I have been unbelievably fortunate to have had one, and only one, nanny with my daughters since their birth. She’s not paid much and I’m not wealthy (not by a long shot. In fact, I don’t even like the word “nanny” because it sounds too posh. I usually use the term “babysitter”). On several occasions, I’ve even offered to refer her to families where she could make twice and even three times as much money. Nonetheless, she stays with us and I do everything I can think of to keep her happy. Here’s a few of them:
1. I welcome her having friends over.
Our nanny’s friends are just as lovely as she is. More adults equals more attention for my toddler daughters. A few of her friends are mothers themselves and they bring their kids over for play dates. It’s a win-win.
2. I never force her into uncomfortable social situations.
You know, like play dates at my friends’ houses. Or the kind of dance classes for my daughters in which she’d have to sit on a bench with a bunch of stage moms. I try to be very considerate when I ask our nanny to hop around town with my daughters. Where would she like to go? It turns out that she really likes karate — so karate classes it will be. Any other kind of classes or events I want the girls participating in, I save for the weekend when I can do it with them.
3. I encourage her to bring her laundry over.
Why should she be spending her Saturdays off doing laundry for herself when I have machines right in our building? I gave our nanny a laundry card and she’s able to get hers done during my daughters’ naps.
4. I keep good boundaries over the weekends.
Speaking of the weekends, it’s amazing how tempted it is to text our nanny a dozen times with questions. “Where the hell are all of the pacifiers?” or “What the heck did she eat for dinner last night?!” I refrain though. No matter how close I become to our nanny, I still make sure she’s always on the clock before I start badgering her with questions.
5. I consider her family.
Even with boundaries, I still consider our nanny family and I treat her as such. I’ve asked her to be part of many a family portrait, we go all out for her birthday and I make sure her own mother and grandmother are invited over for holidays.
6. I got her her own credit card for my account.
There are endless incidentals that need to be purchased when you’re commuting with toddlers and the exchange of cash and tiny receipts became a headache. Adding our nanny to my credit card account was a no-brainer. Heck, if I trust her with my kids, why wouldn’t I trust her with my money?