Being a nanny is an amazing career that comes with many rewards, such as watching the children in your care grow and learn. However, there can be issues that arise that challenge us and may not have to do with the direct care of the children; such as jealousy. Have you been in a situation where someone was jealous of you? What if that person is your employer? Have you ever thought that perhaps your employer could be a little jealous of the relationship you have with her children? Believe it or not, jealousy is more common than you may think.
Parents want their children to be in the best care possible, with many stimulating activities and learning opportunities. However, seeing their children excited to see the nanny arrive in the morning and sad to see you leave in the evening can stir up some jealousy. This can especially be the case with a working mom who wishes she could stay home with her children but needs to work.
Is it even possible for a child to love their nanny more than their own parent? In my professional nanny experience, I would say children love their parents and family most of all. However it is a struggle within an indiviual person and some parents may feel differently than I do. In an article titled, “Will my baby prefer the nanny over me?”, the author Colleen Cancio talks about how it’s important to keep in mind that although feelings of jealousy toward a nanny may creap up from time to time, they are almost always short-lived. Most parents whose babies love their nanny soon realize that a strong nanny/baby bond is essential to the well-being of their child.
Alison Hart, shared her personal feelings of jealousy in a piece titled, “I’m Jealous of my Nanny”. She stated how she felt when she would look at pictures her nanny took of her baby during the day while she was at work. She said that viewing the pictures made her happy that her baby was having so much fun, yet sad because she wasn’t there to experience them with her baby.
There are two very important things I have learned over the years that may be hard for nannies to not do.
1. Leave the kisses for the parents, as much as we would love to kiss your charges adorable faces, they are not your children, and those kisses should be something special for parents and children.
2. Those three words: ‘I love you’ should also be something special that is spoken between parents and children, instead I choose to use the word care instead of love. By telling parents that I deeply care for their precious children, I’m letting them know how dear the children are to me while respecting their special child-parent relationship.
I think the key for nannies is to be aware of the parents’ feelings, especially the mother’s. Some moms have to work which makes it harder for them because they are very aware of the fact that they are missing out on a good part of their children’s lives.
- Be patient and kind, talk about what their child(ren) did that day and not just what you did with them.
- Make special cards or trinkets for mom from the children
- Establish an open line of communication
- Ask, often, how you can help her if she is feeling jealous and missing her children
As you’re taking care of your charges that you care for so much, remember the love between a parent and child is stronger than any. You can remind parents of that by showing excitement with the children when they come home from work. As children get older they will have the words to tell Mom and Dad how much they love them, but until then you are there to help. If you would like help with more difficult conversations and learn how to deal with them professionally, please check out CareAcademy’s Professional Nanny Certification.
Nanny Sheri Lopez graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and, in 1992, received a B.A. in Business. Over 32 years she has obtained certifications from 52 different programs, including: Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Nanny Training, Certified Newborn Care Specialist Training, Certified Infant Massage Teacher, Certified Baby Signing Time Instructor, Certified American Red Cross CPR, first aid & AED Instructor, National Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification and she passed the International Nanny Association Basic Skills Exam, as well as the Credentialed Exam.