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Help - new nanny and her duties(21 Posts)
We have employed a new nanny for our twins who are 1 and a half...at the start I explained that I am at home and will help her with looking after them. I said that she would get help and support with everything she needs as long as the babies are doing well and are happy.
Well she has done very little since starting well over a month ago. She is full of ideas and suggestions and keeps saying next week I will do this or that but never does anything. I still do all the cooking for the kids, all thir laundry, changing the bedsheets, keeping the areas where they are tidy etc, she plays with them and takes them for a walk in their buggy. When they sleep for 2 - 2 and half hours she rests.
Last week I had to remind her to do things and wash their clothes but even that she left unfinished.
I asked her to prepare the plan what she would do with the kids each day but even that she keeps saying next week...
I really want to be fair and good to my nanny. I want her to feel respected and loved but after long search this is the best I have found. I feel so disheartened and I am not the person to be going after her and saying you need to do this and that, she should know, if she knows how to pick up the pay check.
I intend to write down all the duties again for her and remind her next week...but is there anything else I can do???
I wonder if part of the problem is you are always there so it's not 100% clear where she is needed. I worked as an au pair abroad as a young adult and worked for a SAHM with an 18 month toddler. I felt like I was 'on demand' from 8am - 10pm. I never had 'me time' and always needed to be available. I can't remember the hours of an au pair but it's something like max 30 a week. The lack of structure made me feel I was always at work.
I'm guessing it's different as your nanny goes home but she might feels she's working the whole time because you are there if that makes sense?
If it were me, I would devise a clear timetable for the next week including an hour off for lunch or something and show her what you expect here to be doing at each point. Divide up the chores and make it clear which are hers. Perhaps she doesn't know how she should be spending her time? I'd give her a couple of weeks of following your schedule first before expecting her to create her own. At least then she will understand the expectations and should it not work out, you have something concrete to demonstrate she hasn't done as asked.
I also wonder if there are clear lines between what are her responsibilities and what are not. Having a clear job description and initially having lists of things to be done each day may be needed.
She is there to make your life easier. Does she realise that? She needs to be proactive and whilst her suggestions are welcome they are not useful unless she implements them.
Start with a detailed schedule and insist that it is followed. If she refuses or fails to follow it completely, then start the procedure for dismissal (Have a meeting, tell her she is not performing her duties to the standard expected and give, hear her side of the situation, sleep on it - needs to be time between the meeting and making a decision - then issue a written warning).
She either needs to do the job she is employed to do, to the standard that you require, or she needs to leave - be that she resigns or you dismiss her. Dismissal is the last thing you really want to do, so you give opportunity to improve but if they don't improve then this is not going to work long term and you are better getting someone else.
You aren't managing her. Give her instructions.
So - she does the nice bits of the childcare like playing and walking with the children while you stay home and do the laundry and the housework for the children?
I have had a nanny like this - who keep saying 'I am going to....next week'. She never did anything and I realised it was a tactic to be lazy. She is not going to work out - get rid.
I have one like this. She is going to be ditched soon
I would sack someone with such a crap work ethic. She wouldn't have lasted the trial period with me.
She's unlikely to change. You will be managing the symptoms of her laziness and the worst bit is not being able to trust her. A trustworthy person works when they're being paid to work and does what they say they'll do, end of.
You need to have a clear demarcation of roles. If you're around then why do you need a nanny at all?
Having a nanny when you have twins is a wonderful chance for you to have one to one time with each twin - take one of them out to the park, or the local playgroup, or swimming or even the supermarket or whatever while the nanny stays home to look after the other one. Would you consider doing that? To be honest if you cant trust her to do anything without you checking it or being there I am not sure how useful it is to have her at all?
She presumably took the job to get childcare experience not cleaning experience but perhaps you should spell out one to two hours of tasks like nursery related washing/cleaning you want her to do each day when the children sleep (if they sleep for over two hours that should also give her time for a short lunch break) and make it clear they must be done or you will have to give her notice.
This is one thing I don't understand about some nannies. Nursery duties honestly take no time at all, lime seriously bringing down the washing basket and putting a wash on takes under a minute! She can hang it up while the children nap. Maybe she's finding it difficult because you're around? but even so, she knew you'd be around when she took the job, presumably. I think have a chat with her and see what plan you can come up with. Like a pp suggested, maybe you can take one twin off somewhere to spend one to one time with, the nanny can then focus on other twin/ housework.
How long has she been a nanny? What did she do in her last position? If she is used to doing it all herself then maybe she is unsure when to step in.
I would write her a comprehensive routine
8am - breakfast - cereal and fruit - toast. Clean hands and face, get children down, get out some toys, encourage free play while nanny unloads dishwasher and reloads, wash up non dishwasher items and wipe down highchairs, check floor for debris.
9am - change bedding - do washing, one light, one dark load (or however you sort)
10am - take to a class or park/farm/woods.
10:30 - snack.
11:30 - home, prepare lunch
12pm - lunch and pudding. clean hands and faces.
12:45 - to bed to nap.
1pm - eat lunch, tidy up lunch dishes, clean surfaces.
1:30 - sort laundry. Either hang or tumble dry
2-3pm - rest
3pm - children up, drink and snack
3:15 - play at home, garden, craft, baking, walk or class
4:30 - prepare tea
5pm - tea and pudding.
5:30 - clean up children, leave to play while tidying as after breakfast/lunch.
6pm - prepare bed time bottles/beakers. Up for bath and into pyjamas
6:30 - bedroom for stories, milk and cuddles.
7pm - bed.
Tuesday 1:30 - ironing. Put away when you go up to wake children.
Wednesday 1:30 - rest.
Thursday 1:30 - batch cook and freeze.
Friday - 9am wash, 1:30 - iron.
This is my routine, I currently have one 2year old but I have done this with 4 sets of twins over the years.
I also do a weekly food shop for all the family (delivered), food plan for my employers and prepare veg/meat for their supper. Or make extra when batch cooking for the children. I run errands for employers. Sweep the floor every evening, mop if needed.
Give her the routine, then tell her daily, can you strip the beds now and do the children's laundry. Can you prepare their lunch. Can you take them to xyz. And hopefully she'll soon get it. I would also give her a verbal warning now, tell her she must buck her ideas up or you are going to have to let her go. She is there to make your life easier not stress you out!! Good luck.
You say you are finding yourself doing all the nursery duties. Are you sure that you're not jumping in there before she gets a chance? I had a family once who criticised me for not doing the children's cooking but in reality I would be playing with the children then go to prepare lunch only to find the parent already there. We both had slightly different ideas of how long prep would take and as I wasn't there at the time they thought I should be they assumed I wasn't going to do it.
There's also no harm in you saying "I'd like to go for a walk with the twins this afternoon. Could you clear the kitchen whilst I'm gone?" or similar. If a nanny is doing shared care then part of the role is to allow the parent to spend time with the children too. So send her to do tasks there and then while you play (not too often as she's a nanny, not a housekeeper) and she may start to identify what needs doing and when.
Thanks everyone. I do give her a chance to do it first by politely asking her would you do it when it is not done at the end of the day I do it. She has lots of experience hence the reason I expect her to just do what is needed. She was explained that all nursery duties which frankly there aren't many are hers. I wanted her to feel part of the family, loved and respected unlike many nannies are and perhaps I am too soft. However I am starting to feel like she is using that.
I actually refuse to be nasty and order her about because once you do that with somebody the relationship deteriorates.
she gets a break during the time kids sleep which can be 2- 2 and half h. She is well looked after. Every week I remind her that we need to do x, y and z and she always says oh yes I was just thinking about that of course... But never actually does anything. How can I tell her to move her bottom without offending her...
We had a really tough year with twins as one was not well and still needs me so I am at home but decided to get a nanny to give me some break to attend my medical appointments and other things I neglected over the last few years...
Thank you all
Callarid wish you were my nanny can't believe how hard you work!!!! Being nanny is a tough job which requires concentration and lots of patience. I appreciate nannies perhaps I should stop and may get a better one!
'she gets a break during the time kids sleep which can be 2- 2 and half h. She is well looked after. Every week I remind her that we need to do x, y and z and she always says oh yes I was just thinking about that of course... But never actually does anything. How can I tell her to move her bottom without offending her... '
You are flogging a dead horse here. She has lots of experience, she should know what is required and you have explained nursery duties.
You should not be here looking for ways to get her to do her job without offending her.
'perhaps I am too soft. However I am starting to feel like she is using that. '
There's your answer.
I agree with expat. I am too soft too, which is why your post really resonated with me.
I have had to harden up as an employer. Some employees need strong boundaries and she is one of them. The relationship is done and dusted though - you need to let her go. Once they have 'turned', there is no turning back!
I agree with expat and powerpants! You are being too soft. You need to toughen up or look for someone else who will hit the ground running.
I'd love to go back to twins, absolutely adore 'my' twins, oldest are 22, youngest 8 and really enjoyed looking after them all but I love my job now too, bosses are amazing, they treat me very well, lots of time off (way over my holiday allowance, late starts and early finishes if she doesn't have to go in or finishes early or granny/grandpa visiting) small thank you gifts occasionally, flowers, chocolate, a new handbag (ok not small but very gratefully received!) in return I will go the extra mile, stay late when she cannot get out of work, babysit (a lot at this time of year) work if I am ill (she's happy for us to have a lazy day (or 2 or 3!) on the sofa with freezer meals and dvd's) I'll take the car to the garage if it needs it, ordered a new oven and stayed in for it to be delivered and fitted when the old one broke, sorted out a handy man/gardener/washing machine repair man. I empty bins when needed (although usually in the evening then leave them in the doorstep for dad boss to take to the bin as technically it's his (only) job!)
Right now we are roasting our home grown butternut squash for risotto tea for all of us. My charge is sitting next to me making finger print Christmas cards for mum to send out to all her family and friends (75 cards needed!) I'm here to make my bosses lives easier, not harder. My boss often tells people 'I didn't realise until I had a nanny that I needed a nanny years ago'!
I agree with Calliard, she needs to have a routine.
I am a nanny to 3 children, I still manage to do nursery duties and fun things! Its all about organization.
Thanks everyone. You have been most helpful to me. Also it is so nice to hear from nannies themselves that it is possible to do all the duties and look after the kids. Well I do it when I am alone without any professional experience (never had kids before either or looked after them!).
As you said it's all about organisation, being able to prioritise and make the right decisions.
Collard it's fantastic you have a great job and your bosses treat you nicely. It's all about give and take you give and you will get it back people do notice and appreciate it. I guest one has to ask oneself questions when a nanny you pay struggles to do even the job they applied to do...
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