Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

How do you draw the line? April 30, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 4:15 pm

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. Ours was good, albeit a bit tiring. Sometimes the life and times of a busy toddler is not exactly in sync with the life and times of the tired working parents on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

But really, what I’d like to discuss today is the difficulties in striking a balance with your nanny. Because I think I’ve learned a lot over the course of the last 17 months but lord knows I still have a lot to learn.

The level headed, non-emotive person would think that the relationship with the nanny is like the relationship with the workplace. You are the employer, she is the employee. You pay her to use her skills and judgement all day long, as you are paid to use your skills and judgment all day long.

But see, I think it’s more complicated than that.

The very nature of her job is emotional whereas, let’s be honest, the very nature of my job is NOT emotional. Our nanny is paid to care for and tend to our child all day long. The end result of this is really emotional and well, a loving relationship, if the nanny is any good. I mean, what person wouldn’t fall in love with the baby they tend to five days a week?

And so – how do you strike a balance with your nanny? How do you care about her and let her know that she is a very important part of your family without getting too involved in her personal life? Because inevitably, it seems to happen.

She has a life and a family and things that happen to her outside of the work day that inevitably end up coming back to your house. They make their way in. Particularly with language barriers – I mean – why not ask someone who speaks English fluently what something means? Hell, I have a hard enough time understanding certain banking agreements, how can someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language understand them?

And so – how do you draw the line between being open and caring for your nanny but still being her employer? What do you do if she asks to borrow money? What do you do if she is very upset and having marital issues? What do you do if her in-laws don’t treat her well and they live together? Afterall, the nanny’s emotional state will also impact her day’s work.

I’m asking you, kittens. Because I struggle to strike a balance between being caring but also removed. Empathetic but not a problem solver, definitely not a bank, and most certainly not a marriage counselor (though some days I’d like to pretend I am).


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