Somehow I decided one day to offer myself up on Facebook as a nanny. Churches really aren’t hiring in Berlin and I am on leave of absence technically anyway. I started being interviewed by mostly moms. These are women that I have really enjoyed talking with, hearing their story, etc. I made a match with a family with a 2 month old, 5-6 months ago. Every day that I spend with the little one, I learn so much more. Little one has her issues but she also smiles at me with a huge grin when I walk in. I am with the little one two days a week for five or so hours a day that we spend together.
The family I work most with has recommended me to other families. One family and I are starting to work together a few hours a week or so. This family has introduced me to a smiley 11 month old who is super active. Another family I haven’t heard from yet.
A family in church hires me for date nights and I get to hang with their amazing 5 year old. We have a grand friendship and are eager to hang out with each other each time.
A friend then recommended me to a family that I will meet tomorrow and learn about. And another friend recommended me to their boss who has a very cute 3 month old with fiery red hair that I will start working with in January.
I recently realized that perhaps this isn’t such a horrible way to work in Berlin. My schedule is set by me in connection with families. I make more than minimum wage here and I actually love hanging out with these amazing families. I have been chasing all sorts of possible mini jobs and yet here are places where I am so fully appreciated and seen for this talent. Perhaps that is a good place to land while I am in Berlin. Sure, it is not the traditional pastoral role and it offers up a nice break in my career life but perhaps that is ok for now. Perhaps this part of my life is as legit and valued as other parts of my life. I am definitely not Mary Poppins but I do dote on these little ones because I believe so fully that kiddos should have safe, supportive people that aren’t their parents in their life.
And on top of all that, there is a league of us who do this work, caring for the children in our world that can connect on a whole different level now than we ever did before. We are the nannies who cuddle and hold the criers, who play whatever game is presented, who try to sneak in learning when we can, who kiss the boo boos and read the favorite book over and over again and perhaps more importantly give these amazing parents a bit of break so they can be the best parents that they can be.