When kids are young, many parents look forward to naptime as a respite from the chaos of the day, but how many afford their nannies the same opportunity to relax and recharge?
After one parent on TikTok said they force their nanny to do housework during naptime because “I’m not paying her to be on her phone,” nanny consultant Brooke Weglarz responded with a myth-busting video about what nannies are really doing during naps and why they all deserve a chance to take a break.
Should nannies take breaks during naptime?
“I just told my nanny she needs to do light housekeeping because the baby sleeps two hours a day,” a parent writes to Weglarz.
In response, Weglarz, also known as Nanny Counsel on TikTok, doesn’t pull any punches. “This is how you lose a good nanny,” she says.
She goes on to explain that if a nanny takes a break during naptime, the parents aren’t paying for the nanny to “be on her phone.” What they’re actually paying for is the expense of having a responsible adult on-call to supervise their child, look out for their needs and keep them safe, even when the child is sleeping.
“Nannies don’t get guaranteed breaks due to the nature of their job, and taking care of a baby is really hard,” she explains. “So, when that baby naps, the nanny needs to be able to sit down, eat their lunch and recharge. This might involve being on their phone, reading a book or watching a Netflix show, but they’re still working.”
Parents weigh in on giving nannies a break
Nannies aren’t the only ones standing up for their right to standard breaks in their workdays. Hundreds of parents weighed in on Weglarz’s video to say they fully support nannies having paid time during the day to relax and gear up for the next round of intense child care duties.
“When our nanny does something extra I’m so grateful to her, but I never expect that!” one parent writes.
“My nanny offered to do light housework and I said ‘no’,” another parent adds. “She’s caring for the love of my life. I want her to feel as refreshed and energized as possible.”
So, is it ever OK to ask nannies to do housework?
Of course, it’s not unheard of for nannies to take on additional household jobs, like doing laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. Some nannies also work as house cleaners, household managers or even homeschool kids. But, as Weglarz explains, these additional duties are negotiated as a part of the nanny contract and the nanny is compensated for them. They aren’t randomly added later on as a way to prevent the nanny from sitting down.
“Some nannies are happy to do extras,” she writes. “For example, I love to cook and always offered fully planning and preparing family dinners. And nannies do have child-related chores that are included in their rates, like child laundry, child dishes, toy organizing. etc. But it’s agreed upon and clearly outlined in the contract, and I was paid accordingly.”
The bottom line on nanny break times
Nannies are professionals, and they require breaks during the day in order to continue performing their job duties to the best of their abilities, just like any other worker. It might seem strange to see the nanny relaxing with a magazine or scrolling through TikTok for a few minutes while the baby is down for a nap, but they’re actually doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing: being a responsible, on-call adult who’s sole focus is the kids.
Providing benefits, being communicative and looking out for a nanny’s wellbeing are all important parts of keeping a nanny happy in their role. And, just like parents need a break sometimes, it’s important for nannies to have moments throughout the day to recharge so they can provide the best possible care for each child.