Have you seen Bethenny Frankel’s new reality TV show, Bethenny Ever After? I’ve got to say, I’m a big fan of hers. I’ve watched her on a few reality TV shows and I’m reading her book, Naturally Thin (which I’m pretty sure is the source of those 5 pounds that recently came off!) Overall, she appears to be somewhat of a superwoman: a celebrity chef, best-selling author, successful businesswoman, wife and mom. I love her direct, no-nonsense personality. Plus, who wasn’t jealous when she rocked that bikini shoot just a few months after giving birth?
Her most recent show captures her life as a new mom and gives us insight into her relationship with her nanny. Here’s a woman who doesn’t accept lackluster efforts from anyone in business, yet when it comes to her nanny, uncharacteristically, she has become a pushover.
We see a multitude of nanny problems on the show. First of all, this employee was originally a baby nurse, and just never left. This doesn’t appear to be a choice on the part of the parents, but seems like the nanny just kept extending her end date. Second, the nanny sleeps in every morning and disappears into the bathroom for an hour every day. Bethenny complains about this, but nothing changes.
Third, in the last episode, the nanny asked Bethenny to bring the baby to her church for a blessing. Bethenny and her husband, Jason, confirmed with the nanny, that it was just a blessing and not a baptism. In the middle of the ceremony, it became clear that the baby was about to be baptized. Again, the parents asked the nanny to confirm that it was just a blessing, which she did despite the water about to be poured on the baby and the speaker outright stating that the child was about to be baptized. Just moments before the event, Bethenny took the baby out of the church.
After the whole fiasco, Bethenny and Jason sat down with the nanny to discuss the situation. They explained that they didn’t want their child baptized into the Baptist Church (they were planning a baptism into the Catholic Church). The nanny apologized. Bethenny told her not to apologize, gave her a hug and said she was family.
The most interesting thing about all of this is that I have never seen Bethenny be so forgiving with any of her other employees. When she fired one of her personal assistants, she was very clear that he wasn’t meeting expectations and had to go. Yet, why does she shift into a completely different personality with the nanny? If you’re a mom, you know why … because SHE HAS HER BABY!
This is a very common problem! Women who are overflowing with confidence and unapologetically direct in all other aspects of their lives become wallflowers in the relationships with their nannies. However, if we want the BEST care for our children (which of course, every mom does), then we MUST take charge of this relationship.
If I could give Bethenny advice, here’s what I would say: BE THE BOSS!
Bethenny has committed one of the most common mistakes in the mom-nanny relationship: telling her nanny, “We’re family.” Remember the show “Who the Boss? Blurring the line between the boss and the help is how things get complicated. It’s a pervasive issue that I help clients with and address in my upcoming teleclass (stay tuned!) I’m not saying you should be cold to your nanny. Go ahead and be friendly, just don’t be friends.
When things get too cozy between a mom and her nanny, it becomes difficult to give feedback and have that feedback taken seriously. After all, you can’t fire “family” for sleeping in too late or taking too long in the bathroom. Plus, “family” can often single-handedly extend their stay in your home. You can’t fire them for that either. Family can even push you to choose a different religion for your child, but clearly, the nanny should not be doing that.
Don’t make the same mistake as Bethenny: be the boss!