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Why is a nanny with own child such a bad thing?

(20 Posts)
Pupudushku Tue 30-Nov-10 20:59:12

I'm genuinely curious. I've seen quite a lot of negativity lately against nannies who take their own DCs to work with them. Why is this? Why is it so different from a childminder looking after other children alongside their own DCs?

(I am a nanny with own child btw.)

Beegey Tue 30-Nov-10 21:09:41

Well, for me, I want to employ a nanny to care for my child on a one on one basis. I am paying more for this privilage than a childminder would charge. My daughter is 18 months and pretty full on. Also, I don't have a huge house, if I am at home with the newborn, nanny with my toddler, an extra kid would make things all the more chaotic, no matter how lovely and well behaved they are.

I think it is fine and can work out quite well if there children are quite different ages ie a nanny caring for school age children taking along her own baby. But I also think there may be a conflict of interest; can you really give someone else's child your full attention if your own is around? I couldn't and I speak as a former nanny too.

Pupudushku Tue 30-Nov-10 21:21:59

I think it works for my employer as she has her children cared for at home, she doesn't have to bust a gut after work to collect them from a CM. I work for a reduced rate - £1.50 an hour less than a nanny without a child. I think it works out approx the same as she used to pay the CM.

happychappy Tue 30-Nov-10 21:23:28

I think it depends the kids too, for example with my dd it is quite difficult to be involved in something she is not (very nosey and short on the social intelligence thing) but my son on the other hand no problem.

Its such a variable and I think it can easily go horribly wrong but... it can also be great. As with anything that involves people too many variables to predict. I can understand parents saying no, avoids any potentials.

Blu Tue 30-Nov-10 21:27:52

It worked brilliantly for us! The nanny had a child of exactly the same age, which meant that they became inseparably good friends, were interested in the same level of activities, needed the same length naps etc. And we paid her about a third or a quarter less, because she was essentially a nanny-share with herself, providing her own child care, and that made it affordable for us. She was prefectly able to care for two children - parents with more than one child do that, whilst managing lots of household stuff that a nanny does not have on her plate!

nbee84 Tue 30-Nov-10 21:32:52

I think there is just more potential for things to go wrong. We see enough threads on here about problems with nannies and then when you add more children into the mix there are just even more potential problems.

I have had a successful nanny job with my own child (19 years ago now) and it honestly worked out very well. The 2 girls got on very well (18 months age difference) and are still in touch now. I don't know if I was paid less than the going rate - it was pre internet days - I just know that I was working for a wage that I was happy with. I strongly believe in continuity of care for children (all my nanny jobs have been a minimum of 2 years) so it was important for me that I was in a long term job for my daughter's sake too. I was careful to choose a family that had similar values and views to my own. The girls were treated like sisters - no favouritism at all, which I know is a concern for many employers.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 30-Nov-10 23:41:05

Tbh I think some parents are jealous that a nanny can take thir own
Child to work - tbh it's the only job where you can

Also you have extra hassles like if child is ill - what happenes , extra stuff in House like travel cot/high chair if child is younger as well child
Not having 100% attention

Saying all that - for some familys it works out brilliantly - nanny costs less and child gets extra playmate

As long as you discuss all at interview then should work out well

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 30-Nov-10 23:51:56

When I interviewed for my first nanny, one of the candidates brought her daughter with her. In principle I had nothing against a nanny bringing their own child. But during the interview, her whole attention was focused on her child and she virtually ignored my son. I felt that this was a worrying indication of what would be happening if I employed her.

But by the time I had two, and they were getting older - but I still needed full-time child care, things were very different. My second nanny had her own baby and, because she still wanted to work, she came back part-time, which fantastic. There was an unexpected bonus, in that my boys got to experience having a younger child around, and also a girl!

I think it can work, as long as both sides of the arrangement are clear about what is/isn't acceptable. Because I was paying her salary, it was clear that my children did come first - although we made every effort to bend over backwards to accommodate her daughter as well, if there was ever any problem, e.g. illness.

Sequins Wed 01-Dec-10 07:02:07

We considered a nanny with a child when sorting out childcare for 2 DC. The problems we had with that candidate were:
- where the nanny's child, then aged 2 1/2, would go to nursery at 3 as she did not live close enough to us to be able to attend the same state one as our DC1;
- parenting style issues which I suppose we would have had anyway:
- the nanny told us she let her child nap whenever and wherever in the house she fell asleep; and
- the nanny's child had a dummy in all the time.

Also my friend had an experience with a nanny with her own child who kept taking both her own charge and her child back to her house during the day, which had not been agreed.

EvieB Wed 01-Dec-10 07:36:26

I would second what BecauseImworthit said.

I've had two nannies with their own children - one was an unmitigated disaster - she basically saw my children as a barrier for caring for her own (even though that's what she was being paid to do!)

The other one (18m so far and going strong) has been fabulous. My girls are at school and it can be hard to attract part time/full time nannies for term/holidays, and the girls get to interact on a close level with a younger child (we won't be having any more of our own). She has back up care in place if her own child is ill and has delivered on that (obviously not for a serious illness!) They all get treated equally although her own child does need to trail around mine for various after school classes.

Look at it as one more factor and test areas that concern you, it's part of whether the overall relationship will work or not. Success will boil down to a nanny's attitude and behaviour and how compatible it is with the employer's, in my experience.

nooka Wed 01-Dec-10 07:45:20

Our first nanny had a little boy, and when we just had the one child and they were all quite little it worked out fine (plus it was probably the only way we could have afforded a nanny). Our nanny had a close group of nanny friends, and they tended to do things in a group (lots of soft play centres) which ds really seemed to enjoy. Her little boy was a nice little chap, but ds was a little two young to think in terms of friendship. It probably made it easier for him when dd came along too as he'd not had that much undivided attention.

However when we had dd and her little boy went to nursery it just got too complicated, everything centred on the times when her little boy had to be collected (she didn't drive) and picked up and having three children under four was probably exhausting.

So she moved to a part time job with just the one child to look after, and we found a new nanny.

frakkinup Wed 01-Dec-10 08:04:32

I think as many have said there's more potential for things to go wrong.

If a nanny's own child is around then parenting style differences become even more pronounced. As a nanny so far I've been happy to bite my tongue and do it the parent's way, if I went back to work with my own child I'd be a lot less happy about that.

A lot of nannies won't accept the paycut which employers resent. Now in my view a drop in pay of £1/hour is childcare for £1/hour for the nanny. It's no longer one-one care, it's shared with an extra child and you wouldn't pay the full rate for a nannyshare, would you?

Some employers feel that the nanny will put their own child first and to be fair some nannies will.

It introduces logistical issues after a couple of years unless nanny's child is going to the same nursery for the same sessions/the same school.

You need extra stuff, you're accomodating an extra child - who pays for a double buggy if one is needed? Who pays for nanny's child to attend activities? What if nanny wouldn't choose that activity for their own child but you want yours to do it?

It limits the range of activities on offer in some cases e.g. swimming.

The fundamental difference is that peopel either have a nanny for convenience or because they want an element of control that they don't have over a SE CM in terms of sole care for their child or someone who will follow their wishes re: routine/food/activities. Someone who used to use a CM, is used to that set up and can get a nanny with own child for the same cost is going to be much more amenable to the arrangement (as long as their experience with shared care at a CM's was positive) than someone who is having a nanny because they want undivided attention and a greater measure of control. And some employers fall between the two - they need a nanny for convenience sake, wouldn't want to be at the mercy of a CM's t&cs but have nothing against shared care.

It's a very complex balancing act and quite often people don't think about the potential downsides, so it smacks them in the face when things go wrong.

StarExpat Wed 01-Dec-10 09:54:40

I use a cm who does not have her own dc. I like this a lot. I'd be fine if she had her own dc, but I'm not paying the extremely high rate for a nanny, a cm is massively less expensive, especially since I only need less than 8 hours per day.

If I could afford a nanny, I would be happy for him/her to bring their own child as long as the rate was reduced quite a bit, the child was well behaved (developmentally appropriate of course) and I wouldn't be ok with it if the nanny had a young baby.
I'd be put off by the possibility of sickness of her own child and having to be off...etc. but I could see it working if DS was older.

I wouldn't hire a nanny even if I could afford it though, most likely because of all of the stories I hear on this board. I don't think I could handle the organisation and responsibility of being an employer while also teaching and having a 2 year old. I would need to have a lot of extra income to pay for someone to do all of that stuff for me, too blush

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 01-Dec-10 13:07:15

star - there are nice nannies about - honest - like me grin and many others who post on here

you will always hear bad stories of nannies on here as the employer is normally asking for help, ie they wouldnt put up a post saying how fab her nanny is iyswim

surprised your cm hasnt any dc - thats normally why mums become a cm as then can still work and not have to worry about childcare

StarExpat Wed 01-Dec-10 15:27:09

She was a nanny previously She is absolutely lovely in every single way. Did I mention she's just amazing? DS has learned so much from her and gives and receives so much love there.

I know nannies are nice. I just think the hassle of employing someone, doing tax, contracts...etc isn't for me. <lazy>
The cm does all of that work for me and not as much for me to sort out.

If I could afford it and someone could sort all of the paperwork out for me and ensure I do a contract properly to cover all of the bases the first time around, I'd hire a nanny, I know you are all lovely on this board. Sorry if I made it sound like I thought most nannies weren't nice! shock blush
I was a nanny myself once (during my summers of university)

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 01-Dec-10 15:36:53

There are nanny tax agencies about to sort out the hassle stuff

Cms are a lot cheaper than employing a nanny plus as you said you are then an employer

I know cm who go into nannying but have never met a nanny wooc who went into cm ing

But glad she is fab smile

Tarenath Wed 01-Dec-10 19:26:14

I'm a nanny with own child too. I think the main problem most parents have with it is compromise. No matter how much you put your charges first, there will always be times when you have to put your child first.
So far I've never had to take a day off because of ds being sick as I have a sahm friend who is happy to have him ocassionally.
There is also the difference in parenting styles, what about schools etc? We are getting around this one quite neatly as I am home educating ds, so he doesn't go to preschool and when he hits 'full time education' age next year I'll be going part time as youngest starts preschool. At the moment everything we do is play based so my charges benefit and enjoy too. Next year I'll start to introduce some structure but this will all be done while charges are at school/preschool.
I do take a small pay cut, and also pay for toddler groups as they are 'per family' and I'd be going to them anyway.
It all works out quite nicely as both the family and I are flexible about what the children do as long as they are being cared for.

MammyT Wed 01-Dec-10 22:03:05

I was looking for an after-school nanny and was open to having one with her own child. However I had ONE applicant in all that time. She was nice but came with many preconditions including only wanting to use her car which would mean one of my kids sitting in the front which I didn't want. The final straw was when I asked what she wanted from the role and she mentioned her child being happy, her being happy as she had the child with her and finally my children being happy.. Priorities, priorities.

I'm sure there are much more balanced nannies-with child out there. They just don't apply to my role!

cinpin Wed 01-Dec-10 22:08:42

I have had three jobs where I took my own dc with me, this has always worked out really well and Ihave never needed to take a pay cut

However my own child has always come second and I always done her dancing and swimming lessons in my own time. I was very paranoid about giving my own child more attention so the child I minded always got more attention than my own dc

Slaney Sat 04-Dec-10 08:48:37

Hi There
Just reading the thread and wondered if anyone could recommend a childminder or nanny share in Greenwich to start in Jan 2010

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