As more and more nannies are becoming mothers themselves, more and more employers are faced with the question of whether they should allow their nanny to bring her own child to work with her. It’s a loaded question, and there’s not one right answer. It depends on the employers, the nanny and the overall situation. Here are some questions to ask yourself when making this decision.
Am I comfortable with my child sharing the time, energy and attention of the nanny? Some parents hire a nanny especially because they want their child to have undivided one on one attention throughout the day. If that’s one of your big motivations for hiring a nanny, having her bring her own child to work probably won’t work out. However, if you don’t mind the idea of your child taking turns, having to wait a few minutes to have his non-emergency needs met, or sharing the spotlight with another child, the arrangement may be a good choice for you.
Do I trust that my nanny will not favor her child over mine? Some parents worry that when a nanny brings her own child to work, their child will continually get the short end of the stick. If you’re hiring a new nanny, it’s hard to squelch this fear because you don’t know the nanny well. The only way to get past it is for you to honestly share your fears and to openly listen to her responses. Once you’ve had that discussion, you can make a much more informed decision.
If you’ve employed the nanny for a while and she wants to start bringing her child to work, you probably have a good idea of how fairly she’ll treat your child. If it’s a concern for you, it might mean you’re uncomfortable with the idea overall or you believe the nanny would favor her own child.
Will my nanny’s child negatively impact my child’s daily routine? When your nanny brings her own child to work with her, it might change the make-up of the day. If her child is much younger or older than your child, it will probably affect the choice of activities the nanny plans or the time of day they’re able to go to them. For example, if she has a new baby that is ready to feed around 9:30 each morning, she won’t be able to attend the adult and tot gym class that starts at that same time. She simply can’t help your daughter walk the balance beam and feed her child simultaneously. While your nanny will try and ensure your child doesn’t miss out on anything, she has to take into account the needs and wants of her child too.
Will we have to adjust my nanny’s job description if she brings her own child to work? Let’s face it, another child means more work. If your nanny has a full job description now or you had planned on adding duties as your child got older, bringing her own child may limit what she’s able to do effectively. Go through her current job description item by item and imagine how she’ll complete the task in the new situation. Most nannies can fulfill their job descriptions even with their child at work, but some have to cut back.
What are the advantages of my nanny bringing her own child to work? While there are drawbacks to the situation, there are also many advantages to your nanny bringing her child to work with her. Many parents like the idea of their single child having a built-in playmate, and the nanny has a huge incentive for staying in the job long term since it’s hard to find a position that welcomes a nanny with a child. It also adds to the familial feelings that many parents and nannies strive for.
What will the impact be if I don’t allow my nanny to bring her child to work? This is a big decision that is very personal to your nanny. If you say no, will she stay in your job or look for one where she can bring her child? Will she need to change her current schedule to accommodate her childcare provider? Will she require more money to cover the cost of childcare? Although there might be some drawbacks to allowing your nanny to bringing her own child to work, they might be well worth enduring to keep a trusted nanny.
Before you say yes or no to your nanny bringing her own child to work, take some time to think through all the pros and cons. This is an important decision for both you and your nanny.