Monday, June 25, 2012

Live-in Nanny Insanity

I came to the south of France with visions of croissants and lavender dancing in my head, but in reality, I've become a live-in nanny... in the middle of nowhere... with 3 kids. How did this happen?

Perhaps it was our mistake. We assumed that we'd have some overlap with the homeowners to give us a chance to learn about their home, dog, and property. I guess we thought that it'd only be for a week. Turns out, we'll be living together for 3 weeks.

Jim and I are staying in a cottage that's attached to the rear of the house. It's very bright and spacious, with picturesque views of  fields and vineyards. We've got our own kitchen, satellite TV, and bathroom. It's quite homey and we're feeling really comfortable here.

Our French cottage
But it's been a rather difficult transition since our time in Zadar. First, Jim lost his computer in a drowning accident, forcing us to share our remaining laptop. Then, we moved from a walkable city of 75,000 to a rural area with nary a village nor neighbor in sight. And last Wednesday, we got the biggest whammy of all: school ended, leaving 3 energetic kids running around with nothing to do... until they found us. Our cottage has become the hangout spot for the kids. The youngest, who's only 4, is at our doorstep as soon as she rolls out of bed.

While the situation is a bit unexpected, everything is well and good except for the fact that Jim and I are struggling to get our work done. We also don't have any time alone together. Is this what parenting is all about? If so, I'm ready to be permanently sterilized.

I have also confirmed that country living is not for me. It feels like we are living in an Impressionist painting, meaning that it's beautiful to look at, but there ain't much going on. Well, unless you like to paint the wheat fields while sipping rose. (I hear that's pretty popular here in Provence.)

View from our kitchen window
So friends, I'm looking to you for some guidance. Do any of you work from home with kiddos around? How can I keep the 3 kids entertained while maintaining my sanity? What kinds of things should I do to enjoy the countryside? Please send me your suggestions and any positive energy that you can spare. We still have 2 more weeks to go before the housesit begins!


  1. I work from home with kids. That meant to get my work done this week I stayed up all night last night. It sucked but at least I am doing it for my own kids. To have someone else's children thrust upon me me and have to go to those extremes would just be too much.

  2. I can understand what you're saying. Not only would I be more inclined to accommodate working hours around my own kids, but I would feel more comfortable disciplining them too! *sheesh* these are life lessons that I didn't expect to learn in my travels!

  3. I really like your blog and have one with similar information. If you have time check it out.
    Nanny jobs London