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Outside of my child's well being this is the biggest concern we have with hiring a live in nanny. We just don't know what to expect, I don't want her to feel like she's trapped in her room when not working but I do want my family to have some privacy when I'm at home. I did offer to share meals with her or at least make sure she got B/L/D. Some of it we'll have to just work out w/ her and her expectations, but what worked for your family?
 

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I'll just give you the view from being a live-in nanny. I was a live-out first but became so close to them I stayed after work till 9 at night just to hang out I eventually just moved in. I had my own room and bathroom right near the kids rooms. One thing that could get iffy if its near the kids rooms is to make sure at night if the kid wakes up you don't expect her to get them. We had miscommunication on that one. She ended up crying a while b/c I was asleep with headphones and they thought I was gonna get her and didn't. I don't know anyone else that had this problem but it was our only real upset. So I just thought I'd throw it out there.

I also had a doors closed no bother policy. If my door was closed it meant stay away. They respected it and made sure to keep the kids away from my door when I was off duty. I also made sure to not bother them. I would go down and say hi and get food or do what i was doing but they made sure to take the kids back when I went back to my room or out the door. Sometimes they would try to engage me (the kids) but the parents were very respectful and distracted them.

I didn't find it weird at all and I don't think they did either b/c we got along so well. We had set hours and they made sure to come relieve me. Though I stayed for dinner they didn't make me help with the kids unless I offered. Just communication is KEY! Don't expect something unless you ask and lay it out first. Also sit down and write up what you expect and what she does. Do you expect her to be in home at a certain time. Do you have an alarm system if she goes out on the weekend. Do you not want her to go out? Things like that. You want her ready and at work at 8? Or does she get up at 8 and take care of the kids while she gets ready? If you don't communicate it can get stressful.

Personally, I loved living in with them. They were a great family and now they are my best friends. I talk with them almost every day and it made a great bond for us. Hope it works out well for you!
 

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We have a live-in au pair. We love her and just extended her to stay another year. When I first was pregnant (we only have one so far) my husband was the one pushing for a live-in because we both had odd work hours. I was really resistant because I'm an isolator.. I want my home to be private. It was hard enough to get used to being married!

That said, I was shocked to find how much I love having a live-in. I think a big part of it is how well our personalities are matched. Our first au pair didn't work out and asked to be rematch (long story, I think she had expectations of coming to the US and living with a rich family, and she didn't get that with us! We're middle class, and sorta messy) She really kept to herself and our personalities didn't match well, and once again my husband pushed to try again for another au pair. I'm so glad he did. Before that experience I would've told you that I wanted an au pair who would disappear when she wasn't working, but once we had someone like that in our house I was so uncomfortable with her.

Our current au pair is much friendlier... her English is great, which helps with feeling comfortable around each other. We're good friends, and she totally doesn't mind that I'm home a lot. We do respect her boundaries... her time off is her time off. She even told us to wake her if we needed her help at night, but we never did. I think it's easy for boundaries to get blurry with a live-in situation.

I don't feel like we don't have privacy... like I said, her time off is her time, and often she goes out with friends and will be gone all weekend, and it's just me, DH, and DS again. Sometimes I miss her.


So I think we were lucky the second time around... just wanted to echo the PP about making sure the expectations are clear on both sides... but also to let you know it can work out really really well. Make sure it's someone who listens to you, and do your best to listen to their input too. A weekly family meeting is also a good idea. Good luck!
 

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I loved the convenience of having a live-in nanny, but I hated the lack of privacy. I think it depends on your personality.

I like to come home and get my jammies on right after work (or at least sweat pants - I wear a business suit all day). Sometimes we eat in front of the tv. Sometimes I lose my patience when my 2 yo takes his diaper off and gets poop on the walls (ok, this happened once...). Sometimes I throw the kids clothes on the stairs rather than taking them up to the laundry right away. Sometimes I sneak a 2nd helping of dinner or dessert. Sometimes I like to gossip on the phone with my sister. Sometimes I let the kids watch tv while I go on Mothering.com.
I just felt like with a nanny living in the house, I had to be "super mom" and not do these things, when in reality, I'm so not.

Our nanny was very discreet, she had her own room but on our bedroom level. I just felt like she could hear everything I did even after she finished work and went upstairs. I used to feel a huge sense of relief, (like I could relax and be myself) when she would go out some evenings. I also felt like I wanted to treat her a little like a guest, (i.e. offer to make her tea if I was having some in the evening and she came downstairs, always asking if she had enough dinner, etc.) but also uncomfortable if she tried to wait on me, (she would offer to make the tea). I just hated going through that every night - it was like having a guest every night, but not one I was really comfortable with to be myself as I always had in mind that I am her employer, and I never wanted it to get "too friendly".

So all in all, I couldn't WAIT to get my house back when we decided to let her go (we let her go for other reasons which are covered in other posts so I won't go in to that here).

I did find it to be a real loss of privacy, but I'm a very private person and her bedroom was near ours.

I have friends who have nanny's with rooms in the basement and do not have this feeling. I think it depends on your nanny and how well you get along, (I saw her as an employee, not a friend, which sure made it - not easy - but easier when we had to let her go).

But it was a lifesaver and worth it when I was busy at work! So there are trade offs...
 

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we have had three au pairs and are now moving to a live out nanny.

Live in: Pros

1. no snow days/car broke down, etc types of problems
2. more flexible schedule (does need to be communicated and managed)
3. can deepen the relationship between caregiver and family
4. another member of the household doing "their fair share" of household upkeep - not to be confused with housekeeping, but rather just another adult to help around the house.

Cons
1. space (our au pairs were in our spare bedroom, so our guests had to sleep on an old pull out sofa or in a hotel).
2. privacy
3. another person in the household with added expenses, mess, etc.

All in all, we found it to be a benefit. I personally don't feel the need to be supermom around our au pairs - after all, they work for us. Of course, we do have to be a little more circumspect - my dh doesn't walk around in his underwear when our au pair is home, for example.

We just started with our new nanny (her first day is TODAY!) so I don't have a related pro/con list for that.
 
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