Are Your Weekends Giving Your Nanny a Case of the Mondays?
Nanny chat groups are a great way for nannies to work through challenges and celebrate successes with other professionals, in an industry where co-workers aren't a part of work-life norms. Most nannies in these groups conduct conversations in ways that maintain the privacy of the family they work for, while allowing them to seek advice from others who have had similar experiences. Monday mornings are a frequent topic of these groups, and being aware of why may help you change your behavior and strengthen the bonds of your childcare team.
Before your nanny comes in on Monday, take a look around your house. If you see a list of things that didn't quite get done over the weekend, your nanny might walk in the door and feel like she needs to send an SOS out to her fellow professionals for help. A post such as the following is an example of just such cry for help:
"Nannies, the Monday messiness is out of control. I won’t post pics bc I know that’s frowned upon. I need help on how to nicely approach this subject with my 'mom/dad boss'."
"Every Monday I come in and the dishwasher is full and clean and the sink is full of dirty dishes (yes it’s in my contract to empty/load it but it was obviously run on Saturday when I wasn’t here). So I empty it and reload it and have to run it again. Then the trash is overflowing so I empty it in front of dad boss, and ask him to keep an eye on my charges while I take it out to the bin. The recycling is overflowing. The diaper pail is full and there is even an open wet diaper on the floor NEXT to the pail. The living room , where we play during the day has toys EVERYWHERE and all 5 throw blankets are unfolded and thrown everywhere, couch pillows on the floor.
"Mondays are also laundry day for both nanny kids, and I also prep a few meals for the week for my 15 month old nanny kid. So it’s already a busy day of the week without their mess from the weekend. 🥴
"I know the 'leave it the way you find it rule' is popular, and have had to put that in contracts, but a lot of the time it just isn't practical to do this.
"I welcome advice on talking to them about this, as I know it can be a touchy subject with super busy parents. I totally get they are overwhelmed, but if I spend every Monday pulling the house back together, my nanny kids don't get the interaction they need."
Now that you understand your nanny's perspective, it might be helpful to look at the type of responses often posted by other nannies. Notice that most nannies understand a family's perspective, but that teamwork is required to resolve the issue for all parties.
Nanny response #1 "I struggle with this too—especially with the kids playroom. I’m up there with them while they’re playing during the week, so I make them clean up after themselves as they play. I think they have a lot of unmonitored playtime over the weekend, as mom and dad boss try to do the other things they need to. So even if I leave it pristine on Friday it’s almost always a disaster on Monday—so much so that it’s not even fun to play in there. And then I struggle with if it is my job to clean it up? Do I make the kids clean it up which is painstaking for all of us? Or do I just leave it like I found it? And if I do leave it do they think I’m not completing the tasks I should be?"
Nanny response #2 "Approach from the problem solving attitude. Try telling the parents 'I wanted to talk to you about how we can work together to solve a problem. It is very overwhelming to me on Monday morning to come in to this amount of cleaning work first thing along with my usual Monday responsibilities. It makes it hard to focus on the kids which is my primary responsibility.' Perhaps a simple suggestion like switching the cleaning lady day (if they have one) to Friday or Monday could address the issue.
"If their answer is that this stuff is your responsibility, look over the contract together and review what jobs are yours and what isn't. If you can switch around your schedule with cooking or laundry that might help, but that may make it so that they are leaving things for you. Let them know that you want to make it work but it is a tough thing to walk into that on Mondays. Share the emotional impact and empathize with them while being clear about why it isn't working."
These responses can help guide you to solving the Monday problem. While this may be your first time having a nanny in your home, most nannies have worked for several families. They understand the little intricacies of working together as a care team, and can help provide insight and offer solutions if you simply give them an invitation.
Make sure that you are proactive and take the time to look at things from your employee's perspective. If your nanny asks to speak with you about something, make it a priority to hear them out, and encourage this type of conversation. An employee who feels they are being heard and considered is much more likely to return this professional courtesy. As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work.
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