Should Nannies Drink With Their Bosses
December 12, 2013 | in Nannies
The relationship between a nanny and her employers is a very special one, but it can be a fairly complicated one as well. When you work long hours in the home of a family, caring for their children and sharing such personal experiences with them, it can be difficult to know where the boundaries lie. Whether it’s a shared glass of wine at the end of a long day or a bit of champagne to celebrate a major milestone, it’s not uncommon for employers to offer their nannies a drink or two along the way. The question is, as a nanny, is it appropriate for you to accept those libations?
Just Say No
While turning down an invitation to share a drink or two may seem rude at first blush, it’s almost always in a nanny’s best interests to decline. No matter how close you are to your employers, it’s rarely wise to imbibe while you’re spending time with them. Even off the clock, drinking with your employers has the potential to cause a host of problems in the long run. Before accepting that cocktail, it’s best to ask yourself whether or not that drink is worth your job. You may not find yourself in a position that ends your professional relationship, but it’s also not out of the question. Rather than run the risk of damaging your relationship with your employers or your level of job security, you may want to politely refuse an offered tipple.
Maintain Reasonable Boundaries
Working in someone’s home, caring for their children and witnessing some of their most vulnerable moments doesn’t make it easy to maintain the professional boundaries that are such an essential part of your relationship with your employers. Sharing a few drinks not only has the potential to introduce a passel of complications, but it can also directly affect your ability to maintain those boundaries. Regardless of how close you are to your employers, it’s imperative that you understand the difference between a strong working relationship and a friendship. When you start tossing drinks back with your boss, it’s not always easy to keep them at arm’s length later. Avoid blurring boundaries whenever you can, which means not settling in for an evening of social drinking after the kids are in bed.
Remember That Professionalism is a Nanny’s Best Friend
In order for your employers to maintain the level of trust that allows them to leave their children under your care in good faith, they have to know that above all else, you are a consummate professional. Few things scream “unprofessional” quite as loudly as a tipsy nanny, even when she’s not working. You simply can’t maintain the exterior of a professional, composed and collected nanny when your employers have heard you slur a bit after a big glass of wine, so it’s best to forgo the drinking altogether.
Minimize the Risk of Negative Repercussions
A drink has a way of turning into a couple of drinks, and few drinking stories have professional, calm and restrained endings. There are a million ways that having one sip too many can go terribly wrong, especially when you’re drinking with the person who signs your paycheck. You can get a bit too honest in your appraisal of their parenting style, find yourself in the awkward situation of managing alcohol-driven, emotional episodes or even make the mistake of going just a bit too far to be
appropriate. People who have been drinking aren’t renowned for making the best judgment calls, and nannies are no exception. The same people who would not consider hiring you with a drunk driving arrest on your record are the ones who could have second thoughts about extending your contract after seeing you have a bit more than you can gracefully handle. While you may have a drink and a very uneventful evening, you also may not be so lucky. Rather than taking such a big gamble with your career and the stability of your job, it’s best to let this particular cup pass.← 10 Celebrity Parenting Fails and How to Avoid Them | How to Market Your Nanny Skills Effectively →
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