Meet Nanny Sam

 
Meet Nanny Sam

Meet Nanny Sam

How did you fall into nannying? 

I’ve had 6 children. They’re 24-35 years old now, so I guess you can say I’ve had a lot to do with kids; Caring for children comes naturally for me. 

When we moved to Sydney for my husband’s work, I applied for a nanny/housekeeper position and worked with the family for 8 years! I became part of the family, and it’s a real privilege to experience that and be there for the good and the bad. 

I started working with a family with twins in Brisbane 18 months ago and really enjoyed coming back and being a nanny for a family that reached out to Mini Nanny Agency online. I’m working with beautiful families here. 

 

How do you feel inspired to be the best nanny? What keeps you inspired? 

Every child and every family is different, so no two days are the same. I love the fun days I get with kids and the challenges that keep me on my toes. 

For me, it’s knowing that I get to support parents and be there for the kids and have fun with them and watch them grow up that makes nannying really rewarding and the job so inspiring. 

What’s been your favourite moment as a nanny?

I love moments when we can let our imaginations run wild! 

I love moments when we can let our imaginations run wild! 

I love the moments when the kids are just showing so much love. Just recently, I had a bit of a cold and I received a voice message from the boys that said, “Hi Sam. I hope you’re okay. We love you!” It just shows that they are thinking about me and it’s really nice. 

 

Your greatest challenge as a nanny? 

I think you have to put your own ideas aside on disciplining most of the time and support the parents with the way they discipline the children so that we are on the same page, and that can be very challenging. 

Saying "no" and working through temper tantrums are not pleasant, but you have to hang in there because the child will be okay.

 

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

This is with the family that Michelle had placed me with earlier this year--they are just gorgeous! In the second week, the family bought me a massive bouquet of flowers. The mum said, “thank you for being part of the family and for everything you do.”

I had only been with them for a short time, but it was such a beautiful gesture. It was really special. 

 

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

Sam and her beautiful grandson

Sam and her beautiful grandson

Spending time with my kids. I love spending time with my family and reading. I also volunteer and do a lot of work with my parish. I enjoy decorating the church for holidays like Easter and Christmas. 

 

Favourite activities with kids? 

Dress up as superheroes and listen to stories at the library with the minis!

Dress up as superheroes and listen to stories at the library with the minis!

We love going to the parks and libraries. 

Making parachutes out of tissues and Lego men is always a hit with the kids! Every household with a kid will have a Lego man--they make really good parachute guys.

Lego parachute men are always a hit in the household! 

Lego parachute men are always a hit in the household! 

You take the tissue or napkin and tie string to the four corners and attach it to the little Lego man and we go to the top and the stairs and send them down. The kids love this. 

I also love playing the made-up games with the kids. Their imaginations are amazing and it’s all about going with the flow.

 

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

Just be honest and be yourself. You can’t go wrong with that, especially working with families.

 

What is your advice for aspiring nannies? 

If you enjoy working with kids, just go for it. It’s such a rewarding thing to do to support families and watch children grow. 




Recent Blog Posts:

 

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!!