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What about nannies making personal phone calls? - Page 3

post #41 of 91
I think there are a lot of variables at play here. As some have mentioned, length of shift definitely has impact here -- with the longer day comes more flexibility to do personal stuff, I think. But age of children probably has even more of an impact. I have 5 and 8 YOs and an "after school" nanny. Clearly, at that age children need much less supervision and have an opinion about whether or not they want or need attention. If they are happily playing on their own, I don't expect the nanny's full attention to be on them -- I hate people looking over my shoulder all the time and I assume my kids would too. So yeah, personal phone calls don't bother me. Some errands would and some wouldn't -- depends on what the kids are up for. I suspect that at least 1/2 the time the kids stop at Starbucks or the yougurt place for a snack is because the nanny needed a snack -- and I'm fine with that. She frequently does school work while the kids are at activities or while they are doing their homework and I wouldn't dream of asking her not to.

But I would feel really differently if nanny was watching a 15 mo. old, for example, where constant supervision is a safety issue. Or a young infant where interaction and holding were required (though holding and reading always worked for me and I would be OK with a nanny doing that).

Nannies are human and deserve the same courtesy that I do. And that I trust my nanny with my children -- surely I should be able to trust her with the decision to make or take a phone call or not, YK?
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by akilamonique View Post
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.
I think it depends on the mall. When I lived in the Dallas area, they had some really rockin' malls with kid zones for jumping and climbing. I could see the appeal of such a place in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter, when kids just need to jump thier jumpies out but it's too nasty to be oustide for more than 10 minutes.
post #43 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by akilamonique View Post

Someone Clarify what they have their nanny do.


This article is decent

http://www.4nannies.com/info/fwhatnan.cfm

Most nannies will do light housekeeping, keep the house tidy, clean up after the kids, kids laundry, but most don't want to do the heavier cleaning. So yes, your expectation that the house be tidy when you get home is reasonable. Unless you are paying extra, it is not reasonable to expect the house to be cleaned the way you would clean it during the day (bathrooms, parent laundry, scrub floors, etc...).

Your expectations about errand running sounds reasonable. As does your phone expectation the way you described it.

What I think is turning off people to the OP's expectation is the lack of flexibility. She has said that other than the half hour where the child(ren) nap, there should be NO personal phone calls unless dire emergencies.

NO errand running. NO personal phone calls ever. THat is the type of thing that will scare away a good nanny.

As a former nanny and former nanny agency manager, can she ask for these things? Sure. BUt likely she will not get a good nanny. As I've stated, a good nanny is looking for a family to have some flexibility and not to be micromanaged.

Nobody here is saying it is all right to talk on the phone all day, neglect the kids, etc.. but it is also not okay to expect that a nanny never get a quick personal phone call either, except during a half hour window.
post #44 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by akilamonique View Post
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.
Actually, I think this goes beyond what a "standard" nanny does. She cares for children. She doesn't clean, she doesn't cook for the adults, though she does make meals for the kids. She might be expected to do the children's laundry, but not the adults. She should definitely pick up kid and her own messes (or help older children pick up theirs), but she isn't expected to do heavy cleaning or pick up adult messes.

Which isn't to say that you couldn't find someone to do these things, but you would have to be very clear up front that you were looking for a nanny +, almost a nanny/housekeeper.
post #45 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.
This is all very reasonable, IMHO.
post #46 of 91
The difference is that most employees get breaks during the day, while a nanny does not. And because of this nanny should have the freedom to conduct some personal business while at work- generally during naptimes.
post #47 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Actually, I think this goes beyond what a "standard" nanny does. She cares for children. She doesn't clean, she doesn't cook for the adults, though she does make meals for the kids. She might be expected to do the children's laundry, but not the adults. She should definitely pick up kid and her own messes (or help older children pick up theirs), but she isn't expected to do heavy cleaning or pick up adult messes.

Which isn't to say that you couldn't find someone to do these things, but you would have to be very clear up front that you were looking for a nanny +, almost a nanny/housekeeper.

Thank you!
A nanny doesn't do house cleaning or laundry or fills in for mom. A nanny cares for children and the children's needs. She is an educator of small children and a Nanny doesn't have time for cleaning your house.
post #48 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.
In my professional life, I have always been able to:
- Go to the bathroom by myself, with the door closed.
- Step away from my desk to clear my head for a few minutes without clocking out, up to and including stepping down the block for a cup of coffee.
- Eat and drink during most of the working day, if I so desire, including hot food and hot beverages.
- Make and receive brief personal calls during the work day.
- Have the length of my break time guaranteed - if I do not get the agreed-upon break for any reason, I will have an opportunity to take the remaining time later.

I have often been able to:
- Flex my schedule to accommodate errands that can't be run during non-work hours.
- Make and receive longer personal calls during quiet times.
- Read material of my own choosing, on paper or the internet, during those quiet times.
- Organize my work for my own convenience, within reasonable limits, by choosing what order and in what way I will perform the tasks my employer asks of me.

These are all characteristics of professional jobs that nannies generally can't rely on.

At my son's daycare, workers receive unpaid breaks, and have people to cover for them when they need to pee, or deal with necessary personal calls. Your nanny does not have this support system. At my son's daycare, the people who are supervising sleeping children, available to help them if they wake or need anything, are not considered to be "on break."
post #49 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 think there's a difference here. You can't compare an office job to a nanny job. You can't even really compare a childcare job to a nanny job. In both an office and childcare situation, there is someone else there to spot you and cover you if you get an emergency call, have to use the toilet or are sick. As a pre school assistant teacher, I did not ever hesitate to go to the head teacher and say "I'm totally overwhelmed right now. I need five minutes." She would happily tell me to go take a quick break, grab some water and decompress, regardless of whether or not I'd already had my alloted break. I did the same for her. Nannies don't have anyone to cover for them when they are stressed or overwhelmed.

And of course, it's fine to expect your nanny to be ready to work as soon as they arrive, but as a former nanny I'm sure you know that there are few things more irritating than a parent who is due home at 5:30 but calls at 6:45 to say they are running late. A parent doesn't see nannying as an office like job. A nanny is expected to have some flexibility, and likewise, it's a wise parent who realizes this and offers flexibility in return.
post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by therdogg View Post
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."
It seems like a lot of the jobs you're talking about, the kind that don't allow personal calls or errand-running or user-defined breaks during work hours, tend to be lower-status and lower prestige and lower paying jobs. And I know that in America there is a TON of temptation to see child care work as all of those things. So for me, giving a nanny the same respect I get as a professional in being able to chose her own tasks, take reasonable breaks, make calls and run errands IS an important part of setting expectations -- specifically, setting the expectation that she is an independent professional whose judgement and work ethic I trust and who deserves the same respect at her job that I get at my own.

And frankly, if I have problems that necessitate a "no phone calls and no errands" policy, they can't be fixed by rules like that anyway, because whoever I've hired isn't an independent professional with good judgement and it's time to seek someone else for the position.
post #51 of 91
I don't see any problem with making personal phone calls. It would be one thing if she sat on the phone for an hour. But, everybody needs to make personal calls at work. (not in the car of course)

If your nanny's mom has been sick, she would need to call and check on her. If she needs a doctor's appointment, she needs to call during the day.

If your nanny only works part time, that would be different too. But, if she works full time, stuff needs to be taken care of.

SOME personal errands would be fine, but not shopping at the mall. Maybe droppong off prescriptions, or picking something up that needs to be taken care of during a typical work day.

Personally, Id rather have a happy nanny who knows we love her, than one who feels like she can't even call her best friend to see how her surgery went.
post #52 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigama View Post
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.
I agree totally with this idea. I also get crabby if I have no personal time. TBH, I often question (silently, of course) people who say they play with their children all day and always are engaged with the play. Really? I highly doubt that anyone is totally devoted to child entertaining/observation 24 hours a day. That's just too exhausting, and I would bet many people who don't want their nannies to breath when the kids aren't in the room haven't spent a ton of time doing that themselves.

OTOH, I'm going to go back to work FT rather than freelancing, and if I make enough, then we'd like to hire a nanny. After I read many of the entries here, I realize we'll be great employers!

Therdogg, I actually have never worked anywhere (even in college) where I couldn't make personal calls. There may not be time, but that's a different issue. I don't think that many parents who are affluent enough to afford to hire a nanny (at least where we are, they aren't cheap!) are working somewhere they're being micromanaged like that.
post #53 of 91
This is an interesting thread - I have hired what I think is an awesome nanny (a professional nanny IMO!). I will give her a lot of broad guidance on routines/expectations but how she decides to make the 'schedule' work is her decision (this is her specialty). I am not at all worried about her making personal calls because I trust her to have good judgement (that might be a difference with some nannies - some people aren't great nannies!) to make those calls at the proper time.

I have no issue with the kids going on errands (now I have four so going on errands has to be well planned out) - but emergency grocery shopping, a trip to the bookstore or the mall (for her own personal short shopping) - go wild, the kids like the mall. She did ask if she could take them to the lakeside park - I thought that was a bit out of the ordinary (yeah for her) but did say I though four-on-one near water was a bit much (she did say, she does pair up with other nannies) - so go for it girl. I will trust her!

My nanny will do no heavy cleaning - I have a cleaning lady for that - I think that is fair. I am on mat leave right now - and can't do it all, so don't expect her to do it either. I may get her to put away the folded clothes (I will help as well). She won't do anything for us the adults other than likely start dinner for all of us. I am a slow cooker girl, and also have a lot of freezer meals that I make on the weekends - so much of the time it will be boil the water, turn on the oven, put in the frozen meal etc. Not too tough. She currently does a lot more for her current family - but they are all school age (she makes organic roast chicken dinners - yum - she is also the organic food shopper for them - not me, I will do the significant majority of the grocery shopping).

I do think nannies get a really rough ride - especially those here on VISAs. I don't micromanage at work and wouldn't hire a nanny I needed to micromanage at home.
post #54 of 91
I am really enjoying this thread. I'm heartened to see that I'm not a lone minority in my expectations.

By the way, and I am totally not kidding, anyone considering hiring a nanny should absolutely read The Nanny Diaries (not the movie, the book). Yeah, it's fluffy, but it is one of the more accurate -- if exaggerated -- depictions of that kind of life working one-on-one for someone else's family. (Based on my own experiences doing childcare and postpartum doula work.)
post #55 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
Thank you!
A nanny doesn't do house cleaning or laundry or fills in for mom. A nanny cares for children and the children's needs. She is an educator of small children and a Nanny doesn't have time for cleaning your house.
I agree with this as well. I also find it interesting that people who think personal calls are awful because they take away time from the kids don't have a problem expecting nannies to do housework. That takes away time from the kids, too.
post #56 of 91
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).
post #57 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
Thank you!
A nanny doesn't do house cleaning or laundry or fills in for mom. A nanny cares for children and the children's needs. She is an educator of small children and a Nanny doesn't have time for cleaning your house.
Just Curious, so in order for a nanny to do those type of household responsibilities, you would have to have a live-in relationship, or do they just flat out not do "everything"?
post #58 of 91
No, a live-in nanny (professional nanny) should not be required to do these chores, it is not her job. A Lay nanny does these things yes, either live-in or live-out.

I don't understand the part about just not doing everything.

Nannies co-create and sign contracts so these things would be clear before they are hired. A Professional Nanny is clear in her expectations and would not consider a position asking her to do housekeeping.
post #59 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
And these Professional Nannies will not even consider ... preparing the family's meals. There sole purpose is the care and education of young children.
I guess I expect a nanny to start a meal - no I don't expect a nanny to create a huge separate meal for the parents - but if they are preparing a meal (i.e. caring/meeting the children's needs, dinner) - what is two more servings for the 'family' sit-down meal.

I would put the nanny I have hired as a 'professional' - no designation to my knowledge (not relevant to my hire decision) but single/no kiddos/career nanny - and she has no issues with basic meal prep or grocery shopping (I drew the line at grocery shopping - shopping with four kiddos is very very hard work - but she does draw the line at laundry/cleaning - so we have a cleaning lady etc.)

To be honest - even with four kiddos to care for - two or three which will be at half day or full day school programs - what the heck would you do otherwise? One little kiddo is awfully easy to manage (as I sit here watching the 10 month old play on the kitcehn floor) - I would be bored silly if I didn't have other stuff to do - like cooking - especially in the dead of the winter when outdoor play is minimal!
post #60 of 91
Thread Starter 
Actually many professional nannies will take on these chores, and will do some meal prep etc. I disagree that a professional nanny will never do anything that isn't child related- in fact, those who take on broader household responsibilities are called household managers and are paid better.

In general, though, if you are hiring a career nanny you should also have a cleaning service or maid. Nannies generally don't/aren't willing to scrub. Although some might- but because of the market professional nannies (this is sort of a disparaging term and I hesitate to use it, because what are hte other nannies then? non-professional? but i guess I mean college-educated nannies with knowledge of child development who perceive their position as a job and are well paid, often with benefits) don't because there are tons of families who will hire them without such demands.

However, many nannies enjoy taking on household management tasks, including planning trips, overseeing household repairs including getting bids on jobs, planting a garden, meal prep, planning entertaining, packing for trips, bills, scrapbooking for the kids, volunteering (well, you're paying her, so she's not technically volunteering LOL) at the kids' school, errands, etc. Again, this requires a raise.
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