Ask The Nanny Doctor
Q: We just found out our nanny is pregnant. What should we do?
A: Wow! So many mixed feelings! On one hand you are so happy for her and on the other you are thinking “What is going to happen to with our childcare situation?” There are certainly a lot of unknowns. First and foremost, don’t express your true gut feelings right away. Of course express your well wishes and congratulatory words, just withhold all of your questions regarding the logistics at first. Just as you may have many feelings about this news, trust that your nanny has had a lot of feelings and possibly worry about letting you know this news.
This is exciting news but you may feel like it’s the end of the world. Don’t worry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your nanny is walking out the door today. There are several different scenarios that may play out:
- Your nanny may be able to work right up until the end of her pregnancy without issue.
- The fact of the matter is that there may be a situation where she may need to reduce her hours as she may have a difficult pregnancy or even just be very tired.
- Of course, also, there may be a situation where she needs to leave her position earlier than planned due to the pregnancy.
- Your nanny may take a maternity leave or they may decide to retire all together to stay home and take care of their own child.
Needless to say, a conversation needs to be had! A week or so after she informs you that she is pregnant, find a comfortable time to have a chat, away from the children, perhaps after work. There are a lot of things to talk about! First, find out what she was thinking her plan would be. Second, discuss options with her. Is she planning to continue with your family after she has her baby? What is her own childcare situation going to be? These are key questions that need to be answered, and once answered will guide you in your next steps. If your nanny is planning to continue working through her pregnancy, you may need to arrange for back-up or supportive help as she may have days where she feels ill or fatigued. If she is planning to return to your family after a maternity leave, you will need to arrange to have a temporary nanny come in and work until she returns. Luckily, Westside Nannies can help you with your temporary nanny needs. If your nanny is planning on retiring from the nanny world to raise her own children, then you will need to begin to plan to think about her transition out of your family as well as planning for a new beginning with a new nanny. One thing is for sure: Don’t tell the children until 1) there is a clear plan of what is going to take place and 2) tell them later in the pregnancy once it starts to become physically obvious that your nanny is pregnant – children don’t have the same sense of time and telling them too soon can be confusing to them and they won’t understand that this process is going to take months!
Even though this is a situation where at first their are a lot of unknowns, many families and nannies survive this scenario! You can always contact me if you need any help navigating this sensitive scenario!
Dr. Heller is a licensed clinical psychologist currently treating children, adolescents and adults in private practice in Beverly Hills. A former well-respected nanny with more than 10 years experience, Dr. Heller also consults for families and their nannies as The Nanny Doctor. For more information on these services, please visit www.thenannydoctor.com.