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Sister as live-in nanny - thoughts and advice

(25 Posts)
glorious Sat 15-Jun-13 10:18:17

Thanks trice, I'm glad you had such a positive experience with your SIL (no way I'd ask mine, nice as she is!). Everyone seems to agree on review points so I'll definitely do that if we go ahead.

trice Sat 15-Jun-13 05:42:43

My Sil looked after ds for a year and a half. She didn't live in though. She was wonderful and still has a special bond with ds. I think you should go for it if it suits her, but do put in review points.

glorious Sat 15-Jun-13 05:05:02

budur rather

glorious Sat 15-Jun-13 05:04:33

Thanks for sharing your experience budhur

Budur Fri 14-Jun-13 23:46:53

I do not understand why not. I have asked a family member to look after both of my kids between 1 and 2 years old, once I was out from maternity, same as here just for a year until nursery. Every single person around was envious. I don't think any nanny will love your kid more than a family member. It was more comfortable as she has more life experience and raised her kids already but we do have a different approach. Yes they both used to run to her first but I didn't mind, means she looks after them very well, they do start to want their mummy as they grow older. We had a monthly pay agreed as a live in so didnt need to watch the clock, which I think would be difficult with a family member, where do you draw the line what is work and what isnt. We were always on time in the ev. But she always helped us out when needed. Few teething problems of course but mainly due to miscommunication at the start and you both need to work on sorting it out. Good luck

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 10-Jun-13 19:44:58

Personally no

Never work for family or friends - nearly always goes wrong

glorious Mon 10-Jun-13 18:52:10

Yes that's a possibility branching but we'd struggle to get an affordable replacement in a hurry (long waiting lists for nurseries). Worth considering though.

I'll have another look at pay.

BranchingOut Mon 10-Jun-13 17:17:30

Could you give it a trial for a month or two?

NomDeClavier Sat 08-Jun-13 06:49:31

Remember that Gumtree ads and agencies will be for qualified nannies with a couple of years experience nceettainyl agencies. It sounds like your sister has no qualifications and a year doing an au pair job, so she would struggle to get any of those.

It's not something I would do, personally.

glorious Fri 07-Jun-13 21:29:08

And with mrscupcake. Clearly divides opinion then!

glorious Fri 07-Jun-13 21:25:00

Cross post with reet. That's what worries me even though I think it's unlikely. Tricky.

Mrscupcake23 Fri 07-Jun-13 21:23:42

Think this could work really well. Much nicer for your daughter to have someone that you know than a stranger. Long as you have similar ideas about childcare.

glorious Fri 07-Jun-13 21:22:34

Wow thank you everyone, there are a lot of excellent points there. thanks

She's my younger sister by some margin and I don't work with children. I think the point about DD spending more (awake) time with her than me and how that might affect relationships is one I need to mull over. I'm not too worried about the first time mum vs professional thing as she isn't experienced yet and I will have looked after DD pretty much 24/7 for a year. So while that might apply if she was a nanny already it doesn't worry me as things stand.

I'm totally comfortable with asking her to do important things my way but also for her to have her own style on the bits I feel less strongly about. I do think she'd be ok with that and would work hard but obviously people who end up on AIBU with nightmare situations thought that too! I think we'd need to explicitly build in some review points for if things really aren't working, because it would be very difficult to ask her to leave. Also we'll need to discuss how we'd handle weekends and evenings.

I do have a DH and they get on well. We've had a friend live with us before for over a year so we do know what sharing a house can be like. That's why it's good it's a temporary arrangement; we're happy to do it but would be glad of our space back after a while.

Looks like opinions vary on pay so I'll do some more research. I was basing it on the lower end of gumtree ads and agency recommendations.

Glad it works for some people smile

Hope I haven't missed anything, I'm posting on my phone. I will come back for another read and talk it through with DH.

ReetPetit Fri 07-Jun-13 21:17:18

sounds like a recipe for disaster imo! It could all go so horribly wrong, i don't think it's worth the risk of ruining your relationship.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:01:13

I wouldn't do it. I think it would spoil the relationship you have with her - it would be almost impossible for it not to, especially 'live in'.

I think £9gph live in for someone with no experience is high - even for London.

Cloverer Fri 07-Jun-13 18:55:59

An au pair would usually get more like £80 nannyof3, but would only work 25 hours a week and usually wouldn't have sole charge of a baby.

I would maybe start at £8 an hour, and then you have scope for a pay increase after 3 months to demonstrate you appreciate your sister's hard work?

Personally I would try hard to make this work. It's for a limited time period anyway, and imo it is always better for a small child to be cared for my someone that loves them.

drinkyourmilk Fri 07-Jun-13 18:39:19

Everyone else has given great advice on the pros and.cons of employing your sister.
I just wanted to say that £9 gross seems fair, I certainly wouldn't lower it.

nannyof3 Fri 07-Jun-13 17:12:25

Wouldnt personally do this with my sister.... But its up to u of-course .... I think boundaries would be easily blurred!! A aupair in London normally receives about £150 a week, and u would be sorting, insurance, tax, food, all household bills, plus provide all meals, money for activities for the baby and the aupair is expected to complete childcare tasks and well as household duties, like washing, ironing, cleaning etc... Hope this helps

Cloverer Fri 07-Jun-13 17:04:05

My younger sister provides childcare for me (in her house rather than my house though). It works well for us but I don't get involved in the details of what they do iyswim - I just drop DS off and pick him up and she gets on with it.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 07-Jun-13 16:49:59

In theory it sounds like a good solution for everyone.

In practise it doesn't always work that way (you only have to look at AIBU to see the number of threads about family members providing childcare to see how it can go wrong).

How would you deal with problems? If she started coming down late in the morning or giving DD treats all the time or you felt she wasn't interacting with DD enough or supervising her closely enough, how would you deal with it? How would she deal with it?

If she is looking after DD 4 days a week for most of her waking hours and living in the house, she will probably spend more time with DD than you will. How will you feel about that? How will you feel if DD starts rejecting you for your sister?

How will your DH/DP feel? Will your sister allow you couple time/family time or will she be with you all the time? Will this be a difficult conversation to have?

Are you the older/younger sister? Do you work with children? Is there going to be an imbalance of knowledge i.e. are you going from the older, more experienced sister to the struggling first time mum while she goes from younger sister to knowledgeable childcarer? Would that bother you?

Just really think it through. I think it's probably a good idea to have a very tight contract and really separate working and family issues.

starfishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 13:03:58

You sister will be your employee.
How do you feel about giving her "instructions" about things you want done? How will she feel about that?
What if you really don't see eye to eye about something, would you sack her? Will that damage your relationship?
Will she do the job properly or think that because you are her sister, she doesn't need to pull her weight?

badguider Fri 07-Jun-13 12:50:29

Do you have a DH? how does he feel? will there be any danger of it becoming you and your sis together and him feeling left out?

have you talked about holidays and about spending time together outside of core hours? I can imagine it would be very hard to simultaneously be 'family' and 'employer/employee'.

glorious Fri 07-Jun-13 12:42:44

Thanks for your thoughts.

We get on well and see eye to eye, I certainly wouldn't consider it otherwise smile

I'd aim to pay market rate, would you say more like £8 or less then?

She would probably go to nursery eventually as I don't think we'd want a live in nanny and live out would be a stretch.

NomDeClavier Fri 07-Jun-13 11:26:56

How well do you get on with her? Do you have the same sort of views on behaviour, crying, nutrition, activities?

£9gross is quite a lot for a live in with a year's au pair experience but it's only 4 days a week. She could presumably volunteer at a school to strengthen her application for teaching.

What will you do for childcare once your sister leaves?

glorious Fri 07-Jun-13 09:35:28

My sister and I are considering her coming to live with us and look after my DD for 9 months or so from when she's 1. My sister has recently graduated and is thinking of teacher training but can't get a place before Sept 14. She has spent a year as an au pair including with a baby around that age and has lots of experience with early school age children. I think she'd be fantastic and it'd be lovely for DD to have 1-1 care. But I imagine there are pitfalls!

We were thinking of paying £9 gross and obviously sorting tax, NI and holiday and sick pay etc. Plus she'd have a double room and use of kitchen etc, probably some meals with us. Hours maybe 830-600 four days a week. We're in London, does that sound fair? Any advice on avoiding blurring the boundaries in the evenings and at weekends?

I know we can't use childcare vouchers even if she registers though she doesn't need to given she's family.

Anything else I should consider?

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