Moms of 2+, what did you do with nanny during maternity leave? — The Bump
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Moms of 2+, what did you do with nanny during maternity leave?

I am planning on taking 16 weeks with LO#2. Right now we have a full-time nanny. She is fabulous, and we don't want to lose her if possible. However, I don't think we will want her help during the maternity leave (though maybe I am crazy?!). I only get 4 weeks of pay through my employer, and then it's the abysmal CA state disability pay, which is barely enough to cover groceries. We *could* pay to keep her on so we don't have to look for another nanny, but I'm not sure that makes the most sense. Plus, I think I will nejoy the quality time with DD and our new baby. Would love to hear what you all decided and why... FYI, DD is not in day care yet, so it would be me full time taking care of both of them once DH goes back to work after 2 weeks.

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Re: Moms of 2+, what did you do with nanny during maternity leave?

  • I would not be able to keep a nanny on during my time off.  Your "abysmal" disability pay is more than the "nothing" I will be getting though.  Maybe you could negotiate pt pay and offer her unpaid time off, but I would expect if she finds something else you would need to find a new nanny.
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  • I was lucky, and got 12 weeks at full pay.  So, I kept my nanny.  It was great to be able to keep DD1 on a schedule.  DD2 had a lot of feeding and digestive issues, DH traveled a lot after the first week or 2, and I couldn't have handled no sleep and 2 kids.  I also had a lot of issues healing after DD1, so I had a ton of dr appointments to check on things after DD2.  If I didn't have the nanny, I would have had to take both kids with me every week.  

    On top of everything, we moved during my leave, so I packed when I could when she was around.  She would help me, too, when the kids were asleep.

    You may want to try and keep her, even part time, if she'll agree to it and you can afford it.  Use it to catch up on sleep, keep your oldest entertained, give yourself a break.
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  • If you love your nanny, keep her and pay her, even if you don't use her full time.  There will be days you are happy to have her come and take your older one out and about, or watch both of them so you can shower, or sleep :).  If you don't mind searching for a new nanny on your leave then let her go, ans save the cash. I can't imagine a nanny being able to not work and not get paid for 3+ months - if my employer did that to me, I'd be looking elsewhere for employment!
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  • I had 6 weeks paid and then took another 10 weeks unpaid.  We could afford to pay her full rate and really I feel like that is only fair if you want to keep her after you return to work.  You will definitely utilize the nanny even when on ML.  We could tag team the 2 kids; sometimes she'd take our older to do something and I could bond with baby or vice versa.  I also had no problem sending her on errands.  I also was happy to turn over the kids when I just needed to sleep. 

    I guess I wouldn't even ask her if she wanted to work part-time/take a pay cut.  I think that sets a bad tone.  The only thing I would consider asking is if she would be willing to still be paid full but switch hours around.  Maybe "bank" some of her time for date nights after you are back to work.

  • PSU_Texan said:

    I had 6 weeks paid and then took another 10 weeks unpaid.  We could afford to pay her full rate and really I feel like that is only fair if you want to keep her after you return to work.  You will definitely utilize the nanny even when on ML.  We could tag team the 2 kids; sometimes she'd take our older to do something and I could bond with baby or vice versa.  I also had no problem sending her on errands.  I also was happy to turn over the kids when I just needed to sleep. 

    I guess I wouldn't even ask her if she wanted to work part-time/take a pay cut.  I think that sets a bad tone.  The only thing I would consider asking is if she would be willing to still be paid full but switch hours around.  Maybe "bank" some of her time for date nights after you are back to work.

    I agree with this.  You can talk to her and see what she is open to but I would expect to pay her full time throughout maternity leave.  Like another poster said, if my employer took away my pay for no fault of my own for 4 months, I would quit.  

    I'm in the exact same boat as we have a nanny and I will going back to work FT after this baby is born so we need to retain her.  I will also most definitely be using her while on leave.  
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  • I am most definitely keeping my nanny during ML. First DD is very attached to her and it would be extremely unfai for me to get her a new nanny for when I go back to work after #2. Second I trust her so much I don't want to have to start all over with someone new. My nanny also helps with housekeeping and cooking so I know I can ask her for that. She will also run some errands for me if needed. I know with BF I will need to spend a lot of time parked on the couch with second baby. It would be unfair to make DD just sit around the house all day. My nanny can take her to the park, for walks, etc... I get ZERO mat leave. I have to use my sick leave for first 6 weeks them the rest is unpaid. We are saving as of now and I would be willing to cut out lots of other areas of spending before giving up my nanny. If yours is as good as you say and your child loves them and you trust her, then 1000% keep her and make sure she's happy. Good luck.
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  • Thanks ladies. Just to clarify, I would never expect her to hang out unpaid or on partial pay while I'm on leave. I am working under the assumption that if I don't keep her full time (or find someone to split her with), that she will go find another gig. I actually do have a friend who would use her 2-3 times per week, so that might be taken care of. I guess I was just wondering if it would be good to have her around a few days a week, or if you found that the nanny got bored with two "mommies" in the house. It seems like she might have a whole lot of down time, and she's not too big on doing chores, especially while I get to play with DD (while wearing the baby, of course). For sure it would be nice to have someone to take over while I nap, but I'm undecided on times other than that.

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  • vszapp said:
    especially while I get to play with DD (while wearing the baby, of course). For sure it would be nice to have someone to take over while I nap, but I'm undecided on times other than that.
    I'm sorry but this made me laugh.  Mine are also 2 years apart, and there really wasn't much playing with DD while wearing the baby.  DS was not a great sleeper, and DD fought naps, so I spend a good portion of the 6 months I was on leave trying to get them to go to sleep.  I also spent a good deal of time cleaning up accidents DD would have while having a temper tantrum while I was trying to feed the baby.  I made sure to do some sort of activity w/ her once a day while DS slept, but it was more of a let me make sure I get DD to have some fun and attention today than "yippee I get to play with her."  Are you planning on BF?  Part of the reason I did not is because I can not imagine being able to sit down and feed the baby every hour or two.  DD required alot of attention adjusting in the beginning and rather than have one kid screaming, I did have to prop the bottle for DS.
    As chaotic and crazy as things were, I enjoyed getting to be a SAHM for a while and I would not have wanted a nanny hanging around, however I think if DD had a nanny she really loved it would have been a great treat for her to have a day out where all focus was on her.  If you're doing formula you could leave the baby and take DD out, or take the nanny out with you to help when you need to feed the baby.  I'd also talk to the nanny about chores.  If she's really not interested in doing them and you don't mind, you could use the time she comes by to catch up on house work or run some errands.
  • My husband and I are toying with the idea of providing an "income guarantee" to our provider. Basically we'll help try to get her temporary work and whatever isn't filled in by others, we'll make up for while I'm on ML - I may use her when we end up paying her, I may not. It requires some flexibility on the provider's part but I think it's a reasonable offer and sort of asks everyone involved to give a little. 

    I don't know how the childcare market works in your area, but where I live people are often still on the waitlist for their top choice centers when they go back to work - so they look to hire a nanny for 1-3 months until their slot opens up at a center. With local moms listserves, it's not too hard to find these families. 

    If that's an option in your area, it's worth exploring. Or if another family is looking for part-time care as the mom transitions back to work (part-time at first, full-time within a few months), you could share your nanny with others in that time and then use her or not when it's on your dime. 

    Just another idea to throw out there!
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  • While not exactly the same because it's my sister who watches our children and typically we take the kids to her, for my maternity leaves I asked her to come to my home.  I loved having another set of hands at least for part of most days.  Also, we took the kids a lot of places and I'm not sure I would have gotten out nearly as much without someone to help out.  

    It was a little easier for us to continue to pay her though as I worked part-time from home during my leaves (another reason I loved having her there.)  But, I worked mainly because my abysmal government job doesn't provide any paid maternity leave nor I am offered short term disability.  I also didn't feel as though I could just take the job away from my sister for months at a stretch and I didn't want her finding another job.

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  • edited January 2014
    I got 6 weeks paid ML and 6 weeks unpaid this last baby, and we couldn't afford to pay our nanny for the weeks I wasn't paid. And we talked to her about our plan many months in advance and she also agreed to take time off without pay while I was on maternity leave. 

    I kept her for 2 weeks FT I think after DD#2 was born and then I had the world's best maternity leave for the other 10 weeks without much help during the day.  I know many people would rather have their older child go to daycare while you stay home with a baby alone, but I had a really nice time with both kids.  My DD#1 was only 18 mo old when the baby was born but she did great.  Also I had a really good labor and recovered very quickly.  I still sent my older DD to the nanny's house a few days a week here and there but for the most part we had a great time. 

    I also told my nanny that I was sorry I couldn't pay her during that time but she stuck around.My situation is a bit different because she also watches her granddaughter and during that time she was watching her granddaughter FT so she really couldn't take on another job anyway, if that makes sense.  
  • I wanted to weigh in (even though I don't have a nanny). Dd was 18months when DS was born and I kept her home with me on ML with no help after the first 3 weeks. We had a great time just the 3 of us. I honestly didn't feel like I needed anyone else around. It wasn't too hard to take dd to activities or the park or whatever bc DS would sleep in the stroller most of the time. I was BFing and didn't feel like dd was bored watching me sit on the couch with the baby. Granted dd plays independently and DS was an easy baby. But I wouldn't have wanted anyone at home with us. I could really only see needing help like 1 day a week to do stuff like grocery shopping alone. Just my 2cents.
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  • We just recently addressed this with our nanny.  I am due in early May and we were trying to decide what to do with her while I was on leave, because I was initially of the mindset that I did not want her there at all while I was there, or at the most that I wanted her there two days a week.  I came on here and asked a similar question and a lot of people responded by saying I should keep her on, or if not, pay her full-time still or else she would leave.  Well it turns out I decided I wanted her to come every day just in the mornings with the exception of the first week when DH is home and the last week so I could have a last week at home with the kids by myself.  (She would be paid full-time for all but those two weeks.)

    When I broached this with her, she actually said, "Oh!  I kind of assumed I'd have the 12 weeks off unpaid, and I actually planned a short vacation at the end of June, but I'd be happy to work while you're on leave."  So when I suggested that she would be unpaid the first week and the last week (and for the time she was on vacation--she already used all her PTO for the year as her own maternity leave), she had no problem with it, and in fact, it appears she wouldn't have had a problem just not working for the 12 weeks.  I was very surprised but I just wanted to throw out there that it really depends on your nanny.  Your nanny may be assuming (like mine) that you won't need her at all while you're on leave and that she will have to be unpaid or find other work.  Of course we are probably in the minority in having that kind of situation, and we are keeping her on anyway, but I just wanted to throw it out there because you never know what she is thinking.

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  • I am due with LO #2 at the end of February and was dealing with this as well a few months ago. I have a 20 week ML but will be paid for 12. I realize that it is better than some, but it didnt make sense to us to give her full pay, if I wouldnt necessarily be using her full time (she gets paid hourly).

    So we had an honest conversation with her and decided that she would come 3 days a week for $100 a day, approx 6 hours a day (and with this breakdown she would technically be making an extra $3.50 an hour). The hours I would need her could change week to week, but she would at least always know she would get $300 a week at a minimum. If we needed her to work more, we would tack on whatever her regular hourly rate is.

    DH and I needed to be prepared for her to walk if she didnt find this acceptable, but she seems fine with it. I also offered to help her find part time work for the additional days she has off, but she prefers just to enjoy extra long weekends for a few months.

    I am actually glad that we talked to her about going part time for a bit. This way, I can still do the infant classes that I did with DS when he was born, which was an important bonding experience for me. If our nanny didnt want to stay on, I wouldnt be able to do that.

    Your nanny obviously knows you will be going on ML. I would have a conversation with her and see how she feels and if there is any flexibility. Good luck!

     

  • Cut her to more PT hours but at her FT pay.  Not her fault I'm home.

    She takes older son to and from school program so I don't have to take little one out.  And she feeds him lunch, helps him with HW if I'm busy with LO, plays with him, etc.  Worth having her around for sure.  Plus no adjustment for older boy when I'm back at work and she's there FT.

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