I take my job very seriously and absolutely love it. There is nothing like hearing a little one say your name for the very first time ("Mara!"). Or hearing a little one pick up on your funny expressions and start using them themselves ("Holy moly!"). There's nothing like a parent looking you in the eye and saying with absolute sincerity, "We could not do this without you."
Nannying is enormously challenging & complex, but it's also enormously gratifying & rewarding. I cannot imagine myself doing & enjoying anything else.
I am good at my job, guys. Who am I kidding-- I'm GREAT at my job. I mean it with conviction that I truly believe a family would be hard pressed to find a nanny more skilled, more committed, more experienced, more reliable, and more capable than I. I do not care if that makes me sound egotistical-I have been doing this for over a decade and I am good at it, dammit.
But I don't think I have what it takes to be a parent.
I don't think my husband & I have what it takes to be parents.
I can show up 5 days a week, and care-give the hell out of other people's kids but I think I would fall crushingly short if I were to have a child myself. Many people tell me, "After all this nannying, you would be the best mother!" But, I am not sure that that is the case. Because as much as I love my job, I also really love going home at the end of the day.
And my husband. Well. I love him dearly, but he is needy. His love language is definitely physical touch. I'm not kidding- when we did the Love Languages quiz together, he got 98% Physical Touch. He feels slighted if I give my dogs affection and don't give him some too. If I am being honest, I think he would struggle hugely if he had to share my time, energy, & affections with a child. I don't think that I would balance things well, and I think my darling husband would get the short end of the stick (as many darling husbands do), and I think he would resent me & the baby for it. I do not mean this as criticism-- I'm simply calling a spade, a spade. It's a non-refutable aspect of my husband's personality that he needs my time, attention, & affections. And a lot of it.
You may be thinking, "Yeah, but when you have kids your priorities change." I don't doubt that for a second.
Here's the thing, I don't want us to change. I like us exactly as we are.
I know that a woman who likes herself is a bit of a foreign concept these days, so I might blow your minds when I tell you this:: I am 31 years old, and I really, truly LIKE myself. I think that I am really great. I also I like my husband & think that he is pretty darn great, too.
I'm okay with being a perfectionist. I like having shelves of beautiful, delicate things. I like spoiling myself. I take pride in my spotless bathroom and my gleaming counter tops. I am not bothered by the fact that I never sit down, and instead busy myself with constant puttering & tidying. I am also not bothered by my "needy" husband, and enjoy that he desires me and seeks out my affections. He treats me like a goddess and I don't ever, ever want that to change.
I just don't know if we cut out for all that change.
I love being a nanny and wouldn't trade it for the world. But I suspect that the same nanny experience that has equipped me with the skills to be a "great parent" has also equipped me with the idea that parenting may not be for us. Wouldn't the world be a better place if more people realized these truths about themselves before rushing into having children?