Tuesday, June 17, 2014

So... nanny S, and how we tiptoe around each other

Remember I told you nanny S is pregnant?


Now here's the problem.

I feel guilty giving her work.

When I mentioned this to two friends, they told me I'm crazy.

The one said, "this is her job. We all had to work while pregnant" which is true but also, at the time, my Wonderful Boss let me create my work life exactly how I wanted it. I scheduled all meetings in my building, took things easy, etc.

Then again, I had an office job which is not physically taxing.

I wore the Fitbit on my wrong hand for a day before I realised my left arm is my non-dominant hand....do you know how impressed I am I managed to take a photo with my left hand? :)

But she's not working properly which was quite evident to me before but this weekend, even D said to me I need to "talk to S because she's getting lazy".

I know what he means.

When I was on my rampage on Thursday, I pointed out about 5 things in quick succession in the kids' bedroom. Silly things like "if you move the ottoman, you'd have seen all these things by the curtains".

The way I said it was that she needs to take just 30 minutes EXTRA in each room for the daily deep dive to do things properly.

She has PLENTY of time. She's idle for about 2 - 3 hours a day aside from her lunch break....

I asked her the other day when she plans to work until and she again said end of November.


I'm going to go crazy if I'm still at home.

Same friend above says if I want Nanny S to come back, I should only go back to work once she returns from maternity leave.

I said, "I will be absolutely mental by then".

So that's a no. But I'm also not going to rush back to work just because she's driving me nuts.

I said to D I have no problem getting someone to do moving furniture, bending, kneeling-type work once a week or so but I'm not paying that money over and above the current salary I already pay. And of course, she's never going to agree to less money. I wouldn't want that either!

Therein lies my dilemma.

I need someone because my time is not best spent cleaning. She's been off work 3 days in three weeks and I can see my work has suffered because I'm doing laundry and cleaning instead of writing and creating.

I suppose I'm going to have to have some conversations soon.

Some of you asked (my MIL did too) what it's like being home with S here the whole day...

We do keep out of each other's way but I have a thing about closed doors (as in I don't like them) and so she feels free to come and interrupt me when she wants. I do tell her clearly if I have deadlines (as I have this week) which she does respect.

I have no space for anymore photos on my walls!

We had two incidents though.

My desk is very tidy when I'm not working. However, when I work, I spread out my papers and everything has a place.

One day I started working, went to shower and get ready and I told her, "don't move a THING on the desk". She said yes.

I showered, etc. and returned to find.......... ALL my things in one pile.

I don't like piles.

I freaked out a bit. S, I told you not to move my things.

"I only moved it to the one side".

S, that's moving it!

It might seem small but I teach focus and time management and such.... and it takes me at least 20 minutes to get back into my zone (and I was perfectly in my zone!). My precious few hours in the mornings are critical to get my important things out of the way, I can't afford to faff around.

Anyway, we had one more such incident. I know, I could hardly believe it.

And then I started closing the door if I'm going to be away for longer than 2 minutes to make tea/ pee/ fetch my phone, etc.

Now I only let her "clean" the study when I'm around. ;)


Caren and Mrs FF, what are you doing about your pregnant nannies???


  1. Mine has not changed yet! She is still doing everything the same as she was before. But it is still early days! I will update you in a few months time!

  2. So I finally got my head out of the sand! She's due in oct and wants to work till as late as possible. Little slips here and there but otherwise she seems to be doing ok, she has also always being a smart worker. Luckily grandma is around to help with K so that eases a bit of the stress. She's also had to take a day off here and there - I almost had to force her to go for ante-natal. Thus far we are doing ok

  3. Good luck! I get the tip toeing around each other while I still had a nanny I did that. Now I am looking for another but think I am going to only have her 2 days a week. I seriously don't know how this is going to work though...... I don't have the time to pick up the slack but also don't want somebody in my house all the time now that I work here.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Paula, you're right. These are small problems. They're not even really problems - I'm just sharing since some expressed interest before. The thing is I have certain expectations for the salary I provide and those haven't always been met lately.

  5. It also makes me crazy when someone moves my things that I'm working on...grrr!
    You already know you have to have "the chat" with her...sooner the better, then it will bug you a lot less once it's out there. I think though that it's kind of a given that while she's uncomfortably pregnant she will either work slower or not be able to do everything she's usually able to. You're going to have to make peace with that to some extent?

  6. ^Who is the troll? While I agree this is a first world problem, the issue at hand is at-will employment.

    I say you're paying for a service, so that service should be delivered consistently and as expected - what you're paying for. If your ISP only worked sporadically, you'd call in. Same for anything else. It's certainly not an issue of self-awareness. So sit her down and review your expectations of her, what she has been lacking in, and come to an agreement as to how long she has to "shape up or ship out" because you cannot pay for a service you're not receiving, nor should you pay more!

    Do you really need a nanny for much longer? If you go back to work after school starts could you try and make it work out without one?

    1. No, we definitely need someone here in the afternoons as the kids will go to school til 1.

      Also, I like to come home and know that the kids are here and bathed. If we had no-one, we would have a much more stressed evening, I'd have to use up valuable time cleaning instead of being with the kids and relaxing, and maybe even worry about kids getting home, etc.

      My friend Caren says "I like a clean house" and I have to say the same :)

    2. Ahhhh. I thought they started going full day next year. I still need to post about school. This is exactly why I have no plans to return to work once they start school in the fall. I would go mad trying to keep up with it all.

  7. This is the not so nice part of being a boss, unfortunately. You should speak to her. You are paying her a salary.

  8. I would kill for domestic issues because then it meant I had a domestic *sigh*

    The last full time domestic I had was also pregnant - we had issues with her so we just sucked it up until she went on leave.

    Maybe show her what you mean by "don't touch" - sounds silly but if you take the 5 minutes then you won't have the long term drama. Unless she is physically unable to work I would call her out on the things bugging you especially if you want her to come back because once you let the boundaries go you will battle to get them back.

    1. I am going to have a talk soon. If she intends to come back, then it's worth sorting out the other stuff.

  9. You need to sit down with her and talk to her. I was very physical throughout my pregnancy and I was climbing scaffolds still at 8 months, however, we all are different and each pregnancy is different. She needs to tell you her limits and you need to make your expectations clear and then you two can reach a compromise?
    I do not have regular domestic help because having someone in my space all the time drives me crazy. I just do it myself or deal with it.

  10. THIS is precisely why I have made sure all my nannies are over 50! I like having a gogo take care of us, and I LOVE knowing that her child bearing/raising days are over. No offence to any nanny, but I employ you to take care of my kids and if you have your own small ones, it becomes difficult because I know you will have to take sick days to care for them, take them to the clinic, etc, etc.. anyway, this doesn't help you now. I cannot work with Zoleka at home. Too many things she does is not how I trained her to do them, and secondly not the way I would do it, and I can't bear to watch someone else do something differently in MY house! Also, I don't want to nitpick on things that aren't a big issue, but clearly they irk me, so I end up a bit frustrated when we are home together!
    I'd sit down and have a chat. Rather now than later. Discuss your expectations - even for after baby is born - talk through all those things. Good luck! xx

  11. Mmmm....this is a difficult one. How far along is she?
    If I think back to my own pregnancies then I remember how completely useless I was. Porridge brain. Low energy. Fatigue – there’s nothing quite like the first trimester fatigue – I used to fall asleep at my desk!
    I battled to even do basic cleaning up and Lance had to do most (erm actually ALL) of it.
    Like you, I worked in an environment that was comfortable and my employer was 100% accommodating. I didn’t even need to do physical work, so I can imagine how much worse that must be.
    So. I am going to say that you may need to make some concessions for her. Chat to her. Ask her how she’s feeling. Ask her what her plans are. Tell her what your absolute MINIMUM requirements are. Ask her what would help. Try to work something out. She’s not going to be who she was pre-pregnancy (at least until she’s given birth) and I think that you need to bear that in mind. I do get the boundaries thing though which is what makes this sooooo tricky!
    I have learned to be VERY clear with my helper and to NEVER assume that she fully understands. I show her EVERYTHING and make notes for her etc. My Mom thinks that I’m unnecessary but I do what I need to do to prevent an unnecessary fallout.
    Ps...our office cleaner does that even though I tell her not to. Drives me NUTS! I now tell her to come and clean my desk later when I’m done with whatever I am busy with.

    Pps...unlike you I LOVE a closed door. Much better for me to be productive and focused without the distractions that take place behind the closed door. Also. It shuts out the noise which is AWESOME.
    ppps...What did Paula say??

  12. I must admit...I would prefer if A was not here on my off days. I just get irritated for no reason. I guess I just need my alone time. I usually find (with a shock) how badly she cleans when she suddenly gets sick or goes off to her family in Zim...then I am so peed off that I don't want her to come back. It is a catch 22 situation because I really can't handle the household and my emotionally draining ministry. I need to just crash when I get home. I am usually too knackered to even cook, never mind eat a meal.

  13. I think all has been said apart that a part of my job is physical and at 36 weeks with A I inspected and signed off 85 townhouse units over 3 consecutive days. 3 storeys up and down. If she is healthy she should be doing her work

    1. Sorry - that was 30 weeks.

  14. I would have a chat with her. Lay out expectations and give her a chance to say whether she can realistically meet them. I must say that being on maternity leave this time was hard - I found that I tended to hide out in the loft lounge with Gemma while Thembs had run of the house below...


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