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is it standard to give nanny 1 hour break in 10 hour workday

(48 Posts)
marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 11:10:16

I am a new mum and my nanny has asked for an hour break during the day (when child is napping). I am ok with this, but just want to do what is standard for nannies? She often struggles to finish the cooking/laundry for child during the day, so worry this will mean even more is left undone. She is sole charge of one child.

StringyPotatoes Wed 16-Mar-16 11:20:25

I'm a nanny working 12hr days and it's never occurred to me to request a break. And none of the other nannies I know have a break either - in fact, most have signed a contract opting out of the Working Times Directive.

What does she do if the baby wakes during her break? Leave him to cry? What happens when he drops his naps?

I consider doing the ironing to be my break as I do it when the little one is asleep and I pop the TV or some music while I do it. Or when he's playing happily on his own and I have a 10min scroll through Facebook.

Nannying is quite a full-on job but washing/ironing/rustling up a meal is not an arduous task if you do it when the little one is asleep!

marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 11:27:48

Thanks, baby usually naps for more than an hour so not an issue for her to take an hour uninterrupted.

I want to be extremely fair (and generous) with her, but not sure whether this is standard request for a nanny to make.

starry0ne Wed 16-Mar-16 11:32:15

Not a Nanny but do think forward..DC will not nap for ever what will she do then?

HSMMaCM Wed 16-Mar-16 12:41:42

Say "by all means grab the chance to have a cuppa", I don't know any nannies that get an hour break.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Wed 16-Mar-16 13:04:10

I am a nanny. I am about to give myself an "hour off" both kids are napping and I'm under the weather. Today the chores won't get done. However seeing as I did a huge pile of laundry yesterday and i have a freezer full of home made dinners I am sure I am forgiven grin to be fair even when I do all my jobs plus batch cooking at lunch time I still get a good 45 minutes peace to myself.

marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 13:50:35

I am very happy for my nanny to take a break - I prefer her to as I know it can be knackering otherwise, and I don't want her to get burnt out. I am just a bit worried that she is asking for a full hour to sit down even if it means basic things don't get done

It seems it is not normal for a nanny to have an official hour break? In fact baby sleeps for usually 2 or 2.5 hours, so there is lots of extra down time when baby is sleeping...

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 16-Mar-16 13:58:29

I'm a bit confused as to why she is even asking - she is responsible for her own workload and can arrange it all accordingly, knowing that she has sole care of a baby and a list of other chores. Why would anyone care what she is doing when the baby is sleeping, as long as she is ready in case they wake, and has plans to get the rest of the stuff done?

To be fair though, some days it is just not possible to get everything done when you are in sole care of a child - and sometimes you really do need to sit down with a cup of tea. I wouldn't contract any of this stuff tbh - I'd just say it's up to her how she arranges her day and to stay flexible. It's just not possible to timetable to the nth degree unless you are Gina ford.

Ebb Wed 16-Mar-16 14:15:22

Just say, "You are more than welcome to take a break once you've finished the nursery duties." It is not normal for Nannies to get an hours break but most Nannies manage their workload well and find time for a coffee and a bit of down time.

Is she young/in first job or has she come from a nursery?

marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 14:16:55

I completely agree, I just leave it to her to take a break when she can and to not over burden her with stuff so that she never gets a chance to take a break. That is why I was surprised when she asked formally for an hour break. She also said every nanny gets this...

now, not so sure...

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 16-Mar-16 14:59:20

Def not standard but most nannies will sit down and chill when child is asleep - obv making sure nursery future done

Nannying is a job where you don't get a set lunch hour (another reason why lunch/meals are provided for nanny)

She sounds young to me and if she isn't doing all her nursery duties and has 2.5hrs a day ish with i charges then what is she doing?

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 16-Mar-16 15:00:16

A nursery will give a break as other staff there. Has she come from nursery setting?

marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:03:42

I didn't want to have to ask her what she does with 2.5 hours every day, because I wanted to be easy going/flexible with her.

She has said there is always a long list of things to do, laundry, cooking, tidying toys. It's hard to break that down in to what she does minute by minute.

But it sounds like if we are already having this discussion, then things are not going so well? I wanted to be quite flexible with her in return for her being quite flexible with me but maybe that is not how nannies work.
I always pay her on time and I never let her work a minute past her finish time.

Is the problem that I am too nice/easygoing? Am I being taken advantage of? she is v nice with DC so don't want to be too hasty in judging her.

Squiffy01 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:05:08

Another one that doesn't have an official break! And I've never know a nanny that has in my years doing it. If we have good time management then great I get half hour sit down or more of the freezer is full.
I've just started a share and haven't had that break for a few weeks some days I don't even manage lunch but I'm not going to ignore the crying baby cause i haven't had my sit down.
Definitely say sit down for as long as you want when everything is done.
If it's in the contract is she likely to say oh I didn't get it today I will have to leave an hour early?

BayLeaves Wed 16-Mar-16 15:07:11

Sounds odd. Being a nanny is basically like being on full mum duty for the length of the working day. You only really get a break if the kid's nap allows it and you don't have a million other household jobs to do.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 16-Mar-16 15:10:32

She needs to organise her time better

Sure she doesn't do washing and cooking every day

So put load on. Go to activity with child. Unload and hang up/put in tumble dryer

Batch cook or cook meal while child asleep

Tidying toys doesn't take ages - assuming your lo is young if napping 2.5hrs a day

I think you are being too nice if she isn't doing her duties - unless you are requesting her to do all your washing and housework as well

marella9 Wed 16-Mar-16 15:36:27

she has made it very clear she will not do our laundry/cooking. When she cooks, she only ever makes more of same if it is something we can eat too but she won't cook for us separately.

I am bending over backwards to be nice to her, but fear that this is backfiring, it seems the more I give, the more she tells me what she will/will not do.

sigh, again if she and DC were not so attached to each other (she is undoubtedly sweet wtih DC), I don't think I would be thinking twice about this.

harverina Wed 16-Mar-16 15:39:21

I don't think that you should agree to the hours break - a break implies that you will provide cover for her during this time.

I think you ask her to plan her day on her own and to include breaks within that. Everyone is entitled to sit and eat etc of course but she should be organising her day and planning ahead for the week.

If she can't do that herself and you need to sit down with her to work out what she does and when, then I would worry that she doesn't have any initiative.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 16-Mar-16 15:52:09

She can't have an hours "lunch" as others have said what happens if the baby wakes up, what happens if she is still with you in 2 years time and toddler drops naps?
Here is advice from a major wimp:

"Of course you expect her to sit down have some lunch and a couple of rests during the day, just as you would, and she needs to plan this during her working day if it is whilst baby is napping or during childs own meal times as child gets older."

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 16-Mar-16 17:50:29

Tbh I won't cook for my bosses or do their washing - not many nannies do

If I make a lasagne etc then happy for them to have leftovers - if not then I freeze but I won't cook for them

How old are your dc? And children are reliesent - nannies come and go for various reasons

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 16-Mar-16 17:51:07

What does contract say about duties?

Yerazig Wed 16-Mar-16 18:13:54

I manage to get a break most days once the baby goes down for her sleep. She definitely isn't managing her time well which I think comes with experience to be honest. But as above I don't do cooking for my bosses or their laundry the same as most of my nanny friends. So it's something that shouldn't be expected.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 16-Mar-16 19:40:48

I only ever got left overs from kids meal, or when the meal was as easy to make big as small, spag bol for example

fakenamefornow Wed 16-Mar-16 19:52:35

Are you at home as well? Is she talking about a proper break when she could go out leaving baby with you?

If not then I don't know how you could facilitate this. While on duty she's 'mum' and will just have to take a little break when she can, like a mum would.

NannyR Wed 16-Mar-16 20:50:05

I agree with the previous posters, it's about time management. I don't have an official lunch break, but (when my charge was still napping) I would put a load of washing on, get some veg for a stew or bolognese chopped and whilst that was simmering away I would sit down for twenty minutes or so with a coffee. I always eat my lunch with the children.

Now he's given up his nap, we have a similar routine - lunch, jobs all done (which he will happily help with) then I have twenty minutes whilst he draws or plays Lego and he knows that that is my quiet time.

I think an hour is excessive - fine if you are in an office job and can use your lunch break for shopping etc, but twenty/thirty minutes is fine for a sit down with a coffee and magazine. I certainly don't expect to be able to have that every day, some days are so busy that there just isn't time.

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