Mother's Day is right around the corner, and many working mothers acknowledge that their nanny, a true helper to the whole family, plays an important balancing role for mom in her day to day life. Our Mother's Day gift is this discussion on how a mom (or dad) can have a great relationship with the family's nanny.
The nanny/employer relationship can be a little bit tricky to navigate at first. Not only have you entrusted your children with them all day, but you’ve also opened up your home to them as well. Over time, you may consider your nanny part of the family, but this is only achieved by putting in some work to have a great relationship with her at the very beginning. Strong communication and a commitment to work together as a team are keys to keeping the relationship healthy and maintaining a balance. Here are some other important tips that will help get your nanny relationship off to a great start.
#1: Make expectations clear.
There is no room for assumptions when it comes to your nanny and the duties you would like her to fulfill in her role. If you want her to do the laundry, help with homework, prep dinner, or be in charge of taking the kids to and from school and activities, be upfront about those duties at the very beginning. If you spring on new duties to her job description after the fact, she may feel like you’re taking advantage of her or that you don’t appreciate her time. Make sure that your expectations are made clear from day one and that she agrees to them. If there are other duties that come along in the future, communicate them clearly to her and be open to discussion so your nanny feels like she is part of the process as well.
#2: Treat your nanny well.
In addition to a fair compensation package and time off, it’s nice to pamper her every so often. Buy her a gift for the holidays, give her a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant or spa, or simply give her a couple of unexpected hours off during the week. All of these things show that you appreciate her, that you value her time and commitment to your family, and that you want her to be happy and enjoy herself.
#3: Don’t get in the way of her job.
If you regularly get in the way of your nanny’s routine, this could cause frustration on her end and throw off her work day. For work-at-home parents that have a nanny to care for the children in the home during this time, this is particularly important. Make sure that your children know that when the nanny is there, she is in charge. Children are confused when there is more than one adult to answer to, and this could create an uncomfortable situation between you and your nanny. Create a system and stick to it so things can go as smoothly as possible.
Parents and nannies can truly be on each other’s team! Creating a work environment that includes respect, fun, and healthy communication will give your nanny peace of mind and the ability to adapt to her new role in your family.