While it is always advantageous to maintain consistency when a couple is establishing two separate households there are always some gaps. One primary area where some coordination is required is the question of child care. Whether it is a nanny, housekeeper, or babysitter, it is often difficult for parents to use the same child care professional in both homes. Different localities and financial considerations often require a parent to seek out their own nanny. This has advantages and disadvantages.

One big advantage is that a new nanny is familiar with the new neighborhood and its resources. He or she will know the best parks, theaters, and where to get the best hot fudge sundae. A new nanny will bring their own talents and abilities into the home. One nanny may be a gifted musician and able to organize karaoke concerts while a new nanny may be very artistic and able to create museum quality macaroni art. It isn't a bad thing to expose your children to different people who can enrich their lives in different ways.

But the transition from one to two homes involves a complex transition and parents can help mitigate that transition. While each child care professional brings different talents to the table, the lack of consistency can cause your child stress. Consulting your mediator about child care concerns will allow both parents to coordinate their efforts to find child care and facilitate a smooth transition.

Make sure that both nannies meet and get to know each other. The more they share their ideas and methods, the better it is for your children. Consider getting a journal for the existing nanny to write down details about each child. Writing about your children's favorite foods, TV programs, video games, books, and their variety of preferences will acquaint a new nanny and allow him/her to "hit the ground running." It will also be reassuring to your child that their new nanny already seems to know them.

Having both nannies work together will allow both of them to have a smoother, more personal relationship with each child. Even having them exchange notes to each child for their lunch bags will help merge both household into one supportive unit. Try to avoid struggles with nannies competing for affection or loyalty by making sure they get to know each other and communicate frequently.

Your mediator has a lot of experience with child care resources and management and can be an invaluable source of guidance in the joint efforts required to obtain and maintain child care that works for the entire family.

Author's Bio: 

Brian James is an experienced Divorce and Family Mediator with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin.

Brian earned his B.S. in Sociology from Northern Illinois University in 1994 and completed training in Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Northwestern University.

For more information please visit Brian's website, http://www.celandassociates.com or give him a call at (312) 524-5829.