Since I am a working mom, it is inevitable for us to hire a house hold help to look after our child while we are away for work. I thought finding a good nanny was easy peasy, so we didn’t look for one while I was still pregnant, which was a rookie mistake. With the help of my mother in law, we found one, a few months after I gave birth.
Everything was okay in the beginning. However, due to some misunderstandings, I needed to ask her to leave our home. Here are some of the things I had learned from this experience.
SET THE RULES ON DAY ONE.
Have a mini new hire orientation if you may. Tell her what is expected of her, what tasks are needed to be done, your schedule, and the things you value. Discuss what she or she may not use inside your home. For instance, would it be okay for her to use some of your toiletries for personal use? Make sure that you set even small things like this clear.
LET HER KNOW HER PLACE.
Make sure to maintain the employer-employee relationship. I made a huge mistake welcoming our helper in our home a little too much. Ensure that she is reminded that she lives under your roof and she should be able to comply with your house rules.
NEVER BE TOO KIND.
I often give in to what our helper demands back then – extended vacation, borrowing money, etc. without realizing that it then became a habit. Show too much kindness and this often gets abused.
Know where they are coming from. I had observed that our helper was always in a bad mood and is always a little grumpy which was a little irritating. I tried to let go of these little things as I do not want to be involved in any heated arguments. I talked to her one afternoon, and found out about her family problems. Keep in mind that they do not have their family with them and try to understand some of their short comings. Try to be in their shoes to somehow maintain a smooth sailing relationship.
MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
You hired a human, not wonder woman. Taking care of a kid is tiring itself. You had the first hand experience on this. Try to understand that she needs your help too or if there are tasks that she may not be able to do on time.
TEACH THEM NEW THINGS.
They will surely appreciate it. If there are tips you could share on how to do some tasks easier, tell her. This will benefit the both of you.
GIVE THEM FAIR COMPENSATION.
Give them decent compensation and benefits. Give paid leaves. Encourage them to apply for their Philhealth and SSS. As an employer, you would also want your helpers to achieve something in life, buy something for themselves, or for their families.
NEVER PRACTICE THE ACT OF BORROWING MONEY.
Our helper borrowed money from us during her first week. She told me that she needed the money to have her house fixed. She borrowed money again because her husband was sick, then her mother sick, the list goes on. In the beginning, she was borrowing money for emergencies which is why I allowed it. Later on, she was borrowing money to purchase a mobile phone or to spend on a vacation she longed planned for.
Try to discourage her borrowing money from you. Through this, you are also teaching her to save a little something from her salary and not to depend on you too much.
HAVE A CCTV INSTALLED.
My colleague once told me, if you are having CCTV installed to protect your car or your other belongings, you need it more to ensure the safety of your child. Makes perfect sense.
ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B.
You hear stories every now and then that the fact that we need our nannies so badly, it sometimes gets into their head. This is so true. Make sure that you have a back up plan, someone you could trust to look after your child, so that when that attitude shows up, you could politely ask them to leave your home to find a new employer who would tolerate their misbehavior. Always have a Plan B. Always.
Having to fire our nanny then was not an easy decision. I prayed and asked for God’s guidance because I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. At the end of the day, I realized that I should not save a space for ungrateful people in my life.
I know finding a good nanny is a bit of a challenge, but hang in there Mommies!