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Advice needed from nannies of three or parents with nannies of three.

(39 Posts)
IcanandIwill Thu 13-Dec-12 20:25:26

I'm considering a nanny. I have three DC who are 6,2 and 8 months. DH was killed in a car crash 8 months ago.

What I'm really trying to figure out is what my expectations can be of a nanny with three charges. It's likely to be shared care but I also need rest (3 non sleepers). What can I expect realistic duties to be with three to care for?

I'd like to return to work part time at some point but this really hinges on having the right care in place.

With regard to hours I was thinking of four long days. Advice, thoughts, input all appreciated!

newstartnewday Wed 06-Mar-13 10:02:36

IcanandIwill, I am in a different but in many ways similar situation. Just wondering whether you had put anything in place re nanny etc. and if it was working.

I'm so sorry for your loss. sad

HoFlippinHo Wed 19-Dec-12 15:26:44

Would you think about a nanny for 6 months and then perhaps look at a mothers help? It sounds like you need to look after yourself mentally and physically and that's incredibly hard with 3 young children, especially non sleepers.

For the 6 months that you have the nanny, get out on your own while you can (every day) even if it's just for a walk or to meet friends or go to a gym or have a swim etc. In other words give yourself a break and do things for yourself. Or even have a nap for an hour? It would still be shared care but the nanny would do the vast majority while she/he was there.

Never underestimate the effect that lack of sleep can have on your ability to function or on your mental and physical well being.

Wishing you well.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Dec-12 15:15:07

youve hit the nail on the head - overwhelming exhaustion of grief that is so true, and tbh unless you have gone through what we both have then people dont really understand

how can they, when havnt been in our position sad

im glad you are both getting counselling - as i said that what held me together, esp in the early days-i saw someone from cruse for over a year

IcanandIwill Wed 19-Dec-12 13:28:26

Thanks Blondes. I think daytime help is the answer. Nights are long and hard for so many reasons. I don't think I'd settle anyway. It's the overwhelming exhaustion of grief, a baby and a toddler.

What I find that people who haven't been there don't get is just how exhausting grief alone is. It's physically debilitating in its own way. That's something in going to have to be really clear with when recruiting.

I'm waiting on a new counsellor at the moment and the children do go to a lovely child bereavement centre. In all honesty that's what's held me together.

Thanks. I have a few meetings over the next few days that should help me make some more permanent decisions. I suppose it's going to be a tough job for someone to walk into our broken little family. It's about finding the right person x

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Dec-12 02:41:15

You really need to get some sleep or you will go insane

You can either get a night nanny in to help your children to get back into a routine and sleep therefore you can sleep (then again if you are anything like me I couldn't sleep more then 2/3hrs every night and didnt for at least 8mths) sad

Would go to bed shattered but couldn't settle - tbh I think I was lonely ad missed having someone in bed with me sad

Or you can get a daytime nanny so that you can rest which will then make the nights easier when coping with your dc

Sleep deprivation is the worst thing and can make you feel like a real zombie. Tbh looking back I don't know how I coped working 7-7 four days a week on so little sleep / but you do sad

I wish I was closer to you so I could help

Have you thought about counselling for either your children (winstons wish is meant to be very good) and also for yourself / it's good to talk to someone completely out of the picture

I have been in your shoes sad and the way I dealt with things had a lot to do with counselling

Also don't know if you have joined way / but all have local group and meet up and maybe this will also help your children by seeing that there are others who have sadly lost their dad as well

((Huge hugs))

IcanandIwill Wed 19-Dec-12 01:31:03

I know they need me but I am totally exhausted and can't give 100% of me day and night. Thats the problem. I'm giving everything I can already and often reach breaking point. What I need is a more long term solution.

MariaMandarin Tue 18-Dec-12 21:41:51

Given the separation anxiety I definitely think you would be better off getting household help leaving you more time to spend with the children. Your toddler will be very difficult to settle with a new nanny, and as you are there in the house I doubt you would feel able to listen to her being upset.

I took on a nanny role with 3 children and a very stressful family situation. I hate to say it but I left after 5 weeks. Their mother was at home as you will be, and the children just weren't happy to be with me and not her. There was terrible behaviour that I couldn't control and lots of crying. Anything really to get their mother, who was the person they needed at a difficult time.

IcanandIwill Tue 18-Dec-12 21:15:31

Gosh MNP how awful. That must be so, so hard.

My two year old has never really settled at nursery, she struggles with separation anxiety (understandably) and I actually find it really hard going after a rough night to get everyone where they need to be. It seems to make life harder and more stressful, not easier. This is where the grief mixed in with exhaustion really bites me on the bum.

I've thought about a night nanny but the toddler particularly won't settle for anyone else. Not even my Mum. Mostly I think she wakes for reassurance and I get that she needs that. I may make a few phone calls though. Perhaps it is worth considering. God knows I'm so much more capable of facing the day after a reasonable amount of sleep!

MNPdoesYULETIDE Tue 18-Dec-12 14:06:49


Firstly condolences, I am working with a family and the first time mum unexpectedly died when their DD was 5 weeks old, it has been a rough 5 weeks.

Have you considered a night nanny to help with the night waking focussing on 1 DC at a time?

Do ask your cleaner if she would like to help you and does she know of sensible help as she is familiar to you and the children.

You don't say why nursery isn't working for you, maybe that additional house and child help would make it more workable.

Bonsoir Mon 17-Dec-12 16:41:13

Oh my gosh, what a dreadful time you are having. Of course you need adult help.

How about an older nanny, maybe someone who has had children of her own, and really knows about running a home and isn't precious about it? I say that because younger nannies tend to want to do childcare first and foremost and household chores second, whereas your DCs, with only one parents, really need to maximise their time with you and therefore you probably ought to be trying to offload the burden of running a home more than offloading childcare. Does that make sense?

Strix Mon 17-Dec-12 16:37:10

I dont know what you financial sotuation is like but the cost difference between an au pair and a live out temp manny is enormous. Au pairs (and nannies) come in all shapes and sizes. I currently have an au pair whose reference was quite frankly so bad I very very VERY nearly pulled the offer.

Three months in and she's absolutely fantastic in so many ways. I cant imagine anybody more helpful. She is not extremely Experienced so sometimes asks a lot of questions. But tries really hard, is very industrious, and is really good with the kids, and is eager to learn. I love her!

So i disagree that au pair equals another child and nanny equals super help. Some nannies are great. But some are not. If cost is no object a live out nanny might suit you. But i would urge to consider if you might like help in unsociable hours, in which case i think live in has significant value.

Perhaps its not for you. But i believe having a live in makes my life soooooo much easier.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 17-Dec-12 13:07:10

as others have said i dont think an ap will ease the burden as it will be another person for you to have to look after and i feel at the moment having someone come and live in your house for prob a year and then leave wouldnt help your children

you also need to feel confident as who will be having sole charge care of your children when either trying to rest/go shopping alone etc and again i feel that an ap wont be your best bet

maybe a nanny and prehaps a mothers help instead of your cleaner may work - she will do the cleaning but also some child care

or have you said to your cleaner if she would be happy to spend a few extra hours a week helping you with childcare

if you can afford a nanny even if you have a temp nanny for a few months to help get yourself sorted esp if you are not sure if you want to def go back to work yet

IcanandIwill Sun 16-Dec-12 22:21:00

I think you are right to be honest. I also think it would be too much to expect the little ones to accept another person living in our home. But maybe in the future.

Budget is not set in stone. Right now it's about deciding what we need and this is a need. I cannot cope for much longer.

fraktion Sun 16-Dec-12 22:18:23

I'd be a bit wary about an AP in your situation. They often need quite a lot of handholding and tbh you may find having another person living with you stressful. Or you may find it helpful to have another person around if you get someone mature (so no teenage dramas!).

Also it would be difficult for someone living in to not feel obliged to help out a lot more than expected given your situation. I know I would go beyond what is generally expected on an au pair.

What kind of budget do you have for childcare help?

Welovecouscous Sun 16-Dec-12 21:46:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IcanandIwill Sun 16-Dec-12 21:20:08

Thanks all.

Welove I'll look into the aupair idea. I'd kind of written it off but I pay my cleaner nearly that much!

Maria I totally agree that the children need time and attention. They also need a mummy who isn't frazzled. I need to find the right balance.

MariaMandarin Sat 15-Dec-12 14:28:32

It is normal and acceptable for nannies to do the duties nannynick listed, but as someone else said it does really depend on your circumstances whether that is appropriate. Your children have been through a lot, they are not getting enough sleep at the moment, therefore I think it is likely they will need as much attention as possible from a nanny. It might be an idea to get the nanny to focus just on them, at least to start with. If things go smoothly and the nanny feels up to taking on more, then you could change things a bit down the line.

nannycaz Sat 15-Dec-12 14:13:50

hi icanandi will im near you and looking for a new nanny job feel free to pm me smile

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 13:13:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 15-Dec-12 10:53:14

'Another question! I presume I'm right in thinking more children to look after equals a higher rate of pay?'

Nannies are paid per family and not per child, so it's definitely not a case of 1 child equals £5ph, 2 equals £10 etc. However, I think a family with one child are able to pitch the lower end of the expected wage bracket, whilst families with more children will need to pay slightly more. This is certainly the case in London, I think just because a job looking after 5 small children is harder than a job looking after 1 small child.

MarshmallowCupcake Fri 14-Dec-12 21:57:50

So sorry for your loss x
I now do 4 longer days to have a 3 day weekend. I'm very happy to do that! Any good nanny would easily take on this job. Along with all nursery duties. The only thing I would explain to your future nanny, is that due to having to get up through the night to your kids while also dealing with your grief, you may go back to bed to catch up on some sleep.
I've worked for families where the mum doesn't work but went back to bed through the day and I've resented the position I've been put in. Made me question my job.
But they were completely different situations from you. I got my current position in Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire through Kids Matter, great agency if you're wanting a good agency!

Welovecouscous Fri 14-Dec-12 21:11:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nannynick Fri 14-Dec-12 14:36:43

No. Nannies don't really get paid on number of children otherwise as children start school pay would reduce.

IcanandIwill Fri 14-Dec-12 14:00:12

Another question! I presume I'm right in thinking more children to look after equals a higher rate of pay?

IcanandIwill Fri 14-Dec-12 13:00:48

Thanks everyone. Plenty to think about. Really grateful for the input.

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