Received Sunday, June 28, 2009
Hi, I'd like an opinion on how to handle this situation from a nanny's perspective.
Some background: We have a WONDERFUL nanny who has been with us for nearly 4 years now, and she is currently 8 1/2 months pregnant. We have 2 kids - our son is almost 4 and our daughter is 2 months old. Our nanny has had a difficult pregnancy - lots of morning sickness, aches, pains, etc, and decided to take off for maternity leave earlier than she expected. She started staying home on 6/22 -- she had wanted to work right up until the baby came, but was so miserable with lack of sleep & heartburn etc that she just wasn't able to keep up with our son.
My husband and I kind of thought she might not be able to work up to the end (being pregnant in the summer is hard!), so we made arrangements for our son's care for the summer at a day camp at the local Y. He starts preschool in Sept 4 days/week, and we will be on vacation for 2 weeks in Sept as well. The baby is fortunately a great sleeper and is overall very happy, so she doesn't require a lot of extra attention (over and above what a 2 month-old needs) which allows me to work from home. So I am really OK with having her not here -- and I really want her to just stay home & take it easy.
Now, back when she announced her pregnancy, we discussed things with her and agreed that she would get a real maternity leave of 6-8 weeks following the birth of her daughter, fully paid. Since she can't work now, my husband and I also agreed to pay her full salary up to AND after the birth. This is her job, and anywhere else would provide her with some type of paid leave, so in my opinion, this is the least we can do for her. Not to mention that she is so fantastic with our son -- she is a part of our family as far as we're concerned, and we definitely want her to come back when she's able -- I want to go back to work for real at some point.
Yesterday, I attended her baby shower (we're friends outside of work, too), and asked her in private how she would like us to handle paying her while she's on leave -- should I drop off her pay at her house weekly (she lives 5 minutes from us), mail it to her, batch it & pay her monthly, etc? She told me that she doesn't feel comfortable taking her pay without working for it, and now doesn't want us to pay her. She offered to watch our daughter during the day for me to run errands, go to the gym, etc, but I'm really covered with that. My husband and I have rearranged our schedules to allow for gym, errands, etc, without needing childcare -- and I can always just take the baby in her sling most places I need to go anyway. We have an evening babysitter who we use once or twice a month for date nites, and she handles both kids. I really just want our nanny to have a relaxing end of her pregnancy and post-pregnancy period while getting paid for it like I was able to do, and like many other working women enjoy. I know this is a weird question, but how can I convince our nanny that she deserves full maternity pay for her maternity leave??