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have i got unrealistic expectations?

(47 Posts)
frypanning Mon 14-Sep-15 11:29:49

Our nanny works Mon-Weds for us, and one of her duties is to do the kids' laundry. The kids are 3 and 1 so they generate a fair bit of laundry, usually 2 or 3 loads a week.

She generally does one load a week, washed and dried, and puts away any that I have left hanging up in the utility room. So we never actually run short of clothes completely but I do 2 or 3 loads of kids laundry every other week to keep up.

Is this normal? We probably each do laundry proportionate to the days we have the kids, if you see what I mean, but I was actually expecting her to do it all! I'd be grateful for others' experience on this: does 'doing the kids laundry' mean all of it, and the baskets are fairly empty and everything put away, or does it mean just washing roughly the amount of clothes they've worn with the nanny that week? Thanks!

TheOddity Mon 14-Sep-15 11:32:04

Do you have a dryer? Is she constrained to how much she can hang out at any one time? Otherwise I would say you could get through more than one load in three days! I do a load a day while at home with a three year old.

Snossidge Mon 14-Sep-15 11:32:41

Doing one load out of 2 or 3 sounds reasonable, but if you want her to do a load every day then surely you just tell her that?

MythicalKings Mon 14-Sep-15 11:33:18

What she's doing seems right to me.

foolonthehill Mon 14-Sep-15 11:36:51

I think it means whatever you said it means in your contract/pre-employment discussion.

from a practical point of view ; if she is fully occupied with DC when they are awake would you want her to be washing, drying and ironing/putting away clothes every day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? How would that impact on her ability to care for children? How would that impact on her preparing food for them, playing, going out with them/attending groups? How would that impact on her ability to sit down and have lunch/a coffee break?

It also depends on whether she lives in or does she have evening time that you are paying her for when DC have gone to bed?

frypanning Mon 14-Sep-15 12:24:39

Thanks for replies everyone. We didn't discuss exactly how much laundry she should do pre-employment because I naively assumed we would both mean 'any laundry that's sitting in the basket'.

We have a tumble dryer, plenty of space for drying and DD is at preschool every morning so it should be an absolute doddle to get it all done without impacting on childcare. She lives out, I don't need her to iron.

I don't mind having a chat with her about it but I'm interested in the experience of nannies and other employers to make sure I'm not asking for something that's not usually expected of nannies. I don't want to be a dick about it basically!

nbee84 Mon 14-Sep-15 13:58:57

As a nanny I always try to leave the washing basket empty at the end of my working week - be that 3 days or 4. I also wash the children's bedding.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 14-Sep-15 14:46:24

Being part time /3days is hard as can't do 7 days washing in 3 days plus laundry basket may be emptied wed am and wash put on

But means than wed clothes and pjs in eve and thur clothes and pjs and ditto for Friday will all be there so by the weekend there will be lots more Laundry

So unless you do a load fri then by the time Monday comes she will have 4 days worth

Hope you get what I mean

I work 3 days a week when in perm job (mon to wed) and I empty basket and do bedsheets on a wed am

And mb does a wash fri to keep it all running smoothly

cansu Mon 14-Sep-15 16:27:23

I don't think it should be too hard for her to put a load in each day. I do this most days despite having two kids and a job outside the home. It really doesn't take long to put it in and out of the dryer. I would just make it clear that it is what you want her to do.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 14-Sep-15 16:49:20

I nanny 4 days a week for 2 small children - I try to do 1 big wash on a monday morning and also another load on a wednesday morning leaving me with a chance to iron clothes on the thursday. I don't expect my bosses to do a load in the other 3 days however it can quickly et out of hand if they don't put at least 1 or 2 things in with their washing. However I have had nanny friends whose bosses leave the childrens clothing in the wash basket on the 4 days they don't work and being greeted by a huge pile of washing/ironing on your 1st day of a 3 day week can be annoying especially when you have other nursery duties/children to look after.

I would reccomend that she does a wash on the monday morning [which she hangs out and puts away] and then wednesday afternoon [that you put away] then you have enough clothes for the weekend and a good size load on a monday

Janeymoo50 Mon 14-Sep-15 17:01:25

I nannied, had three under four years at one point, did all the children's laundry and ironing (plus I'd do the kids' bedding, towels, all the kitchen tea towels/bibs/face cloths etc too). I checked the laundry each morning I was there, mon-fri, and stuck a load in the machine during breakfast. I'd expect to do all kids' laundry that needed it done during my working days (even if left over from the weekend). It's perfectly doable, IMHO.

frypanning Mon 14-Sep-15 17:34:05

Thanks for all the replies, especially from the nannies, is very helpful!

I think what I'm finding tricky is that it's me facing the big mound of laundry and her doing the top up wash, when I feel it should be the other way around!

Callaird Mon 14-Sep-15 19:46:07

I agree with you frypanning she should be doing the bulk of the washing with you throwing a few things in with your washing at the weekend that they might need on Monday morning.

I work Monday to Thursday and currently have one (potty training) 2 year old, I wash Monday and Thursday mornings, I always do two loads, light and dark and the dark load first as more bits need ironing in the dark load so I can iron most bits during his nap. My boss doesn't care about his bits being ironed and will put stuff on from the ironing pile if need be!

A nanny is supposed to make your life easier and if your child is at nursery for 2.5 hours during her working day, she has no excuse! I would ask her to do two loads Monday and two loads on Wednesday, especially as she doesn't have to iron.

Callaird Mon 14-Sep-15 19:47:46

Oh, I always wash his bedding and bath towel/face cloths on a Monday too. (Although I do do face cloths on Thursday too!)

NuffSaidSam Mon 14-Sep-15 20:05:59

I think you need to do one load a week to cover the Thurs-Sun washing and she should do the rest.

I'd aim for;

Saturday PM - You do a wash and leave hanging.

Monday AM - She puts away the weekend wash. She does a wash and hangs it.

Wednesday AM - She puts away Monday's wash. She does a wash and leaves it hanging.

Fri PM - You put away Wednesday's wash.

That's 3 loads a week, which should be enough for two small children!

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 14-Sep-15 20:15:40

How can she do the bulk if you put a wash on?

She can only wash what is in the wash bin?

So either she washes mon am and does wed thur fri sat sun clothes

And then wed am and does mon and tue clothes and bed sheets

But I think unfair to leave all 7 days washing if she only works 3 days

frypanning Mon 14-Sep-15 21:31:08

This is very useful, I'm glad I asked. I think it's very interesting that you say it's unfair to leave 7 days of laundry, Blondes, this is what I was wondering.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 14-Sep-15 21:37:00

So maybe nanny washes mon am - and washes clothes from fri sat sun

Then wed do mon and tue and bedsheets

You on a Thursday eve do one load which would be wed and thur clothes and hang out thur eve or fri am

she does two loads and you one which would consist of 2 days worth smile

NuffSaidSam Mon 14-Sep-15 21:39:44

I agree with Blondes on that. She's only working 3 days, so 3 days worth of cooking/tidying/washing etc. It's not really on to employ someone 3 days, but get them to do 7 days work in that time.

Dencar Mon 14-Sep-15 21:44:30

From my experience as a nanny, I would always aim to have the washing basket empty before I leave, even as a 3day nanny. This is not an unreasonable expectation at all - Unless the children are changing outfits several times a day making mountain of washing.
Everything in the basket washed on the Monday.
Tuesday put away Monday's washing(a few odd things ironed if needed)
Wednesday wash Monday, Tuesday clothes and bedding.
Children's bedding weekly or fortnightly.
You throw in things over weekend if you're doing any of your washing.
Really though, it isn't difficult to get the washing for two children done over three days.

Callaird Mon 14-Sep-15 21:55:59

Blondes I disagree (shock,horror!)

There are two little children, if nanny does all the laundry on Monday and all laundry, bedding and towels on Wednesday, there will be a maximum of 10 tops, 10 bottoms, 5 pants, 10 pairs of pj's, 10 vests and maybe another 10 items for spills etc, one light load and one dark load! I don't think it is too much to do.

But I really don't mind doing all my charges laundry, in fact I prefer it, my current boss washes everything together, it took me half a dozen washes to get my charges vests and babygros white again when I first started! She also hangs them to dry all scrunched up so I have to iron everything! I put things on the line or in the drier and fold most of it and just iron the cottony bits.

BerylStreep Mon 14-Sep-15 21:57:20

So how many loads of washing are done each week in total?

Do you do your own washing and the nanny only does the kids?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 14-Sep-15 22:07:25

The point is it's not fair to make a 3 day nanny do all the laundry

It's not hard for her to do 2 loads and mum one load

I've done several 3 days jobs and I expect the parents to attempt to do some washing at end of week /weekend

Cindy34 Mon 14-Sep-15 23:25:50

Got to work today to find the laundry basket full but a load was drying and another was in the machine. If all the adults in the household do their fair share then it keeps on top of it.

I will often do two loads a day if I have the hanging space for it to dry. Easier in dry weather as can put some outside. Some days things can dry very fast, others it takes a long time. In winter it can be a bit of a problem as things build up. At least you have a tumble drier so your nanny could use that in winter for some items.

Unreasonable for them to do all the children's laundry, as it builds up too much on their non work days. Not unreasonable to expect two loads in the washing machine on a good day. A load first thing in the morning may be able to be hung to dry before taking oldest to pre-school and yougest to toddler group or whatever they are doing that morning. Then another load can go in at lunchtime, or later in afternoon. It may not be dry, it may be dry but not put away but at least it is washed and can be dealt with by someone the next day.

BerylStreep Mon 14-Sep-15 23:47:57

Is two loads a day not a bit excessive?

I struggle to remember when my DC were that age, but I think we probably did 2 - 3 loads of washing for the whole family per week. Although I am happy to concede that we were fairly relaxed about DC wearing clean clothes. There is clean, passable, and minging. It is fair to say that things usually only went in the wash once they reached minging point.

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