Not so long ago, mothers were primary caregivers who stayed at home full time caring for the family. Nowadays, moms are often likely to be working to help the family financially and ensure a better future for the kids.
With the growing number of working mothers, hiring a nanny to help raise kids has become increasingly commonplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 14% increase in childcare workers by 2022. Childcare responsibilities, especially in the early days, still falls heavily on the mother. If a mother goes back to work, she often takes primary responsibility in finding a nanny of the mother.
However, not only working mothers have to deal with this matter. Even stay at home moms often times still need help in the household and managing children’s needs.
Even if you are not working, choosing to hire a full-time helper or nanny has plenty of benefits. Stay at home moms find it difficult to care for themselves, whether it's finding time to shower or just having alone time to remember what it was like to be an independent adult! With caregiving help, mothers can focus more on other important but forgotten priorities like goals and hobbies. Just a bit of help can help with sanity even with the tough demands of motherhood.
With a full-time nanny, the child receives personalized care in the comforts of home. Employing a nanny in your own home comes with its own challenges. Parents are filled with emotions leaving children in the care of a caregiver for the first time. If a nanny relationship is not managed properly, a tremendous amount of stress and worry ensues for both sides. Drawing boundaries and setting clear expectations on both sides are crucial to establishing a positive working relationship.
Communication is the key
Working mothers and nannies need to operate based on clear mutual communication, care and respect.
Great communication starts during the hiring process and throughout the employment period. The interview is an opportunity to discuss the demands of the job. Salary, benefits, and general expectations must be agreed upon before the first day. Having a good handle for the rules of the road also gives employees the ability to perform well.
Set expectations from the very beginning and ask your nanny about their expectations. It’s important that you both understand where roles start and end.
Discuss what exactly are your nanny’s responsibilities. Does it include cleaning? If so, how much? Remember that if the sole intention of hiring a nanny is to take care of the baby, understand how demanding that is and help lessen other chores so your nanny does not get overwhelmed.
A happy nanny taking care of your baby means a happy baby and a helpful, willing caregiver for you.
Organize together – share a calendar with your nanny and be transparent about family plans. Involve them in coming up with bigger plans so that they feels their importance as well.
Activities like this generate trust building and of course, it helps to be in the same page with what is happening.
Help your nanny
Find the time to pamper your nanny as well – Giving the occasional gifts every now and then shows appreciation of the important role she is taking on. It does not have to be an expensive gift, and usually thoughtful practical gifts or an occasional day off are great. Being generous, especially if you can afford to be, can go a long way.
Splitting household chores evenly can be a point of contention with your partner, but working as a team is is most effective, as is the case with a nanny.
If they have an important personal errand to do, allow them to do so if it does not completely destabilize your own schedule.
Let your nanny make decisions as well. Once you hire a nanny, you’d have decided that this is the person you will be working with to raise your child. You chose a nanny with skill and experience, so offer the space to do what he/she thinks is the best. Of course, if there are issues, talk about it openly. If you’d prefer that a particular task be done your way, discuss it. You will also need to prioritize what's important,because otherwise trying to manage an employee remotely at every turn becomes exhausting for everyone.
Your nanny may have some tricks on how to raise kids up the sleeve that you may not be aware of and vice versa. Setting a win-win situation is the best way to have a great relationship.
Part of the family
Care about your nanny like he/she is part of the family because he/she is caring for your child like it is their own. This is the ideal set up for any mother working with a nanny. But just like any other relationship, reciprocation makes the bond stronger.
One idea is to include your nanny occasionally in family outings. However this doesn't necessarily mean you have to ask your nanny to spend more time with the family. Most importantly, treat your nanny with the care and respect you would of someone in your own family. Allow them to do their hobbies and genuinely ask about it every now and then.
The more your nanny feels that you care about their general well-being, the more willing they will be to care about your family too.
(To avoid gender bias, instead of referring to a nanny as he/she we purposely used they)