Posts

Helpful Tips About Your Nanny’s Legal Status From An Immigration Lawyer

,

Our guest blogger this week is Wendy Yevoli, an incredible Immigration Lawyer and partner with Yevoli and Malayev, PLLC. Wendy is often asked by parents how they can help with their Nanny’s immigrations challenges.

We understand that finding a reliable caregiver for your child is one of the most stressful – and important – parts of being a parent. Once you find your trusted caregiver, the thought of losing that person because she or he does not have legal status in the United States can be terrifying. As immigration attorneys and working mothers, we are often asked, “How can I sponsor my caregiver for a green card?”

Can I sponsor my caregiver for citizenship?
This question breaks our hearts, not only as attorneys, but also as mothers. We know that many families would do anything, and pay any amount, to sponsor their caregiver for a green card. But the reality is that in most situations, you cannot sponsor your caregiver for U.S. citizenship. If she or he is here illegally (e.g., by overstaying her or his tourist status or entering the U.S. without inspection), the law essentially says that there is no way for that person to become legal. As immigration attorneys, however, our job is to come up with solutions to help you – and your caregiver.

What are my options?
Through our years of experience working with caregivers (and the families who hire them), we have found that in some cases there may be a way to help them legalize their status.
For example:
-If the country your caregiver is from is undergoing political unrest, the U.S. may have issued TPS (Temporary Protective Status) for the citizens of that country. If so, your caregiver may qualify for TPS and be able to obtain an immigration benefit for as long as the TPS is in effect.
-If your caregiver’s family had filed a green card petition for the caregiver before April 30, 2001, she or he may be able to benefit under the life act.
-If your caregiver has a child or spouse who is a U.S. citizen, she or he may have an opportunity to legalize her or his status.

These are just a few possibilities, and every person’s background and situation are unique.

What should I do now to help my caregiver apply for a green card?
Your first step should be to speak with a reputable immigration attorney. If your caregiver has already engaged an immigration attorney, you can help by speaking with the attorney to understand the strategy he or she is using in the green card process. If your caregiver does not yet have someone representing her or him, this is the time to consult an experienced immigration attorney with a solid reputation to learn what options may be available.

What should my caregiver and I be careful about?
Unfortunately, many caregivers go to agencies or visa consultants for help with immigration matters. Often, these agencies and consultants file frivolous green card applications that they know will not be granted. If that happens, your caregiver will become known to the immigration authorities and at risk of being put in removal proceedings. It is very important to understand the risks associated with filing an application with the Department of Homeland Security, and to speak with an immigration attorney before the application is filed.

And finally…
Immigration laws are complex and constantly changing – which is why it is so important to speak with a knowledgeable immigration attorney. Keep in mind that any conversation you or your caregiver have with an attorney is confidential, so do not be afraid to sit down with the lawyer, provide all relevant information, and express your concerns.
We understand the bond that you and your family have with your caregiver, and the importance of protecting that special relationship by helping her or him remain legally in the U.S. Please feel free to call us at 212-634-6322 or email us at wyevoli@yandmlaw.com with any questions you may have.

Yevoli & Malayev, PLLC (www.yevoliandmalayev.com) is a full-service immigration law firm located in New York City. Our firm represents individuals and businesses across the country and around the world. Immigration law is highly complex and individualized. Our firm offers personalized service. We help our clients define their immigration strategy, taking into consideration long-term goals as well as short term needs. You will get advice tailored to your unique situation. Unlike most other law firms, our services are conducted on an affordable flat-fee basis. You’ll know in advance the costs involved. The information on this website in this post is for attorney advertising purposes only. No Attorney-client relationship is formed out of reviewing this post. Do not rely on information found in this post to make any decision concerning your legal rights. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

What To Do When There’s A Conflict With Your Nanny: Best Practices For Communicating

All relationships – even the best ones – will involve conflict at some point or another. Conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can be a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and another person and really grow your relationship.

As parents, it’s important to model good communication practices for our children because they see and mimic everything we do. One relationship that I often see get overlooked when it comes to good communication skills and handling conflict is the parent-nanny relationship.

Here are some best practices to employ when resolving conflict with your nanny, but they can also be used in a more general sense with all your relationships, whether that be with your spouse, friends, teachers and even your children.

Soften the Startup. This means that you approach the conflict with a level head, not in a heated moment. Don’t come at the person with a list of accusations. You want to make it clear that this is a conversation and there will be time for both parties to talk. It’s always good to start on a positive note, so perhaps you point out something that is going well before getting to what your feel is problematic.

Take Breaks. Sometimes it’s necessary to take breaks. It’s important to initiate these breaks as well as be receptive of them. In other words, if you are trying to resolve something and the other person says they need time to process, this is a fair request. This doesn’t mean the conflict needs to get dragged out over multiple days, but if someone needs a minute to think or gather themself, taking a time out will only help in the long run. Also, if you feel like you aren’t communicating effectively and also need time to formulate a response or process new information, don’t feel like you can’t ask for a pause.

Use “I” statements. It’s always important to use “I feel” statements rather than “You” accusatory statements. Let the other person know how you interpreted their actions and how they made you feel.

Take turns speaking and listening. This one can be difficult, especially in situations when you are employing a person to look after your child. While you may be the boss, all good employers take the time to listen to their employees. If you are trying to resolve a conflict, it can’t feel like a lecture. Make sure you are practicing good listening skills – like making good eye contact, avoiding aggressive body language and refraining from interrupting.

Paraphrase. This is a technique that goes a long way to prevent hurt feelings. After someone has explained their side of things, it’s a good idea to paraphrase what you heard. You don’t need to repeat back to them word for word what they said, and you should avoid using the accusatory “You said…” Instead, try something like, “I hear that you felt this way, when I said this…” Putting words in other people’s mouths is the easiest way to escalate an argument. You want to make sure the other person is also interpreting what you are saying the way it was intended to be understood. Listening back to someone paraphrasing will help you know you did a good job in effectively communicating your point.

Conflicts are a normal part of all healthy relationships and it’s important to remember that the nanny-parent relationship will be no different. Effectively communicating and working through issues will help you both to grow and the relationship to last.

Remember to never handle conflicts with your nanny in front of the child. Also, if your child has a specific complaint about the nanny, you’ll want to do your due diligence to verify the complaint before becoming accusatory. If there is something seriously wrong, I always recommend a third party for mediation.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

What Is Nanny Monitoring? How I Became A “Nanny Spy”

To understand how LW Wellness Network came to be, it’s important to also understand my background as a Nanny Spy. You might be wondering what Nanny Monitoring is, and why it’s such an integral part of what we do here as a family concierge service, so let me give you a little background.

I worked as a nanny for many years before becoming a mom myself and hiring nannies of my own so I definitely understand the business from both sides. My first Nanny Spy job came to me quite naturally, before I even realized this was such an important service that many parents were looking for and need.

After seeing one particular nanny always come to the same park with the child she was looking after and consistently neglect him to the point where I felt it was getting dangerous, I asked around and was able to contact the mother. She was so grateful to me and this idea that I would “spy on nannies” kind of sprang from there.

My first actual assignment as a nanny spy was, as you can imagine, a very nerve-racking — and yes very exciting — experience!!!

The client had hired me for eight hours to follow their nanny and report back on exactly where the nanny was and what she was doing with the child during the day. It might sound a little odd, but these parents had grown suspicious of the woman looking after their 3-year-old son and they felt they could get peace of mind if I was able to bring them back some hard evidence and facts.

They were obviously hoping I would report back that the day had gone smoothly and their son was in capable, loving care the entire time, but in the event that this wasn’t the case, they wanted that knowledge so they could immediately fix the situation.

In this particular case, nothing too alarming happened. I did witness the nanny flirting with guys; the child was definitely not her main focus. I saw her talk to a strange man at Central Park, which I definitely thought was a red flag.

The most disturbing part, though, was that I was able to witness her bad mouthing the family to other people. She said that the parents were never home and that kid was super hyper and required a lot of attention.

All of this I reported back to the family. While I didn’t feel the child was in grave danger, I did recommend that they sit down and talk with the nanny, as it seemed like the relationship had been damaged and was no longer productive for them all.

As the years went by, I spied on hundreds of nannies and wrote countless reports for parents and it became clear to me that what I was doing was protecting the innocent children from being emotionally/physically abused or neglected by their child care providers.

My passion and mission in life is to prevent mental illness and promote wellness in families. The Nanny Spy service is not about “spying on” or “ratting out” your nannies. It’s really about giving peace of mind to parents, documenting red flags, and stepping in if the situation is at all dangerous for the child.

Many of the nannies I observe are incredible, loving, giving nannies and they help protect children and do their best to create a healthy, well-balanced environment. However, the few who I find are not doing their jobs and either neglect or abuse the child, or they are not mentally or physically well for the job, help reinforce the importance of what I’m doing.

LW Wellness Network is a family concierge agency dedicated to bringing vital resources to parents as they raise their children. We’re all about collaborative care giving and open communication when it comes to parents and nannies.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, contact us today!

Is Your Nanny Mentally Fit For The Job – How To Spot Potentially Dangerous Problems

Beautiful young woman and her adorable little son having a picnic in sunny park

When it comes to hiring a nanny, many parents think checking references, doing a background check, and making sure the person has plenty of experience is all that they need to do in order to make sure the person is fit to watch their children.

BUT what many people, including myself 12 years ago, don’t understand is, THE MOST important thing to evaluate is your nanny’s state of mental health and her ability to make good judgment calls when necessary.

After working as a nanny myself, hiring several nannies for my three girls and working with clients as a therapist, nanny consultant, and nanny spy, I can honestly say investing in a mental health assessment for your nanny is the single most important thing that you need to do before you hire.

I recently started working with two families who had traumatic experiences with their nannies. The first set of parents came home early from dinner to find their nanny standing by the window smoking pot. She had been working with the family for three months, she had come highly recommended by a top agency and she had excellent references. The parents were shocked and felt betrayed.

Over the course of my meeting with them, they kept telling me how “perfect” she had seemed prior to this incident. However, then they told me that she was stressed financially and had asked for money in advance. I have a list of red flags that all parents should watch for when working with nannies. And being financially stressed and asking for money in advance is definitely one of them.

The second family had an incident with their nanny and they ended up with their child in the hospital. The dad came home one day, greeted the nanny and almost immediately noticed something seemed off with his 10-month-old daughter. He asked the nanny if anything had happened and she said no. His wife came home and she immediately noticed something was not right with their daughter.

The baby was fussy and kept touching her ear. She ended up throwing up. They called a family friend who is a pediatrician and at first thought maybe it was just a virus, but eventually they ended up taking her to the ER. They called the nanny again just to see if maybe she remembered her falling or something, and she denied anything happened. It turned out, their daughter had suffered a concussion and ended up having to stay at the hospital for four days. When the nanny came to the hospital to visit, they again asked her, saying they wouldn’t be mad but needed to get to the bottom of the story. The nanny finally broke down crying and admitted she had fallen.

This nanny had been a referral of another mom, who sang her praises and recommended her highly. And she also had other excellent references. When other moms hear these stories, it clearly alarms them. But stories like these can be avoidable.

Nanny Mental Health Assessments can help identify mental health issues like depression and anxiety that can lead to potentially dangerous situations for your children. Experienced therapists and/or social workers know how to expertly phrase their questions in order to evaluate emotional capacity in a nanny. The assessments are designed to help determine other cognitive abilities, strengths/weaknesses and other traits that will help you find a good match for your family.

A Mental Health Assessment should take about 1 hour and should be done by a licensed mental health professional (a psychologist, licensed social worker or mental health counselor). It should cost less than $500. When you are about to spend $35,000 a year (or more) for your Nanny, this is a small price to pay to know that you’ve done everything you can to put your children in the right hands.

We all want the best for our children and there are no guarantees, but this is another tool you can use to know you did all you can to get the best help for your family. Good luck!

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, contact us today!

The Importance Of Nanny Orientation: Your Nanny’s First Day

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Miscommunication tends to be the cause of most interpersonal conflicts, particularly in situations where the line between the professional and the familial relationship is blurred, as is often the case in a nanny-parent dynamic.  The key to maintaining an effective working environment lies in establishing an open dialogue between all interested parties. As human beings, we are all inherently flawed, but being upfront about expectations, hopes and concerns will help mitigate potential future problems.  Issues arise when our meanings and intentions become misconstrued in the delivery – or lack of delivery – of our message.

 

This actually starts before you even hire your nanny when you communicate what you are looking for. However, the communication can’t stop there. The first day your nanny works for you is vital to the future of your relationship. Whether your nanny has been working with children for years or is on the younger side, there needs to be an orientation period (more than one day!) where you not only outline your expectations but also demonstrate how you want all the details – both large and small – handled.

 

Ideally, she will be able to shadow you for a day and watch you perform the duties that she will be responsible for going forward, but I realize that it is not realistic for everyone to be able to take time off of work.  Either way, taking a few hours to introduce the new nanny to the way you expect her to run your household will be mutually beneficial and help set the stage for a healthy working relationship and an open line of communication.

 

First day orientation and on the job training may sound the same, but the concepts are actually quite different.  You should not have to teach your nanny how to take care of a baby (unless this was something agreed upon at the time of hiring), but you should give your nanny instructions about how to take care of your baby.  The same goes for any household chores that you have agreed will be the responsibility of your nanny.  For example, if your nanny is in charge of doing the dishes and the laundry, make sure that you have given her specific instructions about how you want her to do this, and where each item needs to be put away.  Although it may seem like overkill to be so specific with things that to you seem like common knowledge, remember that (particularly with nannies from different cultural backgrounds) not everyone will approach situations the same way that you do.

 

For one, making directions clear from the very beginning will set a precedent for the duration of your time working together.  More importantly, it will make it easier to objectively evaluate the job that your nanny is doing.  If she is not performing up to the standards that you would like her to, ask yourself if this is because you never set proper guidelines. For example, if your nanny is not putting your dishes away in the correct spots, is this because you never told her where you like to keep things, or is it because she just has not listened?

Having worked as a nanny in the past, it was comforting for me to know exactly how to handle situations exactly the way that my employers wanted me to.  Below are a few topics that you may want to cover with your new nanny before her position officially starts. I’m going to be blogging about these areas in more depth in the coming weeks!

  1. Snacks and meals
  2. Household chores
  3. Playdates
  4. Discipline
  5. Bathing
  6. Sleep schedule and bedtime procedures

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

8 Guidelines For Tipping Your Nanny This Holiday Season

People often wonder: What am I required to tip my nanny this time of year? Do I tip a full-time nanny the same as a part-time nanny? What about a babysitter?

 

In nearly 60% of American families, both parents are very active in the workforce. Therefore, nannies have become an important part of families.

 

It is common to express gratitude to nannies and babysitters by giving them a holiday bonus. In the past 20 years of working with nannies and families and having nannies caring for my three girls, I have heard many different versions of what is “customary” to tip your nanny. Some of us are able to tip more than others, but let’s just assume that there are some regulations/rules around this topic. Wouldn’t that solve us moms a lot of discomfort?

 

When I worked as a nanny, I usually got a holiday gift valued at about a week of my salary. There were the occasional families who tipped me up to a month’s worth of pay (yes, of course, I was excited about that!),
but let’ keep it real. When I had my first child, I was finishing up my masters and had no extra money. Everything I made went to my school and my nanny. Since I also didn’t know how much I was supposed to tip during the holidays, I bought her a gift instead.
As I got to meet other nannies and moms, I learned that no one does it exactly the same way.
So, let’s make some order in this whole BALAGAN (mess in Hebrew…:-) and agree on the following. If you are wondering why I am SO certain about the following, you will just have to trust me that after working with nannies and families for so many years, I have heard it ALL. Here are some guiding principles to help you with your decision on tipping your nanny this year.
  1. If you love and appreciate your nanny, then you want to make her happy and keep her. A holiday bonus is a good way to show that appreciation, as many other industries pay their employees bonuses this time of year.
  2. Nannies talk to each other! So, they always hear what others make and compare bonuses and salaries. While you don’t need to always be comparing yourself to every other family, know that your nanny is and if she realizes that she could be treated better somewhere else, this isn’t good for keeping her around for the long-term.
  3. Even if your finances are tight, you MUST show your nanny that you appreciate her by giving her something.
  4. BE HONEST with you nanny if your financial situation doesn’t allow you to give her an extra week pay. If you lie to her, she will find out and be resentful. I have worked with MANY nannies who, despite the families not giving them huge bonuses,  loved their job and felt appreciated in other ways. I also worked with many nannies who got $10,000 bonuses and felt miserable. It’s all about the way you show your appreciation and communicate openly with your nanny in managing expectations.
  5. If you are able to go by what’s standard, a full-time nanny usually expects to get a bonus of one week’s salary.
  6. However, besides a holiday bonus, a thoughtful gift can go a long way!
  7. Remember that your nanny is not a thrift store. I have heard from many parents who say they give their nannies their used clothing and bags and they think that this is enough for their nanny. Even if your nanny loves designer clothing, trust me, she would RATHER get extra money.
  8. WRITE a holiday card. We are all so busy and don’t always get to express our thoughts and feelings to the one person who helps make our lives much easier. Write a holiday card with a nice long message and express your gratitude and appreciation in writing.

It’s tough this time of year with having to spend money on so many different things, but I urge you to not let this be an area you overlook. For more info on this, here is a great resource.

I’d love to hear from your in the comments section. What do you typically tip your nanny? What other questions do you have?

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

A Note To Nannies And Parents About Social Media

,
nannies and social media

The other day, I met with a family who wanted me to consult with them on a nanny-related issue.

Marci has been their nanny for the past two years, but they recently started following her on her various social media channels. Now, to be honest, if I wasn’t in the nanny management business and a stranger told me about stalking an employee on social media, I might think it’s over-stepping. BUT since we are talking about someone you are trusting with your most precious possession – your child – in the privacy of your home, I have no problem with social media stalking.

“We noticed that the past month Marci has been partying a lot, which of course is not our business… but we saw on Facebook that while she was at a party she smoked and had some very provocative photos,” this family told me. They also said they noticed a change in Marci’s behavior and that she seemed less involved with their two kids.

When I asked if there was anything else that was bothering them about Marci, they said they also saw a video of her drinking and acting out of control with a few other people.

What would you do if you found this out about your nanny?

We all might answer that question differently, but I am writing this because my goal is to help nannies understand the power social media has on the many aspects of their lives, but particularly their job security when it comes to being a caregiver.

As most young people are aware of these days, it’s not just families who are using social media. Some studies show up to one-third of employers actually use social media to recruit employees. Things like references to marijuana, photos with alcohol and spelling and grammar mistakes in posts are cited as potential red flags, according to recruiting software company Jobvite.

It’s becoming a very common thing for me to have parents tell me about disturbing things they see their nannies do on social media. Another mom called me in panic because her friend saw a picture of her nanny wearing Chanel glasses that were identical to the pair that mom had lost two weeks earlier. I have countless stories about nannies who lost their jobs because they posted horribly negative things about the families they worked for on social media.

My hope is that parents realize their nannies are allowed to have lives outside their job and enjoy social media, but at the same time, I caution nannies to think twice before posting photos or videos of anything that could call into question their character.

When I ask parents why they feel it matters what their nanny is doing on social media, the most frequent answer I get is perception – it’s easy to judge from photos. At the end of the day, parents wants the peace of mind that the person looking after their kids is also a role model for their kids. If a parent’s perception of a nanny is tarnished because of some photos or offensive language on social media, there isn’t much the nanny can do to undo that negative judgment.

Another note to nannies: If you think blocking your social media from strangers or using privacy settings to keep parents from searching you on social media… Think again. I know of a few companies that will crawl through almost every social media site and will be able to access private information. You also have to remember a parent’s network is huge. Just because you don’t think the family you work for is on social media doesn’t mean their friends aren’t.

I write this as a wake-up call to both parents and nannies. Social media has damaged more than a few employer/employee relationships, but when it comes to caregivers, the stakes are so much higher. In certain jobs, partying all the time may have no effect on a person’s job performance. But watching someone’s child will always be different because if a parent loses faith that the person looking after their kids is an upstanding person and always in the right state of mind when with those kids, then the relationship is forever damaged.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

The Importance Of Seeking A Nanny Before You Give Birth

,

When you are pregnant with your first child, there are so many things to think about and people are constantly giving you advice. It can be such an exciting and overwhelming time! One thing I recommend to all new parents, though, is really taking the time to search for a nanny prior to giving birth. I’ve seen many parents wait until their child is born, thinking they will have plenty of time in those first few weeks to really search for someone. Here are five reasons to consider finding a nanny while you are still pregnant.

  1. It gives you time to really do your research before you are stressed out with a newborn. While those first few weeks are magical, they are also exhausting. The last thing you are going to feel like doing on such little sleep is looking through resumes and talking to references.
  2. You won’t make a decision based out of fear of doing it alone or having to find someone in a rush before you go back to work. If you are in a hurry or getting worried about having no help, you might make your decision based off fear or desperation. You want to have all the time you need to find someone who is perfect — not just okay for the time being. The more time you give yourself, the more relaxed and thorough you can really be in the process.
  3. You will have plenty of time to get to know the person before leaving her with your new baby. It’s very tough to leave your baby with anyone, but especially someone you feel like is a stranger. If you hire someone way ahead of time, you can get to know the nanny in the weeks before the birth and then after the birth, as well. You want to feel very comfortable with the person before you have no option but to leave your child with a childcare provider.
  4. You can really focus on the type of parenting philosophy and type of nanny care you want your child to have. While you are pregnant, it is the perfect time to have discussions with your partner as well as focus on awareness just by yourself. You can think clearly about the type of parent you want to be, the type of childhood you want your baby to have and the type of person you think will be an asset to your family. If you wait until after the baby is born, a lot of time you are thinking more about immediate needs and not the big picture. It can get easy to get hung up on someone who can start right away and completely forget about finding that ideal person who will make your family life better in the long run.
  5. You will have plenty of time to train your nanny once the baby is born and she can get to know you and your routine before you absolutely need her. I think it’s a great idea to have your nanny start to get to know you and your baby before you are ready to leave her with your child full-time. The earlier you hire someone, the more likely it is that you’ll have plenty of time to train her and get acclimated to your home and family.
 If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page or contact us today.

Transitioning: Your Kids Are Getting Older And You Don’t Need Your Nanny For As Many Hours…Now What?

,

This is a struggle many parents, including me, have struggled with. I’ve talked to numerous friends with the same problem: What should we do now that we don’t need our nanny full-time? If you really love your nanny and your kids are used to her, but you don’t need her all the time because your kids are in school, how do you keep her around while scaling back her hours?

Many people have asked if it’s okay to ask their nannies to replace their housekeepers, and instead of watching the kids full-time, replace those hours with some light housework/errands. To answer that question, let me tell you a little bit about my own experience…

When my little one got into pre- school and I didn’t need my nanny full-time, I made the mistake of helping her find another part-time job. Of course it was very kind of me to do that, and it helped both of us. It saved me money and I was able to keep my nanny. However, I also asked my nanny to walk our dog who was old and without asking her, she also cleaned up after the dog who wasn’t able to hold her urine/poop. She did it all with love and care. And, then, she approached me one day and said that she was willing to clean for us but she didn’t want to babysit anymore.

As it turned out, my friend who I shared her with gave her name to her neighbor who was looking for someone to clean and offered her $20 hour. I was paying her $17 at the time.

Why am I writing this? I think that in hindsight I should’ve had the conversation with my nanny and asked her how she felt about doing other responsibilities instead of watching my kids. She needed the money, so she agreed to do whatever I asked even though it wasn’t what she really wanted to do. Then, when she had an opportunity to work with a different family who offered her more money she immediately took that opportunity, ultimately leaving me without someone to watch my kids part-time, which was what I was afraid of losing in the first place.

Last week, I met with a client who was very frustrated because her nanny got really angry with her. When I asked what happened, my client Susie said that when she no longer needed her nanny for 50 hours a week, Susie asked her how much money she needed in order to keep her job. The nanny told her she needed 30 hours a week, and Susie agreed that would work. In addition, Susie asked her to do some more light housekeeping and also clean after the cats and keep up with the cat litter. While her nanny agreed to do it, she quickly became very resentful and wasn’t really doing a good job with the cleaning and was not respectful to Susie.

When Susi confronted her nanny and asked her why she wasn’t really cleaning, her nanny got angry and asked to leave. The next day her nanny came and left a note saying she wasn’t coming back to work. Luckily Susie came home early that day because the nanny had left at 12 PM and her two girls had to be picked up at 2:30 PM. Susie was most devastated because her nanny left after four years without saying goodbye to the kids.

So here are my takeaways from these stories. In my opinion, when and if you need to cut your nanny’s hours then you need to have a serious conversation with her and figure out if that works best for both your family and her. If this is not the case, then as hard as it is to see someone you care about go and as challenging as it can be to acclimate to a new person, you have to make the decision that it is time to find a different kind of nanny who doesn’t rely on a full-time job with benefits. Another important thing to consider is that the person you had caring for your kids when they were babies and toddlers might not be the nanny who your kids need now or the nanny who suits your family as they get older.

It is therefore very important to think about what your family needs and what your nanny needs and wants. If you cannot pay your nanny full-time, sometimes it is better not to come up with different responsibilities for her to do that she might not like to do or might feel are not what she originally signed on for. A better option might be to share your nanny with another family and supplement hours that way, always being mindful that when you open it up to other families, it can become easy for your nanny to just pick the best pay/job responsibilities. Another option is to increase her pay while you are transitioning and help her find a different job. Ultimately, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and with your nanny from the outset and keep the lines of communication open. If your nanny feels like one day she will no longer be needed or one day she will be a full-time housekeeper when what she wanted was to look after children, she’ll most likely turn to looking for other jobs or become resentful of the relationship that was once so healthy.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page or contact us today.

Nanny Spy Confession: The Importance Of Awareness In Choosing A Nanny

I talk a lot about awareness because I believe as parents, and as people, it is one of the most important parts of growing and thriving. This is a story about a client (I’ve obviously changed a lot of details and the name) I worked with who was looking for some advice on hiring a nanny.

When Karen first came to me she was eight months pregnant and was really excited but also very nervous and anxious about the idea of hiring a nanny when she had to return to work. She didn’t even know where to begin and would ask me questions like, “What should I look for in a nanny?”

I had to get her to answer that question for herself, so I started asking what values were most important to her and how she wanted her future child to be raised. I also asked what her biggest fears were when it came to someone else looking after her child.

As we discussed these questions, a lot of her family history came up. Her biggest concern was finding a stable support system, for both herself and her children, as she had moved cross-country to NYC when she was 18. When Karen was 15 years old, her mom was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died a few years later. Her dad was an alcoholic during her childhood and she had lost contact with him since. Karen had to grow up at a very young age and, consequently, one of the biggest factors she was looking for in a nanny was stability and support.

Another question I asked was, “What do you fear most about hiring a nanny?” Karen revealed that she was terrified of hiring the wrong person – someone who would put her child in harm’s way. When she thought of what could go wrong, her mind would spiral. Eventually, it came out that when she was younger, there was an incident at a playground where she fell off a slide and had some very serious injuries involving stitches. It became evident that this had translated into high levels of anxiety for her future child’s safety.

The child wasn’t even born yet and she was scared to death of a nanny taking her eyes off her child and something terrible happening. While safety and consistency are two very important characteristics to look for in a nanny, in Karen’s case, she needed to work through some of her own fears and understand that what had happened to her was an accident. There is no way to protect your child from every single cut and scrape.

A child’s exploration is extremely important. Awareness helped Karen see that while there were some things she would be able to control about her future nanny, she would also have to learn to trust in order to not develop into a mom who hovered over both child and nanny.

As she became aware of her fears and her childhood, she was better able to articulate what she was looking for in a nanny and not just focus on the hyper-vigilant aspect. Throughout this process, she realized she had some unresolved issues. She had never properly mourned the loss of her mom or dealt with her tumultuous relationship with her alcoholic father and his sense of helplessness. These are all issues that would come out eventually, but as she went to therapy and talked through them she realized how important it was to address them head on before they became a part of her parenting style or negatively blinded her to what she was looking for in a nanny.

I also asked her to identify what types of parenting her parents exhibited throughout her childhood. Her father was controlling at times, but in general, he was fairly absent and therefore she didn’t have a lot of rules or boundaries. She was close to her mother, but again, she wasn’t given a lot of structure at a young age. This became something she craved for her own child.

Especially for new parents, I always recommend thinking through your own childhood and putting thought into why you fear the things you fear. This will help put your fears into perspective and keep you from blowing them out of proportion in a way that could negatively affect your children.

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page or contact us today.

child cute little girl and mother holding hand together with lov