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Please tell me I am not too picky and that my nanny is just not doing her job

(15 Posts)
IlanaK Wed 28-Oct-09 20:47:46

I have had a part time nanny now for a couple of months. She is very nice, not qualified, but has good experience. She only does 8 hours a week with me (split between two days) and she also has two other nanny part time jobs with other families. She is about 22 I think. To give you all the info, nannying is not her career - she is a graduate and is doing freelance work.

So, I like her. My boys like her (I have 3 boys aged 8, 5 and 1). However, she is driving me nuts. When she leaves, I have to go around and clear up after her. She doesn't wipe the table after meals (think 1 year old smearing food everywhere) or sweep the floor under the table of all the food. She never tidies toys away or encourages teh children to do it. Today topped everything though - she left 2pm, I was out at a meeting and came home at 3, but my dh was home ill so he looked after the children inbetween. I rushed off with the kids to swimming to give dh a break. When I got back at 5, I went into the boys room for the first time to find paints, paint pots, dished full of painty water etc still on the floor!!! Not only would I not allow painting in the bedroom right next to white sheets (we have a perfectly good table to paint on), but she left at the end of her shift leaving all of this on the floor for my 1 year old to get hold of (thankfully he did not!) Surely I am not being unreasonable to have hit the roof about this.

Other things - I packed up the pushchair with drinks snacks etc before rushing off to my meeting this morning (I did not see her before I left as she was late for the third time in a row -luckily dh was here). When I came back, she had left the pushcahir in the hallway and no unpacked anything from it when they came back fom the park.

She also just seems to not understand how important my 1 year old's daytime sleep is. I have told her not to let him fall asleep in the pushcahir before lunch if out and about as he then won't sleep after lunchtime. And he is then a nightmare for the rest of the day for us. Today she told dh that 1 year old had just closed his eyes for a couple of minutes in the pushchair. But I know it was longer than that as he would not go to sleep until 3pm today.

So what on earth do I do? I am beginning to really resent her.

Fabster Wed 28-Oct-09 20:51:14

Talk to her.

It all sounds a bit messy tbh and to not know he age seems a bit slack in the checking of references and details.

It doesn't appear she has any clue about nannying.

IlanaK Wed 28-Oct-09 20:54:36

I do know her age as I have references, a copy of her passport and her full cv. I just can't be bothered to get up and go and look for them! I would never employ someone without full checks!

I agree that she does not seem to know what normal nanny duties are. I did interview someone who was much more "nannyish", but I went with this girl as she was nice, seemed more fun (important with older kids) and did have experience too.

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Wed 28-Oct-09 20:56:50

You are not being picky at all. The things you have mentioned would drive me nuts too. As a mother to do these things is common sense to us. But to a 22 year old unqualified nanny it probably doesn't seem like an issue. You need to speak to her about tidying up after herself and basically leaving rooms as she found them. Does she have a job description outlining these kinds of duties?

IlanaK Wed 28-Oct-09 20:58:53

No, no job description. I know I have to lay these things out to her. I am just chicken really about talking to her. Also, she arrives at 9:30 which is when I start work (from home) or head out to meetings. So we never seem to have time.

Perhaps I need as sort of mini "manual" to give her with some of these things laid out.

argento Wed 28-Oct-09 21:28:37

Well, she should have a job description. I think you're perfectly entitled to pull her up about the tidying, there's no excuse for that. But I'm not so sure about the sleep - how is she supposed to stop the baby sleeping if she's out and about? I guess he's not old enough that he can get out and walk.

IlanaK Wed 28-Oct-09 21:33:12

Well, he could get out and walk. But not far. He has just started walking. When I am out with them and he starts to fall asleep on the way home, I do all sorts to keep him awake. I will give him food or drink, get the older two to talk to him or hold his hand, get him out for a bit etc. Its not easy, but I do it so I assume she can too!

alarkaspree Wed 28-Oct-09 21:44:51

She absolutely should be doing this cleaning up stuff. But I can understand a bit why she isn't, I am naturally a bit slatternly myself and if I come in and get distracted by something (e.g. ds needs loo urgently) I will then forget about unpacking the pushchair in the hall until hours later when dh is due home and I think 'Shit! This place looks like a pigsty!'.

Anyway she is obviously not a tidy person so you need to talk to her about this issue, and probably remind her. Maybe agree with her that she will plan to spend the last 15 minutes before she leaves checking round to make sure the place is tidy?

I used to struggle desperately with stopping dd from sleeping in her buggy too, and I generally failed to keep her awake even though I knew I would be dealing with the consequences myself. So I think it's maybe slightly unreasonable to expect the nanny to be able to keep your 1 year old awake in the buggy, although you could certainly share some ideas about how you manage it.

nannynick Wed 28-Oct-09 21:45:14

A list of duties you expect is probably a place to start. Certainly have a word about painting in the bedroom! If the sweeping the floor after every meal is important to you, mention it. Children sleep differently for carers than they do for their parents, I have found. So while you can suggest a sleep routine, you may find your youngest child has different ideas and won't follow your routine when you aren't there personally. How is nanny supposed to stop a child from sleeping exactly - matchsticks in the eyes to keep the eyelids open would be considered very cruel. I find a 1 year old will typically nap for a short while, 30-45 mins in the morning, then for a longer time in the afternoon (often after they have had lunch, and done a poo). However not all children will do that... some cope fine with just a short nap in the morning and a short nap sometime in the afternoon or early evening. The nearly 2 year old I care for now days will hardly nap at all during the day... unless in his carseat and the car is moving... thus a short nap when we go out somewhere and a short nap again on way home.

There can't be many people who would work 8 hours a week, split over 2 days. So consider yourself lucky to have found someone able to do the hours you want and whom your children like. They are not at your home 40-50 hours a week, so try not to resent her being there. Mention major things, like the painting location. Have a chat with her certainly, make sure she is aware of your expectations... after all she is your employee so you can tell her what to do and when to do it. However do mention positive things to her as well (try to start with positive and end with positive), otherwise you run the risk that she may feel it's not worth the hassle working for you for such a small number of hours.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 29-Oct-09 08:30:54

a professional nanny should know to clear up after herself/children

though sounds like yours isnt a nanny but someone who is inbetween her university breaks who decided to look after children thinking it was an easy way to make money

if you havent told her/given her a list of what you want done then you cant blame her

remember she isnt a professional nanny

sleep - i know what you mean about if baby sleeps in am MAY not sleep after lunch (ive the same problem)


sometimes it is hard NOT to stop a baby from sleeping

a small 30min nap in am (10ish) and then 2hrs after lunch (1-3) is what my bubba does (16mths)

would it be the end of the world if baby slept 2hrs in buggy and then had lunch afterwards?

if you are resenting her then time to have a chat/let her go


you may find it hard to get someone in for 4hrs twice a week

fridayschild Thu 29-Oct-09 17:54:02

You need to make sure your schedule includes time for chats with her. I know this is easier said than done but it stops little issues building up to become big issues.

currycrazy Thu 29-Oct-09 17:59:22

are you paying her what you would expect to pay a qualified nanny?

IlanaK Thu 29-Oct-09 20:23:29

Well, I just got an email from her saying that she has got a job (not nannying) and can't come back. So I guess this is a nonissue now.

I have to find another nanny now though.

frakula Thu 29-Oct-09 23:12:47

Annoying as it is that you have to find a new nanny she didn't sound that fab so you may be better off. Try posting on the childcare wanted thread here as someone might be able to help.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 30-Oct-09 08:57:23

sorry you lost your childcare

tbh she wasnt a nanny

hope you find someone else soon - though 4hrs a day may be hard

when you do find someone make sure you discuss what you want her to do duty wise

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