Sunday

Homesick Nanny Needs Advice...

Received Sunday, January 29, 2007
I should start this story by explaining that I've been a childcare giver since I was a teenager. I love my job; I've tried other occupations but always find my way back to caring for children. I even had my own daycare taking care of 3-5 children on a daily basis for two years.

That's my background, here's my current situation:

I just left a family I was working for for nearly six months. There was a boy, aged 4, and a girl, (aged 16 months when I left). I grew very attached to the children, and to the parents. I was a live in nanny, and it was the second live in position I'd had. (first full time live-in position)
This job was about 45 minutes from where I was comfortable; from where my friends, goddaughter, and family were living. I went through a pretty hard time of homesickness... And relied heavily on my internet nanny supports to get me through that time. But even still, 45 minutes wasn't a bad distance.. I would take the bus back 'home' on the weekends when I was missing them more than others.
I left that family due to unfortunate circumstances: their business got shut down. Everyone was equally sad about my having to leave; the departure day was very tough, especially for myself.
When I started looking for another position, I did not have much luck due to the limited amount of positions that were live in in that area (Delaware). Therefore, I was compelled to look elsewhere for an ideal position. I started looking in PA, wanting to remain as close to "home" as I could. I found a position caring for an 8 year old girl and a 17 month old boy in Wynnewood.
I knew that moving here would be tough... But I never imagined it would be THIS tough. I've tried to put myself in situations where I'd meet other nannies.... But it's turned out not so great. I've meet a couple of other people; but not anyone interested in hanging out, or who have the same interests.
The parents I work for are great. They are so accommodating and they try to make me feel as comfortable here as possible. When we had a conversation one night, they said that they hope that I feel comfortable because they are very pleased with my level of interaction/care of the children, and they'd be very pleased to keep me long-term. I felt very appreciated at that point, and continue to feel appreciated.... So that's not the issue, I guess it's just more that I miss my family/friends and most of all I miss driving down the street and seeing a Walmart, and dollar stores everywhere I look. (*laughing*).... I don't know WHAT exactly it is ... but I'm so homesick and with both kids being in school/daycare most of the day, I have so much time to think about how homesick I really am! But, when I'm specifically dealing with the kids, I'm ok. I'm working on babysigning with the baby, and it's actually gotten me so excited to see him learning new signs everyday... and to hear him talking equally. And to take part in seeing the 8 year old enjoy herself so much at "bingo night" at her school...
Like I said, I love my job.... I HATE the homesickness that comes along with it.

Any suggestions/ideas?

Thanks to Jane Doe for letting me get advice on this.

16 comments:

jennifer le carlo said...

Getting involved in an activity -- a social group, an organization, an intramural team, or even volunteering -- can be helpful in meeting people with similar interests. It can help with building a social network outside work as well, which will help broaden your opportunities while working. Volunteering is a great choice, especially if you choose the kind of volunteer experience that provides a lot of public exposure. Meetup.com is a great site to find people who enjoy similar interests as you. Winter is a great time to meet people in the gym, perhaps there is one near you? With the free time you have on your hands, perhaps you could find a class to take while the children are in school. The best way to work through homesickness is to keep yourself occupied. The busier you are, the less time you have to reflect on all those things and people you miss. We wish you all the best!
Here is the meetup website:
http://www.meetup.com/cities/us/pa/wynnewood/?radius=10#Movies

Anonymous said...

I clicked on the comments to add my advice, but "Jennifer" summed it up quite nicely.

Keeping busy is the main objective.
Having been through a similiar situation myself, I actually got a second job. I didn't need the second job. I worked there for two months and put everything I made in to a Savings account. Two months later when I had friends, I actually had more freedom to do things because of that. And I met people at work to. I actually worked at a Walgreens. Just to keep busy. Not because I needed the job or wanted to work at Walgreens!

Anonymous said...

Inly two responses so far, but they both contain great advice. In many ways I am certain it is comforting to think of home, friends from home and what you miss about home or your last job however that is counter productive. You need not remove them from your mind forever, but for the immediate future you should focus on the hear and now. Even if you don't have a circle of friends, make a list of things you want to do before you die. I don't mean this to sound ominous, but on my list, I have skydiving. When will I ever have time to plan for that now? Enjoy good books. Spend time loitering at bookstores. Buy a bicycle. I don't know your level of fitness, but this very loneliness can be the same thing that bring you to new levels of physical fitness. Right now you have too much time on your hands. Most people have no time for themselves. So make this time about you. Do the things you want and that bring you pleasure (and make you stronger) and great people will cross your path! I don't know if you ski but ski vacations are great places to meet other single people. Good luck! I've been there before and being homesick is not at all pleasant. I hope it passes quickly.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to add, but,
"Don't look back, you're not going that way".

Anonymous said...

Being a nanny can be a very lonely job in a lot of ways. i like the idea of getitng a 2nd job just for the fun of it. Possibly something in retail where you would be around a lot of people and have the opportunity to meet more.

liz said...

I would suggest a book store or music store. A place where you might meet people you own age and a place where people will solicit your advice- which will lend way to conversation.

Other than that, although I am not a huge fan, what about religious classes? Or simply attending services at your place of worship. That could open a lot of doors for you.

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm the OP...

Thanks so much everyone for your advice. I truly appreciate the ideas. I especially like the one about getting a second part time job.... but i'm worried because i am required to be here for the kids should something happen (like one being sick or having to come home early from school/daycare for whatever reason) and the reason i'm worried about this is because when i was hired i was told that the baby (17 months) gets sick A LOT, usually at least one full week out of the month. What job would be understanding of that?

Any further suggestions/advice on any of this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone!

Anonymous said...

well your committment is to your main job obviously. If the child gets sick and you get fired, what have you really lost? You can get another job.

I wouldn't expect the second job to be understanding of that. But I wouldn't expect you to keep the second job very long. Just kind of a stepping stone.

If you find a place to volunteer, they would be more understanding.

Anonymous said...

Take classes...fit them at night or during the weekend and you'll feel loads better because it'll keep your mind active and help you meet other students.

Nanny B said...

OP, I to am a nanny and went through several jobs away from home without having any friends close by. I took my last job about 3 years ago and made it a mission to at least be comfortable going out to places by myself, such as the movies and dinner, ect. Once I did that, I did a yahoo search for nanny groups and found a group for the entire state of NJ where I live. I was able to meet so many nannies there that it seems like I never run out of things to do. Depending on where you live in PA, we could be close as I live almost on the boarder of the states and will be moving with my family to PA in a few months. Send me an email at babymonkeysnanny@yahoo.com and I we could talk and see where you are located and if I know of a group in your area. I do know there is a rather large Philly nanny group and a smaller Pittsburgh group. Send me an email and if we're close by, I promise you'll never run out of things to do!

Anonymous said...

Lots of retail stores have evening positions. Or, you can volunteer at a local hospital possibly.

Anonymous said...

As stated, you could volunteer somewhere or call them. It's really time to grow up though and cut the strings. I've been away from home since I was 17 and I'm 44 now. I missed home, too. But, I realized when I started college and working, it was time to put the childish things behind and move on. You are a working grown-up now. It's time to start acting like one. Just a thought.

Jennie said...

1:57... geez lighten up. The woman is just missing her home which is no reason to assume she is less of an adult.

Anonymous said...

Some people tend toward home-sickness much more so than other, for whatever reasons and it really doesn't matter. It's a real gut-wrenching problem for some and should not be scoffed at. Getting involved with others and making friends, of course, helps alleviate some of it, but there's nothing like an occasional visit home.

jmt said...

There are plenty of animal shelters that can use any hours you could donate, plus you could get in a dose of puppy/kitty love if you are missing any pets from home. Try looking at www.petfinders.com under the shelters link near the top to find a shelter near you.

Anonymous said...

The dogs at the animal shelters need volunteers to walk them and give them affection. It might be a perfect solution for a homesick, lonely person. And, people who love animals are usually kind and caring. It might also lead to some friendships and outings with others at the shelter.