Maternity leave: 5 ways to return to work without nanny stress
A mum coming out of maternity leave often has this anxiety of finding someone to trust enough as a nanny. [Photo Credit: Unsplash]
When maternity leave ends, it often appears too short for the nursing mother.

I recall how worried I was when my 6-month maternity leave was drawing to a close.
I was so worried about childcare & didn’t seem to trust my nannies enough. Thankfully, my grand mum had to come around & I sort of felt some relief! If you can relate to my story, you will agree with me that sorting out childcare during maternity is a big deal. It can be challenging too.

Not to add more undue panic, here are 5 ways to handle returning to work without nanny stress.

1.      Act Warmly

Typically, your baby will start to notice a difference between you and other people at around four months of age.

Around this time or after, they may start to show signs of discomfort around those they don’t know.

Stranger anxiety and separation anxiety often begin around the same time and can trigger similar reactions in your baby.

Unfortunately, this is about the period that your maternity leave ends.

But you can soothe your baby’s fear by acting warmly and modeling a safe relationship with the nanny.

In addition, your baby will also begin to take cues from you and your behaviour.

This means that if you act distant or nervous around someone, your baby may interpret your actions and also be uncomfortable around the person.

2.    Request References

After conducting let’s say the phone interview, and ascertaining what you want, exploring a candidate’s credentials in greater detail is necessary. Ask him or her for a list of references.

These should include previous families that the nanny has worked for as well as the agency they are signed to.

It may also include other employers from any other place they’ve worked before, regardless of the type of work.

You should also request personal referees, such as friends or family members.

Prepare a list of questions to ask these individuals so you don’t forget any important ones, and pay attention to how enthusiastic the person seems to be.

If the individual gives you dodgy vibes or seems to be holding back details, explain the importance of finding the right nanny for your child before thanking them for their cooperation.

3.      Spend Time With Your Baby And The Nanny Together

As your maternity leave comes to an end, this will help you a lot.

To have a feel of how it might be when you leave for work, and to help you and baby adjust better.

Getting familiar with the nanny while they take care of your child ahead of time will help calm your nerves and help you stress less when you’re away.

You might have the nanny come over ahead of time, before the first babysitting shift, just to familiarise themselves with your baby and your home.

Bear in mind that you most likely will be charged for this session, which is fine. It’s their time, after all.

4.    Build A Friendship With Your Nanny

For somebody who would be in your home, in charge of your baby, I’d say taking it a notch further to establish some sort of informal relationship, sounds like a smarter choice.

This is why before you hand the offer letter to someone to resume the role, consider if he/she is someone you can get along really well with.

Is he/she an individual who is honest? Does he or she have a good heart? Is the nanny someone your instincts accept, regardless of what their paper qualifications say?

Also read: Postpartum Recovery Tips After Vaginal Birth

Someone who will never use the fact that her salary’s been a bit delayed or you had a difficult conversation with to start doing their job with less commitment.

You’d stress less about the safety and welfare of your baby while you’re at work if your nanny is someone you know beyond their services.

Someone that would not have a problem watching a couple more minutes on the days you’re running late.

Go All Out For Your Baby’s Nanny

Your nanny should also be someone that will help when she can, should you have an emergency.

Now, how all this works is that when push comes to shove, ensure that you too can go all out for them.

If your nanny is going to stretch her neck out for you, you should consider doing the same for her if the request comes up.

If she needs to travel or ask for a day off, let her have it. On some days when you get back early from work, offer to help her out.

In fact, make sure you do plenty of favours for her because the happier she is the happier you and your children will be.

Everybody knows this.

A nanny will give their best to the family that really seems to understand them and accommodate their needs.

5.      Trust And Let Go

In the end, only time can prove to you that your baby is truly safe and okay with their new nanny.

Stressing over it truly wouldn’t do any good or make that much of a difference. Just do your best, get to know your nanny better, trust, and let go.

In no time, you’ll learn that the worries are more in your head than reality.

Truth is, managing parental anxiety around nannies is a hard experience for just about every parent; be rest assured you’re not alone. If you still aren’t convinced you can have your family member or trusted friend come over and watch your nanny and baby for you in your absence. in addition, if your family member or friend can’t come over to yours, you can arrange for your nanny and baby to go over to theirs so that your nanny can be monitored.

Bonus tip

Don’t wait till the last month of your maternity leave to hire a nanny. Start the hiring process early so you and your baby can get used to the nanny early on and vice versa. The chances of hiring the wrong nanny are higher if you wait until the last minute.

And when you eventually hire a nanny and you still aren’t convinced about her, you can either opt to enroll your baby in a creche close to your place of work and have your nanny either join your baby at the creche or remain at home to do the chores.

Also, in addition, having a CCTV installed in your home will go a long way in forestalling any bad situation plus the fact that you can keep tabs on your nannies activities on your phone will go a long way in giving you that peace of mind! and one last thing, let her know that you have a CCTV installed in the home so she knows you can’t mess up. If despite all these you still arent convinced you may have to reconsider the demands of your career. May God make this phase an easy one for you. Amen.

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