One of the reasons Kellie and I feel strongly about this project is that we both believe that THE HARDEST part of being a nanny, nanny manager, household manager, newborn care specialist or even a babysitter is managing the relationship between the family and the nanny.
Ask anyone in the business. It’s not the kids or the poopy diapers. It’s not the long hours or lack of advancement. What gets to you is navigating this intensely personal and profoundly professional line between employer/employee and family. It’s tough.
There are many things you can do to help. Strong communication skills, setting and maintaining boundaries, mutual respect are just the start. And that is where we feel the journal can be a tool that can work wonders.
When you keep a journal you signal to your employers that you take this seriously. Your journal can demonstrate, on a daily basis, that you have a plan and set goals. That the activities you do with the children provide more than just custodial care. These seemingly everyday things provide intentional developmental support.
By putting this down on paper (or using an app or program if that is what works best), you not only bring it to their attention, you also do so in a way that makes it possible to detect patterns. You can demonstrate at a performance review that you consistently provide enrichment and support. You very concretely show them that you work very hard all day.
You may have noticed that on Our Nanny Diary pages we include nanny hours. This is so that you keep track, legally required. But also so that you can demonstrate, without accusing and in a professional manner, that you have worked 15 minutes late for the last 4 weeks and it is an issue to discuss.
You may have noticed on Our Nanny Diary pages we include categories like Cognitive and Gross Motor. We do this to show that you are planning a well rounded day and that the play has a deeper, more educational purpose.
You may have noticed that we have spaces for gentle reminders- notes and what has to be done this week. This is so that you can all think ahead and communicate not only spoken or in texts, but also written the things that can slip through the crack.
Keeping a journal lets you communicate in a emotionally free way about the nuts and bolts of what is happening. This is the foundation for a good relationship.