Stop Trying to Be Perfect

When it comes to my job, I try my best to never make a mistake. Funny, right? It’s impossible. There are so many things I am good at, but when something doesn’t go just right, I have the tendency to question my abilities as a nanny. I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way, so I want to provide some encouragement to those of you who also strive for perfection, yet fall short.

On any normal day, how many of you can confidently say you are good at your job? Probably all of you. It’s the only reason we’ve come this far. We have former nanny families who still contact us, we have a well-rounded resume, we are educated and experienced — of course we’re good at our job. So why, when one tiny mistake occurs, do we feel like we aren’t good enough?

I know that I am my own worst critic. My employers aren’t thinking to themselves, “Why did we hire her?,” or, “She doesn’t know what she’s doing.” We all make mistakes or have moments when our normal approach just isn’t working. No matter how long we have been working in the field, we are going to experience this. We work with people, with kids! People are unpredictable and none of us are the same. Sometimes it takes some additional thought and effort to bring forth results.

It’s easy to think that there’s something wrong with us or that we aren’t meant for the job, but the reality is that we don’t know everything, no matter how badly we want to. We, then, have an opportunity to grow and get better at our jobs. Just because you didn’t potty train your current two-year-old nanny kid in three days like you did the last one, or because the sleep training isn’t happening as easily, or whatever it is, doesn’t mean you aren’t good at your job. We all have our strengths and we all have things we need to work on. It doesn’t help to be embarrassed or to beat yourself up over something you can’t fix or control. Be okay admitting to yourself that you aren’t perfect and that you won’t always know what to do, then focus on educating yourself on new strategies and ways of approaching something.

It’s impossible to be perfect at any job, let alone a job where you manage children and a household. Stop trying to be perfect; give yourself some grace. You’re still awesome.

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