Meet Neuza, one of our many fab nannies, and one seriously busy lady! When Neuza is not caring for children, she keeps herself busy (and happy) with her side hustle – Bamble – a creative service that makes it possible for your children to wake up in a magical kingdom.
In most households, there’s nothing more important than family and food. And as any good Portuguese family will tell you, we take our food and family events very seriously.
It was Christmas 2015, and with a classic Tony Bennett soundtrack, and the best traditional Christmas recipes being prepared, everyone in our household was super excited for the family gathering. Usually, I was no different. But that Christmas of 2015, I found myself feeling guilty for not being as full-hearted as I usually was.
I thought to myself, how is it possible that I could I feel down at Christmas? I had my family around me, the delicious aroma of food wafted through the house, and I had the most wonderful supportive partner by my side. But despite all of this, I couldn’t get rid of this overwhelming feeling of ‘sadness.’
Being at my parent’s house always brings strong memories, and that Christmas was no exception. I remembered how happy I used to be, how full of life I was when it was just me and my Clarinet and giving lessons to children. I grabbed some old photos and could almost feel how it was to be me back then.
I realised that I needed to be fully true to myself, and bring back the joy that I once felt of just being me. I had been stuck in an office, working 9 hours a day and commuting from Chester to Manchester. It was a very lonely and stressful job and nothing that represented who I was. So I made a decision that shaped my entire world.
I quit my job and brought back all the little (big) things that made me happy. I embraced the things that made me who I am, and decided to embrace the fact that I didn’t need to force myself to fit into any preconceived notions and expectations that society place upon us.
I went back to being a nanny for one family with 3 children – a boy of 6 and twin girls aged 11. I was so nervously-excited at first. What if the kids don’t like me? What if I couldn’t deal with their problems and their questions? What if I didn’t have what it takes? But all doubts just vanished when I met (my) kids.
Every day I would be super excited to collect them from school and to hear the stories about their day. I wanted to know if they had fun, and they would have to tell me about one new thing they had learned that day. I’ll admit, sometimes this was a challenge, particularly for the older girls. As you might be familiar with, 11-year-old girls *think* they know everything already. But after a while it became our ‘thing’, a daily tradition that we enjoyed.
On Mondays we would go to the park, and it made my day to see them running around like chipmunks. On Tuesdays we would do arts and crafts; their favourite craft was to collect small rocks and paint them. They now they have an extensive collection of animal rocks! Wednesdays were for music and languages – the girls played the Clarinet and the boy liked to sing. I’m proud to say that he’s been “introduced” to Elvis, and the Beatles, but that Leonard Cohen is still his favourite. And they all studied Portuguese and Spanish.
Thursdays were swimming days, and Fridays for cooking lessons (being keen on my ice creams and frozen fruit bits, and my blueberry muffins). Each day they reflect a little bit more of me. They also liked museums, especially the Dewa Roman Experience. When the girls won First Prize for the performance of a contemporary ballet composition in their school talent show, I couldn’t have been more proud!
After embracing the happiness of children and changing my career path, and spurred on by my renewed energy and enjoyment of life, I decided to take on my next challenge. I partnered with my best friend to open our own business. Inspired by the creative journey we as nannies live and breathe everyday whilst working with children, we started Bamble – and it’s all about kids.
From custom mural paintings spanning the walls of your baby’s nursery, to creative designs bringing to life a simple children’s bedroom, to personalised DIY gifts, and unique birthday parties, Bamble is all about bringing that childhood magic to life. We’re also working on a children’s book, with our own illustrations!
In my spare time (you’re probably thinking, “what spare time,” but I like to keep busy), I’m also a home chef. I come to you, preparing food for your parties in the home.
So as the year begins to wind down and we prepare for another festive season, and I’m drawn to reflect back to that Christmas of 2015, I’m so happy to know that I’ve successful designed a life that includes all that I love.
They say when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. And I can honestly tell you it’s entirely true; my Mondays feel like Fridays. From the children, to the painting, to the cooking, each and every day is filled with a creative pursuit that keeps me full of lightness, happiness, and imagination. Embracing the happiness of children, and being given the opportunity to do what you’re passionate about, is the fuel that drives you to keep going.
Guest blog by Neuza, published by Happy Nest
Bamble is a partnership between an architect and a designer that decided to combine their companies in order to create something special. It all happened spontaneously with the desire to explore our creativity and to witness our ideas flourish. Contact Neuza, for further information.