Nannies have a very special role in the families that they work for. They are welcomed into a home, and into a family in a way that no other domestic worker is. Chances are your nanny has seen you in your robe, before coffee or toothbrush or shower. She (or he) has probably overheard spousal arguments, been privy to intimate family details, and knows things about your child that their extended family doesn’t. She is likely the first person your child sees after a bad day at school, or the person encouraging your child to take that first ride down the slide alone. If your nanny does her job properly, you probably love her. Your child probably loves her. She probably loves you and your child. These very emotions can make your relationship with your nanny so special, but they can also be the root of a lot of unnecessary drama. Knowing how to deal with issues before they come up is the key to maintaining a healthy happy working relationship.
Put It In The Contract
It may feel strange to put relationship boundaries in contract form, but it is a lot easier to say no before an issue arises, than to have to say no when you are both emotionally involved.Think hard about what you might be comfortable with before you hire your nanny. All of the below points should be considered for your nanny contract.
1.) Discuss Social Media Preferences
If your nanny has a smart phone, chances are she will be tempted to post pictures of your adorable little ones onto her Instagram, Facebook, or other social media outlet. Its important to let her know ahead of time if you aren’t comfortable with her sharing photos of your kiddos with the internet. It is also important to think about your stance on being friends with your nanny on social media. Though the lines are often blurred, befriending your nanny while she is currently employed by you, may blur them to an even greater extent. Those pictures of you on your girls getaway? Your nanny will see them. That night she passed on a weekend babysitting opportunity to drink with her friends? You will see the posts.
2.) Consider A No Loan Policy
It is always a good idea put a no loan policy into your contract. Though most of the time it isn’t an issue its good to be prepared! Your nanny’s care broke down and she doesn’t have the money to fix it. If you haven’t specified a no loan policy, then she may feel comfortable asking you for a loan. You may not feel quite so comfortable giving her one. An easy solution is to put it in writing up front that you aren’t ok with this type of situation. However, if you want to help her out in another way, you can always suggest an alternative. Try giving her extra hours on nights or weekends to boost her income enough for those repairs.
3.) The More the Merrier?
Some people are ok with their children spending time with their nanny’s family and friends. Some people are not. Many more are somewhere in between. Its always a good idea to know who your child has been around. If you decide its ok for your nanny’s friend or family member to come around, make sure your nanny knows to let you know first. It is an even better idea to meet each person before your child does, and let your nanny know that it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.
4.) Bringing Her Child To Work
If your nanny has children of her own, make sure you discuss what will happen on school holidays and sick days. If you are comfortable with her bringing them to your home, great! If not, she needs to know up front.
It may sound silly, but its important to let your nanny know the protocol you expect her to follow during potty breaks. If she is out with your child and has to go, should she bring him/her into the stall with her? Should she ask your child to turn around and sing the abc’s while she goes? If at home, is it ok to leave your child in the other room while she goes quickly? The ages and gender of your child may affect your feelings on these issues but its best to just give her a head up on how you feel.