We know that our Nannies often put the needs of others before their own needs. After all, a Nanny’s profession is centered around the care of others, the children they love, and the family they support. This is good and meaningful work! It is often loads of fun but it can also wear you out! In order to stay strong and happy (and engaged in your job), it’s important to also take the same care for yourself.
The following “55 Gentle Ways To Take Care of Yourself When You’re BUSY BUSY BUSY” is a nice list of practices. My favorites include anything to do with getting enough sleep or rest, exercise and eating well, pursuing creative endeavors, meditating, and being goofy!
This article differentiates between Self-Care, Self-Pampering (Ok!) and Self-Indulgence. Something to think about!
Take what you like and discard won’t doesn’t work for you. Make your own self-care list, do what you can, and don’t beat yourself up for not doing everything on your list. Lastly, talk to yourself with kindness and care for your own needs the way you would the children you care for!
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We are thrilled to announce our 2012 Nanny of the Year is Heather McKay! We placed Heather in a Nanny/Family Assistant job last year, and she was our August Nanny of the Month in 2012. Her family had this to say upon hearing of her win:
“Our family is thrilled to hear that Heather has been selected as Nanny/Family Assistant of the Year. She is certainly deserving of this honor. Heather provides our busy household with incredible support and organization, and always with an energetic smile. She anticipates our needs and does more than we ask. As a professional single mom, I don’t what I’d do without her! Thanks for honoring Heather.”
Heather recently came into our office to receive her award, some flowers, and a special treat! Congrats!
Childcare decisions can be daunting, whether you are a working parent needing full-time care, or a stay-at-home mom looking for babysitters and backup help. Once you’ve made the decision as to the type of care, the first step is to interview the care provider. What you would ask a nanny versus a daycare may be different, but there are some core questions you should always ask.
*REMEMBER: When choosing a childcare provider, your decision should come primarily from “gut-instinct” – not resumes and credentials.
1. Tell us about your childcare experience.
2. Why are you pursuing this work OR why did you originally choose this work?
3. Tell me about your experience with children age _________? (your children’s ages)
4. What is your philosophy about child development? (Talk about your parenting philosophy)
5. What is your discipline style? (Talk about your discipline style)
6. Describe a typical day with children age____ (your children’s ages). What kind of activities do you like to do?
7. Describe a difficult situation that you have had with a child and how you handled it.
8. What is your idea of a nutritious meal/snack?
9. What lessons did you learn from your parents about life? What strengths did you gather from them?
10. What are your fondest childhood memories?
Families and Nannies: the IRS is increasing the standard mileage deduction to $.56.5 cents/mile effective January 1st. If a Nanny drives her own vehicle on the job, she should be compensated for mileage.
Happy New Year!
The holiday season is a great time to do some cooking or baking. Vegetables and seasonal fruits are plentiful, and the cooler weather makes you want to turn on the oven! Involving children in food preparation is a great way to teach them about the holidays, to encourage healthy eating habits, and is also an educational opportunity to incorporate math, fractions, and measurements into everyday life. Follow the links below for tips and recipes. Read more »
The leaves are turning red and orange, there is a chilly breeze in the air, and you’re looking for something fun to do with the kiddies! Creative Play Plus has some great Fall activity ideas for all ages!
- Go apple picking at a local orchard.
- Bake a treat with the apples you just picked from #1: a pie, galette, applesauce, etc .
- Rake leaves, make a huge pile, and jump right in!
- Go on a hay ride.
- Roast marshmallows over a bonfire.
- Make yummy s’mores with your roasted marshmallows from #5.
- Play a neighborhood game of touch football.
- Attend a local football game, whether it’s college, high school, or pee wee.
- Enjoy a mini tailgating party before the football game from #8.
- Plant fall flower bulbs that will bloom next spring: tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, etc.
- Tour a scary haunted house.
- Visit a pumpkin patch.
- Carve the biggest pumpkin you bought at the patch from #12.
- Bake a treat with the smallest pumpkin you bought at the patch from #12: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, etc.
- Attend a fall festival.
- Host a weenie roast over an open fire.
- Go through a corn maze.
- Iron colorful leaves between two sheets of waxed paper. Display on fridge.
- Make a fall wreath.
- Go raspberry picking.
- Make a treat with your raspberries from #20: a pie, mousse, jam, etc.
- Start your holiday shopping.
- Drink hot apple cider.
- Do a fall craft.
- Make leaf rubbings.
- Take a brisk walk in the woods, fields, or city park.
- Stuff a scarecrow.
- Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.
- Make homemade marshmallows to top off your hot cocoa from #28.
- Buy or bake old-fashioned cake doughnuts to enjoy with your hot cocoa from #28.
- Identify leaves by using a good guidebook.
- Sew your own Halloween costumes.
- Visit a local candle shop and buy a fragrant, fall-scented one.
- Make an acorn necklace.
- Make a pine cone bird feeder covered with peanut butter and birdseeds.
- Read a fall-themed book (see suggestions below).
- Make a hearty soup.
- Host a clambake.
- Go bike riding, either around the block or on a bike trail.
- Watch a fall night sky.
- Take a walk on a beach (which will probably be empty) and build a sandcastle.
- Play a game of Frisbee.
- Make a list together of all the things you’re thankful for.
- Go on a fall picnic.
- Buy fall vegetables at a farm stand.
- Make something delicious with the vegetables you bought from #45, such as a carrot smoothie, squash ravioli, spinach salad, etc.
- Write a fall-themed poem together.
- Make a scrapbook about all the fun things you did together over the summer.
- Skim rocks across a pond or stream. Feed the ducks while you’re at it, too.
- Participate in a charity walk.
Many parents want to improve their child’s success in school, but how do you know if success has been achieved if you haven’t defined what it looks like (for yourself OR for your child)? Youth Eastside Services is offering a FREE class for parents on Tuesday, October 9th, from 6:30PM to 7:30PM to talk about what factors influence success in school. Topics covered will include tips on motivating kids and ways to set reasonable expectations. Reservations ARE required for this class. Check out Youth Eastside Services (YES)’s page to register!
We have many families ask us about the advantages and disadvantages of nanny share situations. We’ve seen many successful and unsuccessful shares over the years, and here are our top 5 pros and cons we advise parents to think about before entering into a share.
Top Five Pros:
- Shared cost: Nanny Shares can help reduce the cost of having a nanny by splitting the nanny’s pay. Keep in mind that both families are still the nanny’s employer and MUST each pay taxes on their portion.
- Socialization: Having children of similar ages together is beneficial for helping the children socialize.
- Switching locations: Having your children home with a nanny every day can increase incremental costs like heating and your food bill. By sharing between the two family’s homes, you can share this cost and also you won’t have to clean up every week!
- Increase your “Village”: It can be beneficial to your family when you have other parents to share struggles with and increase your support network.
- Less Illness: By being around fewer children than in a daycare, your child should have less illness to contend with in their first years. Another positive is most nannies will work with ill children, unlike daycare where children cannot attend even if mildly ill.
Top Five Cons:
- Finding another Family: One of the major hurdles of nanny shares is simply finding a family with which to share. One must consider things like location, hours, pay expectations, ages of children, and the ever important parenting style. Simply finding another family to share with can be time-consuming and that doesn’t even take into account the time it takes to search for a nanny!
- More Opinions & Logistics: Making the decision about who you feel comfortable leaving your children with can be difficult enough. In a nanny share, you will have to contend with possibly 4 or more opinions about who to hire, how to structure the work agreement, etc. Also, who will spearhead the search? How does one schedule interviews based around two families and nannies schedules, etc.?
- Parenting Philosophy: It is crucial to make sure you pair up with another family that has the same parenting philosophy as you. Nothing is more stressful for the nanny and the children then to have the families disagree on how the children should be “parented” throughout the day.
- Illness, time off, date nights: Nothing can end a nanny share quicker than disagreements about these three issues. Make sure you and the other family have sat down and discussed in detail how you will handle: if one child is sick and the other isn’t, if the nanny is sick, if you leave on vacation or the nanny takes a vacation, who gets the nanny for the coveted date night, etc.
- Hidden “Costs”: Who is responsible for broken toys? Supplying meals and snacks? Buying a double stroller, providing an aquarium family pass etc? Whose car gets used for field trips? All of these questions should be addressed BEFORE employing a nanny.
Do you have an amazing Nanny in your life? Let the world know!
Annie’s Nannies is proud to join with Association of Premier Nanny Agencies members from across the country to sponsor the first annual SPARK Awards for Excellence in Nanny Care. The SPARK Awards celebrate everyday nannies doing extraordinary work to support parents, care for children, and strengthen families. Each of the two award categories, Enthusiastic Newcomer and Seasoned Veteran, showcase individual excellence in nanny care demonstrated by exceptional childcare, impactful work, and a positive, encouraging attitude. Our agency’s commitment to unbeatable client service and quality nanny care is the perfect companion to the mission of the SPARK Awards.
We’re lucky to work with nannies who give their all to the kids they love and care for each and every day. The SPARK Awards are the perfect opportunity to honor the dedication and hard-work of those nannies, celebrate the diversity found in today’s nanny workforce, and showcase what quality nanny care looks like in the real world.
NOMINATIONS: A nanny can be nominated by her employer, a friend, or anyone who wants to honor her extraordinary work. All you have to do is answer a few quick questions to get the ball rolling. Nominees will complete a short online application, submit reference letters and a 2 to 10 minute video. The winners will be chosen through a combination of online voting and a selection committee. They’ll be honored at their local National Nanny Training Day event on Saturday, April 20th, 2013. Each SPARK Award winner will receive a gift package including a cash prize.
For all the details on the SPARK Award, please visit Nanny Biz Reviews.