The month of June is where we celebrate and enjoy gay love in all it’s forms. It’s the month businesses and brands show their support and solidarity to the gay community, while also making a profit. Logos change to a rainbow for the whole month and you will occasionally get a story or article about what or how they help the LGBTQIA+ community. Then July comes along and brands return to their “normal” ways of doing things.
You are probably thinking how does this relate to me being a nanny and childcare. Well it is time children are taught about the family unit and how it is changing. Books and shows need to reflect the world we live in. Children will see mum and dad families on television and in books. Then they will see a same sex family out and will ask questions, some parents will feel uneasy answering and might say something negative. Some parents will explain to the child about same sex love.
We should have honest and open conversations with children, you should explain to your children in a way they will understand. You do not have to go into lots of detail or make things confusing for yourself or the child. Put simply – LOVE is LOVE.
There are resources that can help such as children’s books, that tell a story and take the hard work out of it. I just think we owe it to the next generation to be honest how the world works.
What I like about my nanny job and working with children, is that everyday can be different. As long as meals and naps are scheduled the day can be anything you want it to be. Before Covid-19 took over and changed the way we did life, I took my nanny child on lots of day trips and we had lots of play dates with other children and nannies.
My work day begins at 8 o’clock and I finish at 6 o’clock, I work 10 hour days sometimes a little more. I will not lie, some days I leave work extremely tired and other days I leave feeling like I have conquered the world.
This is what a typical day could look like: (pre covid-19)
8am work begins – I normally walk in and the boys are finishing up on breakfast, I take over from the parents.
8:30am B3 starts nursery. Its a 10 minute walk from home which is great.
10am now depending on the day B1 can have a messy play at home, play date home or at another house or a activity class.
12pm collect B3 from nursery
12:30pm lunch time
1:15pm B1 has a 2 hour nap. B3 will have free play 1:1 learning time
3pm B1 should be up and its snack time for everyone
4-5pm outdoor activites or play dates
5pm dinner and stories
6pm home time.
Now there are a few variations to our day, depending on weather or activities, how the boys feel and general life. It is important to have routine for children as it helps them learn and understand the world around them. Time keeping isn’t necessarily important but it does help a great deal.
Routines and schedules vary due to families and children. It can look similar to mine or completely different. There is not a golden rule but as long parents, children and nannies are happy, literally anything goes.
This past week has been emotionally and mentally draining. I am sure from the title you can guess why. I have a love/hate relationship with social media, it can be used for so much good such as, sharing precious moments and being up to date with the latest trend. But it also has many downsides, negative news, trolls and the fact the information can be shared constantly without being filtered. I have had to take many breaks to keep my mental health at peace and not overwhelm myself with all that is going on.
The internet and social media has been working 24/7 on sharing news, support, love for the victims of racial hate crime and police brutality. This has been amazing and I love that so many people have come together. However, there have been a lot of people who have been spread hate and negativity.
I have seen a few comments saying “my child is too young to learn about racism.” A child is never too young to learn about what is wrong and right. A child is not born a racist it is learnt behaviour and we all have a part to play in children’s development and learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, Understanding the World – People and communities, it states that early years settings have to provide resources to help children learn about themselves and others, helping them to understand differences and similarities with their peers. As a early years practitioner, I created many activities for children to learn about cultures, festivals and family traditions with various stories, videos and crafts.
at birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. at 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers.
kelly et al, 2005
It is never too early for us to talk about race and culture with children. Children are sponges and observe and pick up more than we know. If we do not talk to our children, someone else will and we do not want our children getting information from the wrong sources. We want our children and the next generation to know from the start about equality and fairness.
From an early age black children are taught from their parents and caregivers that they have to work harder to achieve the same as their white counterparts. From an early age black children have are labelled and put in boxes before they speak and people get to know them. So if black children are exposed to this from an early age then white children should also.
After spending four weeks at home, I went back to work. I am very excited to be back doing what I enjoy and being out of the house for a few hours.
I am about to start week three of work with the boys and I am happy with how it is going. It took a few days to get into a routine of activities, meals and garden time, not a strict routine, but giving us structure to our day.
We are fortunate to have a garden and fields around the house so we are still getting fresh air and some exercise in. On the wet and rainy days we do a exercise/ music and movement activity to keep active, which we are all enjoying. The Body Coach is doing amazing videos on YouTube.
The boys are doing very well with the changes, the oldest boy understands that things are different because of Covid-19, and is enjoying all the games and role playing that we get to do. The youngest probably does not understand what is happening and may never this time of his life. However, with all that is going on, I am providing activities for both boy’s development and keeping them learning through play.
I am missing the play dates with other Nannies and doing different trips, but we have managed to have a few virtual play dates via the various apps available. I have been looking at a few Instagram Nanny pages, for inspiration and having professionals to talk to. We are going through this together and its great to reach out to each other.
Times are still uncertain and we do not know how much longer things will be like this. I am happy to be back to work and have amazing and supportive employers during this time. I no longer say I am looking forward for things to go back to normal, because what is normal? But I will say I look forward to go out without restrictions and being able to see family and friends.