Nanny – parent relationship is so delicate and special, and it is unlike any other work relationship. Especially if you have a live-in Nanny that looks after you precious tiny humans and lives with you. There is no denying, that every family you work for, is different and with every new position, you learn a lot of new things – good and bad. Somehow being a Nanny, you have to learn to be your own personal advocate and coach, and the ability to advocate for yourself might be hard, especially if Nanny is living with the family.
Every Nanny is different too, and some positions you go in thinking they will be the best you ever had, turn out they are not, and some positions you had a hard time deciding for, turn out to be a blessing in disguise. You almost never know for sure, how things will turn out once you commence your position, but there is surely a few good points that every Nanny Boss should follow, at least to some extent. So let me be your advocate if you are struggling, I guarantee you it will get better!
DEAR NANNY BOSS
Having a Nanny is a luxury, and it is definitely not one of the cheapest options, when it comes to childcare. If you can’t afford a living wage and provide her with good work conditions, than you can’t afford a Nanny and should think of other options.
Don’t make your Nanny feel bad for being sick or needing time off
Nannies are human beings and they in fact, do get sick from time to time, most of the time from something they pick up in your house. So don’t make her feel like she can’t be sick, or she has to be afraid for her job, if she does. Yes it’s a huge inconvenience for you, but a good solution for situations like that is, to always have a back up. That way you don’t get stressed out and your Nanny can get better without feeling, like she is letting everyone down. The same goes for having your Nanny work crazy hours. If you overwork your lovely Nanny, no one benefits from that. Some weeks might be a bit hectic and you will need her more, but than make sure you give her enough time off to recover. Unfortunately Nannies are not robots, as much as some families would like them to be.
Don’t bank your Nanny hours!
It’s always good, if both sides are flexible to some degree, but banking your Nannie’s hours is something you shouldn’t do. I you for some reason don’t need your Nanny around, after you come home, or you want to spend morning alone with kids – that is completely okay. But don’t expect from your Nanny to be making these hours up. She was free and willing to work, you decided you don’t need her at that time, the hours are gone and not to be stored for when you want.
Babysitting with no heads up
Just because your Nanny is living in your house, doesn’t mean she is available to you all the time. Yes, there are emergencies, and she might have to step in from time to time, which is different. But if you regularly ask her to babysit the evening an hour before her day ends (even though you knew you have obligations in advance), or ask her “Are you in tonight, could you listen for the kids?” that is just a no go for so many Nannies. And to be honest, most of the live in Nannies will not like this, but will still do it, as they will feel guilty and obligated, since they live in your house. But is it so important to respect their time off, as that is essentially giving them time to recover and start fresh next day. It’s also important that your Nanny can plan her evenings and socialise with her friends or do a sports class. That will keep her happy and content, and not isolated and miserable. So whenever you can, plan your babysitting nights at the beginning of the week and give her plenty of notice – sure, it’s not always possible, but for most of the time it is. If you do need your Nanny to be available to you 24/7 for whatever reason, than you make sure that she knows that from the get go, and she is also noticeably compensated for that. But that is a whole another ball game.
As much as you love your privacy, your Nanny loves is too. She chooses to live in at her job for whatever reason, but that does not mean that she doesn’t love peace on her time off. And depending on how many hours she works, she is probably completely fine with being left to her own devices. The children that Nanny looks after might have a hard time understanding why their friend and one of the main caregivers is out of reach for them at the times. In that case it is good to set firm boundaries from the start so everyone feels comfortable and happy.
Make your Nanny feel appreciated
Every live in Nanny knows, that when you live with the family, the rules a not just black and white. If you go to the family kitchen, and there is something on the floor – you will pick it up, sometimes even do the dishes, while you are waiting for lunch to cook or put the wet laundry in the dryer. Even though it’s weekend and it’s actually your time off. There will be a lot things, a live in Nanny will do around the house, that might not be in her job description. But she does it, because she cares about your family and your home. So just make her feel appreciated. If you notice that your Nanny is constantly going the extra mile – let her know that. Remember her birthday – especially if she is to work that day. And be generous, if you can – no Nanny will be sad about extra cash bonus.
I would like to write a post about how to be a good LIVE IN Nanny as well, as I think it is equally important. This post was definitely not about criticising the Nanny bosses, but purely informative nature. There might be some, that will not agree with this point of view, and many who will – and that is okay! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I think though, there is so many Nanny bosses out there who are just amazing, and that makes me very happy. I read about them all the time from my Nanny friends – and I, have been very lucky, to have some pretty fabulous bosses in my Nanny career.
I was writing in female form, but I know there is many Mannies out there now – which is so so great! Yay! – and I definitely am not here to discriminate, so just a little disclaimer, that the same goes for Live in Mannies 😉.
Please let me know, down in comments, if you have experience as a live in Nanny or Nanny boss with a live in Nanny. Maybe you have something to add? I would love to hear it! You can also contact me on my instagram or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, sharing is caring!
The Lovely Nanny xx