Last year threw many people completely unprepared into a world of working from home. Even though there are COVID-19 vaccines and the world is working toward recovery, are still a lot of people working from home.
A number of companies have said they’ll keep employees at home indefinitely because it just makes sense for everyone.
If you have kids and you work from home, it might have initially seemed great, but by now, you could be realizing you need help. Your kids may be younger, or they could be school-aged but doing virtual learning.
There are some important things to realize that are unique about hiring a nanny when you from home.
First, you still have to do a thorough background check and check of their driving record. You may think that since you’ll be home, it’s not as important, but it absolutely is. This person will be in your home and may also be driving your children to activities. They should have a clear criminal and driving record with that in mind.
Beyond that, the following are some other things to know about hiring a nanny when you work from home.
Understand the Benefits
Parents and especially moms may feel guilty about hiring childcare help when they work from home. If that’s the case with you, you absolutely shouldn’t feel that way.
When you hire help, even when you’re at home, it can help you have uninterrupted work time, which will improve your productivity and performance. Then, you’ll be able to truly disconnect and be present with your kids when you aren’t working.
Trying to divide your attention is going to make all areas of your life suffer.
You can also leave home if you need to for meetings or errands without scrambling to arrange childcare.
Not every nanny is going to want to work for a family where you’re there while they’re working, and that’s okay. You want to be clear in your job description and throughout the hiring process that this will be the case, so no one is caught off guard.
You should set expectations right away and let your nanny know how you see things going.
When you’re creating a job description, it gives you the chance to think about what you really want and need.
It’s not fair to hire a nanny without even knowing what your true needs are.
For example, maybe as you sit down to write a job description, you realize you just need someone for a few hours rather than full time.
Create a Designated Workspace For Yourself
If you’re working at the kitchen table and your nanny is trying to give your kids lunches at the same spot, it’s going to create obvious challenges. It will be distracting for you, but your kids are also going to want your attention if you’re right there.
You need to create a separate workspace if you don’t already have one.
This will help with establishing boundaries as well.
You can start to create a routine and some separation from your work and home life.
For example, in the mornings, maybe you say bye to your kids as if you’re leaving and you go to your office.
Then, you might have lunch with them and go back to work.
That sense of separation is going to help your kids start to learn the routine and not to depend on you as much throughout the day when the nanny is there.
Maybe you even have a Do Not Disturb sign that you use on your office door, so your kids learn to let you work.
It’s really important that you work on operating your day as if you are heading to an outside office. If you have your own boundaries that you respect for yourself, then your nanny and kids are more likely to respect those boundaries as well.
When your nanny arrives in the morning, go over a quick game plan for the day.
Let her know what your needs are and what your schedule is going to look like. Then, tell her what your ideas are for how she schedules the day with the kids.
Let Your Nanny Do Their Job
You may have the opposite problem from having your kids bothering you throughout the day when the nanny is there.
You might instead have trouble letting go and letting the nanny be in charge.
It’s really important to let your nanny show that she is in charge, even though you’re home.
You shouldn’t intervene in any situations with your nanny and your children unless you absolutely have to. For example, if you hear your child having a tantrum, let your nanny handle it.
Create boundaries and let your nanny know the situations it’s okay to get you and when you expect her to handle it on her own.
Be very specific when you’re setting boundaries. Don’t avoid having a conversation about boundaries and then get upset when your nanny isn’t a mind reader about what you expect.
Tell Your Nanny If You’re Going to Use a Nanny Cam
You might want to use a nanny cam even if you’re working from home. This might actually be more for your own sake. You can keep an eye on things, so rather than running in and intervening every time you hear crying, you can give yourself peace of mind by checking the camera.
If you are going to do that, tell your nanny where your nanny cam is at.
Finally, once you’re more comfortable with your nanny, you can encourage her to get and out about with your children.
Maybe she heads to the local park or playground, for example, or takes your kids to scheduled events.
This is a good thing for everyone, and you don’t want her to feel like she always has to stay in the house, as long as she has a vehicle and a safe driving record.