Nannies can be an incredible asset to any busy family and should be contributing to a happy, healthy environment for your children. Many parents who have hired nannies will tell you that it takes a bit of time and effort to teach them how you want things done with your children. But some parents forget that there is a lot that a nanny can teach them in return. There is much you can learn from your nanny if you just listen.
I have had a nanny for three years and the insights that I get into my children’s lives are irreplaceable. The key for me is to make sure that she and I have an open line of communication so that she can let me know what’s happening and I can translate anything that seems out of place or unusual.
Over the past three years, my nanny has taught me a lot about my own children. And yes, it took a little while to get over the “I should know this stuff already, I’m their mom!” feeling. But now that I am over it, more often than not I feel like I have another partner in raising my children.
In general, there are three areas of my children’s lives where I get incredible insights from my nanny:
Current Favorites and Obsessions:
Let’s face it. I can’t keep up with the latest show on Disney, the most essential accessories for a girl’s hair AND if my kids like spaghetti with or without sauce. I wish I could, but I’m human. My nanny, however, has a knack for not only knowing the latest trends (she is younger than me of course) but also which ones will most appeal to my kids and still abide by my preferences.
I don’t see every single reaction that my kids have to everything that happens to them every day. My nanny doesn’t either. But she catches things that I can miss and vice versa. We take time to talk about conversations that have occurred with the kids, any unusual behaviors or emotional moments and try to make sense of them based on the knowledge we have of them. In these cases, two heads are better than one. And let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier for them to talk to my nanny than to me.
How Your Parenting Style Can Evolve
I am proud to be a mom and I am proud of my parenting style. I often laugh when people criticize me about being too hard on my kids right after they’ve complimented how well they behave since the former leads to the latter. But my nanny has shown me some areas where I had to lighten up. She has never been critical of my parenting skills, but she has always taken an open dialogue with me if she wanted to try something new with the kids or find out how I felt about particular television shows or kid-related events. At first I took a “my way or the highway” kind of approach. As time has gone on, I have seen how much she cares for my kids so there is a trust factor there that is immeasurable. As that trust has increased so has my ability to hear her out and identify areas where I can change, ease up or give in. Don’t get me wrong… some days I put my foot down and that’s that. I am mom after all. But I am grateful for a lot of the changes that have come along the way.
My nanny is more than an employee. She is family now. And the things I have learned from her (both the tiny things and the mind blowing revelations) continue to help create an environment where my kids feel free to learn more about themselves and the world around them, which is the ultimate goal of being a mom. I’m so glad I’m not doing it alone. Trust me, if you take the time to listen, there is plenty to learn from your nanny as well.