28 Aug How Nannies Parent
We are often asked just what duties our nannies perform, and how having a nanny in the home makes parents’ lives easier. Try to imagine ‘you’ times two, and you’ll begin to see just how valuable an addition a nanny can be to your family.
But what do they do, exactly? Here are just a few of the duties our nannies perform, and how they function as trusted, ‘stand in’ parents when you’re not available. And even when you are home, your nanny is there for extra support, and ensures that however you see your family’s life unfolding.
When You First Come Home
You’ve brought a wondrous new baby home, but you’re exhausted and there are two more toddlers in the living room vying for your attention! Where to turn first? Let’s take that scenario and run with it…hand the infant to dad, kiss your children’s heads, and have your nanny unpack your hospital bag, launder the clothes, and give you a precious 15 minutes to shower. Then, when you’re back in the living room all refreshed, take your new baby to breastfeed while dad plays with the other two children and your nanny cooks a delicious, nutritious meal. A new mother has little time, energy or inclination to focus on anything or anyone but her wee baby, and that’s only natural. Your nanny gives you those extra hands you so desperately need when you first come home. It’s a particularly challenging time if there are other children at home; your nanny knows that, and will do whatever you need her to do, precisely when you need it done. That’s what she’s trained for!
That’s just one example of how a professional nanny fits into the role of caregiver in your home. She is a professional, and because she is trained so thoroughly, she instills confidence when you can’t be there to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of supervision over your children.
Here are some of the other ways in which your nanny parents your child:
1) She Is Part of the ‘Parenting Team’
It is the nanny who reinforces the parents’ wishes and guidelines, she doesn’t design them. Your nanny ensures that your children are following the rules you’ve set for them, and can respond accordingly if and when they don’t. Again, her response is determined by your parenting philosophies.
2) She Is There When You Can’t Be
Whether it’s dropping children at school, picking them up from sports or dance practice, or taking pictures at the game you had to miss, your nanny is like your ‘stand in’. Though she is a consistent presence in your home, she is also there when you can’t be. She is also your child’s biggest champion, and will wave, shout and cheer for your child, offering extra support along the way.
3) Helps With Housework
Here’s another scenario: You’ve come home from the office at 7:30pm, even though you had hoped to be there by six. Instead of chaos, toys everywhere and only takeout food containers in the fridge, there’s a hot meal waiting for you. Your child is bathed, fed, with teeth brushed and ready for bed. You can read them their favorite bedtime story, kiss them, talk about their day, and then turn out their light and go have a bite to eat. Our clients tell us that this is one of the most important benefits of having a nanny — they offer a child a stable routine, something experts agree is vital to mental and emotional well-being.
4) How’s That Homework Coming?
Even if you are home with your child at homework hour, sometimes they have an assignment in an area you may not, shall we say, excel at. Many of our nannies can help with, for example, second language tutoring, or a science experiment that might take two or three days, a trip to the library and then a crafts shop. Working parents must allot their time judiciously, we know, and when you can’t fit it all in, your nanny is there, ready to step in to help.
5) Potty Training Issues
This is a thorny area for, in particular, new parents. Everybody offers a different opinion about when and how to get your child to go, and it’s exhausting! Our nannies have seen it all: children who take to it quickly, recalcitrant kids who just don’t want to try, and others who are still having accidents by age six. They know that every child is unique, and as one expert reassuringly put it: “Relax! Have you ever met an adult who isn’t potty trained?” The point being that it will indeed happen, and your nanny can help with the scheduling, the ‘how to’s’ and yes, even the clean up.
6) Oh No! It’s Snowing!
Schools may be cancelled, but work most definitely is not. Imagine how reassured you’ll feel when you head out the door, as usual, while other parents are frantically arranging for grandma to come across town in a blizzard to babysit your newborn, not a prospect you relish, with all due respect to grandma. Having a nanny means never having to say “I’m going to be late” to your boss, no matter the weather, no matter the circumstance.
These are just a few of the ways in which a nanny parents your child; some are also trained nurses and can reassure you that your child’s cold is, in fact just a cold. Others excel at particular sports and arts, and can be a private educator or tutor when your child expresses an interest in a certain hobby or sport. And always, always they are your child’s biggest fan, and yours, too.
At Elite Nannies, we ensure that whomever we select as a potential match for your family meets all the standards and requirements you’ve expressed. They are skilled, professional individuals who approach their duties with energy and good humor, and they function in your home precisely the way you would, if you could be there 24/7. The right nanny is much more than a babysitter; she is a tutor, a trainer, a teacher and — most of all — she’s your child’s friend, fan and support, all day and all night. She’s even more than that, really…she’s family.