Keeping in Touch... with Reality

opinion 1
I have been working as a part time babysitter (about 15 hours/week) for an amazing family for the past 2 years. Both the kids (11, 6) and the parents are great. In 2 years we have never had an issue. They've always been very sweet and respectful. I've obviously grown quite attached to them, and the kids are attached to me as well.

I am unfortunately leaving in a few weeks because I got a full-time job in my field. I am really sad that they won't be a part of my daily life anymore. They say that they will miss me a lot, and that we'll stay in touch and see each other all the time. What has your experience been with this? It may be different because I am not a career nanny so I don't have several families to keep up with, but I'm still interested to hear other experiences. We are all really close and I know they care about me, but I am willing to be realistic here. They are a busy family. Do you think we will actually stay in touch?


nycmom said...

Likely it will depend on your effort. We keep in touch with a couple of former caregivers, but not all. I do think it requires the sitter to make a little extra effort at first, but given the kids' ages (especially the 11yo), they can keep in touch themselves. My 10 and 12yo email 3 former babysitters that they really liked and they do so much more often that I do. I monitor their email and they have facebook accounts under fake names so I see the communication. I think it means a lot to my kids to maintain the connection. I directly email a couple of former sitters too (and call two), but only every few months. I do not think seeing them "all the time" is realistic, but I do think it is realistic to stay in touch if you are all willing to put in the effort. If the parents allow the 11yo to have her own email or communication, I definitely think it is realistic to expect to keep in touch.

ericsmom said...

In my experience NO. I tried with a family that I thought would keep in touch with me. I was working part-time for them for almost two years. When I was young I even went out to California to help them for six months.

I tried two or three times to keep in touch. So I called them they were always nice. But they never called, ever. Or send a picture of the kids. Thats okay. I tried two times and that was it. I am not going to be a stalker. Why try.
I learned once you leave a job thats it.

Nanny in pgh said...

I was with my first family for 8 years..I worked for 2 surgeons so I was there a lot--I covered call and worked long was hard the first 3 months when that job ended..I cried every day. It was so weird to me to not be there for the first day of school...taking the kids to activities...planning stuff..making their lunches etc because I had done hat for 8 years.

I visited a lot and wrote notes to the kids and they wrote back, like pen pals. I also babysat them over Christmas and still do for date nights. I visit, attend shows etc but as time goes on I have kind of moved on. I am now so involved with my current family there's no way I could have stayed so involved with my former family. I thought I would be super involved forever, visit a few times a week..but life goes on. A few times my first MB saw me out with the new family and it was really weird for me..especially because she said she hated seeing me with other children and not hers. I am blessed to have worked with 2 wonderful, appreciative families.

AlwaysBeMyBaby said...

I hope you stay in touch!

My first Nanny job ended 6 years ago and I still see the kids every one or two weeks! I take them to movies, skating, swimming, dinner, and sometimes on weekend overnights. They are 11, 11, 15, and 16 now! The two 11 year olds come over every once in a while during the week on no school days to help me out with my newest little charges.

It's up to you to call them and keep in touch. In my experience, it's well worth it!

Nanny to three said...

I was with a family for 5 years, and two years later, I still think about them every day. For the first week, I did nothing but cry! I was so depressed, it felt like losing my own children. Luckly we have kept in touch and it has gotten easier with time. I see the kids at least every month, and even went away for a weekend with them last summer. I love the relationship we have, and it's great seeing them grow up! If you and the family are commited to staying in touch, you will!

Truth Seeker said...

Sure, I don't see any reason not to.

With the families that I have remained on good terms with, I have kept in touch via e-mails/texts. Even though both sides are busy, we still make the time to schedule visits since it is important to both sides that the child(ren) keep in touch w/someone who played such an important part in their upbringing.

It will take effort on both sides, but if both sides want it bad enough, it can be done. ♥

NannyPants said...

Yes but maybe not as often as you would like. Just speaking from experience, I left a family I had worked for for 5 years to take a new job in a different state. I was very very close with my previous family and was absolutely devastated when I even thought that we wouldn't be as close anymore. It was really hard at first, because I was used to seeing them every day and now not at all...we Skype once in a while and talk on the phone but that's it. I still consider them to be close but just in a different way. Same with you and your nanny family--you are obviously a big part of their life as I was to my previous family...and that will never change. They will not forget you just because they have busy lives to lead. You are special to them and always will be!! Even if that means you can't talk to them as much as you would like. :)

Nc nanny said...

I honestly believe it depends on the family. I have one family that I only worked with for 6 months who had kept in contact for over 2 years. However I sincerely doubt that I will hear from the family I just left. I won't lie to you, it breaks my heart to know that. I bonded with those children like I never have before. I guess my advice to you is remember they aren't your children. While it will hurt like nothing else, ultimately you will be okay because you have to be. As silly as this sounds, I have removed the kids pictures from around my house and phone in order to try to not see reminders and miss them. Before people say I cared too much, I had these kids from birth to now so I did bond with them in a special way. And personally I believe that loving your charges as deeply as it sounds like you do demonstrates what a great nanny you were. I believe that if a nanny loves in the way she should it isn't ever easy to leave the kids. Good luck OP, try to stay in contact but if it doesn't work, know you loved them and the kids know it :)

MissMannah said...

I agree with Nc nanny, it does depend on the family. My first family I worked for, years ago now, we are still in touch, but infrequently. I send the kids birthday and Christmas cards and once or twice a year the mom will send me updated pictures. I would love to see them more often but this is our relationship now and I've accepted that. My family last year that I was only with for 3 months, I have the mom on facebook and talk to her every once in awhile, usually to comment on pictures of her son. You can try doing that, it is an easier way to keep in touch without being too invasive. My other families I have not kept in touch with, and it was their choice, even though when I left they all said they would.

Phoenix said...

it will all come down to you making the effort to reach out. They are kids and the parents are busy.

My mom was really good about keeping on me about talking to my former nanny. When she got MS my mom would always remind me to call her occasionally. Most parents wont do this and the nanny is the one who will need to reach out

Sad Nanny! said...

I have kept in touch with one of my favorite families, and it is always great to see them, but I has a disheartening experience lately. I went to their house for dinner and to see my former charge who just turned 3. When I left them, she had just turned 2, she was learning colors and numbers and letters. She never threw tantrums, she learned super fast that I won't respond to them.

Every time I have been back, her behavior is worse and worse. This time she was calling the cat "stupid" and saying "I hate you," to the cat if she was in her way. She demanded things from her parents, refused to clean up her toys, and mom and dad totally let her get away with it. If they actually said no, she would just yell until they gave in.

She seems to know less about numbers and letters than he did a year ago. I know she is smart enough, I think they just don't work on it with her. I of course said nothing to the parents, it isn't any of my business, but I felt like they were doing her a disservice by giving her absolutely everything she wants. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, and I don't want to imply that I am better than the parents or anything, but I feel sure that if I had been in that child's life consistently, she would not be throwing tantrums, and she would know her alphabet. The parents really are wonderful people, I think they just don't realize that they are creating a monster!

Karli said...

I think every family/situation is different so it's hard to say for sure but the family I worked for the longest (4 years). I sent the kids little "thinking of you" cards with stickers in them and little things like that every few months after I left and their parents have always kept in touch with me. It's been 2 years now, and I made it clear when I left that I would LOVE to still see them/babysit, etc. Once in awhile I text the mom asking if I can "borrow" the kids and take them for ice cream or something and she always says yes. She occasionally texts me pictures of them, she's sent Christmas cards with photos of them both years, and I've babysat and even stayed over for an entire 3-day weekend with them once since then when the parents went out of town. In fact, I'm babysitting them again this Sunday morning. Just make the first effort so they know you're serious and so they won't think they're "bugging you" if they contact you. :)