We have a live in nanny and he rocks. His name is David and he has been living with us for almost a year. David was a family friend before he moved in. He never intended to be our manny (a live-in nanny, who happens to be a man) but the situation worked out well for him and for us, so here we are.
How Our Live In “Manny” Came To Be
When Brad and David met, they immediately became fast friends. David would come over and visit, and he was always great with the kids. He played with them, fed them, and even changed diapers without being asked! As a mother of four, I can tell you that a single guy changing a diaper without being asked (or forced)… well that move speaks volumes about the type of man David is.
In 2014 we took a month-long trip to Belize with the kids, and with David. At first we were going to go as a family but Brad and I started to think about the long trip and the sights we planned on seeing. We came to the conclusion that inviting David to help with the kids, in exchange for an almost free trip to Belize, would be ideal.
During our trip we were able to see how David and our kids interacted. We survived six weeks together on the road, traveling through Mexico and Belize, climbing pyramids, swimming in rivers, and then promptly getting diarrhea for two weeks afterwards. Despite the sickness, the unbearable heat, and our truck breaking down twice, I think we got along fabulously. Six months later we decided to move to another city in Mexico to help a Bible group become a congregation. We invited David to move with us.
What Does a Live In-Nanny Do?
In exchange for room and board, David helps us tremendously around the house and on any trips we take together. Last August he came with us to Puerto Vallarta for a week. Brad’s mom loves David and she wanted him to be a part of our family vacation. David helps with our children, primarily Sawyer and Tristan, as Alexis and Taylor are past the nanny stage. He helps prepare meals, clean the house, do laundry, and almost anything we ask of him.
David does babysit but only occasionally. Brad and I have date night once a month and he watches the boys for several hours. Our girls go visit family friends for the evening. We pay David to babysit the boys since he helps us in so many other ways. For example, last week our fuel pump went out on our truck. David was a mechanic in the US and whenever our vehicle needs maintenance he is always there to help Brad fix it.
Sometimes I pay David to do extra things around the house, like cut the grass or wash my living room rug. Being bilingual he tutors students in English several hours a week and does side jobs for some of the local mechanic shops. This extra income helps him maintain his Jeep and gives him some spending money.
David is not a traditional live in nanny. Like I mentioned, he is our friend. During the past two years he has become a part of our family. We try not to abuse that friendship by asking too much of him or assuming he can and will do whatever we need of him. Fortunately he has his own room and bath, so he can go into hiding whenever he needs alone time.
We Know The Pros, Tell Us The Cons
No one is perfect and having someone live with you is not always easy. I can’t walk around in my underwear like I did every single day prior to our live in nanny, and I miss that! It’s not easy for David either, when he is trying to sleep and the boys are wide awake at three in the morning. He can hear them through his bedroom walls since his room is right beside their room.
David catches every sickness we do. This weekend we are all stuck at home with the flu. It started with Sawyer and now the rest of us have it. Including poor David. Another concern is family affairs. If Brad and I are having a disagreement David usually knows about it. It’s not his fault. As loud and vocal as we are, everyone in the house knows that something is wrong. I never pretend to be perfect but I don’t like when others hear us quarrel.
Our arrangement won’t last forever. Like I mentioned the girls are too big for a nanny. They help a lot with housework, even babysitting the boys when mommy is sick in bed due to a migraine or a Mexican bug. Our next home may not have enough room for another person, unless it has separate mother-in-law quarters and those can be hard to find. By that time David may even be sick of us and be ready to move on to his next adventure.
Am I spoiled in Mexico? Definitely! My husband is a stay-at-home-dad. I have David’s help with the kids and with household chores. And I have Maria who cleans our house once a week. We could not afford any of this if we were still living in the US. I will enjoy it while I can. Raising kids is a tough job and it’s been nice to have the extra support
Previously published at Los Gringos Locos.