Nannying during lockdown: A Norlander's story
23 September 2020
In this series, Norlanders and Newly Qualified Nannies (NQNs) share their different experiences of nannying during lockdown.
Our Set 31 Norlander completed her training at Norland in 2009. She started working as a nanny in Hampshire and currently lives in Buckinghamshire where she is a live-out (daily) nanny looking after two children, aged eight and five. She decided to move into her employers’ house with her own baby daughter in order to support and keep her nanny family safe during lockdown.
“Nannying during lockdown has been a very interesting experience. One in which I’ve been very grateful for all the extra skills Norland taught us. I had only just returned to work in January, having been off work on maternity leave for three months. My baby daughter and I moved into work and stayed there for the whole of lockdown. My boss has an underlying health condition and it was a mutual decision with my employers and my husband. Keeping everything as normal as possible was important for everyone. Due to the nature of my husband’s job, I wasn’t able to live at home and continue to go into my employer’s house. So, to keep my nanny family home safe, my daughter and I stayed there.
“I think the most important part of the experience was learning to take each day as a new day.”
A typical day nannying in lockdown was very structured as the children’s school provided live daily virtual lessons from 8.45am until lunch time, and pre-recorded lessons for the afternoon. We have experienced live art lessons, physical education classes, pre-recorded cooking, religious studies, geography and science lessons. It was a hard first week, but once we worked out how the online school system worked and made sure we were prepared with all the print outs and necessary glue sticks, spilt pins, colour paper and scissors it all went a lot more smoothly.
I didn’t have to change the children’s routines, other than home schooling allowed more time in the morning for the children to help look after their chickens. We normally have an hour’s drive to school, so this time either end of the day we gained to do fun things at home.
My charges had a few questions at the start about why the germs had stopped them going to school and seeing friends. My employers wanted to keep it very light hearted for them and answer their questions when they had them. My five-year-old charge listened intently and the main things she took away from the conversation were to wash her hands for longer and not to lick people!
“Being able to spend time with my charges and watch them create a special bond with my daughter was wonderful.”
The biggest challenge was home schooling in the nice weather. My charges just love to be outside and trying to keep them inside for online lessons was not an easy challenge. We moved as many lessons outside as possible. My eldest charge was very conscious of his video background when he was outside because he didn’t want to upset anyone by having a big garden. This made me very proud that even though he really wanted to be outside, he didn’t want to show off that he was able to be outside when some of his friends couldn’t.
I think the most important part of the experience was learning to take each day as a new day. It was a situation nobody had ever been in before. We didn’t know how long it was going to last. Being excited about the new adventure helped the children to feel positive about it.
Since lockdown, I have a new perspective on what is important in life. Days out with friends and family are special moments but equally taking time for yourself is very important. You can’t do everything. It’s important to enjoy what you are doing.
Nannying during lockdown was a positive experience. Yes, not being able to go out wasn’t the nicest. But being able to spend time with my charges and watch them create a special bond with my daughter was wonderful. The relationship between my charges has also become stronger. They understand that as brother and sister they have each other, no matter what.”