Calling All Nannies: Advice Needed!

opinion 2 I need some advice from all of the professional nannies out there. I have graduated from college with a degree in elementary education and am making the transition from a part time nanny/student, to a full time, professional nanny. Last week I went on two working interviews in two different states. I had a great connection with one family. The family has three children, ages 4, 10, and 13. The household has plenty of help, including two full time housekeepers, a driver, and a chef. The family offered me the job, and laid out a proposed schedule of 50-55 hour/5 day workweek. The job includes great pay, benefits, use of a car, and they even offered to let me bring my dog to live in their home (they informed me that they would not have done that if they didn't want me to work for them so much). I told them that I was feeling really positive about the match, but I had another interview set up back in my local area, and as I had been in discussion with the family for some time, I would not feel comfortable canceling. They said that they understood, and that they actually had another working nanny interview after me, but that they "wouldn't change their mind" about wanting me. Well I went back home and talked to the agency, and then wrote up a quick email clarifying some issues that I sent to the family. I got a phone call this morning from the mother, reiterating how much they enjoyed me and how much they wanted me to work for them, but that they also really liked the other girl, and that they were thinking about hiring BOTH of us. Now I don't know what to do.

This isn't a situation where I would come into a household with an already established nanny, as we would both be equally new, so I wouldn't have to worry about that. They're an extremely fast paced, busy family with lots of other household staff who all chip in together, so maybe it could work? I know that the plan would be for the other nanny and I to have sort of separate schedules with each person taking one weekend day, with room for flexibility. However, they want us each to work 50 hours, and with all of the kids in school until either 12 or 3 every day, I don't know how a 50 hour work week would happen without quite a bit of overlap. The mom is calling me back this afternoon with a proposed schedule. I don't know if this is something I should even consider. Should I possibly ask for a trial period so I can decide if it's a good fit? Has anyone had a good situation with 2 nannies? If the other nanny and I get along well, it might be nice to have someone to work along side, or I can see it working out very badly as well. Any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated as I try to make this decision.


Nanny Maria said...

My first thought was that this might be a good idea since you wouldn't have to work so many weekly hours...however you would still be working your 50 hrs per wk. I had a quick question..will the other Nanny live in the home as well? That could totally change the dynamic in this.

I think it is best like you mentioned to ask for a trial period first before you are to commit to this family. I always ask for a 1-2 week trial period just because it makes good sense. I think the success of this set-up lies upon if you and this other Nanny "click." If you do not get along because you clash or get competitive, it could get ugly since there would be a conflict of interests here.
Hopefully you both get along well and it would be nice for you to have a "Buddy" around at times since being a Nanny can be isolating at is one of the professions where you do not get the benefit of "water cooler talk."

I hope this works out for you. By the way, how did your interview go with the other family (local?)

MissDee said...

The only way I see this working is if the hours are divided evenly between the two of you on a weekly basis. Working alongside someone else when caring for children is like working with a co-teacher in an early childhood classroom.

I should also point out that there may be some competition between the two of you, created by MB. She may decided she likes one of you more than the other, creating potiental conflict between the two of you in terms of the job. If you do decide to accept the position, keep in mind they may decide one of you will be axed for the simple reason they may suddenly decide it's pointless to have 2 nannies for 50-55 hours a week.

Let us know what you decide....

world's best nanny said...

What family needs 100 hours of nanny care? Are these parents home, ever? Eventually the family will come to see how silly it is and decide to dump one of you. Then the backstabbing and one-up-man-ship will begin. My family has a weekend nanny. I know the nanny from the kids only, I've only seen her in photos. I am usually out by 7pm Fridays and she starts 6am Saturdays. She's gone by 7pm Sundays and I am there by 6am Mondays. We basically have a non relationship. Be careful, try to get a long with the other nanny, working as a team might work out. Personally I wouldn't put myself in the situation.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Given the ages of the children, I think both nannies will be working during the after school hours. Do they go to different schools? From pickup they will be going to different classes, playdates and lessons, so two nannies will be useful. You won't have to drag a bored 4 yo to the 13 yo's soccer practice.
I have worked with another nanny, and we got along great. It wasn't live in though.
If you really liked the family, I would suggest a trial period. You won't know if it is going to work unless you try it. Good luck.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I think the mom simply can't choose, and so she is planning to try you both out and see who she likes best. The nanny she chooses gets the job, the other nanny gets sent home and starts job hunting again.

Of course, I could be wrong - if they already have so many staff, they might simply choose to spend the money for 2 nannies when they only need 1. In that case, all you'll need to worry about is managing to work with so many other staffers without getting involved in backstabbing or gossip.

Or it could be a wonderful opportunity. I think asking to have a trial period of up to 4 weeks is a good way to go here, to make sure you can work well with parents, kids, and other staff. Good luck!

NannyPoppins said...

Having two nannies working 50 hours a piece seems quite excessive. I have worked with families that used 2 nannies. I was full time and the other was just occasional/weekend help. We were both live out nannies so we never actually worked together. I had no problems with the situation. I do agree with the above posters that having two nannies living together could change the dynamic dramatically. It does seem like the MB is having a problem deciding and it seems like it could be a situation where she will decide which 1 she/kids like best. I could be wrong though! I just do not see how 1 family could need that much childcare. It's rather ridiculous. But if they are THAT busy and if the children are involved in many activities perhaps they are looking for 2 people to split up the children's activities so all the children can be equally entertained. Who knows! You definitely need to talk in depth with not only the MB but the other nanny as well. Lay out all your questions, concerns, and what have you. Also it is important to ask the MB if she plans to keep you BOTH or if this is more like a trial run to see who works out best for the family. I personally would not to like to LIVE and WORK with another nanny. I think it would cause too much competition, gossiping, backstabbing, blaming, and various other problem. But once again I could be wrong. If you truly like this family and the kids, try out the "trial run" after you have a long talk with the MB and the other nanny. I personally would look for another position where you are the only live in nanny and you are the only care giver for the children. This way you don't have to worry about future conflict or even worst losing your job out of no where because MB likes the other nanny more than you. Good luck!

Allieontheroad said...

I have worked with a nanny partner full time (additional weekend nannies and evening babysitters existed as necessary) and it was awesome. There were 2 kids (3.5 hrs apart) and we both had a main charge (kind of like pre school teachers in a toddler room with core charges/core teachers). This way we could plan activities for a specific age group and then also things to do together. As long as both nannies give 100% and neither slacks or tries to take advantage of the other nanny it can be really great. We knew we had coverage for emergencies or even doctor appointments. If there was a sudden grocery store need one could run out while the other had the children... And of course going to the bathroom without our charges in there with us was nice as well ;) you and the other nanny need to meet and speak before taking the job and maybe even hash out the schedule and responsibilities of each. I have never started new with another nanny. In my case, my nanny partner was brought in when the youngest was born and she was completely with the baby at first and until he got out if the meatloaf-baby stage and could do outings and activities. Basically it can work out and be GREAT! (no more monotonous days where you just want to talk with another adult!!!) but if everyone doesn't have an understanding of what things will be like it could be awful.

threelittleangels said...

Here in the middle east it's quite common for families to hire one nanny per child. With each child having different after school activities and requirements it just makes sense...if you can afford it.
I wouldn't question why they need so much child care; just be grateful that you will have a partner to share the workload.