You spent days combing through a pile of applicants, sat through several awkward job interviews and dealt with the hassle of running thorough background checks on the finalists in your nanny search competition. You checked references, made sure that your favorites had the right certifications and eventually found the nanny of your dreams. After all of that hard work and the elation that comes with knowing that you found the best possible caregiver for your children, you expected to be able to sit back and enjoy the knowledge that your children are happy and safe while you continue to earn a living. What you found, however, is that you’re completely jealous of your nanny and worried that she’s going to somehow take your place in your kids’ hearts.
Realize That Jealousy Could Sour Your Working Relationship With Your Nanny
It’s one thing to feel a twinge of envy now and then when you hear about the exciting adventures your nanny had with your children while you were stuck at the office, but it’s completely another to let the green-eyed monster ruin a perfectly good working relationship. When jealousy rears its head, you may very well find yourself looking for shortcomings or mistakes from your nanny, just to reassure yourself that she’s not actually perfect. In the end, though, all you’re doing is finding tiny flaws to harp on and constantly bring to your nanny’s attention. Eventually, petty complaints can become more than your nanny is willing or able to handle, which can eventually cause her to leave her post altogether. Unless you’re in a position to quit working altogether or you’re itching to start the process of finding a great nanny all over again, it’s wise to check your jealousy before it ruins the professional relationship you have with your existing nanny.
Know That Your Children Don’t Love the Nanny More
Your nanny spends the day with your children doing fun things, such as going on outings and getting involved in exciting activities. You’re the disciplinarian that comes home and reestablishes order at the end of the day, managing the schedule and making sure that everything runs smoothly. It’s easy to fall victim to the idea that your children will grow to love their nanny more than they love you, but it’s important to remember that no childcare provider will ever take the place of a parent. Even if it seems like they’re having more fun with the nanny sometimes, you’ll always be number one.
Change Your Perspective
You can view your nanny as someone that you’re in direct competition with for your kids’ love, attention and affection, or you can choose to see her as an invaluable member of your team. The former will only inspire more feelings of jealousy and perpetuate the cycle of nanny envy, while the latter makes it easier to see her as a comrade, rather than the enemy. At the end of the day, you and your nanny have a common goal: seeing your children through the big moments in life and helping them reach developmental milestones in a happy, loving environment. The simple act of making a concerted effort to change the way you see your nanny can affect noticeable change on the quality of your professional relationship.
Be Honest With Your Nanny
As a professional, private childcare provider with a bit of experience, there’s not likely to be much that your nanny hasn’t experienced firsthand or learned about from other nanny pals. You may think that you’re doing a bang-up job of hiding your feelings of envy, but there’s a good chance that your nanny has an idea of what’s going on. Starting a frank, open conversation about the fact that you are struggling with some jealousy establishes a line of communication between you and your nanny that didn’t exist before, and may actually serve to break down a few barriers that were inadvertently built as you kept her at arm’s length as a result of those feelings. Don’t be afraid to let your nanny know how you’re feeling, especially if you have the suspicion that you were a bit harder on her than was strictly necessary when jealousy and bitterness first began to sink in.
Your nanny is open, loving and affectionate with your children because she genuinely cares for them and enjoys her work, not because she has any interest in replacing you as a mother figure. Both your nanny and your children are fully aware of the fact that you are the mother of your children, so try not to give in to those feelings of envy and fear. Instead, realize that your jealousy is actually a sign that you made the right choice, and that you found a nanny that your children are happy to spend time with!