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Would you hire her as a nanny?

(24 Posts)
rsmurf88 Tue 18-Mar-14 15:33:31

My mum is coming up to 55. She has worked as a Midwife for the NHS for 15 years. As much as she loves her job- she dislikes the politics, restrictions and feels restrained in the sort of care she can offer and feels she could offer more "personal" care and has considered giving up work and becoming a nanny.

Obviously I think its a good idea- but I am her daughter and have relied heavily upon her to support me through the last year with my daughter (who can be very challenging!) who is now 10 months old.

What do people think? I would "take her on" myself but we are moving soon so obviously not an option.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 16:00:21

Hmm interesting question, I don't know. Does she have any experience of looking after older children other than having her own?

I think I would consider her but not as my first nanny (as I would want someone with nannying experience as a first nanny - this isn't the case for everyone however). I'd also want to ask quite a few questions about her experience beyond the baby stage (for example I'd be a bit put off if her last exposure to toddlers was her own, 20+ years ago...).

Other options she could consider: Private midwife; doula; maternity nurse (but often this means working nights). These would seem to fit more naturally with her background, however these are all more temporary than nannies so if she wants a long term family post this wouldn't work.

Nannying can be a bit lonely - whereas a midwife is always part of a big team - would she be ok with that?

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 16:01:51

Sorry I realise that all sounds a bit negative! Didn't mean to be. I think she could have a huge amount to offer and there will be people who would love the idea of a "mother figure" around. She might have to be prepared to be paid "inexperienced nanny" rates though.

NannyLouise29 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:01:59

She'd probably have better luck as a maternity nanny/nurse as she is highly skilled in a specific field. This generally means she's be self employed, working with families for short periods. Also, maternity nannies have age (which often reads experience) on their side. Lots of new mums love having a "matronly figure" around when they've just given birth rather than someone in their early twenties (generalising here).

That said, I know plenty of older "old school" career nannies who are employed by one family long term. They always seem to be doing housekeeping duties too which may not appeal to all (just my experience). I will also say that nannying is a different profession to most, and takes some getting used to (especially if coming from a more professional type setting). Lots of families look for "nanny experience" not just "childcare experience", as they are not the same thing.

Get her to get in touch with a few agencies to talk it over. Tell her good luck from me, maybe I'm biased, but it's the best job in the world smile

minderjinx Tue 18-Mar-14 16:02:57

I had to smile at "giving up work and becoming a nanny". One of the children I care for said "It's a good thing YOU don't work". Must be making it look easy!

rsmurf88 Tue 18-Mar-14 16:50:51

Maternity nannying does seem more her thing I'll admit- but she still has my two sisters at home (albeit old enough to look after themselves) and my dad so I don't think being away from home 6 days a week is too appealing for her.

minipie Tue 18-Mar-14 17:03:54

There may well be jobs out there for maternity nannies which don't involve overnights. They'd be rarer than night time ones I guess though which might reduce how much work she gets.

What about being a doula?

Boris13 Tue 18-Mar-14 17:58:50

I would say, a maternity nurse maybe?

Strix Tue 18-Mar-14 20:34:46

I think she would be a great fit for a family who has a baby, is likely to have another, and won't want to let her go during mum's maternity. I would hire her if I was in that position.

Floralnomad Tue 18-Mar-14 20:37:45

I wouldn't hire her as a nanny ,being a midwife doesn't really indicate that you would be good with children its a totally different profession .

ConfusedPixie Wed 19-Mar-14 11:06:42

I'd think she'd be more suited to being a doula or private midwife really, being good with pregnant women is not the same as being good with children, as floral said.

It's also a bit mad that she thinks she can give up work to become a nanny hmm She does realise that nannying is it's own profession, right?

That said, as a nanny and as somebody who would hire a nanny in the future, I wouldn't hire somebody without childcare experience and tbh, certainly wouldn't hire somebody who looked at nannying as anything less than a profession as I'd wonder if they took it seriously enough.

EasterHoliday Wed 19-Mar-14 11:16:09

maternity nursing is not for the faint hearted - it's horrendously disrupting to health and life. Definitely not something to retire gently into!
Much more flexibility with being a Doula and while she's going to have to constantly market herself and find new clients, her skills are much more in line with that. Personally, i find it hilarious that people suggest she doesn't have the experience to be a nanny when she's brought up three children already - she's far more experienced than I am already. I like the idea of an older nanny with LIFE experience (who really gives a fig about a classroom obtained NVQ vs a few decades of actual childrearing, house management, cooking for a family?). I value that kind of experience more than eg working in a nursery ticking Ofsted forms but I seem to be in the minority. I imagine that having done so much shift work / irregular hours, your mum is also likely to be a little more flexible in hours and perhaps tasks she'll undertake than someone with a load of classroom qualifications that make her too professional to pick up dtrycleaning / fill the freezer.
Several of my friends and I actively seek out that type of "granny-nanny" and I hope your ma finds a family that values those qualities.

olbasoil Wed 19-Mar-14 11:29:34

I would employ her like a shot. She has previously worked in a job for 15 years, which shows commitment, not to mention the fact as a midwife she is use to working hard, coping with difficult situations and of course knows the fact she has brought up her own children.

ConfusedPixie Wed 19-Mar-14 11:35:05

Easter - Nannying isn't just about bringing up the children though, it's about working with the parents, knowing the ins and outs of development, what is normal, what is not normal, knowing about safeguarding, constantly keeping up to date with constantly changing information, etc.

Yes life experience is a huge huge plus, but I'm always using my child development knowledge to reassure parents and discuss things with them.

Not all of us with 'classroom qualifications' refuse to do extras hmm I'm currently technically 'just a nanny', however I'm more of a nanny-housekeeper-PA-household manager. Suits me to a tee.

Kudzugirl Wed 19-Mar-14 11:38:45

Has she considered being a House Mistress for a boarding school? Or a Matron? A friend of mine who is a Nurse does this and loves it.

minipie Wed 19-Mar-14 12:03:19

Easter I don't think experience of being a mum is anything like experience of being a nanny. For various reasons but the main ones being 1) her own kids were small a long long time ago, memories fade and practices change 2) they are your own kids, you bring them up as you see fit, a nanny has to do it as the parents wish (within reason) and manage that interaction 3) you only have experience of your own kids which is not very many and they are likely to be similar to each other, an experienced nanny (or a nursery worker) has experience of many different "types" of child and how to adapt to suit each type.

That said, an older woman with life experience is definitely a plus point - it just doesn't (in my eyes) have as much value as actual childcare experience - so to me she'd be more attractive than say a 20 year old with no childcare experience, but less attractive than an experienced nanny or even nursery worker.

I think people are reading a bit too much into the OP's sentence about "giving up work", I'm sure the OP's mum realises nannying is work, she just meant "giving up midwifery".

minipie Wed 19-Mar-14 12:03:55

A Matron is a very good idea. Imagine posts are quite few and rarely come up though!

FabBakerGirl Wed 19-Mar-14 12:05:59

A neighbour has hired a family friend of her partner as her nanny and she must have been around your mother's age when she started with them. The children are now 12 and about 8 and she is still nannying for them. Tell your mum to go for it. I am sure she will be great just make sure she knows all the safety things that may have changed since you were small.

ConfusedPixie Wed 19-Mar-14 12:10:11

Mini My concern with that sentence is that if that is how OPs Mum feels about it, it's obviously not the right profession for her to be walking into.

saintlyjimjams Wed 19-Mar-14 12:10:23

As long as she's flexible and do what the parents ask she'll be fine.

I hired a non-qualified mum/granny to nanny my youngest when I went back to uni 2 days a week. She was fab, she used to clean the house top to bottom as well and play with him (I told her she didn't have to - but she was like a dervish and couldn't sit still when he was asleep)

ElectricalBanana Wed 19-Mar-14 13:33:35

I am nearly ahem 50 and I gave up a nursing ( management bu the time I finished- no clinical work) after 25 years at the coal face. I am now a childminder! I specialise in medical needs ( I still ask to be shown and signed off as competent by parents and medical staff) and I am very very popular. Parents like my unflappable nature and will often call me for advice.

Tell her go for it - ok she might not earn the same but work life balance is worth more than money x

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 19-Mar-14 19:19:40

Guess depends on age of children. Nannying for young children for 12hrs a day can be tiring

As agree being a midwife is very diff from a nanny.

As with everyone some family's like young nannies - others be happy with an older more mature lady

Floralnomad Wed 19-Mar-14 20:22:37

easter , just because you've had a family of your own it doesn't necessarily qualify you to look after somebody else's children, I have a grown up child and a teenager but I'm sure my laid back attitude to parenting would make me quite unsuitable for most families. ( even though my own children are wonderful)

cansu Wed 19-Mar-14 21:24:53

I think she could be great especially as a nanny for a child with SN. I would love to find someone with a bit more life experience for my do with SN. I suppose the key would be whether she is able to cope with working for one person. she is also probably used to being in charge, as a nanny she would have to work to the parents routine and ideas. I suppose it is possible that an older more experienced person might find this tricky.

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