Thursday

Nanny/ Housekeeper...Yes or No?

Received Thursday, June 5, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
Hi, I've seen ads for nanny/housekeepers, but I am wondering if that combination can really work, Obviously with kids under 5, I think the answer is no. They need too much attention and interaction. My kids are school-age (7), and are independent in many things, but of course not all, and one has special needs.

My house does not need cleaning five days a week, all day, and the kids do not need watched all day, five days a week. I am wondering if I should look for someone who can do both. Or, am I better off trying to find two, part-time people for each job? It just seems like part time work is not really preferred by a lot of people, esp. if the job is their sole income. On the other hand, it also may be hard to find someone as good at both aspects of the job. Yet I see 'nanny/housekeeper' advertised all the time. Has anyone here done this, or hired someone and what is your perspective? Thanks. -NV Mom

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

A true, professional nanny does not do housework.

They will straighten up on a daily basis after themselves and the children but they are not there to clean your home.

Just out of curiosity..if you have some one watching your kids...
unless you have an illness preventing you from doing so..why can't you clean your own house?

ro said...

Who in the world wants to clean their house? I mean, aside from the Amish.

JerseyXjacqui said...

When you say HOUSECLEANING what do you mean exactly? Scrubbing the floors, toilets and moldings? Or doing some vacuuming, light dusting and tidying up?

If you want hardcore cleaning done, hire a housecleaner to come once a week....however, if you want some tidying up, a nanny can handle that assuming you pay her for it. Once a week while my charge is napping I vacuum the living room, kitchen and my charge's room. I empty the dishwasher, do light dusting and clean off any mirrors my charge or I have managed to dirty up..( I should actually being doing it now instead of yapping away on here ;-)Maybe that falls under "tidying up after yourself and the child." I don't know. I also never claimed to be a "professional" so what do I know? :-)

Anonymous said...

The more housework the nanny has to do, the less time she can spend with your children. If you want a professional nanny, limit the housework to child-related duties only and hire a housekeeper.

Anonymous said...

Hire a housecleaner to come once a week or every other week and hire a part time nanny. That's probably the most efficient and economical way of doing things.

LindaLou said...

i'm sure this will be controversial so please keep in mind that i have never been a nanny nor have i hired a nanny before. i have to admit that i laugh when people post as though nannies are above cleaning up the house. i'm a SAHM with a master's degree. i have 3 children and no housekeeper, mother's helper, dog walker, or regular babysitter. i clean the house and still have plenty of time to spend with the children and get them to their activities. i sincerely don't understand why you couldn't hire one full time employee to do both, particularly if some of the children are school aged.

nyc mom said...

I have generally hired two separate people, but my youngest is still a baby. I would absolutely try to hire someone for a combination job if my kids were in school 8-3. I did briefly have this arrangement when my oldest two were in school and before my youngest was born. It worked fine. My nanny at the time wanted to continue full time work and I offered this option. It worked for both of us. I see no reason this cannot work. I always say you should advertise for the position you want to hire, and if someone wants to take it as described, then great! I have never understood the concept that housework is "beneath" anyone, nanny, mom or other professional. If a nanny doesn't want a job that involves housework it's perfectly reasonable to make that clear and not take a position as n/hk. However, in my experience with friends and personally, there are many people who have no problem doing a little of each, provided the workload is realistic and the day divided up. I don't think it's realistic to expect your nanny to clean the kitchen while caring for two toddlers. But if there are kids in school and no childcare responsibility during that time, cleaning seems like a reasonable request assuming nanny agreed to it upon hire.

JerseyXJacqui said...

I couldn't agree more nycmom and lindalou.

Anonymous said...

wow, now I see why all the regulars have so much time to post..you pay other people to raise your children and clean your homes..

just curious..who wipes your as-?

mom said...

I raise my own kids, always have...just my husband and me. (But I do have a housekeeper.) Jealous comments do nothing but make the speaker look petty.

maggie said...

I don't think the best nanny for your child will welcome housekeeping duties and I have known a fair share of housekeepers who bristle at the thought of childcare duties. I advise you to keep both duties seperate. Afford the best and most care you can AND regardless of who is there, make sure to spend as much time as you can making memories with your child. Jane found my nanny for me and my housekeeper. Both are full time employees. My nanny has traveled all over the world with me but there are days she has nothing to do. If it works for her to leave early or come in late, I am all for it, but sometimes it's three hours in the middle of the day that I get to take my child to a park or to lunch with a friend. The nanny doesn't mind, so long as she is included in the planning and knows that her down time is her downtime. I would never ask my nanny to clean even though there could conceivably be ample time for her to clean. She is a tried and true professional. I think she's made me a better mother and a better person.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 kids and a woman who does housekeeping and watches them. Two are in school full time so mostly she is with the 1 yo. I"m a sahm so I generally take the baby about 4 hours a week and it's during those 4 hours that she cleans. She also does light housekeeping (like dusting or folding laundry) if she is home with the baby. I would say it would be difficult to have someone clean and watch a non-school aged child where the mom worked outside the home. But if both parents wohm and kids are in school I could see it being a great arrangement as she would be around to 'babysit' on days a child was sick or on school holidays etc

Anonymous said...

6:40,
you take your baby for 4 hours a week?

wow.

are you sure that's enough time? not trying to be a jerk, but still.

nannytothree said...

I take care of three kids under five and it's no easy job, but I'm doing the exact same thing many stay at home mothers do every day. (the ones without a team of housecleaners and nannies) I feel like much more than a nanny to this family. I do anything that needs doing from errands to cleaning to dog care. I am paid very well for what I do. There are no guidelines as to what needs to be done or when. They never question me about what I cleaned, how much tv the kids watched, or how much of their money I spent. They completely trust my judgement, and understand that the kids come first. Every day they thank me, and that just makes me want to do more for them. I get a ton done around the house during nap time, and when the kids are playing with each other. They rarely watch television and we are constantly out and about to the library, parks, zoo, and museums. There really is plenty of time to get everything done, and I guess that's why I have such a gripe with SAHMs who have nannys and housecleaners galore. What the heck do they do all day?

D said...

If you don't work and you have kids and a nanny and someone to clean the house you are NOT a SAHM your a LAZY.

d said...

*you are

Anonymous said...

Every family's needs are different. Since your children are in school full time, a housekeeper/nanny could work well, IF you find the right woman. Not all are equally good at both, but some are. I think the important thing for your situation is to be sure the woman you hire will provide the best care for your special needs child.
Another possibility would be a college student majoring in education or a related field for after school, and a cleaning woman a couple of times a week
Good luck.

Mel said...

In NY, the majority of nannies are Jamaican or from the Islands, henceforth and ergo, the majority of bad nannies are also Jamaican.

Setting aside the cultural and ethnicity thing, I will never understand why anyone who loves her children would hire anyone but an intelligent, EDUCATED, well spoken, kind, driving, swimming, cooking, crafting nanny.

If your children are going to grow up without you, shouldn't the person with them all day be at least as good as you on your BEST DAY?

Anonymous said...

As a mother of a special needs child and a professional nanny who cares for special needs children I will say that I agree with the person who said a true professional nanny does not do housework.

Nannies and excellent childcare providers provide care for children and will clean up after themselves and the children, but we don't do housework as a rule.

Hire two different people. Good luck with your search!

Nanny B said...

I'm torn on this subject based on my own experience. many years ago I took a nanny position with a family who had a new born. naturally the baby slept alot so I had alot of down time. I am a nice person so I started doing little things around the house, cooking, doing the parents laundry on occassion, emptying out the dishwasher, ect. The parents were sooo thankful and showed their appreciation. Then as the time went by it became expected, no longer did they concern themselves with cleaning up the house after themselves, now it was my job. They gave me a raise and added on these new duties, always telling me that the child came first of course. then they added another child, and double the housework at that point, of course the children came first, but if they came home and the floor wasn't swept or the clothes folded, they wanted to know what i was doing at every minute of the day that I couldn't get it done. Of course the children came first my arse. What was I doing during the time the children were sleeping? How dare I sit down for a few minutes to catch my self and prepare for the afternoon. Working 11 hr days is not tiring at all right. Now it's to the point with 2 toddlers and their mess, along with the parents and their mess that I spend most of the day picking up stuff and making sure its perfect when they come home, cause God forbid it's not done and I dared to go to the bathroom or eat. Point of the story, make sure that if you hire a nanny/housekeeper that her main focus is the children and not making sure the house is perfect. Give her time to complete the tasks you have for her and also a point to rest, because we can't work nonstop and still be at our peak.

Hate2Clean said...

Hell there, San Diego nanny here. As a professional nanny, I don't do a lot of housework besides tidying the kitchen, kids laundry, and tidying the kids' rooms. This is because my passion is for playing with and teaching the kids. If I have extra time I would rather play a game with the kids than do an extra chore.

That being said, your kids are older and you don't need full-time care. I think if you are pretty much just looking for supervision for the kids it should be fine. You have to think that housekeepers and nannies really do have very different skills, so the person you hire may not be excellent at both. If your kids need help with homework, for example it's probably not such a good idea.
Hope that helps!

fox in socks said...

OP, it sounds like you are a stay at home mom, yes? It sounds to me like you are just looking for someone to help you out. I think you're looking for a mother's helper type of person. If so, that is the kind of role that combines babysitting with housekeeping. A mother's helper does everything the mom would typically need help with. A mother's helper isn't in charge of the kids all day the way a nanny would be. There might be certain days when she is in charge of the kids and the mom is not around, but typically there is a give and take. When the mom is with the kids, the mother's helper is doing the housework, and when the mom has to go somewhere (say, a doctor's appointment or something) then the mother's helper babysits the kids.

I think if you specify in your ads and job descriptions that you are looking for someone who will do both babysitting and housekeeping, you will probably find someone willing to do both things.

Hate2Clean said...

oops I meant, "Hello there."

Anonymous said...

I've worked as a nanny for 13 years and have always worked for families who employ housekeepers as well simply because I want to be able to do what i do best which is care for the children. If I'm scrubbing floors, vacumming and ironing I'm not going to have so much energy to chase the kids around the play-ground, go swimming or trail around the zoo. That being said I am perfectly happy to do anything related to the kids such as their laundry, tidying up their rooms, tidying up after myself in the kitchen, their cooking and their shopping.

Anonymous said...

Wow, spoiled adults here. I have a child, stay at home and do the cleaning, cooking and shopping, and laundry. I have plenty of time to play with my child, read, talk on the phone and exercise. My husband works more than full time. It is actually possible to do it yourself. No one needs that much "me time".

Anonymous said...

Ok, If I can't make a Catholic comment then you can't make an Amish comment. hahahaha

mpp said...

Here we go ... a touchy subject for me. I do not believe a Nanny should do housework! ... unless it's child related. If you have your Nanny running around scrubbing toilets and floors, she's not going to be at her best when she's with your kids.

However, I do think Foxs in Socks made a great suggestion. Try looking for a Mother's Helper.
Make sure you lay it all up front what kind of household duties you want done, and don't change it up without sitting her down and going over it ... that way she won't feel taken advantage of.

Anonymous said...

6:40
How shameful. You take your baby only 4 hrs. a week? What the hell else is more important???


"( I should actually being doing it now instead of yapping away on here ;-)Maybe that falls under "tidying up after yourself and the child." I don't know. I also never claimed to be a "professional" so what do I know? :-)"
- jxj

So, all that time you spend on the computer, what are the kids doing?
You're on here a lot, so they must not be getting all the attention they need.
Oh, and don't worry, I'm fully prepared for your angry retort. You never have anything pleasant to say when somebody questions you.

not a sahm or nanny but a regular said...

3:39
Who says all of the regulars are SAHM's, or nanny's? We may just be a person interested in the welfare of children.
Is that o.k.?

JerseyXJacqui said...

I thought I made it clear that she was napping? Are you going to accuse me of neglecting my charge? That's a ballsy accusation. Think twice about doing such things. I am not always posting here. I'll admit I have been on frequently this past week but normally I check this page every couple of days.

I'm rarely nasty. You just choose to focus on the times I feel personally attacked and retort accordingly.
There was another thread where people were being blatantly racist and close minded and I facetiously refer to pregnant women as KNOCKED up and I'm the one who is called RUDE. I'm the one who is picked out and attacked.
So yah, sometimes I'm "nasty."
Normally though, I am willing to hear someone else's side of ANY situation. It's just DULL and drama-free so you don't remember THOSE times.

JerseyXJacqui said...

ANd 10:11, if you're going to quote me, don't just pick out the parts that suit your accusations. It went more like this:
"Once a week while my charge is napping I vacuum the living room, kitchen and my charge's room. I empty the dishwasher, do light dusting and clean off any mirrors my charge or I have managed to dirty up..( I should actually being doing it now instead of yapping away on here ;-)"

Anonymous said...

6:40 here, uh, I take the baby the four hours she is cleaning. The sitter comes at 7:30 am and occupies the baby while I get the other 2 ready for school. My husband leaves at 7 am for work so he cant help me at all in the morning. I spend 90 minutes each morning taking my other 2 kids to 2 schools on public transportation. She watches the baby while I do this. Then I run an errands which I'd never finish in time if I had to take the baby with me. The nanny/housekeeper leaves at 2 pm and then I drag the baby with me on the 90 minute pick up trip to pick up kids 1 and 2 from school. Then I take them to their afterschool activities, the park, bring them home for dinner, bath homework and bed (my husband comes home after they are in bed every night). Is this acceptable to everyone?

fox in socks said...

How can you handle a 90 minute comute 2 times per day? That is brutal. Is it really worth it? What about moving out of NYC and into Westchester?

fox in socks said...

Obviously, I meant commute.

Anonymous said...

The problem I find with the housekeeper/nanny role (I am one) is that I am often very tired from cleaning, running errands, pet care, doing laundry, etc... by the time the 2 children I nanny for come home from school. I am THEN expected to put on my "nanny hat": read books, do art projects, help with homework AND cook dinner and clean up the kitchen afterward. I stumble out of that house exhausted. Honestly, it's too much for one person (this person, anyway), even with school aged children. I'd highly recommend hiring TWO people.

mpp said...

Wow. That must be so hard on the kids! 90 min.? Oh, wait ... then you have to come back another 90 min., by yourself?
OMG, you really should move closer. That is eating up a lot of your time during the day!
I feel bad for you!

mpp said...

10:54
That is my argument exactly! You are a prime example why it is so wrong to have a Nanny do housekeeping duties.
Is there any way you can re-negotiate with the Parents?
It isn't fair that you are wearing yourself down like that!

Anonymous said...

Calif nanny here...I started out on my first nanny job doing housekeeping from 11am to 2pm then picking up the kids from school and being a nanny, the lady then had a baby and it was then I decided I wanted to only watch children. 5yrs later I was the nanny for triplets starting at 2months old. No housekeeping (obviously) but as time went on 2 yrs into it there became more cleaning up and laundry and floor mopping then being with the boys. Even though I let them know I dont do housework. I hated to leave my boys but I did. I wanted to be a nanny not a housekeeper/nanny. Actually the breaking point was when the family had a friend (best friend of the gal I worked for)stay over a weekend the mom asked ME to change the bedding when she left for the next guest to come stay. The girlfriend was a frequent vistor...she could have at least taken the sheets off to be washed. Taking beds apart and washing the bedding and redoing the beds...not my job! Unless its the kids.

Anonymous said...

10:54 here....my nanny/housekeeper position is soon to end, thank goodness. I'm grateful for having learned my limitations, knowing what I will NOT do in my next nanny position.

LindaLou said...

6:40. you're a *sahm* who only spends FOUR daytime hours during the week with your one year old?!?! seriously?!?!

LindaLou said...

oh sorry, i see that it was answered later.

Anonymous said...

A professional nanny does not do any house work, UNLESS it relates to the child(ren). The reason for this, is because their passion, training/education, and experience all relate to children and their development, not cleaning. A professional nanny, has her days filled doing activities involving your children without having room for cleaning (i.e: lesson plans, art projects, "field trips", clubs, play dates, sports etc)

My view point is this, if nannies were as passionate about being a maid/house keeper as they are about child development, than that is what they would be doing and seeking a job in. You wouldn't ask your plumber to fix your phone, so why ask your nanny to clean up your (adult) mess, when their speciality is children/childcare?

Also, for those of you who say "but mommies do it" you are right they do, however nannies also tend to have houses and families of their own as well (provided they are not live-in.) AND Nothing is more exhausting than spending all day watching someone else's children, cleaning their house, doing their laundry AND than coming home to do it ALL over again at your own house. For most people it's simply too much.

OP, stick with a professional nanny and let her do what she does best! Just insure that she has the proper credentials in order to be considered a professional!

Signed,
A former nanny

nyc mom said...

I understand the point from professional nannies that housekeeping duties are not their passion. I get it. However, most of us in the working world have a job that involves things we love and things we hate and we often have to do both. I am an ER doctor. But many of my coworkers are slobs and janitorial services have been greatly cut. So if I have any downtime in between seeing patients, I use it to clean the ER, throw away papers, organize boards, sweep/scrub the floors, and enough clean the group toilet. Now I don't have to do these things and sometimes I don't have time. But when I do them, it makes for a much healthier and happier work environment. I could pound my fists and say, "I didn't spend 12 years in training and have $200K in debt to clean floors!" But no one would really be listening and the floors would still be dirty. Being a good employee is about being a team player and doing what needs to be done to make the place run smoothly. Unfortunatley, in the real world our professional jobs cannot consist solely of our passion. They generally come along with some not so pleasant tasks attached that often weren't clearely described at interview. The great nannies I've had have helped out in whatever way they can, and given me constructive feedback when I've needed to hire someone else because the job is getting too out of hand. Just as I would do at my professional job. Right now I can handle 30 mins of cleaning/organizing/scrubbing to keep the place running. If it gets to be much more, I'll speak to my boss about other possibilities. But I think it's childish to draw a line in the sand and say "I am too educated and professional to ever to any duties that I don't LOVE or that aren't DIRECTLY related to my job. The real world just isn't this clean cut.

NannyNeedsANap said...

Would someone please difine professional nanny for me? I've been a nanny for five years, taken various child development courses, Keep my CPR and first aid up to date, keep a detailed nanny log, do educational activities with the children, plan fun trips every day, have been told by my three year old's teacher that I am the best nanny she's ever met, and spend my free time reading parenting books. So just because I clean during four of the six hours a week the children are in school, does that automatically make me unprofessional? I consider myself more professinal because I take the initiative to do whatever needs to be done around the house to keep things running smoothly. I'm not above housecleaning, and would probably feel like a lazy jerk if I were just sitting around. Seriously, you can only prep so many crafts.

NannyNeedsANap said...

I mean define.....it's too early for me!

UmassSlytherin said...

I can appreciate what you are saying, nyc mom. But you said the difference yourself: sometimes you don't have time to do it, and if you don't want to, you don't have to. What happens when the nanny "doesn't have time to do it?" Oh well: it's in her job description. She, unlike you, would HAVE to clean the toilet. Compared to your other duties, you spend a very small amount of time, nyc mom, cleaning. Let's be honest here.
I think the problem lies in the amount of housecleaning. If it is possible to effectively care for the children and do what is on the list, great. I question how much housework I would want my nanny doing if she is caring for my small child, especially an infant or toddler. Naptime? Well, maybe. But nannies, (especially nannies for doctors like yourself: I was once a nanny for a doctor couple) work very long hours, and a nanny needs some downtime to take a break. Should she be using part of that time to clean? Of course, which I used to do. But if the child sleeps for say one and a half hours, and the nanny is cleaning for an hour of that time, left a half hour break to herself, which may or may not happen if the child decides not to nap that day, will your nanny be rested enough? Even a nanny needs some time to sit and read a book (a grown-up book) or have a sandwich or a coffee or maybe watch Food Network, call her husband, etc? If a nannny has housekeeper duties as well, it sounds like an awful lot to me, and way beyond the "tasks you dislike" that you spoke of that take a mere 30 minutes and that you just don't have time for sometimes.
Me personallly? If I had the money you can bet your freaking ass I'd get a housekeeper. lol two housekeepers! (male ones, young, built and blonde ;)) Nanny? Wouldn't want one. But if I did have a nanny, I wouldn't want her doing any housework other than light housework related to the job.
And in the real world, you can certainly draw any lines you want. Unfortunately, there will always be someone else who wants to "take it all on", though.
Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny/housekeeper and I would never do it again. I woke up the child at 7.30 and brought him to kindergarden, and picked him up at 2.30 and took care of him until bedtime. I put him to bed in the evenings and comforted him if he woke up in the nights. I also took care of him in the weekends (I was a live-in). During the weekdays when he was in kindergarden, I cleaned. I was exhausted!!
PLEASE OP, hire a nanny AND a housekeeper, or do the cleaning yourself.

mpp said...

8:16
I'm so glad a few Nannies such as yourself have decided to post here and decribe what it is like to do both. We actually haven't had much discussion about this particular subject on this board first hand.
I think it is very important for Parents to remember that the child should always come before any housework, including any related to the child if it so happens to be a busy day and the Nanny just didn't have the time.
You don't want them to burn out and not be available emotionally and physically to your child.

It's not always about some Nannies believing housekeeping is "beneath" them, as one poster suggested. I'm sure there are some that would be insulted if you asked them to do the dishes, but for the most part, I honestly think it's the Nanny having too much of a workload.

atl nanny said...

When a family wants a full-time nanny but doesn't really need full-time childcare (because the children are in school part of the day), I think this is the perfect opportunity for a Nanny/House Manager or Nanny/Family Assistant position. I've held these positions in the past, and I loved them. While the children were in school I ran errands, grocery shopped, updated the family website, worked on the family scrapbooks, designed birthday party invitations, bought and wrapped gifts, etc. There are so many child-related tasks that a Nanny/HM can do during the day to help the family that don't involve deep cleaning. I would never, ever accept a job scrubbing someone else's toilet. Every family I've ever worked for -- including those for whom I did House Manager tasks -- also had a cleaning service that came regularly.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny to one baby in NYC. I would NEVER take a position with housekeeping involved. I am a nanny and my skills are with children. That doesnt make me a housekeeper too-HAHA. It is ridiculous that people actually are so cheap that they try to take advantage of people and get a 2 in 1 combination deal. Of course I do the baby's laundry and will keep his nursery tidy, I will even run the dishwasher occasionally but mainly just because I hate sinks with dishes in it! A nanny is NOT housekeeper . I have news for anyone who tries to hire someone for both--you are NOT getting a top notch nanny because a top notch nanny will not do both. Isnt your child the most important thing to you? If so then hire someone who is qualified and will take the best care possible of your child and not have to worry about scrubbing the floors!

Anonymous said...

10:54 here (a nanny/housekeeper), again...
Someone else pointed this out to OP earlier, "it depends on what you mean by HOUSEKEEPING". That term is too broad and all-inclusive, and could include anything and EVERYthing related to housekeeping. In my case, it has turned into EVERYthing you can think of, and yet, when the kiddoes get home from school, I'm expected to be supper-nanny too, while preparing the family dinner, while walking the family dog, while putting away infinite loads of family landry, while loading the dishwasher and scrubbing pots and pans after dinner, then stay late at least once a week, putting kiddoes to bed on mom and dad's date night.
This family has taken advantage, and YES - I have let them. Why? Because it just seemed so reasonable at the time I was hired (a full time, well-paid position) as a nanny for two school-aged children, by a SAHM, to agree to "help out" with whatever might be needed during my "down" time. HA! haahaaheeheehoohoohaahaa! I really have to laugh to keep from crying. Counting down the days till this job comes to and end helps too.
Never did I imagine SAHM (or now, SAHD too) would do absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!
I'm not saying I'd NEVER take another nanny/housekeeper position again, BUT...I have a very short list of what that might include IF and WHEN time allows, with childcare (and maintaining the energy level required for the part of my job thats most important) being my top priority from now on. That doesn't mean I need a two hour nap everyday either, but the priorities and duty expectations will be clearly defined, and you can bet the farm I'll stick to doing jut THAT next time.

mpp said...

10:51
Good for you. Make sure the next Nanny position spells out exactly what you will and will NOT do.
I wish you the best, and hope time flies for you!

erics mom said...

8:16

It sounds like you were the MOTHER to this child. Not the nanny. Poor thing, you had to watch him 24/7. They took terrible advantage of you!
I hope the mother had her tubest tied after having her son.

Miserly Bastard said...

I told our nanny specifically that her job duties did not include housework, as I wanted her to be 100% focussed on our daughter.

On her own initiative, she started to do our laundry (as well as our daughter's); we appreciate this productivity, but it isn't part of the job.

My deal with her is essentially that I expect to get the house back from her in the same condition that I gave it to her. Since I'm pretty fastidious about spending 30 minutes each morning tidying up, emptying the trash, putting dishes in the washer, Swiffering, etc, I expect her to pick up after herself and our daughter, too.

ro said...

Admit it miserly bastard,
YOU LOVE TO SWIFFER!

Westchester nanny said...

I am a professional nanny and I clean. Where did this idea come from that you are not a professional if you clean a house? I have been so for 14 years. Some of my jobs required house cleaning others did not. My current position is 3 days childcare and 2 days cleaning. The children's mom is home 2 days/wk which allows me to clean the house. I don't think this is a bad arrangement at all. Perhaps something like this would work for you? On the days when she is home my sole responsibility is cleaning and she spends quality time with her kids.

UmassSlytherin said...

Miserly Bastard,
If I were your nanny, you would fire me so fast it's not even funny. heheheheh. I would not Swiffer, but I would teach your child to do various Harry Potter spells accompanied with the correct wand movements.
You would hate me. :)
hehehe!

LindaLou said...

just a general comment: i'm concerned about the products of a society that believes children have to 100% engaged all. the. time. my kids are 3, 7, & 10 and i think it would bug the living crap out of them to have me so up in their business. even my 3 year old mostly plays on his own while his siblings are at school. we read and he *helps* me do things around the house. we run errands and attend co-op preschool and such, but i'm continually planning the next craft or trying make sure every experience is meaningful. when did we stop just letting kids be?

NVMom said...

OP here, thanks for all your comments. Just to clarify I had meant deep cleaning and I think after reading all of the comments, these are jobs best left to two people. I will look to hire an experienced part-time cleaner and then a part time nanny. I figure if I offer good pay that could make the part time status attractive for the right person.

To clarify, one of my daughters has special needs and can require more of my time, so a nanny is a great help when I need to do separate activities with each of my girls.
Thanks again, this is a great blog!
NVMom

erics mom said...

opps I made a booboo

Anonymous said...

calif nanny here...lindalou, I totally agree with you about some people thinking their kids have to be engaged at all times. The families I work for want their kids to also be able to keep themselves busy so that when the parents take over they have some time to shower and cook a meal or whatever. I think there is a balance between leaving kids to their own devices and smothering them or hovering over them at the park when they really need to be engaging other children. All 5 kids I watch can do both....thank god.

Anonymous said...

calif nanny here....one last thing..a true professional nanny will set up her contract to her liking, one that will work for both parties BEFORE she falls in love the kids..its unprofessional to do the housework and resent it and allow your employers to walk all over you. This doesnt make for a professional arrangement. We all live and learn and we all have pretty much learned some of these things the hard way.

LindaLou said...

dang, i left a really important *not* out of my post.

"but i'm NOT continually planning the next craft or trying make sure every experience is meaningful."

cali mom said...

ABout the time that I had my son, a coworker of mine had just had twins. He and I were talking about nanny-searching and he lamented that they'd been trying unsuccessfully to find a nanny who would also do housekeeping. Um, yeah right. Because newborn twins sure don't take up much of anyone's time!?

Marissa M. said...

It all depends what you want. A nanny housekeeper can be happy to work for a family who expects her to do the kids laundry, clean up after the kids (such as in the kitchen when they made a mess from baking or just lunch) and say sweep the mudroom floor from all the dirt they track in every day.

Or you could have a nanny/housekeeper who comes into work, roles her eyes at the mess you and your family left in the kitchen from last nights dinner and is thus forced to load/ unload the dishwasher and wash the dishes so that she can even use the basin period.

She could be agrivated at the toys you left out and now she has to put them away organized only to do the same thing again tomorrow.

I think it all comes down to consideration. If you as a parent make a mess, clean it up so that your nanny doesn't have to. Put the dirty diapers in the trash not on top of the dresser. Don't ask her to do your laundry if your contract agrees on kids laundry only. Don't ask her to water your plants outside. Don't ask her to do things to get your moneys worth in your opinion.

i personally don't believe in nanny housekeepers. I would never hire a nanny to do both jobs either only because I'd work her to death with my obsessive behavior and controlling ways. but that is just me.

I'd rather get a monday and friday housekeeper, put my kids in daycare. Work as a nurse on my prefered hours and use the occasional baby sitter to allow me to spend quality time with my husband.

All in an ideal world :)

Marissa M. said...

Someone pls educate me: is referring to a pregnant woman as "knocked up" inappropriate? I honestly never knew this! Then again i don't ever recall using that term...

mpp said...

Lindalou
My son is the same way - very independent. It started the last year or so and he has what he likes to call his "private time" (so cute!) and I let him be.

But when it's "Mommy time", I have all kinds of goodies for us to do. He likes arts & crafts, baking, going to the zoo or the park, or even to the store (mine loves to go shopping, how lucky am I?) ....
and we all know little boys like to kick up some dirt, so one of my friends got him a really cool kid's sized gardening set so he can help me when I'm out in the yard.
I sure do love my little guy! ♥

cali mom said...

Awwwww, MPP :). So sweet! My little guy loves shopping too, so that's just one more fun thing we can do together.

You mentioned in another thread you were unable to have kids, so I hope you don't mind if I ask, did you unexpectedly get pregnant, or adopt, or is he a stepchild from your spouse? I don't mean to be nosy, I'm just happy you have a little guy to love and play with and I am unclear on how he came into your life.

And HOW do you get that little heart to show up in your post?

LindaLou said...

marissa, i think *knocked up* is fine, especially in the context of making a joke. good grief!

mpp, how sweet. how old is your little guy? my youngest is three. my little guy loves to *help* me do everything. he cleans things with a baby wipe, *folds* laundry, puts things in the grocery cart for me, and digs with his little gardening tools. he loves to do arts and crafts (we have a huge box of stuff that is always out for all the kids to use) and he carries around this little notebook and crayon and *takes notes* on the things he sees. to me, these sorts of things that are just part of regular life are more meaningful that things that have to be artificially arranged. i hope that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The whole definition of nanny/housekeeper confuses me. I made a list of my definition of "light housekeeping" tasks when I hired my nanny and went through it with every candidate on the phone. I don't consider my nanny a housekeeper--I have a weekly cleaning service come in--but some said they aren't interested in a nanny housekeeping position. The line seemed to be drawn at emptying the diaper pail and kitchen trash at the end of the day, but if we leave the nanny with an empty trash and diaper pail in the morning, I think that it should be empty at the end of the day.

cali mom said...

You think everyone needs to empty their trash if they have 2 diapers in it? Or one banana peel and a used paper towel?? Why even HAVE a trash can? Why not just trot out each individual piece of trash to the dumpster if you are so anal about always having empty trash cans?

Anonymous said...

cali mom, what kind of household with kids generates only a banana peel and a used paper towel over the course of a day? your kids must be a lot cleaner than any I know. We easily 1/2-fill a normal size garbage can in the course of the day. I think 9:42 is referring to trash generated by a standard household in a day. It is perfectly normal to empty a garbage can twice a day which it sounds like 9:42 is doing.

cali mom said...

I guess I'd have to say a household that recycles a lot and where people are out for much of the day with a packed lunch and where people use a lot of plastic containers for packing lunches as opposed to disposable bags. Between myself, my husband and our son, we only have to empty the kitchen trash once or twice a week, and we empty it into the smaller (1/2 size) city garbage bin, which is usually not full to capacity each week. I don't feel the need to put it out when it's half full, though I also don't wait till it's overflowing. Bathroom trash is small, and that goes out about twice a week. That's it. But that's just us three, so I suppose if there were several kids, at-home mom and dad, and members of household staff contributing to it, it would fill up faster.

mpp said...

Cali mom
That's a really difficult subject for me to discuss, especially in this forum, because it is so personal. But to make it simple, I adopted my nephew. I had been there for him since the beginning anyway, so it only seemed natural.

And to do the hearts (and a bunch of other cool stuff):

hold left side of keyboard button:
ALT
then right numeric side button:
3

ALT plus 3 .... ♥ (heart)
ALT plus 1 .... ☺ (smiley)
ALT plus 14 ... ♫ (music note)
ALT plus 15 ... ☼ (sun)

Any combo of numbers, and you can make all kinds of neat symbols! ☺

cali mom said...

Wow MPP, I'm just really glad you guys have each other! :)

I don't have an extended keyboard, so I can't make those fun symbols.

Anonymous said...

9:42 pm,
"Yes" to emptying the diaper pail (a childcare related task),
"NO" to emptying family trash can (can't believe you generate that much trash from the end of your work day until next morning...way too easy for you to just skip doing your part since nanny's agreed to take care of it before she leaves at the end of each day). This is a great example of how something that seems soooo simple, like such a small thing to include in "light housekeeping" tasks, can become a major thorn in your nanny's side. It would mine. I would feel demeaned to be expected, at the end of a busy or exhausting day of caring for your baby, to haul out your family's garbage too!

Anonymous said...

9:42 here. By the end of the day (breakfast, lunch, snack), our rather small kitchen trash is full. It is full again after dinner. I just find it an odd line to draw. When I stay at friends or family and we fill the bin (I love to cook, lots of fresh veggies and fruits and seafood, and often generate a lot of garbage from one meal's prep that would smell if we let it sit), I always take out the trash as part of the meal clean up. My nanny is a big baker--she loves to cook treats with the kids. Fortunately she feels the same way that cleaning up trash generated from cooking is part of normal meal clean up, so it's not an issue. I found the best thing to do is to make sure you do list out any clean up tasks you consider the norm as well as the normal child care approaches, activities and discipline philosophies questiong in the interview process to find someone likely to fit with you.

Anonymous said...

I guess you've found the perfect nanny for you, then, 9:42. As long as you both agree on the tasks, it's "all good", as they say! Unfortunately, I work for extremely lazy, slobby, oportunistic employers that would most definitely (and do!) take advantage of such an arrangement of tasks. Sorry for my cynicism, if it didn't apply to you, but not every employer follows through on their part as you seem to be doing.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 kids 11,9,7 and they are in school full time. I do expect my nanny/housekeepr to keep my house. laundry, grocery hsop, prepare meals, clean. not just my kids stuff all our stuff. i dont need a nanny at night or on the weekends. I work full time so i see my kids then. I shouldnt have to pay a nanny PT and a housekeepr PT. and my nanny is capable of dooing both, she also has plenty of down time, and is paid well for both jobs.

Anonymous said...

If the children are in school during the day and the nanny has previously agreed to housekeeping, I don't see a problem with it. I currently am a nanny for an only child, ten months old. The baby's nap schedule is constantly changing, but whenever he is asleep I clean the house and have never had an issue with it. My boss is amazing and doesn't even require it (she says most of his nap time is my down time and will give me very few chores), but since I'm getting paid, I would feel bad if I didn't spend most of the time doing something productive.