Should You Hire a Nanny With a Child?
7 things to think about before hiring a nanny who's also a mom.
Though nannies are usually portrayed as caring for other people's children, they are often mothers themselves. When this comes to light in a nanny search, it can give some people pause. Will she be as dedicated to your children if she has children of her own?
The answer is usually "yes," but here are seven things to consider before you hire a nanny who's also a mom.
- Will Your Nanny Bring Her Child to Work?
This is the first question to address, as the answer will largely determine your working relationship. For some, a nanny's bringing her child to work is no problem. For one, your children would always have a playmate.
For Kristi Hines, freelance writer and blogger, it wasn't a big deal at all. She was fine with her nanny bringing her child to work because, "she was still taking care of [my child]," she says. "It would only have been an issue if she had to stop caring for mine because she had to dedicate a long period of time to hers."
- How Will This Affect Pay Rates?
For Hines, the nanny bringing her child along with her didn't affect the pay rate at all. But some feel that it should.
"The arrangement we have is that we pay [the nanny] one hourly rate on the days that she takes care of our daughter alone and a slightly reduced rate on the days that her daughter comes along." says Michelle Pollak Landwehr, whose full-time nanny brings her own daughter to work three times a week.
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- How Will You Handle Activity Costs?
Another issue is paying for activities. If your nanny takes her child and yours to the museum or zoo, you'll need to figure out how the price of admission will be paid in advance. Pollak purchased family memberships to museums, so all the kids can go without a problem. But if a location doesn't offer such a deal, her nanny, "either takes my daughter on a day where it's just the two of them or the nanny pays for her daughter's separate entrance fee."
- Is There a Significant Age Difference Between the Children?
If your nanny's child and your child aren't close in age, there can be problems, says Hines. Both will have different needs, and will require different activities through the day. Hines avoided this problem, since she and her nanny's child are just seven months apart, "so it was nice to have my daughter have 'a friend' coming over each afternoon."
- What About Food? Who Eats What?
Food is another potential issue and must be discussed in advance. Pollak's nanny brings food for her and her daughter to eat. But Hines points out that, "the kids ultimately will share the same food, so if your child is eating a special diet and the nanny's is eating anything under the sun, it might be a bit difficult to moderate."
- What Happens When Your Nanny's Child Is Sick?
This is probably the biggest issue that comes with hiring a nanny/mom. What will she do when her own child is under the weather? For Pollak, the solution was simple: when her nanny's daughter is ill, she stays at her grandmother's house.
For Hines, however, illness was a deal breaker. She explains: "Although the nanny's child never got sick, ours did, so then we had to cancel the nanny every time our daughter was sick so the nanny's child didn't catch it." And with no backup care plan in place, this left Hines without a care provider.
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- How Does Your Nanny Treat Her Child?
This is a great way to tell how the person might interact with your child. If she seems like a loving parent, with a good sense of boundaries, it may mean your child will receive similar care.
Obviously, there's a lot to consider before hiring a nanny who is herself a mom. But by and large, the most problems can be avoided through careful planning.
Would you ever hire a nanny who was a mom? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Nannies, what do you think about this issue? How does having kids impact your job performance?
Brenda Barron is a writer from southern California. When she's not typing at a frantic pace, she's spending time with her family, knitting, or watching Doctor Who, often all at once. Find out more about her at Digital Inkwell.