Received Sunday, May, 9, 2010
Almost 3 years ago, you were looking for a full-time, live-out babysitter. To tell you the truth, when I interviewed for the position, I just assumed I wouldn't get the job. But you emailed me, wanting to have another interview and have me meet your children and husband. I honestly thought I'd hit the mother lode.
I will admit the job was a bit stressful at first. As you know, taking care of three active little ones is a lot of work. And your kids didn't quite trust me right away, which I in no way took personally. But when I told you I thought the two older ones were telling little white lies (i.e. saying they washed their hands when they were obviously still dry and dirty), you had a long talk with them and I never had trouble with lying again. When I had to put one of your boys in time-out and your husband came in to hear him crying, he shrugged and said, "you should have listened to her." I felt like I had both of you on my team.
The city you live in is my hometown, so I wanted to take your children to all the things I did as a child. We went to museums, parks and the zoo on a regular basis when school was out. I signed the older ones up for a summer reading group at the library. You thought I was going above and beyond the call of duty and were extremely thankful. I loved doing all these things, so I didn't even realize that I was slowly changing my job title from babysitter to nanny.
Your children are wonderful. Your oldest can make new friends with other children in 10 seconds flat; your middle child is the observer, who is the epitome of the phrase "still waters run deep"; and your little one is so adorable with a vivid imagination. Yes, the kids and I had our arguments, but I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I had to put one of them in time-out. The youngest is at a temper tantrum phase right now, but she's realized it doesn't work on me or you. All three of them have such strong moral compasses that just the hint that they might be disappointing me or you or your husband keeps them in line.
I also know you and your husband are hands-on parents. I hear from nanny friends of mine that they see you at the park when I'm not there - getting dirty, chasing them around, and playing games with them. Your kids always have fun stories about what they did over the weekends with you. It's really refreshing to hear, since many parents in your area just plop their kids in front of the TV when the nanny isn't around.
When I started, your littlest one was 7 months old. Now she is getting ready for preschool in the fall, which will pretty much make my job obsolete. My husband and I realized this a while ago, and decided this fall would be when we would move out of state. I can't wait for the next chapter of my life to begin, but every time I look at your kids I think of how heartbroken I will be when I won't be able to see their faces every day. Even though I will be leaving my family, I am absolutely sure that your three children will be the hardest for me to say farewell to.
I am planning on finding another nanny position in my new city, but I admit I'm quite scared. I realize I have had the Holy Grail of nanny jobs and nothing will really compare to this. You have treated me like a professional, always coming home at least five minutes before my quitting time, paying me on time, giving me yearly raises, and ample time (usually more than a month!) if there was a scheduling change. I have always felt like an extremely valued employee.
Even though I have been your employee, you have taken an interest in my life outside of work. When I had to run out of town unexpectedly for a funeral, you were completely understanding. You were great about me taking a few sick days when I had food poisoning. When I came into work sick (but not anything serious or contagious) you set up the DVD player with kids movies and told the kids to be extra nice to me. I tried to return the favor on days you were sick by keeping the kids out of the house and making get well soon cards.
I have been around for 8 birthdays, 4 first day of schools, and one very long potty training session. These children are more than just my charges. I hope you'll be o.k. with me still sending birthday cards to them for, well, forever.
I would like to thank you for the past few years. This has been by far the most rewarding job I have ever had. Even though I won't be leaving for a few months, it's hard for me not to get emotional thinking of the eventual goodbye.
This is very close to what I'm planning on writing in a card when I leave. I wanted people on this site to see that not all mom-nanny relationships are a mess.