Transition to Live-in Position

opinion 1
Hi! I'm just about to transition from a live-out nanny to live-in. I've worked with this family for the past two years--full time in the summer, part time in the school year because of my college schedule. Does anyone have any tips on how to make sure this transition goes smoothly?


ericsmom said...

Get a lock on your bedroom door. Otherwise, when you are out don't be surprised if the family goes in your room.
Even being a live-in make sure they respect your personal time. Yes you live-in, but your not their 24/7 doormat.

Also, make sure you have your own life outside the family. Just because you live there doesn't mean you have to hang out with them. Try and make your own life on your time off. It will be for your own good as well as theirs.
They may invite you to have dinner with them. Don't do it they will expect you to help with the kids. I don't care how much you may like the family. I really don't believe any childcare provider feels 100 percent comfortable with their boss.

Susannah said...

If you don't have a contract now this would be a good time to get one.

Make sure your living arrangements are clear.

What will you be provided as a live in?

What expenses will you have?

Establish firm boundaries. It is extremely easy to become consumed by a family as a nanny in general and more so as a live in.

Nanny S said...

Definitely establish firm boundaries and don't feel guilty for sticking to them. Write a detailed contract. Get a lock for your door and use it. Ask that the parents make your boundaries clear to their children, for example, if your door is open, that means they can come visit in your off hours, if the door is closed, don't even knock. Talk about the new nanny transition when you leave. If it were me, I would make a rental agreement separate from the work contract, specifying a minimum of 20 days notice from either party, or something like that.

Z said...

Be very very careful. A live in job can seem like such a great idea, no commute, cheaper living expenses, but it can turn into a nightmare really fast. Think very carefully about whether this is something you really want to do.

Are the parents going to be ok with you putting a lock on your door? Will they insist on having a key? I would never do a live in position unless I have the only key and there is no way for anyone else to access my room, EVER. But some parents are not comfortable with that, the room is still in their house, so they may want a key for "emergencies." You will never be able to trust that they don't go in there whenever they want.

Are they going to ask where you are going every time you go out? Will that bother you? What if you want to stay overnight with a boyfriend or girlfriend? Would they let your SO sleep over with you? If you go out drinking one night, are you comfortable coming home tipsy?

Some parents are willing to talk about concern with you, but even if they are completely understanding, the kids will be much more difficult. How are you going to explain to children that their nanny who loves them doesn't want to be with them every second? "Alone time," is not a concept that children can understand easily. Even if rules are established about when they are allowed to knock on your door, are the parents going to police them every second to make sure they don't bother you?

Wow that was long...I just want you to consider every possibility of what could possibly go wrong. Good luck!!

MonkeyNanny said...

I would advise avoiding live in jobs completely unless the following conditions are met:

1. Your room(which should have its own bathroom), is totally separate from the rest of the house. Nowhere near the kids rooms or the master bedroom. A basement is good, a detached guest house or casita is better.

2. Your hours are still set, and the parents still need to come home on time. There will be no extra hours added to your schedule without asking you first and paying you accordingly.

3. Your room is completely off limits to everyone in the house at all times. This includes mom borrowing a band aid or a tampon or something. If possible, keep your room locked and keep the only key.

4. On your off duty time, you are allowed to come and go as you please without informing them first. You should be able to just take off whenever you want without even saying goodbye.

5. The kids are old enough to understand that you have a life other than caring for them. The parents are also willing to enforce rules about staying out of your room and leaving you alone.

6. Most importantly, the parents need to still see you as a nanny, not as a family member. If they need to talk to you, they should call or text, or wait until the next morning. Just because you live in their house should not mean they have access to you when you are not working.