I personally believe that this is a topic not spoken of and addressed enough; and therefore I decided to write this Blog post.
So let’s get it clear…for once and for all: a Nanny is not a Housekeeper!
I regularly receive a phone call from a family who are seeking a Nanny [slash] Housekeeper. I always give families the benefits of the doubt; and think that they are generally unaware that Nannies only perform child-care related household tasks. So, I always follow up with the question, “Are you seeking a Nanny and a Housekeeper?”
More often than not, this question is answered with a clear audible “No”, followed by the explanation that they’re seeking a Nanny who can also clean their home. My answer is always a surprisingly “Hmmmm…” and then proceed with sharing that a Nanny is not a Housekeeper.
Let’s dig a little deeper here.
We all know little ones can be messy, right? So, Nannies clean up by default! Yes, it is very common for Nannies to clean the crumbs and spills after each meal, wipe the highchair, wash bottles, sippy cups; and plates, clean up after activities, organize the books and toys in the play rooms, keep the nursery room clean, stock up diapers and wipes, tidy up the main rooms they spend most of the day in; keep the kitchen clean, clean the crib sheets; and do the rest of the child’s laundry.
See…it’s all child-care related.
Sooo…the dishes from last night’s dinner, or your tidy whities in the dryer (in other words, parent’s laundry), is not a Nanny’s responsibility! Anything that happens before or after a Nanny is on duty, should be the parent’s responsibility. Yep, there I said it.
We don’t expect the Dog Walker to cook dinner…right? So, it’s inappropriate to require a Nanny to organize the pantry, vacuum the floors, clean a shelf in the fridge; or do the whole family’s laundry. A Nanny and a Housekeeper are two very different jobs!
Oh, I totally get it! Having children is expensive, but that doesn’t mean parents get a two-for-one deal. A Nanny is not a BOGO, 50% off!
If a Nanny helps out with some extra work, because you are under the weather or traveling for work, then that is totally at her discretion. Some Nannies love to organize; and will “Marie Kondo” your entire home, however, this should not be a standard expectation! Between you and me…don’t forget to thank your Nanny; and express your appreciation if your home looks like the Netflix show “Tidying Up”. You better treat her nice!
Being a Nanny is a busy job! A Nanny prepares and provides breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, potty-trains, follows a nap schedule, supports social and language skills, encourages emotional growth, boosts creativity, finds cool Pinterest ideas for the latest activities, schedules play-dates, does school drop off and pick up, goes for outside walks, visits the park etc etc.
In other words, a Nanny is responsible for the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and social health of your child. A Nanny is committed and devoted to creating a loving environment for your little one, so your child can reach all developmental milestones; and learn during age appropriate activities.
Do you possibly think cleaning the house can be added to all this?
If your child naps, then your Nanny deserves to sit down; and enjoys her lunch or a cup of coffee; and yes answers an occasional phone call or sends a text message. She is on her feet most of the day, after all. I am sure parents have lunch breaks, right? This is not “time off” because she will still keep an eye on the baby monitor; and at any given time your child can wake up…and her break is cut short. Basically, your child is in charge of how the day unfolds for her.
If you are a Teacher, will you work as a Crossing Guard before and after teaching your classes? If you are a Physician, will you call your patients for appointment reminders? If you are a Movie Director, will you create the sound effects?
It’s really not that difficult to understand! So let’s say it again…a Nanny is not a Housekeeper!
We hope that this article was informative in helping you understand the difference between a Nanny and a Housekeeper.
[Photo by Alex Green]