What about nannies making personal phone calls? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rigama View Post
I think it depends on the mall. When I lived in the Dallas area, they had some really rockin' malls with kid zones for jumping and climbing. I could see the appeal of such a place in the heat of the summer or the dead of winter, when kids just need to jump thier jumpies out but it's too nasty to be oustide for more than 10 minutes.
I agree. During the winter its too cold out. And since I had to pay out of my pocket for any activities for the child. The mall was free and cheap if we ate. We went to the Frisco Stonebriar mall.

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Ok, I just noticed this post, I have to admit I would be irritated with going to a mall for a "playdate", I wouldn't even do that myself. The mall is not child oriented. I left a playgroup because they were doing things like that. IMO there are much better indoor activities.
I'm sorry I disagree with the post about mall being inappropriate. We would go to the Barnes and Noble in the mall and sit and play with the trains and then read a few books. We'd also make it to story time when we could. Then we would eat lunch and she could have one ride on the carasoul. (Otherwise she'd ride it for hours!!) Then we'd play in the playplace for a few. I have no idea how that is not KID oriented or inappropriate. I'd love to know how it is. We didn't go shopping for me and buy things. So it wasn't an errand unless the mom asked to get something for her.
I was not about to sit inside the house 24/7 especially since I was live in. If you want to burn out a nanny by all means make her stay home at all times. Just like cabin fever.

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#62 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ziggy View Post

I was a nanny last year and while the situation was not in ANY way ideal, I'd have quit MUCH sooner had the parents said that I was not allowed to make personal phone calls/do personal errands with the kids.
Your situation sounds so absolutely awful, oh my gosh. Some people...

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#63 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:33 AM
 
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Actually many professional nannies will take on these chores, and will do some meal prep etc. I disagree that a professional nanny will never do anything that isn't child related- in fact, those who take on broader household responsibilities are called household managers and are paid better.

...many nannies enjoy taking on household management tasks, including planning trips, overseeing household repairs including getting bids on jobs, planting a garden, meal prep, planning entertaining, packing for trips, bills, scrapbooking for the kids, volunteering (well, you're paying her, so she's not technically volunteering LOL) at the kids' school, errands, etc. Again, this requires a raise.
Yes, and I have firsthand knowledge of this. We have a very professional, career Nanny/Household Manager, and she does a lot more than caring for the children. Childcare is her primary responsibility, and household management is secondary.

Interesting thread.
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#64 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
Thank you!
A nanny doesn't do house cleaning or laundry or fills in for mom. A nanny cares for children and the children's needs. She is an educator of small children and a Nanny doesn't have time for cleaning your house.
An "educator of children" is more like a Governess, in my experience.

The term "nanny" has a very broad range.
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#65 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post

Lay nannies do light housekeeping, errands, etc.
Never heard the term "lay nannies" in my 5 years of having nannies. Where did you pick this up?
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#66 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 05:56 AM
 
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As a nanny, I would always incorporate my charges in whatever activity i was doing, whether running errands or making dinner for the family(depending on age, of course)Errands and phone calls are a fact of life. Kids are capable of coping with both. I never would dream of doing anything that would compromise the happiness of my charge and I was always forthcoming with the parents when I knew I needed to get a few things done.
Bottom line-I used good judgement and the families I worked with trusted me and their decision to hire me. Now, as a parent, if I didn't think someone could juggle phone calls, errands, and kids, I probably wouldn't hire them to care for my babies.
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#67 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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Potty Diva, I don't know if I'm reading this right, but I was a *lesser* nanny because I also cleaned and cooked? And helped out at the kids school? On the one day a week that the kids had after school activities I volunteered in the ESL center. I also chaperoned a couple of class fieldtrips when I had time - it was fun. I fail to see how this makes me *lesser* or a *lay nanny* or anything of the sort. I'm working on my teacher's certification, have taken child development classes, have been working with both children and adults with developmental disabilities and typically abled kids since I was thirteen, etc. I find your implications incredibly insulting that I was not a "professional." Is nannying a "profession?" It was my job, it paid my bills, it was legal, so I have no qualms calling it a profession, making me a professional.

I'd also incorporate the kids into helping out as much as I could. I taught the nine year olds how to make a simply dinner, so they'd always help with at least cutting up the salad. One kid would help set the table, things like that. We'd throw on some putomayo kids or marlo thomas and just have fun.
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#68 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 09:45 AM
 
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Having been a nanny in the past, I would like whoever is babysitting by kids to feel at home in my home and with my kids. If she wanted to take my kids to the store to do her personal shopping I wouldn't have a problem. Personal phone calls would be a non issue with me. As long as she was taking great care of my kids (as I am still able to do when shopping or talking on the phone) and they loved being with her there would be no problem. As for cleaning, when I was a nanny I didn't do any major housework, but I always left the house in the same condition I found it. Always cleaned up the little messes that were made through the day.

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#69 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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Your situation sounds so absolutely awful, oh my gosh. Some people...
You know, reading some of the replies, I'm feeling like it wouldn't be much better to work for some of the posters here.
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#70 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Potty Diva, I don't know if I'm reading this right, but I was a *lesser* nanny because I also cleaned and cooked? And helped out at the kids school? On the one day a week that the kids had after school activities I volunteered in the ESL center. I also chaperoned a couple of class fieldtrips when I had time - it was fun. I fail to see how this makes me *lesser* or a *lay nanny* or anything of the sort. I'm working on my teacher's certification, have taken child development classes, have been working with both children and adults with developmental disabilities and typically abled kids since I was thirteen, etc. I find your implications incredibly insulting that I was not a "professional." Is nannying a "profession?" It was my job, it paid my bills, it was legal, so I have no qualms calling it a profession, making me a professional.

I'd also incorporate the kids into helping out as much as I could. I taught the nine year olds how to make a simply dinner, so they'd always help with at least cutting up the salad. One kid would help set the table, things like that. We'd throw on some putomayo kids or marlo thomas and just have fun.

No. Lesser does not describe a nanny without a college degree in child development.

Lay nanny is a term applied to women who care for children in a nanny capacity, yet their life goal and career will not be nannying.

There is a difference betweening being professional (behavior) and a profession (a life career).

I understand that unless you have been involved with professional nanny agencies it is hard to grasp the various concepts.
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#71 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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It's not "hard to grasp the different concepts" as you condescendingly put it, it's stupid to differentiate between them, especially a term which apparently exists in a very small sphere, seeing as no search engine, nor any of the nannies I mentioned this to who DO work for and with agencies, can find anything on it.

So you're saying if you hired a "professional" nanny that, if you got home at 6:00pm and the nanny had cooked dinner for the kid that you'd be happy to find she'd not made extra, and therefore you immediatly had to swing into work mode in cooking for yourself while watching your kid who doesn't want to sit still, because they just ate? Or do you make yourself dinner, while cleaning the kitchen after the nanny cooked, while the nanny keeps your kid out of your hair until you're done?
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#72 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
No. Lesser does not describe a nanny without a college degree in child development.

Lay nanny is a term applied to women who care for children in a nanny capacity, yet their life goal and career will not be nannying.

There is a difference betweening being professional (behavior) and a profession (a life career).

I understand that unless you have been involved with professional nanny agencies it is hard to grasp the various concepts.

Unless you ARE involved with such an agency, those concepts are pretty unimportant. IMO, using these concepts outside an agency context is likely to have the effect of making any number of people feel confused, not to mention belittled.

I've worked with a bunch of placement agencies in finding jobs as an administrative assistant. Placement agencies of all kinds are assisted in their work by concrete job categories and descriptions, but actual workers and actual employers almost always wind up negotiating more flexible job descriptions because both sides benefit from those, and also because some hard and fast rules that agencies toss around (like "administrative assistants don't fetch coffee" and "nannies only cook for the children") can wind up causing problems for employers.

If you hire someone to come to your home and care for your children (and possibly do some other things as well), you call that person what she wants to be called, and you should treat her with respect. Period. Hair splitting over titles is not a luxury that parents should indulge in.
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#73 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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condescending? No, definitely not. I am sorry that my post came across that way.

I thought these terms were common, but I see they are not. It's not a lesser or greater thing, better or worse - just different.

In my life of being involved with professional nannies (I am not one) the difference is very important because of the time, energy and education they have invested in their career.

I was, wat I refer to, as a lay nanny. I did light housekeeping, cooked family meals, planned activities for the children, ran errands, did the family grocery shopping, picked children up from school and shuttled them to events. So I am not saying a lay nanny is lesser.

BUT, it is different.
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#74 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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Not only are you saying (whether you'll admit it or not, it's very blatant in how it's coming across) that "lay nannies" are less important, you are further implying that they take worse care of the children. The "lay nanny" is something who will do the grunt work - shuffle kids around, cook, clean, occasionally play with a kid if they have time, where as the saintly and amazing PROFESSIONAL NANNY will have none of that "lay nanny" business wherein they, god forbid, start a meal or take a two minute break to collect themselves.
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#75 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:27 AM
 
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There is nothing to admit. You read my post wrong.

Lay nannies are not lesser, professional nannies are not better.

Just like CNAs are not lesser because they change bedsheets and RNs are not better because they dont.
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#76 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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On the topic of household chores I think that's something you negotiate up front in the contract. The contract protects you both by outlining what the expectations are clearly. I think that's really important because it depends so much on:

- the kids' temperment and ages
- the nanny's experience and own personality (some people multi-task better than others)
- the way your house is laid out (is the laundry area where you can't see/hear the kids, etc. etc.)

and of course the hours and compensation.

I get uncomfortable about "I expect the nanny to do what I would do." Working with kids is kind of creative in a lot of ways, and as someone who manages creative freelancers I have to say that people all have their own rhythms and way of doing things. Of course there are minimum standards to be met, but a big way to have problem is to assume that someone will or can do what you do the way that you do it.

This is where a contract works because the nanny can say things like "I can change the beds, but while I am doing that I will have to put the kids in front of the tv, because I personally will lose it if the kids are bouncing on the sheets while I'm trying to do it." Whereas as a mom I might not mind if the kids bounce on the sheets while I try to fasten the corners down.

Also on the creative note I do personally believe that really good caregivers need to bring their best IDEAS and flexibility to the role. I personally believe that in many (not all) cases giving some flexibility and respect just gives people the space THEY need to do their best job.

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#77 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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I know nil about nannies, but I wanted to say that I wouldn't consider any job that cared so little about my worth as a human being as to tell me I couldn't have personal phone calls, etc. We have got to move beyond the worker-as-property culture if we're ever going to progress as a society. This is very disheartening.
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#78 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Not only are you saying (whether you'll admit it or not, it's very blatant in how it's coming across) that "lay nannies" are less important, you are further implying that they take worse care of the children. The "lay nanny" is something who will do the grunt work - shuffle kids around, cook, clean, occasionally play with a kid if they have time, where as the saintly and amazing PROFESSIONAL NANNY will have none of that "lay nanny" business wherein they, god forbid, start a meal or take a two minute break to collect themselves.


Ziggy, I don't think that's how she meant it (former "lay" nanny here, LOL, although I also have never heard that term). I don't think she is saying a "professional" nanny is "better." I get what she's saying....a "professional" nanny is someone who is a career nanny, and would typically work for a wealthy family (since that is the type of family that could afford this type of nanny). The family that hires this type of nanny would more likely have other types of household help.

With that, I do think it's splitting hairs a bit. I used to manage a nanny agency, and we emphasized that nannies did not clean the house, unless it was *very* specifically laid out beforehand. If a client said, "light housekeeping" we really pressed them on what that meant, b/c it was amazing what things a client would want considered "light" ("Scrubbing the bathroom floor is light housekeeping isn't it??" Ummmm, NO).

Anyway, I think you're taking offense at something you shouldn't be. Just my two cents, and I'm butting out now. =)
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#79 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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I know nil about nannies, but I wanted to say that I wouldn't consider any job that cared so little about my worth as a human being as to tell me I couldn't have personal phone calls, etc. We have got to move beyond the worker-as-property culture if we're ever going to progress as a society. This is very disheartening.




And...we're back On-Topic!! (Yes, I agree with you).

Also, I know there are jobs that exist that making a small personal phone call is very frowned upon - but it is b/c of the nature of the work (eg. Retail or Restaurant work come to mind).

But again, comparing other totally different lines of work to nanny work doesn't make sense.

Where is the common sense in all this?? And what on earth is a parent doing entrusting her children with someone to care for if she can't trust their judgment around a PHONE CALL??

What, is she going to check her personal cell phone at the end of each day and monitor all the calls and times?

UGH. Do people not see how micromanaging someone you TRUST WITH YOUR CHILD like cannot be good?
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#80 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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Thanks Karina.
Lay nanny is a term I am using just to clarify for myself, nothing I had heard of before this conversation

And this is why I love contract, it keeps everything in order and all respectable-like.
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#81 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 11:16 AM
 
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And...we're back On-Topic!! (Yes, I agree with you).

Also, I know there are jobs that exist that making a small personal phone call is very frowned upon - but it is b/c of the nature of the work (eg. Retail or Restaurant work come to mind).

But again, comparing other totally different lines of work to nanny work doesn't make sense.

Where is the common sense in all this?? And what on earth is a parent doing entrusting her children with someone to care for if she can't trust their judgment around a PHONE CALL??

What, is she going to check her personal cell phone at the end of each day and monitor all the calls and times?

UGH. Do people not see how micromanaging someone you TRUST WITH YOUR CHILD like cannot be good?
And indeed we are back on topic.

I was also wondering this. How would you know if they had used their cell phone for personal calls? Interrogate your children at days end? Check their personal cell phone?

Or just trust them?
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#82 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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You know, reading some of the replies, I'm feeling like it wouldn't be much better to work for some of the posters here.
Mainstream parents all the way It is so much more relaxing- with a few unique issues such as GD, and eating healthy.
Id also never work in someone elses home again. I had a pretty decent employer, except sometimes I had 14 hour days and did not get over-time. She did ask me to clean the house- which I replied is $20 an hour for house cleaning. That was the end of that thought

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#83 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I know nil about nannies, but I wanted to say that I wouldn't consider any job that cared so little about my worth as a human being as to tell me I couldn't have personal phone calls, etc. We have got to move beyond the worker-as-property culture if we're ever going to progress as a society. This is very disheartening.
that:
Disheartening is a good word.
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#84 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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One summer I had a 5 day a week 8 hour a day babysitting job. Best job ever. It was two women raising their three kids - seven year old twin daughters and a five month old son. They were vegetarian, had no TV, no computer for the kids, etc. It was awesome - so I don't think it's the mainstream or not aspect that makes it difficult to nanny for a family.
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#85 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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One summer I had a 5 day a week 8 hour a day babysitting job. Best job ever. It was two women raising their three kids - seven year old twin daughters and a five month old son. They were vegetarian, had no TV, no computer for the kids, etc. It was awesome - so I don't think it's the mainstream or not aspect that makes it difficult to nanny for a family.
I had a regular job babysitting (nowhere near nannying) for a child one night a week (date night!) for three and a half years in high school. His parents were alternative, vegan, no TV. It was the most peaceful house I knew and I really do think it's predisposed me towards NFL.

However I really think a lot of that is personality - theirs and mine.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#86 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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I have a "professional" nanny (at least according to Potty Diva's description) and she cooks, cleans, organizes and run errands. In fact she was one the one who put these additional items in her contract. :

With our nannies we have always had a work agreement (contract), a confidentiality agreement and a “house rules” agreement. In the house rules it mentions personal phone call, errand running, computer use, friends visiting etc. All are acceptable within reason.

I start out fairly “strict” during the probation stage and then relax the rules as we go along. For example in the beginning it was no personal errands without prior approval. This is so I knew what they were doing, how far they were travelling etc. However at this point my nanny might say to me: Hey, we hit the gardening store today to pick up some plants for my garden. I let (DS) pick out some seeds to plant around her too. We had a blast, he can’t wait to show you his garden.

To me trust brings freedom. At this point my nanny has the freedom to do what she thinks is right. Even so anything really out of the norm she still calls and double checks. I am so sad to lose her this summer. She is opening up her own daycare/preschool.

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#87 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamasaurus View Post
Never heard the term "lay nannies" in my 5 years of having nannies. Where did you pick this up?
I haven't either, and I've been a nanny for years.

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Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Potty Diva, I don't know if I'm reading this right, but I was a *lesser* nanny because I also cleaned and cooked?
That's kind of what I'm getting out if it, too, like if I was a *better* nanny I could make more and do less, but because I'm not, I have to do dirty work, too? I don't think I expresed that thought very well, but this whole thing is just confusing.

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One summer I had a 5 day a week 8 hour a day babysitting job. Best job ever. It was two women raising their three kids - seven year old twin daughters and a five month old son. They were vegetarian, had no TV, no computer for the kids, etc. It was awesome - so I don't think it's the mainstream or not aspect that makes it difficult to nanny for a family.
I agree. While it's nice to work with people with similar ideas about raising children, people are people. They all have different personalities, and in the end, that's what it comes down to- not what they want you to feed their kids, but how they treat those kids, how they treat you, and how you "click".

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#88 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I have a "professional" nanny (at least according to Potty Diva's description) and she cooks, cleans, organizes and run errands. In fact she was one the one who put these additional items in her contract. :
Excellent point - like I said, the term "nanny" has a very broad range.

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Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post
With our nannies we have always had a work agreement (contract), a confidentiality agreement and a “house rules” agreement. In the house rules it mentions personal phone call, errand running, computer use, friends visiting etc. All are acceptable within reason.

I start out fairly “strict” during the probation stage and then relax the rules as we go along. For example in the beginning it was no personal errands without prior approval. This is so I knew what they were doing, how far they were travelling etc. However at this point my nanny might say to me: Hey, we hit the gardening store today to pick up some plants for my garden. I let (DS) pick out some seeds to plant around her too. We had a blast, he can’t wait to show you his garden.

To me trust brings freedom. At this point my nanny has the freedom to do what she thinks is right. Even so anything really out of the norm she still calls and double checks. .
I agree with all of this. Especially the "trust brings freedom" part. The nanny/family working relationship is unique. It is not like an office job, BUT it needs to be treated professionally by both the nanny and the parents. It can become very warm and friendly over time.

In short - the professional foundation of a nanny/family relationship can allow a warm, friendly environment to develop.

IMHO.
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#89 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Back to the phone call topic: My nanny makes an occasional quick call - calling for services for her elderly mom, checking on a bill or other business, etc., and I have no problem with it. When else is she going to make calls? Every job I have ever worked at I made personal calls from time to time, either on a break or during a slow period, and I would expect to give the people I hire the same respect. Bottom line, as long as my children are safe and happy and loved, which they absolutely are, and my 3.5 y.o. clearly looks forward to her "nanny days," I am happy.

ETA: I might feel different about the errands, that would be more case specific. For instance, my nanny took my 3.5 y.o. out for a walk and they walked down to her apt. five blocks away so she could check on her own elderly mom. Sofie thought of this as a fun outing, so that was fine. Ditto if she wanted to go to the library (one of Sofia's favorite haunts), the grocery store (esp. Costco where there are SAMPLES!) or something else that I know Sofie enjoys. Now, if she were going to the home improvement store to spend an hour looking at paint chips, which I KNOW from personal experience my kiddo would classify as boooring, I would NOT be o.k. with that.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#90 of 91 Old 04-15-2008, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really think that nobody here said they would absolutely forbid personal calls under any and all circumstances. Sheesh. But some people, like me, have an expectation that generally "work" hours will not be used for personal phone calls, chatting with friends, etc. First, a nanny job is not like an office job in that there isn't a discrete amount of work to get done and how you allot your time is your own business (ie, you can stay late and catch up, so who cares if you run to the bank for an hour during the day?). Rather, it's more like a customer service job in that you are "on" and the quality of your services may become lessened if you are preoccupied with other things. Obviously, some people do not expect their nannies to be as "on" as others. Which is fine.

However, high-end nannies earn $15-25 per hour, and I don't think having a general expectation that she won't be chatting with her boyfriend is outrageous. Or that she won't drag the kids to an out-of-the-way appointment. Obviously most reasonable employers will be flexible and will want their nannies to take care of special circumstances, emergencies, etc. But everyone has different standards, and that's fine too. When I was a nanny, I certainly observed nannies who chatted away for an hour or more, sitting on a bench while their charges happily played. The parents may not have minded, the kids weren't being hurt, all was well. Also, I agree that kids not only don't need someone constantly in their faces, but it can be annoying to be constantly engaged, and it is developmentally important to teach children to entertain themselves for awhile.
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