It’s important to be upfront with your nanny right from the beginning of the interview. Let the nanny know the duties that expected of her, as far as laundry, housekeeping, grocery shopping, running errands and so forth. You want to find someone who is suitable for the position created. Neglecting to be upfront from the beginning can cause a bumpy ride as far as your relationship with your nanny. One of the ways you can ensure a clear happy relationship with your nanny is to make sure you are as transparent as possible and clear of any hidden agenda of what you expect from your nanny. One mistake families do is avoiding to be upfront during the interview with what you want the nanny to do for you. So as time goes by “you think its ok” to assume certain duties that you would like to have done. For example, you find parents asking for favors in ways where the nanny feels obligated to accept, for example “Is it ok when the baby is asleep if you could just slip in our clothes in the washer?” or “do you mind ironing when the kids are asleep?” “Since it’s on your way can you just pick up a few things for us from the grocery shop?’’ to “ can you wash the bathroom when the kids go to sleep?”
Well, all this is not wrong as long as it’s the arrangement made from the very beginning. There needs to be a clear distinction between the duties of a nanny and the duties of a housekeeper. There are a lot of ads where parents seek a nanny who can do “light housekeeping”. What is light housekeeping?, Light housekeeping is making sure the nanny mainly
- Picks/cleans up after the child/children
- Washes child/children dishes
- Prepares child/children’s meals
- Does child/children’s laundry
- Changing children’s bedding as needed
- Straightening children’s room
Only what entails the children is what the nanny is responsible for as far as light housekeeping is concerned.
Its understandable that circumstances do come around where you need a helping hand in other areas, but just as long as they don’t slip into everyday extra duties without having to talk to your nanny. If you don’t speak with your nanny regarding the extra duties, the nanny can get overwhelmed and can harbor some sort of resentment towards her job because of all the additional duties and can leave her with no choice but to search for another job, especially if all of these responsibilities don’t come with some extra compensation and or appreciation.
Although extra money is not always the answer, you just don’t want to assume that she should be happy undertaking the extra duties. In respect to her position, sit and have a talk with her and explain your family need and the reason for the extra duties. Without any threat to her job, allow her the sometime to think about whether she would be willing to subject to the extra duties. Remember your child/children are first priority, so you don’t want to overload your nanny to a point that your child/children aren’t able to get the primary care they need. Too many nannies are overloaded with a lot of extra duties which can cause the nanny to be distracted and less focused on your children.
As time goes by and as the children/child gets older, duties can of course be altered, but it must always be up for discussion with your nanny. For example, some families prefer to keep the nannies even after the children go to school especially if you need her in the morning hours to drop off the children to school then be available to pick up from school later on. In those case scenarios, extra duties can be welcomed when the child is in school.