Friday

Reasonable or Ridiculous?

OPINION
What are reasonable duties for a nanny? I'm not asking for household cleaning, cooking or laundry. All I am asking is for day to day childcare, meaning: feeding, clothing, bathing and putting to bed when needed, cleaning dishes used during the day, keeping the areas used by the kids clean or helping them to clean and the kids laundry. I've spoken with many nannies and several have told me they do not do laundry. Am I wrong for requesting this? The job is 40 hours a week never starting earlier than 9am or ending later than 7pm. The kids are 5 and 15 months. The 5 year old will be in school part time in the fall and the 15 month old naps 2.5 hours a day. We're offerring full benefits and a good wage for the area. We will keep looking, but I want to know if what we're asking for is ridiculous.

60 comments:

Nanny xyz said...

I think laundry is an acceptable chore ONLY if it's done while children are napping and/or at school. It's difficult for many nannies to multitask and make lunch while entertaining baby and putting laundry away. I also think its only acceptable for nanny to do the children's laundry. Not the parents laundry. Not the bedding. (Bedding is done by a house cleaner.) In my opinion, those are considered extra chores and nanny has a right to refuse. But doing the kids laundry is pretty common in my experience.
None of my jobs ever required doing laundry. I would occasionally put the kids folded laundry away just to be nice and helpful. And I currently only do kids laundry once in awhile when its really important to have an outfit or soccer uniform clean right away.

Chelsea said...

In previous jobs, where I was paid significantly less than I am paid now, I didn't do laundry--I was never asked to, unless there was an emergency. Sometimes I'd throw stuff in or transfer what was already partially done, just to be nice, but that was all.

Currently, I make quite a bit more money, and I do my charge's laundry twice a week and bedding and towels once a week. I don't think it's unreasonable at all. The only time I'd have a qualm with doing laundry was if I were doing household laundry, beyond what the kids were using, or if household duties were interfering with me caring for the children.

I'm not sure why so many nannies are adamant about not doing laundry, period. As long as you're compensating them for it (it DOES cost an extra few dollars per hour to add household duties to a nanny's daily responsibilities), it sounds fair to me.

Warning!JobCreepAhead! said...

*Its your job to dress your children in the morning.
*Its your job to give your children their showers.
*What do you mean by "keeping the areas used by the kids clean!" Hopefully you mean the nanny leaves the childs areas the same way they were, when she arrived. Dusting, vacuuming & cleaning out spaces is considered deep cleaning & a nanny isn't a house cleaner.
*Why would you expect your childs nanny to help your kids clean?

I think you're pushing it with the cleaning requirements. It sounds to me like you're looking to recruit a nanny that also morphs into your house cleaner & personal assistant.

GatewayChore said...

Maybe because a nanny isn't there to wash, dry & put laundry away. That's a parents job. If the parents don't want to do it, they can hire a housekeeper & pay them accordingly. Which here its anywhere between $25-35 an hour. If all a nanny gets is an hour of down time, I would want her to relax & recharge, NOT doing household chores. I don't advocate babies laundry as being something a nanny does. Because that's a good way for parents to start taking advantage of their nanny. I think keeping housework as a completely different job will help parents to keep a healthy boundry. The lines between nanny and housekeeper get gray overtime if you allow it.

Aletheia said...

I think your requests are reasonable, as long as you're actually paying nanny wages + a bit extra for the laundry, as opposed to babysitter wages. If the compensation reflects a level of respect for the job being done, you are more likely to get the attention of great nannies who deserve every penny of it. When I see job ads that pay a pittance, I move on and don't even apply. When I see ads that are within the range of my pay requirements, laundry is not going to stop me from applying. I do agree with what others said above, in that you need to be a bit more specific in your language so that it is clear you don't expect a nanny/housekeeper (I don't believe you do, but clarity of language will help you out on this).


I do have to say, though, that if there are good candidates that you liked who agreed to all of your position's detail except one (laundry), which is how it sounds to me, then I don't see why you would pass by them. That makes it seem like laundry is the most important part of the job to you, rather than the quality of care your children receive. Now, mind you, I'm not saying you actually feel that way, just that to a nanny, that is how it comes across.

Lyn said...

First of all, I have to say THANK YOU! Being honest and upfront about what you expect from your Nanny in interviews/ads is great! So much better than leaving a to do list as you leave the house on their first day, haha.
I think if you are being honest about it and are paying a slightly higher wage for it then children's laundry is a fine addition to daily responsibilities. Perhaps if you word it in interviews as "we were looking give our Nanny these benefits and a pay of (example) $15 an hour. However we have come to realize we would like the Nanny to also do our children's laundry twice a week, so because of the extra work we are willing to pay $17-18 hourly. Is this something you would be willing to do?" If I were being interviewed I would absolutely admire your honesty right up front about what you'd like and would more than likely accept those terms. Provided of course the family seems like a good fit to me and I seem like a good fit to them. :)Especially since the laundry would be able to be done either when one child is napping and the other is in school or when only one kid is on hand.
The rest of your requests seem perfectly in line with what I am used to doing as well and I wouldn't think twice about them.

UmassSlytherin said...

I would never ask my nanny to do the laundry, my child's or mine. But that's just me.

OP, it depends on how much you are paying. If the price is right, I would not mind doing it. But if you find a great nanny who doesn't do it, perhaps you should take that as a sign that the nanny wants to concentrate on your children. Wouldn't that be the more important task?

OceanBlue said...

I don't think you are asking too much at all.

I will say laundry isn't a huge deal for me.

I grew up in a fairly large military family and starting helping with the family laundry at 7, and was washing my own at age 10
I don't see it as something that is impossible to do just because the kids are around, or something that will take so much time away from being with the kids.

The kids might even like helping. I loved helping folding clothes and sorting out colors at that age.

I also don't have a problem with anything else you are asking.

Bethany said...

Nothing you've asked for sounds unreasonable in my opinion.

It's possible that the nannies you've spoken to are a bit skittish because they've been taken advantage of in the past.

Especially if you are offering $15/hr
It sounds like a standard nanny job in my opinion.

Unless you are extra picky about how clothing is done, I don't see how it would be that much extra work for them. Especially when your nanny will have roughly 3 hours a day to do it.

But good for you for being upfront about what you are looking for. I'm sure you'll find a fit in no time.

Bethany said...

@warning

What if the kids are still asleep when nanny arrives? Should their mother wake them early just to get clothing on?

What if the child gets sick or dirty during the day? Should the nanny just leave the child a mess?


Her kids are 15 months old and 5 years old, I think they'd need a little help in cleaning up.

Being a nanny is childcare. Messy things and cleaning up goes along with childcare.

NannyPants said...

I see nothing wrong with doing the child's laundry. I do it while my charge is napping and it takes up a VERY small portion of my day. I don't need to be paid extra to throw a load of onesies in the washer and dryer. I honestly think it is just laziness if nannies refuse to do this.

daisy said...

@bethany

I agree with your response to @warning.

so @ warning-

as a nanny for over 13 years I must say that getting a child dressed, bathing them, helping them clean their toys and messes- is very much a part of the job.

while most nanny jobs I have experienced start after the child is already dressed for the day, it does happen that some mornings they are not, and helping to teach a 2 year old how to pick out clothes and put them on is part of the job. A nanny is not a monitor watcher they are a person who helps to teach their charges how to navigate the world in a way that allows them to be a healthy, happy, productive part of society. Part of that is helping to teach them how to pick up their messes, change their clothes and scrub their hair (especially when they play hard and get mud or glitter caked in it!).

that said- I help out with laundry when it's something that needs to be done right away- like a uniform or a favorite stuffed animal that got maple syrup all over it.
I have also had jobs where I did all the charges laundry and on days when they where all in school for a couple of hours would throw whatever was around in. But I was paid extra for this.

MissMannah said...

It surprises me by how many nannies don't do their charges laundry. I always considered it one of the nanny's duties. My "official" duties are C's laundry, washing bottles and keeping her bedroom/closet organized. I also will do other dishes and laundry a few days a week and VERY occasionally will dust or sweep, just because I'm bored during naptime. Note: this is not job creep because I am doing it on a whim to be nice, it is not asked of me. There's a very thin line there. Also, I thought "Warning" was weird with her post. I dress C almost everyday because she's asleep when I arrive. I also bathe her on occasion because she will have a blowout diaper, just like any baby will. Am I supposed to just let her be filthy until MB finishes work?

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, you might find the info at the following link interesting, and I'd encourage you to fully explore the whole website:

http://www.nanny.org/page.aspx?pid=399

I don't understand the (seemingly) sudden relegation of children's laundry to "the housekeeper's job". Especially because laundry would logically be the job of a LAUNDRESS! Maybe you've just been unlucky in your potential candidates so far? Traditionally, nannies are responsible for ALL TASKS related to the needs of their charges, including child related housekeeping.

I believe part of a nanny's job is to help the family's life run more smoothly, and if I were a MB, working 50+ hours/week, I would want to be able to spend time with my kid(s) when I wasn't working, not spend time doing my kid(s) laundry!

I'll list off what I do. I care for a toddler, and I:

-Launder clothes and linens for my charge
-Organize and tidy his clothes and toys when possible
-Keep his room and bathroom tidy, including emptying the diaper pail as needed
-Keep the kitchen and play areas tidy, which includes taking out the trash if I fill it during the day, loading/unloading the dishwasher as needed, and vacuuming those 2 rooms every other week.
-Clean up messes we make during the day

I do not and will not do adult laundry, dusting, scrubbing of toilets,, or any other "housekeeping" tasks that are done by their cleaning crew. I consider what a cleaning crew does to be "heavy" housework, and I am not a housekeeper.

I swear, soon some nannies are going to not only refuse to do laundry, they'll start refusing to pick up toys or empty diaper pails.

A Mom said...

Stay at home moms can do laundry while the baby is around, so can nannies. Why this can't be considered just a part of daily or weekly routine with the charges makes no sense to me. Our nanny does the laundry (kid + parents). It comes out to about 5 loads per week. Let's say it takes 1 minute to put it in the machine (which my toddler hangs around for), 1 minute to transfer to the dryer (ditto), and 10 minutes for folding (can be done during nap, or with my daughter playing next to her - sometimes "helping"). 12 minutes a day. Somehow this does not seem like a huge ask or imposing some crazy task on the nanny. And as for requests for $2/hour extra pay for doing laundry, think about the math. Even with 5 loads/week, at 12 minutes/load, you're talking an hour of laundry. At $2/hour extra pay for 40 hours work, that's $80. Nannies, you really think you should get paid $80 for an hour of work? This math doesn't make any sense to me.

Lyn said...

A mom, a babies laundry is one thing. That's totally up for negotiation in my book. I'm very open about the extra bit I charge to do laundry. It's never been an issue in the past and the parents have always paid me for it. If it's too high for you, then don't ask me to do it. :)
But I absolutely need that extra $80 a week if (likke you said) you expect me to do your laundry too. Touching things that have touched my employers lady bits is a disgusting thought to me. I would need that extra $80 to pay for the weekly shrink visits I would need. A full $100 if you are on your period. ;)

christine said...

Lyn,

I agree with you...a nanny shouldn't do their employers laundry. In fact, I am a self employed house cleaner and this doesn't even fall into what I would do. I do change beds for some clients but my rule is that they have to strip the bed and put the sheets in the washer, I just make the bed up.

Just because there's a person in your home all day taking care of your children, it doesn't mean they are there as your personal slave. I will never understand that mentality... The nanny is there to take care of children. I think it is the nanny's job to pick up after meals and playtime- with their charges help.

OhhPlease said...

Doing a baby or child's laundry is one thing but doing the employer's laundry is a whole different thing. I only do my charge's laundry approx 2 times a week. It is part of my list of duties in my contract and I have no problem with that. I also strip the baby's crib and launder the sheets. Though I must admit that part I HATE simply because it is a pain in the butt to stretch the sheets on the crib mattress lol. But I am not responsible for my employer's laundry and I am thankful for that. I do not like doing my husband's laundry nor mine so I can say I would not like to handle my boss's undergarments haha. There has been a couple times where I transferred clothes from the washer to dryer when I needed to use the washer. As long as the laundry is only the children's laundry I do not think it's ridiculous. If you are including "family laundry" I think you would have to add a couple more dollars to the hourly rate. I will say most nannies would not be interested in doing their employer's laundry.

nycmom said...

I have never even interviewed a nanny who had any issue with doing the kids' laundry and this includes 4 major cities including NYC where doing laundry is a pain since few have washer/dryer in their apartments. To me this is a standard duty, but I agree that I would expect and do pay well. I have only ever had one nanny also do family laundry and this was her request as a way to earn extra money, not my request or expectation.

This has also spanned the time from having 2 kids to 3 kids, infants to school age, little free time to 10-15 hours/week with no kids. I also would much prefer my nanny do the laundry WITH the kids, not during her break, as it is good for kids to be involved in chores. Even au pairs can/do laundry, and their official list of allowed duties is strictly no general housekeeping. I truly cannot imagine employing someone full-time in my home to care for my kids and not having them do the laundry and keep the place related to the kids in order.

I equate it to ridiculous parents who might say the nanny should never get a break, never allow the kids to play alone, never allow a single electronic device with older kids, etc. That to me is the same as a nanny having ridiculous expectations that her job is essentially being a babysitter full-time and she will not do anything beyond basic childcare. I guess that both are fine if advertised honestly, but both should expect that they are going to be greatly limiting their employment choices.

WarningYouCantKeepUp said...

This parent said she leaves no later than 9AM. Obviously the child isn't asleep when the mother leaves. So why wouldn't this parent dress her own child?

OF COURSE a nanny should bathe a baby who has a blow out diaper. Is that what were talking about? Of course not. Were talking about daily responsibilites.

You might think I'm weird, that's okay. You're a b****. :)

MommaBear said...

I wouldn't expect my nanny to do laundry. That's not why I hire her. You're assuming that everyone who says laundry isn't the nanny job IS a nanny. Not true.

warning-job-creep-ahead said...

If the child is asleep, that wouldbt be OPs situation. Where she's leaving for work by 9:00AM. Obviously waking a child to dress them is stupid.

What if the child gets sick or dirty during the day? Is that what were talking about? A child vomiting on themselves or rolling in dirt? Haha. No. Were talking about normal daily chores for a nanny. The daily shower should obviously be done by the mother in this situation, IN MY OPINION & EXPERIENCE that's a parents responsibility. Of course you can ask me who should shower the children when the parents have 24 hour shifts. But again, that is not OPs situation.

Of course a 15 month old and 5 year old need help "cleaning up." That is NOT what the topic is, its about normal daily showering. Which is the parents
responsibility.

"Being a nanny is childcare. Messy things and cleaning up goes along with childcare." That has what to do with the daily dressing & showering of a child? Nothing. Of course a nannys job is to maintain a clean child. That doesn't take away from the parents responsibility to give their child a shower & dress them in the morning, IN THIS SITUATION, with this parents hours.

What if......xyz? Different situation=different answer.

Polar Pop said...

"Stay at home moms can do laundry while the baby is around, so can nannies."

What sahms do is really not a valid criteria to use to determine what nannies can/should do.

Sahms also sit around and read or surf while their children play and let their children watch TV, but would go ballistic if their nannies did the same thing.

I think laundry is one of those tasks that should be paid extra for. It is not child care, it is clothing care.

Would you ask the cable guy to mow your lawn? Just because a task is "easy" and the nanny "has time" does not mean it is appropriate to expect her to do it. If she's willing to, for extra pay, fine. If she's not, do it yourself.

Chelsea said...

I do not charge extra to:
-clean up after or help (older) children clean up the spaces that they play in
-prepare simple meals with MINIMAL cooking involved
-clean up after meals, including washing dishes or loading dishwasher, wiping down surfaces, and if necessary, "spot-sweeping" the floor
-cleaning up after myself (obviously) and cleaning up if any accidents occur while my charge is in my care--no matter how messy the accident is

In my current position, I do all of the above, plus make an extra $4 per hour to:
-grocery shop two to three times per week
-load, run, AND unload the dishwasher two to three times per week
-vacuum the entire house (around 2,400 square feet) twice weekly
-wash, fold, and put away my charge's laundry twice per week
-wash bed linens and towels and make my charge's bed (top and bottom bunk) once per week
-feed the pets once daily and ensure that their spaces are clean and they have plenty of water

I do expect to be paid more for laundry--not so much for the washing and drying, but for the folding and putting away. That can get time consuming, especially if you work for families who are particular about the method/organization. For the same reason, I expect to be paid more for regular unloading of the dishwasher--not for doing these things occasionally or in an emergency, but for doing these things multiple times a week.

I don't think that most nannies have a set rate they charge "per chore" or anything--in my experience, the families who expect you to frequently wash, dry, fold, and put away laundry also expect you to have other household tasks that don't specifically relate to CHILDCARE. I've never said "Oh, you want me to do laundry? That'll be an extra dollar an hour." It's always more like "Oh, some housekeeping responsibilities? I charge a bit extra for that, depending on how extensive the responsibilities are."

Holly said...

I've never hired a nanny before. I've been a SAHM until now.

I lost my husband recently. and now I have to work. My mother-in-law has been helping me but she is older and I think being with two sweet but energetic little girls is taking a toll on her.
The daycares in my area have high turn over and don't stay open until 7pm.

I was hoping in a nanny I could find someone with energy and someone that could be around for awhile so my girls could have a familiar face.

I do not want a nanny to clean my entire house.

I did not think it was ridiculous to request that the house not be left a mess at the end of the day.

My kids love to sleep, especialy my baby,they don't always get up with the sun, so there would be days where they would still be sleeping when I left even at 9am. In the, fall my daughter will be in afternoon kindergarten. When I was home with her last year I'd let her stay in pjs until it was time to get ready for school.


I honestly didn't think dressing a kid would be a huge issue.

Also, of course I bathe my kids! Little kids get dirty sometimes during the day, and I was hoping the nanny wouldn't mind bathing them if that occured. I work late two nights a week, my baby would most likely be asleep or on the way to sleep when I got home. The 5 year old would be awake, but probably too tired to bathe. I didn't think two nights of baths would be a problem.

As far as laundry, I would never request she do mine!. I could take it off the table. I didn't see the trouble with tossing in a few loads of the kids clothes during the day. I wouldn't mind if the kids helped, my oldest loves to help sort and fold. I wouldn't even care if it was folded it could be left in the dryer, every little bit helps.

I'm not looking to take advantage of someone. I wwas hoping to relieve my mother-in-law, but I had considered asking her to help the nanny out abit, but I didn't think it was too much.

I was just looking for an extra hand.

You all have given me alot to think about. Thank you.

Handynanny said...

In my experience, everything you mention is reasonable as long as you are paying on par with your area you live in. Also, kids come first, chores come second. But child laundry is included with nanny rates, but if you pay not well, then no you can't expect it.

Handynanny said...

In my experience, everything you mention is reasonable as long as you are paying on par with your area you live in. Also, kids come first, chores come second. But child laundry is included with nanny rates, but if you pay not well, then no you can't expect it.

Momwest said...

Find someone who likes to keep busy and they won't mind doing the laundry. I've had two nannies that didn't like to sit around while the kids were napping and used their own initiative to do laundry, clean or help organize the house.

Nashville Nanny said...

Light housekeeping related to the child is always a part of my contracted duties. I don't think childrens' laundry is an issue. But I've also been the victim of the *job creep* and had MB dump adult laundry on me. Which was disgusting, because it included her undies. And she wasn't... how do I say this nicely.. the *cleanest* human being on Earth. When she asked that I start changing the linens, I found a new job. I have someone come out twice a month to clean my house, and I can't imagine asking her to change my sheets. And it's in her contract to do it. What she does for other clients is her business, but I would never want her to do it for me.

Logical Skeptic said...

Holly, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you find someone wonderful to help you with your little girls!

It is totally reasonable to expect a nanny to clean up whatever is generated in the course of her day caring for your children: toys/books/games/art projects should be cleared away before she leaves; any food/dishes/utensils that she or the children eats/uses should be cleaned and put away; spills/messes/accidents are her purview if they happened on her watch; and if she makes a cup of tea and borrows a book off your shelf to read while the kids are napping, obviously all that should be tidied before she leaves as well.

What is NOT ok to expect a nanny to do is anything that was there BEFORE she arrives: a sink full of dishes from last night, a dirty floor, a heap of laundry*, a porch covered in outdoor toys and sports equipment. That's all "housework" and it should be done by a housekeeper/cleaning lady.

If a pet needs to be fed or walked periodically during the day, the nanny can make it something fun to do with the kids, but medicating an elderly cat or training a new puppy is NOT her job!

If you would like her to do something different or unusual, like going through seasonal clothes to see what fits or not, weeding out unused toys, filling the new bookcase or organizer you just bought with the children's things, etc., you should discuss it with her FIRST and make sure it's a) reasonable; b) related to childcare in some way; c) a one-time or seasonal thing, unless you want to pay her a little extra to do it regularly.

Basically, I think a nanny should leave a house exactly as she finds it.






*Kids' laundry appears to be a divisive issue; best to check with a potential nanny about whether she's comfortable with doing it or not.

been a nanny said...

I live in an area with few nannies. Most people use daycare if they don't stay home with their kids. I have been a nanny in the Hampton's and I don't think what you're asking is too much at all. I thought the economy was bad and people were crying for jobs? I have three active boys, 2 are homeschooled....somehow I manage to do the things you are asking the nanny to do and do the shopping and cooking. What does it hurt to take the children with them to do the laundry together? Kids at that age LOVE to help with the laundry.

When I was a nanny the family was awesome and treated me great. We shared the laundry and the mom would actually do all my ironing because I hated it. Maybe nannies have been burned too much by families trying to get too much out of them. Either way, it's YOUR job to create as needed for your family. I'd stick to your guns.

Bethany said...

Holly, I'm sorry for your loss.

I want to give you a hug you seeemed so overwhelmed.

I truly don't think anything you are asking for is unreasonable.

If you really would like help with the laundry keep it in. You will probably be disatisifed if you don't, and end up with a no kid laundry nanny.
I think that's the case for everything you've listed.

I second Skeptic's advice about the rare or once in awhile child-related tasks. I wouldn't have a problem doing those things, but a heads up is always appreciated.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Your requirements sound like a typical nanny job. And yes, it is perfectly normal for nannies to bath and dress their charges. If you need a nanny to do the children's laundry, that comes under child related chores, and is not unusual. Maybe the nannies who objected are afraid of being stuck with all the laundry. Make it very clear that it will be only the children's. Good luck, I hope you find a wonderful nanny for your girls.

Student Nanny said...

Those of you saying you have a problem with getting your charges dressed in the morning, can I ask why? Not trying to be snide, I'm honestly curious. It's a fairly quick activity, and I actually find it kind of fun- kid clothes are cute! Not to mention that when I'm at home, I always prefer to stay in my PJs until I absolutely have to leave the house, so why not extend that to my charges too?

I also wouldn't have a problem with giving regular baths, but bathing is a bit more intensive and I can understand why it might be divisive.

I personally have never done my charges laundry, but that's mostly because my jobs are generally part time or temporary. I wouldn't have a problem doing it if the job required though, but I would expect to be making slightly more. But it sounds like you're already on top of that.

All in all, your requests absolutely sound reasonable, and I hope you can find a wonderful nanny to make this difficult time for your family slightly easier.

cheerios said...

If a parent isn't giving her kids a bath or dressing in the morning before 9:00, what is she doing with her kids? She probably doesn't feed them breakfast either. They probably eat at 10AM with the nanny. Why even have kids?

Lyn said...

Really Cheerios?
My charges are rarely dressed when I come over each morning. Even the days I'm not scheduled until 9-9:30. They have eaten breakfast mind you. Their Mom spends the mornings she can playing with them, reading stories, watching cartoons and snuggling their little pajama covered bodies. I haven't ever thought twice about getting them dressed each morning or occasionally bathing them after a hard day of play.

cherrios said...

Really.

anon nanny said...

@ Cheerios,
"Why even have kids?" Thats an awful thing to say. OP recently lost her husband, do you think you could be a bit more respectful?

I am truly sorry for your loss, Holly. And to answer your question: yes, your requests are definitely reasonable. I've been a nanny for over 10yrs and have always done the childrens laundry (I actually like doing it, lol) so I hope you find a wonderful nanny to help take care of your kids (and one who doesn't mind laundering), best of luck to you!

Katie said...

OP, sounds like a very laidback mother who is trying to retain some sense of normalcy for her girls and herself and not force them into a rigid routine.

I don't see anything wrong with what you've asked for.

Asking a nanny to give bed time baths twice a week and dress the kids the days she is workign is hardly the mark of a neglectful in my book.

I wish you and your girls well, and I hope you soon find the kindest and most helpful of nannies.

Bethany said...

I happen to like getting the kids ready in the morning.

Some of the best stories happen when hair is being brushed and outfits put on.

I've found that kids under 5 have the most amazing taste in clothing.

There's nothing like the moment when a charge finally buttons his or her pants or gets a shirt over their head on their own after working on that skill for weeks.

Plus little kid and baby clothes are just freakin' cute!

Truth Seeker said...

Considering the age of the children and the long work day, I think it would be best for you not to ask your nanny to do the wash for the kids. When the children nap, I think it is only fair to let your nanny rest too. A ten hour day is quite long, especially so when in the company of young children. Let her use her downtime to eat lunch in peace, use the restroom in peace and just recharge. That way, when the kids awaken, she will be fresh and ready to do almost anything!

People think laundry is no "big deal." If doing laundry is so damn easy and all, why do some people pay others to wash/dry/fold/put away their clothes. This service is an added perk and I think it is only fair not to ask your nanny to do it.

I was once hired for a nanny position and was never informed I would be responsible for the child's laundry until the third day. The mother just mentioned it to me casually..."Okay, when you do Suzy's laundry, this is how to operate the washer and dryer, etc." I politely said she never mentioned this during the interview and she told me she just assumed I would be doing the child's wash since I accepted the job as a nanny. Wow...I guess being a nanny is a very broad term indeed.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I am one of those nannies who DOES do kid laundry, and who DOESN'T charge an extra premium for doing it.

As a nanny who uses experiential learning, laundry is a great chore to share with charges. Think of it...discussion of how the washer/dryer work, temperatures, textures, colors, matching, large and small muscle movement, the fostering of independence and the learning of life skills...and these learning moments apply to all ages!

OP, I am so sorry for your loss. Best wishes to you as you search for a nanny who is capable of providing terrific care for your kids, including doing laundry.

justthenanny said...

I do my charges laundry (only) since I started 4 years ago. My other "extra" duties include emptying the dishwasher, and grocery shopping. I was asked upon interview if I would be willing to do these jobs and I said yes. As far as the laundry goes, when my oldest charge was 2 I had her help me sorting the laundry, reds, blues, whites. I even tell the baby the colors as we are sorting too! We now do this together every week, and she helps put her clothes away. I hope you find a wonderful nanny! They are out there! :)

cheerios said...

Obviously I wasn't talking about the OP.

IMeanThisInANiceWay said...

Of course when you interview nannies they're going to say what you want to hear.

I've lived in three states & I've never done laundry for anyone else.

Oh,Honestly, Angela said...

I can tell just by reading your post that you don't do laundry. You forgot about the: gathering, sorting, hanging up, hang drying, distributing & checking on the cycle to see if its finished & ready to be taken out or switched. No way does five loads of laundry only take one hour. That's just not accurate. Additionally, if your child is "helping" that's really only slowing down the process. I think its a shame that your nanny is doing your entire households laundry without compensation. And $80 a week to do all laundry actually DOES sound fair. Is there any reason why you believe this woman should do your laundry for free?

NotYourServant said...

Exactly. If its so easy & only takes a few minutes a day(BS) then why not do it yourself?

I totally agree with the nanny deserving a break. I would NEVER want my nanny having to worry about doing laundry. That's not why I've hired her. That's a household chore. She's there for the kids. Not to do our household chores. I want my nanny to rest when she gets the chance. Everyone deserves a break. And the woman taking care of my child certainly should have breaks. It makes for a better caregiver.

I've been in that position myself. Except the MB expected, POST interview & wage negotiation, for me to do the following: cooking dinner for the whole family, doing the entire families laundry, taking the kids to two weekly appointments & to take the kids to playdates in another city. Without any compensation. I lasted less than a week. For $8.pp an hour? This was in 1995. It wasn't worth it to me. And that's when I figured out why this "nice" family had gone through sooo many nannies.

oh well said...

Holly - I am so sorry for your loss.
Do you have friends with nannies or
can you ask around so that you can figure out what is typical for your area? I never asked my nannies to do laundry, although some offered it, however I did ask them to fold out clothes out of the dryer, and they were OK with it (this is probably what takes longest about the laundry, however they did not have to handle dirty clothes). I hope you find a great nanny soon.

NoComparison said...

There are a lot of things that stay at home moms do that nannys do not. A nanny is not a sahm and vise versa. A stay at home mom is the childs mother & married to the man in the house. There is no comparison. They are worlds apart. Just bc a sahm does something that doesn't mean you should expect a nanny to do the same. Sahms also scrub the toilets, grocery shop, cook for the whole family, clean & organize the whole house, shop for gifts, clothing, etc.

canadananny said...

I occasionally do my charge's laundry. I only work part-time (30 hours a week or so), so I only do his laundry if the basket's getting full. If I did work full-time I wouldn't have a problem doing it! I would not do MB or DB's laundry though.

it_is_special said...

Right. And since the mom is gone all day nearly everyday, wouldn't she want to dress her own child? What's left for her to do? If the nanny dresses the child and bathes the child daily, I guess mom can....kiss the kids goodnight? As a parent, Id want to be the one bathing & dressing my babies.

Lissa said...

I like the term "gateway chore" in regards to doing child-related laundry while working as a nanny.

I have had families ask me if they can toss in a few towels or pillowcases or whatever since I am doing the wash anyway. Or they leave a load of their own clothes in the dryer from overnight and I not only have to re-run the dryer (to take out wrinkles), but I also have to remove the clothes and make sure they do not wrinkle before MomBoss can fold them and put them away.

Also, I have had one Boss yell at me because she thought I broke the clothes dryer since the heat didn't work. Turns out it was a gas problem in the home, but the damage was done since she had already yelled at me.

lazyeye said...

Lazy of the nany or lazy of the parent? Whose child is it?

Aries said...

ONLY the childrens laundry an if certain nannies refused then look elsewhere, esp if you're paying a good wage. A good nanny will do it. A Lazy and/or entitled nanny wont.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

@Aries...I disagree that a lazy nanny is one who doesn't do laundry.

I once had a charge who was 16 months and for some odd reason, she NEVER took a nap while I was there. I would be w/her for 10-11 hrs at a time and she never napped for me. (She also never napped for her parents either!!) Plus, her parents did not have a crib for her or a playpen so I had to have both eyes on her the whole time.

I cannot imagine having to wash, dry and fold, then put away all her clothes, cloth diapers and linens/towels while on duty. It would only have been added stress to my day.

MissMannah said...

"Or they leave a load of their own clothes in the dryer from overnight and I not only have to re-run the dryer (to take out wrinkles), but I also have to remove the clothes and make sure they do not wrinkle before MomBoss can fold them and put them away."

You didn't have to do that, you chose to. If there are clothes in the dryer, take them out and put them in a laundry basket. It is not up to you to ensure MB's clothes are not wrinkled. You are acting like a martyr.

Truth Seeker said...

@Miss Mannah:

No, one doesn't have to do anything in life...however it is the courteous thing to do when removing dry clothes from the dryer to make sure they do not wrinkle.

Just common sense.

Duh.

Bethany said...

Whilw it was thoughtful of her to try and keep the clothes wrinkle free, she can't fully blame MB for getting involved in household laundry, as she took it upon herself to run the dryer again and fold.

Perhaps it's wrong of me but after the first time or two I start leaving the clothes in the basket no extras. They get the message quickly.

MissMannah said...

Bethany, that's exactly my point. If you do it over and over, the MB will start to expect it. Yes, it is discourteous to allow the clothes to wrinkle, but it is also discourteous for the MB to expect the nanny to finish up her laundry. Lissa was not taking responsibility for her actions by blaming her MB and was making it seem as if she had no choice in the matter.

amberly said...

Unless you are planning to grossly underpay your nanny, She should be willing to do the children's laundry, fold it, and put it away... My employer suggested I do the kids' laundry if need be, and I make sure it is done. That being said, if they were underpaying me, treated me poorly, or were altogether unagreeable I may feel differently; but chores pertaining to the children are definitely acceptable tasks to ask of your nanny.