Good news royal watchers: The search is over and Kate Middleton has finally found "the one." Any new mother who goes the nanny route knows that once one becomes a mom, "the one" is no longer her husband. The "one" is her nanny. That’s because it’s hard to find the right person with whom to entrust your little prince. Surely Princess Catherine felt the same way, especially because her little prince actually is a little prince.
I consider myself somewhat of an expert on hiring nannies. That’s because I’ve hired many myself. Before we hired Carmen, who has worked for our family for over three years (whose nickname in our house is Saint Carmen), I had four terrible nannies in a row. Maybe I didn’t know what to look for in a nanny or maybe I just had terrible luck. Regardless, it’s life-changing to find “the one,” for mom and for the kids.
Under the best of circumstances, a nanny is an extension of the parents and really does become a part of the family. Since I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I finally found my Nanny Charming, I thought I’d offer Princess Catherine and Prince William a bit of advice on having a successful relationship with their nanny. Because as any mom knows once you find the one, you definitely don’t want to lose her.
1. Don't micro-manage. This may be the first baby you’ve raised, but it’s not the first baby your nanny’s raised. If you’ve hired an experienced professional, you don’t need to give her daily detailed instructions on how to raise your child. Chances are she already knows.
2. Pay your nanny well. There is no one more important to parents than their children, yet we pay those who take care of them the least. A few extra dollars an hour may not make a huge difference to you, but it will be the difference between hiring someone who’s just fine vs. someone who’s great.
As long as you’re kind and fair, you’re doing the right thing.
3. Remember, this is her job. At your job you get sick days and vacation time and a holiday bonus. So why shouldn’t your nanny? Remember, you want her to want to work with your family. Treat her like you want to be treated at work. She’s taking care of your kid, after all.
4. Choose your battles. If your nanny does things differently than you do, but your kids are happy, safe, well-rested and well-fed, who cares? Life’s short and your kids are happy. That’s all that matters.
5. Don't be threatened if she does some things better than you. Being a new mom is difficult and exhausting. Plus, this is the first time you’ve had a kid. Not so for your nanny. Plus, she wasn’t up all night with your teething kid like you were. So she’s going to be better than you are at a few things. That’s why you hired her! Watch and learn. It doesn’t mean you’re not a great mom yourself.
6. Encourage your kids to love her. If your kids are sad when your nanny leaves at the end of the day, consider yourself lucky. That means they’re connected and comfortable with her. Better than them being weepy and missing you all day, right?
7. Don't be afraid to be the boss. It’s wonderful to be friendly with your nanny, but that doesn’t mean you're friends. Sometimes she’s going to ask for things, and you’re going to have to say no. As long as you’re kind and fair, you’re doing the right thing.
And last but not least, don’t feel guilty that you have a nanny. It may not take a village to raise a child, but it definitely takes a kingdom. A good mom knows when she needs help, and there’s nothing wrong with having help when you’re a mom.