When parents divorce, one of the biggest issues they face is trying to minimize the fallout from the situation on their children.
Professional childcare services in the form of a nanny can often help. They can provide a stabilizing force in the children’s lives across both households when the parents can agree to share their services. So, how do you make nanny sharing work? These are a few considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind.
Be very clear about work agreements
Throw any pre-divorce agreements about the nanny that you may have had out the window, then sit down with your spouse and hammer out a new one. That’s the best way to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Determine who is responsible for paying the nanny’s wages, whether you will share this cost equally, or if it will be based on the time the nanny spends with each parent. Make sure both parents understand their responsibilities regarding scheduling, communication with the nanny and providing necessary supplies. The more specific your agreements, the less room there is for conflict.
Do not put the nanny in the middle
Your nanny is there to make sure that your children’s needs are met. They aren’t supposed to “take sides” in your divorce or your disputes with your spouse. Do your best to keep the nanny out of your interpersonal situation with your co-parent. Do not use them as a messenger or delivery service, even when the message you’re sending has something to do with the children. For example, don’t have the nanny explain to your co-parent that you won’t be picking the kids up this weekend because of a business trip. You can (and should) communicate that through other means.
Get a master calendar and group chat
A master calendar can be a fantastic tool when it comes to keeping everybody on the same page about schedules, schedule changes, school events, extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments and more. You want to do everything you can to eliminate confusion. A group text between you, your co-parent and the nanny can also be a valuable resource if there’s a sudden emergency involving the children or a last-minute change of plans.
When you’re working out co-parenting arrangements like these, seeking legal guidance – to better safeguard everyone’s interests – is wise.