Hello nannies (and parents)! My name is Brooke and I am a professional nanny of 10+ years with a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. First off, let me start by saying I am VERY excited to be starting this blog. I believe the nanny field is an ever growing one and navigating it properly can be difficult. It can be difficult for nannies and for parents. The nanny profession is unlike any other. It is a very personal job and therefore boundaries that normally would not be crossed in say, a business profession, are often crossed on a daily basis in the nanny world. Nannies are in a family's home -- integrating themselves as seamlessly as possible to ensure the best development for the children in their care.
My inspiration for this blog came from hearing over and over again about nannies being taken advantage of. Nannies come to me and ask me for advice on various things such as how to communicate with their employer about not being paid overtime. Or after talking with me they find out that live-in nannies DO get paid on top of room and board and they are being severely taken advantage of. So many things go amiss whether intentionally or unintentionally and my goal is to create a place where nannies can find information and resources to ensure they are in a fair and legal job situation. And while this blog is "for nannies, by nannies", I really want it to be for parents too. Many parents employing a nanny for the first time simply do not know the "ins and outs" of the nanny industry and make mistakes that cause them to lose a good nanny. Other parents may be well aware that they are taking advantage of their nanny (even if just slightly) and my hope is that the topics discussed here will be eye opening and cause everyone to re-think the nanny field -- what it means to be a nanny and what it means to employ a nanny.
I would also like to state that this will not simply be a parent bashing blog where nannies can do no wrong. I am well aware that nannies take advantage of parents as well so I will definitely touch on those issues. I will say, however, in my experience I do find that the majority of nannies I encounter are being taken advantage of in some way or another. Generally nannies are not in the power seat so they must accept subpar pay, inappropriate job roles, unpaid overtime, etc. for the sake of keeping their job. So many nannies tell me that they wish they could confront their employer about an issue, but they can't afford to lose their job because of it, so they just suck it up and deal with it -- never communicating their concerns. Communication is vital in any healthy relationship so that is something I will reiterate over and over again. Many people have a negative association with the word "confrontation" and while confrontation certainly can be negative, it can also simply mean a face-to-face interaction. When healthy communication techniques are used by both parties, confrontation can be a very positive experience.
Lastly, I'd like to mention that this will not all be negative. While I am passionate about nanny advocacy, I fully recognize that many nanny families are INCREDIBLE and I have been fortunate enough to work many times for such families. I want to promote these experiences and stories because I feel they will highlight the vast difference between a healthy nanny-family relationship and a non healthy one.
Well, that about sums it up. Thanks for reading and I hope you will join me as I dive into this unique and complex profession! Let's all become nanny advocates :)
Upcoming on the blog: The most common issues nannies have with their jobs. I spoke with real nannies from all over and have compiled a list of the top things parents do (or don't do) that cause a nanny to feel undervalued and taken advantage of. Stay tuned :)