As a work from home mom of 5, I am not going to lie: I need help. If I did it alone everyday I would either a.) have to completely say good-bye to my career or b.) probably go crazy. Okay, I clearly wouldn’t go crazy but my nanny saves my sanity. But my nanny just isn’t any hired help, she’s my 23-year-old sister. I am so lucky to be able to keep it in the family. The girls love having their aunt here everyday, from sun up to sun down, to take over my mommy duties so I can still work. Right after I had Grayson, I realized I needed the extra hand. As a Mompreneur, it’s hard with all of the work I have on my plate, and as any working mom knows, it’s hard to work and raise a family, which is why it’s okay to ask for help. In honor of National Nanny Recognition Week, I thought I’d share my nanny with you and why we love her so much.
My typical day consist of no office hours as I sleep with my iPhone under my pillow. I answer emails at all hours. On a daily basis I am constantly working. Whether it’s pitching clients, answering hundreds of emails, scheduling photo shoots, product placement and managing cupcakeMAG while somehow, in between it all, I maintain my sanity while raising 5 kids under 10. Not to mention I write for Babble and other outlets too. In between all of that is soccer practice, trips to Target and at some point I try and get laundry done.
And yesterday, the unexpected happened when my 3 year-old fainted. She’s been sick and struggling the last few days and when Katlyn went to pick her up, she went limp, her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and she lost all color; completely blue lips and all. It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. One of the hardest things you deal with as a mom is when your little one is sick, so I was really happy that Kate was by my side. I don’t think I would have handled it as well if she wasn’t. I would have been on a stretcher with Kennadi as we headed into the ambulance because I just was so upset. Katlyn immediately had me call 911 while she tried to keep Kennadi stable and remind the other kids that she would be okay as they all watched on. It’s moments of chaos where I really just feel so blessed to be able to have help.
Click-through my favorite pictures of our nanny and see just why we couldn’t take on the days without her!
Nanny Kate 1 of 14
Click-through 14 reasons how to show your nanny you care.
She’s Not Just A Nanny, She’s An Aunt 2 of 14
And you can clearly see the family resemblance in this photo of McKenzie and Kate. They love spending time with her because she gets to do fun things like play dress-up with her make-up and nail polish. Don't forget to pamper your nanny too! Surprise them with a gift card for a special spa day off to remind them you care.
Extra Hands 3 of 14
Over the summer, I could have never taken all 5 kids to the pool by myself, especially since Grayson can't swim. It's always nice to have that extra set of hands and knowing how much your kids are loved by another person. If you happen to take your nanny on vacation with you, give her a little extra cash. Even though cash is given as a bonus, it's a nice "just because" gesture to show your nanny her hard work is valued.
They Have Fun 4 of 14
The best part about having a great nanny -- they make the kids happy! You always want to have a nanny that your kids love, and mine truly love their Aunt Katie.
Do something nice like having you nanny's car detailed. This is a great gift if your nanny chauffeurs your little ones around all day. It truly shows that you pay attention to just what your nanny needs and is great surprise.
She’s The Best Naptime Buddy 5 of 14
She loves my kids as much as I do, and that is what's important to me. She makes a great nap time buddy too! Give her some help with a voucher kit created by you with the help of your children. Vouchers make a great handmade thought and always a hit. For example, if your nanny works evenings or weekends, one voucher could be for a evening or weekend off of their choice.
Always There 6 of 14
Whenever I need her help, even sometimes on weekends, she is always there to help which is why I like to treat her with something special too. Take your nanny out to lunch or pay for movie tickets for her and friend. If your nanny has a significant other, treat them to a dinner for two. She'll appreciate it so much when she is spending a night out on the town on your behalf.
She’s Fun 7 of 14
Everyone fights over her, in a good way of course. We feel so blessed to have her by our side every day. We love creating homemade gifts for her because it's so special than the average store-bought present. A framed finger painting or friendship bracelets are the perfect craft projects to show your appreciation for your nanny. Decorate a frame with a photo of her with your kids inside for a heartwarming gift she is sure to adore.
A Special Bond 8 of 14
When you have an awesome nanny you create a life-long special bond. I think the girls have already created such a close relationship with Katlyn. They love her so much! If she isn't here, they always ask when she is coming.
Stay in tuned with your nanny's interests and give her a gift card to her favorite store. If she loves fashion, grab a gift card to the mall. Maybe she's into getting her craft on? Grab a gift card to Hobby Lobby. Not sure what you think she'll love? A Visa gift card is an excellent idea so she pick up an extra something special for herself.
Vacation Time 9 of 14
Lucky for me, she makes my life easier when we head out of town. Taking 5 kids on a vacation can be hard work. A few weekends this summer my husband was working overtime and I wanted to take the kids away for the weekend. I wouldn't have been able to do it without her help. While your away, sneak a few hours away from the kids and take your nanny shopping while your husband holds down the vacation home. Or, if she doesn't travel with you, perhaps next time you can invite her along and paying for an extra room so she can relax during hours off.
Not Just A Nanny…. 10 of 14
She's not just our nanny. She is my best friend, sister, and director of chaos. She writes for cupcakeMAG, she helps me with emails and she even does laundry and cooks. I'd say, she's a keeper. Every few weeks take a few tasks off her to-do list. For example, you can make sure all the laundry is done for the week or surprise her with a day of mid-week. Little surprises are big signs to show your nanny you care.
She Cooks! 11 of 14
A taco salad? Yes, please. Everyday she cooks meals we all love. From pancakes for breakfast to alfredo tuna casserole for lunch. Sometimes if we are lucky, she even cooks dinner! Remember to always show your nanny how much you do appreciate her so she never feels like your taking advantage of her services. If your children's ages are appropriate encourage them to help you make your nanny's favorite meal and invite her to stay for dinner with the family so you can cater to her. Find out what her family meals is so you can all enjoy your time off the clock.
By Our Side 12 of 14
Sometimes things come up and I wonder, how would I get through this day without help. Like for example when I ended up in the hospital with Grayson when all of the kids were with us. She was there and it was so helpful, because, how could any mom manage a sick baby and the other kids in a hospital room by herself? Just another example of how she always is by our side. Show her how much you truly appreciate your time by typing up a list of all the reasons you and your kids appreciate her. Print it on on pretty paper, frame it and tie it up with a bow to make the perfect thoughtful gift.
She Does It All 13 of 14
Dishes? You got it. Lunch? You go it. Laundry? You got it. Bathe our bearded dragon? Well, she does that too! Surprise a live-in nanny with breakfast in bed. If you have a live-out nanny, have breakfast ready when she arrives and set the table in an extra-special way.
Grateful 14 of 14
I just feel very grateful that I could hire my own sister to help me with my kids. She's seriously the best nanny ever and I really don't know what I would do without her. I am so glad we can have her help every day and eternally grateful for everything she does for my family. If she ever needs a pick-me-up, pick up your nanny's favorite snacks the next time you're at the store. Remind her to indulge when she is feeling stressed or needs a pick-me-up. A stack of magazines and a Starbucks gift-card goes well with it too!