When you have found the right caregiver, you will probably feel elated - a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Let's be honest, going back to work and leaving your most precious and greatest achievement to date, at home with your newly hired care is daunting. Feeling as though you have found the 'right one' is often a huge burden lifted and can help you feel mentally clear to prepare for your return to work.
Or maybe.... you are at home and you are going to share duties with your newly hired caregiver, either way, here are a few tips to make that transition easier.
For the sake of this blog post I am using the term 'nanny', but you can replace it with babysitter, caregiver, mothers help and so on.
As a former nanny, I have seen and heard horror stories from both sides. I have known many nannies to flee in the middle of the night, leaving the family high and dry and I have also heard bizarre requests from families and expectations of their nannies, one family would want to know all the details, right down to what colour the toilet seat was that their child used, out in public.
What you should know to keep your expectations in check and you and your nanny on the same page.
1. Start to collect some thoughts on the duties to be undertaken and be clear, if you like something done a certain way, make a note of this and make sure to relay it. When someone is in your home, it can quickly get under your skin, if someone doesn't load the dishwasher the right way, I know this might sound silly, but its the small things can actually eventually blow up into something big.
2. Give the new nanny ideas on the things you know your children like to eat, and things that you are both okay with them eating and not eating. Break this down into breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. Make sure you show them samples of your Childs daily routine, nap times, meal times etc
3. If you have certain house rules, that you wish your children to follow, make sure that nanny knows what they are and follows them too, we should lead children by example! (all within reason of course).
4. Don't expect an instant bond between the nanny and your child, relationships can take time, infact from experience, most nannies are more fun when the parents are not hovering around - so give them some space.
5. Keep all your rules, routines, ideas in a binder and have the nanny read and sign it when he/she starts, having this set out from the beginning gives you something to fall back on, should you feel that things are not being followed correctly. You can always bring it back out and review / update it as time goes on and you all start to know each other better.
The bottom line is communication, if you can not talk to your nanny and your nanny cannot talk to you, this relationship will likely fail. Make time to speak to your nanny each week so that you keep the lines of communication open.
Whilst I agree that keeping a camera on your child to be satisfying, if you are tempted to secretly film your nanny, then its likely that this person is not the right person for your family.