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Please come and share your wisdom with me!

(6 Posts)
Arseface Mon 21-Jan-13 01:10:39

Am expecting twins and also have DS(12), DD(3), two dogs, (all pretty well behaved!) house and largish garden. Also have some freelance projects of my own I would like to occasionally tinker with.

Am taking a full year's mat leave but think this will be too much for me to cope with on my own at home.
We are thinking that, rather than hiring a nanny, it would be better to up our cleaner's hours, hire a dog walker, gardener and someone separately to generally muck in with the needs of children and house as they crop up.

Is this even a sensible role? What would work in terms of making this an attractive prospect for someone with an interest in childcare? Where/how should I go about finding our right hand woman/man?

Am hoping to find someone who can grow with us as a family and adapt the role after I return to work and DCs grow. What experience/responsibilities is it important to include to ensure the position is a good for professional development etc.

We are just outside London and do not believe childcare is an area that should be scrimped on!

Any insight, thoughts and tips very gratefully received grin

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 02:26:15

I think what you are describing is a mother's help, someone who will pitch in with childcare, but also help out around the house as needed. IME the best mother's helps tend to be older women looking for a bit of extra cash, so maybe 30-35 hrs a week. I think you want someone who can use their initiative, rather than being directed constantly. Someone who can be a taxi driver to the 12 year old, take the 3 year old out, look after the twins so you can have a bit of sleep or whatever, put a wash on, walk the dog if needed etc. This is all mother's help territory.

However, if you want someone who will become a full-time nanny, with sole charge of 1 year old twins and a 4 year old, I really think you need a nanny.

I think options are;

Take on an experienced nanny/housekeeper now and then drop the housekeeping bit when you go back to work.
Take on a still in training/just qualified nanny and train them up during the year you are off.
Hire a mother's help now and then get a nanny when you go back to work.

I would say there are pros and cons to each. A nanny/housekeeper will be expensive when you only really need a mother's help, plus many may not be keen on such an 'undefined' role. A junior nanny could be great, but is likely to be quite young and maybe not as aware of what is required to run a household as an older person might be, so may need a bit more direction. Also I don't know how capable they'd be with newborn twins, but probably fine if you're planning on dealing with the babies yourself. Having a mother's help and a nanny would obviously mean two different people and you say you want someone to grow with the family.

Arseface Mon 21-Jan-13 03:25:18

Thanks Zoo, that's really helpful. From what you're saying a still in training or just qualified nanny might be best - probably more fun for the DCs to have someone younger around too.

Even when I go back to work, I'll be around a fair bit as can work from home very frequently. Work has a lovely on-site nursery the twins will join DD at for some of my in-office hrs and DH also often works from home so they wouldn't be left alone 9-5 with the smaller ones.

Would what we're offering be a good prospect for a new nanny? Would the lack of responsibility and being left in sole charge be unfair for someone who basically needs to get quality experience?

Arseface Mon 21-Jan-13 03:29:04

Oh, and hope to bf so will be doing most of the early baby stuff myself. Am also happy to give lots of direction <bossy old sow emoticon>!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 12:46:20

I think a newly qualified nanny would bite your arm off for this job tbh, as long as you're not too pfb (don't know how else to put it!) about the babies. As you say they obviously want experience, so if you don't mind them 'having a go' it would be fantastic, if you think you might be a bit 'no-one else must touch these babies! not so much. They wouldn't need sole charge until the babies are older and with two babies there is plenty to go round and you're bound to need help changing/burping/bathing that sort of thing. In the very early days the nanny can concentrate on your DD and then help out with the babies when you feel the time is right.

I think the only problem you might find is that once they've got the experience and training after a year or two with you, they might want to move on to a sole charge job. Would you consider not using the nursery for the twins and leaving the nanny in sole charge when you go back to work? Obviously way off at the moment, but if it's something you're open to, you might be able to find a junior nanny who will stay long term.

Arseface Mon 21-Jan-13 21:46:35

Sounds perfect. Would probably want them to do a bit of nursery time, just to get them used to the environment for holiday/sickness back up but it only needs to be a couple of half days a week.
DH and really are working from home so not available apart from lunch/emergencies.
Happy to have someone hands on with the babies but didn't want to spend my mat leave on housework laundry and cooking while paying someone else to spend time with the children!
Am going to speak to the childcare staff at the local college tomorrow and find out if any of their recent grads would be interested.
Had thought of doing this before but was not sure if what I was after was entirely sensible!
Feel much better about making the offer after hearing from you zoo, thank you. grin

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