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Nanny With Own Child/Employers of NWOC - please talk to me about your experiences and opinions(8 Posts)
Our nanny of three years is pregnant, and has indicated that she would like to return to work after maternity leave, and that she would like to bring her own child with her. She is a very good nanny, and I am pleased with her. She knows this. There are niggles, but they can be sorted and we have a very good working relationship.
My DS are 5 yo (in full time school) and nearly 1 yo. I would imagine that when/if she returns to work, DS1 would be 6 and a bit, and DS2 would be nearly 2. She is a part time nanny, in that she works 3 days a week. I am at home for the other 2 days. DH is home with us at weekends (he works very long hours on weeknights).
I started a thread yesterday about a reduction in pay if she comes back to work and brings her own child and had mixed views. I honestly believe that there should be a reduction in pay, as the care becomes shared, and our DSs will be getting less attention and there will be less time for other nanny jobs that she does around the house. So if our nanny doesn't accept some level of reduction, I don't think it will get off the ground. But tbh the pay is only one of my concerns/thoughts at the moment. I am trying to get my head around how it would work out and what arrangements would need to be put in place.
On the logictics side, we would need to have another highchair, bed (travel cot or similar) baby toys and maybe a baby seat/jumperoo/baby gym/whatever in our house. We would also need a double buggy. We would also need to have another car seat (I would imagine that DS2 and nanny's baby would go in the back of the car and DS1 would go in the front seat on a booster seat). This is all do-able, I think. I'm not sure who would pay for it though (we have some of these things, but not all).
But what happens if I want DS2 to go to something like tumble tots, where he needs to be constantly supervisedand helped to do the activities? Or if I wanted him to go to something like monkey music - does nanny's child go too, and if so, who pays for nanny's child?
And do you think it would be the case that DS1 (who will be 6) would be last on the list in terms of attention, helping with homework and being played with etc after school and during school holidays, as the babies need more?
What else am I missing?
Something else which has occurred to me too - what happens if my children are ill? Would she still come? If her child is ill, would she still expect/want to come? How would she be paid for the days when she didn't come due to childrens illnesses?
Thoughts from NWOC and employers of NWOC on all of this and anything I've missed are very welcome.
You've raised really good points, and I agree that there should be a reduction in salary for NWOC however when I've spoken to nanny agencies about it in the past, they say there isn't - which seems ludicrous as not only are they saving a fortune in childcare, the service you are paying for is diminished by virtue of them having their own child.
For us, hiring a new nanny WOC was therefore completely out of the question but for you, she's a known quantity so you may be more inclined to go with it. You should perhaps work out which of the above issues you're prepared to accept, and those which you're not. Eg - if your child is sick, she is still required to attend work. Up to her whether she puts her child into childcare for that time or brings it with her, but your requirement for a nanny is one who looks after sick children. Ditto if hers is unwell - she needs to find cover - just as you do so that you turn up for your job when your child is unwell. If she doesn't want to come when her child is sick, that's holiday time isn't it? It is with my employer so should it be different with the nanny's?
It may be that she doesn't want to accept those terms and then at least you know where you are - though from her point of view, that would potentially make her redundant now which she's not going to want to do before maternity leave so it's unlikely you'll get a true response until she's had the baby and is ready to come back - she'll need to protect her own position.
we've had 2 nannies with kids - both got pregnant while working for us
To answer your questions...
1. I didn't reduce their pay - they had worked for me for so long that I didn't want to
2. They provided all their own baby stuff - if they needed additional car seats, they provided them etc.
3. Impact on the kids? one nanny didn't change at all, the other one took the kids out far less, organised far fewer activities and generally spent more time in the house cooking and tidying
4. Both always arranged days in the holidays where they didn't have the baby with them so they could take the kids out on day trips (so left the baby with the dad/family). They did this without me asking but it was something that worked very well and I appreciated the fact that they did it.
They're all really good questions/things to think about, but they're not really things that have a right/wrong answer or even a 'most people do this' answer. It depends entirely on what you want, what the nanny wants, what works for you.
With illness for example, it would be perfectly fine to ask that she leave her baby at home when sick and still comes in to your children when they're sick. If you want this the reduction in wage will be small. It would also be ok to agree that the nanny looks after the 'healthy' children, so if her child is sick she leaves it at home, if your child is sick she doesn't come in. This is what would happen in a nanny-share, you can reduce her wage by a 33-50%. In this case you would pay her as normal if she didn't come in, that's the way a share works. You'll obviously have to discuss what constitutes 'illness'.
With acrivities it depends on whether you have a NWOC or nanny-share arrangement (I posted on your other thread). If you've reduced her wage by 33-50% you can't expect her to just go along with your child's activities, there will be some give and take. If you've only reduced it by 10% then she would carry on with tumbletots or whatever you want your DC's to do. In terms of who would pay for the activities I think it depends on how much they cost. For example, If you insist that she take them to gymboree at £16 per session, I thik it would be unreasonable to ask her to pay for her child to. Again it depends on what arrangement you have.
In terms of logistics I would expect her to provide all necessary car seats/prams/highchairs etc. I would say though that you probably don't need too much stuff. Your DS won't need the highchair by the time he's 2yo, even if he does she can feed one on her lap or feed them one after the other. Her baby can sleep in the pram or your DS could sleep on a sofa or on his brother's big bed etc, you don't need two cots. You don't need a gym or a jumparoo or baby toys. There are ways to make it easier.
I had been with my boss 18m when I got pregnant and returned to work when my baby was 12 weeks old. I accepted a small wage reduction but I'm sure it's totally balanced out by all the gifts and expensive hand-me-downs ds has inherited from my bosses. I try to ensure that my ds coming along doesn't leave my bosses out of pocket eg I bought my own cot & high chair and pay a little for food to my boss etc. I also try to pack most of the baby equipment away at the weekends. we had to have a very lengthy discussion about all the questions you raised-like illness and babysitting, I found it really useful actually because myself and dh had to hammer out all the details together first. Don't be aftaid to do the sane you wouldn't want to be assuming anything about hiw your nanny imagines the practicalities working. I did feel for the first few months like I was doing 90% of the job, and somehow at the end of each day there were always things I hadn't got to (like tumble dryer still full or used lunchbox sitting beside the sink). BUT the children all had great care and no safety was ever compromised or anything like that. I actually don't have to work, but I prefer to be busy and really enjoy the children all together as they get on so well and my days are hectic but such fun. As far as your other thread...if I couldn't have kept my job I would have been looking at a new NWOC position, so probably a longer maternity leave and 30% wage reduction, or starting a childminding business, so also a longer leave plus training and lots of logistics re working at my home, so I felt a small reduction was fair. I guess my boss was keen to keep me, and possibly knew I wasn't desperate to keep my job (meaning she couldn't reduce my wage too harshly or I just wouldn't work at all), so it depends on your nanny's other options. If you really value your nanny so much I think you should really try to make it work as the children get lots out of it too believe it or not.
1. We did not reduce pay but have not given payrises in the 2 years since (and we told her this is what we planned. She preferred that to an upfront reduction). Like Victoria, she has had loads of hand-me-downs (cot bed, changing table etc).
2. She returned after 6 weeks for financial reasons. I would have preferred her to stay off for longer becuase she was clearly still exhausted and getting used to it all, but her call. I guess I could have "forced" her to take longer by saying she was not allowed to bring the baby until he was 12 weeks, but would not have felt at all comfortable with that (and there is a chance she would have come back at 6 weeks without the baby because she had other childcare options which i would have felt dreadful about).
3. My DC were school age when her DS was born, so some of the issues you raise were not really in point.
4. Nanny's mother lives near her and is able to look after her DS from time to time. she would therefore come without him some days, especially when there was anything planned for my DC that would not be suitable for a baby. Same when her DS (or my DC) were ill. I have noticed that this does not seem to happen anymore, although not sure if that is becuase her mother is no longer able to look after her DS or becuase she thinks now he is 2 he can tag along to pretty much anything. If I asked her not to bring him on a particular day, i think she would try to fit in with this.
5. We still had a highchair and various other equipment in our attic which she uses (and anything she does not use here she took hom e- quite a lot of stuff bearing in mind we needed to have 2 of quite a few things as DC are twins!). Anything extra she is reponsible for bringing. This has worked fine. She is good at putting everything out of sight at the end of the day/week so does not feel like we still have a baby in the house.
6. MY DC adore her DS (and vice versa). They are twins (with no other siblings) and I think it has been really good for them to experience life with a younger "sibling" (sort of).
7. We have not stressed about things like food. When her DS was little, she would bring along purees and jars etc (and formula). Now he is eating "proper" meals I think she just cooks extra of what she is cooking for my DC which I guess means I am paying for a lot of his food, but I am not too worried as they do not eat much at that age and nanny buys my DC snacks out of her own money from time to time.
8. We have not "formalised" the arrangement by amending the contract or writing down "rules" but have rather taken things as they come. This has been fine most of the time.
9. Generally, after the first few weeks I would say the arrangement has worked well for us until recently, although this is in part due to the fact our nanny has had access to other childcare for her DS from time to time. There have, though, been times when I have felt that I am essentially paying her to look after her own baby (particularly when my DC are at school or activities or friends' house), although I think this is a natural feeling when employing a nanny for school age kids. It is very hard to get (and keep) a nanny who is prepared to do after school and holidays only for pay based just on the hours actually worked, so we are paying for more hours than we need. Hence, I think even if she did not have a baby I would have similar feelings (paying her to watch TV) from time to time. The feelings are slightly heightened though because she does less around the house than she used to (although in the past she always did more than she was contracted to do off her own bat).
10. Now her DS is 2, it is defintiely working less well. He is a pretty well behaved toddler but is more naturally destructive than my 2 were (writing on walls etc), so our nanny does need to keep a constant eye on him and I dont really want to have to fully baby proof the house when I have 2 9 year olds - my DC like art so want to have easy access to pens etc. We will probably be making her redundant soon for other reasons, and it is partially a relief.
SO overall I think it can work well, particularly when you know the nanny in question pre-pregnancy, but it needs to be kept under constant review.
Our nanny came back to work with her 6month old, my DC were 3 & 4, she took a pay cut from £10/hour to £8hour. It worked okay for 3 months, although having lots of baby clutter around irritated me.
When her son started crawling at 9 months, things became difficult. We had to keep everything childproofed, my children were much more limited the activities they could do, no more swimming or Gymboree for the younger child. They couldn't even really play with toys that had small pieces like Lego without the baby being asleep.
The housework wasn't done as well as before and at least once a week I'd come home to a mess.
Things only really came to a head when her child moved up to the next size car seat, we weren't able to seat all the children in her or our car with their isofix connections. Then the same week, her DS damaged our new dining table.
We had a chat and I told her things weren't working out.
So, with hindsight, it wasn't a good solution for us...I'd much rather pay more and get a dedicated nanny just for my children. DC adapted very well to new nanny we employed.