Bridget (not her real name, the names have been change to protect the innocent) was finding it difficult to find childcare after the birth of her son. Bridget’s plan was to take maternity leave for 6 months before returning to her previous role as head of marketing for a hotels group. But with a minimum 6-8 month wait for a childcare place in her area the plan wasn’t going to plan.
Bridget’s sister-in-law, Kristen was in a similar predicament. Pregnant with her second, Kristen had just moved interstate and now living near Bridget was having the same difficulty finding childcare.
With no other option the idea of a nanny share was an obvious solution. Bridget already had a great relationship with, Sarah, a nanny she had previously employed on odd days when work had required Bridget’s particular background with an existing client. Reaching out to Sarah for a full time role of 4 days a week the answer was a resounding yes and after meeting Kristen and her little boy, Jesse, the nanny share was a go!
But almost immediately there were issues. And with hindsight, issues Bridget knew were likely to arise but never thought would reach the heights of antagonism and acrimony she was to eventually experience.
Bridget knew her brother, Sam, and Kristen weren’t punctual people. At family gatherings so far they were routinely an hour, an hour and a half late. But with other family members arriving on time it was what it was and not a huge problem and after a time, expected. The excuse was always “children” or being “pregnant”, which Bridget never understood because she had been “pregnant” and had “children” and she was never late (within reason). And her brother wasn’t “pregnant” so why wasn’t he helping and making sure the family was on time.
But that’s a family barbecue not a financial arrangement with a professional nanny and your own sister-in-law and brother for a work-life dependent service like childcare.
And so at week 1 Kristen was late the first time and Sam would continue the practice the very next day. And it wouldn’t be the last time that both Sam and Kristen would be late.
Life can be tough and work life balance even tougher but if we’re organised and considerate we do the best we can. Sometimes though without proper process and protocol in place the people do what’s in their best interests first and everything else second.
And that’s where Bridget and Sarah found themselves. Second. To Kristen and Sam’s life.
And finally when Sarah enforced another hours charge on Bridget of $30 and Bridget tried to recoup half (when it should have been the full $30) Kristen and Sam were incensed blaming Sarah for petty things and deflecting here and there.
The share continued in a messy state for another month but the bad blood had set and Bridget and Sarah were soon to part company with Sam and Kristen. Unfortunate for the nanny share and for family.
And all of this could have been averted with Hapu. Hapu has a simple late fee button and the late party receives an email reminding them of Hapu’s lateness terms.
From there the share can be late or not, it’s up to them and not up to the host and nanny to wait around and ultimately be out of pocket.