Ive been a Nanny since I was 18 , professionally. A paid one at least. For years before hand , I was the go to aunty, a weekend local babysitter and in the holidays, a camp leader for younger ones. It was there , when someone said those fateful words to me, 'you're good with kids, you should be a nanny ' So I did and was, I trained at the local technical college to make it official . Back when there was only cloth nappies with pins ! I travelled the world putting my valuable knowledge into good use and learning a lot of practical. Ive worked in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA as a ski resort crèche manager. Then recently for the last 15 years in the Uk, I was a Chelsea and Notting Hill nanny darling ! Lastly in Northern Ireland where Im working 24/7 and unpaid with my own wee one and three unruly but wonderful teenagers that came with my new relationship.
I am in medical terms a geriatric mother , nice term, it's an even worse way of saying old. Im a late bloomer, boomer and breeder. Not my choice. Kind of. I always wanted children. As stated it was my calling, I love them , everything about them, they are my joy in life and even looking after other peoples didn't put me off. But the stars did not align for me early or mid life. I married the wrong man who wasn't supportive and in the end left me emotionally before I left him physically. I threw myself into work as it was filling the void I had in my heart. When the gapping hole wasn't fixed by everything I threw at it. I rearranged my life, stuck my foot firmly in the closing door of my fertility and took things into my own hands. Or more to the point put things in to highly qualified hands of science ( IVF Shhh ). I had tried and failed for 20 years to be a Mum, so I had to admit I needed help. I have endometriosis and left it unchecked for so long , that my tubes tied on their own. Think thorn bush in Sleeping Beauty. But I was assured that all was not lost.
So I did what any modern woman would do , I advertised for a sperm donor and reconnected with my first love of 20 years ago who answered the call. He had three kids and was a single Dad from a previous relationship so I knew he could at least have kids. I needed a Dad for wee one , we were missing puzzle pieces for each other. I figured it would be nice to be able to tell the product that we had once loved each other rather than I didn't know their Dad at all. He had other plans ! He said , I will spend the next nine months trying to get you to fall back in love with me. Sorry ladies, it took nine secs after that statement. And two years , not to get me back in his arms but to conceive. He made husband number two and we are a ready made wonderful family of his three boys and our beautiful wee woman of 16 months.
In this time , I have meet and formed wonderful strong bonds with people in my adopted country of Northern Ireland. When I moved here, two months pregnant and sick as a dog, I knew no one. Not a soul. But the Nanny training of moving jobs and having to make new connections kicked in. I had 7 months of sitting on a couch getting bigger and bigger to think. Ive always wanted to share what Ive learnt as a nanny and what I was learning as a pregnant woman and prospective mother. Ive been raising kids so long some things no matter what the child are the same, tweaked to each situation. Ive watched new mums struggle with confidence and uncertainty and getting lost in the woods and not seeing the trees as the saying goes. I thought , I can help to untangle some of that in a friend to friend conversation. So I started to write it down before baby brain hit.
The blog was born. Even before my baby. Because no one tells you what it's really like to be pregnant . The wringer you go through physically , emotionally ,mentally. Mums hint at it, and if mentioned they might say '' oh yes I remember that" . But thats no good after the fact. Cheers ! I thought , I want to know before so at least I know its normal and it's ok !! I think maybe they , don't want to put you off? Too late I'm already pregnant, give it to me straight please !! I want to cut through the bullshit of smiles and ''its the most wonderful time for you'' , to say what others won't, to open up communications between Mums, before, during and after pregnancy and definitely every minute of every day raising baby. We are the village we all hear about ! We need to move in and get gossiping over the fence, talking in the supermarket aisles, get the membership card and turn up to the meetings of this wonderful club we have just joined. I see my contributions as the minutes from meetings I've attended and experienced, for others to catch up on so they aren't left out in the cold and know what to expect when expecting.
This is my journey from being a know it all Nanny to knowing nothing pregnant lady to fusing the two together as a Mammy. I promise to keep it real as they say.