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Anybody here have a nanny? (m)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
DH and I are discussing whether we want to hire a live-out nanny for after the twins come in December. Anybody here have any experience with a live-out nanny (or any nanny) especially while mama is still SAH?

If anyone cares to share what they pay their nanny, what they offer for benefits, and/or a list of interview questions or tips, I'd be grateful!

Apologies if this has been covered before!

Vicky
post #2 of 29
I don't have a professional nanny (though I do have a very sweet and capable 16 year old come over 2 days after school to help out), but I *was* a nanny professionally.

I didn't mind SAHP while I was nannying, but I was more picky with them because I didn't want to be around someone who was going to rub me the wrong way all day (and I assume they felt the same way!). So I asked for a greater no harm/no foul trial period than I did with my WOH parents.

I never took a job for under $24K a year (not counting benefits and overtime pay, which also was a must), but that was just me. Part time is a little different, but you should expect (for a good, professional person) to pay in the $15-20/hr range for part time. If you want to go with someone with less experience and credentials then you can pay less, and I actually think it's MORE important to find someone who clicks than someone who has a 4 year degree and all their other pieces of paper lined up. Also, I nannied in the 90s, when jobs were plentiful and it was a nanny's market. Now with the economy in the toilet I don't think people can demand as much or be as picky as I was in most areas of the country.

Before you start your search, you need to define boundaries and determine what you want. Do you want more of a mothers' helper (just an extra pair of hands, you make the executive decisions and do the planning), or do you want a full on nanny so you're more willing to take a backseat and let her do her thing while you rest/recuperate/nurse? Something inbetween? It's my experience that many baby nurses/nannies have very set in stone way of doing things--so you need to figure out what you want first, so that you won't waste your time (or theirs) interviewing people who aren't cut out for it or who aren't looking for what you're offering. I don't think that there are any magic questions (but you DO want to get an idea of her discipline policy and what she expects!), it's more finding someone who's 'nannying' matches up well with your 'parenting' and who you get along with well and don't mind hanging out in stressful situations with.

Another option you might consider is a short term contract, something to get you through the first 6 months. Then you can decide whether to renew based on $$ and if you're comfortable flying solo by then or not.
post #3 of 29
I was my own nanny.

Oh how I wish I had help during that time. If you can get help so that you can bond with and be with your children that is good and wise. But I have also seen women use nannies to avoid the bond with their children and to pass off their mothering fears and trials onto a hired worker. I believe nannies should assist not replace.

I DO believe that mamas need help, especially with twins. And if you have the resources for a nanny and you find one that you trust, I say go for it. Find out the local going rate. Try contacting your local TWINS groups and ask other moms with nannies for their twins. I think childcare workers should be paid WELL.

HOw are you feeling, btw? I remember beginning to get slow at this point in my twin pregnancy?
post #4 of 29
Rather than a nanny I would hire a part time housekeeper and cook. Same hours but they can do the other stuff so you can focus on you and the babies.
post #5 of 29
What does the (m) mean in your title, btw?
post #6 of 29
Tigerchild - thanks for these guidelines. That helps me a lot.

I wonder if it's ok for me to ask a related question in this thread.
We have some household help - basically someone who cleans up the floors and the kitchen every day (This is common by indian standards...i know it sounds insane to have all this in the US....i've kinda gotten used to it...). Now, i can ask this woman to do more stuff -- hang all our diapers out to dry, do some food preparation, etc.

Do you think that, once i have these twins in december, i'll need MORE help?? The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.

If you do think i'll need more help, can you tell me exactly what i should be looking for? (i.e. someone to change diapers, someone to hold a baby in case i need to do something, someone to watch babies if i need to go out) I need to be as specific as possible when looking for help!

Thanks, and i hope it's ok to ask this question in this thread....

Kiran
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone (m)

I find I'm a little ambivalent about hiring a nanny, frankly. I'm not sure I want someone in charge of my kids, especially when I'm going to be home. Maybe just a mother's helper and a more frequent housekeeper would be better for us.

Hotmamacita, I totally agree that some women use nannies to avoid bonding with their children. I see that all the time in the rather wealthy resort community where I live, unfortunately. Oh and the (m) in the header is a reflex from some of the threaded boards where I post... it's considered good etiquette to indicate whether there's "more" to your post than just the header or "no text" (nt) and I forget that I don't need to do that here!

Thanks everyone for your responses. If we do interview for a nanny, the suggestions here have been incredibly helpful.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 

Oh... and one more thing (m)

Hotmamacita, I'm feeling, well, big. Yes, I'm definitely at the point where I'm slowing down, feeling lousy a large part of the afternoon/evening. Having a lot of trouble breathing, mostly, and just being uncomfortable in any position, standing, sitting, lying down doesn't matter. So it looks like from now to the end will be the hardest part of the PG.

But all in all, I have nothing to complain about. It's a perfectly healthy normal PG in all respects, which is lucky for us! Thanks for asking!
post #9 of 29
I think you got a great response from Tigerchild. It's about deciding what you are really looking for.

I don't have a nanny, but am starting to look at childcare for my 3yo since I may have to go back to work/school. I just finished re-reading Protecting the Gift by Gavin Debecker. If you haven't read it, I strongly reccommend it. It gives some guidelines to go by but also advises to not only come up with the questions & check credentials but to have faith & believe in your intuition.

Good luck.
post #10 of 29
If you have someone else to help with the housework and have no other children, I think you wont need any help with the babies unless you are ill or otherwise unable to care for them full time.
The biggest thing in my experience is trying to do it all. I think if I had just my twins to take care of and not my house, the cooking my older two children it would feel like a vacation.
Twins arent really that hard if you arent trying to accomplish a bunch of other stuff too.
joline
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Twins arent really that hard if you arent trying to accomplish a bunch of other stuff too.


Its mamas like you that make me burn with jealousy.

It was hard for me. I had an 18 mo and a 4 yo and my husband worked fulltime and was in school fulltime. I remember days just struggling to get everyone fed and clean, including myself.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita


Its mamas like you that make me burn with jealousy.

It was hard for me. I had an 18 mo and a 4 yo and my husband worked fulltime and was in school fulltime. I remember days just struggling to get everyone fed and clean, including myself.
Right, because you did have other responsibilities. Me too.
My ds was 16 months old when the twins were born and I had an 11 year old and a house and a dog and a husband and I had to do all the cooking cleaning and wash.
Sometimes I felt it was amazing everybody was alive and happy at the end of the day.
My biggest fantasy was to have somebody ELSE mop the floor, do the dishes and make the meals. It would have been like a vacation if my only responsibility was my twins.
(and my second biggest fantasy was and still is fluff and fold)
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kir
The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.
Hi ya --

This is such a personal issue. Some women seemingly need/and take -- NO BREAK from their kids. I needed "regular" breaks to be the kind of patient and enthused mama I wanted to be. I think the reality is you will need some regular time to yourself -- in the beginning to sleep, later on maybe to do a few household errands (groceries, etc) or appointments where babies don't really work (haircut, dentist, etc.) -- and at some point you will likely want some time to yourself and/or with your husband. Give yourself some time to gauge what amount of "break" you need after the babes are here. I don't think you'll really know until then.

I think you original post was on info about hiring a nanny. I'm a working mama -- so have always had a nanny -- email me private if you want me 2 cents on that.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom
Some women seemingly need/and take -- NO BREAK from their kids. I needed "regular" breaks to be the kind of patient and enthused mama I wanted to be.
Me too but some women do not have the option at all. And there are creative ways to get breaks from your kids while they are in the house with you and safe.

Our situations are all different. But I just wanted to share that some women who you might think need no break actually DO and have no option other than creatively finding them while caring for their children.

TripMom--It would be a good asset for future moms to be able to read your 2 cents. DO you feel comfortable posting your advice for other and future twin moms who can learn from your experience?

Peace.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Sometimes I felt it was amazing everybody was alive and happy at the end of the day.
i know what you mean!

A DOG too. How did you do that. People would suggest animals to us for our children and I could not imagine how on earth I would care for an animal as well.

But I do want a chocolate lab one day. Perhaps when the twins are 5 or so.
post #16 of 29
a couple of days before finding out I was to have twins we were looking for a 2nd dog at the humane society.
Thank goodness the one we wanted was gone before we went back!
DH still brings up that we need another dog. But I'd like to see him help take care of the one we have! LOL (same goes for the kids for that matter LOL)

About needing a break. I wholeheartedly agree. But I dont think even a part time nanny is necessary.
Perhaps an "on call" nanny or sitter for appointment days or days when you need extra rest.
No point in having somebody else underfoot all the time (or even half the time) when you really only need help a couple of hours a week.
joline
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by kir
I wonder if it's ok for me to ask a related question in this thread.
We have some household help - basically someone who cleans up the floors and the kitchen every day (This is common by indian standards...i know it sounds insane to have all this in the US....i've kinda gotten used to it...). Now, i can ask this woman to do more stuff -- hang all our diapers out to dry, do some food preparation, etc.

Do you think that, once i have these twins in december, i'll need MORE help?? The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.
Hi Kiran!

Will you have family/friends available to help you with baby care the first few weeks? The housework help you already have will do wonders for you (I think everyone ignores it, but it tends to get to you, so nice to not have to catch up!), but if you can afford it or you can get loving help from friends and family please take advantage of it! You will be exhausted, you will be recovering from birth, and you will have two newborns--I think that no one who's not lived through that can fathom how exhausting that can be (and exhilirating too, don't get me wrong, but...). My MIL (who I am closer to than my own mother) lived with us for 6 weeks after the boys were born and she was a wonderful blessing. My eyes are welling with tears just thinking about it. She lovingly cared for my 17 mo. old AND me during that time, so all I had to do was nurse, rest, and bond with my boys. She made sure I took my medication on time (I had a lot of pain issues, not from the birth, but from some complications from my pregnancy), made sure I was eating enough every few hours, wiped my tears as I started to come down off the hormone high, made sure I always had a pitcher of ice water by my side. And it was nice to have another pair of arms available as I got the hang of tandem nursing, and when I wanted to get a little mama-boy time with one baby. If you can at all possibly have a close friend or someone you trust do this for you, it is best. But finding someone who is willing to cuddle babies and baby/pamper mama, as a grandma or mentor figure, if you can possibly find that you will not regret it. Or even just someone to help you cuddle and hold your little ones.

Is it something you *need*, no, you will flex your mama muscles like never before and you will cope regardless. But if you CAN I certainly recommend it! I am so excited that one of my friends is due very soon and trusts me enough to allow me to be a frequent guest in her home so I can pour love into her like love was poured into me. (Even though I was a bottomless pit those first 6 weeks!)

Also, I wholeheartedly agree with hotmamacita--if you can find a multiples club in your area, please do! Many times they are a wonderful resource for other twin mamas. There you will find loving women (at least a few!) who will want to "pay back" the care they received and who understand and can offer advice and a shoulder to cry on if you need it (and meals! and companionship! and recommendations for helpers in your area!).

I think that it helps mama immensely if she has strong support during the neediest newborn time. After you get your bearings, then even though it is scary the first time you "fly solo" you can do it, but it would be wonderful to have some training wheels first, KWIM?
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickybu
Hotmamacita, I'm feeling, well, big. Yes, I'm definitely at the point where I'm slowing down, feeling lousy a large part of the afternoon/evening. Having a lot of trouble breathing, mostly, and just being uncomfortable in any position, standing, sitting, lying down doesn't matter. So it looks like from now to the end will be the hardest part of the PG.

But all in all, I have nothing to complain about. It's a perfectly healthy normal PG in all respects, which is lucky for us! Thanks for asking!
Vicky, do you have a big, cushy reclining chair (like a La-Z-boy)? I always hated those things, but after a certain point, I was so uncomfortable no matter what my doctor recommended one of those. We went to the store and I sat in every single model (and darned if the one that felt the best wasn't the fugliest thing I ever saw!), and I got the one that felt the best to me. Then I lived in it from my third trimester until the boys were 3 months old! I slept in it during the last few weeks, even! It's still in my living room and still fugly, and I am morose at the thought of having to give it up when we move. I think that was the best couple of hundred bucks I've ever spent! (I needed it right then and didn't want to wait so we just bought the model off the floor, so it wasn't THAT much and they humored the enormously pregnant woman)
post #19 of 29
I second that big comfy chair suggestion. I never had it. I wish i had. It is a HUGE NEED in a twin pregnancy.
post #20 of 29
A few other things I wanted to share...

I have an only, but am an auntie to twins & a newborn. I just got back from staying with them for a week to help her out.

They are in VA & have a live-out nanny housekeeper that comes all 5 days, my sil works 4 days & is home 1 day. They found her through the church. They are pretty involved with their church & found this was the best way for them to find somebody. My sil is hispanic & wanted someone who spoke Spanish. She started out with a trial period & I know she started at $10/hr but I don't know how much she is making with them now (1.5 years later).

The days that my sil is at work, she mostly takes care of the children with my sil's mother, along with small chores..dishes, laundry, etc. On the day she's at home, she has the children & the nanny does housekeeping...mopping the floor, vaccuuming, whatever needs to be done.

When I went to help them I was expecting to help & my sil is not very good at saying what she wants so I didn't feel like she take advantage (not take advantage of me, well, ykwim) of my being there. It felt more like a regular visit. She got upset if I unloaded the dishwasher. Yes, my dd played with the twins but I could have done so much more.

I think it would be really helpful, especially if you have people wanting to help, have a list of all the things that need to be done. Yes it's nice to have someone cuddle the babes, but especially being pp, I think you have to be specific with what you want.

Good luck!
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