« Your Back To School Grocery List | Main | The Technology Babysitter »

September 09, 2013



I would be interested to know whether the nanny still performed the additional duties after the new baby was born? This family made sure this nanny "earned" her pay, but was she given a raise when a third child came into the household? In talking with nannies, it seems families are very adapt at finding work for their nannies, but not so quick to give these "vital members of their families" pay increases when the workload increases. They want the service, but aren't willing to pay for it.


If your full-time boss asked you to clean bathrooms when s/he didn't have work for you, would you feel taken advantage of?


We found ourselves in this exact position and approached it in a very similar fashion. It is important to recognize that while this nanny knows your family, she/he may not have ever been in a position to make operational household decisions.

They may need a lot of coaching and you need to be prepared to spend the time to create regular sets of tasks. She did tons, but we found ourselves running out of things for her to do. The laundry was always done, the house was spotless, and we never had a pile of returns sitting around the house. My wife even used her at the office.

Working with the kids is one thing, but she had different "tastes" than us, grocery shopping would have some issues,trusting her to make clothing decisions was a challenge (sizes, fashion, colors). In the end, there was a period of time each day when she was watching TV. It killed me to think we were paying her for this, but we honestly ran out of things to have her do.

We welcomed summer when the kids were not in school. Our nanny life returned to normal.


"Panic began to set in."

First world problems. I can't fathom how horrible it must be...LOL


You must pay her alot, because I don't believe this at all. A full time maid? shmmff OK.


Really? This worked? It sounds terribly offensive. I would never ask my nanny to be a maid for three hours, while my child was in school.


Think of it from the nanny's perspective. She's had a stable job for years with a family she likes, kids she has grown attached to, and a working relationship that works for both parties. I'm sure that as a full time nanny she isn't getting paid chump change, either. It isn't exactly easy to find another family to nanny for with the promise that your work relationship and environment will be as satisfactory as what you have now. Depending on the economy and location, there may not be many jobs available.

If you were a nanny and your charges were in school and your employer gave you the options of 1: Do household chores while the kids are in school, keep your full time hours, pay, etc. 2: Take a pay cut during the hours the kids are in school or 3: Find a new job- what would you do? I bet most of you would choose to keep working for the same family and the same kids rather than going through the process and stress of finding a new job.

Ann Marie

I can tell which comments were written by child care workers and which were written by employers. Definitely an us against them theme.


My Nanny has been part of our family since my triplets were were 15 months old. They are now 6 and off to 1st grade. She is still part of our family. She works a 40 hour week and beyond being a wonderful nanny, she is a wonderful personal assistant. She maintains the household, cooks, shops and in a nutshell keeps our family functioning like a well-oiled machine. She not only nutures the kids but also nutures our family unit! Nannys like her are rare, so if you've found one, do everything you can to keep her. You'll all reap the rewards.


we are going through this now. unfortunately, my nanny had been with us 3.5 years and did not want to do any cleaning or any cooking or any help on her down time. so we placed an ad and found childcare/housekeeper. I interviewed/talked to over 30 people and found the right one. don't be afraid of change. change is good. I could not fathom paying my babysitter for doing nothing!i hope my choice works out and believe me people are out there to help and do what you need!


We'll be facing this next year, right now it's two mornings a week and yes, I find it hard to "find" things for our nanny to do, same issues with grocery shopping, etc. But I also can't stand to see too many hours go by with her sitting idle. As for the comment about feeling taken advantage of if my boss asked me to clean toilets when there was nothing else to do, you bet I would if the alternative was losing my job. Cleaning the whole house is not so far from normal nanny duties as to be insulting when the other option is to be let go. Toilets are nicer than diapers and only have to be cleaned once a week, not ten times a day. On the other hand, once child care duties reclaim those hours, I would not expect the nanny to continue the extra duties without extra pay.


Really we are talking about 3 hours here. Nanny comes in to work at 7am does all the awful wake up get out the door stuff fights traffic to drop off two kids, then fights traffic back to the house has about 2 and half hours(maybe)of whatever, maybe that is creating craft projects, or homemade snacks, while a load of laundry washs. This seems like a little piece of heaven to me. Being a relaxed parent with my kids everyday and an occational date night already built in... awesome! No wonder number 3 happened.


So let me see if I got this clear...you pay her for things you should be doing...a mean c'mon. I'm a mother with a full time job,husband and 2 kids. I adapted my work schedule in a way that I get to take my kids in the morning to school and my husband will be home when they come back. I get up at 5:30 am to make breakfast and dinner so when I come back in the evening we only re-heat and it's done. My husband makes sure that homework is ready and if they have questions with it they wait on me. Being a parent is a share job. When your kids grow up they're going to remember all things that there nanny did for them not you...Nobody is taking those memories from us...not even the "best" nanny. And also treating a nanny like a maid...oh please


I think it's wonderful that she was willing to put in the hours cleaning, running errands and laundry. Personally if the house was spotless when I got home everyday, I wouldn't care how much time it took her to do it. If it only took 1 hour then fine by me if she is watching TV, surfing the Internet, etc. with the left over time. I wouldn't feel obligated to find her work and surely wouldn't expect to have her put in time at my job. She isn't a slave.


As a nanny who has been in that position I would not feel taken advantage of, I would feel wanted. I understand both the need to find other work to do while the kids are at school and the ridiculousness of paying someone to do nothing. A raise would not have been necessary because the two types of work would not overlap. A raise would be expected if a new baby came and I would hope it was a good one if chores were still expected. After 3 years I found another job because my family couldn't provide me with enough work and were done having kids. I hope my new family is as resourceful as this one. Because I hope to watch them grow past Kindergarten. Long term nannies miss your kids and feel just as neglectful when they get new jobs as you do when you have no need for them.


Makes sense to me... our baby sleeps 3 hours during the day, so our nanny fills that time to doing useful tasks like baby's laundry, vacuuming, sometimes folds our laundry (we don't ask her to.. but she likes to stay busy). I'm sure the nanny in this article would probably rather pitch in around the house than have to find a new job. When my boss asks me to do some "boring" work that's perhaps below my pay grade and education level, I'm happy to help... not everything is glamorous in the working world!

Sara Jane

I am not sure I believe this at all. There is so much more to be said here, but I will leave it there. Terribly written article.

sana k

You could have select nanny share. She was not employed as your maid or help in the first place. It is NOT her Fault that you did not have work for her to do during the time your children were at school. Remember she was showing up at the time you requested her to be there. I hope you give her an increase in wages. I hope here wages were over 35K.


Our nanny found herself in a similar situation with her employer. She loved the family, but wasn't really interested in doing housework. Her career interest is childcare, not cooking or cleaning. Some nannies might not mind the change in duties, but don't expect them all to be ready to make the switch.


I find it appalling how people think they should get paid even when the are not working. Those are 15 hours a week that nanny would be getting paid to do nothing. The arrangement changed as the children grew older and obviously the family discussed this new option with her and she felt it appropriate and continued on with them. I see the nanny's side and the need for the 40 hours. People need to make a living. But no on owes you that living. You need to work for it.


We just found ourselves in the same situation except our children are in school until 3:00 everyday. We changed our nanny hours 12-6 M-Thur and all day Friday. The first 3 hours everyday she now focuses on the house. Different days different chores- one day grocery store, one day clean kitchen pantry or give deep cleaning to the playroom. Also, we have some "flex" hours (8 monthly) to use for date nights. So far good but it is taking some coaching to get her to clean like our cleaning person used to... but she was willing to work with us so we could keep her. Plus she needed full time pay!


I think in this situation, I would have arranged to take the children to school in the morning myself, and have the nanny's hours start at noon rather than 7 am. In fact, that's exactly what my family does. Our nanny works full-time in the summer. But during the school year, I drop the kids off in the morning - she picks them up at 2:45 and works until a parent gets home, usually around 6. That way, I'm only paying her for the hours she works, and if she needs to supplement her income, she can get a part-time job during the day (or watch TV, or do housework at her own house, or whatever). Our nanny often volunteers to do housework, but the fact of the matter is that if we wanted a maid, we'd hire one.


Not everyone can "rearrange" their job so they can take the kids to school, etc. My daughter works in a hospital and has very early morning hours that are not flexible. When her child goes to school, unfortunately, she will not have the option of rearranging her schedule. I just don't see what the big deal is. You offer the current nanny other work. Either she wants the job or she doesn't. It seems the caregivers are getting offended by this. I think expecting to get paid to sit around is taking advantage of the employer. It's the nanny's choice. Keep the job with other duties, rather than getting paid to just sit around, or find another job. No one is getting taken advantage of here, just given a choice. I would rather be given the choice at another job if my job was outsourced rather than just let go.

Southern Born

I have a nutty idea; RAISE YOUR OWN KIDS!!!

Your kids should be more important than a job and money!!

Kay Sarracino

I ran into this when my son was younger. I broached the subject with my nanny and found she didn't want to be a nanny forever. She had goals of her own. We actually worked it out so she could go to school during the hours my son was in school. When my boy became ill or had a stay home day she skipped school. If she had an exam or something pressing at school, I would flex my work schedule to watch my son until she could get home and I returned to work. It took coordination and lots of communication but we made it work. She stayed with us for 6 years with a very flexible arrangement. She completed her first 3 years of college while working for us and is still in touch years later through Facebook, birthday cards and an occasional Skype call.

Monica Smalley

I certainly found this article pretty offensive, I'm a Ph.D candidate, I teach 2 classes per semester and luckily have a daycare near us that has an afterschool program. I do all the maid jobs, and my husband and I split the grocery shopping, laundry etc between us. There are 2 points to be made - 1. Whilst I understand most careers do not have the flexible hours I luckily have, why do people use others to do their jobs? 2. The kids who grow up with nannies must have a very skewed view of life. Although I do understand career women who have to have back up care, this article was pretty patronizing and condescending. I guess this is how society runs - we exploit others and take all the credit for it.


Wow, so much anger because one woman chose to share her idea of how she handled a common situation. That's right, she was resourceful. She has a nanny she likes. She wants to keep her. She offered her an alternative. Being a nanny is like being a part of the family. Family members help each other with household cleaning. I never ask my nanny to do anything that I don't do for myself. And it sounds to me the nanny accepted the alternative.
Please don't judge other women for working, having/keeping a nanny or asking the nanny to do household work. You want to wake up at 5:30AM to cook your kids breakfast? Knock yourself out. Me? I'd prefer to have my nanny show up at 7AM so she can cook my son's breakfast while I pack his lunch. And no, this doesn't mean I'm less of a mom than you. It just means I have different preferences. Yes, I can afford a full time nanny. But No, it doesn't mean she's raising my son.

To the author and the other women who wrote in about offering alternative ways to keep your nanny busy, I say Good for You! You gave her/him an option. If he/she stayed, I hope it works/worked out. If he/she didn't, then I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for your family.


I am a little surprised at the negative comments here. This is a family that has offered employment to another person and is perhaps a really caring "boss." There are plenty of families who are looking for a loving care taker and if the proposed solution didn't work, I would imagine that they would have found a solution that did work for everyone or they would have parted ways amicably. I recently had a similar situation, proposed a similar solution for a part-time nanny, helped her get some extra hours with another family in the neighborhood (stay at home mom who was looking forward to food shopping without the kids or getting a hair cut). AND, I offered a retention bonus - hang with us through the school year and before summer starts get another 2 weeks pay. We pay our nanny very well, give paid holidays and paid vacation. I think it works for all of us, and when it doesn't then we will go to plan B. Until then, I will work in my underpaid/overworked stinky job and thank my lucky stars that we have been blessed with wonderful people who care deeply for my children and help to keep me sane...did I mention she's a great cook :)


We interviewed nannies and asked what they would want to do when the baby was sleeping. Some were honest and said "nothing". Others were happy to help with household chores to stay busy and not be bored. When my boss asks me to do something at work that a secretary could do, I do it. Why would I not expect the same from my nanny. So, those of you who want to family hop in an economy that isn't so great, good luck to you. However, I want a nanny thy reflects my own personal work ethic and that is that nothing is too menial for me and I would rather be doing something than nothing. Keep in mind, they aren't asking to add to the chores with the kids but rather do chores when she's not watching the kids. What's the big deal?


Having read all of the comments, the most offensive one is by the PhD candidate who is clearly on the wrong forum. What is your work in, child psychology? Obviously, just being so self righteous really is not helpful to anyone. Having been a PhD candidate myself, you have a long way before you have a career and when you do, your attitude will change. In the times when people lived near their families and help was available, nannies were not needed. Nowadays, where the economy is not great and you are lucky to find good jobs, you need to enlist whatever help you can and as I wrote above, you need to find someone who has the same work ethic as yourself or you will be frustrated. Maybe the Phd, candidate needs to stop throwing stones.


Nanny- person who makes their living (a small fraction of what you make at your own job) making the sacrifices you won't to be there for your child when you "can't."


Wow. This is really just sad. How WILL you find someone to be the mother you obviously don't have the time to be!? LOL why even bother having kids?


Amazing how many judgmental comments on a website with "care" in its name.

As a woman who apparently "pays others to raise my kids," I hope that you all realize that you are doing the same thing with your tax dollars when you send your kids to school---contracting out for services by someone qualified to offer them. Or maybe all of these perfect parents are homeschooling while butchering their own meat, milking cows, harvesting their own grains and making all of their meals from scratch.


Mary Baldwin

I think that it is important when you have a person that works well with your children and you can trust them to take care of them to pay them for the work they do. My child care provider picked up my daughter and took her to school and picked her up after school.

The best thing was that if my daughter got sick while she was at school, my child care provider came and picked her up. She took care of my daughter when she was ill and I didn't have to take time off of my job to do that.

She had the option to help out around the house and because we had known each other for years before she became my child care provider, she would clean my daughter's room or do dishes. Whatever she did meant that I didn't have to spend my time doing. That meant that I got to spend more time with my daughter and husband. Wow! You should be thrilled if you have someone you can Trust!


Wow, people are so jumpy! Well, as a "retired" nanny (8 years+ experience) and a current mother of 3, I can tell you that if I were offered the same pay (as a nanny) to run errands and do chores ALONE as I was to watch 2-3 children, I would feel like I struck gold! I mean, are you kidding me, folks?!? Taking care of children is hard work! Doing menial chores (alone) is easy, mindless work for an individual person but painful with a brood of kids in tow. This is a completely reasonable solution.


Glad to see mothers are still having their stupid mommy wars. This time about nannies. Yeesh. Be realistic, people and get out of your stupid little world. Guess what? Sometimes mommies AND daddies have to work to support the family. Times change, situations change. You don't know the full story so why bother judging? You're wasting your energy.


It sure seems the reasonable, solution oriented and sensitive comments are coming from those with nannies. The "family oriented" care givers who oppose nannies and this topic sound judgmental and bitter. My friend gave up her profession to be stay at home...and she is judgmental and bitter too. Who are you to judge anyway? If you don't like the idea of a nanny, stay out of the conversation. We are trying to share thoughts here.


Really ? My daughter is 13 now and she has had many nanny s . If you ask her about them -she can't even remember their names . Those women were much more important to her father and I than her . Most nanny s do a small fraction of what it takes to raise a child . Sad that some women feel you have to be with your child 24/7 to be a real mom. My daughter will grow up knowing she can have it all. I hope these moms have nice husbands that take care of them and the kids.


It's not about finding a mother for my children. I am disabled and cannot always get out of bed. I don't want my children to miss things bc I'm unable to stand that day, that's not fair to them.


You should not judge w/out looking at each situation on it's own merit. I love my children which is why I want them to be able to do something other than watch tv if I'm physically unable to get out of bed that day. I do take them places on my good days. I do as much as i can with them.

I just want someone who will clean as I'd rather spend more hours with my children and less cleaning, they are my priority in life, they are the reason I live, I have days where the pain is so bad I almost hope I'll pass out and it will stop. My children need care regardless of how I feel that day.


As a single mother of 3 with a schedule not so flexible a nanny is a welcomed thought if you can afford it. Boy do I wish I could have that help. If she is a thoughtful nanny You obviously do not need to find things for her to do in those 3 hrs. Good luck


I have been a nanny for a family for 3 years now and there needs changed. Kids were ready for pre-K and Kindergarten. So I figured out a plan with the family, so I can help out with chores, cooking, laundry while the kids are away. Honestly it is perfect because taking care of kids full time is a lot of work. So, I get my break while I help out the family and am ready for the kids when they are home. What's up with the maid talk - as a nanny I change diapers and give baths, as a mother's helper I fold laundry and load/unload dishwasher. It is all household related duties. Why does it make me smaller.


If you pay while their at school they should be preparing their afternoon Activities and dinner while their at school and getting their clothes together for the next day and rest also they are entitle to a break ! Call you and asked you is their clothes at dry cleaners that need to be pick up I think a little gas money for errands would not hurt ! They are your kids give her a menu a list of Activities and a book to read to them !m


I make my nanny write a log of everything my children did during the day, meals they ate, games they played, etc. I have her grocery shop, gas and wash my van, pick up dry cleaning, do laundry - fold and put away, water flowers, sweep floors and porch, clean the kids' rooms and prepare meals when my kids are in school. There is a weekly and monthly check off list. I will also ask her to feed and walk the dog, sort my mail and run other errands. I increased her pay from $10./hr to $12./hr for the additional tasks. The rate for a nanny here in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is $11./hr. We are expecting again, but I feel her pay is more than adequate. I must admit, I got tired of nannies who just sent texts, played on our ipad and watched television when I was paying them $350./week! I am not going to be at the gym trying to enjoy my free time knowing my nanny is working for nothing.


I worked for a family for seven years starting when the baby was 10 weeks old. When she was ready for school, the family continued to pay me for full time work with very few additional duties. I continuted to receive yearly raises. When the child was in school full time, I still received a full pay. There were always sick days and vacation days that they needed me. It was worth it to them to have the excellent care I provided during these times.


Yikes. Some scary stuff here. I am thankful I never worked for some of you.


I applaud the author for her decision. It is not easy to find a good, trustworthy nanny. I am sure she offered options to the nanny, and the nanny did not feel diminished by the different set of chores, instaed flattered that the family did not want to give her up.

As for those women who talk about working women not living up to their motherly responsibilities, I can attest to my own experience.
As a child, I had a nanny I loved. We actually still meet and exchange cards etc. I also had two super loving parents who were working full time. In my community, most mothers at the time were staying at home. I was so proud to have a mother who was educated, independent and a strong role model. I am not just saying this now, I used to feel it even in elementary school, that my mother was a housewife but also so much more, and she gave me and my sister the notion that there was nothing in life we could not achieve, if we worked for it. What an amazing lesson!


Wow, so many haters out there. Everyone should do what works for their family and that is it. It's OK to share what you do, but why put down other Moms. There is no one right way to raise a family, not one right answer. My take is, if you want help and can afford it, and that makes you a functioning person, better parent and productive at work - just do what works for you. Ignore the haters!

seonaid mackenzie

Those nannies who think a few hours of housework is an insult, or they think they are being treated as a maid, I hope none of you become mothers, a mother who does not go out of the house to work, but looks after the kids, also cooks cleans is she to think of her self as a maid, dont think so she is a mother whose every task is part of being in a family


I am a caregiver and recently had a similar situation. All the kids go to school and I come back to the house to clean the kitchen, pack lunch, make beds, laundry, dishes. The whole shbang. I sometimes feel it is too much work daily. But I have the free time once I'm done to relax as well as the time to space things out during the day before pickups. Some days are longer than others & I do go home sometimes. But the nice thing is they put me on a salary instead. So if I bust out all the work in 8 hours that day or 6 hours, I get paid the same. If I have a sick child all day, I get paid the same. If I have all 3 children all day, I get paid the same. It can be brutal as well as rewarding.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Great care starts with a conversation.
    Premium Members can unlock these tools for any caregiver:
    • Send unlimited messages
    • Access background check options
    • View reviews and references
    Not a member? Join today!