Taking care of your mental health as a Nanny

It’s really lovely when a family who you work with make an effort to take care of you. My previous Nanny job was I think one of the best I have ever had. They had never had a Nanny before, yet treated me impeccably. I know of many families who have never had a Nanny before and will use that as an excuse if they don’t treat the Nanny the way he or she should be treated.

Not long into this position, one day I had messaged the parents who were at work at the time, saying that I just put their little one down for a nap. I like to let the parents know what’s going on, especially at the start to put any worries at ease. Minutes later I get a text back from the Muma Bear thanking me. She told me to go make myself a hot chocolate and put my feet up.

I was pretty stunned by this to be honest. It wasn’t the idea of getting a hot chocolate, but simply the idea that she knew it was important for me to rest.

I like to remind myself of this time and how important it is for other families to be like this with their nannies. So, in this article, I talk about how important it is for all nannies to stand up for themselves and how to ensure better treatment.

You can be sad around children

I believe that it is important for children to see us happy and sad. We are not robot cartoonists, we are human. I remember when I was in my last year of childcare studies. My Mother had just passed away and I was determined to finish my year as I knew how proud she would be of me. One day, I was called into the office where my lecturer had a chat with me. She said she had reports of me being a little quiet when I was in nurseries gaining work experience. Somewhere during her talk she said “You need to be happy Mary-Anne”. Like, what? So I felt like I had to go about telling children to feel their emotions and let everything out. Yet I couldn’t do this? I wish I could go back now and stand up for myself.

I’m not saying you have to go out your way to depress children. However we need to show them that we are beings with thoughts and feelings too. Say no, I have a sore back right now so I cannot pick you up. Say I am feeling a little tired, I am going to make myself a tea and I will be back in a few minutes. Say, hey kiddo, I lost my Dog over the weekend and I am feeling a little sad today, let’s have an easy day, okay?

Encourage children to care for you and understand your feelings just like you do for them.

Personal days

I remember a time when I worked with the previous family I told you about where I was feeling really overwhelmed. Alongside working with them, I had picked up a second family working with twins. It was lovely, but very exhausting. I had a really rough day with the twins and by the next day I was feeling burnout and emotional. I texted the family and told them how I was feeling. This isn’t something I wanted to do a lot but it is important for all nannies to do this when they need it. The family was very understanding, and they told me to get some rest and have a movie day.

Please, if you are feeling burnout, ask for a personal day and never ever let a family make you feel bad for this. You are not just “the help” you are a part of the family and your all round health should be a massive importance to them.

We, not for

Notice how I always say that I work with a family? Technically yes, I am the busy worker bee, but we should be working as a team with families. We aren’t the underdogs working for someone, we are a collective unit working together to raise the best little humans.

Get paid on time

This shouldn’t happen at all. I can’t tell you how many times when I was starting out where I was supposed to be paid on the Friday, and I would come into work on the Monday morning, with still having received nothing. Dudes and dudetts, this is not okay. Having a nanny means you can afford it, so the money is there. It’s important that you call them and ask what’s going on. I know this can be a little scary to do for some of you but it’s so important to stand your ground. If you are worried about what to say think of it like a sandwich.

Start- postive note, middle- negative note, end- positive.

Feel free to use this as an example.

“Hey there Mr something something, I hope you are well, I had a great day with the kids on Friday and they were so well behaved! I’m just wondering if you can make sure you send over my Nanny payment (or whatever you call it) on the day we agreed to. This is super important for me to continue working with your family. I’m having so much fun with the girls and I can’t wait to see them on Tuesday”

Never be spoken to without 100% respect

It doesn’t matter how tired a parent is, or what is going on in their life. Never allow them to raise their voice or speak to you in a way that is not kind. It can be intimating, some parents are good at getting away with it, or sometimes it feels like it’s easier not to say anything because you don’t want to ruffle any feathers. Yet you know how much you will regret not saying something and sticking up for yourself in the future. You are a luxury, there are always other families out there to work with, they are the one’s that need you.

Be a kick ass Nanny!

Got any Nanny horror stories?

I am a Scottish Nanny in lockdown and I am in need of entertainment. Got any juicy stories? I would love to hear them! Please fill my comments section with some fun, good or bad stories from your nannying career.

Hope you enjoyed my article! If you liked that and want to read some more of my wisdom, check these out!

The ultimate list of easy lunch idea’s for toddlers!

A love poem to my Nanny kiddos

How I keep my body confidence up around kids

Nanny M x

3 Replies to “Taking care of your mental health as a Nanny”

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