Meet Nanny Kate: Nannying is the best job for her work-life balance

 

Kate Waud is a nurturing soul and mother of three kids: 12, 14, and 16. As her kids are getting older and gaining more independence, Kate reached out to mini Nanny Agency for part-time work that allowed for a work-family life balance and provided an outlet for expressing her creativity.

How did you fall into nannying?

My life is very family-oriented so, nannying is the perfect part-time job for my lifestyle. I homeschool my kids, and I love the flexibility this job offers.

I  appreciate the time Michelle took to figure out who I am. I think she does a great job matching nannies to families because the connection is such an important aspect of the job.

How do you feel inspired to be the best nanny or caregiver?

I love kids. It’s the little moments of connection I have with the kids that inspire me and remind me why I do what I do. The other day, the kids and I were playing school. I was the student and the kids were the teachers. It was so much fun to play pretend with them and watch their imaginations take over.

Having older kids, I understand the importance of play at a young age. When you’re parenting and are in the midst of it all, you don’t think the craziness ever stops, but when it did, I really missed it.

Kate  with her sleeping nephew and son. 

Kate  with her sleeping nephew and son. 

What has been your favourite moment as a nanny?

I’ve only been working with the family for a couple of months, which is not a long time in a kid’s life, but when you have moments of pure love you know you’re doing something right. I love the moments filled with cuddles and kisses.

What has been your greatest challenge as a nanny?

You have to learn the routines and personalities of the family members fast. When you come into someone's life, you need to figure these things out to make that transition as smooth as possible.

I also needed to remind myself that my experiences with my kids are not the same with the kids I'm caring for now, and it's always a learning experience.

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated?

This is my first nannying job. The first week I worked with this family, the parents bought me a bottle of wine as a "cheers, you made it through the first week!" It was very thoughtful. 

When the parents notice my efforts around the house and the play time with the kids, it makes my job feel very fulfilling. 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what makes you happy?

I’m all about family and spending quality time with hubby. We love being outside and staying fit. We rock climb and I’m currently learning how to surf!

Kate and her beautiful family at the beach

Kate and her beautiful family at the beach

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

If you don’t appreciate the little moments, you’re not going to like what you do. I don’t love sweeping someone’s floor, but I love knowing that I’m making someone’s life easier; and that's incredibly rewarding.

You have to love what you do, so you can easily put the boring chores into the context of the big picture.

Finally, What’s your hot 101 nanny tip/ advice to other aspiring nannies?

If you’re not willing to get on the floor and be a tiger, you’re going to have a hard time! I’m joking, but I think it’s all about making the effort to find points of connections with the family, especially the kids.

I first met the family right before Christmas, and I gifted the kids strawberry plants. I love gardening, and it’s something I wanted to share with them, and they love it! Gardening was our first point of connection and they still have the plants today. 

 

Meet Nanny Gemma

 
Nanny Gemma A.k.a Jimjams

It's with great pleasure that the mini team introduce nanny Gemma a.k.a  Jimjams. She’s a full-time Mary Poppins to a beautiful family with 4 children plus a cat and a big dog. 

Gemma loves campervan camping and is a major foodie. She loves to dine out for inspiration to take back into her kitchen where she enjoys creating delicious and nutritious meals from scratch.

How did you get started with mini Nanny Agency? 

It was fate meeting Michelle at a yoga and wellness centre in New Farm. Nannying sort of just made sense for me. Michelle and I connected straight away and had an amazing discussion about our passions. 

I had 10 years of experience running salons and a photography studio which came out of a love of being around people and helping them feel beautiful in their own skin. 

I have always enjoyed working with kids and making them laugh, entertaining them, and having fun. Meeting Michelle and nannying felt like it was all meant to be for me.

What is the day in the life of Nanny Jimjams?

I get up with the sun and am with the family for 6 am. School drop-offs and household duties are part of my morning routine. I make all meals from scratch, keep the house immaculate, and act as a personal assistant to the parents. 

Breakfast has to be nourishing and slow-carb releasing as the kids have such big days! The breakfast winner at the moment is the “avocado smush.” It’s avo and feta on whole grain toast. 

Avo Toast Nanny Diaries

I braid the girls’ hair, tidy the kitchen and check to see that the kids' bed made. At 7:10 it’s a swift exit to the schools and pre-school sports activities! It’s a busy morning, but things start to slow down without the kids around so I do the cleaning, washing, errands and walk the dog. 

What has been your favourite moment as a nanny? 

I can’t get enough one on one time with each child. I love getting hugs and reading books together. The best moments are filled with affection and literally laughing till our bellies ache! 

What has been your greatest challenge as a nanny?

For me, the most challenging thing about being a nanny is creating boundaries and knowing when to step back and when to jump in with both feet.

There’s a lot of learning to do about yourself in the nannying career just as there is to learn about kids and families which makes this role so much more rewarding.

What’s the best thing a parent has done to make you feel appreciated? 

I got a phone call the other night from the kids screaming “love ya! Thank you for everything you do for us!” That was pretty cute! A quiet thank you is always much appreciated

What’s the soundtrack to your life at the moment?

The kids and I love blasting the car stereo to Bruno Mars! 

When you’re not on nanny duties, what inspires nanny Gemma?

My partner and I just bought a camper van, so it’s the gypsy life for me! We love Byron Bay and spend our weekends outside soaking in the ocean spray, paddle-boarding, and winding down the day eating the best slow cooked brisket! 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

Beautiful Byron Bay light house 

I train at gym 4 days a week and love yoga and catch ups with friends over food, of course! I’m always keeping an eye out for new restaurants to try. 

Best advice for new nannies? 

A nanny has to understand different personalities in a family and finding the best way to meet everyone's needs to offer the best support. 

I know with teenage boys it’s more of a stern approach. You need to treat them like men and give them that bit of autonomy that they crave. I am there to support them into becoming more independent. With the girls, it’s always more of a trade and compromising. Homework first and baking after. 

With the parents, you need to be able to anticipate their needs to the best of your ability. Be the best support possible and go beyond to exceed their expectations. 

What do you wish parents and outsiders looking in would understand about being a nanny and the nanny field in general? 

The stereotype of the nanny life is that we just play with kids all day, but in reality, nannying requires a lot of emotional support to the parents, diplomacy, and patience

There are days that are tough and mentally draining, but there more days that you feel like you made a difference than not. It's a lot of hard work, but it is definitely rewarding.

Since you're such a foodie, what are your favourite Brisbane restaurants and what should I order? 

Depending on what you enjoy, Katrina, my fav restaurant in Brisbane is Survey Co in the city. Survey co is all about the fresh locally sourced produce and excellent service- the owner takes your order! It’s a little expensive, but it’s the best I have been too! 

On a weekend, I love Miami Marketta.  Marketta is like Eat Street markets but better! It’s full of cocktail bars and has a dance floor. Last weekend, I had the best damn chicken burger of my life!! 

You can’t go wrong with Rouge in Newstead for brekkie dates and cute date nights. The pancakes are legendary!! 

 

Meet Casual Kid-Sitter, Justin

 

By: Katrina Lubiano

mini Majer kid sitter Justin

Let me introduce you to our Canadian, casual kid-sitter, Justin, avid mountain climber, forest forager, and botany hobbyist. Justin studies health sciences at Torrens University in the Valley, works as a freelance web developer, and is the brains behind natural health sciences website, The Sunlight Experiment

 

How did you come across mini Nanny Agency? 

My girlfriend [lucky me] found out about mini first, actually. She started a temp-nannying contract with the Majers looking after their 8-year-old son, Henry. 

We would pick Henry up together after school on Fridays and take the City Cat to Southbank and play Pokemon Go. Henry and I got along really well right off the bat. 

It was really sad when the contract ended for all of us since the Majers became like family to us. Katrina ended up getting another nannying gig, but I still meet him weekly for tutoring sessions. 

 

What do you enjoy most about kid-sitting Henry? 

I like picking his brain. He gives me a fresh perspective, and he can talk about ANYTHING. I ask him all kinds of deep questions and he always has an answer. I don’t think he knows it yet, but the kid is a comedic genius.  

 

What are your and Henry’s favourite activities together?

He loves gaming on his iPod. Henry gets really into them. We talk about Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans a lot. When he was really into Pokemon Go, we would go on adventures and catch Pokemon around the neighbourhood or go to South Bank. 

Katrina, Henry, Casey (our friend visiting from Canada), and I went on a day adventure during summer holidays to Mount Tamborine. We had a good time playing 21 questions in the car, checking out the cool shops on the strip, and walked down to the waterfalls there. He fell asleep right when he got home. 

 

What is the day in the life of Justin look like? 

I go to school and stick around to put in some freelance work. The Power Station cafe in the school makes the best cappuccinos. I’ll sometimes drink 3 in a day if I need to get a lot of work done. 

If I'm with Henry that afternoon, I’ll head to his house for the usual routine. Otherwise, I’ll stay at school the whole day to work and study. 

In the evenings, I like to indoor rock climb at Urban Climb in Newstead or I’ll go for a 10 km run along the river.  

 

Can you tell us a bit about how you started The Sunlight Experiment

It’s was a blog and database to help me organise everything I’ve learned from my experimental botany back in Canada. It has since evolved to include a large database of reference for my health science studies now. My focus has always been on plant based medicine and bioprospecting. It’s a lot of hard work, and it keeps growing, so it’s really rewarding to see how many people actually read it!

 

What do your plans in Australia look like?

I have about a year left in uni. I finish August 2018 and I plan on going back to Canada for a little while. I guess before I go, I just want to learn as much as I can.

My parents are coming to visit soon, and some friends in feb. It will be a lot of fun showing them around, and seeing Brisbane again through fresh eyes. 

 

Katrina's Nanny Story

By: Katrina Lubiano

 

What's Brought you To This Point?

I had moved to Brisbane from Canada after graduating university almost 4 months ago now.

My first job upon arriving here on my working holiday visa was at a telesales center. It was a 9-5 full-time gig in a stuffy office with pushy sales techniques. I was earning money doing work that I didn't believe in.

Brisbane is a stunning city with so much culture to take in, it was a shame I was in an office all day. I lasted a week at that gig. I stumbled upon mini nanny agency through their an advertisement looking for a temp nanny position for a beautiful family that I am so thankful to have in my life today.

 

What Drew you To Nannying?

One of the reasons I was drawn to childcare is because I love hanging out with kids. Children provide a fresh perspective and help simplify what we grown-ups are so great at over-complicating. I think nannying can be a creative and flexible outlet as a job, especially if you’re on a temporary visa, like myself. You can apply so many different skills working with children, whether your talents are in cooking, art, teaching, or organisation. It’s rewarding to know that at the end of the day, you’re in a career helping families.

 

How Did you Find Mini Nanny Agency?

Reaching out through a recruitment agency, through mini Nanny Agency, is an excellent way to start off your nannying career and meet people in a new city. To be honest, mini nanny agency was not the first place I came across when I decided on this nanny-adventure. I applied at a few other agencies and met with their recruitment agents, but it was Michelle’s warm personality and punctuality that won me over.

Michelle is passionate about what she does and really cares about the families and the nannies she works with. The interview didn’t feel like an interview at all; she was genuinely interested in getting a feel for my personality and story to ensure I was the best match for her client.

 

What Advice Would You Have For People Looking To Become A Nanny In A New City?

It’s really about creating a network when moving to a new country. To meet people who are like-minded makes all the difference in helping a new city feel more like home, and I found that my values with Michelle and mini Nanny Agency aligned.

 

What Was your First Nanny Job?

My first nannying gig was a temporary position with the Majer family themselves. Their nanny had gone on vacation, so I had the opportunity to work with the charming and very active 8-year-old, Henry and his lovely mom, Suzie. I can’t say enough amazing things about this family. I am one of those people who believes that people come into your life for a reason, and since I’ve moved to Brisbane, without my family, I’ve felt such a strong connection to the Majers and all they’ve done for my partner and me

Suzie and Henry kindly invited justin and I to join them to cheer the broncos on. 

Suzie and Henry kindly invited justin and I to join them to cheer the broncos on. 

I was overall impressed with Michelle’s approach with recruitment in that she takes the time to get to know the families’ and the nannies’ needs. I’m so pleased to be working for a company that I truly believe in. Since working for the Majers, I’ve started nannying for another great family and have been writing for the mini-blog and I can honestly say, that I love what I do. If you want to immerse yourself in the Australian experience as a traveler, I can’t think of a better and more rewarding career than nannying. 

A photo posted by mini majer (@minimajer) on

 

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