Remember when you had your first child, and someone—whether a friend, family member or perfect stranger—gave you the whole “go with your gut” speech in regards to parenting? Sure, such unsolicited advice may have caused an eye roll from you at the time, but as cliché as the advice may be, they’re wise words. There’s a reason people say we should listen to our instincts as moms and dads. It’s because they’re usually spot-on.
Case and point. A friend of mine could quite literally feel something wasn’t right with her nanny situation. She had a sickening pit in her stomach as she got ready for work every morning, and dreaded the dingdong of the doorbell upon the nanny’s arrival. It wasn’t that the nanny was a mean person or anything. In fact, the kids were well cared for. But the nanny ran the show. She didn’t listen or collaborate with my friend when it came to the care of her kids. She was their mother, and it often it felt as though she were a guest in her own house. Obviously, this was not a great match, and a prime example of the importance of trusting your inner voice. But what if the signs aren’t so clear-cut?
Here are some signs that you may want to considering finding a new nanny.
- Your child seems uncomfortable or fearful when yournanny arrives. Crying and protesting when your kids are getting to know someone know is perfectly normal. But if you communicate with your children about their concerns, and the behavior continues for weeks on end, it’s time to re-evaluate.
- She starts texting and checking her phone during your conversations with her, or your older child tells you she’s always on the phone when you’re gone. You likely already feel enough guilt about checking work emails when you’re with the kids. So you certainly don’t need to be paying someone to spend time on their devices when they’re supposed to be caring for your kids. Talk to your nanny about it. If the behavior doesn’t change, it’s time to make a change.
- She is perpetually late with all different reasons, or a recurring reason. No matter how reasonable an excuse seems, it’s still an excuse. Punctuality in a nanny is imperative because if she’s late, your career is affected. Again, communicate your concerns early on. If she’s still late, remember, it’s not to late to find someone who won’t be.
- She seems exhausted every time she arrives. Everyone’s got their own lives outside of work. But if your nanny is too tired to do her job—making sure your kiddos are safe and well-cared for!—then it’s time to try someone with a whole new energy.
- Your child usually seems dirty or has endless “accidents” in her care. Letting “kids be kids” is one thing, but there are limits. If cleanliness and carelessness are recurrent issues, there could be more serious concerns on the horizon.
- She criticizes your parenting, or doesn’t follow your wishes if she disagrees. Being open to ideas and teaming up with your nanny when it comes to achieving milestones and goals—hello potty training! But at the end of the day, they’re your children. If you’re not getting the respect and collaboration that such a position requires, find someone who’s willing and able.
- She seems nosy, and paperwork or mail is often found in a different order than you left it. Welcoming someone into your home everyday to care for your kids is an exercise in trust. If you feel that trust is being violated in any way don’t hesitate to find someone new. Chances are once you feel the trust is shaky, you won’t be able to shake the feeling.
Stay tuned for our follow-up piece: 7 Signs Your Nanny is A Keeper!