So You Want to be a Yachting Nanny?

I'm not a big fan of exploiting other people's children on the internet, so here is a picture of the back of E's head with me somewhere off the coast of Western Australia

I’m not a big fan of exploiting other people’s children on the internet, so here is a picture of the back of E’s head with me somewhere off the coast of Western Australia. He’s so photogenic right?

Not to sound like my head is the size of a hot air balloon, but since I started this whole yacht nannying thing people have told me all the time how cool my job sounds and how awesome it must be.  Let’s dissect that for a moment: Traveling around the world? Cool.  Doing it on a luxury yacht? Also pretty cool.  Being responsible for the life and all around well being of a 17 month old rascal? Hard work.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job.  In fact, taking this job was probably THE best decision I’ve ever made.  But is it “awesome” 24/7?  Nope.  It suits me in particular, but for all those who have said they “want” my job, I have decided to run down the nitty gritty of what all those fantasizers are actually envious of:

Do you enjoy being pooped/peed/puked on?

Do you find pleasure in being kicked/scratched/bitten?

Do you revel in ‘donating’ chunks of hair to the hands of angry children?

Does the idea of sitting down and enjoying a meal repulse you?

Does lifting around a heavy mass of squirming flesh for hours on end sound like your idea of a great day?

Do you despise the quiet?

Is your nose immune to the smell of sour formula/milk?

Would you enjoy playing a constant game of cat and mouse chase?

Are you able to mimic the sound of any and all forms of transportation? (cars, planes, trains, helicopters, etc.) Animals? Dinosaurs?

Do Thomas the Tank Engine, Barney, and other cartoons fulfill your cinematic viewing needs?

Do you hate to sit still?

(my personal favorite) Does the idea of thrusting your nose up to another human’s butt to smell for foul odors not phase you in the slightest?

If you answered ‘yes’ to more than 80% of these, congratulations- you’d make a great nanny! (Sorry, I thought this was a Cosmo quiz for a second there)

Thomas the Tank Engine

They’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight; shunting trucks and hauling freight! …The Thomas the Tank Engine theme song is the soundtrack to my life.

At the end of the day, I love my job; it’s so rewarding in numerous ways, and hey, I’m pretty sure if I get knocked up I’m overqualified for the task! (knock on wood) Plus, the other day E finally signed “more” back to me for another bite of toast.  Yes, I’m an awesome nanny who teaches baby sign language and it was a small triumph.

And after all the crap he puts me through on a daily basis, I’d still take it tenfold in exchange for one of his smiles.

*By the way, what does a dinosaur sound like??


13 responses to “So You Want to be a Yachting Nanny?

  1. Hahaha we can relate to everything but the being on a yacht bit – sounds VERY similar to our life in Hong Kong ‘teaching’ (read: entertaining) other people’s little 2 year old treasures. Favourite moments include: when they wipe their noses, then gleefully show you the tissue contents; having to leap around like an idiot making strange noises (yes, often transport related) to explain words to them; endless rounds of The Wheels on the Bus; endless repetition of Thomas the Tank Engine Books….

  2. Of course what you’ve described sounds like the job description of most any infant/toddler caregiver (moms, dads, nannies, fosters, etc), the difference being this all may be considered just preparation for the real thing when you don’t have the option of walking away from it. That’s why this is also so great, because you get to experience the best and the worst without having a permanent obligation. And there will consequently be far fewer surprises in store (but there WILL be surprises) whenever you opt for the permanent position. BTW, twenty four years later, your mom and I are still looking ahead to the day when both our darling children have escaped the bonds of parental supervision, but we’re fairly confident that you both will have survived the experience none (much) the worse for the experience (overlooking Miles’ fall from the changing table onto the marble floor in good ol’ Napoli — ah well none of us ever performs perfectly and guarantee no bumps and bruises for the duration.) But for and through all of it, Arielle — “You (Still) Are My Sunshine” ILY Dad

    • I suppose I should’ve added some of the aspects of being on the boat in particular, but to be honest, it’s really not that different when it comes to work! I guess that’s what I was trying to say; yes, I get to travel and see amazing places, but no, my “job” is not that exciting.


  3. Thanks for the insight. I’d be interested in knowing (out of curiosity) how it is to be in such close quarters with the parents/other family members. Do you have your own private space? If you are a shore-side nanny (whether live-in or not) I would bet you have the opportunity for some alone time every once in a while. Is that possible on the yacht? It seems like you have gotten some breaks a few days here and there to do your own exploring, but what about when you are out at sea? Thanks!

    • And thank YOU for the comment! Living with my employers and coworkers is definitely what makes this so different from (most) land based jobs, but I’ve been extremely lucky to have found myself in more of a family like environment where we get along as such. I’m also lucky in that I have my own crew cabin and bathroom to myself, whereas in many other yachting jobs that wouldn’t be the case. So when it comes to personal space and privacy, I don’t find myself lacking. In fact, I often prefer to be in the company of others.

      When we are at sea my job is a bit more demanding as the rest of the crew (which includes the parents who are the Captain and First Mate, respectively) are on a watch rotation around the clock. When E was younger, I would sleep in his room to be readily available for middle of the night feeds and the like. However, he is sleeping through the night now so our next trip will be a bit different. Although, I will still be “on the clock” for about 20 hours as opposed to normal work day hours when we are docked at shore.

      Hope that answers all your questions!

  4. Thank you for keeping it in perspective for us cuz! Certainly lost some of its glamour, but dang – still seems super cool, and glad you’re enjoying yourself! Keep sharing!

    • Yeah it still beats almost 100% of the other things I could’ve been doing back home so no complaints here! Glad you enjoyed it, Trev! Hope to see you, Dan and your girls soon- I’ll let you know when I’ll be in Vancouver shortly so we can work something out! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Workers of the World #9 | The Working Traveller·

  6. Hi 🙂 I’m a teacher/nanny at the moment and would love to do it on a yacht while travelling the world, question is, how to make it happen? How did you come across the job? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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