Grieving the Loss of a Nanny Job

Are you leaving your current nanny family? Take it from us: leaving a nanny job can be difficult. For many nannies, especially those in a long-term position, leaving a family can feel very similar to going through a breakup. You need time to grieve before committing to another relationship with another family, and your heart needs time to heal. If you’ve found yourself deep in this phase of nanny grief, there are ways to take care of yourself while also preparing yourself for the next family you’ll fall in love with.

But first, let’s talk about nanny grief.

Why it’s important to grieve

Nanny grief is real, and it deserves more attention than it gets. We often tell our nannies that leaving a nanny job is like divorcing, and starting a new job right away is like remarrying right after the divorce. That’s because a good nanny/family relationship is very personal. You feel like you’re part of the family and, in a way, you are. You’ve cared for and bonded with the children, and they’ve grown up before your very eyes. You’re aware of the needs of the parents and you’ve been there to help them through tough parenting times, and have shared the joyous moments which is why it’s important to take time to grieve the loss of this job. 

The days leading up to leaving a job are stressful enough on their own, for everyone involved. The children will naturally feel upset that they won’t get to see you anymore. The parents may be sad about your departure and overwhelmed at the thought of finding a new nanny to fill your shoes. And of course, you may feel guilty and sad. All of those are normal emotions, but it can be hard to process all of it while you’re still working. 

As a result, it’s sometimes easy to overlook your own feelings, or to assume you’re ready for the next family right away. But our experience tells us that you should make time for self-care, especially after your last day with the family.

Make time for self-care

After your job ends, allow yourself some time for self-care. How much time you need is up to you, but make it a priority and take at least a few days off. 

Self-care is different for everyone, but if you need ideas to help you heal, try:

  • Journaling. Write down how you feel, what you liked about your job, what you didn’t, favorite memories, or things you learned while working for the family.
  • Getting good sleep. Take a break from your phone and laptop before you go to bed, so you can prepare your body for sleep. Use a sleep mask or blackout curtains or simply let yourself take a refreshing nap when you can.
  • Connecting with loved ones. Let loose and have fun with your friends. Spend time with family members. Vent your frustration and sadness if you need to. Connecting with loved ones will help you feel a lot better.
  • Doing something you love. You may not have had a lot of time to spend on your hobbies at your previous job. Take advantage of the time you have now to nurture your passions, whether that’s reading, hiking, cooking, painting, volunteering, working out, or finding a brand new hobby.
  • Take a trip. It can be hard to take time off while you’re working, as nanny schedules can be very demanding. Use this time to take a vacation. Go to a place you’ve been dreaming of, or visit family. Anything that feeds your soul.

Taking the time you need for self-care can reset your emotional, mental, and physical health. This can also give you space between jobs, and help you gain perspective on your needs and what you’re looking for in your next position — before diving back in.

You don’t have to just dive back in

As nannies, it can be hard to justify taking time off between positions. After all, it’s your job! But if you start a new job too close to the end of your previous job, you may be forcing yourself into something you’re just not ready for. If you’re not emotionally and mentally prepared to care for new children and work with new employers, it could hurt your work performance and unintentionally sabotage your new position. We’ve worked with nannies in the past who didn’t allow themselves time to grieve, and they ended up comparing the new relationship to their last one, or allowing certain emotions to impact their job performance. Each time, it led to frustration for both the nanny and the family.

That’s why it’s so important to take that time and decide if you’re ready to fully devote yourself to a new family. If you’re not, that’s OK! Consider filling temporary or seasonal needs (like summer or temporary nanny positions) while you heal. That way, you can test the waters with other families without having to make a commitment that you are not ready for. Temporary work can keep your motivation going and allow you to keep honing your nanny skills, while still giving you time to heal. 

With over 22 years of experience assisting nannies, we understand how much you love your work. If you need help finding temporary or long term job referrals, Stanford Park Nannies is there to support you through every step of your job search. Learn more about joining Stanford Park Nannies today.

Stanford Park Nannies
November 14, 2019
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Stanford Park Nannies
November 14, 2019
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