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Mother's helper? Nanny? Or au pair?

(32 Posts)
Nickname1980 Fri 05-Feb-16 21:44:29

It's probably much to early to ask this question! But I'd love your shared wisdom.

I have a 2-year-old and am pregnant again, which is very happy news for me. I really enjoy being a stay-at-home mum, I actually love it, but - honestly - I'm a little lonely and a little fed up of doing all the housework and staying in alllll the time in the evening. I also run my own business from home.

I have lots of friends and do lots of activities. I don't need to do more of that. But I don't have any real family help apart from the odd babysitting once a month.

When the new baby comes, I would just like someone to share the load with a little. Not loads, just a little. Someone to help out with house stuff, too. And someone to just be around! My 2-year-old goes to nursery a couple of days a week and will continue to do so.

Is it mad to get a nanny/au pair/ mother's helper? And which is right for me? I'd consider live-in to make it cheaper.

I'm one of those people who is crap on their own. I love people! My own mother isn't around anymore and my husband works a lot and fairly late.

Would love your advice! Maybe I'd hate someone telling me what to do with the kids or around my house all the time?! But I just totally think "it takes a village" and I don't really have one, as most people don't these days, so wondering if I should employ one?!?! I'm not mega rich so not even sure if I can afford it!

Have also thought loads about a postnatal doula, too.

Thank you in advance!!!

HopeandSoap Fri 05-Feb-16 21:47:25

If I were you I'd start off with a postnatal doula or a mothers help. And then get yourself to some groups or gym etc to meet people.

Nickname1980 Fri 05-Feb-16 22:35:03

Yes I think a doula may be a good place to start! But it's more being alone at home that bugs me.

I do have lots of friends and get out loads to baby groups so that's not so much the issue. I'm also tired of being desperate for my husband to come home for someone to share it all with!

BKStar Sat 06-Feb-16 01:15:47

I got an au pair as I don't have much family around and have a 5, 4 yo and 10 month old and study part time. I can honestly say it was the best thing I ever did. It's a bit of an adjustment living with someone else, but having the extra help is a godsend. It's nice to have other company but I will say it doesn't replace having adult conversation with other mothers or friends. I would seriously think about it as I wasn't sure and spend months looking into it and now I can't imagine not having one. I am doing 3 school trips a day!

Yerazig Sat 06-Feb-16 06:05:52

As you would be around and need an extra hand. I would look at an au pair maybe at least on their second job as your oldest is still quite young. Or a mothers help so which may be an ex nursery worker or an experienced au pair who wants to keep on in childcare. If you need help as well with household stuff most nannies won't do thay side and will only stick to childcare.

Whinfell10 Sat 06-Feb-16 06:49:11

Get an au pair, it's great. Just be clear about what you want and the sort of person you want i.e. Be clear you want someone to cook supper and eat when you X nights per week, think about your babysitting needs, do you want them to hang out with you on the sofa? Do you want them to be able to cook ? Do fun stuff with the 2 yr old when baby arrives? Etc ... If you think about your ideal set up and ideal timetable and write it all down. When people apply , send them this additional info with your expectations / wants and timetable. In my experience, the more you lay out what you expect and how you live, the better it is for everyone. Some au pairs are totally independent and will be out the moment they are not working and others are home birds who will seemingly never leave, some will never leave their room of an evening but that can also be a bit miserable if you would like some company etc. I think it's a lot about matching as different au pairs will totally suit different families and different au pairs can be suitable for your family at different times. Currently I have an au pair who is an amazing cook so we have lovely meals now but I basically don't see when she isn't working! It's totally worth having an au pair as cost wise, it it is very reasonable - but it works for the au pair too as they get somewhere to live and bills and food all paid for as well as their pocket money . I won't say living with another adult who also works for you will always be plain sailing but by and large I've had hugely positive experiences.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 06-Feb-16 09:55:54

Get a cleaner who will put on some washing as well

Then find a good babysitter and book them once / twice a week for you to go out in eve if dh never there - get some sanity back in your life

Daytime I don't think you need childcare help as are out and about plus 2yr in nursery some of the time

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 06-Feb-16 09:56:35

Get a cat or dog smile

Nickname1980 Sat 06-Feb-16 21:43:47

Ooh interesting to hear so many positive things about au pairs! Where did you guys go to find them? Gumtree or an agency? BKstar Whinfell10

Good advice about being clear about what I want from them Whinfell10. Think it might help me feel clear, too!

Lol about cat or dog, blondeshavemorefun!! I do love dogs! You might be right that a cleaner and a good babysitter may do the trick. It's the waiting for my husband to get home that drives me mad. It feels so old-fashioned and kind of makes me feel trapped. Ugh.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 06-Feb-16 22:43:18

Ap often only work 5 hrs a day usually pre /after school for Older children so they may study daytime

They are also likely to be out if not on duty so you may not have their company in evenings

What time does dh get back roughly?

Nickname1980 Sun 07-Feb-16 09:25:43

It totally varies,*blondeshavemorefun*, but can be anywhere between 6:30 and 8. I don't so much mind their company when the kids are in bed, but the odd bit of help with tea-time, etc, until they go to sleep and the odd bit of evening babysitting would be good!

Anyone know what the responsibility of a Mother's Helper would be?

Or anyone got experience with a postnatal doula?

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 07-Feb-16 15:51:21

i would say a mh/trainee nanny is what you need

another pair of hands 3-7 would be handy

help with tea bath and bed and put some washing on etc

OscarAndOwl Mon 08-Feb-16 18:20:16

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OscarAndOwl Mon 08-Feb-16 18:20:19

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Nickname1980 Mon 08-Feb-16 22:41:34

Thank you oscarandowl! I will check it out. (I live in N London though, boarding East, if your nannies/babysitters go that way!)

maplerose Tue 09-Feb-16 17:20:25

If you can afford it, go with an agency. There is a BAPPA website that will give you a list of all the available agencies. I used Pebbles. The staff are really friendly and the one girl I dealt with remembered who I was every time I called. Its a personal service which some people may not like but it was perfect for me.

Sezramum Wed 10-Feb-16 13:11:03

Your situation is very similar to my own. I have a baby due in April and I work from home. My other children are older though, and I tend to do most of my work when they are at school, but obviously things will be a bit different once the baby arrives!

I also felt that I just needed an extra pair of hands during the day so that I could still get some work done or a bit of housework. After exploring the option of a Nanny, Mother's help and Au Pair we have gone for the Au pair!

We are really excited about having someone to stay and I must admit that although I love my job, I miss company during the day so it will be great to have someone else in the house. She will also do light housework if I am feeding the baby or the baby is asleep.

I have used AuPair world and found a fabulous Au Pair who is 23, has qualified as a kindergarten teacher and has already stayed away from home. She also has experience with older children

After lots of messaging and some Skype calls, I feel like we have found the right fit and I am hoping this will work out well. It is so good to hear others recommending an Au Pair as it also helps me feel that we have made the right choice!

Good luck with your decision!

mrsplum2015 Wed 10-Feb-16 13:50:48

I was in similar situation but with some older children requiring lifts to and from friends and activities. I was v stressed and never actually got the help I needed at the time but do thankfully have it now! I have a wonderful nanny/babysitter who is a student with some childcare experience, very kind and sensible as well as trust worthy. So now I just use her as and when I need her, a few hours here or there to look after my 3 year old when she's not at nursery, one school pick up and after school care for my older children, babysitting, school holiday childcare. She is totally flexible and lovely, I call her my angel. Personally I'd hate a live in au pair as I don't want anyone in my house full time! This way I have the flexibility I need. It's also much cheaper than paying a qualified nanny.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 10-Feb-16 19:25:42

Another vote for Au Pair World . com website - we found our wonderful au pair through it in December and she started in January. I luffs her.

Be prepared to be inundated with responses though - I think we had 80 in the first 2 days shock

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Wed 10-Feb-16 19:27:22

We had a live-out nanny until last summer and like the PP I was wary of having a "stranger" living with us. But DH moved overseas (he hasn't abandoned us, just gone early!) and I really love having her around and having another grown up in the house.

mrshotrod Mon 13-Feb-17 23:14:11

I see that this was last year, but I wonder what you opted for in the end? My friend has a German student living with them every year, and they help in the house, and mainly with childcare. My friend says her and other half obviously worried about having someone living with them, but since doing it once, it's been repeated three or four times I think, and they've never looked back.
It works really well, my friend is so much less stressed out, the kids do great, and one of the students has even asked if she could come back next year and live with them rent free and work for the rent, if you see what I mean. It apparently just a normal 'thing' in Germany, but we're all a bit nervous about it here. Such up-tight Brits!!
I hope you got your situated sorted.

underneaththeash Tue 14-Feb-17 10:13:52

mrsshod - I think Brits are up tight about it as its not legal.
There is no basis in English law (and you may even fall fowl of anti-slavery legislation) for someone working for you without pay, even if they are happy it with situation. The must either be an employee, i which case you must minimum wage minus the acomadation onset, or an au pair and you have to pay "reasonable pocket money".

Incidentally we do have au pairs and they're great, but we make sure they are paid.

wickedwitchofwaterloo Thu 16-Feb-17 12:51:43

I took a job working for a SAHM 4.5 years ago. Just 8hrs a week. But it slowly became more hours, until it became my full time job when she had her second baby.

Hand on heart, it was my favourite position I've ever had. I'd totally forgotten what it was like to work alongside another adult and her parenting approach, while complimenting my nannying style, taught me to consider a totally different approach that I still apply today. We're firm friends now, even though she's moved out of London, I owe her so much.

So what I'm saying is - go for a nanny! It could end up being a wonderful experience for you both smile

wickedwitchofwaterloo Thu 16-Feb-17 12:52:50

Oh dammit. First time I've fallen foul of a zombie thread blush

Want2bSupermum Thu 16-Feb-17 13:12:25

underneath It's legal. It's called payment in kind and the 'rent' is considered salary.

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