How to be a live-in-nanny

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There are many wonderful reasons to choose to be an at home caregiver. Live-in nannies experience many great perks like zero commute time, no-cost housing, and a unique opportunity to truly bond with a family. Yet with these benefits also come some obvious challenges. How can you navigate working from home in someone else’s home effectively and successfully? Here are some tips on how to be a great live-in nanny.

Communication

Before accepting a live-in position, it’s important for both nannies and parents to fully and effectively communicate their expectations and needs to ensure a healthy and happy work relationship. To avoid any awkwardness down the line, here are some great topics to cover that you may not even think of until you’ve already lived with your nanny family:
  • Toiletries: are things like toothpaste, shampoo and soap expenses your nanny family will pay for, or are you expected to purchase them yourself?
  • Vehicles: will you use the family car to transport the children to and from school and activities? If you already have your own car, will you be able to store it in their driveway or garage?
  • Guests: can you entertain friends or partners in their home?
  • Food: are you expected to chip in for the groceries, or are you included in the family meal plan? Are you expected to eat with the family if you are off the clock?
  • Spacial awareness: are their parts of the house that are off limits to you while you are not working? Are you able to watch the family TV? Are you included in their Netflix plan?

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!

I’ll say it louder for the people in the back: set boundaries! Your nanny family are not mind readers, so you will need to explicitly tell them what you are and are not comfortable with, and what you will need from them in order to successfully provide the best care for their children. As you are working from home (someone else’s home), the work-life balance may be difficult to manage. During your off hours, the children may come to find you and play or ask for something. Make sure that you enlist the parents as your partner in this to ensure you don’t have to be the one to discipline or ask for space from the children while you’re off the clock. It is also inevitable that the more you work in someone else’s home, the more responsibilities you may begin to take on. Keep a log of every new task you take on, if your job duties begin to greatly expand, you could be due for a raise. On the flip side, if it becomes too much, let your nanny family know that it’s taking away from your ability to care for their children. Set the boundary that you already have as much as you can handle on your plate. Check out our blog on creating healthy boundaries with your nanny family.

“It goes without saying that while you are living in your family’s home, you should continue to be a role model for the children even off the clock. Children learn from example, and they will be looking to you to teach them, even if it’s your day off. Remember to always clean up after yourself as you go along. ”

Set monthly meetings and check-ins

Like any roommate situation, it is important to keep a clear, open dialogue about how things are going. Setting up a monthly meeting can be a great opportunity for everyone to air out any grievances or make suggestions without it being awkward or one-sided. Just knowing that you will soon have an opportunity to bring something up can ease the tension in a situation. There may be many questions that come up long after you’ve already started working that you couldn’t have foreseen without having lived it. Make sure you don’t hold anything in, however, as this could lead to awkwardness or resentment and that’s the last thing you want with your employer, especially one that you live with!

Be mindful of your free time

It goes without saying that while you are living in your family’s home, you should continue to be a role model for the children even off the clock. Children learn from example, and they will be looking to you to teach them, even if it’s your day off. Remember to always clean up after yourself as you go along. If you are always putting away your dishes and cleaning up your messes, it will teach the children to do the same. Watch your language while you’re on the phone and don’t gossip about your family or the children, it’s very unlikely that your room would be soundproof and kids like to play spy as it is! While in the home, don’t engage in any illicit or inappropriate activities that the children could catch you at.
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While there are obstacles to face for live-in nannies, there are also a ton of benefits. Live-in nannies have the opportunity to really make an impact on children’s lives and they don’t have a commute or housing costs. If becoming a live-in nanny is something you are interested in, reach out to us! We would love to assist you in any way that we can on your job search.

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