The Resentment Bank
The Resentment Bank. This is not like other banks; here you actually want to keep your account empty, or even better, overdrawn. For both you and your nanny the little niggles, if not dealt with will add up to bigger things.
You need to recognise when your nanny has placed a "lodgment" in your Resentment Bank. For example; she is ten minutes late for work again. You will register your resentment, but will not say anything about it. Over time more lodgments might be placed in your account, some relating to the same thing, some to different things. Like a bank the more in the account, the more interest (or resentment in this case) builds up.
Each thing may be small, but can produce deeper feelings and emotions; as one mother put it when her nanny was consistently late "I feel cheated of time and that her loyalty is not really with me". It is very important to remember that your nanny will also have her own account at the Resentment Bank into which you will be placing lodgments.
Eventually something has to give, and this can happen in a number of ways:
1. "Everything really built up until we both exploded; things were never really the same again"
2. "I told my daughter off for not tidying the playroom, in front of the nanny. Really I was cross with my nanny about it. It is like a dysfunctional marriage, you end up talking to the nanny through your child."
3. "I bottle it up and then blurt it all out to my husband as soon as he walks in the door; I think he is beginning to dread coming home!"
Empty Those Accounts
Concentrating on keeping both your own, and your nanny’s Resentment account, empty will help to avoid unnecessary nanny and/or marital stress. And this is where the problem lies; it is hard tackling any issue, let alone in your own home.
The easier part is removing lodgments from your nanny’s account. For example, if you are home ten minutes late, you will probably have made a lodgment in her account. You need to remove it as fast as you can, otherwise she may think about things in a deeper way; that you do not respect her personally or professionally, nor value her time. Ensure you make it up to her and soon. Allow her to start or leave early the next day. Apologize and concentrate on not letting it happen again.
The harder bit is taking action when you realise she has made a lodgment in your account.
Practice Makes Perfect:
"I have learnt that it is better to say something than let it eat away at you." Remember that with a bit of prior thought, the majority of issues can be tackled without direct confrontation. Keeping with our time example here are some different options:
"I know I can sometimes run late too, from now on shall we both try hard to stick to our agreed timings?"
Your own neurosis:
"I know I am being neurotic, but I think the chaos and stress of everyone running late in the mornings is quite upsetting for the children, I think we all need to be organized and more on time, is that OK with you?"
Good cop / bad cop:
"My husband / my boss wants me to be less late and flustered in the morning, to stop both you and I getting in trouble could you try hard to be on time?"
"Poor you, it a nightmare getting here in the rush-hour and it is awful to arrive at work all flustered. What do you think would help you to get here on time?"
The more you do it, the better you will become. Wouldn't it be great if we could put the Resentment Bank out of business?