by Kellie Geres, Regarding Nannies Development Team
National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW) 2011 is over but I just have to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for the posts, likes, shares and hosting of events across the country.
Social media really played a part this year in making NNRW so successful. From Nannypalooza.com for the creative and inspiring video starring nannies, to the poems that Nanny Beth Lehmann shared with us on NNRW Facebook page each day, the message of NNRW was heard and seen by so many new fans! From the agencies that posted online their appreciation to the nannies, to online sites praising nannies and holding contests, to the agency asking parents to give a shout out to their wonderful nannies on their Facebook page and to TANG for getting their community involved with NNRW! So many wonderful ways NNRW was celebrated and embraced in this industry.
I had asked nannies to share with us ways in which their employers had shown them appreciation, and the responses were so meaningful and special – it shows that while we may not receive a thank you every day, our employers do appreciate us in ways that continue to surprise us.
Here are some ways employers have shown they truly appreciate their nannies ….
My employers are very wonderful people. They have spoiled me rotten and I don’t know how I’ll ever leave. They give me 9 weeks of paid vacation, 6 of which they pay for my travels expenses. I work for two medical professionals so I don’t always have holidays or weekends off so these vacations made up for that. Also, my charges started full day schooling this year, instead of a raise they offered two more weeks vacation. They have given me trips to the spa, concert tickets, tickets to baseball games, gift cards to all my favorite places and iPad.
But I think the best gift they have given me is trust. They chose me to take care of the most important things in their lives. At least once a day DB or MB tell me how thankful they are to have me in their lives. I’m just as thankful to work for such wonderful people.
One is a situation that happened back in 1983. I nannied for a family in Denver and they knew that I really wanted a mountain dulcimer. i often visited the store to look at it and play it some, but didn’t feel that I had the money to spend at that time. For Christmas, the family gave me money to buy it. They had gone to the store without my knowledge to ask the owner to hold it for me. It was so thoughtful of them and I have always remembered this.
My current employers have been very compassionate on two occasions. In one situation, I got very ill at work and had to leave abruptly to go to the hospital, where I was kept for several days. Both employers are MDs, so one talked to me on the phone as the other rushed home, with the child’s grandmother rushing over as well. Wai Po took me to the hospital where she stayed by my side for five hours, until I was in a room and sleeping more comfortably. My employers personally came by to visit during my stay with my little charge. Never once did they ever comment about how any of this affected them or any inconvenience to them (which isn’t usually the case with missing work last minute, especially for most of a week.) They were only concerned with my well-being.
More recently, my sister was very ill in Nebraska, which was 500 miles away. We had spoken prior to my sister’s death about how we would handle the situation once it arised. At 6:30 AM one morning I called them to tell them the news and that I would not be coming in at my usual 7:00 AM start time. Since it was last minute, one of my employers had to take the day off, but we had back-up care arranged for the remainder of the week. My employers let me have all the time that I needed to “take care of myself and my family”. I came back a week later and my little charge had bought me flowers from a local market, which she had picked out herself. They again, never spoke about how they had been affected in any way, just wanted to know that I was doing okay. It is not always the monetary value of something special that employers do to show that they care. The $5 plant that my 3 yr old charge chose for me is still sitting in my dining room today!
After my sister died, I had emailed an article that my sister was featured in to my employer. She then emailed it to my charge’s grandmother in Minnesota. The grandmother wrote me a beautiful and heartfelt letter about how special my sister was and how it was no surprise to her since I was such a special person myself. These kind words helped me deal with a painful time in my life and were greatly appreciated by me.
Finally, I wanted to share a gesture of kindness and appreciation from my family in Connecticut. I had announced that I would be leaving around Thanksgiving that year and had given my employer’s 6 months notice to prepare for my departure. I had lived with and nannied for them for 4 years. In my letter of reference, my employer said that it would be difficult, if not impossible to replace me and stated some of her reasons in her letter. A couple of months before I left, she resigned her job at a New York bank, as she and her husband truly felt that I was “irreplaceable”. This is the ultimate compliment for a nanny. They had realized how my job had really encompassed so much more than they had ever been aware of, until they had begun writing a new job description for new nanny candidates. In addition, they were so gracious in throwing me a going away party for all of my nanny friends the week before I left. My employers did not let me do anything to help; they only asked that I provide them a guest list. When I hear some of the sad stories from nannies leaving a nanny position, I know that not all employers are this caring. I was very appreciative of this gesture, and frankly, my nanny friends were quite envious, as none of their employers had ever given them a party such as this upon leaving their job!
My employers show their affection for me by telling me I’m a part of the family and including me in family events and all the milestones of the children.
I’d say the best gift I got was after 16 years when I was no longer going to be there nanny every day.
They had a necklace made especially for me one of a kind that had three birthstones one for each of my charges and she said it was so I’d always have “our kids with me” Ours meaning mine and mb 🙂 LOVE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s sooo pretty.
My boss is awesome because:
* I get to bring my infant daughter to work with me every day and they provide all her food etc
Ok, so I think my employers are pretty great! Not only have they taken our family on fabulous vacations they have paid for us to go to Disneyland for a week in December! And better yet, they paid for us to move from CA to TX just to be with their family and help raise their children! Pretty amazing!
Andrea in Dallas
A big pair of diamond earrings- but it was that she had seen my diamond necklace and bought a pair that matched because she knew I loved the necklace. Personal and purposeful made the winning combo. This same employer also paid for our honeymoon. Funny enough, this was a part time job. They just really recognized I made a difference in their lives and wanted to thank me.
The best boss my gift ever gave me is something that both my db and my mb give me everyday.
The privilege of truly loving and caring for their children.
It takes a strong woman to allow someone else to love her child but my employers not only support it, they work at making it easier for me to spend time with their children.
They change schedules to accommodate plans that we want to make.
They come home early without a word about docking my pay if I need to leave early.
They never make me feel guilty if I need to take off for a family crisis or if I am sick.
They treat me with respect, and they give me time off for professional development.
They give credit where credit is due and if the mom gets complimented on something I did, she always gives me credit.
They do give me a nice bonus at the holidays and on my birthday but the greatest gift they give me
is the gift they give me every day, respect and appreciation for the role I play in the life of their family.
There have been so many little moments of appreciation from past employers’ that stand out … the dozen roses I received because I was having a ‘blah’ day … from then on always referred to as Blah Roses.
Respecting my privacy as a live-in nanny and teaching the kids to knock and ask permission to see me.
This one from the six year old … having fallen and on bed-rest, the five year old came down one morning to bring me breakfast – a cold pop tart, so I wouldn’t be hungry.
When asked to submit a letter or note of appreciation for a nanny group event for NNRW, my boss sent in a post it note with the message, Shout out to Kellie Geres from a grateful S family. While short and sweet, others didn’t know quite what to make of the post it note, but to me it was symbolized our working relationship … we are constantly leaving post it notes for each other with reminders, notes, needs, etc. It is something I treasure and display proudly.
The support, flexibility, trust and respect I receive each and every day goes well beyond any form of monetary show of appreciation they could give me.
How has your employer showed you they appreciate you?
Save the date for NNRW 2012 ~ September 23-29, 2012.