Before I became a mother, I was a nanny. There were four children in the family, and needless to say, it was a tough job. When I started with the family, the oldest child was 8, and the youngest was just two months old. I was their caregiver for two challenging (but rewarding) years.

At first, I had days where I wondered how I would manage to care for four children. I was an older sibling, and had lots of babysitting experience (that’s how I got the job), but sometimes I felt like I was in over my head. Some days those kids really tested my patience and I reached a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted time to enjoy life without it involving children before I had children of my own, so I said goodbye to the family and found another job. I missed those kids, but I knew it was time for a break.

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Now that I am a parent to two small children, the juggling of my two kids seems infinitely harder than the juggling I did with four. I suppose it’s because I have my kids 24/7, unlike the nanny job where I got to go home to a kid-free environment after work. And I am probably more invested since these are my children, not someone else’s.

This would explain why the juggling of my children is also infinitely more joyful. Yes, I enjoyed being a nanny, and I cared very much about those children. In some ways, it felt like they were my own. But there is nothing like looking at your children and knowing the special bond that you have. Seeing those precious faces everyday makes the two o’clock in the morning diaper changes, the constant feedings, the messy living room full of toys and the crying when mommy says “no candy” well worth the juggling.

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