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How can I introduce variety in to a nanny job? I think mine is BORED

(16 Posts)
whiskeytangofoxtrot Sat 11-Jul-15 11:26:05

My lovely nanny is young and has been with us for 18months
Some of her mates are off at unit, doing other things and I feel she is a "housewife" before her time if you know what I mean.

I know that it's probably not her dream job and she gets good break times during the day (as I WFH) but I do need her to be around and about to look after the DC when I am not here/doing other stuff/shipping older DC to activities.

I know it is BORING stacking and unstacking the dishwasher and getting the toys out and putting them away again. Thinking about what needs to be done

I get it. I am bored.

We don't do that many classes etc mainly as money is tight (most of our "excess" (hollow laugh) goes on her salary. But also ime classes are V hard work with toddler twins for one person.

Any advice welcomed (although be gentle, have deliberately not posted in AIBU)

StupidBloodyKindle Sat 11-Jul-15 11:43:18

Depends whereabouts you are and what the transport system is like. And how old the twins are, whether on reins/double stroller or walking holding hands.
I was an au pair at 19. As long as you help her pack a contingency bag, check the weather reports so she knows to delayer them when hot, and both of you have full charged loaded phones, she could take them off on local adventures, why not?

Or crafts/outdoor activities at home. I did teddy bear's picnic outside lots, made dens, went on matchbox walks (how many things can you fit in a matchbox), did bug safari with buckets, collected and varnished pebbles, did leaf printing and potato printing. Water and jamjars and pastry brushes/paintbrushespainting outside with water, street chalk pictures.
Woodland trust have lovely print outs of scavenger hunt/identifying trees.

You could suggest or facitate these or get a list of all free activities in the area. It is so different looking after someone else's kids, especially if the groundwork had already been done and you are simply following instructions. I don't know why but it is...probably had more energy at 19!

StupidBloodyKindle Sat 11-Jul-15 11:44:05


BookSnark Sat 11-Jul-15 11:50:34

How old are your DC (and where do you live).

Kids are pretty portable - so I often take mine it to places where I want to go iyswim. For me small local festivals (eg kite flying festival or similar) and museums/exhibitions gave DC nice experience, and helped me break out of the grind. One 'special' activity a month was enough to take the edge off the repetitiveness of some of the 'regular' days. Now it's summer hols, a lot of museums put on special sessions for DC.

Also - getting outside as much as possible. Good for DC & good for adult.

LIZS Sat 11-Jul-15 11:53:56

Tbh I think you do need to create a budget for entertaining them as it will only getting more tricky until they go to school. If you had even a limited amount of funds you could involve her in choosing how it is allocated. Depends where you live too, do you have any free hands-on museums nearby, could you stretch to NT membership for example to give them all a change of scene and somewhere to go for different activities like nature trails, or somewhere like Kew Gardens or RHS gardens . Does nanny drive and have access to a car?

Zebda Sat 11-Jul-15 12:03:07

We have an aupair, so some experience. She needs to meet other young nannies/au pairs in the area so they can get together for activities, the park etc. It's good for your DC as well as they are around other children. There is an aupair Facebook page, this is where ours has made many, many friends. Local toddler groups are often free/nominal cost and a good way to meet people. You don't mention how old the DC are though.

Activities don't need to cost money (I guess to a certain extent depending on where you live). We are in London so there are a lot of options - Mine go for picnics, bug catching, to museums, to parks, to soft play and swimming at our local leisure centre which is very cheap, we have a city farm nearby that is free to enter. In the holidays our aupair plans activities and includes a few things that cost, we agree the budget together.

Yes, the housework needs to be done, but managed efficiently, it's not an all-day thing (assuming she has appropriate nanny responsibilities and not full cleaning/housekeeping)

How would she feel about the Facebook page idea to meet some others?

Zebda Sat 11-Jul-15 12:07:07

YY Kindle. I completely forgot about arts and crafts - ours always have a project on the go that they all work on together with the aupair. They all scrapbook together as well.

If you are paying nanny rates I would expect her to plan stimulating activities each day for the DC as well (if they are preschool)

Cindy34 Sat 11-Jul-15 13:41:16

Having a budget for activities is vital, it need not cost a huge amount. Toddler groups vary in cost, from free to a couple of pounds - your twins get to interact with other children and she gets to meet other adults.
Playgrounds, woodland - often free, though some have a little steep parking charges so look at where is local.

Meeting other nannies and parents in the area can help, can go round to others houses, have friends come over to yours.

Are there limitations to your nanny getting out and about, such as can they drive, have a car, need to keep mileage claims low?

Do you have any local attractions with season/annual passes? Some can be quite low cost if visited frequently such as educational places used mostly by schools.

Swimming can be low cost during term time, special parent & toddler sessions. Look at local leisure pools, some are better than others and have easier changing room layouts than others. Bit of trial and error maybe needed to find one which makes it fairly easy to get the twins changed, they soon get to know the routine and toddlers start to do more themselves.

How old are your twins?

grabaspoon Sat 11-Jul-15 15:48:09

A nanny friend if mine nannies for just turned 2 year old twins - we've known them a year. She has had them from small (6 mmonthmonths) but still manages to do a lot of stuff with them - when they were little she took them to baby groups/twins groups/rhyme time and from a year took them to music classes, she also takes them on trips to the farm/the zoo/outside pool/local miniature railway/soft play centres etc yes sometI mes we go to which helps (not by much as although you add an adult your also gaining extra kids) but she takes it all in her stride (twins are starting tantrums etc and she manages both quite easily without any extra help)

softhedgehog Sat 11-Jul-15 20:58:26

She may be bored, but you presumably aren't holding a gun to her head and forcing her to be a nanny? Has she said she is bored or is this your interpretation?

bobajob Sat 11-Jul-15 21:00:41

Does she have nanny friends? Play dates are good for the nanny and children and are also good for your budget.

cansu Sun 12-Jul-15 13:55:18

it is not your job to make the nanny less bored. You are employing her to take care of your children and ensure they are not bored. You seem to be looking at this in the wrong way. If she doesn't like her work, she needs to do something about it. You shouldn't be feeling sorry for her!

minderjinx Mon 13-Jul-15 16:25:04

I'd rather have someone happy and contented looking after my children. Nobody is suggesting she is not doing a good job, andt surely we all appreciate considerate and thoughtful employers. Of course it's not the OP's job to make the nanny less bored (if indeed she is) but it is certainly in her own interest to have a nanny who is contented, who will go the extra mile willingly if the occasion ever arises, and who will stick around as long as she is needed.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 13-Jul-15 16:32:39

Children's centre if the wanker Torys haven't closed your local one down yet. Ours has groups for twins, childminders and young mums, and I'm sure a young nanny of twins would be welcome at all three. Session costs were very very low too.

On the plus side, it's summer, so much much easier to get out and about with twins. And next winter, they'll be older and easier again. That baby/very early toddler winter with twins when they're not very mobile and need milk or food or changing every 10 seconds nearly floored me, so staying in really did seem easier. I don't blame her for adopting a siege mentality!

If you WFH can she have playdates at the house with other nannies/charges or local friends with children? Could you go to a coffee shop for 2 hours to enable it? That would give her day structure and something fun to look forward to occasionally.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 13-Jul-15 16:33:38

Not sure how old the twins are, but a friend with a young nanny bought her son a trampoline. The nanny LOVES it smile

jelliebelly Mon 13-Jul-15 16:35:38

If she is bored then surely she is in the wrong job?

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