NANNY – EMMA DIXON, WANAKA
Juggling two school-age children, an energetic toddler and a growing business is no easy feat, so when Wanaka mum Emma Dixon found herself in this situation, she knew something had to give. Her work as a beauty therapist and make-up artist for Beauty Bridal Lounge means wedding season is non-stop, there’s plenty of late nights and she’s often out and about with brides on weekends. But as business boomed, Emma crashed. “I hit the wall with sheer exhaustion,” she says. “I would work 9am-3pm, collect my youngest from daycare, then pick the girls up from their different schools. Then I would take them all to their afterschool activities, go home and cook dinner, then do the housework and a bit more work on the business at night. I soon realised that I just couldn’t do it all.” With her partner Jared running his own building company, the couple concurred they needed external help, so they advertised on a community Facebook page. Enter Abby Paterson: a local snowboarding instructor-turned-nanny. They all met and clicked straightaway, and the couple knew they’d found the right part-time carer for their kids Ella, 11, Summer, eight, and Carter, two. Emma says the biggest perk of having a nanny is that it has enabled her to be more flexible with her work schedule – Abby is employed for three hours per day, either in the morning or afternoon, on four days a week. As well as caring for the kids and ferrying them to and from school and their extra-curricular activities, Abby undertakes light housework duties, baking and meal preparation. “I was trying really hard not to get help because of the additional cost but honestly it has saved me. Abby is amazing,” she says. “Jared and I can arrive home and the kids are fed and the house is immaculate. I now feel like I have more time to enjoy my kids and focus on being a mum, rather than rushing around cleaning the house, figuring out what we’re having for dinner.” Emma says it was important for them to find a kind, caring, fun and organised nanny, whom the kids would trust and feel comfortable with. Although Abby has only been with the family a couple of months, the children have already developed a strong bond with her. The by-product of having less-frazzled parents has also been welcomed by the kids.
Emma, Jared, Ella, Summer and Carter.