Alright all my millennials…. I have a confession.
I am super EXTRA.
It’s true. I am an over the top, love hard, talk loud, feel everything, sprinkle glitter on whatever I can type of gal…. and I am fully embracing it. I used to think it was a negative thing... like I was "too much". But being happy in your own skin and embracing the core of who you are is actually really beautiful...so call me extra. I am owning it.
For all my friends out there who aren’t down with all the millennial slang- let me and the Urban Dictionary break it down for you:
- Over the top
- Doing the absolute damn most. For no reason.
- When you have to be better and overly go up and beyond for unnecessary reasons.
- Someone who is over the top for completely unnecessary reasons. They will go out of their way to prove this.
(See… I gave you multiple definitions just to really drive this point home.) #extra
- Used to describe someone devoid of defining characteristics that might make a person interesting, extraordinary, or just simply worth devoting time or attention to.
- Only interested in things mainstream, popular, and trending.
So let me ask you this, Nanny... when was the last time you did something for your nanny family out the kindness of your heart? Something that wasn’t listed in your contract? Maybe you took the trash out because it was literally over flowing. Washed a window because the baby kept smacking it with those sticky little strawberry jam fingers? Pulled in the boxes off the front porch that were delivered? Filled the dog's water dish up simply because you noticed that it was empty? Folded that load of Mom and Dad Boss's towels because you saw they were down and you had a moment. They may seem like such tiny things, but in a nanny/employer relationship these little things can go a long way.
Okay, let’s get a few things straight before we delve into the heart of it all. As a nanny advocate I do 100% believe in the power of a great nanny contract (if you are need of a contract, here is fabulous one by my friend Brooke at Nanny Counsel). I also believe in healthy communication with the families that I work for and that boundaries are oh so important. But I also believe that when these three things are being exercised in a healthy way on both ends, there isn’t a need to constantly worry that you are going to be taken advantage of. There are just some things that I am going to do from time to time even though they aren’t in my contract… and I am going to do them with a happy nanny heart. In a healthy nanny/employer relationship there is a natural ebb and flow of give and take. Look out for each other- you're on the same team!
And before I address the basic nannies I would like to clear something up. There is a difference between being legitimately basic and being basic because you are wounded. When you are wounded, being basic doesn't always come from a bad place, it comes from self preservation. I definitely went through a season of being a wounded/basic nanny. I had been so battered and beat up emotionally by an employer that I was terrified to go that extra mile for quite some time after finding a new family. Maybe that's your experience. It's incredibly hard to be an Extra Nanny for a family who is late every night, doesn't pay you on time, or asks you to do things outside of your job profile on a daily basis for next to no pay. I get it. The natural response is to stick to the contract or to create a callus of "just business". I understand.
It's the being basic just for basic sake that has been riling me up lately. Watching young nannies who have less than a year experience complaining that they should be making just as much as a seasoned career nanny of 10+ years. Having "nanny rants" because there was a note asking you if you could be so kind as to do the sink full of dishes as Mom Boss would be getting home right at 5pm and has company coming soon after. Charging top dollar but not being willing to ever go the extra mile when a family needs a little extra help with something. Sometimes in nannying entitlement needs to take a backseat to helpfulness and considering what is actually fair. Being a nanny is a professional position, but it's also very intimate. You are caring for people's children and often times their homes... if you don't genuinely love serving or caring for others, may I be so bold as to ask you to take a look at the career path you've chosen? What's your heart position? Living generously and being kind will never be something to look back on with regret.
I dare you... try to be a little more of an #ExtraNanny.
Nickey Andree is a professional career nanny with 14+ years experience working with children from all over the globe. She is the founder of The Nannyhood. The Nannyhood creates community and fosters friendships for nannies in their cities. It advocates for, resources, and places value on Nannyhood. She is passionate about helping nannies find their squad and assisting them in eliminating burnout. When she is not nannying, you can find Nickey singing Disney songs at the top of her lungs, leaving out gifts for strangers, or exploring new places.