Friends, this is the first episode of the third season of The Nanny Podcast. I am so psyched you are here with me. Let’s start this season with something a little different.
This episode is a hands on exercise, if you want to do it and play with me, you need something to write with and something to write on. Today I am going to ask you a question. And you might think it’s silly, or wonder what it has to do with being a nanny, and I am going to ask you to bear with me, hear me out. You will know more in a minute. If you are up for playing with me, grab a pen and paper and write down your answers as we go along.
My question is, who are you? And I bet you have many answers. Of course there are many sides and parts to you. Zoom in and out with me. First we zoom out. From a far away perspective, who are you? Where do you come from, what is your background, in broad strokes, what are things that make you the special person you are like lifestyle, age, experience, interests, education, history. The big and broad things. Write down these big blocks as they are, raw and without detail. That’s where we start, zoomed out with the big blocks of who we are. Take a moment to write it down. Pause this and write down your big blocks. Where are you from. Where have you lived. Where have you been. What are five big things about you that make you you.
Now you have your big blocks. And very quickly what you are going to want to do is add details, because we are three dimensional beings, we are not only one way. We go more than one way. I am this, but also this. I am Swedish but I don’t feel it. Immediately you know there is a story there. There is depth there. That’s me. And very quickly your values start to come in, they start demanding your attention and adding dimension and refinement to the broad strokes, and that’s wonderful. Go with it. Let’s zoom in a little. So now take your big blocks and add some detail and if you have them, like most of us do, add some contradictions. I am this but with this. I am a mother and a runner. I love my family but like that I am two hours away. I am an uncle and a butler. Write down some detail in the big blocks. You can pause again while you do it.
The reason I want us to do this exercise is because I want you, nannies, housekeepers, PA’s, chefs, professionals who work in a domestic setting to think about who you are and what sets you apart from everyone else so that you can use that when you apply for your next job. And bring it with you in it.
Ok, so let’s zoom some more. Give me some details. Think of a mosaic. Take one of the big blocks, a detail or two with a twist of values and zoom in a little more. I am a mom of three kids, the most important thing in the world to me is raising capable, loving kind people. That in itself tells you a lot about a person. So add some detail, value and story to your self portrait.
Now take every job position you have had that you have on your CV and do the same. The big block. The details. The value. Make it a three dimensional object that helps tell your story. Don’t make it long, make the gleaming details work for you to in a very efficient way tell way more about you and the job than a long winded description would.
And now the next time you are applying for a job, you have some words to use to set yourself apart, you have details about yourself and your experience that sets you apart from other candidates. And that is going to make you a much more attractive candidate than others, when you stand out in a good way you grab the attention of people who come across your profile, and if you stick in their mind, again, in a good way, they might end up being part of your success story.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. If you want like to register with us, are curious about our programs or would like to work with me, visit the nanny section on rivieranannies.fr and sign up for any of the things we have there for you :) And don’t forget to connect with me on social media, I’m @rivieranannies on all platforms including tiktok, come and connect with me :)
I will see you next time.
Is google your friend?
Today I want to talk to you about figuring out who people are, using simple tools like search engines online. Always a good first step to start building the image of the person you are trying to figure out.
First I want to tell you that all the things you find are clues to build the image of the person you are trying to figure out. Try to see it from an as objective place as you can, it will help you get a better idea.
Many years ago I got divorced. When I was looking for an attorney to represent me I did some digging on them before making my choice. When I googled the lawyer I ended up working with I found a hate blog dedicated to spewing anger and hateful rhetoric about him. I went further down the rabbit hole and found that the person writing the blog was a guy whose ex wife had been represented by the lawyer in their divorce. In this case, negative publicity helped me make the decision to hire this guy. Negative information isn’t always bad, it helps paint the picture.
So when you google someone, look at all the information. When I look at review sites to find a hotel or a restaurant I always read the bad reviews, because I want to know if what people don’t like matter to me. Slow service is not something that bothers me, but a dirty kitchen is. It might be the same for you, or it might be different. It’s the same with people.
So if you are looking into someone, a nanny or a family that you are looking to work with you want to figure out what your priorities are, what is important to you, and when you start looking into the information there is to find, weigh them there.
Look at the sources, who are they? What are they saying about the person.
When my daughter was in preschool in California there was a teacher there who had a criminal record for years and years ago being in possession of pot. We were all informed about it when we applied, to make our own choice. If she had a violent record, it would have been an entirely different choice to make.
It might be helpful to make a visual, either a graph or a visual representation you relate to with the information about a person, about the gist and gesture you get from different sources. How are they presenting themselves on social media? What do their non fans say? What do their fans say? Their records?
Add it all, objectively, to make a clear picture that you can use as a base for your evaluation whether you want to collaborate with them.
I think with intention and some sleuthing skills, google is your friend. You might want to reverse engineer this and look into yourself to see what other people see and tweak accordingly. Your online presence is a part of your image, take charge of making it work in your favor, whatever that is.
Dress for the job
Today we are going to talk about something we sometimes hear from our families. That the nanny is dressed inappropriately.
So let’s start from the beginning. What is inappropriate? That depends on the situation.
Have you ever heard the expression dress for the job you want to have? When I get reported to me that nannies are dressed in short skirts, low cut tops and over the knee boots, I am not sure what job they are applying for.
To be clear, I don’t think there is anything categorically wrong dressing in any way at all. I used to go to clubs where clothing was optional or sometimes plastic wrap, I’m pretty jaded on the shock scale when it comes to dressing in alternative ways, but I do think there is a time and a place for everything.
So when you are applying for a job as a nanny, what should you wear? I would say, to start, go conservative and neutral. Then read the situation and go from there. I once had a manny interview with me who showed up in a suit and tie. I wondered, what does he think the job is? Does he think it’s a desk job in an office?
If you are going to be playing with kids, dress accordingly. I had a nanny show up for a job in a long tight dress. That’s great for a party, not great for taking care of toddlers.
Same with heels. Same with suits.
If your intention is not to seduce one of the parents, don’t dress like that’s what you intend to do.
Some families have a dress code, most appreciate discretion and function.
Now you know what I think, what do you think?
The way to kindness and compassion.
Today we are going to talk about the simplest way to kindness and compassion. It’s something that means a lot to me. I try to do it every chance I get :)
I hear comments from both nannies and families, as well as parents and kids, it’s all connected, about how they want to be appreciated. How they want to be heard and seen. Acknowledged, as they are.
It is quite rare that people ask for or expect expensive gifts or big bonuses as a token of appreciation. I’m sure lots of people want that too, but from my anecdotal collection of data it seems more important to most people to be seen and heard than to get material compensation as a thank you for being awesome.
What all these people want is to be seen and appreciated. I would even go so far as to say that all people want to be seen and appreciated for what is important to them. A mother wants to be appreciated as a good mother to her kids. She wants her efforts seen and heard. Professionals want to be acknowledged for the work they do whether it is launching rockets or waiting tables. As a nanny it is important to get to hear that your family appreciates all the love and all the things you bring to their kids. It’s important for everyone to be appreciated at work, and in your private life.
So isn’t it awkward saying nice things for no apparent reason? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be :)
I think the key is authenticity. Say things that are real, not exaggerated and that you mean.
As a nanny, you know what is important to your family. I am sure you know where your family might feel insecure, what kind words would mean a lot to them. Tell them something nice. Be sincere. Be thankful and generous.
And as a family, tell your nanny how you appreciate her. I am sure there are lots of things he or she brings to your family that you are so thankful for. Maybe you are thankful for how they make you feel safe. How your child gets exactly what they need. Maybe it’s a specific activity that you like that they do. Maybe it’s something they taught you about yourself. It’s not hard to find.
You see what happens when you do these very small, simple, huge and free gestures, you connect. You do something that makes another person feel good about themselves. And when people feel good in a situation, in a relationship, they go above and beyond what is expected of them and what they have to do.
So think of some nice things to say to your nanny or your family. Be specific and authentic and see their souls thrive.
Today we are going to talk about governesses.
Sometimes there is a bit of confusion to what a governess is. We recently had a client say they needed a housekeeper or a governess. That’s kind of like saying you need bananas or batteries. Completely different things :)
So let’s talk about what a governess is and isn’t.
A governess is a teacher. It is a quite old fashioned position in a household that is much less common now than it was in Victorian England.
A governess is responsible for a child’s education and usually looks after older kids than a nanny does, but a governess can work with children as young as three. Often there is a nanny working in parallel with a governess because their duties are quite different.
A governess is traditionally responsible for the children’s education, whether it is a well rounded knowledge in English, Maths, Music and the Arts or social things like etiquette and manners. A great governess would teach life and social skills as well as basic academia.
The governesses that we have in our database are highly educated, often teachers with further education and their own specialties that stand out. They often speak several languages and know how to carry themselves in all kinds of situations. The families that hire governesses nowadays are not your average families.
Governesses don’t do nursery duties, but form a child’s all around educational experience, with a deep knowledge of child development.
As you can imagine a governess makes quite a bit more money than the average nanny, figures showing about four to five times more depending on the job, it’s a highly qualified and specialized job that is in many ways quite different from nannying.
If you are listening and thinking, wow, what an inspiring job, I want that to be my career, depending on what your qualifications look like now you might be closer or further away from that possibly being true for you. If you would like help making out your road map, we offer that service for you and you can email me to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nanny vs. Daycare
This week we are going to talk about some of the differences between nanny and daycare as childcare options. This is I suppose geared towards families making the choice, and can be helpful for nannies both as a perspective, but also to have a leg to stand on when negotiating and talking to a family.
Let’s jump right in :)
The first thing that we should talk about is the big elephant in the room, cost.
Having a private nanny for your child is most likely going to cost you a lot more than if they were in daycare. But not always. Depending on how many hours you do it will make more or less of a difference, but in general, a nanny is more expensive than daycare.
The second big question for me as a parent is how much your kid is going to be sick when they are little. There are many variables there, but in general a child in daycare is sick a lot more than one that is with a nanny. But of course, if you are lucky enough to find a daycare where parents don’t bring their kids when they are sick and follow good guidelines, then they might not be as sick as with a nanny who is not well versed in hygiene and illness prevention. But again, generally, for the first year or so, a kid in daycare is sick a lot more than one with a nanny, which might even end up costing you a lot more in lost work time, so a lot of the money saved putting a child in daycare might be lost in sickdays where you either miss work or have to get a, wait for it, nanny.
Getting your child socialized, able to make friends, share toys and function in a group happens organically in most daycares. But, on the other hand when you have a great nanny, he or she will be taking part in playgroups, meet with other kids, learn basic social skills, including good manners and interacting with others, so in this case I think it’s more a question of having a great nanny with an intentional routine, vs how it happens kind of on its own in daycare.
Making friends is closely related to socialization where your kids will make friends from an early age. Again this happens more organically in daycare, but with some organizing you can do the same things with the same kids every week, like music or dance lessons. It’s not really the same as spending all day together though, so if this is important, daycare has the advantage.
The last point I will go over is attention. Your child will get much more personalized attention with a nanny, and this has both advantages and disadvantages depending on your point of view. And again, with a skilled and experienced nanny it will never be an issue. I know kids who have grown up without siblings and with a nanny who are perfectly well adjusted and don’t have any of the possible issues anyone who thinks too much attention can create. A great nanny will meet your kids needs in a way no daycare really can.
So what do I think you should do? I think it really depends on your situation and your values. Ideally I think being with a full time care taker for the first few years of life is beneficial. Less stress, slower pace, more focus and attention. Then going into school goes seamlessly. And if being part of the daycare community where you live is important to you, then that’s what you should do. I come from a culture where people put their kids in daycare at age one. I would personally not make that choice, and didn’t, but it seems to work for lots of people. Even though they do complain a lot of how sick their kids are all the time, so there is that part too.
Nannies, when you are talking to families these are all points you can bring up when discussing their needs and how you can help them :)