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Will our Dear Nanny care for our DS less once she has a baby of her own?

(16 Posts)
CinnabarRed Mon 22-Jun-09 14:05:22

DNanny is expecting her first child in December 2009. Our DS is now 19 months old, and DNanny has been looking after him full time since he was 6 months old. She is wonderful with him, and DS and DNanny love each other very much.

I would very much like DNanny to continue to look after DS when her maternity leave ends (assuming that she wants to return to work). Her call, of course, but she has said provisionally that she would be interested in working part time. That fits in well with DS, because I think that it would be healthy for DS to start part time at nursery. I also like the idea of DS having a small 'sibling' in his immediate environment because it's unlikely that we will have any more children ourselves.

However, DP is very worried that (human nature being what it is) DNanny will instinctively put her baby's needs first, at the expense of DS's, if she comes back to us. I just can't imagine that she would, particularly given the loving relationship that now exists between DS and DNanny, but do understand DP's concerns.

Does anyone have any experience of similar situations? How did it work out for you?

Thanks.

LadyMuck Mon 22-Jun-09 14:13:24

Well she will have the juggling act that most people looking after 2 children have, and of course you wouldn't expect her to neglect her own child in favour of yours.

I think that your dp is right to consider what the impact will be. For example locally most nannies with their own child are paid less than other nannies as they are sharing their attention.

What are you planning to do for childcare whilst your nanny is on maternity leave?

holdingittogether Mon 22-Jun-09 14:23:40

Not quite the same but I am a cm and look after my own 2 year old along side 2 slightly younger mindees. I can firmly say my son's needs never come ahead of mindees. In fact if anything mindees come first. In any situation where you are looking after more than one child there is a certain amount of juggling to be done and it is good for children to learn to wait sometimes. The only potential problem I can see in your situation is that a baby's routine my restrict what nanny can do with your child. On the other hand routine is still important in toddlers too so I'm sure your nanny will be able to work it out.

nannynick Mon 22-Jun-09 14:34:06

I feel that instinctively DNanny would put her baby first - in an instance such as which child to get out of the house first in the event of a fire. Though your child is of walking age, so in reality both children would be taken out of the house at the same time.

I agree with LadyMuck that it will be a juggling act... when there is more than one child involved, there is always going to be some juggling with regard to which child gets priority in any given situation.

seeker Mon 22-Jun-09 14:37:21

May be good for your ds to have to share the attention a bit? Just a thought!

bumsrush Mon 22-Jun-09 14:43:41

I think any mother never mind nanny would have to put the babies needs first its all part of a baby entring a houshold, everyone goes down a rank in the pecking order.

I think she will continute to be great nanny, but no DC will not get totally undivided attention, which is not a bad thing as they get older.

In a nursery it will be 1-3 or 1-5 ratio depending on age, childminder will be similar, so 1-2 in his own home is a smaller ratio and you say they have a loving relationship, so I would go for it.

It won't tbe the same but as you say it will be a bit like him having a sibling.

And for what it is worth in the event of a fire or anyother emergency I imagine she will have one child tucked under each arm as 99% of woman caring for children would wether it is their child or not.

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Jun-09 14:44:07

Thanks, LadyMuck and holdingittogether, for taking the time to reply.

Yes, you're right, I wouldn't expect DNanny to put my DS ahead of her DC - but I would expect her to treat them equally, evaluating each situation as it evolves and dealing with it in the same way a mother with two children would, IYSWIM. (I assume there would be times - and plenty of them - when her DC's needs would be more urgent, but others when my DS's would.)

My basic plan for her maternity leave is to get DS started at nursery on a part time basis, and to get a part time temporary nanny for the rest. DNanny thinks that it won't be too difficult in the current environment to find a part time nanny, although I haven't had much time to investigate possibilities (she only told us she was pregnant last week and then we went on holiday). Anecdotally the nurseries near us don't seem to have particularly long waiting lists at present.

I do think it would be good for DS to see that he can't always come first and that his rountine must sometimes fit in with other plans (which he would also experience at a CM or nursery full time).

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Jun-09 14:46:03

And thanks also to nannynick, seeker and bumsrush, who replied while I was typing! Am constantly delighted by how giving people on MN are of their time and experiences.

fridayschild Mon 22-Jun-09 15:29:42

I think it depends on your nanny actually, in and your shoes I would go by instinct.

I have had two nannies go on maternity leave. The first wanted to come back with her child, but I wasn't prepared for that to happen. I thought Nanny1 was a bit work-shy as it was, and with her own baby there the list of excuses would just multiply. After her maternity leave she did not come back to work. I had a much higher opinion of Nanny2 and told her long before she was pregnant that if ever she wanted to have children and bring them to work she was welcome to do so. By this stage my DCs were at school and pre-school, which was also relevant - it means nanny would only have one child to look after for chunks of each day. Sadly for us she decided to go back home to Yorkshire with baby and has also not returned to work.

CinnabarRed Mon 22-Jun-09 15:42:22

And how did you cover their maternity leave, fridayschild? Do my plans sound half way towards reasonable to you?

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 22-Jun-09 18:37:07

I'd be thinking along the same lines as your DH and think he is right to be concerned. I'd personally not employ a nanny who needed to bring her child to work with him/her.

Its different to having more than one child per carer in a nursery, its her own child and she will naturally put his/her needs first.

Perhaps you could agree a trial period re bringig her own child so that your DH can see if the situation works.

fridayschild Mon 22-Jun-09 19:02:57

I don't know if my maternity cover stories will help you! When Nanny1 went on maternity leave I had just started my own maternity leave for DS2. I was completely confident that she could not afford to work for me and pay for childcare, but in any event she resigned as soon as she could (ie as soon as she had got her maternity pay), which was long enough before I went back to work to allow me to recruit Nanny 2 as a permanent job.

When Nanny2 went on maternity leave she was moving back to Yorkshire before baby was born so it was pretty clear she was not coming back, and Nanny3 was recruited on that basis.

I tried sending DS1 to a childminder part-time when DS2 was born and after Nanny1 had gone on maternity leave - she went much sooner than expected, which is another thread entirely! But as far as DS1 was concerned his nanny left one day and never came back. The CM plan did not work. He did not settle, cried all day, this upset another child he knew at the same CM and the CM said she would not take DS1 any more. I got a mother's help instead. I wonder if what you are suggesting will be a lot of changes for a small person all at once? Not as dramatic as the arrival of a sibling, but still quite a lot. Would you be able to get your nanny to work part time as she gets closer to her due date, so your DC can get settled into nursery while his own nanny is around? There are cost implications of this, obviously, for nanny as well as you.

When I hoped to talk Nanny2 into coming back I assumed I would just get a temp nanny for the length of her maternity leave. I never got the chance to look into this seriously before she said she wouldn't be back.

limonchik Mon 22-Jun-09 19:45:58

Of course she'll love her child more than yours, but if she's a good, professional nanny then I don't see why her care of your DS should suffer at all. I know a couple of nannies who take their own child to work, and if anything they put the needs of their charges first since that's the job they're being paid to do. Their own child fits into their charge's routine, even if it means their own child being bored hanging around at swimming lessons or ballet classes etc.

CinnabarRed Tue 23-Jun-09 10:02:27

Ah limonchik, that's sad - I hope DNanny's baby wouldn't get bored. There must be plenty of things a 2 year old could do that would also appeal to a 6 month old... I hope...

HappyMummyOfOne - I like the idea of a trial period, that would seem very sensible. I'm not sure how it would work from an employment law perspective, but whatever happens we'll do right by DNanny, financially and morally. I suspect that if it wasn't working for us then it also wouldn't be working for her, in reality.

Fridayschild, thanks for the advise about the risks of making too many changes at once for a small boy. I'll definitely look into starting alternative childcare while DNanny is still around to give him some continuity.

DNanny has a friend who is a childminder, currently without any charges because she's got her own little boy of the same age as my DS, but looking to take on one or two children in the next few months. DS and her son already socialise together sometimes, so that might be another possibility.

looneytune Tue 23-Jun-09 10:15:31

I'm the same as holdingittogether - I went back to CMing in Sept when my own ds2 was only 10 wks old and tbh, he just got on with things in the background. Yes, certain things had to come first due to his 'age' and not because he was 'mine' but seriously, I never neglect my own children but whilst I'm working, mindees come first.

But having said that, I also agree I'd go on instinct as we don't know your nanny

littlestarschildminding Tue 23-Jun-09 14:31:59

As a mum who has nannied with her own children and now cm's with her own children. Its a sad fact that 'charges' and 'mindees' do tend to take priority during working hours over the needs of your own children. Its not that they are neglected. They always came to 'charges' activities but didn't have any of there own (during working hours) or if there was one cot..charge got the cot and my children slept in the buggy. Or my kids were woken from naps to go on the school run etc in a very similar way to would happen if they were younger siblings of the charges.
Even now they share their toys, their home and their mummy with 7 other children...they miss out on afterschool activities and sometimes playdates even now.

I of course 'love' my children more than my mindees..but my sense of protecting my mindees would be the same as for my own children. I would enter a burning building for any of them!!

As a result of my 'work' they have grown up very sociable, adaptable and thoughtful children...with the biggest extended family they could wish for grin

I would happily employ a nanny bringing her own baby.

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