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How much housework fair to expect from a nanny? - Page 2

post #21 of 151

OP, I totally understand your aggravation. While I agree with some posters that it might be hard to get tasks done on certain days with 1 y old twins, there are things that just take a minute to do but still make your life easier. I also would not want to come home, having to clean up after the nanny. You got some good advice already from previous posters, just wanted to say I know I where you are coming from and I think for top dollars you can expect some household work now and more as the kids get older. I mean, how hard is it to start the washer or drop the recyclables off in the garage, like you said?

 

As I have seen myself, the nanny - employer relationship is such a difficult one. Hope you can work things out with her.

post #22 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Well -- it is interesting to hear everyone's view points!  A little different from my most recent discussion IRL, where a co-worker has a nanny who changes their bedlinens and towels weekly and does the household's laundry (with a 9 month old singleton).

  

Our nanny really does seem to enjoy getting out of the house.  She originally volunteered to pick some things up near the start of the relationship, and prefers to select many of the daily use items for the babies as she has preferences on a number of items (likes to choose which bibs, sippy cups, sheets, snacks, etc., etc.).  Basically, I think she likes to shop and it must certainly be more fun to do it with someone else's credit card!  She also frequently asks to take the girls out for her own errands during the week, which I am fine with.

 

The whole little laundry list in my original post is really not that time consuming -- when I do it it takes about 20-30 minutes.  I'm not 100% sure why these things get on my nerves so much.  I suppose its because I feel like I'm cleaning up after her sometimes -- I would never go into my bosses office and leave my pop cans and lunch stuff on his desk, etc., etc. and sometimes what's going on in my kitchen feels comparable with that. 

 

I honestly can't imagine having a full time nanny who doesn't do the kids laundry -- everyone I know who has a nanny includes that.  We are literally paying about double what a quality daycare for the girls would have cost, so the only real justification for that extra expenditure are these sort of services the nanny provides.

 

 


 

1) Shopping with two 1-year-olds is not my idea of a fun time really. I'll bet she likes getting out with them, but I don't think it's exactly time off or a fun shopping expedition.

 

2) The difference is pretty much that this is your kids' mess, not her mess (although she might not have time to clean up her mug or whatever). I agree (having read on) that perhaps dropping the jars in recycling is not that hard, so you could remind her. At the same time do you really want to "nickle and dime" her on this kind of issue?

 

3) You're paying for the one-on-two care, not housekeeping, unless you spelled that out specifically. Keep in mind that a lot of nannies make the same or less than daycare workers; it's just that the ratios are different in daycare. They also don't get backup or breaks like daycare staff do.

 

I also noticed in a later post you compared it to when you were home with 8 month olds. I don't know where your kids are on mobility but one year olds are really, really different than 8 month olds in their need for play, the amount of trouble they can get into when your back is turned, etc.  Also, different people do have different multi-tasking capabilities. I would always want the nanny to focus on care first, myself.

 

I think your expectations are a bit unrealistic and if you believe that this nanny is good/great with your kids, I would focus on that rather than this 20-30 min worth of work. If it's really that little, then it shouldn't be a big deal for you to do it. The one exception might be the laundry since that takes the time in between of the washer and dryer running, so I'd personally zero in on that piece.

post #23 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

Isn't one year old care at a daycare approx 800/month? So for twins that would be 1600/month and if you are doubling that you are paying her at least 3200/month?

 

I think for almost 40k a year the household tasks you are asking to be performed is acceptable.


That depends on the area.  In my area it is just over half that and there are no daycares that charge anywhere near that much.  Here double the high end would not even be all that much and it would still put you in a position of being able to collect foodstamps and medicaid for a family of four (a smaller family would be doing well though and only get medicaid).  Even if that price is accurate that income could be really chintzy depending on whether room and board is provided, the tax rate, and how many people you are supporting on that income. 

 

Even if she is making a lot less than that though she did sign a contract so taking it out and reminding her of that is a good place to start.  If she is on salary she could spend half an hour once you are there taking care of the final clean up chores, it sounds like you are a very thoughtful employer and not having her work 60 hour weeks so it doesn't seem like an unreasonable requirement.  If she is on hourly you could require her to do the clean up before any outings.

 

post #24 of 151
This thread is really interesting to me. I used to be a nanny so I have a little bit of experience with this sort of thing. Honestly, as an employer, you should just talk to your nanny about these issues. What's really hard about having a nanny is that *you* are the boss. A lot of people are really uncomfortable being an employer, so instead of just addressing issues as they come up, they let things build up, and often become very angry and passive aggressive. In reality, we are talking about countertops, bibs, crumbs, spatulas and a little bin of baby jars, right? When I was a nanny, I wouldn't have batted an eye if my employer said "hey, could you please take the recycling to the garage" or "do you mind hand washing the knives?" These are not big issues! What you need to figure out is why you haven't mentioned anything to nanny, and why it seems to make you so angry.I don't think you have unreasonable expectations of housework. I do, however, think you should work on bring very clear about you expectations. Some people just aren't that neat and tidy, so you have to spell it out for them.
post #25 of 151

We have a nanny/housekeeper.  She is mostly alone with DD who is 14 months now.  She does it all and is a amazing, but if DD isn't sleeping, forget about the toys in DS room being tidied or the bathroom being wiped down after DD's bath. And on the days when she brings her own 1.5 yr old daughter, we know that she won't get as much done.   If we have the need now and then for a deep cleaning to be done, we take the kids to the park and let her get to work, or we give her the keys so she can come and clean while we are away for the weekend.  She's only one person, and as DD gets more and more moible we know there will be less time for laundry folding and separating garbage. We are okay with that.  She is honest, she is kind, she is loving with DD and when DS comes home early on Wednesdays, she is great with him too and they love and trust her.  I wouldn't trade her for the world, even though last week she threw my silk hand wash only blouse in with the kids clothes and basically ruined a 200 blouse that I had JUST gotten back into since losing the baby weight.  Somethings are more important than a tidy house, and our kids feeling safe and happy with someone besides us has to be one of them, no?

 

I think no matter what you paid her, no one human being could get THAT much done with two roaming toddlers.  That list is cray-cray, for realz.  Remember Day-care professionals not working out of their own homes, have a cleaning and a cooking staff and send linens and bibs etc to be washed by a service, and they get supplies delivered, they don't have to go get them.  Being your nanny sounds way WAY harder than working in a Daycare. 

 

I think you may need to narrow down your list to the top five priorities and then have a discussion with her about what those priorities are, like the spatula thing, and the crumb thing (since you clearly don't want to do that anymore),,,more than 5 five minute tasks above and beyond caring for the children is too much.  Also leave her lists in order of what is a must.  We started doing this with Marcela early on because she was washing clean clothes for something to clean and forgetting to do simple things like wipe down the high chair or leaving the bathroom a mess.  So Tuesdays was laundry, and bathrooms, and Thursdays was kitchen and vaccuming, and if she had time for anything else?  GRAVY.

 

She may have volunteered to do that shopping and may enjoy it, but that's a HUGE outing and very time consuming, and not a particularly efficient use of her time.  No doubt the girls sleep in the car (meaning less nap time at home to tidy up) and add in the dressing, the car seat and the road trip/stroller strapping and walk, the toting, unpacking etc...you could probably do that a LOT faster, or ask her to do it sans the kids, and leave her with more time.  As her boss it is your job to evaluate what the best use of her time will be and help her to manage that.

 

You're the boss, so have a talk with her and if she can't meet your expectations, look for someone else, but I think that taking care of twin babies is hard enough without having to also do stuff like laundry, dishwasher loading and unloading and kitchen clean up.  And if you agreed that taking care of the kids come before all those other things, she may be taking you at your word on that genuinely be focusing on that.

post #26 of 151
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for their thoughts, especially scottishmommy and hollybearsmom. 

 

Being an employer is a new experience for me personally, and people management is really outside of my skill set.  I wanted to set up a positive "team" environment, with all parties (myself, my husband, both sets of grandparents and the nanny) working towards the girls' well-being.  I really think that we have all established a good relationship foundation -- even my mom and the nanny, which I was seriously concerned about (grandparents occasionally drop by and visit the girls during the week).  So, generally, things are going extremely well on the points that matter most .....

 

However, there are some small rough patches that I don't really feel confident in how to best handle.  I am a very conflict-adverse person, so I always feel a lot of trepidation and self-doubt about raising issues (am I being unreasonable, do I want to risk upsetting the apple cart, aren't these things I can live with although I find them irritating, etc., etc.)  Thus, my angst over crumbs, counters, and baby jars.

 

I am also aware that there are some personal emotional issues that make me feel self-doubt about what level of expectations to set:

 

First, I have come into the realization that, if this relationship continues as it has started, that the nanny is going to be in our lives for a long, long time.  She still occasionally sees the kids she took care of 15 years ago.  This is a testament to how good she is at her job, and in the larger sense this is the sort of connection and positive relationship I want my girls to have with their regular caregiver.  However, its also a little bit like finding oneself unexpectedly married to someone you've only known for four months.  And I'm having a bit of a hard time with that.

 

Second, in a word, is jealousy.  I acknowledge that it exists and it is largely irrational.  There is heartburn in hiring someone else to do a job that you would love to have.

 

Third, is some family background.  My father was a small businessman, and was a total pushover with his staff.  He did have some excellent employees, but there were also quite a few who took advantage, as well as the ever-charming unstable ones.   I don't want to be a pushover (its just bad management all around), but I don't want my need to not be a pushover to tip over into being a hardass either.

 

Hollybearsmom -- I gave some thought to your point about money.  I guess my feelings are this:  I admit we are a bit financially stressed right now.  I lost almost half a year of pay due to my extended maternity leave.  Also, due to being on leave in 2010, I did not receive a bonus in 2011 which bonus has historically been about 30% of my total compensation for the year in which it is paid.  However I don't think that is the issue so much as there is a general feeling of making sure that we are getting the full value of what we are paying for. 

post #27 of 151
OP all your feelings are totally valid. You are going through A LOT! Twins, starting back at work and concern over finances are all huge stressors. I know what you mean about being married to someone you hardly know. The nanny/mommy relationship is so hard! Especially since you probably don't spend much time with her. Luckily I work at night so my dh watches dd, and my brother, who lives with us. Let me tell you, I have no qualms about bossing my baby brother around! A hired stranger? Forget about it. I think you should be really honest with your nanny and say something like " I love having you as a nanny, so I feel really awkward asking you this, but is there anyway you could wipe down the counters etc..". Seriously, just let her know that it's really hard for you to criticize her. She'll totally understand! If your boss gave you some minor criticism would you even bat an eye? It's what bosses do! I also think you need to take it easy on yourself and recognize that yes, you are going to be jealous/sad/resentful/ what have you, right now. New moms experience a lot of seemingly irrational emotions. You're trying to juggle it all, so it's going to be taxing on you. Accept that this is hard and let yourself feel how you are going to feel!
post #28 of 151


I have lived in four states and as many cities over the past six years and have never heard of one year old care at a day care going for 400/month! Your area must be *very* low cost of living.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post




That depends on the area.  In my area it is just over half that and there are no daycares that charge anywhere near that much.  Here double the high end would not even be all that much and it would still put you in a position of being able to collect foodstamps and medicaid for a family of four (a smaller family would be doing well though and only get medicaid).  Even if that price is accurate that income could be really chintzy depending on whether room and board is provided, the tax rate, and how many people you are supporting on that income. 

 

Even if she is making a lot less than that though she did sign a contract so taking it out and reminding her of that is a good place to start.  If she is on salary she could spend half an hour once you are there taking care of the final clean up chores, it sounds like you are a very thoughtful employer and not having her work 60 hour weeks so it doesn't seem like an unreasonable requirement.  If she is on hourly you could require her to do the clean up before any outings.

 



 

post #29 of 151


If it is spelled out in your contract, I would talk to her.  If you aren't happy with job she's doing, it needs to be addressed.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post


I have lived in four states and as many cities over the past six years and have never heard of one year old care at a day care going for 400/month! Your area must be *very* low cost of living.

 

 



 


I pay much less than $400 a month for the best daycare/preschool in our town. 
 

 

post #30 of 151

I don't see how this sort of payment could translate into a livable wage for the daycare worker. People are seriously paying less than 400/month for toddler care in daycare. less than 100/week?  That's less than 2.50 an hour! Ridiculous. I wonder what the wage is for the caregiver. It's frightening to think of it like that.

post #31 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

I don't see how this sort of payment could translate into a livable wage for the daycare worker. People are seriously paying less than 400/month for toddler care in daycare. less than 100/week?  That's less than 2.50 an hour! Ridiculous. I wonder what the wage is for the caregiver. It's frightening to think of it like that.



Daycare workers have notoriously high turnover rates. Why? Because to keep the monthly rate to the parents low in a center .. they pay the workers just barely above minimum wage.

post #32 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post





Daycare workers have notoriously high turnover rates. Why? Because to keep the monthly rate to the parents low in a center .. they pay the workers just barely above minimum wage.



greensad.gif Moms do what they have to do in order to put food on the table. If you gotta go to work, and feed your kids, you have to find a daycare you can afford, but  man. It's just a shocker to me. The cities I have lived in aren't exactly high cost of living, but I am honestly shocked! We had my DS in daycare at age 4-5 and his teacher took care of 6 at a time and we paid 150/week = 900/week income generation for the daycare. This was the YMCA and cheap for where we were. I felt guilty that I couldn't afford better care even then!

 

I can *not* imagine less than 100/week for a one year old, but people are saying it exists.

post #33 of 151

Sorry, I know this subject is way off-topic.

post #34 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

I don't see how this sort of payment could translate into a livable wage for the daycare worker. People are seriously paying less than 400/month for toddler care in daycare. less than 100/week?  That's less than 2.50 an hour! Ridiculous. I wonder what the wage is for the caregiver. It's frightening to think of it like that.


What?  My daycare provider makes more than I do and I make a livable wage.  I don't set the rate, she does.  And she has a lengthy waiting list. 

 

I live a very low cost area and this is the absolute best daycare in my area.  I don't go by how cheap it is, I go by how good it is.  Besides the rate I pay, is the average here.  I hate the idea that if a mom somewere in the world pays a lower daycare rate, it means they must be using crappy daycare. 

 

You'd probably all be appalled at my pay rate. 

post #35 of 151

Reply to Original Post:

 

I had a Nanny for a total of 2 weeks and found her to be so lazy it was not funny. She would come without bringing her own lunch, eat and leave her dishes in the sink. In addtion, she would sit and watch telemundo the whole time my kids were down for a nap.

 

I believe that at minimum a nanny should do light housekeeping related to the children; washing kids plate, wash OWN plates/cups, pick up childrens toys/bibs, etc.

post #36 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

Isn't one year old care at a daycare approx 800/month? So for twins that would be 1600/month and if you are doubling that you are paying her at least 3200/month?

 

I think for almost 40k a year the household tasks you are asking to be performed is acceptable.



In our area  full time daycare for 2 children under 2 costs $3,000 per month ($1500 per child).  There is a lot of variation depending on where you are. And most expensive does not always mean best but I thought I would just offer what the average is here. 

 

OP, I just wanted to send some hugs.  We had a nanny for 6 mths for my boys who didn't do the housework and I struggled with cleaning up after her when I got home.  It was tiring.  It ended up not working for other reasons and now they are in daycare.  But, since it seems like you get along well otherwise,  I think just talking about the few things that bother you might be easy and solve the problem.


Edited by fnpmama - 3/14/11 at 12:56pm
post #37 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post




What?  My daycare provider makes more than I do and I make a livable wage.  I don't set the rate, she does.  And she has a lengthy waiting list. 

 

I live a very low cost area and this is the absolute best daycare in my area.  I don't go by how cheap it is, I go by how good it is.  Besides the rate I pay, is the average here.  I hate the idea that if a mom somewere in the world pays a lower daycare rate, it means they must be using crappy daycare. 

 

You'd probably all be appalled at my pay rate. 


nod.gif It totally depends on where you live.  In Colombia, I get paid somewhere in the ball park of 1500 USD a month, and we pay the average local nanny/housekeeper rates of about 3 US$ an hour, which currently roughly translates into 50 dollars a week, but when DH goes back to work FT will probably be on a monthly wage of about $300 a month.  Full time day care runs between 100 and 1000 dollars a month.  In my experience, the 1000/month care is no better than than the 300/month care it just gives you more bragging rights in high social circles.
 

 

post #38 of 151

I think your expectations are unrealistic if you want high quality childcare. That is a lot of work in addition to carrying for twins. She also deserves to have a break for herself during the day. If you were a SAHP would you get that much housework done every day? Do you have any long term experience staying with the twins or read the SAHP boards? It is really really hard to care for small children while getting a lot of housework done.

 

Yes, some nannies do all that but the childcare they provide is a lot closer to housekeeping than childcare professional.

 

We pay top dollar for childcare too and that is what we get. Our kids eat good food, they play with good toys, they go to sleep gently, they don't watch tv, they go to the park daily or more, my older child can go to the preschool of our choice and get picked up. It is brutally expensive.  And yes, I get annoyed that some simple tasks don't get done during the day. I remind myself weekly what I am paying for. I want my kids to get the best childcare possible in our home and outside of it. I want their schedules and needs to be primary.

 

The cost of other childcare situations aren't relevant; the relative demands of her work load in other child care situations aren't relevant.

 

Finally, I just reread that last post of yours. I too was surprised the level of intimacy that develops and probably should develop. Hopefully this person is going to be with your family for several years. I fought it and now I embrace it.

 

 


Edited by JudiAU - 3/14/11 at 2:28pm
post #39 of 151

Question:  when you were home for the 1st 8 mos with your kiddos, did you have help?  If not, did you do all the babycare and all the housework?  If you did do it all, was there ever a day when you found yourself folding clothes at 10pm, or did you get it all done between the hrs of 9am and 5pm?

 

I worked as a nanny years ago when I was a single mama of just one.  I met the mom at a BF support group mtg that I was in training to facilitate, so I knew the baby from almost birth.  I began working part time when the baby was about 8 wks while the mom was still on leave and she went back to work at 12 wks and I went full time.

 

I got paid $100-150/wk (1997) to go to their home.  I worked about 40 hrs/wk and when I did a weekend or overnight shift I got paid like $5/hr ($3 for the hours of 9pm-7am!).  I was allowed to take the baby in the car.  In fact, I had to take her to see mama at work on lunch bc the entire time I had her (got fired at 8 or 9 mos...read on...) she never took a bottle.  I could also go do my own errands, but mostly I just took the baby and my 3yo ds to the library, park, etc. 

 

The agreement was that baby came first, but when she slept I was to do all the housework and laundry.  Also, the mom and dad were complete pigs and left huge hoarder-type messes everywhere.  From being in the BF group, the mom knew I was totally into APing.  I even taught her how to sling her baby and she knew that I would also BW her dd.  I thougth we were on the same page as far as AP, but in time she started complaining about me not getting work done.

 

I wanted to be like "Look lady, I am FINGER FEEDING your baby who refuses bottles!  Cut me some freaking slack already" but I just kept my mouth shut and carried on.  Eventually, she laid it all out for me:  AP was making her weekends too difficult bc her dd had "learned" to need constant BWing and rocking to sleep.  They wanted me to do CIO, and the bonus, in their eyes, was that I would have more time to clean their pigsty of a house while their precious baby girl was wallowing in her own vomit in her crib.  I began a mission to get fired so that I would get severance pay so I went back to rocking and holding the baby til she fell asleep.  They let me go, put her in daycare, and hired a full time housekeeper.

 

This is a SUPER extreme example, but do you expect your girls to be cuddled to sleep if they need it?  Do you forbid CIO?  I had a hard enough time getting it all done when I had my own babies, and my kids are 7 yrs apart, so I can't even imagine how it is to have two babies at once!  Your poor nanny needs to sit down and chill while they are sleeping!

 

Don't we always tell new mothers to sleep when the baby sleeps?  Of course that's hard advice to follow, but even thougth she's being paid to care for your little ones she needs a break.

 

My suggestion:  Sit her down and tell her it's time to reevaluate.  Relieve her of the hosuework and lower her pay a tad.  Then use the money to have a cleaner come in just to clean.

post #40 of 151

[quote]What?  My daycare provider makes more than I do and I make a livable wage.  I don't set the rate, she does.  And she has a lengthy waiting list. 

 

I live a very low cost area and this is the absolute best daycare in my area.  I don't go by how cheap it is, I go by how good it is.  Besides the rate I pay, is the average here.  I hate the idea that if a mom somewere in the world pays a lower daycare rate, it means they must be using crappy daycare. 

 

You'd probably all be appalled at my pay rate.[/quote]

 

if you are paid less than 2.50/hr yes, i am appalled at your rate of pay. i assume you are living in america and not columbia as another poster discussed. i don't know livable wages in columbia, so i can't comment.

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