Hi everyone! Happy New Year and welcome to The Social Nanny. My name is Jessica Jones, and I am so excited to be launching this resource. I hope that it will be a huge blessing in your life.
Before I go any further, I want to share a little bit about me. I am 28 years old and I live in the great city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am a Christian and one of 9 kids and love my family more than words can say. I am an outgoing woman who loves people… in fact, the more people that are around me the better! Often described as a social butterfly, I love connecting with people, young and old alike.
I have always had a deep passion for kids, which steered me to start babysitting and nannying from the early age of 8. Since then, I have worked as an independent nanny/babysitter, in and out of daycares in the Greater Baton Rouge area, and in kids’ and tots’ ministry at a local church. I have volunteered at church, in after school programs, I would tutor, and give my services as needed for those who could not afford childcare. I have taken care of kids who have physical disabilities, who are autistic, who have learning disabilities, and even some who were dealing with forms of PTSD. In it all, I was always filled with joy when my day was enhanced by spending time with kids.
As I spent more time with kids and their families, my passions began to grow and evolve: not only did I want to care for kids, I began to want to foster and strengthen the family unit. I became more aware of a growing need to educate and strengthen families and caregivers with knowledge about kids and their ever changing needs.
People who found out about my passion for kids and experienced me in my element would ask me questions. Some of these questions were from parents: Should I discipline my child? How do I discipline my child? Is this normal behavior for my child’s stage in life? Why do kids do certain things? How do I encourage my kids? What are some good boundaries to have for my children? And so on and so forth.
During this time, I began to start mentoring caregivers who were just getting started in the field of childcare. Some of the questions that I got were super familiar: Should I discipline this child? How do I discipline this child? Is this normal behavior? Why are these kids acting like this? This just happened… what do I do? And so on… and so forth.
Then I noticed the questions began to evolve. Parents would ask: what is a fair rate for a babysitter? How do I communicate my needs without seeming overbearing? How do I dismiss a babysitter from caring for my family? Caregivers would ask: What should I charge a family to babysit or nanny? How do I tell a client that I am overwhelmed? How do I tell a family that I am no longer able to work for them? Through this, my passions evolved even more: I also began to want to encourage bonds and strengthen relationships between caregivers and families.
These questions began to make me think. If I encountered these questions almost daily from people around me, how many more people have these same burning questions that need to be answered? And these aren’t simple questions that have no consequence when dealing with kids and their families. These are super important questions whose answers can determine the well being of kids, families, and caregivers alike. And those who ask these questions: aren’t they asking because they care?
I started to formulate. How could I use my gifts to help others answer these questions? How could I use my gifts to help others problem solve when it comes to caring for the kiddos in their lives? Yes, I love children. But I also love to train and equip others to lead, to problem solve, and to be the best Godly version of themselves that they can possibly be. I love learning and growing, stretching myself in my capacities while seeing others grow in their capacities as well. I love cheering others on as they run the race that is set before them. My questions for myself were wild: How in the world could I marry these passions of mine? And once they have connected, what could I do to help myself grow and help others grow in this passion? Where could I do this? To what extent could I do this? Who would I want to reach? My answer: I want to have a platform where I can help anyone and everyone who needs answers, encouragement, or training in childcare, a place where my passion for kids could be shared with others who also have a passion for kids, AND a place where I could experience personal growth as well.
Then, I began to dream. My dream led me to a desire to create a resource through my business, a place where I could marry all of my passions and share them with others. I decided to start this to answer lots of questions that I encountered and still do encounter while caring for children, and to also answer the questions I asked myself! I have a desire to arm caregivers and families alike with knowledge so that they can lead, protect, and shepherd the kids that they care for in the best way possible. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 that my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. In this case, a lack of knowledge doesn’t only destroy the ones who don’t know, but also the children who are entrusted to their care.
In these blog posts, I will tackle these questions head on, whilst sprinkling in my experiences in this field. Some of these will be funny, as we all know that kids are unpredictable and nothing but bluntly honest. Some will be serious, as some experiences are not as fun, but full of knowledge. Some will be interviews with people far more experienced than I, and others will be research based.
I am so excited to grow and learn alongside you in this and my prayer is that this blog helps to equip a generation of people to carefully and Biblically steward the little lives that have been entrusted to them.