Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

You love your job. You love the family, the kids, the fun afternoons at the park and the art classes you get to attend with your charge.

You want to be there for your employer whenever they need you, but it seems that too often they approach you with a request that interferes with a prior commitment and you feel guilty not helping out, so you cancel the really fun outing you had with your friends.

Or, maybe you’re an employer and your nanny is the best nanny you’ve ever hired. She’s attentive, she kisses boo-boos, she keeps your place tidy, she’s always on time and you treasure her in your life, but it seems she has made one too many requests to get off early or come in late. You want to help her out, but you hired her because you need her for the full schedule she’d agreed to.

You both want to make things work, but you’re starting to feel a bit taken advantage of. What should you do? Talk. 

Talk about what’s going on. Talk about how you feel when the unexpected requested continually comes up. Talk about how much you enjoy one another and talk about your boundaries. Know what you’re willing to do and how often you’re willing to go out of the normal routine. We all need to be flexible, so try not to feel taken advantage of when you have a request to do something that doesn’t fit with the routine.

Keep the lines of communication open. Have weekly meetings to check in, leave one another notes in the morning or evening if you don’t physically see one another, have a work agreement. T+C highly encourages families and nannies to have a work agreement in place when a new position begins or when job responsibilities change. A well-thought out work agreement should help avoid too many surprises along the way.

The most important thing you can do is talk. Set a time that works for everyone to discuss what’s going on. If you don’t talk about the challenge, it’s not going to go away.