Defining "Kid-Related" Tasks

opinion 1
I have a question for your nannies about what you would consider a standard for "kid-related cleaning duties"? We have just done a 2 week trial with a nanny who we really like but she has been very clear that she is a "childcare ONLY" nanny. We said ok, fine, we don't need someone to do kid laundry or that sort of thing, but she doesn't even want to load the dishwasher or tidy the playroom at the end of the day.

My kids are 15 months and almost 3 and they both nap for a MINIMUM of 2 hours per afternoon, sometimes up to 3 hours, but usually more like 2 hours 15 min or so. I'm all for the nanny having a "break" but I feel like she could take an hour break and still have time to tidy the playroom or clean up the kitchen. She DOES prepare their lunch and snacks and rinses the dishes. Anyway, I think maybe we should look for someone who is more willing to do these tasks or really someone who is willing to throw in a load of kid laundry, sort through the puzzles and match up pieces, etc. with the "free" hour+ she has every day. Or my husband suggested we lower her hourly rate from $18/hr to $10/hr for 2 hours per day when the kids are asleep. But that just gets complicated. And she has been keeping a diary of the kids naps, etc. and honestly, she has had 2.5 hours every single day but one and that was when my daughter had a little cold and she still slept 2 hours!!


StrawberryShortKakes said...

I think you are right to look for another nanny. If this nanny does not want to do chores but you DO want her to do chores, then you are not a good fit. I would consider child-related chores to be cleaning anything that the children touched during the day or anything I used for the children. By that I mean any toys they played with or any mess the nanny made while changing the children and preparing their food. I definitely don't think that it's too much to ask of someone, especially when she has downtime in addition to her break.

She has made it clear that she doesn't do cleaning, which I personally find weird, but that is her choice. I think she is kind of dumb for not agreeing to do simple cleaning, it may just cost her this job.

I say you should look for someone else because the reduced pay for 2 hours a day thing will get complicated and she might not go for it anyway. She is not meeting your needs and I am guessing it will make you resent her a little down the road when you get home and there are toys everywhere.

Michelle said...

If you want someone to do childcare related duties than I would definitely look for someone else. Cleaning up the dishes doesn't take much time at all and cleaning up a playroom can be done together with the kiddos even though they're young it's a great way to get them involved and easy to make into a game/contest. Neither of these "chores" take all that long and if she's preparing food/snacks and rinsing dishes why can't she take the extra step to load/unload the dishwasher?

I work for a family of 4 and there is a significant portion of my day that is nap time and I typically run the dishwasher 2x a day, pickup the playroom WITH the kiddos and find time to straighten/organize/run laundry and still have some time to sit down, eat lunch and relax for a little bit of time.

Bottom line being--if you want someone willing to do chores and she isn't then look for someone else. You don't want to resent this person or vice versa if the chores don't get done even if she is great with the kids.

IUnderstand said...

I think you'll have to look for another nanny. You want one who does chores, she doesn't want to do chores. I also don't think she'll go for a reduction in pay.

FYI I think pay reduction during nap time is petty.

I can understand a nanny not wanting to over commit to chores. I always say the same thing. However when the kids are sleeping I clean up after them. I try to keep up after mess all day.

Bre said...

That sounds like a job I would love!

You don't sound unreasonable with your requests.

I hope you and your nanny are able to come to a compromise. I hate to see anyone lose a job in this market.
Jobs are hard to find. Especially good jobs with decent pay and seemingly reasonable expectations.I know I've been looking for a while

Free!~ said...

Can I be your nanny? All kidding aside, You should look for someone else. My last nanny job had me making $10 an hour and doing tons of cleaning. It got to the point that I had to have a sit down with MB and let her know she was going overboard with her requests that included changing sheets , scrubbing toilets, tubs, floors, dusting, mopping the entire house, organizing off season clothes and closets, etc. The list goes on and on. In the end we ended up resenting each other and she said she was going to lower my pay to minimum wage. I left because I was humiliated and felt sick to my stomach every time I walked in the door. It was so bad that on Monday mornings the house was a disaster and hadn't been cleaned since I left on Friday. The requests got to be so bad that I had to leave the baby in the play pen to cry so I could get it all done.

Bottom line, find a nanny who is willing to clean up after the kids. You are being very generous with pay and should find someone who is going to do the things you want done. I'd have been more than happy to be a full time housekeeper/nanny for the pay you are offering.

Manhattan Nanny said...

OP, I am a childcare only nanny.
Perhaps your nanny is being ridged about what she will do in the beginning because she is afraid of "job creep". A common complaint of nannies when employers start adding non child related duties. However,
the things you mentioned, picking up the playroom, sorting puzzle pieces, and generally cleaning up after the children are definitely part of the nannies job. She should keep their toys and clothes organized. (It is also part of her job to teach the children to help pickup their toys, put their shoes in the closet, clothes in the hamper etc.) She should also clean up the kitchen after she makes them lunch, and put the dishes in the dishwasher. My work family has a full time housekeeper, and I do this! Some full time nannies do the children's laundry as well.
Your husband's suggestion to pay her less during nap time is not a good idea. She will think it petty, and resent it. ( And your 3 yo will probably be napping much less as the year goes along.) You need to sit down and outline what you expect. She can clean up the lunch mess, organize the playroom, prepare snacks, pack for outings, set up art projects and organize playdates during nap time. If she isn't willing to do this, I would look for a nanny who is.

Ms.Nanny said...

Looks like you have received some good suggestions. If you decide to find a new nanny a great interview question is asking about how nap time has worked for her in previous jobs and what they are expecting if they worked for you. In my job I have nearly three hours of downtime everyday. About an hour of my break is doing basic household chores (cleaning the kitchen from lunchtime, tidying where my charge has been playing) and sometimes if there is not much to do I do something extra like moping the floor, taking out the recycling and trash, circulating the laundry or organizing the playroom. I try to make sure I always leave the house cleaner than when I came to work, even if it is just one or two things that I do. I am saying this because I am able to get this done in an hour (I'm not an incredibly fast cleaner by any means) and still have plenty of time to recharge, and get ready for a good afternoon. What you are asking is not unreasonable. Good luck!

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

If this nanny isn't willing to do child related "housekeeping" (And seriously? She won't even load the damn dishwasher with the dishes SHE and your kids use during the day? What an entitled beeyotch!), and you want child related housekeeping, don't hire her.

Good God - for $18 an hour ($990 a week for a 50 hour week with OT, for those keeping score at home), considering the crappy nanny job market, there should be awesome super qualified nannies beating down your door who aren't too snotty to do child related chores.

Keep looking, and try searching via avenues you haven't already explored. Good luck finding a nanny who doesn't consider herself a pretty pretty princess incapable of sorting toys.

calcuLATER said...

First, I think you should establish EXACTLY what extra chores you would like the nanny to do. Then tell the nanny that you would like to have a discussion about her trial period. Sit her down and say that while you think she is great with the children, you are really looking for a candidate who is willing to do all the dishes that she uses with the children throughout the day, who will do a load of the children's laundry, and who will keep the playroom tidy, etc. Tell her that if she is willing to meet those requirements, then the job is hers, but if she is unwilling to do so, then unfortunately it is clear that she is not the right person for the job, because that is what you are looking for.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think you are paying your Nanny a great wage and for that wage, she shouldn't mind doing some "light household" tasks related to the children. I think she should always clean up the playroom, wash or load up any dishes used and if you want her to do a little laundry for the kiddos, she should oblige. She probably is not comfortable doing any chores because many families (not you!) start off asking the Nanny to do child-related tasks, then a month later the Nanny finds herself scrubbing toilets. As one poster remarked, this is known as "job creep" and is very common unfortunately.

She probably has been taken advantage of in the past and is playing her cards safe.

Before you decide to let her go, I would ask her if she would re-consider doing some light household tasks that pertain to your children. Let her know that is what you are looking for ideally in a Nanny. If she doesn't want to, then you can let her go since it won't be a good match for both sides.

Good Luck OP and let us know how it goes....

Not on my couch said...

Please, OP, fire this lazyass and hire a deserving candidate! Basically she is requiring you to pay her $46-$54/day for nothing but for her to sit in the home. What special value is she bringing to you that can't be replaced? That is what it is all about.

Can you shift the kids naps to the end of the day, and hire someone else for that time, one who is willing to help out? In fact, for $54 dollars a day, 3 hours/day, 5 days per week, you could count on coming to sparkling house and well rested kids. Hire this person with trustworthy childcare skills of course, for when the kids do wake up. Perhaps she canengage them in housework, my kids love to help out, especially in the kitchen. Then tell Ms. No Betty Crocker you will only be needing her from 8:00 - 2:30 or what ever your hours are and tell her why - you are wasting money. If she quits, you can easily find another. Unemployed workers in every category are a dime a dozen today, so don't let this one railroad you. What some consider "job creep" others consider taking on more responsibility, which looks good at an annual review.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

To me it doesn't sound like this nanny is afraid of "job creep" since the OP said she doesn't even want to pick up the playroom. It sounds like she doesn't want to do ANY cleaning. Since the nanny is good with the children and in other aspects besides cleaning, I think it is worth a shot to say "warn her" that she will not get the job if she does not agree to do child-related tasks. Explain that you are looking for someone who will tidy the playroom and clean up the kitchen, but you are not ever going to ask her to scrub the toilets or anything like that. If she still says she won't do those things then I would certainly let her go and look for someone who will do those tasks. She is really dumb and stubborn if she doesn't back down. I think she is being unreasonable here.

Anonymous said...

If it's not a fit now, it won't be a fit later.

Chelsie said...

She's getting paid $18/hour, has a 2.5 hour break, and won't even tidy up the toy room? My advice is to find someone who is willing to do a little bit more. Good luck!

Becky said...

I don't think paying a nanny $18/hr is too much. We are so underpaid as it is. She shouldn't be against doing things like....putting the child's dishes in the dishwasher, but it's not her job to load and unload dishwasher/sweet and mop the kitchen (unless her and the children did a fun messy activity). Asking her to be a maid/nanny is out of her scope of duties. Things that are related to her and the children is what she was hired for. She is there to help your child grown into a mature kind person. Not fold all his clothes and put them away. So what she has a break. This should be a time or researching planning fun art projects. If you are looking for someone to sweep/laundry ect than you need to put an ad out for a Helper or such. I am professional and doing the families dishes is not in my job description.I do them occasional when I feel like it. Not excepted.

MissMannah said...

Becky, are you by any chance doing a two-week trial for a family that has a 1 year old and a 3 year old?

I'm sorry, but not wanting to do ANYTHING during naptime is just plain laziness. Claiming that you are researching fun projects is BS. I don't know about the rest of you, but I get really bored during naptime and I welcome the chance to do something. I also happen to love folding/organizing so I will occasionally do a closet overhaul and no this has never been asked of me. None of my employers have never asked me to do any housework but I do the dishes everyday and I will do the children's laundry if it piles up occasionally. I'll wipe down a counter if it needs it or I'll sweep the floor if there's crumbs all over the place. Why? Because I'm not going to leave a mess for my MB to clean up after she has already put in a long day at work and I have nothing else better to do during naptime. Plus it makes my boss happy, so why not?

By the way, if this nanny is not even putting toys away, she is not doing her job. That is included in childcare.

another nanny said...

OP, I have to go with the majority on this one. It's not at all unreasonable to expect the nanny to clean up after the child's daily activities (e.g. eating, playing). I don't even think a load of the child's laundry is unreasonable. Just keep in mind that there may be a rare day when even those minimal chores just can't get done (e.g. if both kids are sick and really needy).

Nanny twins plus said...

I have been working for this family for 3 years without a raise taking care of twins from 6.30pm to 6.30pm monday thru friday for $15/hr without a raise yet they are always showering me with words of praise about how good I am to their kids etc. I take care of all kids related chores, do all the family laundry, clean up after kids, baths, 3 meals, dishwasher etc. i guess im being taken advantage of and should move on to $18 - $ 20/hr. these are people who can easily pay $20 but say they cant afford a raise. both are vice presidents of big reputable companies.

Boston nanny said...

Op, I would sit with the nanny and explain that household chores are not expected but cleaning up after yourself and the children is. I would right in the contract specifically what all the duties are. If she's not willing to do child related chores then tell her thank you and goodbye.

Nanny twins plus,
It's time to move on to a new job. You can easily find a similar job for $18 with shorter hours.

Mis mannah,
I do absolutely nothing during my two hour break except eat, read or nap. All my chores are done during the morning while the kids eat breakfast and have free play. If I hadn't finished a chore I'd do it during nap but I normally reserve that time as resting time.

Phoenix said...

from what other nannies on this site have said normally a nanny would do child related chores like the playroom, laundry, and child dishes.

I think she is kinda rude.

Bethany said...

Do you live in Massachusetts,OP?
Hire me! Kidding sort of.

I've always done all that you are asking her to do and sometime more for much less in wages and in some cases less time.
I would get bored with 2.5 hours of doing nothing. I totally get needing a break , but well come on!
Let us know how it works out for you.

Susie said...

You should look for another nanny. Tidying up a playroom is a bare minimum, and good ones will do more than that without even being prompted. If she's only just started, things are likely to go downhill from here. The longer you wait, the tougher it'll be to let her go.

If, for some reason, you need to keep this one, I'd spell out in painful detail in a nanny employment agreement what your nanny needs to do. Good luck.

childcare only nanny said...

I consider myself a childcare only nanny as well. However, I could never read or watch tv for 2+ hours while the house was all messy.

Typically, I clean up the kitchen while cleaning up from breakfast as finish cleaning up the kitchen while the kids are finishing up lunch (I sit with them for a reasonable amount of time and then move to cleaning up when I want them to hurry up and eat and stop dillydallying :-)).

When I get to my families house, the playroom and living room generally look like a bomb went off. I either straighten up with the kids in the morning or during nap time. Unfortunately, oftentimes the kids tear apart the playroom again by the time the parents come home!!

Occassionaly I will do laundry, rearrange closets, sort and organize toys, or sweep or vacuum but that is usually only if I am bored for some reason or if the house really really needs it.

Hectic Nanny said...

My child related chores have turned into more family chores now that the kids are in school. I am expected to do more. They like me to clean, as in vacuum the house, wash the bed sheets, do some laundry, dishes, along with clean the toys, etc a couple times a month. However I get paid my salary plus extra for those chores.

I said...

That nanny is spoiled. $18/hour to do nothing except watch the kids.
I WISH I got a 2 hour break everyday! The kids I watch (3-year-old and infant) do NOT nap. I get no break. The parents know it and don't expect much out of me, but if the playroom is a complete disaster, I'll try to clean up as much as I can (as fast as I can!) and they praise the sh*t out of me. They never ask me to do any chores or anything, which makes me want to help out more whenever possible.

CarolinaNanny said...

Your nanny irritates me and I don't even know who she is. I see no reason why she cannot do simple tasks like tidy the playroom or kid laundry especially when she has that free time during the day to do so. Neither of those are difficult tasks to ask of her or to accomplish, and as much as I hate to say it, you need to look for someone who is willing to work a little harder to earn their money. Kid laundry is a simple task. You aren't asking her to be your housekeeper.

MillieT. said...

I've been a nanny for 5 years and for two different families.
Neither have paid me that amount for what you are asking yours to do. I do not think its unreasonable for a nanny to voice that she would only like to be held responsible for "kid" responsibilities yet your nanny seems to have a misconception of what these responsibilities are.
Over the years I have bent my responsibilities here and ther but mostly they are based on the children.
Cook for them and clean up any dishes (hand wash or place in dishwasher) we used while preparing and eating meals. Helping the kids dress and place dirty clothes in hamper. Doing children's laundry (clothes and change of bedsheets) and anything else we may have used (towels, dish clothes, blankets, etc). Picking up the playroom durin nap time (if I didn't get a chance for the children to help me before) is definitely part of my everyday.
As a nanny I can say that we do need some down time (their nap time) to unwind a little but your nanny has an awful lot of free time, she could most definitely use it to straighten up or start on preparing dinner for the kids and such.

Miss TJ said...

18 dollars an hour and she won't do the kid's laundry, clean up toys and load dishwasher?!?!


Not only is it sort of part of the job, but what lessons is she teaching the children leaving messes all over the house for mom and dad to do when they get home? YIKES.

I am so the opposite. I am constantly asking to do more. Why should I have 8 hours of just playing while the parents come home and have to cook, clean, bathe and do the laundry? What sort of quality time are these poor parents getting?

WeirdName said...

I believe everyone has right to decide what they want or don't want to do. Your nanny was clear about it and I think that’s fair. It is up to you to decide if you are going to keep her or move on and look for someone who’ll meet your requirements. It is not a big deal to do the kid related tasks while kids are napping but it is also OK if someone doesn’t want to do any of that.
Also, you said in your post that you actually agreed with you nanny conditions and you also added that you don’t need her to do kids laundry but later on you mentioned that would be good if she is willing to throw in a load of kid laundry, that you are not happy with etc.. Seem to me you are not clear about your own expectations and that you don’t own up to what you agreed for. I always appreciate being straight forward from the very beginning when it comes to any relation. Its a good way to avoid conflicts in the future. My advice is – figure out your needs and find someone who meets your requirements. Good luck :)

I'm the OP said...

We decided not to hire her. We thought that we would always fight this battle and even if we won, we would be dealing with resentment.

Our goal in hiring a nanny is to make life easier. We can afford to pay a good wage and we just ultimately decided to look for someone else who would load the dishwasher, straighten playroom, and do kid laundry. I think 95% of the feedback I've gotten here and elsewhere is that a professional nanny should be willing to do these tasks on most days!