Which nanny would you go with? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 05-06-2011, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two children ages 4 and 7.  I need a live-in nanny (can't afford live-out).  She will make breakfast, get them dressed, walk/bike with my children to school, stay home with my 4 year old 2-3 days/week when he's not at kindergarten, and with both when needed (PA days/sick days etc.) and do housekeeping.  She will supervise them until I get home after work, cook dinner every night and do cleaning/errands on her bike the days both kids are at school.

 

I am in the very fantastic situation of having to decide between two very good nanny's, but I have to decide right away.

 

Nanny #1: currently lives with us, hired one month ago, Filipino, seems very bright like she reads my mind at times re: what to have for dinner, wearing coats outside, etc., doesn't have to be 'taught' a lot, figures things out for herself and remembers every detail I explain to her, English is quite good, cleans the house and prepares food etc. to my standard, (I'm pretty anal about the way certain things are done and she does them the same way), has a lot of friends in the neighbourhood so lots of options for playdates and she knows the area really well, she goes out a lot (giving me more privacy) including all weekend, is a decent cook (cooks dinner every night), very easy to get along with, helps out after her shift is completed all the time even when I tell her she doesn't need to, joins me in the evening when she's off work to take kids out to dinner, to a movie, invites kids to sing kareoke in her room with her, etc. (DH works late and I enjoy the company), this is a nanny share where she goes elsewhere one day/week so I save money, no kids or husband of her own, very social and outgoing, does not travel back home often, before working for us she was a nanny for another child at our school, teachers know her, wants to be a live in (vs live out) nanny (for now), very technically inclinded, has own laptop, Blackberry, texts me at work regularly with updates on my son's day, about dinner, etc..  She's also a coffee drinker, which sounds weird but I enjoy sharing coffee with someone when I make a pot (DH does not drink coffee).  She is just a happy person who is really nice to have around.

 

BUT, she lets them watch tv shows I've asked her not to, has "nanny-hopped" twice before coming to work for me (managing my two boisterous boys versus one baby who still naps can be tough and I wouldn't be surprised if she hopped again), does not know how to iron, not good at disciplining kids, will play hockey with them or take them for bike rides, but doesn't play games with them or read them books, play board games etc., and doesn't do it too often, doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day),doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day), doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day),doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day),doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day), doesn't really seem to care about outside of house, leaves toys and patio furniture everwhere, takes out recycling but if it blows on to the lawn she leaves it there, doesn't sweep sand of patio etc. (remember kids are gone all day),  lets kids watch tv and eat lots of snacks before dinner, has to be asked to do things that seem really obvious (I'm rushing to get the kids out the door, getting their shoes on, coats on etc. while she stands watching or goes in the other room - have to continually ask, "please do up DS coat, please help him with his shoes, please open the door for me..." etc., she is responsible for the kids breakfast and I gave her a list of things she can make, but she won't make anything unless I come down and say "please make DS toast and get him a drink of water", she gets her citizenship in August and will possibly stop being nanny then, (but "says" she wants to continue to nanny), has to be asked very specifically do do things otherwise doesn't take the initiative to do things. Would probably not come with us if we moved as she wants to stay in the area (we are thinking of moving).

 

Nanny #2: from Greece, worked for me on Saturdays for 2 years as mother's helper so have known her a long time, knows how to iron, doesn't allow kids to watch tv, is always trying to get them to each vegetables, use manners, etc. (seems to really care about the kids), almost seems to parent more like a parent than just a babysitter, plays in the yard or boardgames with them, reads them stories, very hard worker (takes initiative to do extra work without being asked), likely to teach them things rather than just supervise them, a little better at disciplining kids, very consciencous about house and kids (treats like they were her own), very honest/loyal, very unlikely to nanny hop.  I don't have experience with her as a live-in yet, but she takes more initiative and probably would just make the kids a healthy breakfast without being asked, would probably come anywhere if we move.

 

BUT, is not a great cook, always wants to cook food from "her country" even though I've told her my kids don't like it, her English isn't as strong as #1, have to explain things to her many times and doesn't always get it right, doesn't know the area or anyone in neighbourhood, is an "ok" cleaner (works very hard at it and does a lot, but does a so-so job), doesn't clean or handle food to my standard, does not go out evenings/weekends (nanny bedroom is on bedroom level), prefers liveout but willing to be live in (for now), probably would not join me for dinner/movies with kids, her English skills make it harder to converse casually with, she gets her citizenship in December, says she wants to stay as a nanny after that, but she goes home for 3 months every Decemver (and she just got married in April so I'm not sure she'd even come back), more quiet, private person who keeps to herself more than #1, not nanny share so more money, does not know our neighbourhood, not very technically inclined, seemed a little down and burnt out last time I saw her, not as happy and outgoing as #1.

 

I promised #2 the job when she left to go home in December, for when she returned at the end of May, but then had some unexpected issues come up and had to hire a nanny at the beginning of March.  I emailed #2 twice to ask her if she was coming back for sure, and how long she could committ to being a nanny for on her return.  I didn't hear from her and knew she'd had trouble with her email, but also that she had gotten married, and had to get a nanny in so hired #1.  Well, now I really like #1 and realize how much less work it is for me that her English is so good and she figures things out so quickly, and I like that she goes out almost every night after dinner.  She already lives with us and it's easy to keep her.

 

Basically, I feel like #1 is easier for me as she "gets" things quickly and figures things out easily, what she does she does really well and she does enough, but there are some things she just doesn't do and she's not as good with the kids.  I feel like #2 is a bit more work for me as I keep having to explain things to her (and she's always giving me her suggestions, whereas #1 just does what I ask), but there so much she does that I don't have to ask, she's better with the kids and I trust her more.

 

I have more of a chance for consistency long term with #1 because #2 is married now and I know she'll be going home again in December and may not come back as she'll have her citizenship, and things are going fairly well, finally settled in to a routine with #1 and I'm a little nervous about changing things up again when I haven't seen #2 in 6 months and my only experience with her is on Saturdays (vs live-in).  But #1 does have trouble with the kids a little bit and doesn't do as much.

 

I really loved #2 when she worked weekends for me and did some occasional babysitting, thought I'd found the best nanny in the world, then I met #1 and I really, really like her since it's so easy to have her around.  They just have such different qualities.  If #2 was not coming back from Greece and I hadn't already promised her the job, I would be very happy with #1, but there are some real advantages to #2 too, (particularly in how she's better with the kids in some ways).

 

Ack!  I have to make the decision in the next 2 days!!!  WWYD?

 

TIA!  And thanks if you made it to the end of my mile-long note!

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#2 of 12 Old 05-06-2011, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry it's repeating that one sentence over and over, it won't let me edit it out!!

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#3 of 12 Old 05-06-2011, 09:57 PM
 
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It sounds like you are very comfortable around #1 which is an important thing considering she will be live-in. Consistency would be a huge factor for me, so I would go with the one who will likely be around longer - which you implied would be # 1 also.

Maybe you can discuss the things with her that need improvement and tell her no TV for the kids.

 

#2 sounds like there are too many unknown factors, plus if she goes back home for 3 months every year, can you do without a nanny for that long or who would fill in?

 

 

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#4 of 12 Old 05-06-2011, 11:47 PM
 
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I think I would go with number one, and try to work on the things you would like to improve.  Since she is so good on her off hours I probably wouldn't pick on her lack of tidying the yard, but I would remind her about tv, and ask her specifically to do certain activities with the kids (like the reading and board games.)


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#5 of 12 Old 05-07-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weliveintheforest View Post

I think I would go with number one, and try to work on the things you would like to improve.  Since she is so good on her off hours I probably wouldn't pick on her lack of tidying the yard, but I would remind her about tv, and ask her specifically to do certain activities with the kids (like the reading and board games.)


I agree but I think you should also ask her to pick up the recycling if it blows all over the yard or get a container it can't blow out of if that is an option.  I personally hate yard work so I really don't see what needs to be done or even care about what needs to be done at all.  I am just not motivated by outside plants and yards that can't sustain themselves.  If she has an aversion to yard work then you probably need to spell out very clearly what needs to be done in the yard that is related to the childcare, or if she has agreed to do house work, yard work, and work as a nanny depending on where the children are at on a particular day then you should spell out everything kid and not kid related that needs to be done in the yard.  It really isn't something that comes naturally to a person who has only rarely had to do anything in a yard that wasn't fun.

 

It may be that nanny 1 sees the time when the kids are in school as time off from the job also.  It may help to either make that time off and have that reflected in what you are paying her or clarify what is expected of her during those times and have a check list for her to go through on those days before doing other things of her choosing.

 

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#6 of 12 Old 05-07-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Number 1, and kill cable. And nannies shouldn't have to pick garbage off your lawn.
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#7 of 12 Old 05-07-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Do you really want a nanny? Because she really sounds like a housekeeper who watches the kids ome of the time. I point out the distinction because it might help you think about what you really want. Number one sounds like a fine housekeeper but a not very good nanyang. I mean seriously, tv you don't allow? Doesn't play? No fun? Bah. Not very good. But it is tough blend of skills if you really need a lot of housekeeping including things like recycling off the lawn and breakfast and play. Number two could just have a different blend of strengths and weaknesses. My kids are younger so it is hard to give advice about the needs of older kids but the house needs wouldn't bug me as much as th childcare issues.
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#8 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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I think I would go with number 1. It sounds like you need a housekeeper more than a nanny, and number 1 is better at cooking and cleaning. She also sounds like she fits in as a family member much better, while still giving you plenty of space when she's not working, and that's important IMHO for a live-in. Good luck.

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#9 of 12 Old 05-08-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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I used to be a nanny/housekeeper before kids - with each of the families that I worked for, I noticed that it took about 1 year before things "clicked" and everything ran very smoothly. It sounds like you have that with nanny #1, and it might take you a while to get to that point with #2 especially if you are going to have her live in. Honestly, I would go with #1 simply because you can LIVE with her and it works out well - that is a really hard thing to find (I was a liveout), why start over with someone new? 

 

That being said, I would definitely bring up the points that you mentioned with #1 that bother you - for me, I did much better with a list of things to do vs. just being expected to figure them out since the things that I might prioritize to clean, might not be the nanny mom's #1 priority, kwim? So bringing this up to her or making a daily list of things to specifically get done might help for a little while until she gets used to what your cleaning priorities are.

 

I also agree with making some set "hours" or whatnot while the kids are in school so she knows that you still would like her to work then. I did a couple of temp livein jobs and this was very nice to know - I could then scout out things to clean/take care of during the kid's off time. 

 

Baby is waking up - g2g, but will be watching this thread and trying to think of some other ideas for you.


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#10 of 12 Old 05-10-2011, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!  To clarify a few things - both kids are in school full time right now so she is at home all day with no kids most days (though I would like to be able to have my kids home with her in the summer so I don't have to try to fill 9 weeks of camps and pay for a nanny - but my kids would likely be bored with nanny #1, while #2 would likely play with them more).  So it really is a blend of housekeeping and child care.  And I would like my younger son to be able to stay home part time in the fall too.

 

What I was referring to in tidying the yard is picking up the empty bubble containers and sandbox toys from all over the backyard and putting them away when they are done outside - she leaves all kinds of things everywhere (even the kids shoes and coat outside over night) and leaves the shed door open every day.  I just feel like some of the stuff is obvious, and I shouldn't have to remind her every day to do those specific things if one of her jobs is to ensure the backyard toys are tidied at the end of the day (I've asked her to encourage the kids to help).  At minimum, there's no reason she can't do it while they are at school the next day.

 

We have set her hours in a written contract, as well as her duties - she works 8-10am, and 1-6 pm.  She has three hours off mid-day, each day.  Her duties are listed in the contract and are a combination of childcare and housekeeping (I have a cleaning lady as well as I felt that it was too much to expect my nanny, during the limited hours - to do all of the laundry, cooking, dishes, tidying, etc. AND clean the entire house - we have a 2800 square foot 4 bedroom house, and I also wanted to be able to have the kids home in the summer with her).  I also often leave her list to remind her each day what specifically needs to be done (which creates more work for me - #2 I never had to ask).

 

Right now, she cares for the kids from 8-9 and again from 4:30-6 so she really has 3 1/2 hours a day for housekeeping.  I just find that unless I specify exactly what I mean by things (i.e. "keep back yard tidy and put toys away" is too vague), she takes an "easier" route, (so it's a lot of work for me every day to look at exactly what needs to be picked up or put away outside - and everywhere else - and write it down for #1 each day) whereas #2 would have not only had the backyard tidy, but cleaned and reorganized the shed, washed and set up the water table, alphabetized the sand toys and cleaned the patio furniture without me even expecting her to.  #1 will do what I ask, but only exactly what I ask and only if I ask.  # 2 will do way more than I ask without me having to ask (if that makes sense).  (But # 2 is not always thorough).

 

I don't expect my nanny to do "yard work", but one of her jobs is to take the recycling to the curb every 2 weeks, and if she puts the blue bin down at the curb and a pizza box and some juice boxes fly out on to the lawn in front of her due to a breeze, there is no reason IMO she shouldn't pick them up and put them back in the blue bin, (she will just leave them there on the lawn, the recycling truck comes and goes and I come home to garbage on my front lawn - I live in a neighbourhood of perfectly manicured lawns and get snooty comments from neighbours if I have garbage on my lawn all day).  I'm essentially a single mom and the trucks come after I've left for work so if she doesn't pick it up, it sits there all day. 

 

Yes, going without a nanny Jan-Feb-March is a big concern for me for #2.

 

We do allow tv, but nanny #1 has been told that they cannot watch certain shows / channels with bad language and innapropriate content, yet she does allow this as it is on when I walk in every night.  I have told her that my 7 yo is not allowed to watch those shows, but she lets him and just says "he turns it on and I need to make dinner, I tell him to turn it off but he turns it back on".  Yes, I am working with my son to respect our rules and she has a "token" system where she can give/remove tokens for certain things but she doesn't really seem to try to enforce my rules in this area and doesn't try to use our token system.  I've told her "just turn it off or unplug it" but she doesn't.  This is a challenge I have that I am working on with her, but is an example of how she doesn't discipline the kids very well.  Another rule is no snacks before dinner, but she lets them eat tons of chips and things, and then they won't eat dinner - she says they just take it and acts like there is nothing she can do about it.  Again, I'm working with the kids on their role in this, but she doesn't seem to really try either.  I've had to put all of our snacks out of reach/hidden.  Nanny #2 did try and was very successful as she uses the same tone of authority I do and my kids don't always like it, but they do listen to #2 better.  Nanny #2 only lets them watch the shows I approve, and even then she suggests they go outside to play with her or they read a book together first instead.  She has actually told ME that she does'nt think such-and-such a show is appropriate and so she wouldn't let them watch it (a violent cartoon I wasn't familiar with).

 

I have to constantly remind #1 to put fruit out with breakfast or include vegetables in dinner, whereas #2 would remind ME if I forgot.  She just seems to actually care more about the children's well-being.  # 2 is a better housekeeper - she works harder and gets more done, she's better with the kids, but her English is not as strong, I wouldn't have as much privacy, and she will likely leave in December (don't know how long #1 will stay though as she gets her papers in August).  And #1 has a really happy aura about her and is pleasant to have around.  #2 seems to really miss her family and although she is very pleasant to have around and I get along very well with her, she doesn't necessarily seem like a "happy" person if that makes sense, which would almost make me feel bad asking her to do things.

 

I know they may not sound like great nannies, but compared to other nannies we've had and many friends have had, these two are awesome.

 

Thanks for everyone's feedback.  I think what it comes down to is keeping #1 is easier in many ways, but I think #2 would be better for the kids.  They do know her very well since she's been working Saturdays for 2 years as well as babysitting for those 2 years.  It just really limits me for what will happen in December.

 

Any other thoughts or feedback are welcome!!

 

 

 

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#11 of 12 Old 05-10-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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It sounds like you know that #2 is actually the better fit. She does more of the things you want more of the time. THe language barrier is an issue but is something you can work with her about. And if your kids don't listen to #1 AND she doesn't enforce the rules when they don't listen, then the language skills don't mean much.

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#12 of 12 Old 05-11-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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In light of your last post, I change my vote to#2, she sounds more of what you need.

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