before you take the job…don’t wait! It becomes stressful to figure these things out at the last minute. So prepare yourself.

Care.com provides a safe and legal way for you to get paid and your taxes are included.

3. Be financially prepared!

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had saved more money than I had. I have bad spending habits. I should have and could have done a better job putting money in my savings for emergencies. I’d probably be less stressed out right now and wouldn’t be struggling as much. I’m thankful I found a new job as quick as I did, because I’m not as worried, but still. I wouldn’t be stressed or worried if I was more careful. You never know what could happen, so be prepared, especially financially in case you have to start all over like I did.

The Live-In Nanny Life

Most of you are probably wondering “what is it like to be living with the family you work with?”

When I first moved in, it took a bit of getting used to. It was a bit chaotic because there was a full house. The mom, two kids, two grandparents, me and my mom. I was also trying to get though a sinus infection that I got on the way over to Hawaii. It was a lot. Pretty much from day one, I was already helping out with the kids and doing things around the house. I didn’t have time to get out and see things. We were busy, busy, busy. All I wanted to do was sleep and spend time with my mom before she left. But it was good though, I’m glad I was able to figure things outs right away before I was supposed to officially start working. I would have been alone, no help, two new kids, in a strange house where I didn’t know where anything was. It would have been even more overwhelming than it already was.

After a week and a half, it was just the Mom, kids and me. It was a lot calmer and I was able to relax some. I was super worried that I would feel like I’m living in someone else’s home, which sometimes it feels that way, especially since the husband came home from deployment, but it’s never bothered me. I’ve always been the kind of person to make themselves at home anywhere I go. Each day I’m here, I’m becoming more comfortable and more at home. The family has been so great and welcoming, that it makes being in their home so much better.

Living with kids is still taking some getting used to. This has been helping me work on my patience and is preparing me to be a parent even more. I have been a nanny for the past three years. I thought I have been through it all. Since I’ve been here, the kids have had so many different illnesses. There’s been a lot of crying, coughing, runny noses and doctors appointments. And I’ve been doing everything I can to not get sick, which I have learned there’s almost no avoiding it. I’m having to get used to the 2 year old always coming into my room. Most of the time I love it. It’s cute when she runs in to bring toys in my room in play. She enjoys  getting ready with me before I go somewhere. Sometimes when she hasn’t seen me in a while, she comes in my room to say hello and give me a hug. Then, there are times when I’ve had a long day and want to be left alone or take a nap, it’s not so cute. Not only that, the 2 year old comes into my room and messes with my stuff. I have a lot of stuff that I don’t mind her playing with or touching, but somehow she always gravitates towards the stuff I don’t want her to touch. She hasn’t messed up a lot, just my brand new makeup and broke my favorite pair of sunglasses. And before I leave somewhere she usually takes my keys or my shoes and runs off with them or hides them. Haha. Parents are probably laughing at me while reading this. I know it’s going to be worse and I’m going to basically have zero privacy when I have my own kids.

It’s going to take some getting used to living with kids, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. There are times that the kids drive me up the wall and I can’t wait for the parents to come home so I can escape, but I adore them. I love their laughs and their warm snuggles. The sweetest thing is when I leave she has to hug me and stand by the door and when I come home, she greets me with a big warm hug and tells me how much she missed me. My favorite part of my work day is singing songs all day long, over and over again…that and nap time. Haha.

Each day is a new learning experience. I’m excited to spend the next year with this wonderful family.

Getting Into The Groove of Things

It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone. I haven’t been able to post anything on my blog yet. It’s really hard to blog on my phone. I’ll be buying a tablet this weekend to hold me over until I get a new laptop. (If y’all have any suggestions on what to get, that’d be great! — looking into iPads & the Microsoft surface thing. Haha)
I’ve been here almost a whole month! It’s so insane to think about. Time really has flown by & I really enjoy it here. I’ve met lots of amazing people & have already made some friends that I hangout with. Everything has just been so good. I’m so happy & I’m excited about each & every day here.

No, I am not super tan yet…no cute tan lines, more like a farmers tan from the many walks I take every day with the kids. I haven’t been to the beach since my mom was here. I’m really hoping that will change soon, now that I’ve gotten myself adjusted & have people to hangout with.

I’m still trying to find my go-to Japanese place to eat here, since there isn’t a Fuji. My favorite place to hangout is the mall just 10 mins down the road. I love just walking around, even if I don’t buy anything.

Work & living with the family I work with has been so nice. It’s nice that I work where I live because I don’t have to get up an hour or so early to get ready and leave. The family & I get a long great. Finally found my groove with the kids & everything has been going smoothly, especially nap time now. I love snuggles from the 7 month old & the 2 year old is attached to my hip most of the day. She’s my best bud. She comes into my room 20 times a day. She loves being with me when I get ready in the mornings or when I’m getting ready to go somewhere. She watches me as I do my hair & makeup & loves it when I pretend to put deodorant on her & do her makeup. She does get into my stuff a lot…that’s going to take some getting used to. She took my shoes that I was going to wear the other day & threw them out the door as I was getting ready to leave for sports night…then went to go picked them up to give them to me & tried to hide them instead. Haha. This is definitely great practice for when I have my own kids someday, that’s for sure!