6 Tips to Get You on the Right Track
Most Moms don’t intentionally try to take advantage of their nannies, by underpaying, overworking or abusing the relationship. Ask any mom about her nanny and she will often gush adoration and affection, particularly if her children have bonded so tightly. Even if things aren’t perfect, many moms will shrug off or overlook certain issues because a responsible, loving, engaged nanny is truly all they want – a tidy kitchen, even if it’s part of the job description, is probably less important. And because so many moms are completely dependent on their childcare so they can keep their own job, they don’t want to nit pick or create any tension. Losing your beloved nanny is a nightmare.
Below are six tips to getting you on the right track to forming a trusting, warm and long-term relationship with your nanny. It all starts with the first interview.
During the interview process make sure you are clear on what your needs are and what the responsibilities of the nanny/sitter entail. If your nanny will be asked to do laundry, polish silver, walk the dog, or tutor the kids in algebra, tell her NOW.
On the Job
Keep talking — All good relationships are based on communication. Check in with your nanny weekly to make sure everything is going smoothly. Even if you’re the passive aggressive type, talk about any issues or concerns and don’t them fester. Respect her time and the hours that she works. If your schedule is changing, tell her in advance.
Unless you’ve hired a psychic, chances are your nanny is not clairvoyant. You should be direct and specific about your priorities and things that you want done. If you want your kids to be fed tofu twice a week, put it in a menu schedule. If you want her to puree veggies for your homemade “Sneaky Chef” dinner, than tell her. If you want play dates scheduled with certain children, make it known and be specific about whom the kids are and when the play dates should occur. If homework needs to be done before dinner, make it clear that this is a priority.
Just because you have strategically left an art project, children’s puzzle or stack of picture books on the kitchen table, don’t assume that your nanny will be jump on them. Some nannies may eagerly open up the puzzle and be thrilled with the new art project, but others may not engage until you ask. Also don’t assume that because you gave your nanny a day off or paid her a full salary for working fewer hours one week, that she will offer to stay late or work overtime without pay. You must communicate what you want and what you expect. You may not always agree, but at least you’re not guessing. Remember it’s better to ask, than to assume.