I know, I know. I promised this post weeks ago. Anyway last time I walked you through my personal journey into “nanny-hood”. This time I thought we’d talk about what to look for in your potential “work family”.
As a nanny, especially a live-in, I think it’s important to be critical when accepting a position. The parents are going to be critical about you (they’re inviting you into their kids lives) and I think you should show the same amount of scrutiny when going through the application/interview process. You’re going to spend a lot of time with these people; living, working, traveling- Basically going through day-to-day life with them. (I tell people all the time that being a live-in nanny is more of a lifestyle than a job. Always keep that in mind)
Checklist for Work Family:
To me this is top on the list for any relationship personal or otherwise. You need to able to trust the people you are working for. And thankfully this is something you can gage pretty easily early on. Ask questions and pay attention to how they answer. They should be straightforward and complete. (Some questions to ask will be listed below) Do they follow through with commitments? Or are they constantly changing expectations?
Another crucial thing to me is to see how engaged they are with their kids. Now this doesn’t mean they spend every waking moment with their children, but that they are devoted to their kid’s upbringing. Not just spectators. This means their standards are set; disciplinary, socially, etc. It’s obvious they love their children and care how they’re growing up. Ask how they handle discipline? What are their standards as far as behavior goes?
This can be very frustrating. You shouldn’t have to chase down the parents every time you have a question or an issue. By this I mean there should be an established way to communicate, whether by email, text or in person. But you need to remember that communication is a two-way street. The same should apply to you, the parents shouldn’t have to hunt you down or text you five billion times to get an answer. And just like you want them to be honest with you and be able to tell you exactly what they expect (no guessing in the dark) you need to be honest and straightforward when they ask you questions. (Half truths are lies- Be honest! Especially if you’ve made a mistake of some sort. Tell them immediately and concisely; this builds trust)
Going hand-in-hand with engagement having the parents support you- putting a kind of authority behind you- is big! It does no one, especially the kids, any good if you and the parents are constantly undermining each other. This is why asking up front what their expectations are and getting a clear picture is sooo helpful.
- Lifestyle Check-
I think this is also important, but so easily skipped over. Don’t pick a family if their lifestyle is in complete contrast to yours. It doesn’t have to exactly be like yours but if their going to expect you participate in something you don’t think is right or is going to make you uncomfortable think twice before accepting their offer. This isn’t an absolute rule as one of the joys of being a nanny is experiencing new things you might not have gotten to experience otherwise. That being said the lifestyle check is a good thing to keep in mind.
I don’t know if this was helpful or not, but if you have any questions about the points I covered or are thinking about becoming a live-in nanny and would like more info- please leave a comment or of course email me!
Lots of loves,
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