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This whole nanny thing | Part 2
7 November 2017
Qualities to look for are a good attitude, honesty, reliability, shows initiative and a willingness to communicate and do the tasks the mother’s way. Her work ethic and attitude. Skills can always be taught. Remember to trust your gut instinct when making your choice.
Last week I wrote about our journey of finding a nanny and how it has changed my life – yes, yes I should’ve known how amazing it would be, but it was hard for me, and I know it has been hard for others.
A lot of this thinking began after I had some really good chats with a blog reader-turned-lovely-friend about this exact topic. After the birth of her first child came the whole work/mom/nanny/stay-home/work-from-home line of thinking (all too familiar for most moms). Now given the enormous responsibility of undoubtedly the most precious thing/s in your life – how do we navigate forward – in a healthy, balanced, financially viable and sane way? Often the idea of hiring a nanny enters the picture.
Besides all the nitty-gritty admin of very important things to consider, such as paying them a LIVABLE wage and not just a minimum wage (come on), to registering for UIF, nanny agencies and placements, referrals, interviews and interview questions… when it comes down to the actual one-on-one TIME with your CHILD – training is KEY. This is why I sent our nanny on Nanny Training with Super Nannies.
Super Nannies have been supporting families and empowering nannies since 2006. They offer nanny training in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria.
The team consists of a group of moms who understand the value of empowering nannies and how important it is to find the right support for your home. They are passionate about upskilling nannies not just within the homes where they work, but in their larger community as well.
So what did my nanny learn? How has she been upskilled? What exactly was discussed?
This is what was covered in the lessons my nanny attended:
- The role of a nanny.
- The importance in following a mother’s routine
- Child safety – Being aware of the hazards in and out the home.
- Understanding the implications and precautions of HIV and TB.
- First Aid, CPR and handling childhood emergencies.
- Essential infant care – sleeping, bathing, nappy changing, burbing, crying.
- Nutrition and weaning
- Hygiene and sterilization of bottles
- The importance of play
- Gross and Fine Motor Stimulation
- (read the full breakdown here)
The nanny training comprises of four training modules. Three hours one morning a week over a four week period or two modules a day for two full days to cover all four training modules (we did the two full days).
And…how did it go?
While I think my nanny was a bit hesitant (and nervous) when I’d told her I’d like her to attend training – I reassured her it was not because she was doing a bad job, she was doing a wonderful job – but I wanted her to feel valued, appreciated and to be given the chance to learn. And boy, was she chuffed arriving at work with her Super Nannies Certificate.
As recommended, I dropped her off at the training venue myself so I could meet the trainer and make sure my nanny felt comfortable and settled. After each day of training I received email updates about what was covered and what homework my nanny was given, and what I should check and follow up on – and where I can help her myself. Initially I felt a little ‘motherly’ checking up on her ‘homework’ but it could not have been more different. We engaged with what she had been doing well, what could be done differently, and it really gave us a safe platform to communicate well and discuss without judgement and awkwardness. And while the results have been wonderfully obvious in some ways, it is in the small things where the change is really happening: baby stimulation, confidence in cooking and which food to give our little one, the balance between cleaning and caring, and safety at home. One day while I was at work, I remembered I’d collected a bucket of water in the shower and I’d forgotten to pour in the toilet (water restrictions you know). I called my nanny in a PANIC about our little one crawling and possibly falling in (and drowning – I shudder at even typing the word) and my nanny had already done it. I’m certain it would have been the discussions on safety in the home and drowning that would have immediately alerted her to the danger.
We now have an up-to-date medical aid kit, I am able to give instructions without feeling bossy or demanding, and while I am rushing around the house in the morning our nanny is closing doors behind me so bunk bed ladders are not climbed and small Lego is not swallowed. Emergency numbers are in plain site on our fridge. Our nanny is more confident – as am I. (You’d think after 3 kids I’d remember to cook on the back plate, or get plug covers for our plugs – but it was my nanny who gently made the suggestions…)
My recommendation is to really partner with your nanny in this process. The outcome will be a hundred fold. It’s easy to ‘outsource’ the training as if your nanny now has the ability to read your mind a bit clearer. But that is not the case. Discussing everything with your nanny, going through her manual and making your lists about what to ‘clean’ and what to ‘tidy’ (I hadn’t even thought of the difference before, and my unspoken expectations around it…) – that is where the change happens. My floor is now always clean, because she knows it’s important to me. And it makes me so, so happy.
Something that I read on the Super Nannies website before we interviewed our nanny, was:
– It’s important to prioritise your family’s needs and then look for a nanny with the right skills. There is no such thing as the perfect nanny.
– Qualities to look for are a good attitude, honesty, reliability, shows initiative and a willingness to communicate and do the tasks the mother’s way. Her work ethic and attitude. Skills can always be taught. Remember to trust your gut instinct when making your choice.
Good Luck as you walk this road. Know it can be a generously beautiful one.