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Nanny housework

(21 Posts)
gillmac Mon 25-Aug-08 22:32:24

Now that our two children are back at nursery every morning, our new nanny has 2.5 hours without any children each day. Is it reasonable to ask her to do light household chores during term time eg our ironing? She already does the children's laundry. I don't want to create any friction as she is a great nanny.

nannynick Tue 26-Aug-08 07:30:37

Would this be a change to the contract?
I don't consider ironing to be light housework. Tidying rooms, loading/unloading dishwasher I feel is light housework.

SqueakyPop Tue 26-Aug-08 07:54:29

Of course ironing is light housework. How much does a piece of clothing weigh?

Moving furniture and spring cleaning is not light housework. Daily and low-weight tasks are light.

shinypeople Tue 26-Aug-08 08:07:31

you could ask her to use that time to sort through and clean the children's toys,clean the children's bathroom thoroughly, batch cook so that there are lots of meals in the freezer for the children and other child related things.

mankyscotslass Tue 26-Aug-08 08:11:02

TBH, I wouldn't ecpect her to deal with the adults laundry at all. I would expect her to clean the childrens room, deal withthechildrens cooking and laindry though.

mankyscotslass Tue 26-Aug-08 08:22:27

blush at my spelling, I've been up too early with the cherubs and my eyes are closing.

AbbeyA Tue 26-Aug-08 08:39:06

I would only expect her to do light housework relating to the children. I don't think you can expect her to do anything relating to the adults in the household.

AtheneNoctua Tue 26-Aug-08 08:43:25

I don't really thinking your ironing is fair game for the nanny unless you agreed this before she started to work for you. If you want to add that now, it should be dealt with as a change to the contract and would normally involve the usual contract negotiations.

Rather than ask for more cleaning which is not normally the nanny's job (anything for the adults is not normally nanny's scope of work), I would ask her to do a bit more of things for the kids (which is normally in a nanny's scope of work). For example:
1- Organise kids's closets.
2- Shop for new uniforms, birthday presents, groceries (for the kids), etc.
3- Cook and freeze a variety of meals for the kids (which you could reheat and give to the kids on the weekend as well, saving you cooking time).
4- Make a scrap book of the kids. Give her a camera to use and ask her to go buy the supplies and make you a scrap book. She would obviously need to be a crafty for this to be an appropriate task for her.

However, I also think that 2.5 hours is not a whole lot time each day. Maybe ask her if she had thought of what she'll be doing in that time. She might say something like "I never seem to get as much tidying done as I'd like, so I was thinking I'd use the time to sort out the art supplies and really get the playroom in order."

squiffy Tue 26-Aug-08 10:05:08

The owl is indeed wise. All of what she says.

I wouldn't dream of asking nanny to tackle anyhting to do with the adult side of the family, but uniform sourcing, present buying, sorting out wardrobes. Oh yes.

imananny Tue 26-Aug-08 10:13:44

agree with the others, most nannies would not be happy to do housework or parents washing/ironing

but there is nothing wrong with as the owl said to ask nanny to cook extra meals, tidy playroom etc - though there is only so much cooking/tidying we can do, ie playroom wont need a spring clean each day

When my charges were in nursery in previous jobs, as long as any chores (if i had any) were done, then the time is my own

Ebb Tue 26-Aug-08 16:08:08

Maybe I'm an exception to the rules! When my charge went to Nursery 2 days a week ( 9 - 2.45) I took on the family ironing ( but no shirts or sheets grin ) and helped out where needed. I'm quite happy to run errands, go to the dry cleaners, walk the dogs, do the horses, run a hover / mop round the house if needed. I kept the playroom spotless, things organised, clothes sorted / up to date etc so really didn't have anything child related to do when the LO was at Nursery. If the Nanny is happy to do it then great but if she isn't contracted to do it and would rather not then that's just how it is. When he went to school I had even more time and then I would take time out after I had done everything. When the new baby arrived the ironing was handed straight back to the house keeper! You can but ask!

AtheneNoctua Tue 26-Aug-08 17:01:14

Yes, Ebb, she can ask. But the nanny only has 2 1/2 hours. I'm guessing the nursery run is about 15 minutes on each end so that's only 2 hours left. If the kids were in school all day I'd suggest presenting the nanny with the choice of additional chores or reduced hours. But as a mum and an employer, 2 hours a daay isn't worth upsetting the harmony of haveing a good nanny in place.

Yes, you are right, she can ask. But, she might also want to consider the possibility that the nanny agrees to it, but isn't really happy. Yet says nothing and thus is the beginning of a deteriorating nanny/employer relationship.

My nanny job has 2 1/2 hours free when DS starts nursery in Spetember, but I have actually just sold it as a perk to the job and suggested she might like to make a quick trip to the gym which is down the road from the school. I think will go a long way to making the nanny happy (at least it better! smile). Npw, when DS goes full time Jan 2010 I will be juggling the job description and be looking at an au pair / cleaner combination and drop the whole nanny thing. (Oh but Jura's current situation is not giving me great confidence for this plan)

RachieB Tue 26-Aug-08 17:26:19

I would be happy to hang out the parents laundry and/or fold etc, but not iron ( hell i dont even iron my own clothes lol)

also wouldnt have a problem running a vaccuum over, or unloading DW etc

Ebb Tue 26-Aug-08 17:27:38

Good point, Athene, about the Nanny agreeing to do extra things because she feels she can't say no. To be honest I would just leave things as they are and see if she does a few 'extras' off her own bat and as it's only 2 hours, it'd be a nice break. My boss was around alot so I always felt I should be doing things when the LO was at nursery / school. I also get bored easily so probably would have found things to do even if Mum boss was at work. grin

imananny Tue 26-Aug-08 17:33:40

yes athene, that perk should make your nanny happy

think most nannies dont mind helping out doing odd errand, I am quite happy to pick up/drop off dry cleaning, go food shopping etc, but it is not expected of me - and thats the difference, I am happy to do it, beacuse I dont have to iyswim

as rachie says, I DONT iron at work, I dont even iron at home if I can help itgrin

Expecting the nanny to do some chores when all children are at school is completley different from expecting nanny to do them in a short space of time - again as athene says,by the time I drop off at school&nursery and get back home, I only really have just over 2hrs till I have to leave again ( but I also have baby, so not child free)

nannyL Tue 26-Aug-08 18:23:39

I would NOT be happy tobe expected to do housse work or parents lauhcry either

I keep the play room tidy and ridy up after myself in the kitchen and do the childrens laundy anyway regardless, again cildrens clothes arnt irpned unless they really need it.

When i have all day to myself (ie 9 - 3) i WONT be doing 'housework'... thats the cleaners job and I am NOT a cleaner because i dont want to be a cleaner.

I will however do the childrens beds that day, make a meal for today and tomorrow, and probabaly bake a cake / pudding type thing for everyone as well.

I WONT be getting out the hoover though!

(will also im sure sometomes come back to MY house (round the corner) go shopping for me and / or my bosses, and if necessary have my own dentist / Dr type appts then too.)

I will willingly run errands for them if necessary but again i do anyway... just will doit without a buggy in tow!

nannynick Tue 26-Aug-08 18:28:39

In a previous job I used to drop off children at school, then pre-school, then have about 1.5 hours, before setting off again to do collection from pre-school. In that 1.5 hours, I would do things like loading/unloading dishwasher, putting a load of washing in the machine, quick tidy around the rooms, I would make a cup of coffee and drink it still warm, I would do some lunch food preparation. Sometimes I would start to sort out toy boxes... and then 3-year old would sort of assist when he got home from pre-school.

I would suggest that initially you just let them use the time to catch up with the existing tasks - such as children's laundry - and see how it goes.

Stars22 Tue 26-Aug-08 18:31:05

Im a nanny up until July my youngest charge was at pre-school 9-11.30 4 mornings a week and honestly the time does go so fast its not as if the nanny would be sat watching tv for 2 1/2 hours while your paying her. I used to drop her at 9 even tho its only a 5 min walk by the time u have dropped off and got out pre-school/nursery its about 9.20 by the time you actually get in.Thats nearly half an hour off the time alone already. Then by the time i had put washing on, tidied up and made beds from the morning its probably nearly 10 and then iron the childrens small pile of ironing from yesterdays washing. its gone 10. make sure the kitchen is clean, hang washing out and then its nearly 10.30 and then i would have 45ish minutes left to do other jobs i could think of eg. clean childrens shoes. The days that i didnt have as much to do or finished early i could do what i wanted eg, pop to town. I would never have wanted to have done the parents ironing, for one i would be worried that i wouldnt be doing it good enough so would take twice as long, and also i would end up feeling that i had to make sure it all got done so rushed everything else so parents hadnt thought that i just hadnt bothered.

HarrietTheSpy Tue 26-Aug-08 23:31:54

Can I just ask a question:

If not shirts what does one iron blush???

Someone irons sheets? blush blush

jura Wed 27-Aug-08 09:05:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

imananny Wed 27-Aug-08 09:37:08

ex ex ex ex boss wanted me to iron knickers and vests hmm

my motto is to avoid ironing as much as possible, and put in tumble dryer, and then fold as it comes out, the odd bit that does need ironing, our lovely ironing lady does it - she does also irons sheets/shirts/t - shirts etc

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