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Is a nanny what I need?

(24 Posts)
AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 08:45:04

My husband has said he would like kids, I am not against the idea but have 2 children at secondary already so as awful as it sounds I am being very logical about the decision. I appreciate for many they make it work, but I had severe post natal depression with my second and feel I need to have thought all angles out before even considering trying for a baby. I don't want to go back to being stressed/upset and unable to cope. For me the biggest worry is childcare between birth- school.
I run my own company with 2 others, we all work remotely from home and no-where near each other. Each of us have a very specific role that means it's not really set up for one of us to not work/do our role without significant impact on the others.

In my ideal world we would have a baby and I wouldn't give up work, I like the idea of baby being cared for at home because there are many times I have quiet periods and can take 2-3 hours to myself in the day, but also need to be able to drop whatever i'm doing if a customer needs me so in my head having someone who works in the house is better because then I can play with baby when quiet but also work when needed. Obviously the person would be paid the whole time and not sent home continually. Which is why I thought a nanny would be good, but it would be just one baby so I think the costs could be an issue. So my second thought was that I hired someone who can do basic admin to support me as a secretary and childcare....but I appreciate they are two very different skills and I am living in lala land?
Has anyone ever had a nanny do a combination role - can it work?

womaninatightspot Mon 22-Jan-18 09:29:26

I've heard of this being done but often it's used to pay a nanny via the business as a personal assistant rather than pay out of your post tax earnings. It's tricky what if your nanny was ill could you take time off? It can be difficult to work with a little one in the house and nanny could feel watched.

Nannies don't normally take lunchbreak and things but would have a break when baby sleeps etc. however an admin assistant should worth having a think about.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 10:26:42

Well, a nanny being ill seems no different to a childminder being ill. I tend to only be out the office for meetings on a handful of days in a year so I can still be responsive to emails.

Both of mine went to nursery from a small age and frankly I want my cake and eat it if I do this again, work but still have plenty of time at home with baby.

The relationship side does concern me, it feels like an au pair relationship but ideally from 4 weeks old which rules out an au pair - there really is no perfect solution is there?!

EggsonHeads Mon 22-Jan-18 10:30:36

Why can't your husband be the one to stay home and take care of the baby? He's the one who wants it after all.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 11:48:40

Eggson He also runs his own business but in a garage environment , he is the main breadwinner so him giving up work sadly isn't an option. In terms of evenings, nighttime and weekends he will be hands on, I've made that very clear!

I know lots of people say if you want a baby you'll find a way, for me I need to know the way before I commit. It is after all a rather large commitment!
Nursery is an option, and my daughter went from 6 weeks but I missed so much, also due to the post natel I genuinely couldn't tell you anything about the first 18 months of her life except she had colic and screamed, a lot. I don't want another baby where I miss so many moments.
For the first year I would really prefer to essentially have someone in the house 9-5 so I can balance baby and work. It may be we accept that a joint role isn't feasible and instead save enough money to write off my income for a year (which you would for maternity pay as a self employed person) that would pay someone to be the nanny so my business doesn't suffer. Then the only real hurdle is finding a nanny willing to work in the house whilst I am here...sorry I guess I am rambling here, but it is helping me sort my thoughts into options/possibilities etc

Nowwhyareyoucrying Mon 22-Jan-18 12:38:40

I think from your post a Nanny is what you need, especially with other children in the mix. I think it would be possible to find someone who may be willing to do some admin if you took over with the baby during the day. Though this might need to be a little more fixed than just ‘whenever you’re free to have the baby’.

However a lot of nannies would find it hard with you being ‘in and out’, it can been quite disruptive for the children with mummy leaving and returning continually throughout the day, also the Nanny would probably want to go to babygroups/classes etc so may not be at home when you have hours off. Would this bother you? I think you would have to be fairly clear in the set up from interview stage, and if you will be around a lot then make sure you really gel with her and have a similar approach. It can definitely work in some instances, especially when the baby is very young at the beginning, though older children may struggle a little more.

Nowwhyareyoucrying Mon 22-Jan-18 12:40:28

Sorry I’ve just seen your older DCs are secondary age so the issues with other siblings won’t be relevant.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 13:05:10

To be honest the admin thing probably wouldn't work - for all the reasons you've stated and it would take so long for the 'have you done this', Checking to see if either of us have invoiced, arranged meetings etc that really i'd be just as quick to do it myself until there is enough admin to justify - job shares can often end up duplicating work, I guess it was more an idea to try and cut the costs of a nanny as it is an expensive route.
In reality i'm thinking Nanny for 5 years = £££ but of course we don't need a nanny for the full 5 years until a baby starts school, really the first year is the critical year for me and after a nursery setting/childminder would be more than ok. Then it's really no different to someone having a years maternity leave and going back to work

regularbutpanickingabit Mon 22-Jan-18 13:06:14

It does sound like a nanny would be the right option but you would need to take the time to find the right nanny. Someone who is used to complete autonomy or who feels they are being 'monitored' by a parent who can drop in at any time wouldn't work well for you.

Is there any way you could formalise the time you would spend with the baby a bit more? Say between 2 and 4 or every lunchtime, or say ou will keep in touch daily but have an approximate time slot that you could pop back in etc? Kids do also get disrupted if they know mum is home and could drop in at any time, not just the nanny. It also might become more difficult to extract yourself from ad hoc visits but having a regular slot might be a way to make it work for all of you.

Admin-wise it will again depend on the nanny. You may find someone who would enjoy that more than the light housekeeping or cooking duties that also usually form part of their contract. I think you would just need to be clear on where the boundaries are, what your expectations are, what level of ability you are expecting and how important each element of the job is.

Definitely worth investigating.

K1092902 Mon 22-Jan-18 13:10:35

Me and DH are in a similar position OP.

We both run our own businesses but on occasion we do nip home during the day for a couple of hours to spend time with DD etc. Nanny is more than happy to accommodate this- she will go and watch TV, walk the dogs, go and do grocery shopping etc.

I cant imagine many people complaining about a job with the possibility of a couple hours paid break in the middle of the day!

Yerazig Mon 22-Jan-18 13:44:44

You definitely need a nanny but the fact you work from home won’t be appealing to most nannies tbh. Nothing against you personally but children and bosses working from home on a general note don’t mix well. If you do go for the nanny route make it clear you work from home and on occasion would
Like to take over. Asking for admin help plus you working from home may make your nanny pool even smaller, so maybe have a think about it.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 14:09:47

I don't want to make the pool smaller!
So we're looking for a nanny who doesn't mind the Mum being at home, is OK with dogs and cats and willing to work in the middle of nowhere...we're in a rural village. Perhaps what I really need is a fairy godmother. At 18 when I accidentally fell pregnant to my moron boyfriend of the time I had none of these worries or concerns, how times change!

Love2cook Mon 22-Jan-18 17:12:56

I used to be a nanny and would happily have done this. I often did other jobs that weren't necessarily about the children, even if just to help out. I also walked the dogs and did the laundry, food shopped ect. I was being paid so I didn't mind. I'd make it clear that you're looking for a mother's help not a nanny and the role will include some light admin for which training will be provided. All I'd say is if you do find someone willing that you like, treat them really well, pay properly and on time and agree who is responsible for what and when. Maybe advertising locally if your very rural before going to the national websites.

EggsonHeads Mon 22-Jan-18 17:24:29

Ok, in that case a nanny is the thing to do but make paying for her your husband's responsibility. If you have to cut back to afford her he should be the first to give up hobbies or reduce spending.

Bluelady Mon 22-Jan-18 17:30:06

You need an au pair, nannies don't do anything except look after children so no housework, cooking, laundry, etc.

thethoughtfox Mon 22-Jan-18 17:37:14

It would be very difficult for a nanny to build a relationship with your child when you are in the home too. A child will scream for you and want the 'real thing' rather than the substitute. And it would be so hard to hear to your child crying while someone else tries to comfort them and still focus on your work.

prettypaws Mon 22-Jan-18 17:48:47

If a nanny behaved in some of the ways suggested i wouldn't hire them. Sounds terribly controlling, possessive and suspicious. Your baby will bond with whoever is providing care, just as they would often be happy to cuddle or play with dad without 'screaming for mum all the time'. You're the one paying and it's your child.

Perhaps a mother's help would work? I'm sure there will be good nannies who'll understand a WAHM interacting with her child sometimes.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 18:18:42

The notion of mothers helper is new to me although I would certainly say the idea appeals - essentially someone to split the work with. Are the salaries similar?

Callaird Mon 22-Jan-18 18:23:53

@Bluelady - this isn’t necessarily true. I’ve been a nanny for 31 years, I’m happy to do odd jobs around the house, my MB bought a leaf sucker so I could clear up the mountain of leaves that fall in autumn. I do shopping and cooking (3x a week) for my employers. I’ll sort cupboards (kitchen, store, children’s, linen, cloak) I run countless errands. Pick up parcels from the post Office Depot. Go to the post office, dry cleaners, charity shop donations. Today I’ve been phoning around for an electrician and a gardener for them. I’ll hoover and mop if it’s needed after a busy weekend. I make fresh bread 2-3 times a week for the family (and myself) make cakes and bakes for school or if they have guests at the weekend. Although my charge generally helps with baking or cooking.

AmIAWeed Mon 22-Jan-18 18:31:07

Callaird You need to stop talking because I am falling in love with you, I don't need a baby - I need you!!!!

nannynick Mon 22-Jan-18 20:30:14

Nannies will do more than just childcare if that is what the parents want them to do. Like Callaird, I have had jobs where when the children were very little then a lot of time was spent with them... as they got older the household duties increased. Even with a young baby some things can be done around the home, it's just a bit unpredictable as to when they would happen. A nanny can be more of a household manager... you write the job description and recruit the right person for the role. Some of us nannies will happily do various tasks connected with the home, in addition to caring for children. With teenagers, they still need a bit of assistance from time to time... I've certainly become more of a chauffeur at times with older children.

I would avoid mixing business and pleasure in terms of accounting. Your nanny (or mothers help) would be an employee of you, not an employee of your business.

Callaird Mon 22-Jan-18 21:21:27

@AmIAWeed - this is what my boss tells me regularly! She didn’t realise she needed a nanny before she had a baby! She also calls me the wife she never knew she needed!

I love my employers, they are so good to me so I will go the extra mile for them. If they weren’t so appreciative I probably wouldn’t put do all the added extras. I have been very lucky with all my employers.

You will find a nanny that is happy to look after your baby if you are in the home. You just have to be very clear with her and as another poster said, try to make the time you spend with your baby is at the same sort of time each day so nanny can make plans to take baby to classes/toddler groups/to meet nanny friends with similar aged charges. I also think that PA work is not something that a nanny would be good at, too much training for a short amount of time. You could ask her to go and do the food shop for the family, or run errands for you, or book electricians/plumbers/cleaners/window cleaners/removal men/carpet fitters, buy a new oven, call repair men and be in for them when they call - all things that I have done in the last year for my employers. (I’m currently googling and reading reviews for a new iron and vacuum cleaner!). But do be clear at interview that this is what you need. And do pay them the going rate for your area.

If you are looking for help from August let me know, I am leaving my current position around then!!!

Socksandslippers Tue 23-Jan-18 20:08:05

I’m a nanny. I’ve been with my current family since the baby was 9 days old. The Mum went back to work after 4 weeks as she runs her own business from home. When she has quiet periods in the day she will come and spend time with the child, we have a chat, lunch etc. I’ve been with them for over 3 years and it’s worked really well. I also help with their pets, hang out washing etc, run errands during the day.

Piety Thu 22-Feb-18 11:19:19

Kindness does not always pay off !

I have one child. We have always had a nanny since my child was born. We interviewed a nanny who seemed to have good credentials, but had been unemployed for a while. She did not state on the advertisement that she was going to bring her 2 children to work.


She turned up for the interview in a presentable fashion. She also looked confident and hard-working. Then she said she has 2 toddlers and she would bring them to work for few hours.

My jaw dropped, because when my girl, Veronica, was that little I could not have imagined going to work - taking child to work with me was totally out of question. Veronica took most of my attention, and I had little time to do my essential chores.


However, my husband thought the lady was hard-working. Secondly, I did not want to be judgemental. Every child is different ! Looking at the nanny's confidence I thought her children must be easy - good sleepers and feeders !


Nanny bringing her 2 toddlers to work was a disaster ! Most of her attention was taken by her 2 toddlers. If she went outside of the house, all the 3 children ran on the street uncontrolled, and she could not manage it. Veronica had a bump on her head in the first week itself, and so did her 2 children, but we still thought we should must give the nanny some time to settle in, and she will pick get on top.


Although, she said during her interview that she would not have her children all the time and she had family support, this never happened. She simply moved into our house with her 2 kids. She would never bring any of her own stuff.


Her children would run around, damage things in our house, pee an pooh without nappies on. She never paid any attention. What shocks me is that there was no attempt from the nanny to stop her kids from breaking things in our house. Agreed, they wouldn't understand, but when I take my girl to somebody's house I watch her so she doesn't damage their property. The nanny never seemed to be embarrassed when this happened. She simply carried out with her chores such as preparing food, bathing the children. The main point was to watch the children. I wouldn't want any of them to get hurt.


Next she also demanded equal rights for her children. She somehow thought that everything in the house including consumable items belonged to her and her children as much as us !


It is not about the children, I am dumbfounded by the Nanny's attitude. There was no such thing as asking our permission, and she never showed any hesitation before opening the contents in the fridge, or toys to her children. He children even broke some really expensive toys because they were not for their age.


Firstly, we hired her when nobody else would, and she just took us for granted ! Mind you, she did not come at a discount either !


There is no point going on - the bottom line is - you are paying a fortune to the nanny. Money does not grow on trees, it has to be earned. After paying a chunk of your sweat and blood to a nanny, you wouldn't want somebody to take so much advantage.


In no other profession, do employees take children to their workplace. Nannies somehow think that they can dump their childcare expenses on to their employer. In our case, even their living/household expenses were dumped on us. It was amazing how quickly our nanny started showing her colours. We fired her within a month, but we are both still in shock !

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