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Keeping a nanny when you are on maternity leave- experiences.

(25 Posts)
Gastonladybird Sat 06-Aug-11 15:59:39

I am expecting another baby in January next year and am planning on going back to work. Having saved up/ done the maths, I am planning on keeping nanny on when I am off as extra help, continuity for dd and hopefully easier transition as new baby will be familiar with nanny (and vice versa)will help. No plan on varying nannys contract (it already is quite broad and covers nursery duty for my dd and future children).

My question was what works welling terms of dividing up duties etc. Also practical tips for when you are both home (nanny is used to both me and dh working at home but deal then is that she gets on with it as if we are not there which works well).

I have two concerns that I will discuss with nanny but wanted other views first. First is nanny dotes on my 3 yr old and her main experience is with toddlers rather than babies which is fine. Initially I would envisage me doing baby care and nanny helping with dd but I do want nanny helping with both kids but am concerned that may get some push back. Nanny had said in past babies boring (had 9m charge at one point) and she can be a bit single minded (Ishe does do what I ask but sometimes i have to ask more times than I would like).

Second I like my own space ESP when frazzled with a newborn. I will be grateful for help but given even close family can get on my nerves when hormonal am concerned. Obviously I will be mindful and respectful of nanny as an employee but with the best will in the world I am not at my best when sleep deprived. Is it ott to say to her not to read too much into it if am a bit out of it and in my pjs staring into an undrunk cup of tea at 4pm ?

Nannys and employers views welcome

MogandMe Sat 06-Aug-11 16:20:22

How long are you having off? I would try and do sime one on one with each child ie nanny has the baby while you have 1on1 with DD and vice versa.

Will you have the nanny in on the days after the birth ie first week - and if so what are you hoping she'll do - tbh I imagine DD will want you if they are in the house, so maybe plan for her to take her out and about but not too much so that DD doesn't feel pushed out.

Gastonladybird Sat 06-Aug-11 16:25:43

Mogs- about 7/8 months off. Your plan sounds good as I did think advantage of having her would be to give dd time (tbh aside from feeding a newborn can be held or put to sleep by any sensible adult).will spell this out to her - probably with dh as she is fine about what she has to do when you tell her, it's getting her to listen (although she is a fantastic nanny in general)

nannyl Sat 06-Aug-11 16:27:45

I cant imagine any nanny (or normal reasonable person) "minding" if you are still in PJs at 4pm and have a tiny baby, and surely anyone would give any sleep deprived person some slack!

Talk to your nanny about your concerns.

Im sure it will be nice to have some quality time with DD1, while nanny has the baby.

I think its a bit odd that a nanny doesnt "like" babies... perhaps she didnt mean that exactly, more that she likes the challenge if a child who moves and interacts back.

Im sure your arrangement could work, it sounds like you are really thinking it through!

nannynick Sat 06-Aug-11 17:10:52

I've done this twice as a nanny and what worked well both times was that I just chipped in with whatever needed doing. No strict dividing up of duties, more a just get on with whatever needs doing. The other children were my primary concern... mum looked after herself, plus following birth the baby. I would get to hold baby on occasion, so that baby could then start forming a bond with me.

>Nanny had said in past babies boring (had 9m charge at one point) and she can be a bit single minded (Ishe does do what I ask but sometimes i have to ask more times than I would like).

Babies can be rather dull in terms of what they do, as they don't really do anything - takes quite some time before they become mobile and once they do you regret them being mobile!

I would worry that your nanny may not adapt well to caring for a baby - have they never done it before? Baby will just come along with whatever your 3 year old (by then I guess 4 year old) would be doing. Babies love to people watch and love going to new places.

You are the boss, your nanny should not need to be asked several times to do something. Perhaps you need to work on that a bit by making it clear that you will not ask them to do anything unrealistic but you will from time to time need them to do as you want. If she is bad at listening, write it down, put it on an e-mail. Whatever it needs to be to get her to take notice of your reasonable request.

redglow Sat 06-Aug-11 18:20:22

I have done this and its just a case of mucking in together I love newborns but I am fine with older children too, would not worry about PJS you are her employer.

Lily311 Sat 06-Aug-11 19:16:09

I have done this- I always offered MB to take baby out for a walk when out with toddler so she can go back to sleep and rest a bit. MB was really grateful, it gave me the opportunity to get experience with a tiny baby and was easier to get used to baby and toddler together.

Gastonladybird Sat 06-Aug-11 21:04:35

Thanks all for tips- sounds like it's workable. Fwiw comment re babies is I think as they are less interactive (can see her point) but would imagine that seeing a baby develop from birth more interesting as you can appreciate the small steps along way.

The write it down advice is a good tip - she is nice but chatty so I think sometimes listening not so great.

fridayschild Sun 07-Aug-11 14:21:01

If your DD is anything like DS1, don't bank on spending too much time with baby! At 18 months old DS1 was better able to push for "mummy time" than a newborn. I ended up leaving DS2 with our nanny much more often than I had imagined I would.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 07-Aug-11 15:19:03

i have had 3 mb's on ml and all worked out fine

the main thing is to make sure you BOTH support each other and dont undermind as kids work out very quickly to play off each other

some days i had all dc , others i took baby and mb did a day trip with older 2, other days i took older 2 out and mb had baby

Jellyelly Mon 08-Aug-11 01:01:10

I'm on maternity leave at the moment having just had my third child, and our nanny is continuing as I will be going back to work. It's working really well in terms of me being able to give the children individual time, and I'm very grateful to her for letting me do that. I would just agree with Blondeshavemorefun (great name) that you need to act as a unit on things like discipline. I've had both older children come to me, say when I've been feeding the baby, and appeal against something our nanny has said in the next door room when I have no idea what it's all about. I've got very used to saying "Whatever she says is right"!

Gastonladybird Mon 08-Aug-11 12:19:31

The discipline point is a good one ESP as I can imagine that older kids may be more challenging or play divide and rule if new baby arrives. Also I don't mind if nanny takes newborn for a while (it may not be as bad second time round by I was thrown by the physical need to be near/ Carry dd due to bf and felt quite claustrophobic at first).

All this definitely helping and making me think it's workable

noviceoftheday Mon 08-Aug-11 18:39:09

I am on maternity leave at the moment with dc2. I will be having 6 months of in total so nanny is here at same time. I would echo very much what Nick said in that what has worked well was my nanny chipping in with whatever i wanted rather than strictly diviying up children/duties etc. Broadly, dc1's routine has stayed the same and nanny has mostly focused on her. However I have aimed to spend an hour in morning and an hour in afternoon having one on one time (in addition to having all our meals together and doing bedtime routine as usual) and during this time my nanny has watched over dc2.

My nanny found it difficult to adjust initially firstly because she assumed that i would just be feeding dc2 and then handing over to her, she loves babies and was disappoointed that she wasn't getting her hands on the baby straight away other than the occasional hold. Also, it didn't occur to her that I would also want to spend time with dc1 and so at times she would have nothing to do. Why, I have no idea but in hindsight I would have had a conversation with her to set out my intentions, although making it clear you never know how you're going to feel.

Once she realised that the baby wasn't going back and was sucking up lots of my time, my toddler didn't react very well to the presence of the baby and we had a period of a few weeks where we had some discipline issues. Like Blondes said, make sure that you always back your nanny up even if you don't agree with what she says/does at the time, as you can always discuss it later. Also, my nanny initially found it stressful having me around all the time and you have to put yourself in her shoes and say how would you feel if you felt (even if it's not true) that your boss was watching your every move? So you need to be sensitive to that as well.

Overall, having my nanny here has made the maternity leave experience a lot more enjoyable second time around (much more placid baby helps greatly too!). By the way, I always take the view that I am the boss and I don't have to explain my self to my nanny - if I wanted to be in my pj's at 4pm that would be my perrogative in my own home and wouldn't need explaining to anyone!! Best of luck.

cherub59 Tue 09-Aug-11 15:55:50

I am currently on my 3rd mat leave and have kept my nanny on whilst on leave for ds2 and ds3 fir exactly the reasons you mention.

I think it works brilliantly. My nanny is very flexible and understands that I want to spend as much time as possible with my older 2 ( age 3 and 2) whilst needing to focus on the baby at first. Before baby arrived we had some special days out all if us, and I was also able to get a bit if rest. When baby was born nanny enabled the boys to continue their normal routine and didn't feel pushed out by baby. Nanny did not look after baby on her own at all until 3 months when she had him the odd hour or two when I had special time with the older ones.
I think it works really well but it is a luxury of which I am very appreciative.

LittleOneMum Wed 10-Aug-11 21:08:17

AAArgh, horribly, your situation is ringing alarm bells with me. I had a 3 year old who my nanny doted on when DC2 was born. She also found newborns dull and it became apparent that she just could not bond with my new one. I found the whole experience very stressful and eventually we parted ways. I have no advice but I wanted to say PLEASE think this through in advance, tell your nanny what she should expect/what you would like.

Gastonladybird Wed 10-Aug-11 21:15:58

Thanks everyone and single mum- I am thinking it through hence thread. Also nanny quite interested in pregnancy (to point of tactlessness but that is another subject) so m hoping will take an interest but I will be clear.

dinkystinky Wed 10-Aug-11 21:22:19

We kept our nanny on when I was on mat leave with DS2 and it was fantastic - she'd already been with us 2 years and worked well with us. Abit of adjustment was needed on both sides but it meant I got to spend quality one on one time with DS1 as well as DS2 and had someone else tackling the kids laundry mountain for me! Worked really well for DS2 as he knew his nanny before I went to work (as she was around in the background) so was totally unphased by being left with her when I started back at work.

nickschick Wed 10-Aug-11 21:26:03

A long time ago whilst I was doing my NNEB the nursery I was training in was burnt down,so I was given a rather rushed and unexpected nanny placement with a local health visitor.....her 1st child was 2 and the newborn was 4 weeks old...basically I cared for and entertained the toddler (as that was where id had most experience) and just muddled along with the baby side of things -for example I made sure nappies and things were available and set up the baby bath for the baby ,gathered the things needed and mum bathed the baby whilst the toddler and I had great fun splashing in the bathroom.

When the toddler was napping or entertained with his toys I did a few household tasks and would 'watch' the baby whilst mum had a shower or a quick afternoon the mum was absolutely shattered and fell asleep and I had baby and toddler all to myself grin when we went shopping I pushed the pram and the toddler enjoyed some time with the mum.

Nobody really told me what to do we just kind of did what felt right at the time - and it worked.

I think with the best will in the world you cant foresee where youll need that extra pair of hands and so it is very much a day to day thing.

The Mum wasnt always in the best of moods ( nothing to do with me- just a mixture of hormones,her dh returning to work and a lot of changes) but you just have to remind her that pregnancy and birth is a bit exhausting and you have every right to be cranky lol.

Gastonladybird Wed 10-Aug-11 21:34:51

Thanks nicks hick-sounds like can work

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 10-Aug-11 23:20:41

i am surprised that some of you dont allow or want your nanny to look after your nb by their self - and not till 3mths???

why is this? i took babs up to school at 3 days old to pick up siblings so tat mb could have a proper rest

noviceoftheday Thu 11-Aug-11 03:02:47

Hi Blondes (waves!) I can only answer for me as every mother is different.... there are a number of reasons. Firstly I am bf on demand and so for first 2 months either baby is feeding (so nothing nanny can do) or was sleeping(nothing for nanny to do). Second, as I was feeding on demand, proximity to nb was important to me both to establish bf for first 6 weeks and so he didn't have to wait to be fed. Last, I am not taking that long off on maternity leave. Its important to me to spend as much as possible with him as this time will go so quickly.

As you can see all of the reasons are personal to me as a mother (ie no reflection on my nanny). I did have my mum effectively acting as a maternity nanny with dc1 and I had plenty of "rest" then. I hated it and just wanted to be with my baby and this time I have opted for an approach which means I have dc2 with me the majority of the time and I also spend quality time with dc1.

Hope everything is well. You are often in my thoughts even though I haven't posted on your other thread for a while. X

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 11-Aug-11 06:05:09

hi novice - your reasons make perfect sense and obv when bf it is harder - guess my mb did bf for the first prob 6 weeks but then wasnt producing enough milk so did mixed feeds and then total bottle

but we did both want a routine and not demand feeding as have 2 older ones and with the schedule of nursery/school we needed to make sure no 3 fitted in - if that makes sense lol

regards dh - tbh i havnt been coping recently, but thats another thread and not going to hijack this one - but i will get there as have no choice - thanks for asking x

cherub59 Thu 11-Aug-11 15:30:57

novice it wasn't anything against my nanny that she didn't have ds3 on her own for a while, just that I ebf in demand (and at 5 months he rarely gies longer than 2 hours), he is happiest with me and I practice baby wearing and co-sleeping- almost attachment parenting.

cherub59 Thu 11-Aug-11 15:32:23

Sorry think that reply was for *blondes" and am pretty much in agreement with "novice"

Gastonladybird Thu 11-Aug-11 18:02:37

Blondes- am so sorry that things are so hard. I am Thinking of you too.

The tips here good- I am more positive about this being good for all involved.
Fwiw I am planning to mix feed so nanny can be involved. Also nanny was talking enthusiastically about baby- seems like some of her reservations are due to lack of experience as much as anything so I think she is keen to be involved which is great smile.

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