Sunday

Nanny's Other Job

Received Sunday, March 30, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
Just a random, curious observation more so than anything. I realized our live in nanny is involved in a work from home business. I am not certain what she does, but she uses her computer on her time to generate additional income. I didn't ask her too much about it, because I didn't want to seem like I was prying. I trust her and she is wonderful about giving our family privacy when she isn't working, so I respect hers. She lives in year round and only works weekends if we are travelling. This discovery led me to wonder if any other employers had nannies involved in work from home ventures? And the greater question, how do employers feel about their live in nannies working elsewhere, particularly for other people. I thought this might be an interesting discussion.

42 comments:

le tigre said...

I would love to make extra $ from home. But I don't know where to find the legitimate businesses. Anyone?>

Hellcat said...

I'm not sure why anyone would consider this a problem, just so long as they were minding the children and not ignoring them for work.

Anonymous said...

Who said it is a problem?

Although an employer has a right to take issue with the nanny using her resources within the house to generate income. Who pays the electricity. And if a nanny babysits for another family, who pays her gas on the way there?

Anonymous said...

You do not own your nanny. If she sells hand made items on eBay or something, it is none of your business. So long as it's not illegal or dangerous, why would it be a problem?

And 11:42, you sound like a real gem. Nannies are not indentured servants. You do not own her, even if she lives in your home.

Anonymous said...

If she was using "her computer on her time" on non-income-generating activities, would you be OK with it? What difference does it make what she is doing with "her computer on her time"? Whether she's reading blogs, posting on forums, looking up recipes, watching videos, or making money, what business is it of yours?

Anonymous said...

Anything that happens in my home is my business.

Isn't porn an at home business?
I wouldn't want that piping in to my home.

OP said...

I am the OP of this thread. My nanny mentioned this in passing. My curiosity was geared more to just how many live-in nannies did work outside of their live-in positions for additional income.

Nothing more.

ceo said...

To the poster wondering about at home opps: I work from home and make legitimate, legal money. It's with a company called Market America. If you want to know more then send me an email, casey@allaboutyousolutions.com

Good luck to anyone exploring at home opportunities!


I say, more power to your nanny! If you had a contract that didn't allow her to do outside babysitting, that is one thing, but it seems like this isn't a problem for her. When I was a nanny I loved to have my employers share interest in what I was doing for my business. They supported me and often found products they were interested in and purchased for themselves and their kids.

Hellcat said...

12:56 PM, what happened to having a right to basic privacy? Just because someone lives in your house does not mean they are your slave and are not allowed the same rights as any other human. If you really needed to pry into what they were doing you obviously don't trust them- so why are they living in your house?


Assuming of course the nanny is NOT doing porn. That would be totally inappropriate. Even so, it's their business. I just wouldn't want that sort of influence around my children.

just anonymous said...

Is this on your computer and your Internet? Then I would investigate a bit, because whatever it is is linked to you. You don't have to be nasty about it when you inquire, just act like you're interested in her as a person.

As far as 'sharing' your nanny, I am a nanny and I don't see why it's such a big deal what I choose to do on my time off. If I want to make extra money, I do it. But I find that some parents have an issue with this because A) they worry we'll be tired the next day and B) Employers feel we are their 'property' and how dare someone else take us from them. So, contrary to what some employers believe, we are actually humans trying to make a living by being a nanny. (OP-I'm not stating that this is what you are like.)

Anonymous said...

I would see no problem with her doing an at home business to make more money. If she is doing it at night or on weekends and not when she is with the children . It shows she has plans for her future . SHe is doing nothing wrong and really she doesn't have to tell her employers anything about her legal off duty activities.
For the poster that said something about the electric bill, do you have any idea how much it costs for electricty to run a copmuter LOl. we have 5 computers everyone has their own and when the oldest one is at camp hers is off and our bill isn't any less than when she is home and the thing is on all the time.
Unless you have a wriiten contract that states your Nanny cannot have any other job, you have no say in her off time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I could find a job making money from home. Hey why not. Extra cash and maybe its a hobby for her as well. Better than just sitting around watching t.v.

And I know how depressing it feels to be a live-in. You never feel at ease. Its not your house. To do a hobby and make cash, heads up

Rebecca said...

Just for the record (11:42):

Room and board for a live-in nanny includes utilities. It's the same thing as if she paying for an apartment and utilities were included with the rent - the landlord doesn't get to specify that the renter can only use the utilities for specific purposes. And yes, legally it IS the same thing. Just as with a renter, a live-in nanny cannot be evicted without proper notice, the employer/landlord cannot enter without permission/notice, and technically the landlord/employer cannot bar a live-in nanny from having visitors (although since most live-in nannies actually live in a room within the house, this is a matter of courtesy for both parties).

OP - I know this isn't your issue, I just get irritated when people think nannies should have to answer for things that are completely ridiculous. As for your question, my employers are fine with me working for other people - even while I am technically on-call for them (my charge is in school and I often babysit for other families during school hours) - as long as I am nearby and available just in case. They have no say in what I do or where I work on my time off. That is my time, to do with what I please.

Anonymous said...

As the OP stated she's just wondering how many live-ins have side jobs. It's quite a regular occurrence. As a live-in you make substantially less than live-out nannies. You may not have regular bills i.e. rent, utilities etc but you still want to buy things and an extra income helps. Maybe she's saving for a long term plan or a big expense. I've lived in before and also did extra work to earn more money. As long as it doesn't take away from the time she spends working at her regular gig then it shouldn't be a problem I don't think.

Jan said...

If I had a live-in, and I don't know I would stand another person underfoot, I most definitely would hope she would have something quiet to busy herself with. I cannot imagine tolerating the comings and goings of another person, so working at home or doing college course work sounds like a best case scenario.

atl nanny said...

I'm currently a live-out nanny, but I've been a live-in in the past and I'm interviewing for a live-in position right now.

As both a LI and LO, I've made very small amounts of money on the side. I knit, mainly baby clothes/accessories, and sell some items privately and on Etsy. And occasionally I submit freelance articles to newspapers/magazines and edit term papers, resumes, etc. (I have a degree in journalism and formerly worked as a reporter/editor at a small paper.)

I've never made much money doing either. It's not really about the money -- these are just things I love to do. My employers have usually known about these side ventures simply because they come up in conversations. They think it's wonderful that I continue to write and edit, even though I no longer do it full-time. And they often ooh and ahh over my current knitting projects and are happy I have an outlet for my creativity.

Lisa said...

ceo,
I am looking forward to hearing back from you. I sent you an email.

Anonymous said...

Lots of nannies work additional jobs on the side to supplement their income (usually it's something like a babysitting job on the weekend). They are free to do whatever they want in their own time off-hours, including making extra money.

Anonymous said...

Ive been a nanny for the last 5-6 years. I actually have a work at home business that I have to make extra money. The lady I worked for actually has bought stuff from me, not to mention had her friends buy stuff from me too. Anyway, I am actually getting started in another business so if anyone is interested please email me at
mom2krisandjacki@aol.com and I will send u more info. thanks...

Anonymous said...

My curiosity was geared more to just how many live-in nannies did work outside of their live-in positions for additional income. Nothing more.

Mmm hmm... that's not what your OP said:

And the greater question, how do employers feel about their live in nannies working elsewhere, particularly for other people.

It's on her time, on her computer. Just because it is under your roof doesn't make it your business unless it is illegal.

Miranda said...

I think the concern is that when you have a full time employee you don't want her to be overtired from taking side jobs. It has always been the verbal and written agreement with all of my employers that they come first, but if I have additional time, it for me to do with what I please. They love that I am still connected to my other families, and work for them when my schedule permits, but we have discussed very clear boundries on the subject. I would not want my full time employee to be unflexible with her first and foremost commitment to me because she has made another work commitment. And please people, the op is asking for these kind of reasons, not because she is worried that her Nanny is operating a porn site out of her home! The concerns are about time, flexibility and energy level. These are all valid points when you have a full time employee that you rely on.
My very first full time family expressed these concerns to me because their previous Nanny had so many other commitments that she often arrived late, rushed and tired. Nannying is a job that requires a huge commitment on all parts. My family has a commitment to provide me with a specific amount of hours and compensation, and I have a commitment to them to arrive for work refreshed, eager to go and on top of my game. It IS their business what I am up to on my "private" time - especially if it could effect my performance when I am on "their" time.

Lindsey said...

Hello!!!! When someone is live-in they get paid less because they get room and board which last time I checked included electricity, so technically she is paying her share of the electricity because she gets paid less to live there. Come on people, she rents the room and pays her own electricity. If you want control over someone then let her live their for FREE and pay her the same wage as everyone else, if not then mind your own buisness!

~Lindsey, SAHM, in California~

Lindsey said...

11:02,


In any other job you have they don't have the right to tell you, you can't have a 2nd job because you may come to work tired. This is no different, if she is slacking off on the job (and it doesn't matter why) then tell her she isn't cutting it and to change, or she gets the boot, it is that simple. You CANNOT dictate what your nanny does on her off time. Its just like if a nanny had a weekend babysitting job, you can't tell her she can't because you expect her to be available to you on the weekends because you may want to go out. Life doesn't work that way! A nanny isn't here to cater to your needs!

~Lindsey, SAHM, in California~

cali mom said...

Actually, some companies DO have a stated policy that specifically forbids their employees from having 2nd jobs. It's pretty much as miranda said, and there are some jobs where there *may* be a sudden deadline that requires you to be available on a weekend (of course for OT pay or comp time), but it's not true that no other employer can regulate that.

But as has been pointed out, if the room and board and utilities are part of her salary, and whatever work she is doing does not affect her availability to her nanny family, it shouldn't matter to anyone what she does on her off time.

just anonymous said...

True, I've never been a live-in so I didn't realize she is entitled to all the electricity, etc that she wants.
If a family wants to dictate what the nanny can/cannot do on their time-off then they better be willing to pay a pretty high salary.
I too like to stay in touch with past families by babysitting when I can, but my bosses have always seemed irritated that they would have to *gasp* get home on time for a night so that I can get to the next job.

Nanny B said...

I don't think there should be an issue with a live in nanny working a second job after work hours as long as they are upfront about it and are not hiding the issue. I had in my contract that I couldn't work extra babysitting jobs for the longest time and respected that. But then I realized that I either had to do the babysitting or get a new position and brought it to my boss as such. They understood and supported it since I was not going behind their back. My job always comes first and I never speak to my other families during anytimes I'm with the kids. If any scheduling conflict does come up, then we simply talk about it and work around it if possible, always keeping in mind their are the priority. Its been a real blessing to myself to have this extra income, even if I never have time to breathe.

Anonymous said...

To address the question that was asked:

In the past, I had friends of mine and neighbors request my nanny for her services. That did not sit well with me and more than one friendship was ruined when I lambasted a friend for not asking me first. Since that time, I have wised up and upon hiring a nanny, we have her sign our version of a non compete clause. While she is working for us, she may not provide childcare or nanny for any of our friends, neighbors or children from the school our children attend. She is a live out nanny and she is free to babysit her heart out anywhere else, just not here. When she was looking for a weekend gig last summer, she put an ad on craigs list and ended up finding a family in Pelham that needed weekend help. That suited us just fine.

Hellcat said...

9:49 AM, why anywhere but in your area? Is there a reason that I'm unable to think of? It just sort of sounds greedy and possessive.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny, I'm of the "my time where I'm not being paid by you is none of your business" camp. That said, I'm close with my family and I chat with them about my weekend coming up, how school is going, all that... but they don't have a say in what I do outside their employ. If I wanted to pick up a second job because I felt I needed more income, so be it. I can't see how that should be anything they even have an OPINION on unless I'm doing something illegal or something that causes them to doubt my abilities as a caretaker.

Anonymous said...

OP, perhaps you need to pay her more.

aliana said...

she is doing that because you probably dont pay her enough..typical.

Anonymous said...

It IS their business what I am up to on my "private" time - especially if it could effect my performance when I am on "their" time.

ANYTHING a nanny does in her private time could affect her performance. Hobbies, sports, socializing, whatever, could be done irresponsibly. The issue isn't WHAT the nanny is doing; it's HOW it is affecting her performance. So if she is getting paid for stuff she does off the clock, it's none of your business unless/until it affects her work.

Anonymous said...

what's with all the comments about porn? it's her time, her computer...

she's an adult, and porn is legal.

jennifers mom said...

9:49

I don't understand why she couldn't babysit for anyone in your "neck of the woods". I mean shes a live out. And if shes not working on a Sunday, why can't she work for someone in your area.

Are you afraid she may talk about you and your family?

jennifers mom said...

9:49

I don't understand why she couldn't babysit for anyone in your "neck of the woods". I mean shes a live out. And if shes not working on a Sunday, why can't she work for someone in your area.

Are you afraid she may talk about you and your family?

Anonymous said...

11:02

You must have a terrible sex life. Sorry, I can't do anything after ten tonite. You know I have that all important job I have to go to tomorrow. If I look sleepy it will be devastating.
I am a slave to my employers.

Anonymous said...

9:49
Ever read Mad Magazine? I know, I'm a freaking scholar. Anywhoo, there used to be this section in Mad Magazine called "What they say and What they Mean." It was "Mad" funny. :) You remind me of this.
What you SAY is... "She is a live out nanny and she is free to babysit her heart out anywhere else, just not here."
What you MEAN is..."My shit don't stink."
:)

Princes Raja said...

As long as it on HER time and it isn't illegal then let it be.

I am a nanny and I would be appalled and pretty ticked if my employer decided to dictate who I could and could not watch on my own time.

Anonymous said...

You lost a "friend" because you lambasted her and didn't "discuss"
the situation.
If I were a Nanny and had to sign a contract that controlled what I did on my off time I would run for the nearest door.
Sounds like there is something being hidden here, things you are afraid people will find out if your nanny should babysit for them.
So if anyone working for you gets an offer for babysitting on her off time, she has to do a back ground check to make sure they do not have kids at your kids school, that they do not know you and they cannot live in the neighborhood?
Run Nanny Run!!!

Anonymous said...

3:28,
I agree with the first part, but I also think that there is nothing OP is trying to hide except the fact that she is an elitist snob who wants to feel like her nanny is her slave and therefore she does not want her to babysit for any of her friends because the nanny might find out how much she sucks compared to the other nicer families in the neighborhood.
word.

LindaLou said...

anything that happens off the clock and isn't illegal is none of my business.

Anonymous said...

blech!!! don't worry about other peoples money...