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Does this seem a bit off to you...? (Bit long, sorry!)

(14 Posts)
misspollysdolly Wed 15-Jul-09 22:28:37

Had a nanny two days a week Jan-March when I was working my twelve weeks maternity and she os now back with us after a bit of a break doing just one day a week. She is generally good, although I had a few hmm moments with her when I almost re-thought the arrangement as she was either quite vague or bit non-committal about things with me (not relevant particularly to this thread).

Anyways, towards the end of those 12 weeks on a few occasions she took my boys to either her house or mother-in-laws home (where her own children go on her work days) to play there. At this time I let it go because our house wasn't in great shape. We have now had the kitchen done and it's much nicer but this Monday, again, she and all three kids went to play at her house (on DD's request because the nanny had told her months ago about her garden that is 'much bigger than ours', which is true).

I don't want to over react, the kids seem quite happy with this situation, but frankly I do object somewhat to paying her to look after my kids at my house only for her to take them to hers or elsewhere all the time. Surely I might as well just find a childminder?!

Does this seem strange to you? Should I ask her not to do this? Is it 'not the done thing' for nannies - she is my first nanny. The other thing that made me angry this week is that because they were all happily playing at her house, none of the kids washing that I had dutifully sorted into a separate basket got done - Grr! And we are going away on Saturday and I'm now two loads behind myself!! Would appreciate your thoughts!

limonchik Wed 15-Jul-09 22:32:49

If you haven't told her not to, how would she know?

limonchik Wed 15-Jul-09 22:34:45

I don't think there's a hard and fast rule on this btw - I wouldn't take charges back to my house because I prefer to keep my home life separate and I have no garden and nothing for children at home. I have nanny friends who do sometimes take their charges to their houses though, and their bosses are fine with it.

lisalisa Wed 15-Jul-09 22:38:09

I don't like this instinctively and have had this once or twice with nannies ( we have had nannies for past 12 yrs). Unfortunately wtih one nanny who took my ds back to her house regularly she ended up getting on with her houseowrk whilst ds just ambled around. Needless to say she did not last long after we discovered that.

I wouold make it clear that your kids are to be looked after in your home. Especially if her kids are there ( in her home) too - that's just bloody cheeky really - she's obviosly spending time with her kids on your account. Love to do that in my job ......hmm

PixiNanny Wed 15-Jul-09 23:07:07

Tell her to stay at yours but be honest, say that before you weren't as bothered because you were having work done to your home, however now you would rather she stayed at your own home because that is what you pay her to do.

lowrib Wed 15-Jul-09 23:40:14

I had nannies and aupairs as a child. I have also worked as a CM for several years, many years back.( I do not have them for DS as he's too young and I'm too skint!)

I think the most important thing in this is the needs of your children. Forget about what you expect - what's best for them?

As a paid employee it can seem natural to always work in your place of employment (i.e. the children's home) however as a child this can get very boring and samey. It's not teaching them much about the outside world if they're at home night after night. Also I did get lonely with just my sister for company most of the time, and I think it made our relationship more intense (lots of arguing) than it would have done with others around to diffuse it. I would have LOVED it as a child if we could have gone to my nanny's house every so often for a change to the monotony! And if she'd had children too I would have been over the moon!

When I worked as a CM I made sure I encouraged other kids to come over after school. I didn't take my charges back to mine as it was a tiny flat at the time, but I would have done if I'd had a big place & a big garden. It's about making them part of your life on a human level, not just treating them as your job.

If your kids are happy and well looked after, why be a kill-joy? Unless you are worried that she's not really looking after them properly or professionally (e.g. doing her own housework and ignoring them as mentioned above) but that's abother issue - and if that's her game she could just as well neglect them at yours as at hers. If it started becoming every day I would be a bit hmm but if it's just on odd occasions I reckon it'd be good for them.

The washing is another matter entirely, if it's part of her job it's her responsibility to get it done - I'd have a polite word about that.

AtheneNoctua Thu 16-Jul-09 11:07:23

It wouldn't bother me. In fact I'm quite happy for my children to go mess up other peoples houses and leave mine alone. But, there are certainly plenty of nanny employers who don't like this and your within your rights to ask her not to do it. But, of course, if you haven't mentioned it, she won't know that you don't want her to do it.

missingtheaction Thu 16-Jul-09 11:28:10

If she's your first nanny you've learned what's likely to be the first of many lessons...
1) what seems normal to you doesn't necessarily seem normal to anyone else. Assume nothing.
2) and the second lesson - write down what her job spec is. By the time I'd finished 15 years of nanies and au pairs I had a 10 page instruciton manual!!! (Admittedly it contained valuable info for au pairs from Romania explaining which was the washing up liquid and which was teh loo cleaner - not so relevant for nannies)
3) the minute you see any slippage (eg ironing not done) have a pleasant but firm word, including a subtle reference to your contract/agreement. 'I noticed you didn't get round to doing the ironing last week. It's really important to me that that gets done as we agreed, so can you make sure it's done this week please? Thanks'. Remember, you have a contract - she agreed to do stuff, you agreed to pay her to do it. If she doesn't do what she agreed it's not fair.
4) the being-at-your-house thing is a difficult one and there aer lots of different opinions and some people won't see your POV at all, but as i see it if you wanted your dcs to go to someone else's house you would ahve gone for a childminder or a nursery. the point of a nanny is that they are based at your home so they focus on your dcs, and that's one of the things you are paying a premium for. again, this is something you may need to raise with her - agree that it's ok for the dcs to go there for a change (eg for a few hours/once a month or so) but that it's important to you that the children are mainly based at their own home or out doing other stuff (swimming or whatever). Whether she thinks it's rational or not that's your perogative as an employer. Also, see 'slippage' point 3 above!

Good luck. I am SOOOO glad my childcare days are over.

AtheneNoctua Thu 16-Jul-09 12:08:05

Oh, I forgot to mention the laundry. Yes I would be peeved that she thought this was optional. I feel your pain on this one as I have had nannies who sometimes aboandon the required duties (like laundry) for the ones they prefer to do (like hang out at the gym).

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 16-Jul-09 13:06:38

i personally dont see the harm in your nanny going to her house/mils house every now and again but understand you wouldnt want them there every day

i go to my house with my charges, they love going there playing with my toys/hamster

tbh she prob went there a few times in those 12weeks as you were on ml, and sometimes it can be hard to have mum around as well as having no kitchen

obv if YOU are not happy then you must say something

regarding duties, this HAS to be done and'I noticed you didn't get round to doing the ironing last week. It's really important to me that that gets done as we agreed, so can you make sure it's done this week please? Thanks'

is a perfect way of saying it smile

the other thing is also if she is only there for one day, is it fair to give her all the weeks washing/ironing

yes nannys do nursery duties, but often not for a 1 day job (i certainly wouldnt)

and surely if she is there for one day, it is nice for your children to go out away from their house

but in the end it is up to you as you are the employer

thebody Thu 16-Jul-09 15:35:17

'lack of communication causes stress' comes to mind.. sit her down and have a chat... good luck.

Millarkie Thu 16-Jul-09 19:44:51

I would not be happy with this but that is because we had a similar situation (also a nanny with own child) which began with a quick trip to see nanny's house and got rapidly crossed a line that ended up with very unhappy kids who were ignored whilst nanny looked after own child, sat in room with nanny's smoking mum and given cups of tea (by nanny's mum) and also had way too much exposure to nanny's boyfriend. I would think that for 1 day a week your nanny should be able to keep away from her own house! If you wanted to have a nanny who shared care with her own children I guess you would be paying a lot less too!

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 16-Jul-09 19:57:40

In my book - as an ex nanny - if you don't want your nanny to do something, you tell her, and then expect her not to do it.

I do think you paying her while she is taking you kids to hang out with hers at her house is a but off.

ThingOne Thu 16-Jul-09 20:15:36

My boys love hanging out at their nanny's house. For me, part of the attraction of having a nanny is that it's real life, complete with boring bits. That doesn't mean she takes them with her to do the weekly shop but it does mean I think it's fine for her to pop to the chemist with her, much as they would do with me.

She has always asked if these things are OK, and if something comes up - such as her own child is ill and needs picking up from school straight away - she tells me as soon as she can.

So basically, there's no "normal". You have to be explicit and set your own rules.

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