Navigating a Divorce When You Have a Nanny: Tips for Employers
You worked hard to find a nanny your family loves. Now you’re getting a divorce, and you want to make sure she stays with you through what could be a bumpy road ahead.
Even if you and your spouse are separating on good terms, a breakup is still challenging for everyone involved, including your nanny. Here are some tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Make Sure Your Nanny Understands New Expectations
A divorce puts additional challenges on your nanny, who will need to be even more organized and flexible. Ease the transition for your nanny by clearly explaining your expectations of her and how the two households will function.
Keep It Neutral
Your nanny’s job is to care for the kids and make life easier for the whole family. No matter how she might feel personally about the situation between you and your spouse, never ask your nanny to mediate arguments, and don’t put her in the awkward position of having to take sides. Your nanny needs to remain neutral in order to adequately care for your kids.
Don’t Expect Your Nanny to Be Your Messenger
If you’re not on good terms with your spouse, whether because you’re working through child custody issues or because you don’t communicate well with each other, your nanny could end up being your messenger. Regardless of the situation between you and your ex, it’s up to you to work out plans and schedules together and designate who will communicate things to your nanny. Don’t expect your nanny (or, worse, your kids) to tell your ex you can’t make it to a recital or won’t be available for the weekend.
Create a Master Calendar
If your nanny is responsible for managing your family’s calendar, consolidating your calendar with your ex will help your nanny stay on track. Using an online calendar is a good option, since both you and your ex can access and update it as needed. Include all your kids’ activities, doctor and dentist appointments, school exams, special projects, school functions, etc.
Update Your Nanny’s Work Agreement
You should update your nanny’s work agreement to incorporate any changes to her work schedule and responsibilities. For example, if your nanny’s original contract required her to accompany your family on family vacations, and this will no longer be the case, update the contract to reflect this. Also outline changes in salary, paid time off, etc., in her updated work agreement.
Create Similar Environments in Each Home
Getting a divorce doesn’t mean the rules you and your spouse created together for your kids disappear—you’re still co-parents. Maintaining similar expectations at each home will help your nanny enforce the rules. If kids are allowed an hour of screen time at mom’s house, they should be allowed an hour of screen time at dad’s, too.
Try to create a familiar environment in each home. Buying duplicate toys, books, clothes, toiletries, and other personal items will help your kids feel more comfortable wherever they are, and it will make it easier for your nanny to develop consistent routines in each household.
Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster for everyone involved. Your nanny can help your family through the process by providing essential childcare and support through the transition, but she’ll need guidance and clear communication to make it work. Try to stay positive and neutral throughout the transition.
Find a Professional Nanny to Help with the Transition
If your nanny decides to part ways with your family or the new situation isn’t amenable to her staying, Staffing at Tiffanie’s can help you find a suitable replacement. We’re one of the leading nanny placement agencies in the country. We use a rigorous screening process to find the most qualified candidates in your area. Contact us today to find a nanny for your family.