During college, I worked a few different jobs on campus and was also a resident assistant for 2 years
which felt like a full-time job (shout out to 2-2!!). I kept busiest though as a babysitter for many local families. I had no life, but I had gas money for my car and healthy food in the fridge. During spring break in my last semester of college, I visited my brother and his girlfriend in Los Angeles and completely fell in love with the area. After returning from my trip, I decided that after working hard in my four five years of college, I’d move across the country to LA and become a full-time nanny. It just made sense. I’d have plenty of time to grow up and not use my degree in the future.
I started looking for nanny jobs on Craigslist- this was pre- Craigslist Killer so it felt safe-ish. I found a family looking for a live-in nanny for a year and conveniently enough, they were attending a conference nearby, so we met up for dinner and an interview. A few weeks later, I had a confirmed job and place to live in LA and an actual plan for my typically procrastinating self!
My first year in LA was great. I was extremely lucky to live with a family who was not only awesome to work for, but also just genuinely nice people, who also became friends. It made the live-in situation, which I’m sure could be awkward at times, a lot of fun. I was actually extra lucky that year because I also worked with another fantastic family during my off-hours. It was a pretty nice schedule and I always loved being able to have an excuse to do the fun things- like going to the zoo, visiting kid museums, or riding the train in Griffth Park over and over. I could have gone on my own, but it was definitely less weird when there was a kid with me.
Looking back, I actually was pretty blessed throughout my entire babysitting/nanny career. I only ended up with a few
wacko, crazy interesting stories, and I love having some good stories to tell, so I can’t complain. I’m still in contact with most of the families I worked for and it afforded me the opportunity to visit places and do things I probably wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
Since my live-in position was only a year contract, I moved to NC for two years. I first ended up with a normal office job but hated it, so I went and found another nanny position, this time for a family with 4 boys. I learned a ton about football, participated (sometimes unwillingly) in numerous nerf gun fights, and discovered how even the sweetest boys can be oh so smelly. It was a daily adventure and I loved it! Later that year, I decided to move back to LA (yes, I moved around a lot in my early 20’s) as my brother and his wife were expecting a baby and I wanted to be closer to them. I did the nanny thing again, and I definitely had a few more interesting stories that year. That year was a lot tougher for me and I learned pretty quickly that LA probably wasn’t a long-term place for me. I also got to spend 6 weeks living in a beautiful house on the beach in Oahu, fly to Vegas in a private 757, visit some neat spots in LA, and learn a heck of a lot about myself, my patience, and what was most important to me. Hint. It wasn’t money. It was my sanity and peace of mind.
Eventually, I decided it was time to put the nanny life behind me and pursue a different path. It was the right time to do this and I’m glad I did, but I’m even more glad that I had the opportunity to meet these families, live these experiences, and have fun! I wouldn’t change a thing! Well maybe that one family, that had a pet bird that would fly all over the house, while yelling and squawking loudly at me. I’d change that. But nothing else!