Navigating Nannyhood and Mummydom…All at Once

The world has changed…or should I say is changing. The work week is no longer solely 9-5, People do call during the dinner hour and women not only have joined the work force in full force,  they  no longer hide out in moo moos  with their feet up when they are pregnant. (Although you would have a hard time telling my great Baba that that was what she while she was having 9 children, raising 9 children and running a farm…how on earth did she find time to bake bread and iron underwear.)

We are now living in an age where thinking outside the box is commendable, and necessary. Where options abound around everything. Childcare is no exception to that rule. That said, mothers are a resourceful and creative bunch. They collectively have created a new childcare option that many mothers have embraced …..and that may be just the option for you.

Nummies – “Nannies who are Mummies.” You have seen the ads on craigslist for “SAHM” (stay at home mum’s) who open their doors and take in other people’s wee ones for a price….but what about those mums who are interested in coming to you to solve your childcare needs. They pack up their infant/toddler/ or preschooler and arrive at your door with plenty of time for you to hug everyone twice and head off to work.  They  look after your kids in the comfort of YOUR home, on YOUR schedule.

Why this job? Why this solution? Let’s have a look….

Perks for the MUMMY (or daddy)

Lots of times you can hire an extremely qualified and experienced childcare worker at a lower hourly rate than they would normally charge due to the fact that they are able to bring their own child to work and don’t have to pay for childcare themselves.

If your child is an only child it allows a great opportunity for them to socialize and interact with another child or children. Kids learn to share, wait their turn and play together co-operatively with easier  interaction and supervision from an adult due to the fact that it is a lower ratio of adults to children than most daycare situations.

If it is in your home your child might be more comfortable, or more able to nap, (this really is dependant on the child.)

If it is in your home there is no panicked “YOU HAVE TO PUT THOSE PANTS ON NOWWW!!!” moments at 7:30am.  You can leave little Timmy sitting gleefully in his highchair ruminating over his oatmeal and contemplating the larger questions of the universe as you hunt for your cell phone and run for the skytrain.

Perks for the NUMMY

You get to be with your child. (That’s a pretty big one)

You are bringing an income into your household, which works wonders for self esteem, as well as helping out with those nasty addictions to food and rent..

Chances are you are a childcare professional…this is your career so you are still doing a rewarding job that you love, and gaining experience…keeping your finger in the pie so to speak.

You are helping another Mummy…so you are working in an environment where you (hopefully) feel like you really are on a team, supported and empathized with…this type of situation can build strong and lasting friendships for the children as well as for yourself.

If your child is an only child ditto on the “great opportunity to socialize” point that was mentioned above.

Things to Think About

What are the ages of the kids, are they a good match.   A lot of the success of a placement depends on the actual kids themselves, and their temperaments and needs etc. My daughter Nanny Shares better with a infant than with a younger toddler. Lots of people would shy away from hiring a mother who has an infant (for fear that the infant would need a greater amount of attention) but my daughter is baby crazy and she enjoys nurturing taking care of and sharing with a much younger child. Some families prefer to have kids of a similar age…or  to share with an older child so that their child is having to reach a little to keep up, that way their child can learn not only from the Nummy but from their new playmate too.

My advice about this is to be open minded. Really. The more open minded you are about what may work the more opportunities present themselves.  Meet the Nummy, meet their child, have a trail day or two and see if it is a fit for your family.

Money Matters

What is the rate of pay for a “Nummy”? Well, there are a lot of variables at work here. How many kids do you have, how many kids does she have? Are you asking for childcare related duties only or for light housekeeping as well? How many hours a day…does overtime come  into play? Is it a part time or full time job. I would say figure out what you would pay the nanny if she was working without her child and take off anywhere from 3 – 6 dollars an hour. So if your nanny is awesome, with her ECE, and tons of experience and would be taking home $18.00 an hour after tax…she should be taking home at lease $12- $14 an hour.  If you have an entry level nanny with about two years experience and not a lot of training who would  be taking home 14.00 an hour, her salary would probably drop to $9.00 or $10.00 dollars an hour, take home.

As you navigate the murky waters of what is best for your kids, your family, and your bank account …when it comes to childcare you may come up with your own creative solution. Whatever the end result is…as long as you end up with safe, happy, cared for kids all around…you have successfully arrived exactly where you need to be.

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