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We Have a Live-In Nanny

By Beth Anne Ballance |

Before the nanny arrived: me with a laptop, napping dog, toddler at my feet.

A month ago, I  found myself staying home for the first time since maternity leave. I ADORED IT.  Was it hard and frustrating being with a two-year-old all day? Yes. Did I watch the clock for 6pm when my husband would walk through the door? You bet. But I adored that our routine was on my time and that if we didn’t get out of jammies until 10am, it wasn’t a big deal. I cleaned or blogged or tried a new hairstyle at nap time. There were no performance reviews or risk of being fired and if the kid was alive at the end of the day, I did my job.

Then I received an email and phone call inviting me to work for Microsoft. I felt like pinching myself, said yes, and a week later found myself with an @microsoft email address. We needed the money and I needed the resume booster, so it was a no-brainer when I agreed to join the team at 20-40 hours per week.

At first, I kept Harrison home with me and I worked from the table on our screen porch while he ran circles in our backyard. Then I’d stop for an hour to make him lunch and read some books, picking my laptop back up at naptime. Then I began working more hours and conference calls scheduled outside of naptime. Projects began taking 8 hours at times and it was 8pm before I’d look at my husband and shrug over the question “what’s for dinner?” As much as I wanted to balance motherhood & career perfectly by myself, I had to respect my job at home just like I did in a five-story office building. I needed my full-time nanny back. 

But she lived in the nearby city and does not drive and I had no reason to go into the city, so we found ourselves at a frustrating crossroads with me spending 90 minutes on the road each day.  With my husband working in yet another town in a different direction, it didn’t make any sense for him to do pick-up and drop-off either.  We considered another childcare providor close by home, but my son adores his nanny of two years and we trust her.   So after much discussion, we invited her to move into our guest room during the week – she comes over on Sunday evenings and stays until Thursday evening.

Two weeks into this arrangement, it is obvious we made the best decision.  My stress level has dropped incredibly since stopping the commute and our nanny feels relaxed here, where I serve family meals and she can sleep in until 8:30am (when I “head into the office.”) versus being up at 7am.  Plus, my son is now at home while I work upstairs, which means I can pop down for lunch, tuck him in for nap, or take a quick 15-minute break for PlayDoh.

I don’t know how long this arrangement will last between contract work and a house on the  market, but we’re all soaking up the slower pace together.

p.s. I should mention that my nanny is my 20-year-old little sister.

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures on The Heir to Blair.
You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook

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About Beth Anne Ballance


Beth Anne Ballance

Beth Anne Ballance is a born and bred Southern Belle, blogging at okay, ba and using words and pictures to celebrate the challenges of motherhood and the joy of life. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Read bio and latest posts → Read Beth Anne's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “We Have a Live-In Nanny

  1. Carrie says:

    That’s awesome. We had a nanny when I worked from home as well (not my sister, but she was still great!) and I don’t know how I could have done it without her!

  2. Erin Human says:

    Sounds pretty sweet! I work at home and I know how almost-impossible it is to actually get work done with a 2 year old around. A nanny is not in the budget at the moment but I think it’s a smart idea.

  3. Domesticated Gal says:

    I’m so jealous. I don’t work from home, out of home, or in my home. And yet right now, a nanny would be wicked awesome. Just so I could pee by myself. And have someone Else for the Little Man to tell “no” to. Feel like doing a nanny give away???…..

  4. bethanne says:

    @Domesticated Gal – you crack me up :) Feel bad for my nanny – right now she’s outside my door with Harry while I work on a spreadsheet, trying to convince him to go outside & stop shoving Mathbox cars under the door.

  5. Jenny says:

    Stories like this make me understand why people move back home. Or never leave in the first place. If my sister or mother lived nearby…my life would be so different. Jealous. Jealous. Jealous. :-)

  6. Mama Durso says:

    It’s so great that you found an arrangement that works for everyone. I can’t imagine trying to work at home in addition to taking care of a 2 year old. I don’t have a job and I can barely keep the house moderately safe for living while keeping my kid alive, much less do projects for big companies AND do all of the above.

  7. Erica says:

    My mom is my live in nanny. She was out of work & needed income & I was getting ready to return to work from leave & it just made sense. So I hired her. She’s now taking care of my 2 year old & 4 month old. I also work from home. Love that I have zero commute, I can pop downstairs for a hug & kiss, have lunch with both, pump in peace, do laundry, clean, have dinner on the table by 5:30. I mean it’s a win win! It’s a lot of work still but I consider myself very lucky to be able to work & see my kids anytime I want. It’s definitely helped me with my work life balance. So why not stay home with my kids? Bc I’m the insurance girl. There’s no way we could ever afford private health insurance.

  8. Erin says:

    I love you for writing this Bethanne. We have a live-in nanny, too, as my husband and I both have full-time jobs out of the home. She works 43 hours a week (so we have time to commute) and does not clean or cook or any of the assumed house-keeper tasks. She IS lovely for our children, though. AND she is WAY more affordable than day-care. So people that assume we are rich and famous and not taking care of our children are just so, so wrong. We are working hard to raise wonderful little people by any means necessary. And that means having two jobs and a live-in nanny.

  9. The Many Thoughts of a Reader says:

    That would be my ideal situation if I had a job I could do at home.

  10. Candi says:

    We live in a society in which strength, independence, and capability are the ideal. If you can’t do it all, does that make you weak? Should you be judged if you ask for help? Below, we will discuss what is truly ideal and healthy for families.

    Let us acknowledge the following facts. No one is perfect. Everyone has limitations. No one can do it all.
    It is a matter of healthy self-knowledge to know oneself well, what one’s strengths and weaknesses are, etc.
    It is natural to celebrate one’s strengths.
    It is a matter of healthy self-esteem to be able to acknowledge and seek assistance for one’s limitations.
    By working with one’s strengths and working around one’s limitations, the individual and his/her environment are more likely to succeed.
    In the case of parenting, the societal expectation that moms “bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan” is daunting. With 24/7 responsibility between the equivalent of two full-time (or full-time-and-then-some) jobs (i.e., work outside the home and work inside the home), moms typically have no decompression or soul-searching time. Time such as this is essential for good mental health, which is in turn essential for good parenting.

    Additionally, no one is good at, much less perfect at, everything. Everyone has strengths and weakness. That is what makes us human. Moms who have sufficient self-knowledge to assess accurately their strengths and weaknesses are well poised to parent to their strengths and accommodate for their weaknesses.

    If a mom’s strengths include a loving nature, intelligence, and a strong ethical framework, and the mom’s weaknesses include impatience and a difficulty enjoying “non-productive” time, that mom is well advised to place herself in circumstances that play to her strengths and to try to minimize or overcome her weaknesses. It is easy to play to these specific strengths; it is difficult to overcome these specific weaknesses. This is where asking for help can come in. Hiring a nanny through a source such as will help the mom juggle her many responsibilities, and thus minimize her time demands (i.e., her opportunities for impatience). The nanny can additionally provide the children with the fun of “non-productive” time that the children want and need to enjoy.

    Children deserve the best we have to offer. We can give our children the best we have, both in terms of what we have ourselves and what other resources we can tap to benefit our children. Our children deserve no less. Asking for help, then, is not a weakness, it is a strength, a sign of self-awareness and self-confidence, and a testimony to the desire of a mom to give her children the best she has to offer.

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