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How to Share Family Obligations with a Live-In Nanny

By Anne Harris October 2nd 2018

In a large number of modern families, both parents have to work in order to make ends meet. When parents are at work, somebody has to look after their children. In some more traditional families, grandparents take over those obligations.

However, when grandparents aren’t alive or live far away from you, your kids can either go to a childcare facility or stay at home with a nanny. Due to parents’ work duties, some families have to hire a nanny who is going to live with them. More often than not, these nannies don’t only take care of the kids, but they also help around the household. Here’s how you can share your family obligations with your nanny.

1. Cooking and Cleaning

If both partners go to work 9-5 every day, the nanny has to do some part of cooking and cleaning.

What could be tricky here is that the nanny can’t cook, clean and look after the kids. Since the kids are the highest priority here, the parents and the nanny can make a deal to either cook early in the morning or in the evening.

The kids will probably be delighted if their mum puts them to sleep in the evening. This is when the nanny can prepare the meals for the next day.

However, sometimes it could be too exhausting for this very person to spend the entire day with the children and then cook in the evening.

Therefore, the father can take over the cooking part once or twice a week, to let the nanny take some rest.

Of course, if you make an agreement at the beginning that one of the nanny’s core obligations is to prepare every meal, then this is what she should do.

2. Picking up kids from school

Stressed and burnt out parents often forget to do some basic things. You’ve probably read about parents who have forgotten their kids in the car.

Some parents also don’t remember to pick the kids up from school. While this doesn’t happen too often, it’s an unpleasant situation that can happen to anyone.

Even if you and your partner aren’t forgetful, you can still leave kids in school due to a misunderstanding.

However, when you have a nanny in your home, it’s less likely that your children will be left at school after the classes.

The most important thing here is to make a schedule of your kids’ school and extracurricular activities. Making this plan on Friday afternoon for the following week is a nice way to always know who is in charge of driving them to school and picking them up afterward.

You can use some handy apps for more efficient family scheduling, as well.

3. Organizing family trips

When a family is packing for a trip, it’s not uncommon that they don’t bring everything they’ve planned.

This is even more likely to happen if a family has more than one children.

Because of that, you can ask the nanny to give you an extra hand during the packing.

For instance, she can go and do the shopping for the trip and the stay. There are always dozens of medical items that kids could need on a trip. Apart from that, traveling with kids means that you need to prepare enough food and drinks for the trip.

So, when you and your partner make the shopping list, the nanny can go and buy all the items.

At the same time, the rest of the family can pack all the clothes, tourist accessories and gadgets in the traveling bags.

By sharing these pre-trip duties with your nanny, you’ll reduce the risk of forgetting some important things.

4. Planning the weekends

If you and the nanny reach an agreement that she works overtime, it’s crucial that you pay those extra hours in accordance with the law. Depending on the country you live in, those conditions might be different. For instance, a London live-in nanny could be paid more for her overtime than a nanny who works in Detroit.

Before you sign the contract, make sure to inquire about the rules in this field. The last thing you need is a misunderstanding with the nanny you choose.

So, if your nanny agrees to work every few weekends, you can use this opportunity to clean the house. For instance, your partner can take the kids outside while you and the nanny are de-cluttering your living space.

Again, some nannies don’t accept to do chores, but those are usually au-pairs or daily nannies.

Most live-in childcare professionals are aware that their nature of work includes doing the chores, as well.

What’s good about these duties is that nannies who take care of both the children and the household make more money.

Even if your nanny has accepted to do the chores and run other family errands, it’s important that you don’t approach her in an arrogant way. After you and your partner, this person is the third most important being in your children’s life. Therefore, always treat her with respect.


Live-in nannies usually know that living with a family includes some additional responsibilities. Most of these things are defined in the contract signed by your family and the nanny. Nevertheless, you should sit down with your nanny and bring a set of rules regarding your children’s schedules and your chores.

When everybody living in the household knows what they need to do, the entire family lives in a more organized way. As a result, the entire collaboration between the nanny and the family is highly likely to last for a long period of time.

Author Bio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children's welfare, as well as visiting sports events.