Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

would you let your nanny/au pair ask a friend over, when babysitting?

(44 Posts)
mrsshackleton Tue 11-Jun-13 14:25:41

Our live-out nanny is living in with us over the summer while she waits for accommodation to become free. She was babysitting on Friday and asked if she could have a friend (male but not boyfriend) over to sit and watch TV with her. After deliberating, dh and I said no - to male or female friends with the proviso we might (but might not) be OK if it was someone we'd met. WIBU?

Runoutofideas Tue 11-Jun-13 14:36:59

I wouldn't have a problem with it - presumably you trust her to make sensible decisions and behave appropriately if you leave your children with her?

Seb101 Tue 11-Jun-13 14:53:32

I'd say its fine, why not. It can be boring babysitting, so why not let her have some company? If you trust her, then it would be a nice gesture to allow it. You'll probably find she'll be keener to babysit and more likely to day yes, if she knows she can ask a friend over. Having said that, your paying her, so perfectly within your rights to say no.

mrsshackleton Tue 11-Jun-13 14:53:48

I trust her and I'm sure she'd behave appropriately, but don't know her friends, so couldn't be sure of them.

dinkystinky Tue 11-Jun-13 14:55:43

I dont have an issue with it at all - I know and trust my nanny (after all I trust her with the two most precious people in my life) and know she'd be respectful of my space and ensure her friends are too.

alarkaspree Tue 11-Jun-13 15:05:52

I would be fine with a babysitter having a friend over after the kids were in bed, but until then I would prefer that she just focussed on playing with them. Unless it was a friend that they knew and liked.

It might also depend on how old the nanny is.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 15:07:48

Of course I would. Especially as she is living in (at the moment). If you don't trust her judgement of her friends how on earth do you trust her to lool after your children?

thistlelicker Tue 11-Jun-13 15:09:53

If she babysits for u regularly how is she ment to have friends? Ta selfish to say no, what is she to do, spend evening on her own?

mrsshackleton Tue 11-Jun-13 15:10:55

To give context nanny is 21, a student (only works pt around college) and dc stay up quite late until 9.30ish. If dc were fast asleep at 7 still, it would be a different matter.

mrsshackleton Tue 11-Jun-13 15:12:03

And she has 5 or 6 nights a week free, plus all day until after school so A LOT of time to see friends (which she does). She is being paid to spend the evening on her own

thistlelicker Tue 11-Jun-13 15:13:26

Personally I think if I was your babysitter I would say no to u! But that's me!

blueshoes Tue 11-Jun-13 15:21:53

No because she is paid to babysit, not watch TV with a friend.

If she was babysitting as a favour, yes but still uncomfortable about male friend. I think it is a bit cheeky for her to ask and perfectly within your and dh's rights to turn down.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Tue 11-Jun-13 16:33:30

We've historically been very liberal about allowing people over in situations like these. Our nanny never really took us up on it, but our au pairs often invited a (female) friend around. We've recently come to the conclusion that we've been too accommodating, particuarlly when it comes to male visitors. "He's just a friend," is a current issue for us; it's been difficult to set boundaries.

Six months ago, I would have said: yes, absolutely, let them have a friend round. Now I can see the argument for wanting to meet them first. It's really up to you; I don't think it's unreasonable to want to meet people first and don't feel obliged to allow it as a matter of course.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 11-Jun-13 18:31:05

if you trust your nanny then trust her judgement in friends and who she would invite to your house

do you trust who she sees daytime with your dc, or have you met them before you allowed her to socialize with them?

Ragwort Tue 11-Jun-13 18:33:51

Years ago a babysitter asked my parents if she could invite her boyfriend round whilst she was babysitting; my father said 'no'; she then spent the whole evening at the end of our drive chatting to the boy friend, my brothers and I watched and sniggered out of the window grin.

grabaspoon Tue 11-Jun-13 18:53:10

I am a nanny and my boss trusts me with her child - and allows me to choose who we spend time with during our day - so would have no problem with me having a friend over if I was babysitting or proxy parenting. TBH I've had dinner parties at work when I've been proxy parenting but it has been the nannies my charges known or mums of my charges friends.

mrsshackleton Tue 11-Jun-13 20:21:45

I guess the deal is she isn't a "nanny - nanny", she is a student who does some afterschool childcare for us dcs are 9 and 7, so we only need a pair of hands to get them home from school/to activities/cook a meal. Her friends are all students, not other nannies. The dc have never met them.

I'd add she's paid supergenerously, so I don't think asking her to stay in once or twice a week and watch TV alone is too harsh, it's part of the negotiated deal. She's out tonight, partying in Clapham grin

GenerationX Tue 11-Jun-13 21:12:09

Yes absolutely - why not? Don't you trust her? Sounds like you don't have a lot of respect for her or her choices which is odd as you say she is your nanny.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 21:15:47

Bottom line is that you either trust her or you don't. If you do then her having friends around shouldn't be an issue, if you don't then you shouldn't be letting her look after your children.

However, she who pays the Piper calls the tune.

Reinette Tue 11-Jun-13 21:22:37

I would not have a problem with that. Like others have said, if I didn't trust her judgment I wouldn't leave my kids with her and if I did, I would trust her to choose a mature, responsible friend to have over and to behave appropriately.

You are of course within your rights to say no. If I were your nanny I'd feel mildly miffed but not entirely put out.

blueshoes Tue 11-Jun-13 21:49:46

It is not a question of trust.

I would not ask my boss to let my friend hang out with me at my work place - my boss would rightly say 'no'. Of course nannies socialise with other nannies during the day, but that is because the children can play together. I would not be happy if my nanny's social friends, male or female, decided to hang around, while she is supposed to be working.

I can see this as a situation in which there could be flexibility e.g. if I knew her friend, who was a woman and not a man. But in principle, I don't like the idea of her having non-work-related company when she is in charge of my children.

Cathyrina Tue 11-Jun-13 21:59:00

I find babysitting extremely boring if the kid are asleep so am very happy that my employers let me have a friend over every now and then. We don't do anything except for watching a movie and having a chat and if LO wakes up I will just go upstairs and take care of her the same way I would do if there wasn't a friend of mine sitting downstairs. It is very rare that she wakes up but if she does then she's priority and my friend has to wait or leave depending on what's going on. Most of them are Nannies anyway so know what's ok and what not. Not a big deal really, if you let someone look after your child you should also trust them to behave responsible with a friend around.

AllDirections Tue 11-Jun-13 22:15:47

I would want to meet the friend before I decided.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 23:08:42

God some of you are so unreasonable & dare I say it, ridiculous <shakes head> at the sheer weirdness of some people.

blueshoes Tue 11-Jun-13 23:23:34

Cannot cope with differing opinions, Chip? That's pretty weird too.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 23:41:25

Blueshoes - please tell me you don't actually have a nanny.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 11-Jun-13 23:48:17

The wanting to meet them first is weird imo.

I can see the point that she's at work and you don't have friends visit you at work. I don't agree, but I can see where you're coming from.

What will meeting them first solve? 'Oh they didn't come in with a stack of porn under one arm and a meat cleaver in the other, they're fine' or 'I was suspicious that your friend came with a bong...'. Or are you planning to hook them up to a lie detector at this meeting? Ask for references? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you can tell diddley squat about someone from meeting them once! If you could, the majority of rapists, child abusers and murderers wouldn't be friends/partners/trusted people to their victims.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 12-Jun-13 00:32:03

It is possible that people who are perfectly good at their jobs enjoy socialising in their free time with people you would prefer not to and on balance without getting to know them better you'd prefer you'd kids not to ir have hanging about in tour house. I don't think the judgement call one makes about a nanny covers every possible area of their lives. How can it? Who doesn't have work colleagues who are great at their jobs but have friends or partners I wouldn't want to get to know better I'd create a precedent for having in my home on an unlimited basis. The 'logic' if just because you trust them in one area/see eye in all doesn't apply.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 12-Jun-13 00:45:47

And as fur babysitting being so extremely boring anyone heard if Netflix? I'd dare I say it Mumsnet? Amazing his the time flies by. Start a wedding thread.

BranchingOut Wed 12-Jun-13 07:45:01

It is your home and you can say no to any guests you dont want to receive.

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all, especially if you have not met the friend. The problem is that she, by asking, puts you on the back foot and makes you seem unreasonable by saying no!

She is being accommodated, paid and is therefore working during this time. So, she can watch telly, read, knit or build card-houses if she likes, but ultimately it is your say-so.

lauracutee Wed 12-Jun-13 10:02:35

Yes of course. If you trust her with your children, you're trusting her judgement in doing the right thing by them.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 12-Jun-13 12:44:36

LadyHarriet I don't think anyone is saying that a nanny might not have some 'unsavoury' friends, more that she wouldn't bring them to work. If you trust her judgement, then it follows that you trust her to only invite the friends that she knows could be trusted in your house, with your children.

I may have a friend who swears like a sailor, let's call him Bob, as you say I can be perfectly good at my job and still enjoy socialising with Bob. If I were allowed to invite someone to visit while I was babysitting, I wouldn't choose Bob because I'm good at my job, because I have good judgment. If I did invite Bob to visit me when babysitting, I would not be good at my job, I would be making a bad decision and it follows that you would question my judgement. Either someone has good judgement and can be trusted or they can't.

CornflowerB Wed 12-Jun-13 13:01:01

Surely the bottom line is that you are paying the babysitter/nanny to look after your children, not to socialise? I don't think she should have asked. It's not that difficult to stay in and watch a movie or read a book on your own while being paid, really, is it?
Once I had a babysitter who came with her boyfriend (who I knew) and I felt uncomfortable speaking to the babysitter about the children in front of the boyfriend. He obviously just couldn't wait to get the DVD on. The lines between childcare and socialising were a bit blurred.
It's nothing to do with trust, more to do with setting boundaries and making it clear that while of course it's fine to watch a movie, read or whatever, the reason the babysitter is there is to look after the children.

valiumredhead Wed 12-Jun-13 13:14:22

Yes, of course unless I didn't trust her in which case she wouldn't be in the house anyway.

NomDeClavier Wed 12-Jun-13 14:03:34

I think in the OPs case where the DC are up late it's different to normal babysitting. I don't have a problem while DS is younger but when he's older I'd just rather not have unknown friends coming round where DCs might come into contact with them. At 21ish they may not be used to being around children/aware they need to watch their language/etc.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 12-Jun-13 14:23:46

It's nothing to do with trust, more to do with setting boundaries

^ This.

I am not saying that I would always say no but that I am rethinking my policy of always basically saying yes, which is what we've done previously. Particularly when it comes to male visitors.

TeamSouthfields Wed 12-Jun-13 14:27:29

Blueshoes - Cheeky? Why?

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 12-Jun-13 14:27:35

Either someone has good judgement and can be trusted or they can't.

^ See I don't totally agree with this, particualrly with a younger childcarer. I think things can be more nuanced than that, particualrly when it involves luuurve, and while a childcarer's friends are not necessarily 'unsavory' maybe I just don't feel like having them hanging around my house for several hours regularly. Them feeling an automatic entitlement to do this.

I'm not going to go on about it here anymore though because at this point it's a hijack.

But as to the OP I don't think you're being unreasonable imposing some restrictions.

blueshoes Wed 12-Jun-13 14:49:58

"Cheeky" because the nanny is supposed to be working (and paid for her time in doing so) rather than having a social time. There is nothing to stop the nanny from declining to babysit. But to accept on condition that she gets paid to relax with a friend? Interesting what my boss would think if I made a request like that.

I can see that lines are blurred because the nanny is living in her employer's house whilst doing childcare. As an employer, of course I would like to keep my employees sweet, but let's be clear this is ultimately a job involving very hefty responsibilities, not a hobby or a favour.

Tanith Wed 12-Jun-13 16:20:35

When I used to do shift work, many years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to bring a friend in from time to time. They would stay in the staff room. We didn't take them into the machine room - that wouldn't have been appropriate. Nor would we have invited friends in during the day shift.

This was for 3 separate companies, so quite established as the normal way of going on. Management trusted us; we didn't abuse that trust.

I see no difference here.

blueshoes Wed 12-Jun-13 16:32:27

Shift work where you bring a friend into the office is hardly like allowing a stranger into your own house to socialise with the person you paid to look after your children who are sleeping upstairs.

Employers rules anyway. It is not difficult to find babysitters so no reason to cater for such requests if the parents do not feel comfortable - many of the nursery workers dcs' nursery as well as aupairs living on the same street would welcome babysitting. I imagine shiftwork might be a lot less attractive to employees so employers feel they need to accommodate such requests to sweeten the deal.

BranchingOut Thu 13-Jun-13 20:53:19

I just find it totally bonkers anyway, the idea of a grown adult needing a friend to keep them company while they are paid to be working, in any context.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 13-Jun-13 21:29:45

Have to agree with branching - I love babysitting for nice families that the children sleep as means I can watch tv in peace without oh talking through my fav progs

Or I can catch up on Fb and mn or read a book etc so does seen weird she wants a friend to talk to

Tanith Fri 14-Jun-13 07:20:45

I mentioned shift work because some posters were saying it was a place of work, therefore unacceptable.

In fact, it is perfectly acceptable in many places to bring a friend into your place of work out of hours.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now