Written by Sue Downey and originally posted here on the Nannypalooza blog.
I was thinking about all the ways we do not work in our own best interests.
- Nannies take jobs that pay under the table. Don’t shake your head- statistics say that more nannies than not at some point have taken a job off the books. We do it for a variety of reasons- we can’t find another job, we need the money to make ends meet, there are lots of excuses both good and bad. The reality of the situation is that we owe it to ourselves and to our fellow nannies to not take a job where we are not compensated legally. Not only does it hurt you- (no worker’s comp, social security etc…) it also teaches employers that it is possible to hire a good nanny and not pay taxes. The only way to force parents to pay is when they can’t find any nannies who will work without being paid legally.
- Nannies can be overly critical of parents and other nannies. Okay, we all do it. We know we are right so we judge the parents or other nannies who sleep train, potty train or discipline the “wrong” way. We think that nanny is not “professional” or these moms never want to spend any time with their own kids. It’s normal to judge others. It happens all the time. But the sooner we can walk away from those thoughts and find an accepting way of dealing with those who think or act differently than us, the sooner we can truly build a community that will get things done.
- Nannies forget that this is a job. The nature of our profession means we form intimate bonds, not only with the kids but with the parents too! It is easy to get lost and feel like family. BUT at the end of the day, this is a job. Yes the bonds we make may last forever and we may become family. However, in the day to day there are going to be days where we are going to be treated as an employee. It may not feel good, but it is the truth. We have to approach our nannying like it is a job too which means keeping our skills sharp, keeping accurate records and approaching our days with intention and best practices.
- Nannies forget to take care of themselves. To be a good nanny, you must at heart be a caretaker. This means taking care of yourself too! This doesn’t mean just eating well and exercising. It means saying no and not feeling guilty. It means finding a way to nourish your soul and replenish your spirit. It means saving for your retirement and being prepared for an emergency.
Are there any others things you have seen that nannies do to sabotage themselves??