Now that you have actually found someone to watch your kiddos…let us discuss the day to day!
Duties—What is she doing? When? If you are a little anal-retentive (and no one is saying you are) and things have to be done just so, express that to your Nanny ASAP! Who is home…and who is in charge when you’re both there? The answers to these issues aren’t always cut and dry, but communicating with her can solve them, preferably face to face (and not through passive aggressive refrigerator notes)!
Duties: Be as specific as possible: bathing, cooking, cleaning, and shopping. How often do you want laundry done? Do you want your nanny to give baths or do you want to do it? What if we run out of goldfish/milk? (We will get to petty cash later). Who is walking the dog? Your nanny will not know what is expected of her unless you tell her! So if baby’s bedding needs to be washed every Friday, tell her!
Who is home?: It is totally acceptable to be a work from home parent and still need a nanny. (Watch out, this can be a bit awkward in the beginning, it is normal and you will all get used to it…eventually!) It can be difficult with younger children although, “Why is Daddy home but he doesn’t want to play with me?” So if you are home, who is in charge?!? Younger kids can be distracted if you are off in another area of your home, but older kids have a better understanding of why the nanny is there too…it can produce a harrowing experience for everyone involved. If you are going to be there—your nanny needs to know, most likely so activities can be planned out of the house.
All of these issues can be solved by communication; no matter how awkward do not avoid talking to your nanny. While she is superhuman to volunteer to care for your offspring know that she is not a mind reader and will need you to communicate with her early and often. Notes, texts and email all work too but nothing is better then face-to-face communication, especially if English is not your nanny’s first language. Things left unsaid in this fragile relationship can lead towards feelings of ill will and no one wants that!
Once again, there is much more to discuss, so send us your questions, big and small!