Life was already complicated before you and your spouse made the decision to divorce – and you’re struggling to cope with the additional demands on your time as a single parent.
That makes your nanny increasingly invaluable as part of your support system with the kids. However, keeping their services in place means coming to some agreements with your spouse about the future.
What needs to be discussed?
For consistency’s sake and the comfort of your children, it’s usually better if the nanny rotates houses on the same schedule with the kids. (That generally makes sense from a financial perspective, too, so that you and your spouse aren’t each paying a full-time nanny for only half-time work.)
Obviously, your nanny needs to agree to whatever has been decided. To make the situation work, however, parents need to discuss the following issues in advance:
- How will you organize communications with the nanny? Email and a group text message are two possible options, as are cellphone apps. A group chat can allow for convenient cross-communication and avoid a lot of frustrations.
- How will you communicate with each other about necessary changes in the schedule? (Hint: It shouldn’t be through the nanny.) Both you and your co-parent need to come to an understanding that you will not use the nanny as a messenger.
- How will the nanny pay for child-related expenses, including things like Uber travel to piano lessons or pizza on movie night? Will you each provide cash for such expenses, or will the nanny have a credit card to use? Who will pay the bill?
- How will the other costs associated with the nanny be paid? This can include both the nanny’s salary and things like a car, car insurance, a smartphone and other benefits.
- What’s the best method to coordinate the nanny’s schedule across two households? Again, online programs and apps may be the easiest solution.
While you and your co-parent may have been operating for a while under an unspoken agreement, the time will come when these issues need to be put into writing. That’s the best way to protect your interests as a parent – and keep your nanny’s goodwill.