How much housework fair to expect from a nanny? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-20-2011, 10:52 PM
 
t2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere between here & there
Posts: 612
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)

OP, what exactly are your childcare expectations for your nanny? You've been pretty clear on household expectations. And posters have mentioned that depending on the type of care, household expectations might be different. If you're TV-free & having the nanny rock your DDs to sleep, that's a different thing from having them watch some TV or highchair play-time.

 

We have a nanny share, so a sort-of-similar set-up (two children almost the same age, currently toddlers) & to me, this list sounds like a lot. We have rules about no-TV/screen & making the kids the priority & I know that our nanny is on the ground with the kids most of the time, so I kind of want her to take a break while they nap (and nap time is totally variable between the two kids, so even if my son takes a 3 hour nap, the way they overlap it may end up that the nanny only has 30 minutes to herself). She does what she can do, and sometimes it's totally maddening to discover unexpected messes. But it'd be way more maddening if the kids didn't love her as much as they do.

 

By the same token, I can totally sympathize with many of your experiences -- It really is difficult to have someone who is basically a stranger all the sudden an intimate part of your life & (as someone who's also adverse to confrontation) it can be really difficult to be the boss. 

 

So, ultimately, my advice is to pick the things that are really important to you & discuss them with her. Figure out what stuff really is minor & just determine to let them go. If you're not going to bring them up with her, you really have to just let go or it'll drive you crazy & possibly drive a wedge into a good relationship.

 

 


Mama to my little busy bee. 

t2009 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-21-2011, 06:23 PM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

And just think -- she has all Saturday off, all Sunday off, and every day from 5:30 pm to 8 am off!

 


Wait, what? I don't think I understand this sentiment ... at least I hope I'm misinterpreting it. 

 

Anyway, you can have whatever expectations you want, and if she's not meeting the criteria you guys agreed upon, have a talk with her about it, or fire her and find someone else. She sounds pretty great and I would probably relax my standards a bit. If she's leaving her own dirty dishes lying around the house or something (which it doesn't sound like she is) I can see feeling a bit put out, but you sound resentful of having to participate in the clean-up of your own children's messes. Maybe you'd be happier with a nanny who cares for the kids in her own home so the mess stays there. 

 

ETA: I do think it'd be fine to name 2 or 3 things that just drive you crazy and ask her to make sure they're done by the time you get home. I know it irks DH to see the front room littered with toys when he walks in the door, so I always make sure it's picked up before he gets home, and he knows dishes are my pet peeve so he makes sure they're done before I get home. So for you maybe it'd be the crumbs on the counter (a pet peeve I share with you) and the recyclables or something. 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Lisa1970 --

 

As I mentioned before, the nanny volunteered to do the grocery shopping.  In fact -- she likes/prefers to take the girls out.  The grocery shopping she does is specifically for the girls, with an item or two for us (for example, she may pick up some OJ for us if we're low and the rest is specifically for them).

 

"hmmmmm, Just my 2 cents...If I need to pop my babe in the high chair while I multi-task, I do it, because I am a mom and I have all night and all weekend to make up for it.  I would not expect someone I am paying to look after my child to put kitchen duty before playing with my kids, or giving them a nap-time bottle...especially if I had agreed with them that "care for the [baby] takes priority over all these items." 

 

I take a different view.  I feel my time is limited with the kids, and therefore AM frustrated by those tasks during the evening and weekend that take away time from them -- especially to the extent those tasks feel like items that the nanny is leaving for me.  I feel that part of the nanny's job is really helping facilitate things a bit (with the girls' things) so that my limited time with them is more able to be "quality time".  The nanny is with them all day -- I am not.  My evenings are frequently extremely busy with work after the girls are in bed -- I rush home "early" (for my office) to be with them until bedtime, and then I am firing up my computer and working until bedtime several nights a week.  Perhaps if that wasn't the case, this would be less of an issue.

 

We do not do TV with the girls.  I guess I take what would be considered here (in the land of never put your child down) a middle of the road approach in terms of child/adult interaction.  This was in part influenced by my reading of certain child development materials, about attachment -- describing that a child's attachment was not just about "mommy is with me", but also that mommy is sensitive to the child's cues and desires for engagement and disengagement. 

 

I don't like someone in my face all the time, and evidently infants don't necessarily like it either.  Yes, a bunch of the day they need to be crawling all over or within arms reach of me or the nanny to be content -- other times they are (at their own instigation) off happily looking at their books, or playing with their music table or looking out the window, etc., and I'm not sure having me or the nanny hovering over them during that time is really necessary or desirable. 

 

"Wait, what? I don't think I understand this sentiment ... at least I hope I'm misinterpreting it. """

 

Well, Limabean, I'm sorry for your employer if you don't agree with the idea that while you are at work, you are supposed to be, well, working!  Like I said, I am not all "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean" about it, but in a normal day the nanny could easily have 2-3 hours (or more) of completely free time while also accomplishing these tasks that I am talking about.  She also does occasionally take a personal call or text while the girls are not napping, to which, of course, I have no objection as long as it is within a reasonably timeframe.  She also with my okay occasionally runs personal errands while she is already out and about with the girls. 

 

 

Jane93 is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 02:57 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Sounds like, no matter what anyone says, you feel that the amount of housework you request your nanny to do *is* reasonable. That's fine. You're her employer and you know the whole context best. Great. But it sounds to me more as though you wanted to vent rather than get a feel for what the majority of people think, and now you're getting quite defensive.

It also sounds to me as though you are resentful of your whole situation (a PP mentioned this). It sounds like you are jealous of the nanny for the time she gets with the girls that you don't. It also sounds like you're resentful that you're never "off duty" --- you're either working or optimizing your time with your children -- while she is "off" on Saturdays and Sundays.

Where is your DP in all this? Does your DP participate in running the household?
DariusMom is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Well -- as the thread has gone on, all the completely over the top/ridiculously exaggerated descriptions of what I'm expecting as being "slave labor", comparing it to a new mother (who is on call 24-7, rather than 5 days a week during a work day) and that I am prioritizing housework over the well-being of my children is making me realize more and more strongly that my expectations are completely reasonable.

 

I mean really -- does the whole world other than me really only work 2/3rd or less of the workday that they are paid for?   

 

My DP seems to come from the same school of homecare as the nanny -- the "just drop it" school.  Repairing something in the kitchen and using a screwdriver to do it?  Well that job certainly doesn't include actually putting the screwdriver away!  Let's leave it on the kitchen counter until you're frantically searching your toolbox for it for the next job, until your wife reminds you of whre it actually is.  So, we're working on him "seeing" some of the issues -- he is willing to help, but I also don't want to be constantly directing (if you know what I mean).

 

 

 

 

Jane93 is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:44 AM
 
HollyBearsMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: nomans land
Posts: 6,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Jane- I hope you can take some time and really re-evaluate what it is you want. hug2.gif

 

You seem so angry/frustrated about your out-of-the-house-job and your parenting job. If you are working all those hours at the office and then coming home and doing hours more after the kids are asleep then something does seem off. Is there a reason why you can't get your job done in the time allotted? Have you sat down and calculated your "real" salary/hourly rate based on the hours you are actually working? Is it all worth it?  What are you getting in return? What are your kids getting??

 

You are expending so much money between the nanny, the weekend sitters, the evening sitters, the housekeeper what is really leftover? And even with all that money being spent on services you complain you still have no time with your children. I know I mentioned it before but are you getting the ROI you want/need by working if you still have to spend all that other money and not getting what you feel it is you need/want? Is it that  you carry all the bennies-health insurance, etc? Is it because your job is your passion and you have to work like this now to have that amazing career later?

 

You also have not addressed whether you have actually sat down and talked with your nanny about your concerns. This isn't about confrontation it is about being a manager. This is the person who is caring for your most precious thing-your children. But she is *not* responsible for your happiness, she is not the reason you can't/won't/don't spend what you feel is enough time with your children.  She is not responsible for the fact you have partner who is not stepping up, who doesn't take care of his tools, who based on your description you have to parent.

 

Bottom line is you have made up your mind that what you expect her to do is reasonable. Therefore you need to take ownership of the problem, sit down and hash it out with her.  She will either accept it or not. If she does, great.  If she doesn't you can hire someone who will. 


Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:44 AM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

I mean really -- does the whole world other than me really only work 2/3rd or less of the workday that they are paid for? 


I think what many of us here are trying to say is that, you don't know what she's doing for those 2-3 hours. I'd imagine she might take a 1/2 hour or hour break (rightfully so, IMO) and then is probably busy with other things -- maybe she is putting away the groceries or preparing their snacks, I don't know -- but I wouldn't just assume she is just chilling out doing nothing the entire time your girls are napping, at least not without talking to your nanny first. Just because there are still things left to deal with when you get home, doesn't mean she hasn't been busy all day long dealing with even bigger messes.

Are they really, truly, always consistently napping everyday, simultaneously, for that long, or is there a chance one goes down earlier than the other or wakes up earlier than the other? Is there a chance they need to be soothed back to sleep mid-nap? Is there a possibility that many days the nap only lasts an hour, and the 2-3 hours is an exception? Is there a chance that during naptime your nanny is throwing in a load of laundry, or cleaning up a messy activity she did with them earlier in the day??

I work (from home) but am home with DS all day and I'm telling you, even with just one kid, there is not one second of my day that I'm not go-go-go. I don't get a break, even if he's napping... I don't have time to throw in laundry or prepare dinner most nights... I feel like you get the impression that the nanny has this huge chunk of her day that she's just wasting away. Maybe that's true... maybe she is slacking off for a couple hours... but I think it is much more likely that she is quite busy pretty much every minute she's there, albeit perhaps not doing exactly the things you want her to do. Is your house completely child-proofed? Is there a possibility she is spending lots of time putting books back on shelves or re-rolling the toilet paper roll?

Have you talked to her about this yet?? And does she understand that your priority is for her to make things easy for you, NOT to spend all her time focusing on your kids? If I was a nanny, I would assume you wanted me to be providing 1-on-1 (well, 1-on-2) quality time & interaction with your kids, not cleaning the house, so it may all just be a misunderstanding...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:12 AM
 
t2009's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere between here & there
Posts: 612
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post
 

 

I take a different view.  I feel my time is limited with the kids, and therefore AM frustrated by those tasks during the evening and weekend that take away time from them -- especially to the extent those tasks feel like items that the nanny is leaving for me.  I feel that part of the nanny's job is really helping facilitate things a bit (with the girls' things) so that my limited time with them is more able to be "quality time".  The nanny is with them all day -- I am not.  My evenings are frequently extremely busy with work after the girls are in bed -- I rush home "early" (for my office) to be with them until bedtime, and then I am firing up my computer and working until bedtime several nights a week.  Perhaps if that wasn't the case, this would be less of an issue.

 

We do not do TV with the girls.  I guess I take what would be considered here (in the land of never put your child down) a middle of the road approach in terms of child/adult interaction.  This was in part influenced by my reading of certain child development materials, about attachment -- describing that a child's attachment was not just about "mommy is with me", but also that mommy is sensitive to the child's cues and desires for engagement and disengagement. 

 

I don't like someone in my face all the time, and evidently infants don't necessarily like it either.  Yes, a bunch of the day they need to be crawling all over or within arms reach of me or the nanny to be content -- other times they are (at their own instigation) off happily looking at their books, or playing with their music table or looking out the window, etc., and I'm not sure having me or the nanny hovering over them during that time is really necessary or desirable. 

 


If you decided to discuss these things with your nanny, I'd start with the bolded above. This sounds like a totally reasonable frustration... So rather than putting it in terms of "I want you to do x, y, and z," if you put it in terms of "We really need help to minimize the spill-over from the daytime so that we can focus on having quality time together when we are all home. And if you could help with x, y, & z as time permits, this would be a huge help." Then you can gently remind her that you expect her to take care of all child-related messes & to leave the house in at least as good a condition as she found it when she arrived (maybe suggesting that these things should take priority over the shopping... maybe she's dawdling when she's out to avoid doing other work)

 

For the rest quoted above, I think this was what I was getting at in my last response -- Have you had a conversation with her about your philosophy on parenting & let her know that it ok to let your LOs have independent time while she takes care of other things? Maybe she's hovering or doing other things. But it might help to clarify.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Well -- as the thread has gone on, all the completely over the top/ridiculously exaggerated descriptions of what I'm expecting as being "slave labor", comparing it to a new mother (who is on call 24-7, rather than 5 days a week during a work day) and that I am prioritizing housework over the well-being of my children is making me realize more and more strongly that my expectations are completely reasonable.

 

I mean really -- does the whole world other than me really only work 2/3rd or less of the workday that they are paid for?   

 


It sounds like maybe you also just have a different personality/work-character than your nanny. I do think most of the world works about 2/3rd of the workday -- not many people can sustain the concentration for a full day. Some can, and it sounds like you may be one of the few! Therefore, I don't know that it's entirely fair to compare yourself (i.e. what you can accomplish in a day) with what your nanny accomplishes. Childcare work is exhausting, even more so if she's constantly interacting with two young children. And it may just be that it's more exhausting for her than for you. Also, for a mother, there's a sense that it's not a job but a basic responsibility and fact of life. There's no one who is going to replace you, no one who's going to pick up your slack (even with a helpful DP). However, for a nanny (no matter how good she is at her job or how attached she becomes to your LOs) it is just a job & she knows that (though very important) she is replaceable. So her motivations & tolerance are going to be entirely different for her than for you. Which is another reason to tread carefully (though not a reason to avoid any and all confrontation regarding what's been bothering you).

 


Mama to my little busy bee. 

t2009 is online now  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:18 AM
 
scottishmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: in a little apartment
Posts: 1,077
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

Jane- I hope you can take some time and really re-evaluate what it is you want. hug2.gif

 

You seem so angry/frustrated about your out-of-the-house-job and your parenting job. If you are working all those hours at the office and then coming home and doing hours more after the kids are asleep then something does seem off. Is there a reason why you can't get your job done in the time allotted? Have you sat down and calculated your "real" salary/hourly rate based on the hours you are actually working? Is it all worth it?  What are you getting in return? What are your kids getting??

 

You are expending so much money between the nanny, the weekend sitters, the evening sitters, the housekeeper what is really leftover? And even with all that money being spent on services you complain you still have no time with your children. I know I mentioned it before but are you getting the ROI you want/need by working if you still have to spend all that other money and not getting what you feel it is you need/want? Is it that  you carry all the bennies-health insurance, etc? Is it because your job is your passion and you have to work like this now to have that amazing career later?

 

You also have not addressed whether you have actually sat down and talked with your nanny about your concerns. This isn't about confrontation it is about being a manager. This is the person who is caring for your most precious thing-your children. But she is *not* responsible for your happiness, she is not the reason you can't/won't/don't spend what you feel is enough time with your children.  She is not responsible for the fact you have partner who is not stepping up, who doesn't take care of his tools, who based on your description you have to parent.

 

Bottom line is you have made up your mind that what you expect her to do is reasonable. Therefore you need to take ownership of the problem, sit down and hash it out with her.  She will either accept it or not. If she does, great.  If she doesn't you can hire someone who will. 


OP, I have to agree with this post. Have you and your DH sat down and really crunched the numbers? Is it financially and emotionally worth it for you to work this much, if at all? This is just an aside, but I always felt guilty that I didn't have a big time career like DH (He's a consulting actuary, I'm a classical singer....) I do work, and I get paid very well, but only 10-15 hours a week, evenings and weekends(DH watches DD). So DH and I sat down and really crunched the numbers to see if I should start upping my work week. As it turns out, roughly 80% of my income would go to taxes and childcare alone! After that another $5,000 to housekeepers, $1,200 to just get to work on the train, at least $10,000-15,000 on groceries, because I would have to buy more convenience foods etc. When we broke it down the numbers just didn't add up. In fact I'm taking home the same amount of money I would if I had a crazy 60 hour work week like DH! Of course we didn't include career trajectory, but still, for the here and now, financially and emotionally me being at home is great. I'm just throwing this idea at you. I don't know if your planning to have more children, but in 2 years or so the twins will be able to go to preschool and you could go back to work. Maybe this would totally not work with in your field. I know that some careers are a lot less flexible, but it's something to consider. HUGS ( and as a former nanny, I don't think you're expecting too much!)

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
scottishmommy is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:20 AM
 
miriam_bat_avraham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

...


miriam_bat_avraham is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:47 AM
 
savannah smiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: hunting ghosts w/ Jason and Grant
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I used to be a nanny and I understand that the meshing of everyone's lives can be tricky.  I recently read, "You and Me and Nanny Makes Three" and thought it did a good job of looking at things from all sides.

 

I hope your talk w/ your nanny goes well and I also hope you're able to find sometime to rest and recharge on a regular basis. I feel overwhelmed just reading about your schedule so I imagine you're stressed to the limits for much of the week.


Gazing furtively at you from under my siggie!
savannah smiles is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 09:04 AM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Jane, the more I read from your posts the more I think daycare might be a better match for you. I think it might be safer for your kids too, since breaks for staff are covered by other staff.  If your expectation is that your nanny is working every single hour, while maintaining her cool in dealing with two toddlers and keeping them safe, I kind of worry about the situation you might create for yourself.

 

It sounds like the state of your home is really, really important to you and you are struggling enough with your partner about it.  The best way to keep the house clean is to not have kids in it all day.


~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 11:53 AM
 
hakeber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Posts: 3,556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

 

 

I take a different view.  I feel my time is limited with the kids, and therefore AM frustrated by those tasks during the evening and weekend that take away time from them -- especially to the extent those tasks feel like items that the nanny is leaving for me.  I feel that part of the nanny's job is really helping facilitate things a bit (with the girls' things) so that my limited time with them is more able to be "quality time".  The nanny is with them all day -- I am not.  My evenings are frequently extremely busy with work after the girls are in bed -- I rush home "early" (for my office) to be with them until bedtime, and then I am firing up my computer and working until bedtime several nights a week.  Perhaps if that wasn't the case, this would be less of an issue.

 

We do not do TV with the girls.  I guess I take what would be considered here (in the land of never put your child down) a middle of the road approach in terms of child/adult interaction.  This was in part influenced by my reading of certain child development materials, about attachment -- describing that a child's attachment was not just about "mommy is with me", but also that mommy is sensitive to the child's cues and desires for engagement and disengagement. 

 

I don't like someone in my face all the time, and evidently infants don't necessarily like it either.  Yes, a bunch of the day they need to be crawling all over or within arms reach of me or the nanny to be content -- other times they are (at their own instigation) off happily looking at their books, or playing with their music table or looking out the window, etc., and I'm not sure having me or the nanny hovering over them during that time is really necessary or desirable. 

 

 



Well that is what you need to make clear to her.  It's not common sense.  It's YOUR sensibility of the situation.  Tell her what you want.

 

My DS was very cool about being on his own, a good sound sleeper, and very safety conscious for a toddler.  We had a fairly tidy house and it was very peaceful, But DD...not at all.  She needs to be with people when she is awake, preferably in arms, or at your feet following you around watching you constantly.  She is a handful.  An awesome fun handful, but yeah.  I pay a babysitter to play with her and be her mom when I can't be there (which is why DH works only a few hours a week and mostly is a SAHD.)  We wear her when we want to get stuff done, because if not, she is literally climbing the walls and berfore long tumbling off of them on to hard floors.  She is into everything.  I would expect a nanny to do the play and engage thing, and the cuddle and kiss thing first.  Now DD is getting to an age where she helps to clean up, which is good, and she likes it, like a game.  Yours will be there soon, too.

 

But I have also learned not to give a crap about crumbs or dirty dishes in the sink anymore.  I really don't care.  They will get washed when the housekeeper comes, and we will spend the night enjoying our time regardless of the crud in the highchair crease or the dirty bibs on the edge of the counter.  I just don't care.  It's not important enough to prioritize over quality kids and mommy time, or whatever important work I may have leftover from the day.  I know that's not how everyone can roll, but at some point you have to choose 3 out of four things as a working mom: a clean home, a great job, an awesome relationship with your kids and a romantic life.  You can only pick three unless you're willing to forego food, sleep, or personal hygene (which inevitably will effect the quality of the other choices, so that's a non-starter).  I never heard anyone look back on their life and say "If only I'd spent more time wiping up crumbs."  Know what I mean?.

 

2/3 of the day?  Some days, yeah.  Other days I am working 7/3 of the day I am actually paid for so it evens out.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

  The best way to keep the house clean is to not have kids in it all day.



That is particularly true!

 


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is online now  
Old 03-24-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Lamashtu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Park Slope and Quogue
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

How are things set up at your job?  If you are between clients or waiting for a meeting to start, are you allowed to make a phone call, check your Blackberry or get a cup of coffee?  Or do they have you washing windows and checking the restroom for paper towels?    I'm exaggerating slightly, but see what I mean?  People, even at work, cannot be expected to be "on" every single second.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

 

I've copied and faxed my own stuff, run things out to clients where they really needed some handholding to work through what needed to be signed, etc. and since our cleaning staff only vaccums and empties wastepaper cans -- yes I (with my secretary's assistance) clean my office (organizing papers/dusting, etc.)   Sometimes you can wait until office services comes back with your copies, or your secretary is back from lunch -- other times you do what you need to do to get the job done.

 



I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it's an apt comparison.  If I decided to help out my secretary, tidy up my office or handhold a client, it was because I wanted to make my life easier.  Not because it was part of my job or because I was concerned the senior partner would be upset because my desk was dusty.  I don't see how mopping your floor makes your nanny's life easier smile.gif

 

 

 

In all seriousness, though, have you considered using a daycare provider instead of a nanny?  Having your daughters out of the house all day virtually guarantees you coming home to a spic and span home.  Plus, it's less expensive than a private nanny so you won't have that niggling feeling eating at you that maybe you're not getting your (not insignificant I know) money's worth.

 


Anetta, earthmama in the City lady.gif  Wife and best friend to DH reading.gif, SAHM to our little princess Leda dust.gif and furbabies Hans and Heidi  dog2.gifdog2.gif
 
Happily expecting a pair of "oops!" twins in October!  oops.gif  oops.gif

Lamashtu is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 12:44 PM
 
Missinnyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I totally agree with you, OP. It sounds like these tasks would be relatively minor for her, but increase your stress. I know that with 4 kids at home, I am able to do those things, and they sleep less than 3 hours per day! I think it's perfectly reasonable, as long as you realize that on some days naps will get missed or some emergency will take priority and everything might not get done. 

 

I'd leave her  alittle note or have a little conference and list the things you'd like her to try to get done. No big deal. No drama, just a request from her employer. Good luck!


Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

Missinnyc is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Missinnyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

 

Quote:
Anyone asking me to also clean their house was, in my opinion, assuming that caring for children and cleaning up after the adults of the household were of equal value. And I don't care for children so I can fold Dad's underwear while the baby lies on a playmat on the floor. I'm not a maid.

So do you feel that a mother who leaves a baby on a playmat on the floor for ten minutes so she can fold laundry is somehow shirking her duty? Or that she is treating the child as having low value? My kids have always loved to cuddle as babies/toddlers but also been happy for windows of time when I could get things done, or been content in a carrier for a bit, or napped. My kids would have been cranky as all get out had I wanted to interact with them 24/7. Babies like some chill-out time, too. Not for hours and hours a day, but 15 minutes here or there while I heat a can of soup, or put some laundry away, or wipe down a counter. Especially with toddlers, who can be taught to "help" with minor tasks or encouraged to play kitchen while you do kitchen tasks, etc. 

 

Just as you wouldn't work for someone who expected light housekeeping, I wouldn't hire someone who refused any cleaning and acted so disrespectful. If many moms like me can juggle raising multiple children, keeping their homes decently picked up (not white glove clean, just basic tidiness/decluttered), being wives, shuttling kids around, cooking meals, etc, then I should expect a full time nanny who is paid decently to expect to do light work associated with the kid(s) in her downtime. 

 

I also wanted to add that even in daycare centers, some work is expected. I know the teachers in my son's school (he attends a SN preschool with an infant center attached to it) are responsible for heating and serving meals, cleaning up from them, sweeping the floor and sanitizing the tables/highchairs after each meal, taking out diaper trash, cleaning up toys after each activity, wiping down counters, etc. Multiple times per day. And there are at least 3:1 ratios in those infant rooms. I know the people there don't get paid much, even. So it's apparently not totally out of the realm of expectation or ability. 


Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.

Missinnyc is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 01:28 PM
 
VisionaryMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

On the one hand, I think that a nanny's job is about the kids. On the other hand, the tasks listed seem relatively minor - from both sides. My dishwasher doesn't eat spatulas, regardless of where they're placed. I wouldn't know that about yours unless you told me. Have you told her? The others - wiping crumbs, doing something (not sure what?) with the bibs, and putting recyclables out. Really? Those things have you THIS stressed? Just like they'd take the nanny 10 minutes, they'd only take you 10 minutes. They're just not enough that I'd be ready to fire my nanny. They're more of a note you leave or a comment you make. "Hey, I forgot to tell you, but the spatulas have to go on the top. Otherwise, the dishwasher melts them!" Okay, problem solved...

 

You have an enormous amount of help, and you still don't seem to be able to get the life you want. I honestly think that reconsidering that issue is probably going to be more helpful than making a big issue out of the things that you want the nanny to do that she isn't doing. Talk to her. Find out what's going on. Ask for a journal of her day. Cut out the shopping. There are a ton of solutions that are really, incredibly simple for this problem, but I think you're so steamed because you're generally unhappy. The nanny's just the easiest person to take that out on.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
VisionaryMom is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 01:53 PM
 
limabean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

 

Well, Limabean, I'm sorry for your employer if you don't agree with the idea that while you are at work, you are supposed to be, well, working! 

 

 

...I'm not sure how you got that from what I posted. Your earlier comment made it sound as though you're doing her a favor by "giving" her evenings and weekends off of work. 

 

As I mentioned before and as several other posters have reiterated, having your kids watched at someone else's house would eliminate this problem. Would your current nanny be willing to watch them at her house? 


DH+Me 1994 heartbeat.gif DS 2004 heartbeat.gif DD 2008 heartbeat.gif DDog 2014
limabean is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 02:11 PM
 
JudiAU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Where creepy facebook-featured threads can't find me
Posts: 3,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

Jane, the more I read from your posts the more I think daycare might be a better match for you. I think it might be safer for your kids too, since breaks for staff are covered by other staff.  If your expectation is that your nanny is working every single hour, while maintaining her cool in dealing with two toddlers and keeping them safe, I kind of worry about the situation you might create for yourself.

 

It sounds like the state of your home is really, really important to you and you are struggling enough with your partner about it.  The best way to keep the house clean is to not have kids in it all day.


I think this is good advice. It doesn't sound like you value that type of care your nanny is providing. You value other things too many of which can be resolved by removing the children out the house. You could probably pay less for daycare and more housekeeping assistance and get what you want.

 

In my area, the top tier of nannies provide one on one care for children, provide childcare the way the parent wants (newborn in sling for half the day, fine), most do not allow tv, most drive the kids to events, and none of them do any substantial housework. The only "nannies" that provide childcare along with substantial housekeeping services make far less money, about 2/3, don't drive (cannot legally obtain license), are undocumented, and generally don't speak more than a few words of English. I asked our nanny about it one time and she said "they take the work they can get." Most nannies like to nanny and the ones that can, do.

JudiAU is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:32 PM
 
miriam_bat_avraham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

...


miriam_bat_avraham is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:41 PM
 
GuildJenn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post

 

 

So do you feel that a mother who leaves a baby on a playmat on the floor for ten minutes so she can fold laundry is somehow shirking her duty? Or that she is treating the child as having low value? My kids have always loved to cuddle as babies/toddlers but also been happy for windows of time when I could get things done, or been content in a carrier for a bit, or napped. My kids would have been cranky as all get out had I wanted to interact with them 24/7. Babies like some chill-out time, too. Not for hours and hours a day, but 15 minutes here or there while I heat a can of soup, or put some laundry away, or wipe down a counter. Especially with toddlers, who can be taught to "help" with minor tasks or encouraged to play kitchen while you do kitchen tasks, etc. 

 

Just as you wouldn't work for someone who expected light housekeeping, I wouldn't hire someone who refused any cleaning and acted so disrespectful. If many moms like me can juggle raising multiple children, keeping their homes decently picked up (not white glove clean, just basic tidiness/decluttered), being wives, shuttling kids around, cooking meals, etc, then I should expect a full time nanny who is paid decently to expect to do light work associated with the kid(s) in her downtime. 

 

I also wanted to add that even in daycare centers, some work is expected. I know the teachers in my son's school (he attends a SN preschool with an infant center attached to it) are responsible for heating and serving meals, cleaning up from them, sweeping the floor and sanitizing the tables/highchairs after each meal, taking out diaper trash, cleaning up toys after each activity, wiping down counters, etc. Multiple times per day. And there are at least 3:1 ratios in those infant rooms. I know the people there don't get paid much, even. So it's apparently not totally out of the realm of expectation or ability. 


As a mom, I have no trouble doing that kind of thing (although I don't do it every day or every hour or whatever...it varies. Some days I forge waaaaay ahead on house/life projects and some days I don't).

 

But if I were a nanny I think I would be more focused/cautious about not minding my charges. A lot would depend on the environment too.  Is the kitchen right next to an area that they can play safely and so on.

 

When I babysit other people's kids, I find it harder than dealing with my own...we don't have the same connection, the same rhythm; my sense of where they are and what they are doing is not as in tune. I have to work a lot harder to watch my friend's son for an hour than to watch mine. I have a friend with twins and honest - they have an amazing capacity to tag-team dangerous situations. I'm a bit edgy with them.

 

It also doesn't sound to me like the nanny is trashing everything or not doing any housework at all - she does shopping and presumably puts that away, some laundry, some tidying up, etc.  It's just that not every single thing is done every single day. Also, although staff clean at daycares they also have breaks. They have backup if they have to pee or if they are about to lose it. The trouble with always being busy tidying every last thing up is that you can end up with no reserves at a moment when you really want them. I have a 9 week old baby and a 5 year old and my husband was away for a weekend for work recently (when my newborn was 7 weeks old).  Saturday I was very productive only to find myself losing patience Sunday afternoon. Next time fewer chores will get done, even if I end up with energy leftover.

 

When I've had a nanny I've always wanted to be sure that she knew it was all right with me if she needed to take nap time to recover. It's way more important to me that my child's caregiver be grounded and even happy than to get every penny's worth...because I want a caregiver who is not punching a clock but being creative, positive and so on.

 

Anyways I'm sure the OP will work it out - she seems pretty set on her course. OP I came back because I had another thought - what if you and your nanny agreed she would stay 15 min later to take care of these things (basically to pretty the house up for you), and then she would get an extra day's vacation pay every quarter or something like that? It might be a very small financial investment to make your life better, and still leave the reasonable idea that she is doing her best already and for whatever reason those things are the tipping point for her in a day.


~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
Old 03-24-2011, 07:44 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post

 

 

So do you feel that a mother who leaves a baby on a playmat on the floor for ten minutes so she can fold laundry is somehow shirking her duty? Or that she is treating the child as having low value? My kids have always loved to cuddle as babies/toddlers but also been happy for windows of time when I could get things done, or been content in a carrier for a bit, or napped. My kids would have been cranky as all get out had I wanted to interact with them 24/7. Babies like some chill-out time, too. Not for hours and hours a day, but 15 minutes here or there while I heat a can of soup, or put some laundry away, or wipe down a counter. Especially with toddlers, who can be taught to "help" with minor tasks or encouraged to play kitchen while you do kitchen tasks, etc. 

 

Just as you wouldn't work for someone who expected light housekeeping, I wouldn't hire someone who refused any cleaning and acted so disrespectful. If many moms like me can juggle raising multiple children, keeping their homes decently picked up (not white glove clean, just basic tidiness/decluttered), being wives, shuttling kids around, cooking meals, etc, then I should expect a full time nanny who is paid decently to expect to do light work associated with the kid(s) in her downtime. 

 

I also wanted to add that even in daycare centers, some work is expected. I know the teachers in my son's school (he attends a SN preschool with an infant center attached to it) are responsible for heating and serving meals, cleaning up from them, sweeping the floor and sanitizing the tables/highchairs after each meal, taking out diaper trash, cleaning up toys after each activity, wiping down counters, etc. Multiple times per day. And there are at least 3:1 ratios in those infant rooms. I know the people there don't get paid much, even. So it's apparently not totally out of the realm of expectation or ability. 


Theres a huge difference between leaving ONE non-mobile infant lying on a floor mat where you can see them and talk to them and be watchful of them while you're doing laundry, and leaving two, twin, one year olds (who are probably at the very lease crawling, and might be walking or cruising) while you try to do something.

 

I remember when my ds was 12mo, he'd been walking since he was 8.5mo and I literally couldn't take my eyes off of him for a MOMENT, let alone 10 minutes to do laundry.  It was terrible, my house was a complete mess b/c I couldn't do a single bit of cleaning unless he was asleep (well, I could but then he undid it and every other thing I cleaned in a matter of seconds and the place just never looked decent).

 

Especially since they probably don't sleep at all the same times, or need exactly the same thing all the time.  I can't imagine caring for twins - in fact, I wouldn't want to care for twins.  I'm sure they are wonderful and beautiful, and amazing.  I just can't imaging having TWO of my ds - makes me want to scream just thinking about it!

Super~Single~Mama is offline  
Old 03-25-2011, 11:39 AM
 
kama'aina mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Watching Top Chef, eating Top Ramen
Posts: 19,143
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

It's so hard to find good help these days.

kama'aina mama is offline  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Lamashtu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Park Slope and Quogue
Posts: 87
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kama'aina mama View Post

It's so hard to find good help these days.



Oh, don't I know it, dahling!

 


Anetta, earthmama in the City lady.gif  Wife and best friend to DH reading.gif, SAHM to our little princess Leda dust.gif and furbabies Hans and Heidi  dog2.gifdog2.gif
 
Happily expecting a pair of "oops!" twins in October!  oops.gif  oops.gif

Lamashtu is offline  
Old 03-25-2011, 05:44 PM
 
amnesiac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: at the end of the longest line
Posts: 4,879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would expect a nanny to do the things directly related to the daily hands-on care of the kids. I think keeping the bed linens, bibs, high chairs etc. clean on a weekly basis are a reasonable request & maybe some of those things just honestly never occurred to her. Perhaps just a simple request would fix it. 

 

I do think that other cleaning, washing dishes and shopping are a little much to expect. I would not expect a nanny to do any shopping, even for the kids' things, and I would not expect her to clean the kitchen/dishes/stove. If the trash issue is simply a matter of putting recyclables into the designated receptacle, I'd further explore with her why that's not happening though because that sounds reasonable to me.

amnesiac is offline  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:17 AM
 
Cukup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You want the nanny to set things up so that you have quality time with the kids when you are home? It doesn't work like that. She cares for your children in your absence, not to smooth your path when you get home.

 

You have so much help-nanny, housekeeper, weekend and evening babysitters...yet you are still unhappy. Something needs to change and I truly don't think it's wiping up the crumbs in the high chair.

Cukup is offline  
Old 03-27-2011, 07:26 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post

 

You have so much help-nanny, housekeeper, weekend and evening babysitters...yet you are still unhappy. Something needs to change and I truly don't think it's wiping up the crumbs in the high chair.



I wonder if you might have more quality time with your kids if you shortened your work hours a bit?  With a daytime nanny, evening sitters, and weekend sitters do you ever just have a day at home?  I know its tough to manage it all, maybe you should simplify things a bit?

Super~Single~Mama is offline  
Old 03-28-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Where has it ever been said I have weekend and evening baby-sitters?  My parents will watch the girls when we have an unavoidable commitment (on the level of the annual work Christmas party, or a wedding) but any other time, we are with the girls.  I specifically schedule my work to maximize my time with the girls (working from home both before they are up and after they are in bed, as necessary, and limit my actual in-office hours).

 

I may be sounding a little more bitter right now, as this month has been crazy (on track to have billed about double my basic billable hour requirement), however my work flow is very up and down, so you have to make hay while the sun shines.  And my income is 75% or more of the family income so there is not really another good option.

 

In any event, these items annoy me even when I'm not exhausted and incredibly busy -- there's something about coming home and having to clean up the kitchen a bit before you can make dinner (when you left it in perfectly fine shape in the morning) that's just incredibly frustrating to me.

 

Sorry -- I realize my tone is coming across rather stronger than my intent or feelings, but I really don't have the time or energy to re-edit to adjust it.

Jane93 is offline  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:08 AM
 
crunchy_mommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,460
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

In any event, these items annoy me even when I'm not exhausted and incredibly busy -- there's something about coming home and having to clean up the kitchen a bit before you can make dinner (when you left it in perfectly fine shape in the morning) that's just incredibly frustrating to me.


This would annoy me to. I think what a lot of us on here are/were responding to is all your other requests, which kind of clouded over the reasonable ones. It seems to me perfectly reasonable that the kitchen is about as clean as you left it -- at least most days, with flexibility for the occasional days when the kids required way more energy & attention than usual. Have you discussed this with your nanny yet? Have you narrowed down which thing(s) are most problematic for you, and which you'd be willing to let go of so she will have more time for what's important to you? Or maybe it would help if you have leftovers or something already prepared for the kids, so she won't have to do much in the kitchen in the first place? I really, really think you need to discuss this with your nanny, otherwise your resentment will just continue to grow & grow and you'll jeopardize what sounds like an otherwise great relationship.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
crunchy_mommy is offline  
Old 03-28-2011, 08:25 AM
 
APToddlerMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

 

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.

 

 



Double or no, you are paying for your kids to remain in *their* own home, and to have the nanny caring just for them, not a couple other kids.  You are asking a lot of her.  If she can get it all done in nap time AND have a break to eat, etc., that is one thing.  But I bet she is exhausted with two.  I have been a mom and a nanny and some of the things on the list would make me feel really like a maid if my employer OR my husband expected them of me while I was caring for our kids.

 

APToddlerMama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off