The Expectant Nanny

Received Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Opinion 4 I've been a full time nanny for a great family for 2.5 years and am married. My husband and I are planning to have a kid of our own pretty soon. My job will soon be cut down to pt as my youngest charge will be going to school ft next year. My job will probably mainly consist of helping with the morning/afternoon transportion and school holidays as needed. I am almost positive that the parents would be ok with my kid tagging along, but this hasn't been discussed. I'm wondering from parents what you would want from your nanny. When would you expect to know? If you were willing to allow a child bring along what would you expect with that? From nannies how have you handled this situation and how did it work out for you? The mom and I have an amazing relationship and I know for a fact she would be flexible and understanding I'm just wondering what other people's recommendations/experiences have been so I can handle this the best way possible. Thanks!


MaryK said...

I employ a nanny, and I would never allow her to bring her own child(ren) to work. I would be really kind of shocked if she even asked. I would expect her to be professional about it and announce her pregnancy/maternity leave/intent to return to work (if she so intended) just as I would expect any other employee to do so- giving sufficient notice for the employer to make arrangements (3-4 months), but not really needing to know of conception plans...

jumping the gun said...

I would wait until you are actually pregnant to worry about this. For some people it can take years and no reason to give your boss pause or reason to try to fire you.

ATL Nanny said...

I agree with jumping the gun -- there is no reason to discuss this now. You have no idea how long it will be before this is a pressing issue. I definitely wouldn't not say anything until you are pregnant. And my plan personally (because my partner and I also planning to start trying to conceive in the next year or so) is to wait until I am out of my first trimester to make any announcements. Once you are pregnant and feel comfortable spreading the news, I would go ahead and tell them so they don't feel you were hiding it longer than necessary. And then you can see how they feel. Many families in your position (older children, PT hours, nanny has been with the family long term) are happy for the nanny to bring her child if it means keeping her on. Others, like MaryK, are never comfortable with it. It's really just a personal choice, and I would caution you not to take it personally if they don't want you to bring your child to work.

ohionanny said...

It really does depend on the family. Some families are absolutely NOT okay with it, and others are fine. They want their own kids to have playmates, or they look to give the nanny as many perks as they can, possibly to make up for other things.

I agree with the others about waiting until you are actually pregnant and out of your first trimester to discuss the issue. I would announce my pregnancy first and see how the family reacts.

15 years ago, at my first nanny job, I brought along my 2 yr old. The family was thrilled that their boys and my boys would all play together. They did pay me a tad less, but only like $10 a week. They came to love him as I came to love their children.

I would never ask for that now. My views have changed about requesting to do so, but I still also realize that some families are okay with it. Recently, I asked for time off (months down the road) to care for my step-grandbaby for a week while my stepdaughter and hubby went on vacation. My momboss said, "well, I'll see what I can do about the time off. Maybe you can bring the baby with you?" That was HER suggestion. I declined, as personally I am not comfortable doing so.

However, just last week, she asked me last minute to work longer than I normally do. I told her I needed to try and arrange something for my own children for after school. She suggested that I go pick them up like normal, and bring them back to the house. I was uncomfortable with that, and managed to arrange short care for them.

Then I went and picked them up and brought them back to the Momboss' house about 5 minutes before she walked in the door herself. So it all worked out, really.

Sometimes, in order to provide what the family needs, and they to retain someone they really, really want and like, compromise can happen so everyone is happy. To some, it means a lot to them to continue to use the one their children are used to and have bonded with and another child around is small potatoes to keep that.

So, you never know! :)

nix the nannies with kids. said...

I employ a part time nanny. After being a home daycare provider until my child was three, I went back to work outside the home. I at first looked for nannies who had children thinking it would be cheaper and my child would have a playmate: that was a BIG MISTAKE! Having a nanny or childcare provider who has their child in tow means less attention for your child. Sounds selfish, I know, but after the first failure nanny I hired people with no children as a rule and it has worked out much better.

On another note, when I got pregnant with my child, I was a nanny for twins. When I told the parents I was pregnant, they began to treat me like crap. And they were not ok with my bringing my child. They basically treated me like crap until I couldn't take it anymore and quit and then when my child was born that is why I did home daycare.

Do you really want to raise your baby in someone else's home? I wouldn't.

bostonnanny said...

I would not mention anything to your employers at all, wait until your 4-5months prego. Employers of nannies get weird when they find out they are prego. Most are sad stories where the nanny is fired. If you don't depend on this job for much of your income and can survive on your husbands income, then do as you wish but if you need this job wait until the last possible second.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Yes, I agree that you may be jumping the gun here OP. Wait until you are preggos...possibly in your second trimester before you make anything official. But don't be so quick to assume that your boss may be okay with this. No matter how much they may like you and want to keep you on,they still may not want another child in the home. A)Another child around theirs exposes their own child to multiple germs and potential illnesses. If they wanted this, they would simply put their own child into a daycare. B)Their own child will only get 50% instead of 100% attention from you and since they can obviously afford a nanny who does not need to bring along another child,they will probably stick with that option. C)There is less of a liability issue, i.e., if your child accidentally breaks anything in your employer's home. In other words,less wear and tear overall in their home. D)If your child gets ill, as many young ones do, then there will be many instances where you need to stay home as she would not want you to expose her child to illness.
Bringing your own child to work with you is a HUGE perk and if she did allow it, be prepared to take a pay cut.
Kudos to you for planning ahead for the future here. You sound like a very organized and responsible person to me!~

Anonymous said...

I would wait until you are SHOWING to deal with this. She could let you go immediately. You just never know what could happen. Some employers feel pregnancy is nothing but a hassle, and they want no part of it.

Before you tell your employer, be prepared to be unemployed, looking for work while pregnant, or working while finding childcare for your child. If you want to continue child minding with a child, you may have to consider child care in your home. Some employers are open to the nanny bringing one child, but it's not frequent, and usually entails a salary sacrifice.

Best wishes to you, and your anticipated bundle of joy.

OP says said...

Sorry for any confusion! I am not planning to tell her, or really anyone right now... I'm just thinking ahead. My inclination is at 12 weeks when I know the chance of a miscarriage drops dramatically. Also, just to add in the family I work for has some special situation that would make it difficult to replace me, though I know not impossible. I would just imagine if all she needs is help getting the kids to and from school- as they don't all go to the same place, which is something I could easily do with a baby that it probably wouldn't be worth it to swich caregivers, however reading your responses opens up my eyes that I could very well be wrong. My plan will be to address it in a way that shows I have no assumptions of what they're ok with. Thanks for all your advice!! As you can tell I'm a planner that likes to think through everything really far in advance.

Black Orchid said...

I am in the same boat as you. My hubby and I are trying to get pregnant. My momboss is aware of our efforts and is more than willing to let me bring my (future) baby to work. My charge just turned four years old. He also just had a new little baby cousin and has started the whole "Mom, can we have one?" thing. Mom doesn't want another baby, so she just tells him, no, but your nanny will, so you can play with her baby. I think it depends on the people and the situation.

nycmom said...

This is a very complicated situation. No matter how well intentioned the employers, it is rarely simple.

I've been through this twice, once went poorly and the other is going fairly well. A prior nanny who had worked for us only a few months became pregnant. We liked her and wanted to make the situation work for her and us. She took off the summer for (unpaid) maternity leave. The plan was she would come back in the fall. I think my older 2 dc were both in school at least pt and my youngest was not yet conceived. It did not go well. She told me she had arranged childcare for herself and would be available. So I kept the position open and hired only a summer temp instead of a permanent replacement. Shortly after returning to work, her childcare fell through. Now she needed to bring her newborn. My kids were (I think) 3 and 5 at the time. It did not work well because they were still fairly needy and going outdoors was a huge part of the job. She simply could not juggle her baby and my kids. My kids weren't getting 50% of the attention - they were getting 20%. She was a firsttime mom and really had not planned at all for the difficulties of having a newborn. Her baby was sick: missed work. Her baby was colicky: extraordinary effort and exhaustion. Her baby needed to nap: my kids day planned around her baby's naps. Ultimately, I had to give her notice and hire someone reliable. She wasn't doing anything deliberately wrong. She just was not equipped to handle the workload. I wouldn't be either - which is why I have a nanny in the first place!

My current nanny has a child who is 9yo now (and 2 older kids). My kids are 3, 8, 10yo. She brings her often as our kids are on different school schedules. My kids enjoying playing with her child and it *generally* goes smoothly. My nanny also makes a great effort to ensure she is still able to manage the workload, plus her older kids and other family pitch in with her 9yo. There are still small issues that come up such as if they go on an outing or get snacks, I pay for everyone. I know it sounds petty (and it feels petty sometimes), but it is an awkward spot. I would not be rude enough to NOT pay for her child, but I also do get frustrated sometimes at the extra cost. We still pay her regular full rate even if she brings her dtr for a full week. Another major issue is illness. I don't want her to bring her child if she is sick, since that's one of the big benefits of having a nanny. The other big issue I deal with is that when her 9yo is here, my 8yo and 10yo fight MUCH more over who gets to pay with her and it tends to lead to a lot more conflict. No good solution for that one. We have even taken our nanny's child along on vacations when our nanny has traveled for work and paid her costs. Overall, it is working out for us and the small annoyances are worth it because my nanny is capable and amazing.

I don't think I'd ever hire a nanny who needed to bring her newborn along again. New babies are just too much work. I truly don't think even a nanny who has done it before as a caregiver can fully anticipate what it will be like with your own child. I would probably do it again if my nanny had older kids (though it honestly would not be my first choice), but there is no getting around the fact that it makes things more complicated and expensive. I suppose a salary reduction would be an employer incentive (similar to a nanny share), but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable doing that.

Happy Nanny said...

I was a FT Nanny for two girls who were about 5 and 7 when I got pregnant. I had already been with them for almost a year and have know the family for most of my life. Getting pregnant was a (very much wanted) surprise for me. When I went to tell MB, she could not have been more happy for me! Even before I had arrived the next day she had talked with the girls and told them that I was pregnant and they were to be very nice to me and that I might need to rest a bit more than usual! I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue but always gave all that I could to the girls but did find days that I just needed to sit and rest while doing quiet activities. When my son was born, they even came to see us! I returned to work with them when my son was only 2 weeks old, my choice, MB would have continued to make other arrangements but since school had just started and she worked for the school system I wanted to get back to them. We had expected me to deliver a few weeks before school started but my son decided to arrive two weeks late! They NEVER once made me feel bad for needing the time off! I continued with them, bringing my son with me thru the following summer. The girls just adored him! He never caused any problems, I just carried a baby monitor so we could go about our outside activites as usual. I was sad to stop watchign them but they no longer needed me once both girls were in school full time. I still keep in contact with them and know I could never ask for better people to work for.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think it all depends on how important a nanny is to your family. I personally (as a parent) would not think it ideal to have a nanny who has a newborn baby. What with a nanny who comes to work with only a few hours sleep, is distracted by her baby's needs (which can override my own child's needs) as well as the minimized attention I think it can only be a disaster waiting to happen. However, if I had a newborn, I think it would be a HUGE PERK to not have to put my own child in daycare (childcare can be brutal for a newborn baby!!)But I think it would be only fair if both sides agreed that a pay cut would definitely be in store.