A nanny / family relationship is similar in many ways to a marriage. Things start our wonderfully and pretty much stay that way throughout the honeymoon period. Then real life sets in and some of the shine wears off. Not every expectation is met, feelings get hurt, hot buttons get pushed, each party is at times selfish, clueless and annoying.
And like marriage, this is normal. It doesn’t mean it’s time to break-up, it doesn’t mean you made a bad choice, it doesn’t mean it’s never going to get any better. It just means you’re going through a rough spot.
To get over that patch and back on solid ground, here are a few things you can do.
1. Remember why you hired the nanny or took the job in the first place. It’s easy to lose sight of all the good things when all you focus on is the bad.
2. Practice gratitude.
3. See your nanny or boss as a whole person. Remember that he or she isn’t just your employee or employer but could also be a spouse, a parent, a child and an employee. That’s a lot of balls to have in the air.
4. Accept that your nanny or employer isn’t perfect. Or even close to perfect. But that’s OK because neither are you.
5. Take the first step in moving towards a more positive place. Sometimes all it takes is showing the other person you’re willing to move past whatever is keeping you stuck for the relationship to get back on track.
6. Cut your caregiver or boss some slack, even when he or she is a jerk. We all are at times, jerks. And we all deserve compassion and forgiveness.
7. Don’t keep score. Tracking how many times the other person did this, didn’t do that or made you feel a certain way is a recipe for disaster.
8. Keep your sense of humor. Without it, you’ll never survive in the nanny/family relationship.
Some rough spots are indicators of a bigger problem. But many are just the growing pains of a relationship and lead to a better, more deeper understanding of each other.