I wrote a post last year sighting the differences between a nanny and a babysitter. But I didn’t even scratch the surface when I began to describe what a day in the life of a caregiver entails. While we try our best to keep routines and schedules, each day is different and we have to be prepared for surprises and all things unexpected. I am grateful to have a wonderful relationship with my current nanny family, but that has not always been the case with other families. Over this past year my eyes have been opened to so many different scenarios and situations. I don’t have many nanny friends so I decided to join various nanny groups on Facebook and I started following some nannies and doulas on Twitter as well. I’m amazed every day at what we as nannies go through. I remember reading a post from a fellow nanny stating that she found a business card for a nanny on the coffee table when she arrived to work that morning. She asked the group if she should be worried. My answer: Hell yes! I don’t know her or the family she works with, but I do know the holidays were approaching and many families decide to make changes during that time. And the truth of the matter is that she could be let go. Hopefully she has a contract in place. But then again, I could be totally wrong.
I thought I would share just a few things that I feel would be helpful to my fellow nannies and the families they work with. These things can also be applied for other household employees as well.
As a nanny:
- DO show up to work on time and call if you are going to be late.
- DO put the children first and the household second.
- DO speak respectfully of your family in all settings. You never know who is listening.
- DO keep your cool when someone makes a snide remark about your profession. Always be professional.
- DO be upfront about anything you are uncomfortable with while working.
- DO honor your contract unless the family is in breach of contract or there are unforseen circumstances.
- DO NOT be afraid to take sick days if you need to. Take care of yourself first.
- DO NOT let the children or parents walk all over you. Stand up for yourself when needed.
- DO NOT take less pay and/or hours than what you need to live on.
- DO NOT stay with a family if you are unhappy. Even you it’s for the children.
As a family:
- DO treat your nanny as a member of your family. Respect and love her (him) just as she (he) respects and loves your children.
- DO let your nanny have control of the children and the household if your are a WAHM/WAHD. You hired a nanny for reason.
- DO have a plan in place in case you or your spouse becomes unemployed. This should be included in your contract.
- DO try to remember important dates such as your nanny’s birthday, nanniversary, etc. Just remembering means a lot!
- DO speak highly of your nanny to others and recommend them to friends for babysitting. We love that!
- DO let your nanny know often how much you appreciate them and all that they do.
- DO NOT ask your nanny to get involved in personal matters concerning your marriage/divorce.
- DO NOT assume your nanny will babysit when you want a date night. We have personal lives and families too.
- DO NOT expect your nanny to travel to your home in inclement weather if you are not going in to work. Safety first!
- DO NOT expect your nanny to do things outside of their contract on a regular basis unless you discuss it first.
- DO NOT search for a nanny by stealing someone else’s nanny. Offering better pay or more vacation won’t mean anything. Family fit and trust are the most important concerns.
Is there anything you as a parent or nanny would add to this list? Comment below!