Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Nanny-Parent Relationship

Recently, a stay at home mom I'm friends with was toying with the idea of going back to work and hiring an after school nanny for her children.  She told me she would want a "super nanny" (her words, not mine!) like me, but had no idea how she would find one.

I thought for a second, and told her that even though I take my job very seriously and spend tons of my downtime planning out fun and educational activities, it's not just me.  My little kiddo's parents and I are a team.  The communication lines are wide open between the three of us, and that is the key.  Yes, I work hard at my job and I am an accomplished nanny.  But that is only half of the equation. 

I told my friend that the parent-nanny relationship is kind of like a marriage.  She laughed.  I said it's true, you're letting me into your home every day, and I care for your most precious cargo: your children.  I also need to feel comfortable there.  That only happens when the parents trust me, and I trust them.  My current job is exactly like that.  I know my MomBoss likes to text or email me every day, sometimes multiple times.  I know this has nothing to do with not trusting me, she just likes to be informed as much as possible.  She also understands that if I don't text her back immediately it probably means her little guy and I are busy.  I also get texts that just say, "thank you," and "you're the best" pretty regularly.  Also, when she's been on business trips, she calls me to just see how I'm doing.  To say I feel appreciated is an understatement.

Because of this respect, I feel comfortable talking to both MomBoss and DadBoss about any issues I may have with the job, ideas I've got for new activities, or concerns I may have about the kid's development.  So the little guy gets the ultimate home: three adults who do whatever they can to help him be a fabulous, happy, healthy child.

Sadly, I have been in negative nanny-parent relationships.  One where I extremely rarely heard a simple "thank you," and my schedule would change at a moment's notice.  I would respectfully try and suggest an idea for a new activity, and it would be dismissed without hearing me out.  So I stopped trying.  Then things kept getting worse, since the lines of communication were never truly open.  I loved the child, but going to work each day became more and more stressful.  When the job finally ended, I was relieved. 

Anyway, I told my stay-at-home-mom friend that I'm good at my job, but that's only part of it.  It's also that I have a strong relationship with the parents.

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