Working as a nanny is hard work.

Yes, it is hard work.

It started out as a part-time job to get me through college – offering a flexible schedule and enough money to get me through a week [without having to beg my parents for money]. I knew I was qualified, growing up in an in-home daycare environment and taking on the responsibility of an occasional date-night, but man did I underestimate the time and commitment that goes into taking care of someone else’s children. What started as a part-time job has become a permanent position since graduating – one that has taught me a lot about life.

The question that I hear the most since graduating is “Where are you working?” – I cringe when I know it’s coming. My response: “Oh, I’m just a nanny.” I know what I do is hard work, but explaining it to people who have never done it – is impossible. I hate that I belittle the position, but outsiders don’t take is seriously and I’ve given up trying to explain. The honest truth is that being a nanny rarely gets the respect that it deserves.

Managing ridiculous schedules, dealing with unwarranted attitudes and getting touched with mysteriously sticky hands are sadly all a part of the job description, but there is so much more that goes into being a full-time nanny. What I do is important and real. I can only hope that I have as much of a positive impact on the children, as they do on me. Everything that I do is affecting their development and that’s not something that should be taken lightly.

It’s a job that offers A LOT of love and growth. Nannying – even though it won’t be my forever job, has made me a better person and prepared me for future careers and life endeavors.

I learned patience.

I have learned to pick and choose my battles. You learn that there are many things that cause temper tantrums and there are ways to sometimes avoid them.

You want to wear your pajamas to school instead of real clothes? – Go ahead. As a nanny you learn to not get hung up on the little things. Yes, I am human and things piss me off, but every day with the children develops my patience level a little more.

 I built relationships.

The relationships I built with the children I nanny for are special. They are not angels all the time [no children are], but I have developed a strong trusting relationship with them and I enjoy having a significant influence in their life. Not all nannies get so lucky, but finding a family that you feel connected with makes all the difference. By this I mean not just the children. I have found a home-away-from-home in the family I work for. They’ve made the transition from graduating college and moving away from home an easier one. Nannying like any job, allows you to meet and network with some personable and pleasant people.

I found my inner child.

Working with children opens vast opportunities to enjoy the little things in life that most people forget about while getting older. I secretly enjoy watching movies from my childhood and heading to the aquarium just as much as them. Sometimes its important to focus on fun and working with children makes this attainable.

I matured.

At 22, I’ve felt like I have matured beyond my years. I understand the responsibilities of caring for other humans, having their life in your hands, managing schedules, putting others before myself, etc. Nannying has given me the opportunity to start my life post-graduation, save the money to move and live comfortably in a transition that is scary and unknown.

I have a realistic insight on parenting.

I learned how I want to raise my children. I have a wildly accurate view of what it takes to be a parent, the good and bad. I have been exposed to the best and worst parts of parenting and I get to go home at the end of the day. I get an insight of the sacrifices that are made and how important of a role of a parent is.

Where’s my passion and how do I find it?

Post-grad slump.

Is finding your passion as easy as taking control of your life and following your heart or is it easier said than done? Months out from graduating and I’m seriously struggling through a career crisis. Chances are if you’re reading this, you are too – or maybe not. I’m faced with the question, where does my passion lie?

I’m aware that a career search isn’t offered to most on a silver platter and that it usually requires an immense amount of time and determination. But – it feels like hours on end have gone into searching [job titles, keywords, or companies] into employment seeking platforms and there is little to no progress to show for it. I’m done reading entry-level positions that require 10 years of relevant experience [not possible] and I certainly don’t have the energy to explain my lack of direction to one more inquisitive person.

I can’t help but to question: Am I self-sabotaging myself because I feel unprepared or am I actually unprepared?

I’ve come to the realization that forcing myself into this quarter-life crisis is not a healthy method. Instead of entertaining the idea of me being unprepared, I’ve changed attention into finding what I’m passionate about – the appropriate and doable resolution. Yes, this is easier said than done, but I’ve started and you should too – by asking simple questions and attempting to change my approach.

What am I mediocre at? How can I make them work to my advantage? What do I want to accomplish in life? What would I spend time doing if I had financial abundance?

These practical tips can help you find your passion too.

Instead of making excuses for why this job isn’t a good fit and why that job requires more experience than you can offer – decide to eliminate the negative justifications and be your own biggest advocate. Take a step back from focusing on the stresses of life (for me – solely searching for a career path I essentially care for) and switch temporary focus to bettering your health and mind first. Meditation and solidarity have  a significant impact on a positive outlook and improvement in health. Yoga has recently become an outlet for me to separate from real-life anxieties and submerge into solitude for a mere hour and 15 minutes a week (I swear it helps). These periods of solitude allow an individual to reflect on lifelong goals, potential ambitions and the aspects in life that truly have meaning. If you’re issue is having no direction, brainstorm and ask yourself whether some of your mediocre skills and interests can form into a realistic purpose. Make a choice and stick with it. The only person that stands in your way is yourself. Simply take risks and persevere through the hardships and negativity. Failing could be the catalyst to discovering a career that stimulates passion. With the right mentality finding what sparks your interest is as easy as taking control of your life and following your heart.

 “You are confined only by the walls you build yourself” – Andrew Murphy.