Is anybody a SAHP with a nanny? How does it work, and what do you tell people?(7 Posts)
I'm a SAHP with a toddler and pregnant.
Thing is, I'm also disabled (mobility problems, pain and fatigue) and it's getting harder to cope with my very active toddler. If he runs away from me in the park I can only just catch him, and I can see that as I get more heavily pregnant that's just going to get more difficult. We don't have any family help.
My DH is well paid and so could afford to pay for a nanny even though I'm not earning (appreciate we're very lucky with this!).
I'm struggling with the idea though. How would it work if a nanny is looking after my kids but actually I want to spend time with them? Would I just give her the afternoon off? How awkward is it going to be to be at home all the time with a nanny as well? And what on earth do I say to people about why we have a nanny? My disability is invisible and a bit complex to explain, I don't want to be giving my medical history to everybody but also don't want people to think I'm just too lazy to look after my own children.
All in all, I'm tangled up on this - I think my own upset/anxiety about the worsening disability and the guilt of not feeling able to look after my toddler is making me want to ignore it all!
Wondered if anybody has any useful experience or words of wisdom?
I don't have any advice but am in a very similar position. We currently use a nursery part time , however a nanny may work better for us.
We had a nanny during my maternity leave for two days a week.
Basically for those two days we had agreed hours that she would take ds (who was 2) for the day and I'll stay with my newborn. As my youngest got older she took her for the odd hour and I did my own thing.
It was a bit awkward and I felt guilty especially when my toddler wanted me and it was time with the nanny. We did keep to it.
So you'd be better having set hours for you time versus mummy time to avoid confusion and upset for your toddler.
But you might need to think of strategies of coping with your toddler when your nanny isn't around otherwise you might find it harder than you would otherwise? (Ie you might get used to having more help if that makes sense?)
I did for a while- similar circumstances to you- chronic illness caused major fatigue, had one in pre-school and a 2 year old. I only had a nanny for 2 days a week, and on those days I would often just go back to bed, or if I was feeling well would pick dd up from pre-school and take her out by herself for the afternoon. Nanny would often take kids out or play with tJE int he garden and our house is large enough for me to be able to hide away,, so it was quite easy to arrange for 2 days so that we just werent looking aftee them together.
And as for what people think- who cares. You do need to make sure you are clear with your nanny and that they are sympathetic and understanding, and your dh needs to be on board and understand that this isn't about being lazy, but I'll, but apart from that let people judge.
I've been a nanny to a couple of SAHP where one of the children had a hidden disability. I was quite flexible in what I did- so my main job was to look after the children either individually or all together depending on mum's needs that day.
I would also help with some household chores- cooking family meals, hoovering, walking dogs, family supermarket shop, running errands. It worked really well. Mum was in control, but I still felt I was doing my job and felt valued.
I least enjoyed it when there was no plan in place- if mum gave me no notice of what was needed that day/week. I like to be able to plan, but that's my personal preference.
I honestly think that with the right nanny, your position would work put well. Just be honest at interview that it's shared care, and you would like to stay in control of who looks after whom and when. But maybe accept that nanny could commit to always having toddler on x day to attend toddlers, and if possible sit down at the beginning of each day to let her/him know the plan.
I appreciate with some disabilities you can't always plan when you need help.
Also make sure they are happy to much in with day to day tasks- so if you've got kids then she could run hoover around and make dinner for the family. I'm assuming you only have so much energy.
I live in an affluent part of the south, though far from affluent myself! Anyway, I see this a lot. Lots of the mums at my DS2's school in particular are SAHP with full time Nannys for various reasons.
It has never crossed my mind to question this, so with regards to your question of what to tell people, I don't think you need to justify or reason this to anybody. You have very valid reasons, and I expect anybody questioning you is envious.
When the Mum's I know want to take over childcare for the day, they tend to leave Nanny at home meal prepping, ironing & carrying out other chores. So make sure you detail this as a possibility in your job description.
Thanks so much for all the advice - I am bracing myself and calling some agencies now while the toddler naps!
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