November To-Do List

The Nanny and Thanksgiving
Do you resent the kids you care for have many more material possessions than you do?

Thanksgiving is the must-be-there time for family reunions and family feasts. Thanksgiving is our only true national holiday, especially if you exclude the Super Bowl. And the holiday is an opportune time for reflection about the nature of thanks and appreciation, wants, and needs, desires versus necessities.

Nannies do not own a home the size of their boss’ or posses the goods their employers have in abundance. Indeed, the charges of nannies often  have bigger bedrooms and newer, more sophisticated electronics than the nanny. And given the wages and benefits of the nanny the quantity and quality of these acquisitions are more than the nanny is likely ever to achieve.

It would be so easy for a nanny to slip into a feeling of envy. It is so easy to become fixated on jewelry, clothes, computers, and technological belongings. It is not uncommon to covet what you would like, even if you do not need it.

But envy is all-encompassing and debilitating. Envy must be avoided because it causes physical depletion and mental fatigue. Envy saps the body and mind of resources and energy besides being time consuming.

The intellectually and spiritually mature nanny understands that more stuff does not guarantee happiness, serenity, or satisfaction. In fact, the complications and stress from trying to “keep up with the Joneses” tends to impede the search for inner peace. The wise nanny finds joy in helping shape her charges and does not feel a sense of entitlement.

Not feeling a sense of entitlement can hardly be said of our charges. Indeed, many revel in the hubris and advantages exhibited by their parents. Too often, the kids use their parents’ status to try to have their way their way with their friends, and, yes, their nanny.

The To-Do for November is to be thankful for the blessings you find in your life, to appreciate the small things you may take for granted, and to celebrate the big things you tend to overlook. And to spread that joy of  life to others.

I thank you for your readership and know that I appreciate your comments.


  1. It's hard to understand why a 7 yr old needs an iphone and a 9 yr old has an ipad and the family spends more on their landscaping than my salary sometimes.

  2. While some of my bosses have had nice homes. etc. I also grew up in a family of many self made individuals that lead very nice lifestyles that allowed them to do the same types of things my employers have done. I am aware that I am bright, hardworking, etc. and if I wanted that complete life for myself, I would have chosen another career path. Yes there is a part of me that still thinks some people have poor priorities when it comes to paying for quality childcare. I have been in homes where the children didn't care to take care of their stuff, and parents brushed off. That I disliked and I have learned overtime to shy away from those jobs. I work for people who appreciate that their kids have chores, that I make them put away their things, and that I will put something up in time out if it is left out to long. (I used to have bosses that would do this too. And I appreciated them for that.) I grew up on a large farm with lots of animals, my parents were present in my childhood constantly, we owned a huge woods across the road from our farm. While we maybe were poor in some ways, I find it ironic that now I must drive to nature, or pay to get into a petting farm with kids.

  3. Nice sentiment, thanks for the pep talk.

  4. I can honestly say I don't covet anyt of their possessions. That big house they live in requires a LOT of upkeep and is a constant money drain. In every large house I've lived in we are constantly having people over to fix one thing or another, and the more expensive the toys (like the sound system in every room, they break and sometimes never get fixed cause the cost doesn't justify the use. Those expensive clothes look nice and I have a few for spending time with my friends or going out but I'm not shelling out that kind of money to have them destroyed by what I do. Not to mention the way fashion goes in and out of style, and I move every few years throwing out things that aren't getting worn, constantly trying to live a simpiler life. The kids look adorable in name brands but they outgrow them so fast. Mine wears a uniform five days of the week so we have a lot of things that might get worn once, if that. I have more shoes than I actually wear on a regular basis so I don't covet more though I don't fault the shoes my boss buys for my charge, they actually get used on a regular basis so I think the expense is justified. The one and only thing I am a bit envious of is the money that allows them the freedom to travel the way I'd like to. If I had enough money that I didn't have to worry about working for a while I'd take off on first class flights but I wouldn't stay in resorts, and I'd just spend a year of so traveling the world and soaking everything in. But most of our employers aren't able to enjoy that freedom. The have the responsibility of these massive homes that they have to spend time in to justify, they have kids in school so they aren't free to travel very often, and they are chained to jobs which hopefully they enjoy cause they need them to maintain this lifestyle they've tied themselves to.

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