13 June, 2012
So I have noticed a strange phenomenon happening more and more in the nanny world. It seems like so many parents, moms especially, are giving their nannies hints and suggestions rather than orders. I have always started a job off letting them know that I am there to uphold their rules, and follow their parenting style, and take care of their house the way they want. So why don't they want to give clear instructions? Seems very illogical to me.
For example, a mom kept moaning about how she could never figure out where her toddlers dishes were, and I kept saying, "they are all right there in the dishwasher," and the next day she would again say she couldn't find them. I thought she was nuts, until finally one day she stammered out, "So um, I usually hand wash his dishes." I instantly said, "Oh, would you like me to hand wash them? No problem." Why couldn't she just say that in the first place? She was somehow hoping I would guess that she was hinting at hand washing...wouldn't it have been easier to just ask me? Parents say, "Do you maybe want to give them a bath before bed? You know, if you want," instead of "Please give the kids a bath." Then I have to wonder if they really don't care if the kids have a bath, or if they are hoping I'll bathe them. Or they say, "feed them whatever you want for lunch," and then when I tell them what the kids ate, they look all uncomfortable. I can tell that they wanted to kids to eat something else, but how am I supposed to know if they won't tell me? Why do parents do this? Are they playing some sort of game? I can't see any reasonable explanation for this. Tell me what you want, I'll do it. It's that simple people!!
Some of them are even more pathetic. Some of them will say something to a 2 yr old in front of me like, "Now you know you aren't supposed to have that toy/treat/whatever!" Yet they never told me whether or not that is allowed. Did they expect the 2 yr old to let me know about that? One mom told me how much her child loves Barney and I saw a bunch of Barney dvds. I let her watch about 20 min before bed. The next time I went over there, mom had hidden every single kid friendly dvd. Seriously...all you have to do is say no TV, believe me, I am perfectly happy to avoid Barney! Is it really easier to hide everything than to just tell me what you want? This makes no sense to me.
I asked a friend of mine about this and she suggested it might have to do with my age. When I started nannying, I was 20, now I'm 37. Sometimes I end up working for people younger than me, and I show the same respect to them as I have always shown to parents I work for. Do parents really feel weird about giving orders to someone older? Come on, I'm a nanny, I'm there to work for them! It didn't really occur to me that this would be a problem, if I am in your house watching your kids, you are the boss. I never try to act superior to anyone, I don't think age should matter at all. Don't a lot of people have bosses younger than them? I would love to hear perspective from both nannies and parents about this. Have other nannies experienced this? Do parents have any insight as to why so many people drop hints instead of giving instructions? If you tell your nanny exactly what you want, she will have a much easier time making you happy. If she won't do what you want, it's good to find that out now and look for a new nanny. That seems pretty clear to me.
at 1:11 PM