Helping a New Mom Feel Confident in Her Caregiving Skills

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How to Help a New Mom Feel Confident in Her Caregiving Skills

newmomWorking as a nanny is a rewarding and exciting career choice, but it’s not just the children under your care that will need some assistance from time to time. Becoming a new parent for the first time is overwhelming for many women, especially those who are reassured that the mysteries of parenting will magically reveal themselves upon childbirth and a “mother’s instincts” will kick in to make the process as effortless as breathing. Helping a new mom become a comfortable, confident parent is not one of the responsibilities that are immediately assumed to fall under the purview of a nanny, but it is as essential to great nannying as showing up on time each day.

Offer Affirmations, Not Accusations

When a new mom cradles her baby awkwardly or offers a bottle of formula when you’re a staunch supporter of breastfeeding, it’s important to remember that the infant under your care is still not your child. Rather than accusing your employer of making mistakes with her baby, gently point out the ways that she could more easily manage parenting while offering plenty of affirmation of the ways that she’s doing a great job.

Tread Carefully

Becoming a parent is a joyful occasion, but it can be terrifying for a new mom. With the fear of being in charge of a new life and the overwhelming flood of hormones that accompanies delivery, it’s not uncommon for a mom to be a bit on edge. When you heap the very natural concern that comes along with leaving an infant under the care of a relative stranger on top of those fears and hormones, it makes it very necessary to tread carefully with your employer when you try to give her parenting advice. The last thing you want is to come across as demeaning or condescending, as hurting a new mom’s feelings can leave a newly-employed nanny back on the job hunt.

Discourage Comparisons

When your mom boss, her partner or friends and family compare her efforts and techniques to those of other parents, it can be a real confidence crusher. Gently discourage your employer from comparing herself to other moms, and offer her plenty of reassurance when others make those comparisons. Letting your boss know that every mom has their own way of parenting their children may seem obvious, but it may also be just what she needs to hear at the moment.

Skip the Jokes

Making even a well-meaning joke at a new mom’s expense can be devastating to her, so make sure that you avoid the urge to poke fun when something inevitably happens. Regardless of how much comedic gold can be mined from an exploding diaper or a backwards onesie, squelch the urge to have a laugh at her expense.

Know When to Be Hands-Off

It’s often easier to take over when a new mom’s bumbling attempts to handle childcare chores takes longer than is strictly necessary or she’s obviously struggling. Swooping in to come to her rescue every time might help her in the short term, but it effectively robs her of the chance to learn by experience and can also make her feel completely inept. If you’re forever scooping the baby out of his mom’s arms to deftly handle something she was struggling with, it throws her own inexperience into sharp relief and makes it difficult to build any confidence in her own parenting abilities.

Help to Assuage New Mom Guilt

One of the most devastating things to a new mother’s confidence level can be the guilt she feels, be it over leaving her new baby under the care of someone else as she returns to work, breastfeeding difficulties that lead to formula feeding or even agonizing over vaccination choices. There are so many things for a new mom to feel guilty about, and very few of them are actually warranted. When you notice your mom boss struggling with feelings of guilt, do all that you can to subtly assuage it. Talk about your own choice to vaccinate and offer affirmations that you agree with hers and share stories about the lively and healthy babies that you’ve cared for who were exclusively bottle fed. Dealing with the mommy guilt that damages self-esteem is complicated, but it may be one of the most important and helpful things you do over the course of your career.

Information submitted by 4Find a Nanny

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