Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Juggle Family Visits During Your Nanny's Hours

juggle How to Juggle Family Visits During Your Nanny’s HoursHaving Grandma visit for a week, hosting a niece for a month in the summer, or having your cousin crash in the guest room for six months while he attends the local college can be a great way to stay connected to extended family that live outside your area. But when you have a nanny that cares for your child during the day, it can also be a tricky situation. Who’s in change when an adult family member is there? Should the nanny be expected to provide supervision to younger nieces, nephews and cousins? How does a long term visit impact the nanny’s normal routine and schedule? Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can be hard when relatives are thrown into the mix. Here are some suggestions on how to enjoy a family visit and keep your nanny happy at the same time.

Give the nanny as much advance notice as possible. It’s easy to get swept away with the details of planning a relative’s visit and forget to share the plan with your nanny. However, giving your nanny as much notice as possible will help her better prepare for the visit. She may need to rearrange her schedule so your child is home to spend time with Grandma. She may want to postpone the big craft party planned if she’s going to have additional children to care for. She may want to move the weekly morning playgroup to another member’s home if she knows there’s going to be a guest sleeping on the sofa sleeper in the playroom. Also, giving her ample notices lets her know that you understand the visit will impact her too. All nannies appreciate that kind of consideration.

Talk about your expectations with your nanny. Will your nanny’s responsibilities change during the family visit? Maybe Grandma loves to cook for your child, so your nanny will need to turn over meal preparation during the visit. Instead of making the meals, she can go grocery shopping to pick up all the extras needed. Maybe Uncle Ted wants to teach your child to play baseball, so he’ll be doing the school pick-up and heading off to the park for the afternoon while he’s here, and you’d like your nanny to use those extra hours to tackle organizing the playroom. Let your nanny know exactly how her responsibilities will be different during the visit. If nothing will change, let her know that too.

What role should your nanny take when your relative and child are spending time together? Maybe Grandpa is recovering from surgery and you want your nanny to be with him and the baby at all times in case he needs help. Maybe Aunt Louise wants some auntie bonding time so you want the nanny to leave her and your toddler alone to get to know each other. Fill your nanny in on what her role is with each family member during the visit.

Talk about your expectations with your family. You’ll want to outline your expectations with your nanny, but don’t forget that you’ll need to have the same talk with your visiting relatives too. If you’ve told your nanny that she’s still in charge during the day, let your mom know you expect her to respect the nanny’s discipline decisions. If you don’t want your small town brother driving your child into the city, let him know the nanny is the only person allowed to drive. These conversations can be hard because, to some relatives, it can feel as if you’re favoring your nanny over a family member. Even when it’s tough, it’s necessary. Everyone does better when they know what to expect in an unfamiliar situation.

Be respectful of your nanny’s job description. Your nanny will probably be happy to help out in any way she can while your family is visiting. Be careful to not take advantage of that. Asking your nanny to let your parents’ dog out a few times during the day is no big deal. Asking her to give their sick cat injections three times a day while they’re out sightseeing is out of bounds. Asking your nanny to put clean sheets on the guest room bed is no big deal. Asking her to wash, dry and fold your sister and brother-in-law’s clothes is out of bounds. Asking her to keep an eye on your 14 year old sister for an hour while you run to the grocery store is no big deal. Asking her to care for your 8 year old niece for the summer is out of bounds. If you do want her to take on a major task, ask if she’s comfortable doing it first and make sure to pay her fairly for it.

Having relatives visit can be fun for everyone. To make sure there aren’t any unexpected tensions, clarify expectations with both your nanny and your family ahead of time.

Taken From NannyPro

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