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What about nannies making personal phone calls? - Page 2

post #21 of 91
Our au pair makes phone calls on the cell phone we provide her and takes the kids on errands. Frankly, they love going to the grocery store/drug store with her.

We have the rule about no talking on the phone while driving, ever. Other than that, as long as it isn't excessive (2-4 10 minute chats during a day, that is one thing, 3 hour calls, another), we are good.
post #22 of 91
Hmm. Now, I don't have an earthside kid just yet, but I have to say that I'd kind of EXPECT that a person charged with caring for a child for eight hours straight, with no official breaks, during normal business hours make a few phone calls. It seems unreasonable to expect otherwise. Some stuff needs to be done during business hours. Just thinking of calls I've had to make during my breaks at work... Calling the billing department at the doctor's office to straighten out an issue, calling my bank to make sure my name change had gone through, and calling my mother at work to remind her to go pick up a certified copy of my birth certificate before the office closed. Personal? Yes, but necessary to my existence in the modern world.

But many nannies don't get breaks in the traditional sense, so it stands to reason that they'd do what a SAHM would do... pick a time when the kids are least needy and make the call then. If they're young enough to nap... great. That's problem solved.

In very few professions do we expect that a person be "on" for 8 hours straight without a break.
post #23 of 91
I agree that this is a PT/FT issue.

I had a 20h/wk nanny for my daughter for about a year -- rather, we had a few nannies. It hadn't occurred to me that a young woman would decide that a 4h/day job was an opportunity for continual personal-call time. The phone was never off. We had a few other issues with her, and eventually I had to fire her. After that I made emergency-only calls the rule. I also said no to boyfriend-visiting.

I understand that a nanny might have other obligations which keep her from making calls in her non-nanny time, but really, that's not my problem. I was paying 3x daycare rates so that my daughter could have someone giving her one-on-one attention instead of being in daycare all day. If I'd wanted lots of benign semi-neglect for her, I could've saved a lot of money. Once you get past that 4-hour mark, though, I think you really do need to build in breaks.

As for family emergencies...well, I understand, and you gotta do what you gotta do, but I gotta make deadlines. I had one girl who seemed reliable at first, but her folks split up and suddenly she was cancelling frequently or just not showing because she was off taking care of her dad. I wasn't hiring nannies so I could go play tennis -- I'm a single mom, and I'm the breadwinner here. My bosses are not interested in hearing that the nanny has frequent family emergencies. So I was sorry to do it, but I had to let her go. She was very upset about it. I understand, but again, there are certain realities.
post #24 of 91
I would expect any nanny of mine to live as they normally would, but be mindful of the child they are being paid to care for. If I came home everyday to find the nanny on the phone and a bunch of messages waiting(meaning s/he was on the phone for hours) then I'd have issues. I would't mind calls to friends and family here and there though. Nor would I mind 'the nanny' doing personal errands, so long as the nanny was safe with my child- although Id prefer if nanny could stay at home with the kids so that I knew where they were at all times

Try not to forget that nannies are people too.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
I agree that this is a PT/FT issue.

I had a 20h/wk nanny for my daughter for about a year -- rather, we had a few nannies. It hadn't occurred to me that a young woman would decide that a 4h/day job was an opportunity for continual personal-call time. The phone was never off. We had a few other issues with her, and eventually I had to fire her.
See, this seems like the extreme case compared to what a lot of us are talking about (and absolutely understandable that you would fire someone for that). But I think there's a big difference between quickie calls here and there and nonstop talking. I can see how it might be good to specify what's okay (for me, that would be brief phone calls re: life-administrative stuff, quick hi to sister on phone with a call-you-later) -- although I would stop short of saying EMERGENCY ONLY. Even for a part-time person.



Quote:
I also said no to boyfriend-visiting.
My gosh, I would too. I can think of a million reasons that would be SO NOT OKAY.
post #26 of 91
I felt bad about having a friend drop off a book for class once. I'd never have a visitor.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by blizzard_babe View Post
Hmm. Now, I don't have an earthside kid just yet, but I have to say that I'd kind of EXPECT that a person charged with caring for a child for eight hours straight, with no official breaks, during normal business hours make a few phone calls. It seems unreasonable to expect otherwise. Some stuff needs to be done during business hours. Just thinking of calls I've had to make during my breaks at work... Calling the billing department at the doctor's office to straighten out an issue, calling my bank to make sure my name change had gone through, and calling my mother at work to remind her to go pick up a certified copy of my birth certificate before the office closed. Personal? Yes, but necessary to my existence in the modern world.

But many nannies don't get breaks in the traditional sense, so it stands to reason that they'd do what a SAHM would do... pick a time when the kids are least needy and make the call then. If they're young enough to nap... great. That's problem solved.

In very few professions do we expect that a person be "on" for 8 hours straight without a break.

I agree. You can't expect her to take care of your kids 8 hours straight with no break(like with regular jobs), to not make personal calls, she does have a life and business to conduct outside of taking care your children. Business, quick personal calls should be okay. What do you do when you take care of your kids all day? Do you stay off the phone then entire time? I highly doubt it. While I would be irritated if she used the phone while driving my kid around, I am trusting her to care for my kid so she should be able to make good decisions. I assume you never use the phone when you are driving? Excuse the sarcasm, that isn't my intention. I'm just trying to point out that you are trusting this person with the very thing you love the most, so if you don't trust her judgement, then why is she watching your kids?
post #28 of 91
OOPS- Double Post! Why does it do that?
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
For one thing - it can depend on how long a shift the nanny works. There are nannies who normally work 50-60 hours/week. In those cases, it is probably best if the nanny is allowed to make some personal calls and run her own errands.

One thing to remember - nannies do not get "breaks" - official breaks in their day. For nannies who work long shifts, it is the equivalent of the SAHP who is with the kids for hours and hours and hours at a time.

Also - as a nanny-employer - I can say from my own experience that having a nanny take time to herself during the day - telling the kids that it's "Nanny's Break Time" is a good thing. For a child to be constantly entertained by a nanny all day long just sets up the parents for a demanding child on the weekend. Children need to learn to respect everyone else's time and need for a break - everyone in the household, including the nanny.

"Family Quiet Time" is a good thing, including the nanny in that as well.


I agree with all these points. I was a former nanny (both live-in and live-out) and worked 50-60 hours a week. If a parent tried to tell me "NO PERSONAL PHONE CALLS EVER UNLESS SOMEONE IS IN THE HOSPITAL (or similar)" I would have told the parent to take a hike and found another job (and I did do this by the way).

It amazes me how crummy people treat their nannies. I saw it IRL and I see it on here, too.
post #30 of 91
[/QUOTE]

I can see giving an employee a work-devoted phone. But if I couldn't trust a child care worker to prioritize important personal calls without having to totally leave the phone off, I don't know that I'd want that person caring for my child.

This is icking me out a little bit.[/QUOTE]





Yeah, I'm icked out, too. Micromanaging your nanny to this degree is certainly setting the relationship up for failure. A parent who does this is going to lose out on the great nannies, this is for sure.
post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by akilamonique View Post
I agree. You can't expect her to take care of your kids 8 hours straight with no break(like with regular jobs), to not make personal calls, she does have a life and business to conduct outside of taking care your children. Business, quick personal calls should be okay. What do you do when you take care of your kids all day? Do you stay off the phone then entire time? I highly doubt it. While I would be irritated if she used the phone while driving my kid around, I am trusting her to care for my kid so she should be able to make good decisions. I assume you never use the phone when you are driving? Excuse the sarcasm, that isn't my intention. I'm just trying to point out that you are trusting this person with the very thing you love the most, so if you don't trust her judgement, then why is she watching your kids?



I couldn't agree more.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post





Yeah, I'm icked out, too. Micromanaging your nanny to this degree is certainly setting the relationship up for failure. A parent who does this is going to lose out on the great nannies, this is for sure.


I am just amazed at how even mom here on mothering are treating their nannies. I totally agree with what you are saying.

I was a nanny, have had a nanny and am now a sahm.

You have to treat the humans who take care of and love our children with the love and respect they deserve. My gawd. If you are treating your nannies as some sort of stupid imbecile that can not make a sound decision, why are you having them watch your children?
post #33 of 91
Thread Starter 
I agree, nannies should have a thirty minute break at least. Daycare workers receive thirty minute unpaid breaks and do not make cell phone calls while watching children. Is this preferable?

I honestly do not understand the complaining about a parent preference for no personal phone calls while at work. MANY jobs have this rule. There is a difference between trusting someone's judgment and setting expectations. Most workplaces, for example, have some sort of dress code, they don't just leave it to the judgment of employees. Even if that code is very loosely defined, as in "professional" or "business casual" or "business formal" or "casual Fridays."

To set an expectation that goes: "my expectation is that this is a job like any other, that you will arrive by the start of your shift ready to begin working, that personal phone calls and errands will generally be refrained from, as will personal internet and television use. I expect that you will engage my children and you may take a thirty minute break while x is napping during which time I encourage you to relax and make phone calls if needed. During the rest of naptime, please use the time to organize the play area, plan art projects, read any books on child development you find interesting in our vast childrearing library, write an entry in our communication journal, or plan a playdate." I don't see why this is so controversial. Again, I was a professional nanny.
post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
I know the language can be confusing and I see and here mny times people referred to the person they hire to care for their child/children as a "nanny" when in reality they are a babysitter who plays with their children.

Even the terms nanny and professional nanny are often used interchangeably and there are huge differences between the two.

Professional Nannies are college educated and being a nanny is a career. It isn't a job a mom takes that allows her to bring her own children. In fact, most families prefer a single woman with no children when considering a professional nanny (this through my ork with professional nanny agencies).

And these Professional Nannies will not even consider doing the laundry of the family or preparing the family's meals. There sole purpose is the care and education of young children.

Lay nannies do light housekeeping, errands, etc.

And I think I sometimes get all worked up over tese threads becasue of the lack of distinction between sitter, nanny and professional nanny. But I know I am probably nitpicking (it just gets confusing for me I guess).
I feel like the whole set of distinctions between lay nanny (whatever that means - a nanny who hasn't taken religious orders?), professional nanny, and plain old nanny is a game for employment agencies. For actual employers, it's not so useful to know the employment agency categories - you need to know YOUR employee, what she wants to be called, what she agreed to do for you, and what you agreed to pay her.

In any job I do for money, I am not an amateur. I may love it, but I'm a professional. I deserve respect for my work, whatever that work is. My job description may be narrow or broad, I am not less professional because I take on additional tasks.
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by therdogg View Post
I agree, nannies should have a thirty minute break at least. Daycare workers receive thirty minute unpaid breaks and do not make cell phone calls while watching children. Is this preferable?

I honestly do not understand the complaining about a parent preference for no personal phone calls while at work. MANY jobs have this rule. There is a difference between trusting someone's judgment and setting expectations. Most workplaces, for example, have some sort of dress code, they don't just leave it to the judgment of employees. Even if that code is very loosely defined, as in "professional" or "business casual" or "business formal" or "casual Fridays."

To set an expectation that goes: "my expectation is that this is a job like any other, that you will arrive by the start of your shift ready to begin working, that personal phone calls and errands will generally be refrained from, as will personal internet and television use. I expect that you will engage my children and you may take a thirty minute break while x is napping during which time I encourage you to relax and make phone calls if needed. During the rest of naptime, please use the time to organize the play area, plan art projects, read any books on child development you find interesting in our vast childrearing library, write an entry in our communication journal, or plan a playdate." I don't see why this is so controversial. Again, I was a professional nanny.



therdogg, how many hours per week will your nanny work?


ETA: Are you offering health insurance?
Paid vacation?
Paid holidays?
Paid overtime?

I'm just wondering what you are offering the nanny. Also, it's kind of weird to keep comparing a nanny job to an office job. They're very different (I'm sure you know that, since you were a nanny). What you should compare the nanny job *you* are hiring for to is other nanny jobs.

Because that's what a good nanny will do. A good nanny will look for the job that has health insurance, paid days off, etc, and look for the job where they will not be micromanaged, and can be trusted to make a quick phone call to a friend even if it isn't within that half hour window you are referring to (by the way, with other jobs that you have compared the nanny job to, a person gets more than one half hour break during a full day's work).

So compare apples to apples, know what I mean??
post #36 of 91
My nannies all talk to their husbands during their shifts (I've had two exceptional nannies and they generally work FT). I know b/c I see it on the caller id. Do I care? Nope. I'm also sure they're not talking for hours and hours, but a few minutes here and there, fine.

I think what is rubbing people the wrong way therdogg is the smugness of your tone? I know it's rubbing me the wrong way. Sure, I'm paying my nanny, but I'm paying her b/c I trust her and her judgement. Just because she's caring for my children does not make her beneath me; in fact, she is just as important b/c she is with them most of their waking time. Expectations are one thing, looking down upon people, another.
post #37 of 91
I think it's untenable and unwise to hold a nanny to a higher standard than you hold yourself.

When I am with my child, I am available to my child, and responsive to his needs, but he doesn't need me to hover over him every second. I cannot tell you how many times I have hung up in a hurry for puking, or diarrhea, or slip-and-fall accidents, or other minor injuries. I also cannot tell you how often I have decided that whatever is going on, it's a sufficiently safe situation that I can dedicate some attention to my schoolwork, or a chat with a friend, in person or on the phone. No one I cannot trust to make that judgment call should be left alone with my child.

I don't think it's good for caregivers to be in the house all day with children. Being housebound has been shown to cause depression in the sick, injured and elderly, and it's not ideal for the young, active and healthy either. I want my child's time to be filled with a variety of activities - some fun stuff, some educational stuff - and I understand that there will, inevitably, be some dull banking and groceries and getting the dry cleaning stuff. These things happen when I'm running the show - why should the nanny not be able to do these same things?

I'm not saying you should continue to employ someone who turns out to be unable to work, but I do think it's reasonable for nannies to have some flexibility concerning their work.
post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by therdogg View Post
I agree, nannies should have a thirty minute break at least. Daycare workers receive thirty minute unpaid breaks and do not make cell phone calls while watching children. Is this preferable?

I honestly do not understand the complaining about a parent preference for no personal phone calls while at work. MANY jobs have this rule. There is a difference between trusting someone's judgment and setting expectations. Most workplaces, for example, have some sort of dress code, they don't just leave it to the judgment of employees. Even if that code is very loosely defined, as in "professional" or "business casual" or "business formal" or "casual Fridays."

To set an expectation that goes: "my expectation is that this is a job like any other, that you will arrive by the start of your shift ready to begin working, that personal phone calls and errands will generally be refrained from, as will personal internet and television use. I expect that you will engage my children and you may take a thirty minute break while x is napping during which time I encourage you to relax and make phone calls if needed. During the rest of naptime, please use the time to organize the play area, plan art projects, read any books on child development you find interesting in our vast childrearing library, write an entry in our communication journal, or plan a playdate." I don't see why this is so controversial. Again, I was a professional nanny.

I'm a SAHM, and if I had to go back to work and we hired a nanny I would expect her to do all the things I would do if I were home. Is that what most nannies do, or is that expecting too much?
1. Now with that in mind, throughout the day my hubby will call me and we will talk for a few minutes, but if I'm busy I either don't answer the phone, you just pick it up really quickly and tell him I can't talk.
2. As far as running errands, wouldn't she be running the household errands, so an extra few minutes wouldn't bother me, as long as it didn't interfere with naps, feedings etc. but I wouldn't want them running the streets all day either.
I was just under the impression that a nanny's job was to do the "Moms' Job" when she can't. Basically a household manager of sorts I guess?
Because when I came home from work I would expect the house to be clean, and dinner started, so I could spend time with my son without running around like a mad woman.

Someone Clarify what they have their nanny do.
post #39 of 91
I'm a SAHM now, but I spent years as a nanny and a childcare worker. I was a wonderful nanny. Very professional, punctual, fun, kind, patient and upbeat. I also worked 12 hour days 5 days a week. I was the only adult in the house for that time and the child didn't usually take a nap. Nor did she go away for lessons or classes. And she was two. It would have been impossible for me to be 100% "on" for that long. Sometimes, when she was happily playing, I'd take 20 minutes and call my dad. Sometimes I'd watch Food Network while folding the laundry and she was occupied. I'd bring a book, and sometimes we'd just have quiet time where I'd read a bit and she'd color or look at books of her own. Sometimes I had to go to the bank with her or run other personal errands. The parents were awsome and they knew that in order for me to take the best care of their daughter that I could, that sometimes I'd just have to decompress even if their kid wasn't asleep. If any of the families I'd ever worked for really expected me to be 100% focused on the kids 100% of the time, whether they are asleep or awake and otherwise safely and happily occupied, there's no way I could work for them. We, as moms, know that the most exhausting thing we can do with our time is to parent. It's hard, emotionally draining and sometimes thankless. To expect someone to work in such harsh conditions where there's nobody to cover them for 10 minutes so they can go take a poop, and to expect that they never take a few minutes to themselves to get centered and re-charged, is, imho, just plain old wrong. Office workers get breaks and lunches. They also make personal calls when things get slow. Child care workers get breaks. A nanny doesn't. Frankly, if I were to hire a nanny, i'd not only expect that she occasionally make a personal call or read a book, but I'd demand that she find at least 15 minutes 2x a day to let ds play alone while she had tea and thumbed through a magazine or something. I give that to myself as a parent, and I would want someone who cares for my child to treat themselves well. It's just a simple fact, for me, that when I neglect myself, I get cranky with ds. I wouldn't want a crabby nanny.
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by cak1207 View Post
I was just wondering what was wrong going to the mall. I use to have playdates at the mall. We had lunch in the food court and rode the carasoul. And if we needed to pick something up we were already there? Or do you mean just going to the mall to shop?
Ok, I just noticed this post, I have to admit I would be irritated with going to a mall for a "playdate", I wouldn't even do that myself. The mall is not child oriented. I left a playgroup because they were doing things like that. IMO there are much better indoor activities.
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