The relationship between Moms and Nannies is typically a very good one, but sometimes it can be complicated. On one hand, it is a very close and intimate relationship. After all, Mom is placing her trust in the nanny she hires to care for the most precious thing in her life…her child. On the other hand, it is a professional, employer/employee relationship. It is common, on occasion, for issues to arise between Mom and Nanny. Below is a list of the 10 most common issues Moms and Nannies face, along with some ideas and tips on how to work through them.
1. MISALIGNED EXPECTATIONS
There are a lot of topics that are covered by Mom and Nanny during the interview process. However, sometimes they may walk away from the conversation with different interpretations of what the other wants and needs. Sometimes there is misinterpretation about what was agreed upon during the interview. Not being on the same page can cause tension in this relationship. Clear and specific communication when it comes to pay, hours needed, hours available, discipline approaches, etc. is highly recommended. It will eliminate any misinterpretation and create a clear road map for this relationship. Both parties will leave the conversation feeling like they got what they needed from the other.
2. MICROMANAGING MOMS
A capable Nanny and a micromanaging Mom can be a tricky combination. Mom wants to have input on what the nanny is doing and how she’s doing it. The nanny feels her abilities are being questioned and wants to have more control over her day. Before this eats away at the relationship, Mom and Nanny need to come together, communicate and find a compromise that is acceptable to both parties.
3. DIFFERENT DISCIPLINE APPROACHES
Even when Mom and Nanny have the same overall discipline philosophy, the way each approaches discipline challenges can differ. For instance, the nanny may like to use time outs and the mom may prefer to talk through the situation with the child. Different approaches can work as long as Mom and Nanny respect and support each other.
4. INEFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Sometimes one side likes to communicate through email while the other side likes to have face-to-face conversations. Sometimes one person is very direct and the other person likes to take a more roundabout approach. It’s essential that the mom and nanny talk about their own personal communication styles and find some common ground to keep the lines of communication open.
5. “WHAT’S FOR LUNCH”?
What the child eats can become a stumbling block if the mom and the nanny disagree on what’s healthy for the child. When and how much the child eats can also become a challenge if there’s a disagreement. Of course, the parents have the ultimate say in food choices, but since the nanny is responsible for making and overseeing meals, it’s important that both are on the same page regarding what the child can and cannot eat.
6. SLEEP CHALLENGES
Naps and overnight sleeping are two of the toughest issues a mom and nanny face. When they’re able to work together, everyone benefits. However, when they have different ideas about how to accomplish the sleep goals, it can be hard on both the adults and the child. Since there isn’t one “right’ way to sleep train, both sides can offer up ideas and come together with one plan of action.
7. RELATIONSHIP BOUNDARIES
Everyone has a different interpretation of where the line is between personal and professional. The nanny may feel sharing details about what she did over the weekend is perfectly OK; however the mom may feel the nanny is sharing too many details of her personal life. The best way to find the right balance is to have an honest conversation about where the line should be for the relationship to work.
The issue of housework is one of the biggest problems that come up between a mom and nanny. The mom often feels it’s no big deal for the nanny to do “light housekeeping” like vacuuming or washing the dishes during the day since she’s there anyway. The nanny often feels that she’s there to care for the child and is only responsible for tasks related to the child. This is something that should be worked out before the nanny accepts the position or as soon as these issues come up.
9. “I’M RUNNING LATE”
Parents sometimes have to work late. It’s a fact of life. And most often the nanny will understand if she’s given adequate notice and the overtime doesn’t interfere with something else she has planned. Again, open communication and asking rather than telling is the key to avoiding this complication.
10. THE YEARLY RAISE
Money can be a touchy topic between moms and nannies. While the amount of the yearly raise is about the actual dollar value, it’s also about what it says to the nanny. The amount of the raise is an indication to the nanny of how much she’s appreciated in her job.