Archive for the ‘Nanny Employers’ Category

Shadow Mothers, The Struggle Between Moms and Nannies and Au Pairs

Share your story or tip on mother / nanny relaitonships and enter to win a free copy of the new book Shadow Mothers. Winner choosen Feb 27th.

There’s a new book coming out on the relationship between mother and nanny.  It was featured in a Forbes article and explores “the role that working mothers expect from the shadow mothers is paradoxical: form a strong emotional bond with the children while at the same time never, ever threatening the mother’s place. To be simultaneously present and absent in the children’s lives.”

A perfect description.  She interviewed 34 professional women and 50 caregivers for the book and  has hit upon some of the key issues in the nanny / family relationship.  She also looks at the perfect mother ideal and how mothering standards are expressed in the relationships between mother and caregiver.

For me and almost every other nanny I know, developing a strong, positive relationship with the children we care for is key to feeling successful in our jobs.  But we also have to be very aware of how that relationship affects our relationship with the mother.  It’s often a very difficult line to walk.

How do you navigate the mother / nanny relationship/

Nannies Filling the Shoes for Parents Outside the Home

The secret is out – nannies regularly take on jobs that their employers don’t want to do, don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do.  They bake cupcakes for the school party, they chaperone the fieldtrip, they bring snacks to the team practice, they make play costumes, they plan birthday parties.  And now…they’re working shifts at the co-op!

I found the recent article in The New York Times pretty amusing.  I’ve never belonged to a food co-op (I have shopped at PCC…does that count?) but the rules seem a bit strict. 

This latest brouhaha was brought on by a blog post from last week that said some members of the Park Slope Food Co-op were having their nannies work their required volunteer hours.  I guess this is VERY much against the rules.  Well, only if the nanny is a live-out.  (I don’t really get that either.)  It’s also seen by many as elitist.  I get the fair share idea behind a co-op but as long as the work gets done and as long as the nanny is willing to do it, does it really matter if the parent or the nanny works the shift? 

Employing domestic workers or having them take over mundane tasks does not make the employer elitist or the worker abused.  Yes, there are many caregivers that are treated badly by their employers.  But there are many who are not. 

Nannies have been expanding their roles and responsibilities for years now.  We now have nannies who also take on the tasks of household managers, family managers, personal assistants, housekeepers, chefs, on and on.  Working a co-op shift is just another way for a household employee to support a busy professional couple. 

What do you think?  Nannies, would you ever work your employer’s shift at a food co-op?  Employers, would you ever ask?

Can we talk? Communication webinars are here!

Nanny / family communication is a hot topic in our industry these days. The recent New York Times article How To Speak Nanny highlighted the difficulties parents have in outlining responsibilities, supervising the person who plays such a vital role in the happiness of their child and successfully working through the inevitable conflicts that come up between parent and caregiver. In the article I point out “The communication needs to be there, and if it’s not being initiated by the parents, it has to be initiated by the nanny.”

The best way to ensure that effective communication is there, that it’s an ongoing part of the employment relationship, is to provide both parents and nannies with real world communication strategies that address the unique challenges of in-home care. My exclusive “Can We Talk?” workshops do just that. These popular workshops, one customized for parents and one for nannies, teach participants easy-to-use yet powerful tools that help them navigate everything from the informal chat to the most tricky conversation.

Presented as a webinar, this real time, interactive training allows participants to join in from anywhere using their phone or computer with internet connection. Each seminar features a downloadable highlight sheet that outlines the key ideas covered. There’s ample time throughout the class for participants to ask questions and receive help with their individual situation. And the webinar recording is available for replay or download for a full 30 days.

“Can We Talk?” for Nanny Employers

The most common, most destructive problem between a family and nanny is unresolved conflict caused by unclear boundaries, unspoken expectations and inaccurate assumptions. Because of the intimate setting – your home – and the emotionally charged nature of the work – your children – many of the usual employee / employer strategies and solutions don’t apply. In this workshop you’ll get comfortable with your role as “boss”, discover ways to create an open and non-threatening environment, learn easy-to-remember communication tools to help guide you through difficult conversations, and identify common mistakes and stumbling blocks in communicating effectively with your nanny. Don’t miss this opportunity to join nanny expert Lora Brawley for these “learn today, use tomorrow” tips and techniques.

Tuesday, April 13th from 6:30 to 8 AM PST / 9:30 to 11 AM EST

Tuesday, April 13th from 9:30 to 11 AM PST / 12:30 to 2 PM EST

Saturday, April 17th from 5 to 6:30 AM PST / 8 to 9:30 AM EST

Saturday, April 17th from 8 to 9:30 AM PST / 11 AM to 12:30 PM EST

Sunday, April 18th from 5 to 6:30 PM PST / 8 to 9:30 PM EST

Sunday, April 18th from 8 to 9:30 PM PST / 11 PM to 12:30 AM EST

“Can We Talk?” for Nannies

The most common, most destructive problem between a family and nanny is unresolved conflict caused by unclear boundaries, unspoken expectations and inaccurate assumptions. In this workshop you’ll identify the emotional payoffs that fuel these conflicts, learn easy-to-remember communication tools to help guide you through difficult conversations, and identify common mistakes and stumbling blocks in communicating effectively with your employer. Don’t miss this opportunity to join nanny expert Lora Brawley for these “learn today, use tomorrow” tips and techniques.

Monday, April 12th from 6:30 to 8 AM PST / 9:30 to 11 AM EST

Monday, April 12th from 9:30 to 11 AM PST / 12:30 to 2 PM EST

Tuesday, April 13th from 4:30 to 6 PM PST / 7:30 to 9 PM EST

Tuesday, April 13th from 7:30 to 9 PM PST / 10:30 PM to midnight EST

Sunday, April 18th from 6 to 7:30 AM PST / 9 to 10:30 AM EST

Sunday, April 18th from 9 to 10:30 AM PST / 12 to 1:30 PM EST

About the Trainer~ Lora Brawley is one of our industry’s top communication trainers and sought after expert on successful nanny / family matches. Her unique blend of common-sense strategies and intuitive guidance has helped hundreds of caregivers and parents successfully navigate the unique ins and outs of the nanny / family employment relationship. For more information, see www.AllAboutNannyCare.com.

When nanny’s and parents’ style complement each other

The recent New York Times article on communicating with your nanny resulted in some Letters to the Editor.  I loved the one I copied below.  I often tell clients the ideal situation isn’t when the nanny does things exactly as the family does them (which is what a lot of parents initially want) but when nanny and parents share core values but bring their own individual style to daily care.  Then the child gets the best of both worlds.  The letter below is a perfect example of that.

Re “How to Speak Nanny” by Hilary Stout (Home, Feb. 4):

The article triggered so many memories of the loving relationship my husband and I shared with our New York City nanny. Add a healthy dose of employer bourgeois guilt to the mix, and you truly have the recipe for a complex relationship.

I’ll never forget our peculiar ritual of flipping over the cumbersome baby stroller at the end of my work week so that my daughter could face me while I pushed it, allowing me to gaze at her beautiful face. Inevitably, on Monday morning, our nanny would flip the stroller back so that the baby could look out onto the world with her new eyes. Here’s hoping that both experiences contributed to our child’s sense of curiosity and security.

RABBI SHARON G. FORMAN

Scarsdale, N.Y.

Snowpocalypse – an excuse for Employers to Stay and play while the nanny keeps working?

Today’s Wall Street Journal blog, the Juggle, talked about Manhattan employees who were looking forward to getting snowed in at work so they could stay and play in the city.  The writer was asking readers if they ever relished the opportunity to stay late at work to avoid the chores and stress of home life?  This reminded me of nanny employers I’ve know throughout the years who use “little white lies” to carve out more personal time for themselves. 

Employers who say they have to stay late because of one reason – the reason that gets their nanny to stay, but really extend their night because of another reason – the one that would have their nanny not so happy about the extra hours.  Parents who say they have to make an appearance at a client meeting but instead go out for cocktails with friends.  Or who say they have to stay and work on a project but instead have an hour long in-office massage.  Or, and this has always been my favorite, moms who say they just need 15 minutes to run a quick errand and then show up an hour and a half later with a beautiful new manicure. 

Now I’m not begrudging parents a fun night out with friends, a massage or the perfect manicure.  I’ve often encouraged my overworked employers to take some additional  “me” time while I cover the kids.  And yes, I fully recognize that they are the employer and don’t need to justify how they spend their time to their nanny.    But where is the accountability line when the nanny is going out of her way to provide extra coverage for her employers?   Nannies, parents, what do you think?  

A Nanny Employer who “gets it”

Yes, there are many nanny employers out there who “get it” but we don’t hear from them enough in the media.  At least I don’t.  So I’m loving today’s Wall Street Journal Juggle article.  WSJ Juggle

My favorite excerpt…

"Because she’s not just “the nanny.” She’s Marina. She and the kids bake up huge batches of cookies, goopy with frosting, for every holiday. She taught our son to read. She cheers when our older daughter shows off her latest jump rope tricks. She takes Katie, our four-year-old, out to the duck park on bright days and they run around together until their cheeks are pink.

%d bloggers like this: