When choosing someone to care for your children, it is important to find someone who you trust and get along with. This person is essentially taking your place when you're not around, so you want to make sure that they're going to love and care for your children as much as possible. Of course nobody will love and care for them like you, but you need to find someone who's a close second.
However, sometimes it's hard to put yourself in your caregiver's shoes. You only think about the ways in which the nanny provides for your children, but don't think about the ways you need to provide for the nanny. So, if you're in the process of trying to hire a nanny, or you already have one, here are 12 things your nanny wants to tell you.
12 You Should Pay For My Gas
Your nanny will most likely be driving your children around a lot, and even when gas prices are reasonable, it's a really nice gesture to add the cost of gas to her paycheck.
Even if you can only swing part of the cost, it shows her that you appreciate all of the driving that they do. You know how challenging it can be to get kids in the car, to their activity and back in the car...ON TIME. Give your nanny some gas money.
11 I Will Eat Your Food
It's not always discussed, but if your nanny is going to spend her days at your home caring for and feeding your little ones, she is going to need to feed herself too. And you can't expect her to pack a lunch or order takeout. Make sure you have foods that she enjoys in your fridge, so that she can take a "lunch break" during her shift. Food is a basic need, so don't deprive the person who is taking care of your children.
10 I Will Take a Nap When the Kids Do
Your nanny is going to need to rest, just like any other mother trying to squeeze in naptime when their kids are sleeping. Caring for children is exhausting, and even if it's only for 20 minutes, your nanny needs to rest. A well rested nanny can take care of your children much better than a sleep deprived nanny. Don't get upset that you're paying for her to sleep on the job. She works long hours, and the work is not easy. It benefits everyone to have her snooze when she needs to.
9 I Will Have Different Rules Than You
Yes, your nanny is going to respect your expectations when it comes to discipline, but sometimes she will make her own rules in order to form better relationships with your children. What works for you might not always work for her, so if she needs to do things a little differently, support her. She is doing what is in the best interest of your children.
8 I Will Play on My Cell Phone
Do you really expect your nanny to devote
every second of her day to your children? You don't, so why should she? Just because she wants to check her Facebook page or email doesn't mean that she's being neglectful.
She needs some interaction with the outside world that she can't get while she's watching your kiddos. Her days are filled with diapers and tantrums and baby talk and battles over meals and clothes. Escaping the reality of being a caregiver for just a few minutes will help her maintain her sanity.
7 I Can't Read Your Mind
If there is something your nanny is doing that needs to be changed, or something that is changing with the family dynamic, communicate this clearly to your nanny. They're basically another member of the family, so they deserve to know what major changes might affect their job. The only way they'll know that you don't like the way the sheets are folded is
if you say so. Don't be afraid to discuss what needs to change, especially if you feel like the changes will positively impact your children.
6 I Won't Always Like Your Children
Most nannies fall in love with the families that they work for, and form special bonds with the children. But this doesn't mean they don't have days where the children drive them crazy. Even the best behaved children have "off" days, and just like you get frustrated with your children, your nanny will too. This doesn't mean she will quit, or stop caring about your children. It just means that she will have days when she'd rather be out with her friends, or wishing she could drink on the job.
5 I Will Be Your Children's Biggest Fan
On those days when your nanny is not frustrated with your children (or even on the days that she is), she will be their biggest support system. If they have a school performance, or a sports tournament, you can bet that your nanny will be there, watching and encouraging your children. There may be times when she attends their events and you are not able to, and those times she will especially let your children know how proud of them she is.
4 You Should Pay Me More or Provide Health Insurance
Your nanny is just like any other employee at a company. She earns a certain rate, works certain hours and pays taxes. The difference is, even full-time nannies don't usually get health insurance provided to them by their families. Paying for insurance out of pocket can be expensive.
You're technically the employer, and should offer some kind of insurance or reimbursement to your nanny. If you can't offer that, pay her more money to help her afford insurance on her own. Just as she takes care of your children, you need to take care of her.
3 I Don't Want to Be Taken Advantage Of
Even if your nanny has agreed to do some light cleaning around the house, being lazy and sloppy "because you know she'll clean it up" is just terrible manners. She will happily clean up after your children, do your laundry and sweep the floors as needed.
But don't make her job any harder than it has to be just because you don't feel like putting your plate in the dishwasher, or throwing your children's socks into the hamper. Show your nanny that you appreciate her willingness to help out by picking up after yourself.
2 I Will Make Mistakes
As with anyone, your nanny is going to make mistakes. She will have times when she is too strict, and times when she is too lenient. She will have days when she doesn't feel like fighting certain battles, so she lets the children win. Parents make these same mistakes, so you can't fault her for making them. They're only human after all, and doing the best that they can.
1 I Need Your Encouragement and Support
Just like you need to know that you are doing a good job at work, your nanny needs that same reassurance. Let her know often that you appreciate everything she does, and that you fully support her. Thank her when she goes out of her way to go above and beyond. Let her know that you are pleased with how she handled a certain situation that was difficult. Tell her you understand how hard her job is, and that the children are lucky to have her.
- Leena Koller