working from home with nanny/mother's helper

Keren - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )




I have decided to go back to work but will be doing so with an alternating office/home schedule. My husband will work from home on the days I am in the office. Even with us home on alternating days, we will be working therefore, we have determined we will need a nanny or "mothers helper" to assist us. I have heard of several companies and websites such as, A Choice Nanny, Nanny Poppinz,,, etc. The idea frightens me and the idea of having someone I don't know in my home and raising my child is overwhelming...

Does anyone have experience working with nannies or mother's helpers that can provide me any guidance and/or comfort? Thanks.


[deleted account]

well firstly a great solution if you do need to go back to work. Think positively, at least at some point either you or your husband will be at home. I know of mums who have tried to juggle work at home without any help - it was terrible!

So interview them......get some questions from on-line sources. Ask lots of open questions and those that start with...tell me of a situation where (you have had to deal with a screaming toddler in public/ had trouble with a baby who won't sleep / didn't agree with employer on an issue for example..) How did you deal with it, and in hindsight would you have dealt with it differently. Try and keep the same questions for each girl. Also get their responses on some basic issues such as discipline, what areas are most important in child-rearing for them. You can go into more details about your expectations later, or give them a sheet to go away with.

Maybe narrow it down to about 3 girls and then have them over for afternoon tea with your daughter present.
Spending an afternoon with them will also give you time to see what they are like with your child and how they respond to the nanny. You could ask them to bring along one activity to do with your child.

Have a clear idea about what you expect. A nanny and a mothers help are essential different roles. Do you only want them to look after your daughter, or do you expect some help with housework too? Are they expected to cook the evening meal or just meal for your child for example. Any extras they may do will detract from time with your child.
Be very clear and put in writing your expectations.
Be clear about having a review - maybe even weekly to begin with. Confirm things in writing/e-mail, and let them know in the beginning what you will be doing too.
Use these opportunities for praise as this will improve your relationship and that of your daughter.

Check out your responsibilities legally / employment law - but a good agency should be able to help you with this too.
Think about sick pay and number of days off for personal reasons. You are now entering the realms of an employer, so need to be aware of tax, NI etc....some companies will help you out with these kinds of things but know what you are getting from the agency too. For some it is just an introduction agency, others will have done all kinds of checks. What will you do if she is sick? Some nanny's job share with another family for such a situation, other times it is up to you to cover.
Although she is your employee she is also in your house and caring for your child, so boundaries can sometimes be blurred, which it is easier to have things up front and in writing before they start.
Have a contract that they sign. Have a 1 or 2 month review period where you can decide this is or isn't working. Be fair with your expectations, communicate lots. Keep your side of the bargain. Pay on time, every time!
Will you also ask her to babysit - if so decide on a rate in advance, this of course should be entirely optional, unless an evening is part of her hours.
Get references - talk whenever possible to her current/previous employer. Always find out why she is moving on. Get at least 2 references and always get a current police check.
Hope this has helped in some way. Do let me know if you have any more questions you think I'll be able to answer.

April - posted on 06/26/2010




i had someone helping me with my daughter while i was at school, and at first i didn't like the idea, i was scared of it actually but she turned out fine, i just got to know her and saw how my daughter reacted to her and she loved her alot, the nanny listened to my instructions and she was great. As long as you feel comfortable with her and you can see how your child reacts with her, there shouldn't be any problems.Just make sure you're comfortable with it first, thats whats important or you'll drive yourself mad with worry like me LOL

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Keren - posted on 06/26/2010




thank you April...we are entering this phase very carefully and with eyes wide open.

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