Nanny

My name is Anna,

I am 28 years old and I have been a nanny for 12 years, I have worked as a Child Care Counselor for 2 of those years in a foster care setting.

I was also an Au Pair overseas for 6 months in New Zealand.

I am looking to be a full-time nanny with a loving family. I am outgoing and have always loved being around children.  I have worked for families with newborns to 13 years old, however, most of my experience is with newborns – 4 year olds. I am looking for either a full-time position or 3 full days a week.  I would also be more than happy to be reviewed via a background check.

I am up-to-date on with CPR and First Aid Certification, I have years of experience with multiples, and I also have some great references from families.

My standard rate is $17 for one child or $20 for two.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions via Annamsmoot@gmail.com  or through cell at (360) 771-5863

I look forward to connecting!

Compassion, Groundedness, and Being Strict: Are you a Christine or a Lynn?

Disclaimers and yada-yada:   My good friend and co-blogger Cathy and I had the chance to interview Christine Adams, actress in “Black Lightning”  on The CW.  The following is the first of two reflections of our 30-minute chat.  This post is not sponsored.  Check out the show, with a new episode airing this Monday, February 11, 2019.  Now, on with our post:

They are both mamas, both highly articulate and intelligent, and they both raise two daughters spaced by fairly significant age gaps. It could be very easy to blend real life with fiction, if we hadn’t met talented actress Christine Adams to have a frank conversation about motherhood, parenting, heroism and values. Recently we got to know Christine’s philosophies on many topics including her passion for helping disadvantaged youth and how she sometimes just likes to go read her newspaper in peace.

Before we got to know Adams, we only knew her as Lynn Pierce the neuroscientist, American mom, nurturer and glue to an entire family of superheroes in the DC – TV show Black Lightning. It was delightful to meet the passionate Englishwoman speak in her authentic accent and voice. We ended up adoring the real person behind the cool TV character.  Christine’s honesty struck us during our 30-minute conversation about motherhood and how her upbringing shaped the way she approaches her no-nonsense parenting style.

Raised by a single mum – who was pregnant with Christine at age 17, Christine developed a solid sense of herself quite early on.  Her mom was determined to keep Christine on track to avoid her tendency to be a “wild child”, instilling the skills to hustle and survive and be responsible just by the sheer act of not being able to do IT ALL for her. Adamant that “adversity makes children strong”,  Christine reflects on the lessons she learned in her formative years using a few examples of how she had to care of herself at an early age and it’s clear that this non-traditional upbringing shaped her into a caring, effective, and strict (by her standards), mum to her own daughters.

Christine’s character, Lynn Pierce embodies the best mom qualities of TV dream moms Lorelai Gilmore and Claire Huxtable. Understanding, patience, and a sense of humour are her superpowers. She’s got an amazing career, a great coparenting relationship and she’s almost launched both of her girls into adulthood.  Lynn also manages to keep her ex-husband on his toes with the sparks that are obviously still between them. It’s the way that she parents her girls as if they were buddies that we are curious about. This is where the two mamas diverge, and life does not imitate art in this case.

While we really do like Lynn Pierce on Black Lightning and we love how she nurtures her superpower brood, it is a little bothersome to watch how her youngest daughter Jennifer, doesn’t seem to be able to do anything wrong in Lynn’s eyes. Lynn seems too busy being friends with her daughter to get a handle on her wild child tendencies.

Is it possible to be the “friend mom” and the “strict mom” at the same time?  Should you be a Lynn or a Christine to be an effective parent – or a blend of both?  We talked about this “friend zone” of parenting with Christine, who errs on the strict side,  “no cell phones at dinner, friends are expected to use their “please” and “thank you’s”, whining is not tolerated because we have pretty good lives!”  and P.S. Christine is determined that “kids should know how to do the laundry and make dinner.”

Unlike her character,  Christine doesn’t need to be her daughter’s best friend. She wants to do good by them – to teach them practical skills and manners that so many kids these days are lacking when they get to adulthood, even if that means making herself unpopular to her daughters. Christine’s parenting style and values almost seem old-fashioned, but in spite of that, this approach works for her and her family. Her no-nonsense approach to life is shaped by her upbringing, but she also illuminates  her tender, nurturing side when she chats with us about her passionate commitment of working with homeless youth.

Christine told us a story about an early morning walk, when the sun was just rising, and coming across a young woman walking with a shopping cart.  There was a teddy bear sitting atop that cart. The young woman looked aimless. When they got to talking, it turned out that the girl was 17 years old, 7 months pregnant, and homeless.  Christine has great compassion. Christine cares deeply, putting thoughts into actions and actions into commitments. She explained how the Venice, CA youth organization she is involved with called SPY (Safe Place for Youth)  might stand a chance because there are more and more people who care about their homelessness and their stories. Even everyday actions like helping young girls on the street buy tampons and other necessities is something she’ll stand by

The little girl who was so eager for some attention in a sea of grown-ups raised by her own superhero single mom, is now commanding a lot of attention on and off the screen. Keep paying attention to this woman, actress, mom, and advocate. Listen to her messages of level-headed parenting, insisting on please and thank yous, no whining and the one that will stay with us:

Don’t desensitize yourself to the troubles on your doorstep.

Gates Foundation adjusts their 52-week paid family leave policy

((photo when I was speaking at a national conference, babe in arms, when I returned to work at 50% when he was 4 months old))

When they launched their 52-week parent leave policy in 2015, I was jealous. I had a baby that year, and I didn’t have such a policy at my workplace.

Three years later, they’re adjusting citing challenges to managing talent and back-filling for back-fills. Also, there is “growing evidence” that 6 months is the sweet spot for meeting key on health for infants and for parents’ careers.

I’ve had a few babies, all of whom were born while I was working full-time. Here’s how I handled them:

  • #1 — I was four months pregnant when I started this job. Although *I* knew at the time of my interview and offer that I was pregnant, I did not tell them for a good month into the job. I was not covered by Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): I hadn’t been on the job for 12 months. This was a public agency, so they certainly wanted to show good will within their limits. I saved, then used, all my sick and vacation time, then took a leap of faith and supplemented with unpaid leave. Total time with babe: 5 months, 1 week. Partner’s time with babe after me: 4 months.
  • #2 —  Between babies, we moved from one city to another and then another. I landed in Portland around 7 months pregnant, interviewed for a job in my maternity suit, got the offer, and stated upon verbally accepting it: “I just wanted to make it clear that I will need to take Family Leave in a couple of months.” My male manager stuttered. I think he even said, “well, let me get back to you.” I was in disbelief: a) he had no idea I was expecting and b) he seemed to be back-pedaling on a job offer! Well, I think it was just shock, and – of course – he wasn’t about to take back the offer (again, this was a public agency, and the discrimination lawsuit would have been pretty awful there). Needless to say, I was 2 for 2 now being uncovered under FMLA. I did not push too hard, knowing I could sacrifice my job, so I came back when they said they needed me back. Total time with babe: 9 weeks. Partner’s time with babe after me: 5 weeks.
  • #3 — OK. By this time, I had a couple of other jobs, and I had landed at a national nonprofit organization. I had been there for a few years already when I announced my next arrival; I had proven my worth and built credibility. They had a generous leave plan, with 3 months paid. I was also working from home a good bit. Even after I went back to work, I was able to work with minimal outside childcare until he was one year old, as he was an excellent and regular napper. I also figured out how to travel with him, securing babysitting on the other end or even bringing him when he was up to 24 months old to some staff meetings in many locations nationwide. Total time with babe: 4 months. Partner’s time with babe after me: 2 months.
  • #4 — With this one, I was with a similar organization as I was with #3, a national nonprofit organization. I had been with them a year almost exactly when I started to labor. I was provided with – again – 3 paid months of leave (!!!). Then, I did something I hadn’t done yet: I went back at the 50% level, which I always said I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t sure how to know what 50% was; I only knew “working” or “not working”. Turns out it was a nice arrangement to ease my way back to work, and it was critical to establish regular hours so officemates knew when to reach me. Total time with babe: 3 full months, then 50% for the next 2 months. Partner’s time with babe, overlapping with my 50%: 3 weeks (he was at the job 1 month before we delivered).

So, now reflecting on my sample experiences here, I do feel like 3 months is definitely not enough. I think at 5 months away from the office, I was starting to worry that the re-entry to the workplace would be tough and I was starting to want for my work-life back.

We’ve had a lot of privilege here: I had a solid full-time job with each kid, and I had a confidence that my job would still be there when I returned; I had a partner who provided additional income (although we do need both incomes to subsist); my partner also took family leave to delay our needs for full-time childcare.

Have you taken leave from work? How much time did or did not work for you? Would you agree with the “mounting evidence” that there is this 6-month sweet spot?

Infant Opening/St Johns NoPo

Hello Ladies & Gentlemen. I care for a small group of infants, 3:1 ratio from my home in St Johns. We are looking for a sweet baby to join us 2 or 3 days/wk on Mon, Tues & Wed. 8:00a-5:00p. Pls email:  nanny_clair_v@yahoo.com or text 503.933.0580 to learn more and to schedule a visit. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Emotions in Teens: “We have observed instances of self-harm”

“This is the school psychologist at your daughter’s school”, the voice mail said.  It went on: “I wanted to bring to your attention that your daughter’s coach and the athletic director has brought it to my attention that they observed instances of self-harm with your daughter.”

“Self-harm”, self-harm.  It rhymed with “arm” and I could visually see my daughter’s forearm, that I had noticed weeks ago, slashed with cut marks from the wrist all the way up to the elbow crease.

Yes, we had observed the same, and we had discussed it with her a few weeks back.  Such a tough subject to even raise, but so obviously important to address.  It’s not something you ignore; it’s not something you hope will just go away.  We had noticed it, as well as other clues and cues, which she admitted to leaving behind for us to see: bloodied tissues stuffed into a bag on her windowsill, a small box containing a few blades, and then – in the same bag – a bottle of ibuprofen.

Recently, I caught up with an old colleague, a widower and single dad to 3 teenage girls.  When I asked how the girls were, his second update was: “by now, they’ve all cut themselves.  Their teachers and coaches say they see it all the time in girls their ages.  They even did it before their mom passed.”
He seemed nonchalant about it, very matter-of-fact.  Really?  All the girls engage in this behavior?  It is more the norm than the anomaly?

Whether common or uncommon, it is serious.  My partner and I tried to talk to our daughter about this behavior immediately.  But, what do we ask?  “Dear, what’s wrong?”  And, what do we say?  “You know we are always here for you.”  And also: “Why?”

Our girl had a hard time putting words to her feelings.  There were more tears than complete sentences.  She seemed dark and a bit confused.  She seemed flustered and upset.  She seemed upset that we couldn’t easily translate her feelings into words for her.  We let her know we wanted to help: help her identify her feelings, help her untangle the feelings, help her pinpoint “what’s wrong” and maybe even help her find ways to maybe even fix what felt “wrong”.  “Could we help you do that?”  She agreed.  Yes, she wanted to feel better.  Yes, she wanted to lift this heavy load.  Yes, she wanted the dark to become light.

We offered to start by asking her doctor for resources.  She had her annual physical coming up, and she would have the chance to have one-on-one time with her doctor.  To be sure, pediatricians to teenagers would have suggestions for resources for young people who grapple with these feelings.  She sounded open to broaching the topic with her doctor.
She also had a school counselor/psychologist she could talk to.  We are lucky to be one of the few schools in our district with a full-time school psychologist on campus.  Being on the more shy side, we weren’t sure whether she would initiate reaching out to the school counselor/psychologist.  Should we insist that she did?

It turns out that she didn’t have to.  Soon after, this instance, our daughter brought home paperwork for us to sign, authorizing her to miss limited class time, as necessary, for her to meet the school psychologist.  Part of ones treatment is owning it for oneself.  And, so, in addition to her individual therapy, we also enlisted in family therapy at a local public agency offering services for up to 3 months on a sliding scale basis.  We had found that very few private practices were accepting new clients, and none within our insurance network could accommodate us, so we were so grateful for this agency that was suggested to us by the school.  Our time at family therapy elevated new ways to communicate and hear one another’s concerns, and we also came up with strategies to better connect moving forward.  It built great foundation for us as we worked our way through the teen years, together.

*******************
I wrote all of the above almost four years ago, to the day, when our first daughter was a freshman in high school.  We did not see it as a blessing then, but we do now.  I am ever grateful for the incident, that gave us time to pause, reflect, and work together.  As I re-read and finally post this, our second-born is now a freshman in high school.  Although these two are very different individuals, there are certain points in our life cycles that are common.  This reflection point seems to be one of them.  I have a feeling I’ll have more to share on this before too long.  

Thank you for reading.

Full Time Nanny Available Now

Usha Gade Larson  971-645-5967  uglarson@gmail.com
 
I have been a nanny for 22 years in the Mt Tabor Area of Portland. I took a year off and I am back, very excited and ready. 
 
My care-giving philosophy:
 
For Infants: holding, attachment, love, eye contact, lots of talking, singing, good nap routine, and reading. Mothers provide breast milk or formula.
 
1 year and older:  Natural Approach, good structure and routine, nurturing, foster independence, guide them by offering imaginative play, offer healthy vegetarian food made from scratch,  reading, reading reading…quiet time, nap time, child led play, positive discipline,  practice love, patience and kindness.
 
I offer a safe, loving and engaging care in my home. 
 
ABOUT ME:
Mindful living, time for contemplation, reading, long walks every day.  Being “present” in the here and now. Life long vegetarian. Practice Gratitude for all the beauty in my life and in the world.
 
I use a cell phone minimally to make calls.
 
No screen time when babies are here, I don’t have Facebook, instagram etc.
 
Opening for two infants full time. I will also do evening and weekend care for ages:  birth to three years old.
 
Mon-Fri  7:30 am to 5:30 pm. (flexible schedule ok)
 
$65.00 a day for up to 8 hours. 
 
Thank you

GIVEAWAY – PJ Masks Live “Save the Day”

It’s time to be a hero! Join Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko – in an all new show, live on stage, and coming to a city near you – as they race into the night to save the day from triple trouble: Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl!

PJ MASKS LIVE: is back with an all new super-heroic, live musical show, featuring the heroic trio from your favorite series: The PJ MASKS! Watch Catboy, Owlette and Gekko along with their new friend PJ Robot, as they try to save the day from the sneaky villains – Romeo, Night Ninja and Luna Girl! Fluttering Feathers! Leaping Lizards! What a CAT-tastrophe!

Leaping, flipping and climbing – live on stage! Complete with your favorite music and brand new songs you’ve never heard before! Don’t sleep through it – watch the PJ Masks save the day, live on stage!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack for the show PJ Masks Live! Save the Day on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 2PM at Keller Auditorium. One random winner will be drawn on Sunday night January 27, 2019. Good luck!

Introducing our new contributor

We are always looking to improve and expand the voices we elevate here at urbanMamas. I met Renate many moons and a couple of lifetimes ago, and – thanks to social media – we’ve kept in touch. We recently reconnected in person a few months back, and I am so glad.

Mama to twins who she birthed with her soulmate partner by her side, she has worked her way through college and already had many careers in cosmetology and environmental science. Mamahood suits her swell; many days she spends engaged in her community contributing to LB Littles, tending to her urban garden of 4 raised beds out back, juggling twins, and baking artisan from-scratch gorgeous loaves at RenateBakes.

Renate brings energy, authenticity, eco-mindedness, and thoughtfulness. We are excited to welcome her to the urbanMamas family!

Sweet River Bamboo Preschool & Nursery – Now Enrolling!

Sweet River Bamboo Preschools & Nurseries are year-round enrichment programs offering exceptional care for children 3 months to 6 years old. We offer programs for two different age groups. The Nursery Clans offer care to children 3 months to 3 years old and our Preschool Clans offer care to children 2.5 to 6 years old.

We are currently enrolling children 3 months-5 years old for both full-time and part-time programs.

Sweet River Bamboo Preschools & Nurseries are built upon the conviction that there is an urgent need for families today to live in harmony with the Earth and in connection to community.

Our eclectic curriculum draws inspiration from many well-known pedagogies such as Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia, adapting these approaches to serve the urgent holistic and cultural needs of today’s children. It is our mission to help protect young children from the hazards of modern childhood (such as nature deficiency, pervasive technological and media influence, overstimulation, and disconnection from multigenerational community) by providing a curriculum that nourishes the heart as well as the body and mind. We believe in supporting healthy development on all levels of being by offering children a framework for connecting deeply to the Earth and to other members of the human family.

We greatly value childhood as a time in its own right, and we protect it by encouraging open-ended play, media-free toys made of natural materials, activities, songs and stories that spark imagination, and ample time spent outdoors.

Our low-tech environments prioritize outside play and activities that offer connection to nature and seasonal rhythms. By honoring simplicity, domestic arts and an appreciation for beauty, harmony, the Earth and all living things, children develop a strong foundation of interconnectedness with which to enter the world with as they grow.

We value diversity and understand its significant contribution to the richness of community for all involved. We welcome people regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin and sexual orientation to join our community.

If you would like to learn more about our programs please contact us (Sahra) at 503.432.6414 or info@sweetriverbamboo.com. We are happy to speak with you about your childcare needs and send you a Summary of our Program Offerings.

Thank you for considering our program for your little one!