Are you dreaming of some “sleeping in” in the mornings, sipping your favorite spritz under the light of candles while you and your husband are having a second… first date? Do you fancy some adult sport activities, spa treatment, museum hopping or even finish that half read bestseller that would have otherwise been ruled out of your program?
At the same time, you can’t wait spending some quality time with your children far away from the winter and school routine, household duties and errands! Or experience their joy at seeing for the first time places and having the time of their lives next to white colored sand beaches and crystal blue waters!
Well, you can actually have it both ways! With some -valuable- help of a travel nanny.
An extra pair of hands is more than welcome when it comes to family vacation, especially to families with two, three and more children of different ages. But what can you do to make sure nothing spoils this collaboration?
Tips for a peaceful vacation with the kids and their nanny
1) Don’t make it a war about your expectations against the nanny’s.
Don’t rely on your expectations about what the nanny’s duties should be because she can very well rely on her expectations of what your obligations should be. That is to say that before you reach an agreement about payment and working conditions, everything should be discussed to the very last detail. You don’t have to write a formal vacation contract -if you are not that type of paperwork guy- but you must definitely raise all the ambiguous matters and bring them to discussion, even if the nanny isn’t willing to raise them by herself.
For example, will there be any extra pay, or some kind of compensation for extra duties during the vacation? Will she have some time off for herself and should that be arranged beforehand? Will she also have to take care of some household cleaning (laundry, etc)?
If you do that, you let little space for unwelcome surprises and toxic last minute negotiations that spoil the peaceful atmosphere and the climate of mutual understanding.
2) Give her some time off!
Although you may think that you are offering to the nanny the opportunity to travel with you, meet new places and even afford to live to some luxury accommodation that she would not be able to afford otherwise, still for her it is still…”business as usual”! Your nanny has to face the challenge of taking care of your children in an unfamiliar environment, set up a new routine from scratch, deal with unpredictable difficulties like children’s sleep problems or food difficulties- a brand new and demanding agenda!
If this is the first time the nanny is working for you, still she has to adjust herself to a family during a time that programme and routine are… out of the schedule!
So, when you see her overwhelmed by all that new “information” and load of responsibilities, just give her some time off! Or even, make her your guest at the dinner without her having to take care of the kids, just for a change. Her rest and her good spirit is the secret to an unforgettable family vacation!
3) Spend some time with the kids alone.
Giving the nanny some space for herself is helpful to you in more ways that you may think! It is your chance to have your own time with the kids as a family. The kids feel the need to see their parents taking care of them, playing with them and enjoying the same things with them. What’s the point of having this family vacation if not to build future memories all together?
4) Steal some time for you and your husband!
Maybe it goes without saying, but in real life sometimes we forget to do what should seem only natural. It is good for the kids to know that their parents are having time together, that they haven’t lost their need to communicate and be tender to each other. But, actually, it’s more important for you! Now you have the opportunity to “relaunch” your love, to remind to each other the reasons you are together, to enjoy an exotic sunset together, to be intimate to each other in the heart of a time and space hostile to routines and schedules, talks about driving the kids to school or meeting their teachers to discuss about their grades. Don’t miss it.
5) Steal some time for you!
That unfinished novel is almost screaming for you to read it, by the pool with a margarita cocktail in your hand. Or, maybe it is time to enjoy some renewal of your wardrobe with local fashion items, uninterrupted! Time for yourself during summer vacation with kids would be a luxury undreamed-of without a travel nanny. Don’t let anxiety about kids or your husband spoil that! Make the best of it that “you time”! Recharge your batteries. Maybe it won’t happen again any time soon….