My Manny Adventure

Having decided that I want to make a change and restore my work-life balance, I've decided to pursue a new adventure in childcare, and this week has seen an exciting new development



With my A-level results in tow and the remnants of a horrific 90's curtain hairstyle, my teenage self never imagined that, by the time I reached my 30's, I would be looking after somebody else's children for a living. It was as distant as starting my own family. And now look at me - I have my own beautiful little family and I can proudly call myself a nanny - or 'manny' as is the popular term.

I found my forte in life over three years ago when I became a Child Care Officer for my local council - a role in which I have been happy since. A far cry from existing in dead-end pharmaceutical roles.

And then my daughter was born.

Work-life balance

It soon became evident that my shift patterns as a Child Care Officer were completely unsustainable for us as a family unit. It meant, as an individual, I was unable to balance mine and our family's needs. For example: if I was at work, my wife would be putting our daughter to sleep; if I was pushing our daughter on a swing, my wife was at work - and vice versa.

At the rare times when we were both off work, we would argue. When friends suggested we meet up, I would be at work. When I wanted to read a book, I couldn't. Something had to give. Balance had to be restored. I started to look into my options before Christmas. I wanted something which offered me both job satisfaction and good work-life balance. I wanted choice. I wanted my time back. Time I could distribute effectively to myself, friends and family.

I had an epiphany. I wanted to become a manny!

Finding a manny position

So in my quest to become a manny, I registered with my local Tinies Childcare Agency and my pursuit began.

From the outset I wasn't overly confident that I would find a position, purely because it is still highly unusual for a man to be in this kind of role. But I gave it a go. Interviews were extremely rare to come by. But I did get them. Predictably, I was rejected due to other nannies having more experience, but I remained patient - casually keeping an eye out and waiting for the right family.

Then, after 7 months of trying, applying and waiting, I was offered my first role as a manny. My interview was a lovely laid back chat with the parents and a casual introduction to the kids. I even had a sword fight with one! I think I lost.

My inept handling of a plastic sword and being defeated by the little boy might have been the clincher, because shortly after, I was offered the role. It was a happy moment. Music to my ears. The family were delighted they had found someone to look after their children, and I was delighted to be welcomed into their family.

Balance restored?

The hours will be steady - not unsociable - and fixed every week. From a personal point of view, this will mean balance can be restored to me and my family's life. While I am enjoying my role as a manny, I can also spend much more time with my family; I can say yes to socialising with friends; I can suggest more dates with my wife; I can come out of football retirement and pursue long-lost hobbies. All of which are key ingredients for a happy, balanced, family life.

My manny adventure commences next week...

Andy Robinson, Working Dad and Tinies Manny

Find more child and parenting related articles on Andy's Huffington Post page.

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