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Never go back?

2013 August 13

Yesterday you might have seen that Prince William has asked his former nanny to come out of retirement and act as a nanny to baby Prince George. At 71 Jessie Webb is a little older that your average nanny but her experience and close ties to the Royal Family count for a lot. She wouldn’t be the first nanny to go back to care for the second generation of a family – Norland Nanny Brenda Ashford whose career spanned 62 years went back to care for a former charge’s children too. Not many nannies will have that chance but it’s not unusual for a nanny to be asked to come back to a family they’ve previously worked for. Is this a good idea?

One school of thought says no, never go back. “There’s a reason you left,” they cry. “Leave the past where it belongs.”

There is some merit in this argument. Before you go back to an old nanny job think carefully what you liked and disliked about the job and why you left. What has changed that would prompt you to return, or even to stay away? Even if the job was perfect for you at the time there’s a risk that going back would spoil those memories.

Another school of thought asks “Why change for the sake of changing?”

This lot have a point too. There’s no point not going back for the sake of not going back. If you got on with the parents and the children, you liked the area, you’re needed once more because a parent has gone back to work or there’s a new baby and you’re job seeking then it all just clicks into place, and the familiarity factor may well swing that job for you over a new family who are a bit of an unknown quantity. Change isn’t always a good thing.

A further school of thought says “Why fix it if it ain’t broke?”

Of course, this is true too. If you’re happy in your current position and you’re approached by an old family what are your real motivations for going back? If you hadn’t been approached by them would you even consider leaving your job? It’s almost impossible to compare one family to another so unless there’s a significant advantage to going back to your old family then why leave a job you’re happy in?

So….never go back?

Ultimately that’s your decision to make! It obviously can work out, and if Jessie Webb chooses to go back we’re sure Prince George will be in excellent hands (and she’ll be able to embarass his dad by sharing old nursery tales), but if she doesn’t then that’s okay too! Reports say she’s worried about taking on a full time role again, and at 71 that’s understandable. She’s retired and absolutely deserves her rest because we know how hard nannies work (especially royal ones), but we also know how hard it can be for a nanny to leave a family for good. Whatever she decides, whatever you decide, good luck!

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