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Bum-fabulous 03-24-2012 08:35 PM

Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
An update to our situation. We've used a few online sources and have narrowed down our nanny choice. In the end we may use a live-out nanny as the person I've found is a PERFECT fit but she is married and of course, would be live-out. I need to get a contract assembled to protect both our interests.

I've been returning to this thread to make sure I remember all the pertinent facts. I still can't get over how some of you all were treated by your employers, just awful! This nanny is crunchy, will bring her baby (a plus in my book), has plenty of references, experience and seems to have a lot of the same parenting philosophies as I do. She is also into gentle parenting, kinda crunchy, as well as BLS and CPR cert'd. We are still in the interview process but I am very excited to have found this diamond! Thanks again to everyone's experience, suggestions and advice. It was much appreciated.

So we will have to probably use a live-in nanny for our DD. As of July we will both be residents and both have long commutes to our respective hospitals. (our hospitals are in 2 different states so we are living in the "middle" to keep our family intact) The more we've hashed this out the more we think a live-in nanny would be most logical.

So, has anyone ever been a live-in nanny or used the services of one? How does it work out? What about weekends? Does she automatically have the entire weekend off? I ask because I don't want to step on her toes or put too much on her plate.What about costs? This will be in the Edison NJ area. I've been told that a live-in nanny has more affordable rates in our situation than a live-out nanny. Any and all advice welcome!

luvsviola 03-24-2012 08:38 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
I think you need to sit down with DH and come up with exactly what you are looking for, and then you and the nanny need to have a very specific contract...can she bring men there, what hours is she working, does she join the family for meals, can she invite friends over for a meal, who does the disciplining/corrects the kids when you are home, what things does she need to do, can she use your internet...and just have a really specific agreement with her.

My mom's friend had a live in nanny, but it didn't last long. The nanny had a hard time "turning off" when the parents were home, and the parents felt like she was a third parent even when they were home, which they were uncomfortable with. Plus, her husband never could come out of his room and go downstairs in his underwear to get a snack in the middle of the night. That bothered him.

Bum-fabulous 03-24-2012 08:57 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
Thank you for bringing up very pertinent points. One thing we don't have to worry about is my DH walking around in his underwear, he is very shy and wears a shalwar kameez when home even just with me and DD. :giggle: We would be opposed to her bringing men into our home as I wear hijab and this would make things very complicated when I am home. We would let her have access to everything we have access to, including internet, tv/cable, food, shower, etc., We plan to make it clear when one of the parents are home that she is "off the clock" and can focus on her own thing.

Hmmm what else? Oh yes, she could have her own friends over for dinner as we want her to be comfortable in our place. But we would require those friends to be out of the place by 9 pm so we can sleep without disturbance. These were very helpful questions and I will run them by DH. Thank you!

ulawolf 03-24-2012 09:21 PM

You may want to look for an au paur? (Sp) pr perhaps someone of the same religious background? That way your traditions would be similar? Just a thought. Good luck!!! My sister had a live in nanny for the first year with her twins and she loved it but lots of work went into expectations on both sides

cajunar 03-24-2012 09:34 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
So, we had a live in nanny when I was an intern. It did not work out for a few reasons. First, there were occasions when the nanny was sick or had to leave town for illness/death in the family and we had to find last minute childcare -- so I would definitely have some sort of plan for this ahead of time. Second, when I would come home post-call, I would have a hard time sleeping because the baby knew I was home and would be fussy and I felt guilty because I could hear the baby fussing, etc (this might not be an issue for you if you are an intern and aren't pulling 30 hr shifts?) Lastly, I think we expected our Nanny to be proactive about things and that was just not her personality.

Anyway, it actually worked out best for us to use daycare which is open 6-6, but my husband has a "regular" job. If both of you are residents, I really think you have to think of more than one care provider because you cannot realistically expect someone to work the type of hours residents work.

Good luck, are you just starting residency? If so, you will 'only' have to work 60 hours/wk and that will allow a little flexibility in figuring out how things will work.

Bum-fabulous 03-24-2012 10:11 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?

The hours have changed considerably recently due to crack downs by ACGME. My "call" nights will be until 9 pm and I will have two months of "night float" where I work 7 pm to 7 am. A friend of mine was a resident at the same time her DH was and they made sure their call nights didn't line up. Since we are in different specialties (he will PGY2 in IM this July and I will be PGY1 in Psych) I think we may be able to swing the call nights so at least one of us is home with her every evening.We also will make sure our night float months don't overlap. Make sense?

Thank you so much for suggesting a back up child care provider because I was just thinking about that as well. I think we will have a secondary child care provider for the weekends "just in case" and also if the live-in nanny has to leave on emergency, need medical care, or gets ill.

triplet-momma 03-24-2012 10:53 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
Ooh that's a tough one; we do know of some dual physician families that have used live in nannies but they have paid serious cash for them. When DH was a resident and I went back to work PT after the triplets we used a variety of things for childcare. The ones we know that have been the happiest with their nanny either went though an agency or hired from some of the nanny or governess schools; I believe there is a very prominent one in Virginia. Just beware that both of your programs may not be that interested in trying to accommodate your families specific requests so there may be times that your call overlaps, etc. Best wishes it will be tough but doable :)

Palooka 03-24-2012 11:43 PM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
I was a live-out nanny for years and a live-in nanny for one summer. My live-in experience was beyond terrible, so I can tell you what not to do, lol.
1) Meet with the nanny first and then email her the rates and hours you've agreed on so there is digital confirmation/paper trail before she starts. This is to protect both of you. I was told a certain rate and hours when I met the mom, then when I arrived (in another country!) she cut the money and upped the hours and said I had misheard. It was awful.
2) A nanny needs a reasonable work week like anyone else. If she wants just 4 half days instead of 2 full days off you can work that out, but start by assuming she wants free time, not that she wants to be with your kids all day. Write her days on and off down on a big calendar for everyone to see, and make sure she has what she needs to get out an enjoy her days off (metro card, cash, etc.). I watched these kids from the moment I got off the plane for a week straight before the mom gave me so much as an evening off. She gave me 100$ and said "I'll call you a cab, you have fun!" My first paycheck was then 100$ short. Not ever ever ever okay. I then worked 2 more weeks without a single day off. It was pretty much slave labor.
2) This should be obvious, but if the parents aren't home the nanny IS working! The mom I worked for wanted to pay me only until her children went to bed, even if she or her husband didn't get home until midnight!
3) Give her a real room with real privacy. The room I was given had a closet filled with the mom's clothing and a dresser half-filled with old baby clothes. They also didn't provide any internet or phone service for me. Before I arrived the mom said they'd have a phone available, but she neglected to get a plan to cover my calls from Canada to the USA. I called my boyfriend (now my husband) every night to say goodnight, and always asked her permission first. The next month she docked my pay 300$ for the "outrageous" phone charges. Oh, and one weekend her friends came to visit and they were given my room and I was sent to sleep on the living room couch. They then had loud drunken sex in my room.
4) Food does not equal pay. This mom once sent me to the grocery store with her children and a huge shopping list. When I went to checkout her credit card was declined. The kids were already eating candy from the cart, so I paid with my card and then gave her the receipt and told her what happened. She became irate and said I should have just "paid the bill myself since I eat more than any of them." I weighed 115 pounds at the time, soo... yeah. Oh and she used to cook a different meal for me to eat. Example: BBQ with her family was steak for her, her husband and their family and hot dogs for the kids and me. I was always offered a hot dog, never steak. It was just degrading.
5) She is signing up to watch your kids. Not their friends, and not your friend's kids. This mom took me to a "party" one time where there were 5 other children belonging to her various friends. I was sent to the play room and had to watch all 7 kids while the parents ate and got drunk. I even overheard one of the other mom's say "Wow, thanks for bringing her, now we can enjoy ourselves!"
6) Teach your children to respect the nanny. She is not their servant. My first night watching their 4 year-old I told him we would read 3 stories then go to bed. After 3 he said he wanted to read one more, but I said no, we said 3 and we read 3. He responded, "If you don't read me another story I'll tell my mommy you hit me and you'll go to jail." Yeeeahhh, should have been a big red flag. I told the mom and she brushed it off with a "yes he's very creative."
7) And finally, and this is a big one, actually pay her! I was sending all my checks back to the states to be deposited by a friend. Because I had no internet I couldn't go to my bank website and find out until 2 months in that every check I sent was bouncing! I found out from other nannies in the neighborhood (very rich part of Toronto) that this mom was a nanny user. She hired young girls like me from abroad, had us work illegally, then didn't pay us. We had no legal recourse. The only reason I got paid anything in the end was I caught her husband while she was at the spa one weekend and told him everything. His response was to sigh, take out his checkbook and say "ugh, not again."

So don't worry, I don't think you could possibly be worse than these people!

nohollyhomaker 03-25-2012 02:23 AM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?

So, has anyone ever been a live-in nanny or used the services of one? How does it work out? What about weekends? Does she automatically have the entire weekend off? I ask because I don't want to step on her toes or put too much on her plate.What about costs? This will be in the Edison NJ area. I've been told that a live-in nanny has more affordable rates in our situation than a live-out nanny. Any and all advice welcome!
I grew up a town over from Edison. The most affordable way to have a live in nanny is an au pair. I used to be a nanny in the area but I wasn't a live in. The people who had live in nannies mostly had au pairs.

DalesWidda 03-25-2012 02:47 AM

Re: Anyone ever use a live-in nanny?
I was a live in nanny. Thankfully it wasn't nearly as bad as the pps, but there were times where it was awkward and confusing. I nannied for two kids. Their father was an international pilot and I had the kids for several days at a time. Then he would be home for a few days. When he was home I never felt comfortable just "hanging out" but my mom lived pretty close so I often just went over there. I didn't have my own car but I did have use of the family's extra car so that was cool. Make sure you give really specific guidelines of what you want done as far as housework is concerned. I never knew if I was doing too much or not enough. I was paid decently and in the beginning I ate with them, except on days off I felt so awkward I never ate. I always went elsewhere. Then out of the blue I was told to start buying my own food. I couldn't figure out why since I didn't eat much. The kids had a hard time listening to me for several days and then switching to dad. So if you have a live in nanny that might be difficult. It's like when I am around kids that aren't mine I go into "preschool teacher" mode. That might happen with a live in nanny. It gets confusing who is supposed to be in charge. Au-pairs would be an awesome way to get a different culture brought in to your home. But then you may have to deal with some cultural differences that may be difficult to deal with. Also, one thing I wanted to point out is would you be paying per week? Per hour? Will it be a set rate? What if you both get called in? It might be hard even with a live in position to find someone willing to nanny with those kinds of hours. And honestly, I'd go for a nanny who is a bit older. I'll admit that at 18 I still snuck my boyfriend in at night after everyone was in bed and I shouldn't have. Not saying everyone would, but I would make sure you find someone who is mature enough to handle this type of position. Not that you wouldn't, just saying. I hope it all works out for you though. How long of a drive will you and your DH have every day?

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