HOW TO BE A GOOD BOSS TO YOUR LIVE IN NANNY

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!

 

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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.

Respect privacy

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.

 

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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 the.lovely.nanny.world@gmail.com

As always, sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

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NANNY AGENCIES

Da da da da (imagine a real serious music) 😁 Well Okay, I Have been listening to a podcast from founder of a Nanny agency, Lucy, about how we have to give Nanny agencies a break. And I thought I can write my view on the topic. It is a very touchy- feely subject, but I feel I have quite a lot of experiences with Nanny agencies in a different  countries, good and bad and really bad.

I was so incredibly excited when I signed with my first Nanny agency. I imagined it as they see me as a great professional who will be a good asset to their portfolio and I was just so thrilled I will be represented by the best in the business. I had deepest respect for them and seen them as the ones who will get me the jobs I want and represent me fairly. I had grown up since than a little, but it still catches me by surprise, that way too often when the Nanny agency places you with the family, they are done with you. That way too often you are not being put forward for the jobs you want (given you do fill all the criteria for it), that sometimes you will even be sent to the interview and there will be no-one there, or the family will be a really bad match for you – even though you said what you are looking for.

Once you learn how they operate (and I have to add it is not all of them that operate the same) than you kind of almost give up, as somehow the middle man (which is the agency) never seems to work in your favour. As much as they say how great you are and how they know you will be perfect for the jobs they are sending you to, it is really up to you to read between the lines and see what the situation is.

This is a view from one side – Nanny side. I also want to say that I do know how much hard work goes in to what the agencies are doing. Lots of times the clients (families) they are pitching the jobs for, have really poor communication with them and sometimes they even disappear. I imagine every day they also have to deal with Nannies who have to high demands – with too little experience. All that said I still feel many of them are not giving enough support to the people who they are actually placing in the positions.

When things go bad with families, and believe me – they do go bad (just scroll down a Nanny facebook page – you can read horrible things daily), the agencies lift their hands of the case and say they can not do anything. I do agree that problems that occurred on the job, you need to solve by yourself, but I cannot help but wonder, what to do when things really go south – when you are in a new country and the family trows you out, or you are not getting paid, being assaulted verbally…ect.).  I have a hinge that agencies who are big and busy and are constantly changing their staff, sort of loose the balance and there is no way that that agency is the right one to represent you.

Another problem I see is no update, working in the stone age since forever. But times change, people have different needs and no time. Just an example to give you. When I was looking for a new position a while ago, I signed with a few new agencies. For most of them I had to send in a new application form, which usually is at least 4 pages long, with all my details from my CV written in. Every form has different layout, for some of them I needed to instal new programs etc. Don’t get me wrong, I want the job, I have to put in the work, that is cristal clear to me, but at the time I was working 6 days a week and more plus some nights and every one of the forms took me hours to do. There was only Lucy’s agency that had this clever survey you have to fill in instead of the old boring Application form. I thought that was really good, and refreshing amongst all the other agencies.

I would also like to write about some positive things regarding Nanny agencies and there is definitely a light there. I have been signed with a lot of ”high end” agencies, that literally promised the world. From all of them I can literally count on one hand how many I can trust to represent my name. Those will usually be smaller agencies (but by no means small in work ethic and experience), and the ones that did not twerk the jobs when presenting them to me.
To conclude what I think is, if the agency is not what you think you want, than you have an option not to work with them anymore and focus on being loyal to agencies that work with you and for you. The ones who actually put you forward for the jobs, the ones who respect you millage and your worth. You also have to learn that some things (most of them) you will have to resolve yourself, and I promise you, that you will get really got at it. But we do learn all our lives, and don’t be so hard on yourself if you fail the first time.
BUT where to go to deal with all your work frustration other than to the agency, your family or your friends?  I will write about that soon! So stay tuned!
As always I would be very happy to see your comments and opinions on the topic. It would be great to start a debate so we can start changing thing for the better- for all of us. Maybe you have some experience first hand? Let me know, you can also DM me on instagram or write me on my email the.lovely.nanny.world@gmail.com
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TLN xx

Travel safe

I have been very lucky to travel a lot. With job, and alone. I wanted to talk about things that I do before and during the travel so I feel comfortable and safe when I’m somewhere new. I do not mind that much when I travel with my job as we are always very much looked after, but when I’m alone, it totally up to me. So if you wish to travel more, but you are unsure to go alone, this might be something you would like to read.

BE PREPARED

  • Travel insurance is just a basic, and very easy to make these days. I usually get one from here or here, depends on what I need (annual or just for a trip).
  • MONEY: ask your bank what is best to do when you are traveling, but so far for me has always worked to get money from the ATM in the country I am visiting – I get a big amount out and than spread it around – leave some in the wallet, some in the safe, some in the suitcase etc. just so you don’t walk around with a bulk of money.
  • Documents: you can leave your documents in the safe or in the locked suitcase so you don’t walk around with them, but only take the ones you will really need (no need to take the whole wallet with all the things!)
  • Chose a good bag you will be walking around with, that has zippers, and its preferably cross body, so you can pull it under your hand in front of your body and keep it safe for those walks with a crowd. I have been really happy with my Radley bag, because it has so many pockets to put in all you need for a day and it is still small enough to not feel too much pressure on your shoulders, but I think anything similar would be great.
  • Know where you are going! Plan how to get from airport to your hotel in advance. with a little google search it is easy to find the best way. I would say depending on your language situation: if you have hand language, always take public airport and save the pennies for something else, if you have lots of language, maybe consider Uber which is still cheaper than other private transports.
  • In the same line as the last point, make a plan what you want to see, check google maps how to get there, if you plan to walk – see the best route, if you take the bus or underground – check how they work, how to get tickets and ALWAYS screenshot the routes you are planing to make so you can refer back to them when you have no data on your phone. That way you will also sort of know where to go and will not look confused –  you will blend in the crowd well and be less of a target for pick pockets.

 

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PACK LIGHT/RIGHT

  • Take only the things you need clothes wise and technology wise. Remember you will have to leave all your big valuables in the hotel.
  • Another useful tip I learned along the way is comfort before beauty. Unfortunately if you don’t have a personal driver and someone to wheel you around than you might need to just use your own feet. And if they do not have appropriate shoes on, they might not be very happy – which will make you unhappy and prevent you from being thing you wanted in a beautiful new city. That said, comfortable shoes can still look really nice! So don’t worry you will still look just as good on your insta posts but you will also be comfortable! Win win! 😁 So far I’m about to try the brand Ecco and Geox as I thought they look really nice and comfortable. Would definitely love some personal recommendations though!
  • Pack multifunction clothes (like a hoodie – useful In the rain, warm and has pockets etc)
  • Plan outfits in advance – to save you space in the suitcase and time in the morning.

 

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USE COMMON SENSE

  • Look around yourself when you are walking on the streets and in crowded places like around attractions
  • Notice other people and what they are doing
  • There is always a lot of police around these days so maybe have an eye on where they are located just in case you ever need them
  • Do not flash money or values around for everyone to see (make sure you zip your bag back when you open it)
  • When you have headphones – have in on low to medium volume so you can still hear what is happening around you! I am obsessed with my new ones – click here if you want to give them a try!
  • Walk confident, like you know exactly where you are and what are you doing. If you don’t maybe walk a little more out of the crowd or sit on the bench in the park and than have a look on the map etc.

 

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THINGS YOU CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT

  • Extra phone charger – I love this one.
  • One thing I have in abundance is Lip balm/gloss – I swear by this ones that I found very randomly, and i like them because they smell good and stay on. Your lips can get so dry when you’re traveling so having a decent lip balm helps.
  • COOL TIP : If you swab your nose with a little Neosporin before you leave the house, you will not be nauseous on the road (tested and if surpassingly works for me – I would get nauseous every time I travel) and would cling to San peregrino mineral water like my life depends on it. I’m kind of good now – but I still like the mineral water 😉
  • Good moisturiser for your face is essential  (traveling dries your skin a ton, also because you don’t drink enough). I love love this serum by Caudalie  and a face mask by Aveene. To me they make miracles and they are travel friendly!

 

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So this is about it. I tried to search and link as many products I could find for you to have an example of what I actually use. If you have any questions or thoughts do write them down here in the comments or on instagram. I would love to hear about your experiences and what do you do to keep safe and comfortable on your travels.

Safe travels everyone! xx

How to be a great NANNY

I’m so happy to be able to collaborate with my fellow Nanny. I had the privilege to write a blog post for The Australian Nanny that she posted on her blog which you can read here. 

I wrote about how to practice gratitude with kiddos, and if you need an inspiration go check it out!

This post is all her, writing about what it makes a great nanny. I think you will like it!

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What makes a great Nanny?

There really is no other profession quite like being a Nanny. I was out for drinks with some friends last week and someone said to me “I don’t think I could be a Nanny. The emotional investment that you have in your job is so incredible”. Now, this wasn’t just some random dude at the bar who lives at home with his parents and hasn’t worked anywhere but Subway since finishing high school, this was a friend of mine who is a successful writer and journalist. It felt so validating to hear those words from him, and it also got me thinking: what makes a great Nanny?

At the crux of our profession is working for a family unit. We are there to assist a family in living. Nannies are trusted individuals who care for children, manage comings and goings of the household, take responsibility for the home and assist in keeping the space clean. Oh my God, and then there’s the washing. Dishes, clothes, toys, children, it feels like everything needs washing constantly. Bloody hell, we do a lot. I’m a bit tired just reading this.

I have no doubt that we are all, or try very hard to be, good Nannies. So, what separates a good Nanny from a great Nanny?

Here’s what I think:

-Adaptability. I think that a great Nanny will take adversity and change in her/his stride. She or he will remain a pillar of stability through anything that gets thrown their way. This could be anything from no milk in the fridge so you have to make your kiddos something different for breakfast, to a family emergency that requires you to carpool the entire squad to the hospital.

-Flexibility. Not just the physical kind. Although that is also good too. No two days as a Nanny are the same, kids get ill and have ‘off days’ (i.e. tantrums over Barbie’s shoe falling down the drain), parents have last minute meetings and the weather always has a mind of its own. Somehow it always seems to rain on the day you planned to go to the zoo… A great Nanny will say ‘stuff you’ (silently, of course) to things that get in her way and will be as flexible as a yoga instructor fresh out of training.

-Understanding. Families are weird and crazy and eccentric. Everyone has some weird things that they do and as someone who is employed to operate as a member of the family team a great Nanny needs to embrace this. If the family you work for only eats purple carrots and hemp seeds and does a naked rain dance before bed every night, just go with it. As long as it’s not physically or psychologically harming the children, it’s your job to support whatever life choices they’ve made.

There you have it folks. That’s what I think makes a great Nanny. I wonder if you feel the same or if you have some extras you’d add to the list?

SO much love to The Lovely Nanny for having me feature on her blog!

The Australian Nanny
P.s if you liked this blog post, there’s more where that came from over at theaustraliannanny.com

I don’t care

I wanted to start writing about some things I might have been personally feeling and hating to share. Things that are really hard to say and are not the lightest topic, but I feel it might be beneficial to someone who is in the same boat.

I would really like to start this year with only one huge goal that I can follow to the next one and so on. I’m not big on NY resolutions and I’m not planning on making any, but this is more like a personal goal, and I think it is about time to do it.

CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE THINK.

There is it, I said it! And I mean it! I mean all that goes with it! I waste too much energy on other people’s opinions and I care too much about how I portray myself. It is freaking exhausting!

I am working in a profession where I have to be a certain way, an example and a role model. But I sometimes forget about what I really want. I always though that when you work with children you have to be nearly perfect. But now, to be honest, I’m to tired to be perfect every day, whatever that means! I should be using my precious energy for something else rather than worrying about things I have no control of. Why is that?

I was thinking what it is that makes you want to be in best books with everyone and it is because you don’t want to be embarrassed. Being embarrassed would mean that you are vulnerable and that means that you are weak and essentially not perfect. See how that sounds totally silly? But I’m certain that there might be some of you, who are feeling exactly the same. It is emotionally draining what we do for our job – amazingly satisfying and so lovely, don’t get me wrong!

We as humans are judgemental. If you make an effort one day and count how many times you will have to stop yourself before you start judging somebody I bet it won’t be just one time? That girl on the street, mum at the park, dad smoking a cigarette…we judge all the time. I think we do it because of our own insecurity. It is understandable in some way, why we would care so much what others think, and it is because we are social beings, we like relationships and deep inside we strive to be happy and secure. I believe we are programmed like this because we can’t survive alone. If we behave in a more considerable way that we might be otherwise it increases our chance for others to like us.

I personally don’t like it when someone does not like me, I have a really hard time to live  with it, especially if I see that person a lot. But I definitely understand that not every time personality matches, and not everyone will like you. If you are the same, let’s make this goal together, let’s work on how we feel as opposed to what others think, let’s make ourself happy before we try and make everyone else happy.

Putting yourself out there to be criticised isn’t a walk in the park, unless you have a good shoes – than you can just step over it and walk away with your head high! You are so amazingly you, and there is nothing else you need, but your smile. Start with that!

The Lovely Nanny xx