The school bell rings, and Rachel, clad in a hooded sweatshirt and jeans after a tiresome day of nursing classes, patiently waits outside the building. After Kelsie, Carlie and Charles — ages 14, 12 and 11 respectively — pile into her small car with their book-heavy backpacks, her afternoon routine of escorting the kids to hockey practices, basketball games, voice lessons and tutoring is about to begin.
Rachel Wilson, a 21-year-old nursing major, has been a nanny for three children – Kelsie, Carlie and Charles – for over a year. Her close friend, Rebecca Holsworth, a junior nursing major, has been a nanny for the same family for a year and a half. When Holsworth’s co-worker graduated, another nanny was needed and Wilson was called into duty.
“Rachel is a really responsible nanny,” Holsworth said. “She has to work her schedule around the kids’ schedule so there is a lot of sacrifice.”
Although Wilson’s only a junior in college, she finds herself responsible for many duties
and errands that seem better suited for a seasoned mother.
“I help the kids organize their extremely busy lives and get them to all the places they
need to be,” she said. “I also make sure that they are on top of things with school work.”
Although the children are well behaved most days, Wilson said that her job is no piece of cake.
“Sometimes it can be really stressful when I have to be in three places at one time. It can be really hard when the kids don’t listen to me or lie to me about something like homework,” she said.
On a regular day, Wilson ushers the clan to their various sports games, practices, activities and clubs. They are involved in everything from hockey and soccer to dance lessons and after-school tutoring. After the last goal is scored and the tutus are exchanged for jeans and sweatshirts, Wilson helps Kelsie, Carlie and Charles with their homework, which consists of the everyday subjects like English, math and science.
“Usually I help with projects which is okay. But sometimes with math, I mean, fourth grade math is hard. I don’t remember fractions,” Wilson said.
While her job can be trying at times, Wilson said she loves hanging out with the kids and trying to be a good role model when their parents are at work or busy with other responsibilities.
“The kids are really great and I enjoy spending time with them,” she said. “They look up to me and feel comfortable enough to talk to me about anything.”
Holsworth said the trio definitely enjoy being around Wilson.
“The girls feel really comfortable around Rachel and can easily talk to her,” she said. “Charles can be a handful at times but Rachel doesn’t get stressed out and disciplines him when needed.”
The children’s parents work as a veterinarian and a neurosurgeon. While the parents’ occupations make Wilson’s paycheck undoubtedly hefty, the hours can be lengthy and the kids’ longing for their parents is obvious.
“I know the kids miss their mom,” she said. “They always ask if she can bring them places but she is busy all the time.”
No matter how hectic their schedules, Wilson said that both parents make it to every game, concert and recital.
At the end of the long day, Rachel is back at home with the three kids. As Kelsie, Carlie and Charles work on a jumble of book reports, science projects and math assignments, Rachel is bustling in the kitchen, crafting a supper of baked chicken and rice.
“Just another day,” she says, and she calls the kids to dinner.