Working as a nanny is a wonderful, rewarding profession. But as delightful as your charges may be, there may also times you when you feel a bit isolated. Ever go a full day without speaking to another adult? Yeah, we know the feeling.
It’s good for both you and the kids you watch to interact with other caregivers and children. Socialization is healthy, adds more structure to your day and keeps everyone happier in general. If you haven’t developed a nanny network yet, here are a few ways you can get started.
Talk to your employer. If your boss is a working mom, chances are good that she knows other working moms who live in the area, too. She’ll probably be more than happy to introduce you to the nannies of her friends and neighbors, as well as any stay-at-home moms. She may also know of local resources and mom-focused listservs that will help you grow your nanny network in the neighborhood. Also, once you get the ball rolling and start making nanny friends, see if your boss is comfortable with you inviting other nannies and kids over for a weekly play date (most moms have no issue with it but you should always check first).
Get chatty at the playground…and the pool, the local indoor playroom, and anywhere else young children congregate. If your charges start developing regular buddies, this is a great opportunity to connect with their nannies. If you’re a little shy, try casually striking up a conversation as you both supervise the kids. If she seems friendly, get her number (or give her yours) and text her later about a play date.
Get together with family and friends. As you expand your circle of daytime caregiver friends, you don’t have to limit yourself to other nannies. Do you have a friend, sister or cousin who’s a stay-at-home mom with kids close in age to your charges? Why not invite her over? (As always, make sure your boss is OK with it first.)
Take a class. See if your employer will pay for a class at the local park district or somewhere else where you might meet local nannies. Even if you don’t make a nanny connection, classes are a great way for you and your charges to get out of the house and socialize.
Go online. We’re not suggesting taking out a Craigslist ad or anything else potentially suspicious. But legitimate online gathering places such as Facebook’s Nanny Care Tribe are a few good resources for meeting other area nannies. And it bears repeating: Make sure your employer is cool with it first.
If you hit a few roadblocks, don’t worry — developing a nanny network takes time! And it’s well worth the effort in the long run.