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were we asking too much?

(38 Posts)

Our temporary nanny resigned yesterday. She said she was unhappy that she was doing housework whilst DS was at preschool and that the house was always a bit messy.

Although I will admit to not being the most organised family, our home is not dirty or particularly messy. We have 4 DC, 2 dogs and DH and I. The worst that the kitchen gets is a pan or 2 and plates from the last meal made.

We explained that it was a 5 week placement and that as DS was at preschool for 3 hours every afternoon we would like her to do a bit of laundry and either a bit of a tidy or chucking a vacuum around after she had her lunch hour. She seemed happy with this at interview and until she resigned yesterday seemed happy with the job.

She also asked that we pay her early yesterday morning as she had DDs going out (due to be paid on Friday). We feel utterly let down but also wanted to make sure we weren't askig too much so we don't run into this problem again.

juneybean Thu 07-Mar-13 09:21:10

What was she hoping to do whilst being paid when LO was at preschool?

I don't think you were asking too much.

Lostonthemoors Thu 07-Mar-13 09:26:24

No - I think she knew what the job entailed up front. She probably has what she considers an easier job or longer term Jon to go to.

Lostonthemoors Thu 07-Mar-13 09:30:46

Not Jon, job blush

bringmeroses Thu 07-Mar-13 09:34:51

She seems a little immature not to have addressed it with you to try to find a workable solution, instead just deciding to resign. I expect you will find someone more on your wavelength next time. Plus did you only want her for five weeks? She may well have found something longer term that starts before her time with you is up and she will be happier knowing she's got a longer term role at the new place. Pure speculation!

Well I'm at uni and after the 5 weeks I have a 6 week break. After that we need someone permanent. We made it clear that if we were all happy that it was hers.

She works as a temporary nanny all the time. I'm just at a loss as to what was so awful that she couldn't stay for even the 2 and a bit weeks left out of 5. We are utterly up the creek sad

mrsshackleton Thu 07-Mar-13 09:43:06

If you were upfront with her then no, you were not asking too much. Agree she has probably got a job she prefers for whatever reason lined up, or she is incredibly lazy and you're better off without her.

mrsshackleton Thu 07-Mar-13 09:44:16

Oh, just seen your second post. What was she expected to do during those 6 weeks? She probably had a secure job lined up to start asap.

That's the other thing, we are (I think) really approachable and said at the interview that she should tell us if there were any problems or concerns. We asked at the end of each week if she was happy.

Well she works as a temp nanny so possibly another short post, or at least finish her agreed time with us.

Lostonthemoors Thu 07-Mar-13 09:53:27

I think you are well rid tbh

bringmeroses Thu 07-Mar-13 09:57:32

It is not you, it is HER. Like I said, immaturity. Maybe she doesn't like dogs? Maybe she has found a placement with one child, near where her friends are? I'd focus on finding someone else, I don't think you were at all unreasonable. Ask the agency (if you used one), perhaps they'd be able to shed some light but TBH I think it's just one of those things.

kicker Thu 07-Mar-13 10:00:00

I thought a nanny was there to look after the children, and tasks directly associated with their care (not the rest of the households).
If you want a cleaner, hire a cleaner.

loubielou31 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:06:26

I think (although have no experience) that au pairs are more likely to do a bit of the general household stuff and some simple child care. A nanny usually only does chores directly related to the children, so their laundry but not general household laundry and tidying the children's room, play room or nursery but not general cleaning.

loubielou31 Thu 07-Mar-13 10:12:46

She probably has another job to go to but for the next nanny/au pair you hire I think it would help if you clearly defined the tasks at the outset.
You are probably going to have to become more organised. In my experience a house with four children and two dogs would generally be messier and dirtier than I'm used to unless the household are very conscientious about cleaning, she may well have felt you were asking too much but didn't know how to say it.

But we were clear at the interview that although we appreciate that nannys don't normally do cleaning as there were 3 hours a day with no kids to look after we expected a small amount of housework to be done. Just tidying the kitchen or a quick vacuum, not scrubbing toilets or floors.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 07-Mar-13 11:07:17

sounds to me that she had a better job offer and left - tho if she knew it was 5 weeks and 2/3 left then surely another job would wait for her

thats how i work, and i temp - tho fwiw i wouldnt be happy doing the cleaning etc while your dc was at school (as someone pointed out nannies dont generally clean) - but if you said that at the time of the interview .......

did you get her from an agency, if so complain and get fee back

and as you need someone now, i wouldnt make the cleaning an issue, you need childcare and help now, cleaning may put off some (like me) and tbh sure you and dh can manage between yourselves and ask your older 3 to help

ruby242 Thu 07-Mar-13 11:30:39

Hmm very unprofessional for her to leave with just a few weeks to go! I'm a nanny and am happy to do some light housework if no children are at home-otherwise what is she supposed to do for 3 hours?! Perhaps there was some misunderstanding but I don't think you were asking too much

Of course we can manage the cleaning ourselves, we usually do! What should a nanny be doing whilst they are all at school/preschool?

5alive4life Thu 07-Mar-13 12:01:00

was there cleaning for the whole 3 hours whilst dc were at nursery? generally after drop off and pick up is factored in there is about 2.5 hours left for me to play with .After i drop child at nursery i take 1.5 hours to do laundry,clean childrens bedroom,plan children's tea,make lunch for nursery child and general tidy up from breakfast and unload the dishwasher. i do take an hour in the morning for myself,sometimes i watch telly or sometimes i meet a friend for a drink at the cafe. i dont get a lunch break so generally feel im entilted to relax for an hour a day.

Preschool is 5 minutes away. There's a 3 hour gap, 1 hour is for lunch break then the rest of the time is for whatever really. Maybe a load of laundry, sort tea for the dc and either give the kitchen a quick tidy, load or unload dishwasher and wipe sides. Older DC do their own rooms and put own laundry away. Once a week we do a cleaning session with the dc so they dust and maybe vacuum and sort bedrooms, we will clean the bathroom and mop the hard floors and sort paperwork etc.

5alive4life Thu 07-Mar-13 12:22:38

I don't see any problem with what you are expecting then! I am sure you will be able to find someone new willing to do that. goodluck

Novstar Thu 07-Mar-13 12:23:11

No I don't think you were asking much, and it is also very strange just to resign like that. Clearly there are things going on with the nanny that you don't and probably won't know about. I wouldn't waste your time thinking about what/how it went wrong, just concentrate on looking forwards!

newbiefrugalgal Thu 07-Mar-13 12:42:52

You were up front about the cleaning - get over it people. SOME nannies do clean and are happy with that. What other job do you expect to get paid to sit on your butt and do nothing for hours on end.
DRIVES ME INSANE as you can tell!

Karoleann Thu 07-Mar-13 16:04:35

I'm not sure I'd ask a nanny to do none child related stuff, unless it was emptying the dishwasher - BUT you did make it clear that that was part of the role before employing her and you were paying her for a lunch break - most employees don't usually have that.

I also suspect she's got another job. Have a look on childcare.co.uk tonight and phone round, I'm sure you can get someone for next week, its probably a little easier getting someone for two weeks rather than 5.

Better luck next time x

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 07-Mar-13 16:12:43

Did you say light housework at interview, or did you say that you expect two of the three hours that your DC are in alternate childcare to be spent hoovering/wiping/emptying etc?
It might be that your idea of light housework and there's was very different. Or it might be that they would prefer a full day with kids rather than cleaning in the middle of the day - I'd rather be planning activities and researching classes and lessons than hoovering!

Lostonthemoors Thu 07-Mar-13 16:26:39

Caja there's no way researching and planning would take a full 3 hours in a day, surely??!

I have just looked in my kitchen and realised she has deep cleaned bits. Shelves, tiles, tea and coffee canisters. Why would she do that? We would never have asked her. Very odd.

fieldfare Thu 07-Mar-13 17:02:14

Maybe she misunderstood? Her idea of a bit of cleaning may be radically different to yours. It's a shame she couldn't talk about it openly with you though.
Childcare.co.uk is a good website to use.

teatrolley Thu 07-Mar-13 17:13:26

It sounds like some serious miscommunication. You need to spell out the specific tasks eg unstacking/restacking the dishwasher. You obviously have very different ideas of tidying and cleaning. grin that you can tell where she's cleaned.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 07-Mar-13 23:27:38

So she did clean

Maybe she misunderstood how much you wanted her to clean and that's why she left

Shame she didn't discuss it with you sad

raspberryroop Fri 08-Mar-13 08:20:11

errh - if you can 'notice' cleaning in you kitchen and you regard tiles and tea canisters as 'deep' cleaning - then your idea of clean and tidy is very different from mine and probably her's. I think with 4 kids and full time jobs what you find ok and just a bit messy may be - quite messy and untidy ;0

Welovegrapes Fri 08-Mar-13 09:54:25

I think most cleaners would regard things inside cupboards as a deep cleaning task and not a regular wipe around! Certainly not something my cleaner would do regularly.

And if I had 4 kids, 2 dogs and was studying I don't think I would have much time to go round wiping tea caddies constantly.

MarshmallowCupcake Fri 08-Mar-13 20:46:11

Not good that she left especially since you had outlined the job description at interview.
But, I'd never take on another nanny position that involves cleaning! I'd happily move furniture around the kids room to clean skirtings etc but I'd never do parent associated cleaning.
Nannies are there to look after the children and do any duties associated with the kids, not to wash the parents dishes from the night before. Mothers helps are slightly different but any job in the house can be happily done by nanny/mothers help as long as its discussed at interview stage.

Dozer Sat 09-Mar-13 10:15:38

Unlucky hire, as others say it's her that's the problem, if she was from an agency I would complain, if not just chalk it up to experience.

forevergreek Sat 09-Mar-13 23:08:47

most nannies wouldn't do a cleaners job

3 hrs out of school. 15 mins there and back (might only be 3 min walk but they need coats sorting, teachers talk, children chat to friends)

so 2.5 hours. nanny takes 1 hr break as only time in the day as no lunch break

so 1.5 hrs.

that time as a nanny would be to sort childrens washing (fair amount with 4 children). get dinner ready/prepped for that evening, tidy toys/bedrooms.

leaving very little time left if any. any spare time would be baking for childrens school lunches/snacks, picking up some milk, sewing on a name badge, arranging activity for that afternoon etc...

juneybean Sat 09-Mar-13 23:13:05

A nanny getting a 1 hour break? That's a luxury.

forevergreek Sat 09-Mar-13 23:31:47

No a nanny takes time when they can as a break. This nanny had 3 hours without child so it makes sense to take a break then if possible.

I work 7am-7pm, are you suggesting it would be a luxury for me to sit down 30 mins? I don't have any charges at nursery so they are home full time. When they nap however yes I do try to take a hour as a break. Sometimes my 'break' with be a drink sitting down with toddler on the sofa and that's the closest I get that day.

I don't think many jobs expect you to work solidly with no break at all.

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