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

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We have a nanny who is absolutely fantastic with our 1 yo twin girls.  They love her and we love her.

 

However, I am feeling a certain low level of irritation over certain household tasks.  Our agreement is that she is responsible for maintaining the babies' clothes and bed linens (washing/folding), cleaning up after them, feeding them, shopping for the girls (usually diapers and our weekly whole foods pilgrimage for organic stuff for the girls) and light household tasks (basically, this has ended up meaning loading and unloading the dishwasher and occasionally picking up some groceries for us when already out).  Obviously, care for the girls takes priority over all these items.

 

We have a weekly maid service as well so things are cleaned throughly once a week -- I am not expecting heavy cleaning.

 

The girls on a good day may nap as much as 4 hours (2 2 hour naps) or as little as an hour and a half (2 45 minute naps).  Usually, they are somewhere in between -- 2 and a half to three hours.

 

I am frustrated that the recycleables (99% of which are baby related) aren't taken out to the garage every day, the constant pile of dirty bibs left on the kitchen counter, the fact that any handwash items (good knives and coated pans) are somehow never handwashed by the end of the day, that I seem to be the only one to clean out the crumbs that accumulate under the padding of the highchairs (yuck!), that wiping down the counter/stove never seems to happen, that I have lost three spatulas to being put in the bottom of the dishwasher rather than the top rack, that toys aren't put away before dinner etc., etc.

 

I'm not sure if I'm being unrealistic in my expectations or what.  I do acknowledge that when I am with the girls on the weekends not a ton of housework gets done.  However, that time is my break time from a 60 some hour a week job, as well as my opportunity to really focus on the kids, so housework does take the back seat.

 

 What have others found reasonable in terms of household maintenance from their nanny? 

Jane93 is offline  
#2 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 08:46 AM
 
tinuviel_k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

Our agreement is that she is responsible for maintaining the babies' clothes and bed linens (washing/folding), cleaning up after them, feeding them, shopping for the girls (usually diapers and our weekly whole foods pilgrimage for organic stuff for the girls) and light household tasks (basically, this has ended up meaning loading and unloading the dishwasher and occasionally picking up some groceries for us when already out)...
I am frustrated that the recycleables (99% of which are baby related) aren't taken out to the garage every day, the constant pile of dirty bibs left on the kitchen counter, the fact that any handwash items (good knives and coated pans) are somehow never handwashed by the end of the day, that I seem to be the only one to clean out the crumbs that accumulate under the padding of the highchairs (yuck!), that wiping down the counter/stove never seems to happen, that I have lost three spatulas to being put in the bottom of the dishwasher rather than the top rack, that toys aren't put away before dinner etc., etc.

Honestly, to me this seems like a lot. I remember how time consuming it was taking care of my single daughter at that age: taking care of twins is probably 3X as much work!

Keep in mind that nannys will need a break, too. Most jobs have two 15 minute breaks and an hour lunch for 8 hours of work. A nanny position doesn't really have that "built in". Her only chance for a break is when naps happen, so I wouldn't expect a whole lot of house chores to get done during that time. On the days where there are huge extended naps when both babies happen to be asleep at the exact same time... sure. But I'm betting that is the exception rather than the rule.

During the time when the twins are awake I can see where chores might go by the wayside. I know plenty of parents who have problems keeping on top of the housework, too.

If there are certain things that you want done that are very important to you then you might consider leaving a specific list for the day detailing things like "wipe crumbs from the high chairs," "please wash and put away all hand-washable dishes," and "take out recycling." Sometimes people work better from a list, and the chores might be more likely to get done that way.
Also, some people simply have different expectations about cleanliness. For instance, by husband will do an amazing job cleaning the kitchen, but he never wipes off the stove or cleans out the sink drain screens. He simply doesn't "notice" that they need cleaning! It drives me batty. Your nanny may need a kind reminder or a clarification reminder about the things that you feels are important for her to clean during the day as she may just not be noticing them in the same way that you do.
tinuviel_k is offline  
#3 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 09:10 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

I've been a nanny. To expect anything over than care and feeding of the infants implies I'm a housekeeper.. not a nanny. You don't say how much you are paying her but if its low, don't expect she'll make a special trip to do your recyclables. I did pick up after the children and kept their bedroom and playrooms tidy. I did not do their laundry unless there had been some emergency. Some neatening of the kitchen might be involved in the sanitary preparation of kid meals but leaving the kitchen spotless would be last on the totem pole.

philomom is offline  
#4 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 09:38 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I've been a nanny. To expect anything over than care and feeding of the infants implies I'm a housekeeper.. not a nanny. You don't say how much you are paying her but if its low, don't expect she'll make a special trip to do your recyclables. I did pick up after the children and kept their bedroom and playrooms tidy. I did not do their laundry unless there had been some emergency. Some neatening of the kitchen might be involved in the sanitary preparation of kid meals but leaving the kitchen spotless would be last on the totem pole.


I agree with this.  Housekeepers get paid a lot more than nannies in my area and you have a really long list of housekeeping chores there.  There are some things you can do to make clean up an easier thing though.  Putting a small laundry basket for dirty clothes in the kitchen so bibs go there instead of on the counter and keeping a drawer full of washcloths in the kitchen for quick clean up of the kids and their chairs will make it easier for the nanny to clean up without a lot of extra steps and make sure the place is organized to some extent.  There are some nice non-bleach wipes at many stores now that are like the all-purpose ones that clorox came out with and having those in the kitchen will also make clean up quicker.  Get some cheap non-hand wash items and require her to use those when making meals (maybe keep these in a cupboard labeled baby cupboard with a kitchen chore list on it).  A toy bucket or organized toy shelf with buckets for different toys will make clean up of the toys go quicker. 

 

Deciding what is really important to you and cutting down on the household activities you want her to do may help her feel less overwhelmed with the work load that is in addition to caring for twins.  I think you should also talk to her about this and get her input on which chores need to go during the day to make it possible for her to do the ones that are most important to you (which seems to be the kitchen related ones). 

 

When my dd was little there was so much to do with just her that I often felt very overwhelmed and some things didn't get done.  By the time she fell asleep I was so drained I usually crashed with her, toy clean up and washing things by hand just didn't happen.  I can't imagine having to do all of the stuff you list with twins, long hours, and no break.   

 

Juvysen likes this.
One_Girl is offline  
#5 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Marsupialmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 9,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I agree with the other poster that says you are asking to much, unless you are paying her enough to be a nanny and a house cleaner.  

 

I think if you go to moms of twin board you will find many moms struggle with doing it all the first year.  

 

Yes, I would expect clothes in hamper, soaking if need be, and only washed if accident means immediate attention. Maybe the occasional load but not expected all the time.  

 

Shopping again is an occasional task unless it is a routine "group" trip to make sure everything is purchased.   You are responsable to make sure your employee has what she needs for her job.  The occasional oops! happens run out of milk or your realize that your child out grew her shoes the night before or lost them (it has happen to me).  

 

High chairs should be wiped down and crumbs under the high chair padding falls into the "deep cleaning" why isn't the house keepers doing it?  Exception would be in case of large mess/spill that warrant pad removal for cleaning.  

 

Loading the dish washer is a great debate.  I would put spatulas on the bottom.  If you do not like how she is doing it you need to train her RESPECTFULLY.  Does she know your dish washer eats the spatulas?   Generally speaking I would expect at least the last meals dishes to be needing cleaned, not all days worth.  One or two bowels are not a big deal because kids snack. 

 

Toys left out at diner time. I would check your standards and expectations.  I know many parents that do a tidy up before dinner.  Depending on the age of the kids they can help.  A few toys verses all the toys in the house would not bother me.  

 

Taking out the trash, more than the occasional trash can being filled in the middle of the day is unreasonable.  Even if the kids are making it unless the trash is full I wouldn't expect her to remove it.  

Marsupialmom is offline  
#6 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 09:43 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)

double posted

 

One_Girl is offline  
#7 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Emmeline II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 8,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post


When my dd was little there was so much to do with just her that I often felt very overwhelmed and some things didn't get done.  By the time she fell asleep I was so drained I usually crashed with her, toy clean up and washing things by hand just didn't happen.  I can't imagine having to do all of the stuff you list with twins, long hours, and no break.   

 

 

I agree. Personally, I would ask her to just leave the spatulas to soak in a cup and not to put them in the dishwasher; also, have knives/pans for her to use that require less care. If there is something that is important to have done a particular way I just ask my dh to skip it if he is doing it.

 

I'd have her concentrate on "prepping" things for you and the housekeepers to do later; like writing things on a shopping list she runs out of, putting the bibs in a basket on the fridge, tossing dirty baby clothes in the hamper so you don't have to hunt for them to wash, fill up the sink/half the sink for dishes to soak, and have baskets so toys can be easily tossed in...


"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
Emmeline II is offline  
#8 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 11:26 AM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've never been a nanny or hired a nanny so you take this with a huge grain of salt, but.... I am REALLY surprised by all the things you are "requiring" her to get done throughout the day.  I always thought that nannies are there for the kids.  Anything else (besides the very basics like not leaving huge gross food spill messes or something like that) is extra.  The amount that she already does for you (laundry and shopping) seems "above and beyond" to me.  Don't forget that the more housekeeping you ask her to do, the more time and attention she'll have to take away from the girls.  I would much prefer having a nanny who put the dirty clothes in the hamper, but didn't wash and fold them, BUT took the girls out for a great day at the park/library/whatever, yk?  I'd also like to feel like she's right there on top of any potential mishaps (accidents, sibling squabbles) as opposed to down in the basement switching the washing to the dryer. 

 

JMHO of course...

Juvysen likes this.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
#9 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 11:45 AM
 
_ktg_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: a house in the suburban jungle.
Posts: 2,142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:

Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

I've never been a nanny or hired a nanny so you take this with a huge grain of salt, but.... I am REALLY surprised by all the things you are "requiring" her to get done throughout the day.  I always thought that nannies are there for the kids.  Anything else (besides the very basics like not leaving huge gross food spill messes or something like that) is extra.  The amount that she already does for you (laundry and shopping) seems "above and beyond" to me.  Don't forget that the more housekeeping you ask her to do, the more time and attention she'll have to take away from the girls.  I would much prefer having a nanny who put the dirty clothes in the hamper, but didn't wash and fold them, BUT took the girls out for a great day at the park/library/whatever, yk?  I'd also like to feel like she's right there on top of any potential mishaps (accidents, sibling squabbles) as opposed to down in the basement switching the washing to the dryer. 

 

JMHO of course...


I too have never been a nanny or hired one (DH is a SAHD), but I agree with all the previous PPs.  That sounds like a huge list on a daily basis. My own personal opinion here is you may want to try to re-organize some of these items into 1xweek items if possible, also do you have a chore or task list to divide up housework/chores between you and your partner?

 

What were your cleaning standards/expectations of your house (I assume carried out by you & your partner) before the babies arrived? I'm not suggesting to let it all go, but perhaps refocusing your expectations for the nanny to be line with what you achieve for instance during your time with the girls.  IMHO - I don't I could hold someone to a standard or expectation that I couldn't even meet.

 

*hugs* as this is never an easy balancing game between work, home and oh my goodness actually having some downtime or metime. 

 

I dream of "metime" since its the only place I can actually be by myself.  


treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

_ktg_ is offline  
#10 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 12:41 PM
 
LittleGriff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: The Republic of Cascadia
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't think light housekeeping or the list you've outlined is in and of itself too much to ask but it is too much with 1 yr old twins, no matter how much you pay her. I know families whose nannies do light housekeeping, and my nanny did as well, but the expectations should vary with the age/number of children in care.

 

Before #2 was 18mo and #1 was 2.5y, our nanny made them lunch and tied up after them, which entailed putting their dishes in the washer, wiping down the highchair, putting toys away and doing their laundry. We left the house spotless for her so she didn't have to clean up after us. Usually that list was only partially completed and it was rather messy when we came home. Sometimes we reminded her and mostly we just lived with it. Once #2 turned 18mo and #1 started part-time preschool, our nanny started doing a weekly run to the grocery store and things were suddenly spotless when I got home. Giving her a break from one kid for 9 hours a week made a huge difference. I think the recycling and grocery shopping are overkill at this point and that she should only be responsible for dishes/knives/pans/etc that she dirties but, even then, be forgiving.

 

I think at this point you are asking too much of your nanny but as the kids get older, and hopefully easier, you can increase your expectations towards what you laid out, making sure the pay is commensurate. My rule of thumb was to think of what I could reasonably accomplish in a day at home with kids under care and then scale that back even further. During those early years, I figured if the nanny could get through the day without losing her mind and the kids seemed well-loved, that was as much as I could ask for!


Mother of two since 2007 and 2009. Hoping third time's a charm in 2012.

LittleGriff is offline  
#11 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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

  

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Jane93 is offline  
#12 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 06:58 PM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Tonight I happened to have dinner with a friend who hires a nanny.  She said that it really depends on how much the nanny is getting paid.  If you are paying them babysitter wages (around here that would be about $10, maybe $15 an hour) then they should really only be expected to look after the kids (with the minor household chores that that might entail - like putting their dishes in the sink after feeding them, throwing the dirty bibs in the dirty hamper, etc).  If you expect them to do more hefty housekeeping duties then they should be paid accordingly.  She also pointed out what I mentioned in my pp, which is the more housekeeping you expect them to do the less attention they're giving your kid(s), so you have to consider what your priorities are.  AND she said that with twin 1yos to take care of she would think that anything more than keeping them clean, fed and happy was just a bonus.


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
#13 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 07:15 PM
 
tinuviel_k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 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.

 

 


I don't agree with this. I think you are forgetting that with a daycare there are quite a few children per adult staff member, and so a quality home daycare proviser can charge less per child, but still make a livable wage. The reason daycare costs less than a nanny is not necessarily because the nanny should be doing more: it is because a daycare will have up to 10 children whereas a nanny will only have one or two. A home daycare provider might charge $4/hour for each child. If he/she has five children then he/she is making $20 an hour. If a nanny only charged $4 an hour per child then there is no way they could support themselves on a full-time nanny job.
In this respect you are not necessarily paying more money for money for a nanny to clean your house; you are paying a livable wage for the person who will provide full-time one-on-one attention for your children.

Juvysen, One_Girl and EloiseMM like this.
tinuviel_k is offline  
#14 of 151 Old 03-11-2011, 09:04 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 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.

 

 

 

I have never heard of a nanny doing laundry in our area, but the pay rates are not all that high and even making twice what the average daycare charges wouldn't be enough to make me willing to do someone else's housekeeping in addition to taking care of their children.  Working in a childcare center is really a much sweeter deal because you make more or the same as a nanny, you get health insurance, you get a lunch break, there area many people helping out with the care, someone else does the cooking, your schedule is set, the terms of your employment are very set, the hours tend to not vary much, and your employer is legally required to pay you overtime if you are coerced into working over 40 hours in a week (something they don't want to do so they don't often have you do this).  When you are a nanny you are at the whim of your employer, often work more than 40 hours a week so your seemingly high pay rate is much smaller when calculated at an hourly rate rather than as salary, your workload is high, there is no break because even when the kids are asleep you are still not free to do what you choose to do where you choose to do it, and you have no help from anyone. 

 

Is it possible that you are feeling used in other ways and that the little things are setting you over the edge?  It sounds like you have given her a lot of financial freedom with your money and a lot of time to do things that aren't really child friendly activities that one would typically expect a nanny to be doing with children, such as personal errands.  If she is working very long hours then letting her run a few errands once in a while seems like a good way to respect her needs as a person, but she shouldn't need to frequently run errands during the week.  The employer/employee relationship you describe in your second post is not something I could work with as an employer.  I can't imagine someone coming into my home and telling me they only wanted to use certain items with my daughter then taking my credit card and using it to get those items on a frequent basis (or even once).  I suggest taking a few days to reflect and try to figure out just how deeply the problem runs, write it all down, then address it with your nanny and tell/show her the new boundaries.
 

 

One_Girl is offline  
#15 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

"In this respect you are not necessarily paying more money for money for a nanny to clean your house; you are paying a livable wage for the person who will provide full-time one-on-one attention for your children."

 

That is why some people might choose to hire a nanny, it is not necessarily why WE chose to hire a nanny.  We chose to hire a nanny (a) so we didn't have to worry about getting the girls up and out of the house in the mornings, (b) because she would continue to care for the kids while they were sick (rather than having to pick them up from daycare) and (c) because she would manage and take care of the girls' things (which is specifically covered in the contract we both agreed to before she came to work with us).

 

In fact, I was concerned about socialization, etc., so we have additional expenses we wouldn't have in a daycare in terms of a couple of activities the girls are enrolled in.

 

Also there seems to be lots of exaggeration about "housekeeping" "cleaning the house" "taking out the garbage" etc.  I am talking about grabbing the container full of empty baby food jars as you walk through the kitchen on the way to the bathroom, and dropping them in the recycling bin.  She ain't doing the floors and dusting folks. 

 

She is also getting (as far as I have been able to determine) top dollar for our area, and more than she would be getting as a daycare employee.  She also has much more freedom than she would have as a daycare employee.

 



 

Jane93 is offline  
#16 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 06:11 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)

 

 

Quote:

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.

I have to say that the bolded part really surprises me. (To preface I have used nannies for the last nine years so have had a LOT of experience.)

 

We chose a nanny instead of a daycare for a lot reasons but the additional services were a "nice to have".  A nanny allows your children to be on their own schedule, have individualized attention, and be in their own home.  As a parent having a nanny meant that I could have more quality time at home with my child since I did not have to spend time getting them dressed and ready to go to only to spend a half an hour in the car and another 20 minutes are drop off. Same thing at night, no rushing to daycare to avoid late fees, packing him up, getting to car, getting home and then worrying about laundry, diaper bags, dinner, etc.  I didn't have worry about packing a diaper bag, labeling/transporting my breast milk and eventually food/snacks.  It meant if my son was sick I didn't have take time off from work and if I was sick I didn't have worry about how I was going to get them to daycare. The time saving *alone* justified the expense.  I didn't hire a nanny to have housekeeper who also took care of son.

 

Our nannies have always had very specific job descriptions and all expectations were laid out up front and agreed to prior to signing the contract. if I had wanted a nanny to do everything you asked I would have spelled it out, in detail. In this area it is very common to expect the nanny to take care of household duties related childcare- ie: the child's laundry, keeping the child's room/play areas neat and organized and the like. However childcare is always the priority so if a few days went by where the laundry built up etc I would expect the nanny to let me know why. Honestly I would rather have our nanny say "It was such a gorgeous day today we ended up at the playground for the whole afternoon!, Ill get to the laundry tomorrow".  Or "sorry about the dirty dishes in the sink-today was a tough one. H. wouldn't stop crying poor thing and the only thing that worked was driving around in the car."

 

I do have say that as my son got older my nannies ended up being able to do more and I built that into the contract (we re-write and renew every 12 months)  but not until he was around 4 maybe 4 1/2. . 1 year old twins? I think you need to revisit what is truly realistic and decide what is "must have" vs a "nice to have".  Is it laundry? Is it dishes? Is it errands?  Then arrange a time (w/o the twins)  to sit down and discuss with your nanny. She will either agree, negotiate or decide the job is not right for her.

 

 

EloiseMM likes this.

Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
#17 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Also, she is virtually never asked to work more than 40 hours (been about twice since we hired her).   We have family that watches the girls for evening and weekend stuff. 

 

Only twice have we been late getting home (and that was @15 minutes late due to major snow).

 

I'm really surprised that, on an average day, where the girls nap for 3 hours, that expecting anything beyond putting their lunch dishes in the sink is too much to expect.  

 

I may get my Mommy card pulled for saying this, but its just NOT that hard.   I guess my girls are unusual or something.

 

I've done this job.  I did this job alone from 7 am to 5:30 - 6 pm five days a week for the first 8 months of my girls' lives, where they were sleeping far less regularly and were even more dependent.  Yes, large cleaning and organizational projects were far beyond my abilities.  Homecooked meals rarely existed (though that was true before the babies, neither of us are cooks).  However, keeping on top of laundry, the dishes in kitchen, wiping down the counter, etc. are all minor tasks that were acheivable in any ordinary day.

Jane93 is offline  
#18 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 06:38 AM
 
syn_ack89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I guess it comes down to ... If you don't like how she is handling the housekeeping part, you need to have a discussion with her. She may have different expectations about how clean "clean" is. And for many folks there are certain things that have to be clean to a certain standard while they are ok if others things are less. For example, I like the countertops spotless, while my hubby seems to never notice the crumbs he leaves behind.
One_Girl likes this.

Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
syn_ack89 is offline  
#19 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 07:16 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)


OK so if your expectations are clearly spelled out in your contact with her what doe she say?  Have you met with her- I mean a real sit down meeting, with out the twins or other distractions? Does she keep a journal so you know how she and girls spend the day. Do you have performance reviews written into her contract?  If so, when is the next one?

 

You seem pretty obsessed with the fact you are paying her more than a day care, higher than market rate, that your are spending money on "socialization" (they are one, right?).  Are you feeling like you are "not getting what you paid for"?? If that's the case the ownership is on YOU to address it and then decide if the cost benefit is worth the expense.  

 

Honestly- if she truly is "absolutely fantastic with our 1 yo twin girls" and they truly "love her" as do you than I think it is worth stepping back and asking yourself  the real reason you are so aggravated-is that you over extended financially? Wishing your were home (between the nanny, weekly housekeeper, evening  and weekend sitters, "socialization" activities, etc  it does sound like you are spending a lot.  Could that money be used in a better way- could you work part time for example? 

 

If childcare really is the "top priority" it sound like she meeting that expectation so something tells me it more than just a few recyclables and hand washed knives....

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

"In this respect you are not necessarily paying more money for money for a nanny to clean your house; you are paying a livable wage for the person who will provide full-time one-on-one attention for your children."

 

That is why some people might choose to hire a nanny, it is not necessarily why WE chose to hire a nanny.  We chose to hire a nanny (a) so we didn't have to worry about getting the girls up and out of the house in the mornings, (b) because she would continue to care for the kids while they were sick (rather than having to pick them up from daycare) and (c) because she would manage and take care of the girls' things (which is specifically covered in the contract we both agreed to before she came to work with us).

 

In fact, I was concerned about socialization, etc., so we have additional expenses we wouldn't have in a daycare in terms of a couple of activities the girls are enrolled in.

 

Also there seems to be lots of exaggeration about "housekeeping" "cleaning the house" "taking out the garbage" etc.  I am talking about grabbing the container full of empty baby food jars as you walk through the kitchen on the way to the bathroom, and dropping them in the recycling bin.  She ain't doing the floors and dusting folks. 

 

She is also getting (as far as I have been able to determine) top dollar for our area, and more than she would be getting as a daycare employee.  She also has much more freedom than she would have as a daycare employee.

 



 



 


Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
#20 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 08:49 AM
 
geekgolightly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: on top of a very lovely mountain
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

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

 

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


Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
geekgolightly is offline  
#21 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 10:19 AM
 
isabella.4567's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

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

 

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

isabella.4567 is offline  
#22 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 10:39 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)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane93 View Post

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

  

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Phoenix~Mama likes this.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
GuildJenn is offline  
#23 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 11:04 AM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

One_Girl is offline  
#24 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 11:38 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)
This thread is really interesting to me. I used to be a nanny so I have a little bit of experience with this sort of thing. Honestly, as an employer, you should just talk to your nanny about these issues. What's really hard about having a nanny is that *you* are the boss. A lot of people are really uncomfortable being an employer, so instead of just addressing issues as they come up, they let things build up, and often become very angry and passive aggressive. In reality, we are talking about countertops, bibs, crumbs, spatulas and a little bin of baby jars, right? When I was a nanny, I wouldn't have batted an eye if my employer said "hey, could you please take the recycling to the garage" or "do you mind hand washing the knives?" These are not big issues! What you need to figure out is why you haven't mentioned anything to nanny, and why it seems to make you so angry.I don't think you have unreasonable expectations of housework. I do, however, think you should work on bring very clear about you expectations. Some people just aren't that neat and tidy, so you have to spell it out for them.
One_Girl likes this.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
scottishmommy is offline  
#25 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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)

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
hakeber is offline  
#26 of 151 Old 03-12-2011, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
Jane93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 156
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks everyone for their thoughts, especially scottishmommy and hollybearsmom. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Jane93 is offline  
#27 of 151 Old 03-13-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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)
OP all your feelings are totally valid. You are going through A LOT! Twins, starting back at work and concern over finances are all huge stressors. I know what you mean about being married to someone you hardly know. The nanny/mommy relationship is so hard! Especially since you probably don't spend much time with her. Luckily I work at night so my dh watches dd, and my brother, who lives with us. Let me tell you, I have no qualms about bossing my baby brother around! A hired stranger? Forget about it. I think you should be really honest with your nanny and say something like " I love having you as a nanny, so I feel really awkward asking you this, but is there anyway you could wipe down the counters etc..". Seriously, just let her know that it's really hard for you to criticize her. She'll totally understand! If your boss gave you some minor criticism would you even bat an eye? It's what bosses do! I also think you need to take it easy on yourself and recognize that yes, you are going to be jealous/sad/resentful/ what have you, right now. New moms experience a lot of seemingly irrational emotions. You're trying to juggle it all, so it's going to be taxing on you. Accept that this is hard and let yourself feel how you are going to feel!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
scottishmommy is offline  
#28 of 151 Old 03-14-2011, 09:47 AM
 
geekgolightly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: on top of a very lovely mountain
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


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

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post




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

 

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

 



 


Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
geekgolightly is offline  
#29 of 151 Old 03-14-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Alyantavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


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

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post


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

 

 



 


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

 

Alyantavid is offline  
#30 of 151 Old 03-14-2011, 10:31 AM
 
geekgolightly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: on top of a very lovely mountain
Posts: 1,673
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

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


Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
geekgolightly is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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