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How much housework fair to expect from a nanny? - Page 7

post #121 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

I realize that this advice is somewhat off topic (and certainly unsolicited) but It sounds as if there may be some issues between you and your spouse that are adding to your stress and perhaps spilling over into your feelings about your nanny.  Having never met you or your husband and therefore never witnessed firsthand the dynamic between the two of you please take this with a grain of salt.  That said, if your husband is only bringing in 25% of the household income, why is he not contributing more to the general maintenance and running of the household?

I asked this, in other words, upthread and it wasn't answered. I get that OP's partner doesn't want to be a SAHD and that's fine. But it seems that if the OP has this much stress over household stuff, her DP needs to step up to the plate . . . or she needs to let him step up to the plate . . . .or lower her standards a bit!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petronella View Post


 



What on earth does the college you attended have to do with your nanny cleaning crumbs out of the highchair? 

 

Wondered this too! smile.gif We know you're smart, OP! Just not all of us think you're being very smart about how you're treating your nanny. I mean, now you're assigning her *extra* tasks each week?? I bet she'll start looking for work and have a new job by the summer, despite how well you think the conversation went.
post #122 of 151


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

In any event, my mom managed to maintain a pleasant home, provide home cooked meals and clean laundry and yet I STILL managed to get into a top 5 law school, so I'm pretty sure these minor expectations in addition to childcare specific tasks will not damage the girls. 

 

I am completely confused by what you are saying. headscratch.gif

 

She was your MOTHER, not a child care provider. Your mother prioritized the home cooked meals, the laundry , the clean home and (I assume) that she still found time for you while doing so. That's wonderful and honestly, what a parent is is expected to do.  Your mother was still there when the chores were done.  Your mother could decide to wait until you went to bed to do the chores. 

 

Are you saying that your CCP should do everything your *mother* did?  Then what is your role in their growth and development?

 

 

 

post #123 of 151

I think the OP is referring to another poster implying that the fact she had a cleaner meant she could spend more time teaching and providing opportunities for her children, and this directly led to them being on the swim team, and playing their instruments well.

post #124 of 151
Thread Starter 

Lisalu got it.

 

The idea that a SAHM can't be expected to do any household tasks without damaging the well-being of her uber-spawn is not one I agree with, but diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

 

As to the other posts, my husband is wonderful with the girls and has from day one been great on all the aspects of baby care.  He doesn't "see" household tasks quite like I do, but we alternate days making dinner, and he will work on household items with me. He's just not much of a self-starter on those things.

 

post #125 of 151

I am also of the mind that cleaning, cooking and even working while caring for my children is not only excusable, it's actually good for them.  I value a clean home, healthy meals, and creative productivity.  As with all things, balance is key.  Children learn by example.  I want my daughter to understand the importance of being part of a flexible family unit.  So far she is content to watch from her carrier as I paint, cook, clean etc... Of course I also play with her, read to her, encourage her during belly time, dance with her, sing to her, take her for walks...  Motherhood is only part of what defines me and I know my children will be the better for it.

 

So glad to hear that your meeting went well.  It sounds like you and your husband are a great team.  Just thought I'd share what's helped me and my husband.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Lisalu got it.

 

The idea that a SAHM can't be expected to do any household tasks without damaging the well-being of her uber-spawn is not one I agree with, but diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

 

As to the other posts, my husband is wonderful with the girls and has from day one been great on all the aspects of baby care.  He doesn't "see" household tasks quite like I do, but we alternate days making dinner, and he will work on household items with me. He's just not much of a self-starter on those things.

 



 

post #126 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

I am also of the mind that cleaning, cooking and even working while caring for my children is not only excusable, it's actually good for them.  I value a clean home, healthy meals, and creative productivity.  As with all things, balance is key.  Children learn by example.  I want my daughter to understand the importance of being part of a flexible family unit.  So far she is content to watch from her carrier as I paint, cook, clean etc... Of course I also play with her, read to her, encourage her during belly time, dance with her, sing to her, take her for walks...  Motherhood is only part of what defines me and I know my children will be the better for it.

 

So glad to hear that your meeting went well.  It sounds like you and your husband are a great team.  Just thought I'd share what's helped me and my husband.

 



 


I don't disagree with you that is it good for our children to see us doing the work that needs doing around the house (and for them to help too!).  However, I do want to respectfully point out that there is a HUGE difference between caring for one non-mobile baby who is content to be carried while you work around the house, vs TWO mobile, yet very young toddlers, who have no impulse control and very little sense of danger, but are able to get up to all kinds of mischief!  If I was hiring a nanny I'd definitely want to know that she would err on the side of "too much" hands-on activities with them (which means also keeping a v. close eye on them), vs. being their example of what it is to get work done around the house.  I'd hate to think that she was so stressed out about having the house spotless when I got home that the kids missed out on outings and fun activities, and/or had unnecessary accidents because she wasn't able to watch both of them well enough.  Totally JMO of course!

 

post #127 of 151


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post




I don't disagree with you that is it good for our children to see us doing the work that needs doing around the house (and for them to help too!).  However, I do want to respectfully point out that there is a HUGE difference between caring for one non-mobile baby who is content to be carried while you work around the house, vs TWO mobile, yet very young toddlers, who have no impulse control and very little sense of danger, but are able to get up to all kinds of mischief!  If I was hiring a nanny I'd definitely want to know that she would err on the side of "too much" hands-on activities with them (which means also keeping a v. close eye on them), vs. being their example of what it is to get work done around the house.  I'd hate to think that she was so stressed out about having the house spotless when I got home that the kids missed out on outings and fun activities, and/or had unnecessary accidents because she wasn't able to watch both of them well enough.  Totally JMO of course!

 


I'm laughing about this because my house was so spotless until my son started walking. He was also a climber, and learned how to undo every safety latch in the house as soon as he could reach them.  Once he was over about 2.5 he was able to help again but in between, it was definitely a challenge. (I've also just relaxed about some things.)

 

OP I'm glad the meeting went well from your perspective and hopefully your nanny won't quit. :)

 

post #128 of 151


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post




I don't disagree with you that is it good for our children to see us doing the work that needs doing around the house (and for them to help too!).  However, I do want to respectfully point out that there is a HUGE difference between caring for one non-mobile baby who is content to be carried while you work around the house, vs TWO mobile, yet very young toddlers, who have no impulse control and very little sense of danger, but are able to get up to all kinds of mischief!  If I was hiring a nanny I'd definitely want to know that she would err on the side of "too much" hands-on activities with them (which means also keeping a v. close eye on them), vs. being their example of what it is to get work done around the house.  I'd hate to think that she was so stressed out about having the house spotless when I got home that the kids missed out on outings and fun activities, and/or had unnecessary accidents because she wasn't able to watch both of them well enough.  Totally JMO of course!

 

 

Very true.  I have experience watching toddlers (although never twins...YIKES) and it's exhausting to say the least.  Unrealistic standards are a set up for feelings of failure and inadequacy  (for both childcare providers and parents alike).  I only meant to point out how important I think it is for children to be incorporated into a family life rather than be the center of everyone's life.  Priority yes, dictator no.  Children learn from those around them.  Certain developmental stages are more difficult and demanding than others and adjustments have to be made.  As children grow having them help to clean will teach them valuable life skills (and keep mama from being a slave).  Balance doesn't mean always getting it right, it just means keeping your eye on the big picture most of the time smile.gif.  Regarding the nanny, I too would want her to err on the side of vigilance and take a hands on approach.

 

post #129 of 151


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

I am also of the mind that cleaning, cooking and even working while caring for my children is not only excusable, it's actually good for them.  I value a clean home, healthy meals, and creative productivity.  As with all things, balance is key.  Children learn by example.  I want my daughter to understand the importance of being part of a flexible family unit.  So far she is content to watch from her carrier as I paint, cook, clean etc... Of course I also play with her, read to her, encourage her during belly time, dance with her, sing to her, take her for walks...  Motherhood is only part of what defines me and I know my children will be the better for it.

 

So glad to hear that your meeting went well.  It sounds like you and your husband are a great team.  Just thought I'd share what's helped me and my husband.

 

 

But as the parent you can decide to do these things and as the parent you (hopefully) have a healthy balance in your life as you noted. As the parent of a fussy child you might let some of the house stuff slide and spend more time with your child.  When that child is in that magical place and is happy doing anything she can happily sit there  for hours watching you paint, clean, dust, whatever you might spend less time playing/cuddling/reading/etc on that day.  Its a balance. Unless your partner is a total jerk chances are you not being judged and he is not complaining about how much he is spending on you.

 

A CCP needs to have a very clear message and (to me) the message here is the household is more important than the childcare. A good nanny will model good behavior while still making child care a priority. ie: picking up toys, cleaning up crafts, dishes in the dishwasher, etc.  A good employer will understand that some days are better than others and will have tools in place to make sure that there is open and regular communication. An employer who is more focused on which spatula to use, crumbs on the counter and recycling will find they have a nanny focused on that and not on childcare. A nanny who is worried about how her employer is going to react to the home before the child will prioritize the home.

 

 

 

post #130 of 151


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post


 

 

But as the parent you can decide to do these things and as the parent you (hopefully) have a healthy balance in your life as you noted. As the parent of a fussy child you might let some of the house stuff slide and spend more time with your child.  When that child is in that magical place and is happy doing anything she can happily sit there  for hours watching you paint, clean, dust, whatever you might spend less time playing/cuddling/reading/etc on that day.  Its a balance. Unless your partner is a total jerk chances are you not being judged and he is not complaining about how much he is spending on you.

 

A CCP needs to have a very clear message and (to me) the message here is the household is more important than the childcare. A good nanny will model good behavior while still making child care a priority. ie: picking up toys, cleaning up crafts, dishes in the dishwasher, etc.  A good employer will understand that some days are better than others and will have tools in place to make sure that there is open and regular communication. An employer who is more focused on which spatula to use, crumbs on the counter and recycling will find they have a nanny focused on that and not on childcare. A nanny who is worried about how her employer is going to react to the home before the child will prioritize the home.

 

 

 

 

Working with children as a paid child care provider and spending the day with children as a parent are two very different things and you make a number of valid points.  Unless the house is trashed upon returning home, after a day spent with twin toddlers the nanny is most definitely picking things up and cleaning throughout the day.  Some people are less detail oriented (and some babies/situations are more demanding) causing the little things to slip through the cracks.  I too would be far more concerned with the well being and engagement of the children throughout the day than a bit of untidiness here there.  If she is great with the children it is because they are her focus and priority while she is with them.  When I was a childcare provider, my job was to care for the children.  As a mother my job to is maintain balance in my life, with my family, as a wife, and in my career.

 

P.S. for the record, my baby has never "sat for hours watching me paint, clean, or dust".  She's too little to sit (so I wear her) and her attention span is maybe 20 minutes tops (with me bouncing around and narrating all activities to her).  I just change things up all day to keep it interesting and have been blessed with the ability to multitask (and with a husband who understands that I WORK hard all day, would never dream of complaining, and pitches in as soon as he gets home).


 

post #131 of 151
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

 

Unless the house is trashed upon returning home, after a day spent with twin toddlers the nanny is most definitely picking things up and cleaning throughout the day.

 


I agree. When kids are that age, it takes a LOT of work just to have the house be in the same state at the end of the day as it was at the beginning of the day. So to me, having the house in relatively good shape but with some crumbs in the high chair and the recyclables left on the counter means that a lot of work and effort has happened that day.

 

I think it's fine for the OP to mention a few specific tasks that drive her particularly nuts to see when she gets home, and have the nanny make sure she takes care of those, but it certainly doesn't sound as though the nanny completely neglects the house throughout the day or is taking every opportunity to sit around doing nothing. 

post #132 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post



Quote:

Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

 

Unless the house is trashed upon returning home, after a day spent with twin toddlers the nanny is most definitely picking things up and cleaning throughout the day.

 



I agree. When kids are that age, it takes a LOT of work just to have the house be in the same state at the end of the day as it was at the beginning of the day. So to me, having the house in relatively good shape but with some crumbs in the high chair and the recyclables left on the counter means that a lot of work and effort has happened that day.


Seriously!  I was in law school, and a single mom to ONE 12mo a year ago.  And by the end of the week my house was definitely not in the best of shape, and we were gone all day every day!  I can't even imagine what TWO 12mo's would do a house in one day!

 

post #133 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gucci&Granola View Post

I am also of the mind that cleaning, cooking and even working while caring for my children is not only excusable, it's actually good for them.  I value a clean home, healthy meals, and creative productivity.  As with all things, balance is key.  Children learn by example.  I want my daughter to understand the importance of being part of a flexible family unit.  So far she is content to watch from her carrier as I paint, cook, clean etc... Of course I also play with her, read to her, encourage her during belly time, dance with her, sing to her, take her for walks...  Motherhood is only part of what defines me and I know my children will be the better for it.

 

So glad to hear that your meeting went well.  It sounds like you and your husband are a great team.  Just thought I'd share what's helped me and my husband.

 



 


I agree with all this. However, what rubbed me the wrong way, if I've been understanding the OP's posts, is that she, herself, doesn't want to do most of the cleaning stuff. She wants to come home and just play with her kids. And, to some extent, fair enough. She's been working hard all day and wants to enjoy time with her children! However, it seems like a double standard. The nanny needs to keep everything super clean + take care of two young toddlers so that the OP doesn't have to. My guess, as I've stated upthread, is that the nanny will take her time, find another position, and leave, and I can't really blame her.
post #134 of 151



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

 

In any event, my mom managed to maintain a pleasant home, provide home cooked meals and clean laundry and yet I STILL managed to get into a top 5 law school, so I'm pretty sure these minor expectations in addition to childcare specific tasks will not damage the girls. 

 

 


Oh yeah?  Well, MY mom didn't even live with us when I was growing up but I still managed to get into a top 1 law school AND make law review.  So there! winky.gif

 

Anyhoo, I couldn't wrap my head around DH not wanting to stay home because, frankly, he financial contribution seemed paltry.  But then I got to thinking. 

 

Now, the numbers I'm using are probably a bit out of date because they're based on earnings before I stopped work when I got pregnant with Leda.  If someone makes, say $300,000 a year, that would mean that a partner who makes 25% of the household income would make $100,000 a year.  That would be a pretty decent salary in the midwest where the OP says she lives.  Even with paying a nanny about $60,000, that is still $40,000 that they wouldn't have otherwise.  Putting it that way, it makes more sense that he wouldn't want to be a SAHD.


Edited by Lamashtu - 4/8/11 at 7:58am
post #135 of 151

Choosing to hire someone to clean is no different than hiring someone to take care of your children.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Lisalu got it.

 

The idea that a SAHM can't be expected to do any household tasks without damaging the well-being of her uber-spawn is not one I agree with, but diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

 

As to the other posts, my husband is wonderful with the girls and has from day one been great on all the aspects of baby care.  He doesn't "see" household tasks quite like I do, but we alternate days making dinner, and he will work on household items with me. He's just not much of a self-starter on those things.

 



 


Edited by sublimeliving - 4/8/11 at 5:06pm
post #136 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamashtu View Post
Now, the numbers I'm using are probably a bit out of date because they're based on earnings before I stopped work when I got pregnant with Leda.  If someone makes, say $300,000 a year, that would mean that a partner who makes 25% of the household income would make $100,000 a year.  That would be a pretty decent salary in the midwest where the OP says she lives.  Even with paying a nanny about $60,000, that is still $40,000 that they wouldn't have otherwise.  Putting it that way, it makes more sense that he wouldn't want to be a SAHD.

Plus, it sounds like he doesn't want to be the SAHP. I don't think that money should dictate that he is. For probably the next 5 years, I'll be the lower income-earner by a lot in our marriage because I'm changing careers. After that we'll be pretty much even, but I'd be really ticked off if my husband decided to push that I stay home and not work because I make less and therefore am more expendable as a worker, especially if that's so that we can save money on household help because he just wants to play with the kids on his hours off. 
 

 

post #137 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Plus, it sounds like he doesn't want to be the SAHP. I don't think that money should dictate that he is. For probably the next 5 years, I'll be the lower income-earner by a lot in our marriage because I'm changing careers. After that we'll be pretty much even, but I'd be really ticked off if my husband decided to push that I stay home and not work because I make less and therefore am more expendable as a worker, especially if that's so that we can save money on household help because he just wants to play with the kids on his hours off. 
 

 

I have to add that the value of working isn't limited to dollars.  I see this argued a lot here at MDC - that somehow if you're not making enough, it is not "worth" working.  This bugs me for various reasons.  The main reason being is that people find value in what they do besides the monetary aspect.  I know a person who works seven hours a week, not for the money, but because she values the idea of staying current and relevant in her field.  There are so many intangibles to working besides the pay.  I know in my own life this is incredibly relevant (won't go into here).  
 

 

post #138 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post

Choosing to hire someone to clean is no different than hiring someone to take care of your children.

Quote:



 


I'm sorry, but I couldn't read this without responding... Maybe I'm just being overly sensitive today but ... Really?! Do you really want to go there on the WOH board? Maybe other WOH parents disagree, but I think that choosing to hire someone to care for my child is entirely different than choosing to hire someone to clean my house.

 

As you can tell from many of the threads on this board, making the decision to hire someone to take care of a child is often fraught with many emotions, soul-searching, and negotiation between spouses/partners. Choosing to hire someone to clean is a luxury that I, for one, would do in a heartbeat if I had the means & without any of the emotions.

 

Yes, technically, both choices are a delegation of household tasks that must be done by someone. But raising a child is no ordinary "household task". Perhaps the discussion here has blurred the important distinction between child rearing & house work a bit, and perhaps OP has blurred the distinction as well (which may be what you are referring to, SublimeLiving). Do many SAHPs do both (i.e. both the child rearing & the cleaning)? Yes. They choose to not hire anyone to do either. But just because one person can do both, doesn't mean that they are of equal value. And no matter how much one loves a clean house, there is no way to equate the two. 

 

Just had to say that.

 

post #139 of 151
Thread Starter 

I guess I was a bit baffled about the suggestions about my husband becoming a SAHD like that would solve the issue.  Guess my posts didn't make the point very clearly but while he is helpful around the house, he is not a self-starter about it -- there is no doubt that the house would likely be worse, not better with him doing the majority of childcare instead of the nanny.  I think it is much better for our marriage that these sorts of annoyances are felt about the nanny, rather than about my husband. 

 

Just to clarify -- what I'm asking for breaks down to about 30 minutes of child-related clean up a day.  The girls do nap together both in the morning and afternoon (totaling about 2.5 - up to 4 hours on a very good day).  I work from home about once or sometimes twice a week, so I am aware that the majority of the time they are napping the nanny is reading, watching tv or texting.  We have a decent size room that is specifically set up for the girls, so that there is really nothing to "destroy" (and maybe they are not by nature particularly destructive) -- generally any destruction involves toys scattered across the floor and (very rarely) shredded kleenex when someone has gotten ahold of the kleenex box.  Finger feeling mess has been greatly reduced by putting limited amounts of food on their trays at any time, and waiting for them to clear it before loading it up again.

 

post #140 of 151
Thread Starter 

"Anyhoo, I couldn't wrap my head around DH not wanting to stay home because, frankly, he financial contribution seemed paltry." 

 

I was pretty stressed out about ever being the sole breadwinner.  We purchased our house, a minivan (extremely helpful with the babies) and had the girls in the depths of the recession.  Both the house and the van were purchased solely with what the banks were willing to give us based on my husband's salary alone and our cash downpayments (bit of a point of debate to finance any portion of the van at all -- as I like to keep larger cash reserves than my husband does).

 

Could we have the lifestyle we consider desirable if I were to lose my job?  No.  Could we keep the house, feed ourselves and cover the basic utilities?  Yes.  And that makes my life a lot less stressful.

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