10 Tips on Coping with Nanny Burnout
January 28, 2013 | in Nannies
By Erin McNeill
Nanny burnout can happen at any time to any nanny. If you’ve been there before, you know the feeling well. You’ve lost interest in your job, you are no longer performing your duties to the standards of your employers and you just don’t care anymore. The longer you’ve been in a job, the more likely it is to occur, though it can happen at any point to even the most experienced and dedicated nanny. You can prevent getting to the point of burnout with a few simple tips.
Communicate with your employers – Great communication with your employers is essential in so many ways in the nanny profession. It’s important that your employers know what is going on so that they can do their best to help you get back on track.
Connect with other nannies – Find a local support group in your area and get together with others who are doing the same job that you are. Nobody understands what you’re going through more than other nannies! They can provide a safe place to vent and suggest ideas to get you through this rough patch. If you live in an area without a local support group, you might want to consider starting one. There are likely other nannies in the area going through the same things that you are. You can also search online; there are plenty of online support groups for nannies, making it easy to find one that suits your needs.
Leave work at work – It’s hard to walk away from work and not think about the kids you are so emotionally attached to, but you need to do just that. You are their nanny, not their parent, and you need to leave work at work and focus on your personal life when you’re at home. Find things that interest you outside of work, take up a new hobby or start a new home improvement project. Even if you are a live-in, escape to your area of the house and use the kid free time to focus on a new book or writing project.
Use vacation time – Many nannies get vacation time that they don’t use. Vacation time is the perfect opportunity to plan a getaway where you can relax and pamper yourself after working hard to take care of others. Use it as a time to recharge and revitalize yourself! Even if you aren’t able to go far during your vacation, you should still use the time to explore the area around you and take advantage of the resources in your local area.
Take care of yourself – Keep yourself healthy by eating correctly, exercising daily and obtaining medical care as needed. If you are sick and tired it’s much harder to care for the children in your care. Don’t feel guilty about taking a sick day or time off to go see the doctor; nannies are people and they get sick too! Do what you need to do to get healthy again so that you can continue to provide optimal care for the kids.
Reduce your hours – Most nannies work a lot of hours each week, so if you’re feeling burned out you should see if you can’t work with the parents to reduce the number of hours you work. Sometimes the parents are able to arrive home earlier a few nights a week, but if that’s not possible, see if it’s reasonable to get a babysitter a few nights a week to help out. You need your time in the evenings to recharge and prepare for the next day, which is impossible if you are only arriving home in time to go to sleep and wake back up the next morning to do it all over again.
Reduce stress – There are a lot of influences outside of work that can cause stress. Add in the stress of work itself and the stress factor is only compounded. Find ways to de-stress. If you are financially worried, work out a budget. If you are someone who needs a physical outlet for stress, find a yoga class to attend. Do what you can to reduce the stress in your life.
Say no – You can say no to the requests for extra hours, extra job duties or extra kids! Don’t feel guilty about it. Instead, recognize your limits on what you can handle and stick to them!
Pace yourself – You are one person and you simply cannot accomplish everything in a single day. Allow yourself to take breaks as needed and catch your breath. Being a nanny is a marathon, not a sprint!
Know when to quit – Sometimes you just have to know when to quit. Not every job will last forever. If you’ve tried everything, talked with the parents and still find that you’re experiencing burnout feelings, it’s probably best to resign from your position. Having a nanny who is burnt out will not benefit anyone in the long run and you have to know when to cut your losses and call it quits.
Nobody wants to be the burnt out nanny, but it happens. Knowing what you can do to create a healthy environment for yourself and the family you work for can reduce the likelihood of experiencing severe burnout. Remember to take care of yourself, communicate, and connect with others.← 10 Ways to Show Your Nanny Appreciation | How to Offer Criticism So It Sounds Positive →
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