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Do nannies dislike jobs where mum works from home? Or does it just depend...?

(62 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sat 03-Aug-13 05:23:17

I work from home and am starting to look into finding a part time nanny fr baby DD.

But can any nannies/parents tell me if there are reasons why good nannies prefer jobs where mum is not working at home?

I am new to all this but am getting a slight impression that nannies prefer to work without parents in the home?

Is it (if it is actually the case) because they are worried the parent will hover and interfere?

I have no option but to work from home and ideally would like to be able to leave a nanny totally in charge for eg a three hour block in the morning, then I join them for lunch, then a block again in the pm with nanny in charge. I would be in home office but would aim (unless extraordinary event) to stay 'locked' away for the three hour blocks ie I wouldn't intend to pop out every ten minutes to see what was going on etc.

I couldn't promise to be that disciplined at the start!!!! Would be hard not to pop out if DD was crying for me sad But intention would be to wean us all off that over time.

I do worry however that working from home night be more disruptive for baby than me going out!! Had always thought working from home ideal as you could be with child when they needed you but in reality am beginning to recognise that actually this might disrupt a baby more??

And hadnt even thought about whether nannies might not like this kind of arrangement...

Any advice or experience gratefully received! I have just been let down by MIL who had promised childcare so am floundering a bit. sad

SunnyIntervals Sat 03-Aug-13 11:36:58

Guff, they shouldn't have sole charge for a WOHM but the agency is perfectly happy as long as there is someone at home. Any issues and I am 30 seconds away smile

An ap like mine - mid 20s, teacher trained or in training and with plenty of Childcare experience is not that different to a brand new and inexperienced uk nanny - just need good supervision and training - long lead in of a good few weeks.

SunnyIntervals Sat 03-Aug-13 11:40:15

You can see from this thread why I found it incredibly hard to recruit - work from home, was extended bf, ate all 3 meals a day with DS and ap. most nannies don't want this tbh!

It has been great for DS though - he has been very settled and happy in the arrangement. I feel the working from home has been great for him. All aps have kindly recommended us to friends, so they were happy too!

Sunny: you could see why though, it makes it very difficult to start a relationship with a new charge if Mum is close by because what child wants a nanny to soothe them when Mummy is nearby? I adore my charge, she's coming up to 3 now and I've been with her nearly two years, but it is hard when she's upset and even Mum Boss feels that if they were to have another she would have a nanny start earlier and she'd be stricter on herself with coming to the aide when the child is upset. Must be very very difficult to avoid it though.

Another thought, if you bf OP, when recruiting talk to your nanny about it and make it clear you intend to continue if you do. I was amazed to discover a maternity nanny who made it clear that she thought my boss was insane and 'encouraged' her clients to stop breastfeeding by 6 months or earlier if possible. I have met a few others who feel a similar way which has shocked me.

emeraldgirl1 Sat 03-Aug-13 13:12:09

Oooh it really does seem as though there are different opinions on this one!!!

Sunny, stupid question probably but were your au pairs live in?

I am starting to wonder if the best solution for a few more months/up to a year is to get a mothers help to take household tasks off my back so I could get a couple of hours work done instead of laundry and ironing in the evening. And could slot in some work in the day when DD naps rather than running round tidying/loading the dishwasher...

If DD started sleeping through the night (!) I could also start early, 6am ish, and do a good hour before she wakes.

I guess I might try that and see if I can carve out enough work time that way. DH can take her one full day on the weekend and my mum will do what she can. If I stayed up at my parents a couple of nights a week my mum could take DD out two mornings for 3 hours each time and I get 6 hours that way.

Just desperately don't want to confuse or frustrate my LO!!!

emeraldgirl1 Sat 03-Aug-13 13:14:16

Sunny, that is great advice re au pairs, I will certainly start to look into that... Thank you!!!

GuffSmuggler Sat 03-Aug-13 13:16:29

Why not just do a nursery 2 or 3 mornings a week or drop her a nearby childminder if you can do 3 hour blocks without breastfeeding?

It would be cheaper to use a CM and better IMO. I don't like working from home when our nanny is home as we just get in her way. Dc both want to see me and come to me for stuff so I'm careful to stress that our nanny is in charge not me.

emerald: what about a girl who's worked in a nursery for a year or two and hoping to become a nanny? You're home, she can get that step up and gradual working to being fully sole charge and you have a slightly cheaper option to a fully qualified nanny?

SunnyIntervals Sat 03-Aug-13 14:27:57

Emerald, they do live in, which I was a bit dubious about initially. However, we've actually loved having them and even though DS is now at an age where we could more easily opt for nursery we've chosen ap care again.

I think ap sounds perfect for you tbh, as it would be very flexible. My last one used to take DS off to a music group one morning a week which gave me a few hours of solid working - was great!

nannynewo Sat 03-Aug-13 15:56:43

You have been given a lot of good advice here. From a nanny's point of view I agree that it is a lot more difficult working knowing the children's parents are in the same house. I feel as though I can't completely relax/be silly and am constantly asking the children to keep the noise down because mummy or daddy is working! I guess my situation was more difficult because both worked from home in separate parts of the house so almost everywhere we went we would have to keep the noise down. Another bad point I would add....the children I looked after were almost 2 and 5 when I started and although the youngest was not bothered by her parents being in the house the eldest was and would ALWAYS go into the mums room while she was trying to work and I mean ALL the time! It got to the point where I really wanted to just put a lock on her door myself haha! Also hard to discipline (naughty step) because the kids will scream again being too noisy for parents to work.

However, as much as I am making it sound like complete chaos, it worked out well in other ways because if one of the parents had finished a big chunk of work they could take one or both of the kids out unexpectedly which would allow me to get out the house too. It also has advantages to the nanny sometimes because they may say 'oh i'll make dinner tonight and dh will take over with the kids so you can leave early tonight' which is always a nice surprise for the nanny and keeps a positive relationship.

I say give it a go but agree with those who say try to leave the nanny alone with the baby until she settles and then perhaps join for lunch once they have bonded.

emeraldgirl1 Sat 03-Aug-13 17:35:15

Thanks everyone!

The nursery-worker-training-to-be-a-nanny idea is a good one, I think. We're in SW London so I'm hoping there are reams of suitable candidates around here... lots of people wanting nannies too, though, of course...

I still may look at the mothers help idea too - does anyone know how much per hour a mother's help would expect in SW London?

Renovatinghouse Sat 03-Aug-13 20:24:55

Hi! just wanted to say that I also work from home and have a 6 months old baby. We hired an au pair a month ago and are really happy with the arrangement. It was the last option but after we couldnt find part time nannies we decided to try and it has worked really well. The ap is mid twenties, very friendly and sensible and extremely loving with the baby. She is not very experienced but eager to follow instructions and does not mind at all me popping in and out several times a day to check on the baby.

She works 35 hours per week, but most days I let her go half an hour or more early and we pay her £100 per week, plus some extra if she has stayed late one day. So far so good!

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 03-Aug-13 21:33:44

honestly yes most nannies hate their employers working from home - not coz we do anything that mb/db wouldnt like but more that they do things us nannies dont like grin wink

leeds explain it well, also

the popping in to say hello disrupts what we are doing,plus when they leave some children cry and we get left to sort them out

if child is crying then parent comes in, they soon learn from an early age to cry/say mummy and the nanny loses authority knowing their parent will come in

parents allowing child in to their office, yet other times doesnt ie if on phone - totally confuses child and sends mixed signals

playing each other off against, ie you say no, they go and see mummy and she says yes

meal times are horrendous as they get older

im happy to sing/dance around room, crawl on hands and knees playing chase etc but you do feel silly doing it if parents about

it can work, but you need to have rules and stick to them - when my ex mb worked the odd day at home and when was on ml but going back to work

if the children went to see mb, she kept door locked from inside and odd time she did reply to them talking through the door,she said ask blondes, im working, she always said that, so eventually kids stopped seeing/asking her stuff

the odd meal she came down and middle one was a pain, so i said either i do tea and mb works, or she does tea and i go home early

db's are easier to have working from home then mb's - they leave you to it more i find

MGMidget Sat 03-Aug-13 22:09:22

I was in a similar situation to you Emeraldgirl and went for a nanny who was trained (level 3 Cache diploma) and recently out of college with limited experience. Hence she was pleased to have the opportunity to take charge of a baby and I was able to give her a bit more time to train her up for sole charge nanny work and to be on hand in an emergency. I stayed out of the way during the day (loft room home office) showing up at lunchtime for a chat. It worked very well and DS was never upset. Noise not a problem as I was sufficiently out of the way. Also, now he's 5 and we now have an au pair he is comfortable with me being in the house working and he stays with the au pair as long she plays with him/keeps him engaged (which the current one does). Temporary babysitters also have no problem getting him to stay with them and there's no upset ( never has been).

The important thing is not to interfere and let your child know the nanny is in charge when you are working and it's fine. My DS was 5.5 months when our nanny started and there were no tears (ever) when I left the room or went out. I would stay for a few minutes in the morning though to give our nanny time to get him engaged in something before I excused myself. I think at 7 months separation anxiety may be a bit worse but probably still not bad. I would feel more comfortable with a newly trained nanny rather than an au pair for a young baby.

forevergreek Sun 04-Aug-13 07:56:10

I would maybe go for a childminder. At 6months they aren't so noisy but in a year they will be having little friends over to play and 3/4 toddlers running around would make a lot of noise!
With a childminder you could pick the hours say 3 days a week, and have a quiet house to work from more productively. If baby starts at 6 months they will get used to everything now rather than nanny for 1 year, then swap. Its also a lot cheaper as no tax/ insurance etc to pay, and no food, activities on top.
Sw London, I would say £6-7 per hour at a childminder. So £50-70 a day depending on price and hours. And that might include x3 meals and nappies for child depending on what they offer exactly
Compared to a nanny of approx £13 gross, say 10 hrs= £130 per day. Plus £10 min a day to cover food for nanny and child at home, plus trips to toddler group/ library session/ bus ticket.

Welovegrapes Sun 04-Aug-13 08:47:13

But if you have a cm you lose a lot of the benefit for the child of working from home - meals together, mum around if needed, able to continue bf on demand as baby moves across to solids and until feeds naturally start to drop off.

Welovegrapes Sun 04-Aug-13 08:47:25

I would go for an ap personally

Cathyrina Sun 04-Aug-13 15:53:56

Im a Nanny and didnt like my previous role which was shared care with mum at home. It was a bit different though as she was on maternity leave and around all the time. Constant checking at every single cry, having to keep noise level down when she or newborn took a nap etc. all was tricky to manage but the worst thing was the little ones separation anxiety. Mum would run around the house, constantly leave and come back all the time and wasnt really supportive so in the end little one would not only cry but have a proper melt down and scream for ages every single time mum left or even when she got up the sofa to change rooms. It was a nightmare but they didnt want to hear about it and just kep on with it. In your case I would simply make sure that the position is sole charge right from the very beginning to avoid confusing your little one. You do however need a proper handover period for the baby to get to know the new nanny with you around for security in the beginning. Make sure that when the Nanny comes in and starts her working day you have a smooth handover of a few minutes every day so baby can relate to new nanny as a new play mate and person of trust and not as someone who will take her away from you (I had this in last position because mum threw the baby at me the second I came in and disappeared immediately) . I would suggest that you sit down with new nanny and create a schedule for you to come down regularly i.e. for lunch and for tea so baby gets used to you being nearby when she needs you but only being around at certain times.

BerkshireMum Sun 04-Aug-13 23:56:56

I worked from home when I had nannies - sometimes all the time, sometimes part-time. I was scrupulous about saying that nanny was in charge when she was working and I wouldn't intervene. When DC were toddlers they'd come to knock to give me a kiss before they went out or to show me something they'd made, but it was very brief and I didn't interfer in how nanny had planned the day etc.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Aug-13 17:46:32

BerkshireMum, that's exactly how I would want to do it... Can I ask how old your DCs were when you started the arrangement?

Thanks Cathyrina, that sounds a bit of a nightmare job for you!!! I'd never intend to be anything like that boss! My main priority would be to make sure DD feels that the nanny is in charge and to not unsettle her by popping in etc.

ChickenLickenSticken Wed 21-Aug-13 20:14:45

Emerald, I wfh 4 days a week and when I was still on mat leave I thought I could do similar with dd (ie lunches with her, have her looked after at home whilst I work) but in the end we found a great nursery (she does 2 days pw there's and the other 2 days with her grandparents). Nursery is a 5 minute walk away, and whilst at first it felt a bit strange shipping dd out for the day, it now works really well.

Could you consider nursery?

You say about early mornings - please remember that DC are bloody inconsistent and whilst they might go thought a phase of sleeping in until 8am, this is just a trick wink and they will lull you into a false sense of security and then wake up at 6am for the best part of 3 months.

Do you work for yourself or are you employed? I'm employed and lucky to have v flexible working arrangements which is great - but flexibility is required of me too. Having very concrete childcare means I know exactly where I stand with that and can make work plans around that.

okiecokie Wed 21-Aug-13 22:39:12

I wfh and have an nanny and it works really well. My nanny hours are 8.30-5.30 and I do not have a 3 hour to and from the office each day so U have more time with the children in the morning and the evening. However there are some rules. I always get the children up and give them breakfast each morning. Our nanny arrives and I have a coffee with her while the children have breakfast and we discuss the night before and day ahead. Then I leave and go to my office. From then it is her day. She is in charge and I do not interfere. I even text her from upstairs rather than come down as I know that would upset the apple cart and confuse the children. All I need is a cup of tea or coffee now and then. As I am home, she tends to go out more which I agree with, playgroups, parks, swimming etc. It works well for us, but largely because I am hand off.

NannyBeth Thu 22-Aug-13 01:34:00

I work for parents who are around sometimes and away sometimes - mb works shifts but is also studying and db is self employed and does about half his work at home. For us, it works! If mb/db are home and free, they come with us to the park etc. One of them is always home to take the kids to ballet one day a week. And if they aren't home, obviously we just get on with it. Since its been this way since the kids were tiny, they accept that sometimes mum and dad go upstairs to do work and sometimes they walk/take the car and go somewhere else. Yes, they do cry occasionally but it takes 5secs to distract/calm them down (they are now 2.5).

I think it works really well for this family - they get to spend more time with the kids, take them out individually for one-on-one on a regular basis as there's someone to watch the others, and be involved with their lives. However, they also get the "break" of work and the income of course!!

Just be honest in your ad and with any nanny who you interview - you will be working from home, you want to be involved, etc and you should be fine!!

oscarwilde Thu 22-Aug-13 14:47:56

I've worked from home for an extended period and I think only Berkshiremum and Okiecokie's approach really works, and only then if you can be tucked away somewhere you can't really hear the noise.
I made a point to pop downstairs and grab a cup of tea just before the kids come in for lunch at 12. They have usually been active and are a bit cranky by then so it's disruptive to have me around at lunchtime.

It's useful to establish what you want to be interupted for (eg: a quick goodbye; major bump on the head etc; but that you will wait to be called on and so it is at the nanny's judgement. Otherwise you will have a child on your hands that assumes you will pop out with a concerned face at every minor bump and bruise and you will never get any work done. Ignoring an upset child is the hardest point at first but you quickly learn how fast they get over it if you are not around smile

SunnyIntervals Thu 22-Aug-13 15:36:18

Beth, you sound like you have just the arrangement I have with my ap - I pop in and out just as it works for that day and DS - now 2 - is fine with that.

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