Mum and nanny by day, maternity nurse by night by Kerry Banks
When I tell other Mums what I do for a living they are often surprised and don't know my type of work even exists. I get lots of comments like ‘I wish I’d known you when I had my babies’ or questions asking me ‘are you mad?’ or ‘when do you get to sleep?’ But I feel so lucky as I am able to work and still spend lots of time with my own young children.
I am a Nanny and a Maternity Nurse and it’s a bit like leading a double life! During the day I’m with my children and often others, having fun at home or local playgroups. In the evening, after my children have gone to bed, I head out to work helping local families with their newborn babies.
Each family is different and I tailor my services to meet their needs. Generally I arrive at the family’s home around 9pm. This allows time for a catch up about their day with the baby before they head off to relax or get ready for bed. I am there to offer help, support and advice on all aspects of their new baby’s care as they adjust to this new exciting chapter in their lives. I feel so privileged to share this time with them and we often develop a strong bond. I usually stay with the baby, either in a spare room or the nursery, throughout the night to give the parents a full night’s sleep. If they are breast feeding I will take the baby to Mum when he/she wakes for a feed then change and settle the baby afterwards so Mum can get straight back to sleep. If breast feeding is established and they can express or wish to formula feed, the parents can then get a full night undisturbed. Sometimes, breastfeeding mums comment just knowing someone else is responsible for hearing the baby wake allows them to sleep more soundly in between feeds, and as many parents may remember the actual feed can sometimes be quite quick, it's all the changing and resettling that sometimes can take time. One mum used to express during the night and then leave the bottle outside my door ready for the nexttime the baby woke, it was like the milk man (or woman) had been!
My main aim at work is to support mums and dads in whichever way they need. This can include, but isn’t limited, to proving reassurance and advice on feeding (Breast or bottle), helping work towards establishing good sleeping habits, and equipping mums and dads with the knowledge and confidence to understand their baby’s needs. I also give sleep deprived parents that all important nights rest. I’m available up to 5 nights a week, depending on any current bookings, sometimes families book me for just a month, some for much longer.
Many of ‘my Mums’ get back in touch after my maternity booking has ended to ask for some daytime help or to babysit. If they have a KIT day at work or a hair appointment or just want to have some time to themselves. I love this as it gives me a chance to spend more awake time with the babies to play and I love seeing them again and how much they’ve grown!
Obviously, I really love babies and there is just something about newborns that gets me every time. But I also get a huge amount of job satisfaction. Helping parents during an often daunting time, to give them a break when they are so tired they cannot think straight and to reassure mums they can do this and to trust their own instincts is a real pleasure.
So when do I sleep? When the baby sleeps. My shifts usually last until 7am so throughout the night when the baby goes to sleep I do too. Most babies will sleep for a few hours at a time and I have got very good at falling asleep quickly and sleeping in different places where I work. I also have a very supportive husband. When I get home around 7am and my littles ones are just getting up, if I’ve had a busy night at work, he’ll take them downstairs for a couple of hours so I can get my head down before he heads off to start work at 10am. But surprisingly I don’t often need to do this, I think the body just adjusts and gets used to less or interrupted sleep and I can always have a lie in at the weekend.
So am I mad? No, I get the best of both worlds. I’m a working, stay at home mum. After a busy day with my toddlers, peaceful clam new baby cuddles are a welcome change and what can be better than helping other parents enjoy their own new babies as they start their journey into this crazy, wonderful world of parenting.
If you need any help with your littles ones, day or night you can find out more and contact me via my website https://kezfaulkner1.wixsite.com/childandbabycare