Nannies? That don't speak your language? — The Bump
International Bumpies

Nannies? That don't speak your language?

Hey, everyone!  From those of you who've used nannies, I'm looking for any tips and happy stories you may have to help calm my nerves (whether the nannies in question speak your language or not).  :-)

My husband and I are Americans living in Kyiv, Ukraine.  I'm only 16-weeks pregnant at the moment, but I'm staring down the barrel of going back to work and handing my 3-month-old baby off to a Ukrainian nanny who will have her own Ukrainian child-rearing ideas that may or may not be compatible with our American ideas, and who may or may not speak any English.  I have next to no Ukrainian, and though my Russian is decent, I'm not sure about my ability to convey nuances of how we'd like our child to be handled.  I'm also totally wigged out at the prospect of leaving such a young child alone with a stranger all day with no oversight.  I mean, odds are the nanny will be fantastic.  But what if she's not?  How would I know?  :-\

I'm totally uneasy about this.  I'm actually looking into the possibility of taking some extended time off to stay home with the baby until it's closer to a year old, but it may not work out.  If I could feel more confident about the nanny thing, it would REALLY help me to navigate the HR labyrinth (and obviously would be a tremendous help if I do wind up going back to work so soon).

Thanks in advance, ladies!

Re: Nannies? That don't speak your language?

  • I haven't used a nanny, but one tip I read from when we considered a move to China might apply to you - don't know. First, see if you can get recommendations from fellow expats. It's often that nannies who have worked with other American families may have a better understanding of what your wants are and be more adaptable than someone else. Good luck!
    this decaf life
  • Definitely try to get recommendations from other Americans. My nanny speaks English as her second language and it's still difficult to explain certain things so I found it best to put it all down on paper. I explained the tasks and a general outline of what her day should look like. We prefer her to be a bit hands off, which isn't so typical here, so being very straightforward about our expectations and letting the baby learn for herself was important.

    I think you need to have your nanny start working for you as soon as you give birth if not a little before so that way she can get to know you and what you'll expect of her.

  • Loading the player...
  • Hey, everyone!  From those of you who've used nannies, I'm looking for any tips and happy stories you may have to help calm my nerves (whether the nannies in question speak your language or not).  :-)

    My husband and I are Americans living in Kyiv, Ukraine.  I'm only 16-weeks pregnant at the moment, but I'm staring down the barrel of going back to work and handing my 3-month-old baby off to a Ukrainian nanny who will have her own Ukrainian child-rearing ideas that may or may not be compatible with our American ideas, and who may or may not speak any English.  I have next to no Ukrainian, and though my Russian is decent, I'm not sure about my ability to convey nuances of how we'd like our child to be handled.  I'm also totally wigged out at the prospect of leaving such a young child alone with a stranger all day with no oversight.  I mean, odds are the nanny will be fantastic.  But what if she's not?  How would I know?  :-\

    I'm totally uneasy about this.  I'm actually looking into the possibility of taking some extended time off to stay home with the baby until it's closer to a year old, but it may not work out.  If I could feel more confident about the nanny thing, it would REALLY help me to navigate the HR labyrinth (and obviously would be a tremendous help if I do wind up going back to work so soon).

    Thanks in advance, ladies!
    SashaPervaya I know very little about nannies...especially nannies in Ukraine. BUT, I am super curious how you are doing with the political climate there. My dad's wife is Ukrainian from the west (from Kiev went to school in Lviv) and is crazy depressed over the whole situation. She even hosted a live-streamed protest in California. It's been really interesting to watch everything and I imagine it's quite wild to be there.

    My experience with friends who have nannies here (in SG where it's very common) is that laying out the rules & expectations explicitly is very important. My cousin has a white board that has a schedule of what the nanny is to do during the day--otherwise, if left to her own devices, she ends up plopping the kid in front of the tv all day.

    There are also loads of out-of-work young Ukrainians who speak excellent English. If English-speaking is a priority for you I imagine you will be able to find someone...especially if you are willing to pay a bit of a premium.

    Good luck with everything. and I certainly second PP's idea to ask for personal recommendations.

  • Thanks everyone for your suggestions!  I really appreciate the feedback.

    @aesimp, It's a really fascinating time to be in Kyiv, for sure!  The mood sort of alternates between depressing and exciting.  We live very near Maidan, the square where the barricaded protest area is, but we feel totally safe.  My brother and his fiance are even coming out for Christmas.  They have no intention of changing their plans, and are really excited to be visiting at such a historical time.

    What I hear from Lviv, actually, is that it's totally calm.  Everyone there is basically on the same page, and 1/2 of them are camped out in Kyiv anyway.  :-)
    aesimp
  • SashaPervaya wow! Very cool. We were there when they were having the big election in 2006 and it was so cool to witness (perhaps a very different mood since everyone was very hopeful with the candidates, before certain people were convicted of corruption and others were murdered...). Anyway, best of luck with everything! Merry Christmas!

    Oh, and totally, random (and I can't spell and absolutely can't write anything in Cyrillic) but I have been seriously obsessed with Pzata Hata--the chain, nothing really all that special, restaurant--since we were first there. If you haven't been yet, please go!

  • Oh man, we've got one of those right across the street from our apartment building!  It's a life saver.  So easy, so cheap!
    aesimp
  • Perhaps you can look into getting an AuPair - not sure if they are available but, someone younger than your typical nanny. Generally speaking the "next generation" seems to have better English skills.
    image image image Visit The Nest!
  • @sashapervaya , I hope I'm the person that can put your mind at ease!  I'm American and had my daughter in Kyiv a year ago.  Both my husband and I work full time and have had a wonderful experience with our nanny.  We've found that if we're clear about our parenting preferences, even if she seems to doubt them, she'll tow the line. And in some instances she's even admitted to us that they worked well!  And in many ways I think there are extra advantages to having a nanny in a place like UKR.  For less than what we would pay for standard day care in the states, our nanny cooks dinner for us everyday, makes all of LO's food from scratch and will do simple errands.  I actually feel like my life is not that much more difficult with an infant, with the big exception of getting a lot less sleep!

    Have you heard about the group Kids in Kyiv?  It's mostly American moms who organize play dates/clothing exchanges/etc, but they also have a listserve where people sell second hand baby gear, and most importantly to you now, recommend nannies.  Since families are always cycling in and out, experienced nannies with recommendations from people you may actually know, are often available. That's how we found our nanny and it definitely put my mind at ease.

    Good luck! 


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards