Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to handle the dynamics of a worldwide pandemic while working as a nanny in the homes of other people? What about handling other controversial topics like religion & politics with your nanny parents and kiddos?!
Don’t learn by trial and error just follow these simple steps!
Kenya, my adorable little cousin, recently became a nanny. She’s going to help me explain how to successfully create boundaries and be a pro communicator.
Covid19 – Should You Keep Working?
Be realistic. As a nanny, you need to evaluate how YOU feel and what YOU need to take into consideration concerning your own home and family. If you decide that continuing to work in the homes of others during this pandemic here’s what you should do:
1. Establish expectations with your nanny family ASAP. If you are taking on new families, then establish boundaries DURING your interview, BEFORE you officially sign on with them.
2. Trials, people, trials! A trial period in your contract is a must. It allows you and the family time to get to know each other’s personality and values. Make sure it’s a right fit.
3. Communicate. Open and honest communication is VITAL to show your nanny family that you respect the importance of health and safety. Some things to think about include:
- How big is your “circle”?
- How big is the family’s “circle”?
- Do you feel masks are necessary for you and the kids?
- What are some sacrifices you both may have to make in order for the nanny family relationship to stay safe and healthy?
Covid19 – Should You Keep Working?
Here is our work nightmare reality: Society is not slowing down ENOUGH for the virus to go away. Why?
We all have bills to pay and things to buy. We need money. Work must go on.
This stress is heavy on our nanny families, too, to the extent that some have compromised safety for the sake of work. I know many of you may have already heard some horror stories, but Kenya relates one fellow nanny who ran into this kind of pressure from her nanny family and unfortunately did get sick.
Nannies, you are your own advocate – your own H.R.
Who was the nanny’s advocate when the parents pressured her to come care for her sick kids?
Here’s the situation:
Mom Boss: “The kids caught a bug. I don’t think it’s covid and I still need you to come over so I can go to work.”
Nanny: “Umm…” Que the feelings of awkwardness, guilt, anger, and annoyance.
Don’t allow guilt or even loyalty to your nanny family make you question your stand to stay healthy.
Navigating the Awkward Conversations
Religion and politics can be cringe-worthy topics if you haven’t laid any basis for what is comfortable to discuss with your nanny family and the kiddos.
I am so insanely proud of Kenya for ROCKING IT in the communication department!
I’ll just say it one more time for those in the back, open communication right off the bat will SAVE you.
The goal? Mutual respect!
Everyone has their own world views on topics like religion and politics, so discuss with the parents how you want to handle merging your life with theirs DURING the interview.
Let’s Practice Saying “No Thanks Friend”
Let the family know you’d like to find a balance in keeping the relationship professional and comfortable. Easy enough, right?
Well, what if the family wants to incorporate a fun project for you to do with the kids that you don’t really feel comfortable doing? Easy!
Use your words and repeat after me, “I’m not actually comfortable with that.” A great suggestion is to take Kenya’s advice and offer an alternative! You could follow up with, “BUT, I love doing fun things with the kids and I have some other ideas that I would love to get your feedback on!”
What about convos with the kids about “controversial” topics? Find out what the parents feel is appropriate and go with that! If the parents are comfortable with you answering the kids’ questions about your personal life, then great! If you have different views on topics like religion or politics then one thing you NEVER want to do is make the parents seem wrong or stupid in the eyes of the children.
See? This article is PROOF that you can discuss those awkward elephants with confidence!
Tackle Those Hard Conversations as a Nanny!
Success really depends on just a few basic things!
- Have a contract!
- Communicate openly!
- Be your own advocate!
- Have regular reviews with the family!