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Happy 2021 to our wonderful clients and nannies! Even though the holidays may have been different in 2020 than in years past, the hustle and bustle may have been the same. The new year means slowing down and resetting. It also means new resolutions. For many it can mean more exercise, eating clean, or trying to kick other bad habits. I’m looking at you, daily Amazon delivery. But rather than a resolution to the year, consider a new intention. Resolutions can sometimes feel stiff and overwhelming while intentions are flexible and meaningful. Formulating new intentions is a great way to improve your bond as a family and teach children valuable lessons. Here are some ideas to help you and your family start the year off right together with positivity, forgiveness, and intention.
The difficult events of 2020 left positivity in short supply. Reflecting on the year meant trying to create new energy for the family with positive intentions. The best way to promote that energy is to share those intentions and have them heard and acknowledged by each member. Accepting everyone’s idea is a must so that everyone can have a fresh start. Using expressions such as “I hope to…”, I’d like to…” and “I will…” are all positive phrases to start the season off right. You can help guide your child to come up with positive affirmations that are short, positive, and present tense such as, “I am strong,” “I am smart,” and “I am fun.” Sharing your own positivity with your child is the most influential way to help them model the same behavior. Support and motivate each family member throughout the year with their intentions.
In today’s world, it is easy to get caught up in our daily routines and forget about some of the things that matter the most to us. Try putting all phones and tablets away during dinner time and talk about each family member’s day. Plan some alternative activities while electronics are put away such as board games, taking a family walk, or have a nature scavenger hunt outside! Meditation and yoga apps are also a great way to feel present. Having children participate in meditation and yoga sessions can help them learn how to sit in the present without any outside interruptions. Set aside 10 minutes a day to quietly reflect and set the tone for your day or night. Awake and Mindful shares five free yoga videos for you and your children to try and enjoy!
Being together as a family and having an open mind to new activities can inspire all members. One way to feel inspired is by trying a new activity together such as taking a cooking class. You can learn new skills in the kitchen and try new cuisines while spending quality time with each other. There are so many options for family and Covid-19 friendly cooking classes you can take online like these at Kids Cooking Green! Another idea is to create a vision board. Talk about the family goals you want to achieve; places you want to travel to or activities you’d like to do together. You can do this by collecting pictures, artifacts, and words that depict your intentions. This is a great activity especially for younger children as they can help cut, glue, and pick out items to add to the board. Pinterest also shares goal setting printable worksheets for your children to write out their thoughts and goals!
Even though 2021 will share some of the same trials we experienced in 2020, we can use these intentions to guide us through the new year. Wishing you all the positivity and prosperity that the new year brings you and your families!
The holiday season is here! While many families and nannies are typically traveling right now, we know that many of you will be spending your holidays at home. Perhaps maybe even alone. With 2020 being a year of so many unknowns, one thing we know for certain is that nannies have brought the magic into your homes! Whether it was teaching your child something new, helping with virtual homework, making your home look spotless, or spreading joy, they showed up ready to help. They showed up masked. They showed up with love in their hearts even though fear may have been within their bodies. Here are some ways to thank your nanny this holiday season!
Year-End Bonus (most popular): A bonus for a nanny is an extra special “Thank you!” for dedicating time all year long to your most precious littles. A typical bonus is either one or two weeks’ pay depending on how long the nanny has been working with your family. If you aren’t able to afford the same bonus as you gave last year, have an open conversation with your nanny. This year has been financially difficult for many and any monetary gift is much appreciated.
Gift Cards: Are there special retail or online stores that your nanny likes to shop at? Perhaps they have a favorite grocery store that they like to splurge at? A favorite restaurant that delivers to their home or has a safe pick up option? Gift cards make the perfect gift for a nanny who is always putting the needs of others first!
Lessons or Memberships: Does your nanny enjoy dancing, drawing, or learning a second language? Do they workout, enjoy cooking, or taking photographs? Yoga studio class memberships, enrichment classes, or lessons are another way of treating your nanny. You may even want to gift your nanny a membership to the International Nanny Association!
Unique or Homemade Gifts: Etsy offers a variety of unique gifts for everyone. Perhaps a homemade scarf and matching hat? Maybe a special pair of earrings or a necklace that will remind her of your family. Framed photos of the children or a Shutterfly photo book filled with memories shared with your family.
Fun Holiday Options: If your budget permits, perhaps you can help your nanny buy a new phone or computer. If your budget is limited, consider a gift of time and pop home a few hours early to take over for your nanny so they can get a jump start to their weekend.
Last but not least, remember the taxes: While this can sometimes be overlooked, please keep in mind that all bonuses are taxable income to the employee and must be reported on all employment tax documents.
If you have any questions regarding holidays, year-end gifts, or bonuses for your nanny, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]. We are always happy to help and be of service!
2020. This has been a wild mask-wearing year like no other. Normally we are packing and getting ready to fly to see family for Thanksgiving and planning our ski trip to Utah for Christmas. We decided this year that we would drive to see family for Thanksgiving, and last week we canceled our trip due to Covid-19 spiking. This will be our first year not seeing Great GrandDad and our hearts are missing family. Missing friends. Missing celebration. We know you are missing many of your loved ones too. State officials are urging Californians not to travel outside of the state for the holidays and if you do, they recommend that you quarantine upon returning.
However, we understand that travel may be essential for some. What is essential travel? This is travel for “work and study, infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety, and security.” We also know that some people will inevitably be traveling during the holidays whether their travel is essential or not. Therefore, we have decided to compile a list of travel tips.
Here are our top safety tips if you plan to travel for the holidays by plane.
- Buy a face shield and wear a mask. All airlines will require a face cover to board, but we recommend also wearing a face shield. We found some great ones at WETShield that will work for the whole family. Please note children under the age of 2 years old should not wear a mask as it is not safe. Be sure to check your airline to see what the rules are when it comes to masks.
- Bring a comfortable pair of headphones from home. Pass on the airlines that are handing them out and travel with your own. This way you have control over who has touched them and you can feel safe about sharing them with your kids.
- Pack cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer. Toddlers love to touch EVERYTHING. Even lick things sometimes. Have a kind, but firm talk with your children about what the rules are when traveling so that they understand that touching things may result in them getting the virus or “yucky germy” as my kids refer to it. Wipe down the seat, seat belt, arms, and tray table.
Here are our top safety tips if you plan to travel for the holidays by car. We did a three-week road trip this summer and traveled through 12 states. We thankfully managed to stay healthy while building incredible family memories and checking off a few beautiful landmarks from our celebration list.
- When you stop for gas, always wear gloves and a face mask. Try to pay by credit card so you don’t have to go inside and can socially distance.
- Bring toilet paper with you, as well as, a toddler potty. Believe it or not, there are plenty of empty side roads to pull off on while road-tripping and it is helpful in case there is not a restroom nearby.
- Buy snacks, food and drinks to fill your cooler on this trip. The less places you need to go indoors, the better.
- If you stay in a hotel, try to stop in cities with low Covid rates as well as stay at hotels that are at a low capacity. Call ahead to inquire about their cleaning and sanitation policies. Request a room that no one has occupied in the last 48 hours.
- Open your windows a few inches and let air flow through your car.
Whether you’re traveling by airplane or automobile, it is always wise to keep extra disposable gloves, face masks and a first-aid kit with you. Wash your hands, a lot. Clean off your cell phone. Change your clothes and shower right away when you reach your destination.
We wish you and your families a safe and happy holidays…. preferably in your own homes!
Welcome to the year of silver linings! 2020 has certainly been a challenging one, but we are choosing to embrace the uncertainty and chase the rainbows as much as we can. One of our favorite silver linings from this pandemic is the fact that we can work from home. We can certainly all celebrate not commuting to an office every day. That perk alone gives us some new found time to spend with our families, squeeze in some exercise, or even have a proper breakfast. However, we understand that by now, you may have a bit of WFH fatigue. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips to help make your life as a work from home parent a little sweeter. We hope this blog brings a bit of understanding and perspective to your day. We are in this together!
Prioritizing is by far your best asset when working from home. If you can analyze your day ahead of time and plan out the most important tasks to be done while the kids are occupied, you’ve just nailed working from home. This may mean adjusting your schedule a bit to make important meetings coincide with a quiet activity, giving you the peace and space you need to be productive. You may also have to wake up an hour earlier to work or answer emails after the children go to bed, as this may be the only quiet part of your day. If prioritizing your work means hiring a nanny, we can certainly help you there!
Be open and honest about your situation with your boss. Chances are they are in the same boat and will be understanding and even accommodating. Laying it all out there will give you peace of mind (and perhaps even a chuckle) when your 2-year-old son bursts into your Zoom meeting to tell you he just went pee-pee on the potty!
3. SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Sit your family down and explain how your work day looks. Perhaps share the times in they day where you know you’ll be available to them. Having structure will give the children an idea of what is expected and will help map out times where you can be most productive. If you need to be in a meeting, explain ahead of time what that looks like, maybe do a mock Zoom call and have them be a part of it.
4. TAKE BREAKS
During a normal day at the office, you may sit down and work for several hours before getting out of your seat. While working from home, taking small, frequent breaks will be beneficial for all. This could look like working for 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break to check in with your children. Or check in with yourself by doing a 5 minute meditation. A short break is a sure way to get everyone back on track.
5. SET BOUNDARIES
Make sure your family (and your nanny if you have one), understands that working means actually getting work done. Have the children make you a sign for your door, one side can say “quiet please” while the other side says “visitors welcome.” Make your work day a game for the children so that if you get all of your work done, they get to have your full attention later.
6. PRACTICE GRATEFULNESS
It’s easy to despair when situations get tough, so practicing gratefulness is a simple way to stay positive. Try thinking about about how lucky you are for your family to be safe and together during this time. Or jot down a quick list of all of the things you are grateful for. You will find that keeping your mind in a state of gratefulness will do wonders for your mental health. After all, even during life’s toughest times, we all have things we can be grateful for.
7. REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR
Did you just make it through an entire virtual meeting or phone call uninterrupted? Woo hoo! Reward your children with praise, thank them for their cooperation and perhaps even spend a bit of time with them to show your appreciation. If you have older children that may respond better to a more tangible reward, maybe you give them 20 minutes of screen time. Toddler learning shows and Math Prodigy are fun ways to reward children while also giving you some time to work.
8. ASK FOR HELP
Tap into your resources for people who can help out with the kids. Do you have a partner in the home that can tag team throughout the day with you? Perhaps there is an older child at home that would love to earn a few extra dollars. Or even a trusted neighbor that would love to give you a break. Think “Village” and tap into it but remember we are always here for you with Educated Nannies that are ready to help if needed.
9. THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX
Think about how to maximize your time working while limiting stress. This may mean working when the children are not around. Talk to your boss about ways to be flexible with your hours and workday. Is there a project that you can work on after the children go to sleep? Do you have a client on another coast or across the globe that can Zoom in the early mornings when the house is still quiet? Your employer will appreciate your willingness to be flexible and you will appreciate the uninterrupted time, win-win!
10. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
Under “normal” circumstances you may limit or even forbid screen time during the day. While we’d all love our children to read more and watch less, sometimes we just need some peace and quiet! Working from home during a pandemic is one of those times where worrying less about screen time is 1000% allowed. We will all survive and thrive and if that means a little more Daniel Tiger in our lives, so be it.
WE HOPE YOU THIS HELPS YOU STRESS LESS AND ACCOMPLISH MORE WHILE YOU NAVIGATE WORKING FROM HOME!
If you are interested in hiring an educated nanny, please visit us at www.educatednannies.com
2020 has been a year of challenges, reflection, gratitude, and celebrating our joys. Having a nanny is one of those joys to celebrate! As National Nanny Recognition Week approaches, we’d like to celebrate and honor all nannies for making our lives easier and bringing joy to our children! While it’s always important to thank our nannies for all that they do for our families, National Nanny Recognition Week (September 20-26), is a perfect time to recognize and honor them. In the era of Covid-19, celebrating your nanny may look different than years past. Here are some ideas on how you and your children can show them your appreciation while also keeping them safe!
1. A SPECIAL MEAL
Food is always a great way to honor someone for National Nanny Recognition Week! Prepare their favorite meal for them and have your child(ren) act as servers to make it fun and extra special. If cooking is not your thing, you can also order take-out from DoorDash, Grubhub or UberEats, and have food delivered right to their homes. Take it one step further and order a week’s worth of easy to prepare meals from a meal delivery service like HelloFresh.
2. SURPRISE PAID TIME OFF
NNRW is a fabulous time to give your nanny an extra paid day off. We all know how flexible nannies are especially right now. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to call your nanny the night before they are scheduled to arrive and say, “Tomorrow, take a paid day off!” and hear them cheer in delight? Better yet, you could give them some advance notice so they could have a three day weekend. Nannies will appreciate this extra day to enjoy time with loved ones. They also have the opportunity to finish those tasks that sit a little too long on the To-Do list like renewing their driver’s license. Let’s be honest, they may just take a day to sit in front of Netflix and do absolutely nothing in their favorite jammies.
3. CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS OF THANKS
Have your children express their thanks in their own creative ways. If your children are musical, have them sing a song or write a poem using their own lyrics to thank your nanny and record them expressing their gratitude. If they are artistic, have them draw a special card and use their own sweet words. Not only will this bring a smile to their face, but it is something they will cherish forever.
4. GIFT OF FUN
Has your nanny expressed an interest in learning a new hobby, or trying a new work-out class? Many companies have been offering fun things to do at home. How about gifting them a truffle-making class? The ingredient kit is sent directly to their doorstep and the class is done in the comfort and safety of their own homes. If fitness is their thing, gift them a month (or year) of online yoga and fitness classes. Then they don’t have to worry about leaving the house to get their workout in! Win-win!
Write a letter of appreciation to your nanny and then gift them a bonus! Maybe they’ve been saving up for something special like a class with Newborn Care Solutions or membership to the INA? This would give them just enough to finally splurge on themselves! Additionally, it shows them how grateful you are to them for being such an important part of your lives.
6. WORDS OF KINDNESS
Thank your nanny and tell them how wonderful they are and highlight some of their best qualities. It feels good to be loved and hear positive things about yourself! Words of kindness go a long way and can really make a person feel appreciated. Above all, words of kindness make the world a better place! Read some of our testimonials and the kind words our families have said about their nannies here.
7. A SMALL GIFT
Who doesn’t love to receive a small gift as a token of appreciation? Maybe they love coffee, or jewelry, or could use some new gear for camping? Perhaps due to Covid-19, they want to limit interactions in stores, so Amazon is their new best friend. No matter what you choose, a little gift lights up a nanny’s day!
8. A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET
It feels so great to receive a bouquet of fresh, beautiful flowers, doesn’t it? Send a vibrant bouquet from La Petite Gardenia to brighten their day or show your appreciation all year long by enrolling them in a monthly flower subscription from Bouqs.
9. A VIRTUAL ADVENTURE ABROAD
Do you have a nanny that loves to travel, and is missing that invigorating feeling of being immersed in a different culture? Urban Adventures has got just the thing to beat those travel blues. You can send them on a virtual adventure to the country of their choice all via Zoom!
10. VIRTUAL PAINT PARTY WITH FRIENDS
Is your nanny missing her friends? Do you have an artistic nanny who is super creative with your children and who loves to paint? If so, this experience would be an awesome surprise! Paint The Town offers a fun way to engage with friends while letting the creative juices flow during a private online painting party.
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK CELEBRATING YOUR EDUCATED NANNIES FOR NATIONAL NANNY RECOGNITION WEEK!
If you are interested in hiring an educated nanny, please visit us at www.educatednannies.com
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