WORKING AS A NANNY IN RUSSIAMy experience of nannying in Russia started not because Russia had always been on my top places to live or because I ever desperately wanted to work for the super rich and famous. As shallow as it may sound, it was about the money! I had heard from friends that I could potentially earn double what I was earning working in the UK, plus I would have no living expenses as most of the Russian positions are either live in or there is a nanny flat provided. I was desperate to get on the property ladder and even a temporary position of 6 months would bring me closer to my goal of saving a deposit.

I reluctantly told Nanny & Butler that I was now looking for a position in Russia as what I had heard from friends who had previously nannied in Russia, it wasn’t a positive experience. I still went ahead with it though as I thought I might as well see first hand what it’s like and then make judgement!

I couldn’t believe it when Nanny & Butler told me I had an interview for the position that I applied for! That was the beginning of the adventure! I was to be flown to Spain the very next day and was to spend a week on the family’s yacht! I had no idea what to expect as I made my way to the airport…

I arrived at the yacht, and may I just say.. WOW! It was hard to keep my yaw off the ground! Extravagant, luxurious, glamorous does not begin to describe it! I haven’t at this point met any of the family members as I was greeted by the family PA. I felt very much out of my comfort zone and very nervous about meeting my potential future employers and their children. Looking back, what was I expecting? Two heads? Tentacles instead of legs? Breathing fire? Well, I met the parents and you’ll be pleased to know they only had one head each, normal legs and they didn’t breathe fire! They were actually, REALLY NICE! :) We all sat down to have lunch together and at this point my nerves started leaving me as the Mum and Dad started asking me about myself and I came to the realisation they were normal people just like anyone else I had worked for! Ok, so they may have more money than the population of a small (or is some cases large) town but just remember they are still human!

I mustn’t have been too much of a wreck because I got the job!!! Yippee! My position is 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off which works perfectly! I now have time to go to the gym, don’t need to book an appointment at the hairdressers two months in advance because Saturdays are always busy, I go shopping in the week and avoid the weekend rush and most importantly I have the luxury of spending the whole day in my pjs watching films and not feeling guilty because I have another 13 days off! It’s great!

Of course the job is not without it’s challenges. For me, the hardest part were actually the children. These children have so many adults coming and going in their life. You’ve got the kitchen staff, cleaning staff, summer house staff, yacht staff etc. and the list is endless. Many of these people come and go and so do the nannies. It’s hard for the children to get attached to someone straight away as there is a chance you won’t be there next month! I found myself getting very worried when I would tell the children off and they would laugh in my face. I though, if they treat me with no respect now, how will it be a few months down the line? Well, it’s a completely different ball game now. It took a while, but after 3 months their behaviour started changing. The children realised I was there long term and all it takes now is for me to say they are making me upset and the bad behaviour stops. I have gained their respect and love, and it actually feels better to be listened to because they genially care about me than just for the fact that I am their Nanny.

I also found the Russian culture quite different. I had worked in England, Italy and France as a nanny but working in Russia is completely different. I don’t want to generalise, but I had heard that Russians can be wary of people when they first meet them and I found that to be true. At the beginning I thought nobody liked me. It’s quite a scary feeling when you’re that far from home. But my advise? Be nice and smile! I found it takes about two days for people to warm to you! I get on great with everyone now!  And also, learn a few Russian words before you go! Don’t be the arrogant foreigner who expects everyone to speak English, they will truly appreciate it!

And the cold?? Well, it’s really not that bad. Actually, the first time I went to Russia I packed only thick jumpers thinking I was going to be freezing! Big mistake! The house is constantly 27 degrees which meant I wore none of my jumpers and resulted in washing the only t-shirt I had ever night night, in order to wear it every day!

It’s January as I write this post and I have been told it doesn’t get colder but even outdoors it doesn’t feel that cold! And the snow is the fluffiest, purest, most beautiful snow I have ever witnessed. My friends back home joke that my boss probably has a snow filter installed over his house! It’s all about making the most of situations when working with children! They love the snow! So many things to do.. Snow angels, snow fights, snowmen, sledging, the list is endless!

Overall, first impressions great! I have now been working for the family for 6 months and can see myself staying quite a while as I actually enjoy it! It’s not all about the financial gain any more!

Please stay tuned though as I tell you more about my life as a Nanny in Russia in my next post!

In the meantime, if any of you Nannies go for an interview for a job with the super rich, please remember they are only human! Be yourself, they’ll love you! And don’t forget to breath..!