As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many find themselves in very unique working conditions. A lot of parents are able to work from home to practice social distancing, while at the same time, many babysitters and nannies have been called in to assist parents with kids schooling from home. This new dynamic poses a whole new set of challenges—including discussing precautions for everyone’s health and safety.
We’ve pulled together a few tips that will hopefully make everyone’s day easier in a new (and interesting) working environment.
Over-Communicate, Over-Communicate, Over-Communicate
Making sure that you and the nanny are on the same page is more important than ever now. Depending upon the space available, most likely there’s going to be an increased number of individuals sharing the same space. This can pose some logistical issues when you’re trying to conduct a meeting and your nanny is working with the kids.
Here are some topics you can discuss to make sure everyone’s on the same page:
- The family’s hygiene routines to help the kids follow.
- The type of work you need to get done. (Meetings at specific times, uninterrupted time to focus on work, household tasks, etc.)
- The room(s) you need just for yourself, the rooms can be shared, outdoor space that’s safe to play in, etc.
- Any activities that are off-limits due to noise/distraction.
- All school login/schedule information.
Talk About the Day
It’s a great idea to give a rundown of what the day might look like for you when your nanny arrives. When they’re aware of your schedule, they can plan theirs with the kids accordingly. This can include:
- Whether you have any meetings scheduled (so they know when to monitor noise levels and ensure no interruptions).
- If you’ll all be having lunch together, or to plan on doing this separately.
- If there’s anything specific that the kids need to get accomplished today, school-related or not.
- How the kids have been doing mentally/emotionally lately so that they can help manage stress levels and reactions to situations properly.
Set Ground Rules
Oftentimes, when parents are “available,” kids will naturally want to seek help from their parents over sitter or nanny. However, when both authority figures are around, it’s important to set clear expectations on who’s in charge and who’s to take the lead on specific things.
Have an initial discussion with the nanny about this to make sure you’re both on the same page. You know your kids best and will be able to fully assess the situation. Speak directly to your kids about what’s decided while the nanny is present. That way, there’s no room for confusion or information manipulation.
Topics to cover could be:
- Activities and rooms that are off-limits
- Food available for lunchtime or snacks
- Chores that need to be done
- Homework that needs to be completed
- When/why the parents can be interrupted
- Behavior-related challenges
Ultimately, we’re all just tiring to make things work. It may seem strange to both you and the nanny to be around at the same time, but it’s one of the ways we have to adjust to help keep our communities safe.