So, my last post was a guide to finding a nanny for your children. This one is all about what you must do after you have a nanny. Because truly, it is not always about finding the suitable child carer; it is mostly about how you keep her. My mother says that friends and house helps are about destiny. Either you have them or don’t!
I also believe that there is a better connect between the two. Like you cannot have good friends until you work towards keeping these friends, you cannot have a reliable house help until you work towards making it rock!
Remember, you have a nanny because you want to share your child caring responsibilities with someone. And this is not just for working mothers alone. There are equally a large number of stay-at-home-mothers who are choosing to have nannies at home, sometimes full-time, sometimes part-time.
The whole debate about spending quality time with one’s child prompts many mothers to have a nanny who do the running around, feeding, bathing and clothing. The mother on the other hand chooses to partake in selected responsibilities – like recreation, play time, reading and schooling. Whatever be the case, you are bringing home someone whom your child will spend a lot many hours with. So how can you ensure that it is a win-win situation for all of you – your baby, you and your nanny!
This is the bedrock of all human relationships and I see no reason why it should not be there between a nanny/house help and you. Consider yourself as living in the UK or US where the value of a baby sitter is far, far greater than what it is in India. Our archaic class system has led to a certain attitude in all of us. Division of labour and a general belief that people of a particular class are meant to work in specific roles is what makes us rigid. We as humans, all of us, crave for respect. Your child’s nanny is no different. Respect her for what she is doing and make it evident before everyone else. I introduce my child’s nanny to whoever meets us.
I take her for family dinners to friends’ homes and even restaurants. She is part of our small joys and triumphs. I take her opinion in raising my son and it matters to me what she feels. Equally important is how you tell your child to behave with her. I have seen many child-child-carers (I call them ‘child’ because these child carers are young themselves!) being dragged across malls. They are pulled and tugged. They are made to sit in a corner struggling with a fussy baby while the entire family eats a scrumptious meal. If you treat her like a doormat, chances are there that your child will do the same. And that is not a good idea!
What is your most precious asset? One that is priceless? For me, it is my son. Nothing and nobody can replace him for me. So when it comes to handing him over to his nanny, I have to show her that I trust her. I trust her that she would take care of him as good as I do. I trust her that she would bear his tantrums and not give up. I trust that she will not let anyone or anything harm him! And I say it in as many words.
While training is very important when it comes to the actual job at hand, a nanny has to be trained to think on her feet. Chances are you are not there all day to supervise her work. In such a scenario you must let her display her independence. She must be allowed and encouraged to take the right decisions in handling your baby and home in your absence.
Like you, she has a family. There is someone she has left behind to be with you. She has her own stories and her own battles to fight. Talk to her, because in a house full of people she will feel lonely at times.
- Give her a break!
A nanny spoils the mother! If someone does all the ‘dirty’ work, then chances are that you would have got used to her. Whatever be the case, it is a good idea to get down on your haunches or run after your own child. Give the nanny a break and let her enjoy moments off duty! It is easier for a part time nanny, but if you have a full timer like me, it is important that you work out a schedule that gives her enough rest. Two days from now, my son’s nanny goes on leave. I am taking leave from work too to be with V for two weeks of unadulterated fun!
Finding a nanny of your liking and getting the best out of her is not an easy thing. Yes, there are chances that you will be deceived and I cringe to think of the repercussions of trusting the wrong person. The least that you can do is believe in the goodness of mankind. And trust me, love always finds the right person to rebound from!
So what is your secret to working it out with a nanny?
The TV junkie is back into the idiot box. Besides pretending to be a superwoman between work and family, Rituparna also dreams of flying free as an entrepreneur! Her son’s student, she is learning the ropes of parenting every day. Rituparna blogs at http://onboardthemommyship.