Thoughts on older vs. younger live-in nanny

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  1. So I'm expecting my second child in April. I'm a working mom at night, a moonlighting doctor at a local hospital. Currently, I have sitters come and fill in the hours at our home when neither my husband nor I are at home. However, when the second child is born, I know that my husband cannot handle two children on his own.

    I am seeking someone to basically be at my home 4 nights a week when I'm gone. My question for you ladies is, if you've had experience with anything similar, what are your thoughts regarding a "younger" vs. "older" nanny? I'm referring to "older" as greater than 40 years old (not trying to imply that 40 yo's are old, but I hope you know what I mean).

    My mother STRONGLY STRONGLY opposes having someone younger. Because my husband and I are both working physicians, my mother is worried about liability and implications for harrassment, since the nanny will be alone at home with my husband and children for significant periods of time. Since we have a potentially high income, she sees the possibility of lawsuits (he said vs. she said), as well as the possibility for infidelity. (My mother is cynical also and recently found out that my dad has been cheating on her for years, so this is a notable detail.)

    For me, I find, and this is a stereotype, so please don't get offended. But older sitters that I've had don't seem to be as energetic or care as much for what 'I' personally want. It's like, yeah, whatever, I raised my own kids and didn't do that for them, so whatever. Whereas the younger ones, although less experienced, are more open and adaptable. Additionally, my hours are not necessarily the easiest for an older nanny... 6pm-8am 4 nights a week. Granted, my son sleeps through the night but with a second one on the way... and my first one was such an easy baby that I couldn't imagine getting as lucky with the second.

    I always have the option of staying at home for a year also, but I'd prefer not to. My profession really needs me to be on my feet and keep up my skills.

    Your thoughts? TIA
  2. I don't know if age is really a issue but qualifications and the impression you get when you interview the person. I was a live in nanny on my summer vacation in college. All the other nannies were my age. But the nanny that replaced me was a older woman (who did not drive). I think trying to find a good nanny might be a very hard thing to do......I know I would have a problem with knowing I got the best person. Are you going to go thru a agency or do it on your own? I think there should be some good agencies out there. Can you post at work that you are looking for a nanny and perhaps a relative of someone you work with is looking for this type of job?
    Good luck.
  3. I'm going through both online resources as well as a nanny agency. I guess the issue is whether it would be "comfortable" for the nanny to spend four nights in the same house as a married man, for either the nanny or my husband.

    I'm not worried about any hanky panky going on or anything, but when I have my daughter and she is going to be babysitting overnight at an older man's place, honestly, I'd say no.
  4. I would go older for a live in.
  5. That's a tough one. Honestly I think it's whoever seems better qualified for the job, and who gets on best with your children and who is more into your way of thinking about how you want to raise your children. If a nanny is prepared to live in then they must have decided themselves that they would be "comfortable" sharing a house with a married man. Do many older women tend to do live-in? Most older nannies that I know (I work at a pre-school) tend not to stay over as they have families of their own to take care of.
  6. Yeah, if an older woman has any type of SO then the job is pretty much out. This is mostly targeted at the single mom with the grown child, or the older woman who never had children and currently has no SO.

    I have a couple of leads, so we'll see...
  7. I think it just depends on the person. There can be a mid 20 year old that will be perfect; engaged, fun, and safely handle your children as well as an older nanny.

    I think meeting the people in person will help you get a feel. Good luck- that is a hard decision!!
  8. Try to find someone experienced and has a good connection with you and the kids. But make sure she isn't too attractive though. You'll never know, better safe than finding an affair going on, LOL.
  9. I really feel for you! I'm an OB/Gyn and my husband's also a physician and we've struggled with the exact same issue. I've had a couple babysitters in and out, but nothing that I like long term. I think the ideal is an ugly younger one for all the reasons you mentioned!!:p In all seriousness though, I agree with need a good connection with her, and she needs to actually genuinely care for your children (and not your husband!). My ideal was more of a grandmotherly type of person...someone with no obligations to a family of her own, but would like to cook dinner and look after little ones. I swear, it's almost harder finding the perfect nanny than it is finding the perfect mate! Anyway, good luck with your search!!
  10. As a former au-pair, I find this discussion very interesting!
    Especially since I'm now a mother myself and expecting my second child. I'm an editor of several trade magazines and work long hours. My husband runs his own company and is seldom at home. Because of my experience as an au-pair (12 years ago), I've been considering hiring a nanny/ au-pair.
    I had the time of my life being an au-pair. I was very lucky and came to a wonderful family whose values, morals and ethics resembled mine.
    I genuinely cared for my kids that I took care of and I still keep in touch with the family!

    Have you ever considered a european nanny/ au-pair? I don't mean to sound biased, rude or superior in any way, but in Europe (in general- as always, there are exceptions to this), the whole "I'll sue you for this and that" mentality hasn't really caught on yet.

    Another thing (and I base this upon my own experience as well as my friends who were au-pairs) For us it was UNTHINKABLE to even consider going to bed with the father of the kids we took care of. That was not why we were nannies in the first place- we were there to live in a different country, experience another way of living whilst taking care of the familys children.
    I was 18, turned 19 during my year as a nanny and the thought of sleeping with a man in his forties was just repulsive.
    Most girls who want to work abroad as nannies are very dedicated to the job and you are submitted to go through quite tough tests to be approved.

    What I would like to stress the most though, whether you choose an older nanny or a younger one, make sure you have good chemistry with her and that she genuinely cares for the kids.
  11. Thanks everyone!

    Yes, I have also looked at International Au Pair programs, but they limit work hours to 45/wk. I would need someone available about 56hrs/wk, even though most would be evening hours. So this wouldn't work out, because I would need a second person, and our place right now only has one extra bedroom. How about making DH pick up a few hours in the evening to watch the kids?

    Well, this is where I personally screwed up and would highly advise other new moms NOT to do... don't enable and spoil DH. For my son's first year of life, my mom would fly from CA once or twice per month (to OH) and watch DS while DH did his own thing and me, I sometimes squeezed in 3 36-hr shifts at the hospital plus weekday hours IN ONE WEEK!!! (Yeah, aren't you glad you weren't my laboring patient at the end of my 100th hour of the week!!!) My DH is a GREAT doctor, but HORRIBLE about watching kids... Now he's so spoiled and entitled that it's not even worth the fight to make him change diapers anymore. He went through a 9 month stretch of never changing DS's diaper... anyhoo, again,it was my fault for being the devoted wife. Now he changes diapers about once every 2-3 wks.

    Anyway, thanks for all the comments. I have surprisingly had very good leads and some interesting interviews!!!
  12. Had to laugh at the diaper thing. Both my husband and I work from home....he changed our daughter's diaper once.....when he had to take her to the hospital for minor surgery (same day) and I was home with our son who was sick....
  13. i would neer get a younger live in anny even if i trusted my partner could i trust her? just not worth the bother
  14. where i live (london) i see alot of these young beautiful au pairs from eastern europe- the good thing is that they are cheap the bad thing is they may sleep with your husband! I know not many men would sleep with their nanny but I just would not feel comfortable with a young attractive woman caring for my kids and possibly leaving my partner and hot nanny together!
  15. Well, good news. I found a 53yo woman who lives 15 minutes from me who has been a nanny since 1978. She has been with various families, many for 3-5 year stretches. She has a husband and 18yo son (who doesn't live at home with her), so her personal obligations are limited. I called her references, and only good things were said.

    We're going to go with her, she is very warm and engaging. Tried to play with my son during the interview. The nice thing is, most of the time, my husband will be at home so he can 'sense' (hopefully?) if things aren't working out.

    Overall, I don't need someone to be teaching him everything... my son is in Montessori during the day, so the time after I leave is generally winding down time... so as long as she keeps him safe and happy, I don't really care what they do. Same for the second child (who will be with me during the day).