How to have a winning relationship with your Nanny?
Everyone knows that communication in any relationship is key. Whether is be in out private or working lives, it’s a huge foundation. We weren’t all born great communicators though, were we? That’s why some of us perform on stage, whilst others hide behind a screen all day. We can bumble along somehow without communication for some time, but when we become parents, it’s about time we make some changes in that area. After all, we would do absolutely anything for our little ones.
Things to consider when hiring a nanny
When you hire a nanny, please don’t just assume she knows how you want everything done when it comes to your children. Even if she has a list of childcare qualifications as long as her arm and 15 years experience in various private households, it doesn’t mean she’ll automatically know your requirements. Each family is different, as is each child and nannies need to know about your family. I’d advise taking your nanny for a coffee or lunch after the interview to speak under relaxed circumstances about your aims. Keep it relaxed and certainly she will be extremely grateful for that, more likely to stay, and have automatic respect for you. Which can only be a Win-Win situation for everyone.
Mutual Respect at all times
Having mutual respect is another critical aspect of a great relationship. Who doesn’t want to feel respected and appreciated for their work? All the points being made here go both ways. For example, if you employ a live-in nanny, she needs to respect your house rules and in return she can expect the same. Her privacy shouldn’t be abused just because she’s just a door knock away from working an extra 30 minutes – 1 hour. Even if you have an arrangement where it’s ok to do so from time to time, perhaps show some gratitude in the form of overtime, or a late start the next day, etc. Even the most patient, kind and tolerant nannies need their own time, privacy and space to be ‘adult’ from time to time.
It’s easy and most of the time unintentional on the parents part to treat the Nanny as part of the family, which is what all nannies want, but to an extent. Come up with an agreement and learn to read each other’s body language. Nobody is able to be ‘on’ at all times, but nannies do a pretty good job of that. What you’ll receive in return? A happy motivated nanny and the happier kids on the block.
Your Nanny is not just an Employee
Nannies are much more that just Employees. Not that anyone should be regarded as such. But seriously, they care for your children ensuring they got the very best attention when you can’t be around. Don’t get into the trap of feeling guilty, emotional or jealous about having a nanny or even towards your nanny. If you are in a fortunate enough position to have a nanny, then embrace it.
If you want to get back to work, or go enjoy your hobbies or date your husband every so often, why shouldn’t you? Balance is everything. You needn’t sacrifice your life as an adult or your relationships just because you’re a parent. You can do both and having a nanny can ease the pressure. Here’s an old fact, even parents and children need their space too, yet another important factor of any well-functioning relationship.
Now, onto the jealousy point. It’s rare, but it happens. I’ve had open conversations with more than a few mothers about this. Their concern is that they’ll be jealous of the nanny’s relationship with children and what if the child grows to love the nanny more? Fact, not going to happen! Your children are your children and God bless the little darlings, they can be mean sometimes. They love to get what they want and when they don’t? They can produce a hurtful line such as “Aunty M is so much nicer than you” it’s just a retaliation. They’re yours, and nobody, nobody can take that away from you. Keep your crown and rock it.
Don’t let it simmer & come to a boil!
Communication is the key to paradise of any relationships
If there is something about your nanny is irritating you, you will have to have a chat about it. Perhaps she’s not doing things the way you would. Firstly, ask yourself if you’ve ever discussed this topic. If you have, and she’s still not adhering, instead of losing the plot, as we’re all capable of at times (especially with regards to our children!), keep it cool. Arrange a time where you both can be free, even if the nanny needs to start half an hour earlier, to discuss or even show her in a kind and supportive way as you would when training someone on a new job.
Sometimes people just need extra support and to understand your needs better. At no point is raising your voice is a good idea. Stay quiet or acting out of the ordinary towards your nanny will neither help anyone’s morale. The worst thing above all is to raise your voice at your nanny in front of your children. It’s the ultimate lack of respect and puts the nanny in a vulnerable position, especially if she has been implementing etiquette, manners and respect in the caring of your children. They may lose respect for her. So as the old saying goes “keep calm, and carry on”. After having that chat, of course.
Pay your Nanny on time
Whether your nanny earns £500 or £1500 a week, paying on time is just as important as you being paid on time, or anyone for that matter. Delayed payments are not acceptable in any realm. Unfortunate as it is. I believe, we’ve all been paid late at least once in our lives and it’s horrid, isn’t it? You have plans, or wanted to buy something new, pay your car insurance and yet now you’re stuck in a pickle.
It’s easy to say we should budget for such things and what a better world it would be if we did, but it’s not always possible. And, if people should budget to pay their car insurance or other bills they should equally budget to pay their employees. If, for any reason, there is going to be a late payment that is out of your control for any reason, at least inform them about that as early as possible. Whether your nanny earns a lot or a little, please don’t assume she can afford not to be paid. She may have a student loan, be helping a relative or be paying off the loan for the Gucci bag she bought when she was 18. Who knows?
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