“I want an exotic nanny”
Welcome to the Nanny Podcast. I want to tell you about a kind of situation that surprises me every time and I want to share how we handle and advise in a possibly tricky situation.
There have been times when clients ask for “exotic” nannies and it doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think, we have had families say to us that they just want something different from everyone else. Here the nanny becomes a commodity, it is not longer about getting the best care for the child but rather about the image you project. A keeping up with the Jones’ if you want. Hiring a nanny is a really great thing for your family, you have another adult who is professionally trained to raise babies and children. When picking the perfect person for your family there are many things to consider. What language the nanny speaks is of course important. If you want your kid to speak a foreign language fluently and understand a foreign culture, hiring a nanny who can give you that is a great idea, but realistically he or she would have to spend years with you for it to have a benefit.
A client might tell us that they want a Chinese nanny to teach their child chinese. In some cases, this is a very regular request, we understand the logic. Then we ask, are you looking for Mandarin or Cantonese? There are times when we don’t get a response here and it gets really tricky for us to know how to help. The benefits of a foreign nanny can be huge, but the decision should be taken consciously. In one particular case when the family lives in a place where there is no chinese community to find local nannies in we would find them a qualified Chinese nanny who is willing to move for the job. That is also normal and quite common, but of course, this kind of job is not going to be a minimum wage one, if a nanny moves for a job, it will be for a good job with good terms and a good salary. In one particular case we explained this and that they would have to sponsor a visa for the nanny, at an additional cost. All this is ok until they see the numbers. That is when it starts to get strange. We show them a good solution, they don’t like it and come back saying, maybe we will take a Greek nanny then. Another pause from us. Ok. Chinese and Greek language and culture are not exactly interchangeable. We find a Greek nanny, same conversation happens again. They don’t want to pay what it costs. We suggest they hire a local nanny for fewer hours per week at a price they can afford. At this point they admit to us that they just want “something exotic” and “something nobody else has”. In my mind I think they should get a pet snake that they walk around with and a proper nanny who can take care of the needs of their baby. Your nanny is not a status symbol, or shouldn’t be. He or she is not a handbag or a car, they are the person helping raise your children. If it is necessary to brag about having a nanny, brag about how qualified they are. Brag about how they help you solve problems you didn’t know how to solve on your own. Brag about the relationship you have with them, how you respect each other. Brag about what they bring to your family. Brag about how you work together and about how you have provided your children with a loving and professional adult who helps educate them. Brag about the content, not the format. That’s worth telling your friends about.
Thank you for listening, join us again next time.