There is no specific training for a nanny starting a position with first-time parents during a pandemic. If you’re a nanny working with parents who had a baby born during COVID—especially if it’s their first baby—there is a good chance that your experience is unlike any other you’ve had starting with a new baby.
You may have found yourself saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this. These parents are so anxious.”
You’re not wrong – the level of anxiety in the homes of new parents right now is higher than in non-pandemic times. And you’re most likely working in a home where the anxious parents are ALSO working. You’re not used to this working environment. And in some cases, you may feel that parents’ fears and anxieties are impacting your ability to do your job. These are valid feelings!
But we also want to take you out of the weeds so that you can see the big picture of this moment and how essential and important your role is during this incredibly challenging time for everyone.
For many new parents, you may be one of the only other adults they have regular contact with. You are taking on a lot of their anxiety, but you are also in a position to provide critical social and emotional support to parents, which in turn can help boost the developmental and physical health of babies, according to research cited in a recent Atlantic article by Sophie Gilbert. To paraphrase what Denise Werchan, a population-health researcher at NYU, told the article’s author, the Pandemic has deprived new parents of the type of social support they normally receive from friends and family, and that directly increases stress levels in these new parents.
So, if you’re thinking to yourself — I want to help, I want to make this work, but I don’t know what I can do, here are a 3 actions you can take:
- First – recognize that you are not alone if you’re feeling your job is harder or more complicated than it has been in the past.
- If needed, you can, in a kind and supportive manner, recommend that they seek support from a qualified professional. It is recommended that you identify a safe family member (such as a grandparent) that you can express any concerns to.
- Consider taking Postpartum Doula courses or workshops to better equip yourself to deal with the situation.
SOURCE: White House Nannies