My week by Francis gay
Expert: Nannies add more than a spoonful of sugar
Many busy working parents dream of finding a real Mary Poppins to add a spoonful of sugar to their everyday lives.
And, according to one of the country’s leading nanny agencies, it is possible to find the perfect nanny to fill this choice position.
Lesley Jones, manager of Greycoat Lumleys in Edinburgh, helps families hire specialist nannies, and says a good relationship is key if they are to become a part of the household. She said: “A lot of nannies we recruit will be live-in and will have accommodation with the family, sometimes in a separate flat or within the main house.
“The nanny is very much part of the family, and they generally have a very good relationship and stay with them for a very long time – families will be ideally looking for someone to stay with them as they grow.
“Therefore, their accommodation and salary needs to be attractive to be able to keep someone long-term. “There are options for nannies to almost pick and choose which role they want to go for because they really are in demand.”
Like everyone’s favourite Victorian carer, Lesley says modern day nannies will become a big part of children’s everyday routines, caring for them from breakfast to bedtime.
“A lot of nannies work from 7am to 7pm, so they’ll get the children up and ready for activities or school and then get everything ready for them coming home, including cooking for them, right up to the bedtime routine. “More and more is that clients are looking for someone who is quite creative – in Scotland in particular that involves nannies that will take the children outside to be at one with nature. That’s really important for them.” Although being a nanny involves a lot of responsibility, Lesley admits it’s still a very rewarding career for many.
“It’s a very enjoyable career as you are so involved.
“Personality is key – after all, it’s someone who will be looking after your children. “You need to be naturally warm and caring.”
Pete’s a busy guy. His days are usually full of getting things done. So, he tells me he was frustrated to have to spend three hours in town waiting for his car to get fixed. I asked how it went.
“I went in a charity shop,” he said, “and I saw an old lady put books back because they were 50p instead of 25p. When she wasn’t looking, I paid for them. I ‘found’ a fiver, much like the one another lady was searching her purse for, and ‘returned’ it to her. I saw someone with mental issues talking to himself in Mcdonald’s. I sat with him a while and bought him lunch. It was all unexpectedly wonderful!”
Pete still got things done. It’s just that they were different things, things that touched his heart more.
Slow down every once in a while. You might be amazed at what you see and do.
The new Mary Poppins film will be in UK cinemas in three weeks