…by being what you want.
People say that changing something as simple as your outlook towards life can change the way you see the world. I know this to be true firsthand.
I went through my life, at least 25 years of it, without realizing that I had a negative attitude. With the help of many books about the Law of Attraction, self-confidence, and self-compassion, I started to grow into a happy, positive person. I also started to realize just how miserable of a person I was.
When I first started working for the Bears, a year and a half ago, there was just Big Bear. He went to school all morning and sleep all afternoon. I had seven hours of free time, yet I always found a way to bitch and moan. “There’s so much laundry today. “I can’t believe I have to stay 15 minutes late today.” You guess it, I said it.
The reason I complained was that I told myself that my job was beneath me. I have a degree in journalism, I said, with three portfolios of writing material to my name. I told myself that being a nanny was only temporary and I reminded myself of this the only way I knew how: by talking shit, complaining, and being a miserable person.
Things began to change last summer. I knew that Little Bear would be arriving at the very end of summer and that my alone time with BB was running out. We spent the summer counting sailboats at the marina, eating bagels at the bookstore and just enjoying each other’s company. We didn’t know how it would affect us but we both knew that our worlds were going to drastically change with the arrival of the baby. We were trying to make the most of the time we had left.
I felt that I was making pretty great strides until LB was born last August and the stress of caring for a newborn that never slept and raising a 2 ½-year-old who was regressing was a lot to handle. Even after my pay raise came into effect after their mom went back to work after her maturity leave, I was still miserable. I missed all the downtime I had caring for only one child and I started to beat myself up for not using that time wisely. I had almost a year of downtime that I could have spent writing and freelancing, and I threw it down the drain (or so I told myself). I was stuck with a newborn and stuck in this job, and I felt I had made a huge mistake becoming a nanny.
When LB was about 6 months old, after more reading on happiness, gratefulness, and gratitude, all the things in my life started to click once again. I realized how the Bears love me not just as a nanny but as a member of the family. I went on vacations with them and got bonuses and free meals. I started to tell myself that at 26, it was okay for me to be confused about my career and to take a step back to figure it out.
As the new year rolled along, I decided to make drastic changes in my relationships as well. I ended a toxic on-and-off again relationship and I started to cut ties with friends who made me feel bad about myself. I also, once again, started to feel more positive about myself and my life. Who noticed the most? You guessed it, the Bears.
Kids smell fear and stress. Anytime I left the boys to their own devices while I frantically did laundry, stressed about paying a bill or who KNOWS what else, the boys always picked up on the weird energy. They became needier, they started to act out more. It wasn’t until I put the phone down and gave them my full attention that my life as a nanny became drastically different, and so much easier. The boys acted calmer. I was able to have actual conversations with BB and not just give him something to play with while I sat in the corner fidgeting with my phone.
To this day I’ll catch myself stressing myself out about some mundane errand or task that I could easily take care of when the boys are both sleeping or when I’m alone at home that night. My job is to watch and raise two little boys and boy does my job go so much more smoothly when I actually do it properly. With kids around and a messy house and a tired nanny, it’s easy to look at the dust and the dirty dishes and get overwhelmed by the mess around you. But if you take a step back and see the joy of LB trying a clementine for the first time or BB reciting his address, you really realize that the trivial shit in your life is really just trivial shit. It doesn’t matter and it can always be dealt with later. Children, on the other hand, you blink and they’re a year older. I don’t want to miss a second of these boys discovering this big and fabulous world around us.