Put a Mary Poppins in your life!

Mary poppins

I want to thank all the Mary Poppins on earth!

Of course, let’s face it…the real Marry Poppins does not exist, I mean, it is quite similar to the fact that Monica Belluci also wakes up ugly in the mornings (well, a little bit only), well, it can be challenging to find our perfect nurse!
But I have to admit that I LOVE my MARY POPPINS…

This post aims at paying tribute to all these women taking care of our children and actually, taking care of other women…I don’t even know if they are aware of it but, personally, on my VIP list, this person is definitely number 2, right after my husband..

Why does she rank so high?

Because, without her, I would not go peaceful to work,

Because, without her, I would not be able to fulfill myself further than being a Mum,

Because, she takes off my shoulders most of the weekly boring domestic tasks I hate and don’t consider as of added value, and by doing this, frees up time for me to be with my family…

Because, without her, my life could be like Hell..


Apart from being able to afford it ( and this is something that is traditionally easier in Spain than in France for example), the main challenge we are faced with, whilst wanting to put a Mary Poppins in our life, is about finding her…and here starts the tough selection of a treasure..

How do we find her? And a special focus on How to keep her?

1.     Where to look for her? If this person is to look after our kids, the best solution is active reference – someone we know recommends her having some type of link with her. I usually don’t really trust Nannies Agencies and it has its undeniable advantages: always get a solution if things don’t turn out well.

2.     What should we ask? Up to now, I don’t know better way to know someone that asking questions. Here is a timid summary of questions I have put together in order to help you.

Non.exhaustive list of questions in order to find your Mary Poppins

a.     What is your personal situation?

b.    Motivation for the job –  Why do you do this job? What do you like in this job? What do you enjoy less?

c.     Experience – Since when?¿What age were the kids? How many children at the same time?

d.    Standard day – tell me about a typical day – What type of personalities did the children have? Which difficulties did you encounter? How did you go over them?? How do you handle both the house and the kids?

e.     Relation with your boss(es) – What type of relationship do you have with your ex-bosses? How long have you been working with them? Why did the work relationship en ud? What type of references do you have?

f.      Troubles handling

 g.    What do you do if the child cries?

                                         ii.    What do you do if he/she has fever?

                                        iii.    Which rules are important for kids?

                                        iv.    Adaptation time – How much time do you reckon is needed for a child to adapt himself?

                                         v.    If the child does note eat, what do you do?

                                        vi.    If she/he cries a lot, what do you do? How long do you let the child cry for?

g.    Physical safety

                                          i.    What temperature should be the bath?

                                         ii.    Which domestic dangers are to be avoided?

h.    Importance of playing

                                          i.    Which activities do you do with the kids?

                                         ii.    What is the priority for you?

                                        iii.    Which skills does a Nanny need?

i.      Hygiene and food

                                          i.    If the kids presents signs of diarrhea, what do you do?

                                         ii.    What is a balanced diet for you?

  1. 3.     How do we collaborate? This relationship is an awkward mix between love and professional link.  And this is exactly where I believe lies the main challenge of it.
    How do we keep distance with this person who knows every little detail of our life and its most intimate corners? What level of respect can she have for me when she is tidying up my underwear and knows some not that interesting parts of my life. How do I value her? How do I make her aware that I appreciate what she does for me? Here are some ideas:

    1. a.     Respect – Respect of the person of course and especially of what is planned and agreed in the deal. I recall one of my participants, laughing at me (with me?) about the fact that I have everything agreed upon. It can sound exaggerate and I am convinced that respecting the Schedule that we agreed on for example, is key in order to demonstrate her that we respect her life outside from our house…
    2. b.    Praise her, acknowledge, guide and agree upon the main rules of our house
    3. c.     Show true interest for her– it can be fairly unbalanced because she gets to know everything about us and we know nothing about her life. Again, by asking her, remembering important moments in her life, we can create a relationship much stronger than a pure work link.
    4. d.    …whilst keeping distance – so, it is about connecting keeping distance. This might be the most difficult one!
    5. e.      A good salary and a good treatment – I am especially concerned by the “maids” because I am scared that having them leaving under the same roof, makes it harder to separate and not fall into abusing their time.

Of course I am aware that having a Mary Poppins in our life, is very much luxury and I also understand that not everyone can be keen of it. And I believe it is also important to remind us of the following points:

  1. 1.     There is no way a Mary Poppins should replace the parents

It is important not to fall in the following trap: it is not because we have a nanny at home that we delegate everything or too much of the education of our kids.

It is actually interesting to see that French companies are promoting working hours increasingly compatible with family life. My doubt is thus as follows: to which extend is having a  Mary Poppins actually a trap, pushing us unconsciously or not, into extensive working hours preventing us from spending time with our kids?

I also often remember my first holidays in Andalucía and how surprised I was to see such a high number of nannies in the beach playing with kids. Aren’t holidays a special time for us, parents to finally spend long hours playing with our kids?

  1. 2.     A Mary Poppins is also taking care of the couple 

All partners can pay a tribute to the Mary Poppins working in their house because without them, I am sure (I actually know it…) there would be a lot of domestic quarrels. Having to handle everyday life and the high levels of stress can quickly spoil the couple relationship. And, by delegating this less sexy part, we can take a breath and even push forward the couple!

So, in a nutshell, I wish you the best with your Mary Poppins! Let’s take care of them and I am glad to share with you the following quote which I trust is appropriate..

 “If there is a good woman behind every great Man, behind every great woman, there is a good Nanny” – Susan Cheever

It is a fact that if you want to pursue a career, a nanny can be key and most learnings from Management apply perfectly here.

What do you think?

Free yourself