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Live in nanny - etiquette?

(41 Posts)
Lulabel27 Tue 08-Jan-13 01:03:16

Our live in nanny moved in yesterday after a one week trial in december. She's had a great first day and dd loves her.

We've never had a nanny before (never mind live in help) but we now have newborn twins and it's our best option. This is the Nannys first nannying job she was previously a nursery nurse.

During the trial she ate with us in the evening as we chatted and got to know her. But I think she's now expecting that every night as it gets to 8pm then asks what we're having for dinner... Dh and I are sporadic eaters and don't plan (sometimes have full casserole, other times just cheese on toast, sometimes take away etc) - especially now we have 3 children under 2. I feel quite pressured knowing she might be expecting me to cook for her and plus dh and I would like to eat alone and catch up.

How do I deal with this? On one hand I feel bad asking her to sort her own dinner out (and to maybe watch tv in her room rather than sitting with us in living room) but on other hand dh and I want some privacy and chance to chat/relax.

I should also add she has a nice big double room with ensuite, sky+ tv and Internet. Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

JustFabulous Thu 10-Jan-13 18:10:15

I had a live in job as an au pair and one as a nanny. With the AP I ate with the family on my first night and last night only. I got my own food when I wanted. With the nanny job the mum sent out for food for me and the nanny I was talking over from on my first night and we ate together once in the 18 mnths I was there. I can't remember what I did about dinner the rest of the time, I don't recall eating with the baby and preferred it when the parents went out for dinner so I could eat without feeling uncomfortable. I worked 12 hour days and would go to my room as soon as I had put the baby to bed.

noviceoftheday Thu 10-Jan-13 18:14:03

Our nanny eats with the dcs (now) when they were babies, she still ate before we got home. She does scarper upstairs when we get home even though I keep saying she doesn't have to. She says we need our own time as a couple so that's why she disappears.

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 18:18:57

I think generally with an au pair you should treat them as you would a teen child or younger sister - which to me suggests you eat together and probably spend some evenings with them.

With a nanny though I think it is fine to say they should eat with the children or sort their own dinner out later, and make clear that you want some privacy in the evenings.

Having said that, when I was a live-in nanny I did eat with the parents in the evening as that is how they liked things!

In the OP's situation it would be fine to say that you would like some time alone with your DH in the living room in the evenings. Food is maybe trickier as most adults aren't going to want to eat their main evening meal at baby/toddler tea time - I would say that you don't always cook a meal in the evening, but she can use the kitchen between 7pm-8pm (or whenever) and let her know which food she can/can't use. It might be easier to phrase it as what she can do (use the kitchen, help herself to this food), rather that what she can't do (eat with you).

splintersinmebum Thu 10-Jan-13 19:54:47

what do nannies do stuck in their rooms all evening?

JustFabulous Thu 10-Jan-13 20:50:18

It is hardly "stuck" as the rooms will have tv, dvd player, maybe a computer and some peace and quiet is lovely after a day of chasing toddlers around!

whois Thu 10-Jan-13 21:48:03

what do nannies do stuck in their rooms all evening?

The same thing that other people do in their sitting rooms? Or that people who love in house shares do? Or students in halls?

Read, TV, phone friends, Internet, listen to music?

What an odd question!

splintersinmebum Thu 10-Jan-13 22:23:40

not an odd question. As an adult I can't imagine being confined to one room all evening!

TeaOneSugar Thu 10-Jan-13 22:25:01

Presumably they can also go out?

thesnootyfox Thu 10-Jan-13 22:32:11

You can't imagine being confined to one room all night? Do you live in a huge house then? I'm confined to my living room because that's the only room in the house, the kitchen isn't big enough to sit in and ds is in our bedroom. I hardly think it's a hardship.

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 22:38:46

I usually spend my evenings in the living room watching TV or on the laptop - I could just as easily do that in a comfortable bedroom.

splintersinmebum Thu 10-Jan-13 23:20:50

Not a huge house, snootyfox, but big enough not to confine myself to one room all evening.

JustFabulous Fri 11-Jan-13 13:32:03

I am sure she isn't held prisoner. She could still use the kitchen, bathroom, garden in the summer. Some bosses want alone time with their partners and that is only right. Or do you think they should be "confined" to their bedroom each evening and the nanny have the whole rest of the house to use?

ZooAnimals Fri 11-Jan-13 16:19:48

tbh splinters live-in nannies often work 7am-7pm or later sometimes, so by the time they finish work and eat it's going to be 8ish and then they're only 'stuck in their room' for a couple of hours before shower/bath and bed at 11/12 so they can be up again at 6/6:30am.

The weekends are the tricky bit I think. You can't expect them to eat with the kids on the weekend and if they don't have plans and are not allowed to use the rest of the house they could end up stuck in their room quite a bit.

splintersinmebum Fri 11-Jan-13 18:25:10

Thanks for your reply, Zoo. Think I might have touched a nerve with JustFab.

JustFabulous Fri 11-Jan-13 18:44:13

No you didn't confused.

MarshmallowCupcake Sat 12-Jan-13 14:05:38

I've never felt confined to my room in any of my live in jobs. If I didn't go out, I was more than happy to chill in my room/playroom. My alone time was just as important as their couple time. Can't talk for other nannies but I needed to make that 'break' from work - and it's not meant in a bad way!

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