Now that the decision has been made, the trial period has been met, and the nanny share is in full swing, youre not all done. Like any relationship, this arrangement requires maintenance to make sure it continues as smoothly as possible. Here are some guidelines to nurture the nanny share:
- Good communication is by far the most crucial part of having a successful nanny share! Keep the communication with your share family flowing. Emailing and texting can be a less-intrusive, less confrontational way of handling things and gives the other family a chance to think about things before making a decision. (Emails are also a great way to have a paper trail as well).
- Keep to the contract!
- Meet up regularly. Set up a regular schedule to meet up with the other parents, and quite possibly the nanny too, to discuss any problems that might come up. Some people like a quick catch up once a week, while others prefer a more detailed meeting once a month.
- Have realistic expectations. The beginning of a nanny share is a transitional period, not unlike a new day-care situation. There will be kinks to work out, and it will take time for the kids (and parents) to fall into a routine.
- Have one point of contact: Nanny shares often break down because the nanny feels overwhelmed by getting mixed messages from the two families. Avoid this by picking one family to be the main contact, should anyone have to make any changes.
- Be respectful of both the other family and the nanny. Be prompt at pick-up, dont talk down the other familys parenting style to the nanny (go to the source if you have issues), and dont criticize a childs behavior in front of the children.
- Make sure the nanny is happy, and help in any way to make sure that she likes the relationship.
- Keep a monthly calendar with key dates (doctors appointments, play dates) and location. Make sure all the parents in the share and the nanny have an up-to-date copy of the calendar. This will help keep everyone more organized and able to plan personal schedules better.
Bottom LineIf either family or the Nanny is unhappy it will influence (and perhaps jeopardize) the whole arrangement.
All the best:)