I'm a working mother with two naughty boys (2 and 1 year old). We hire two babysitters to take care of them (one for each). Recently our helper took off for mudik and never came back. So I have decided to extend the tasks of the nannies to include washing and ironing the boys' clothes -- of course with a good additional monthly pay. I've heard that economists always suggest division of labor. Any advice? Thanks. Busy Mother @ Depok.
Dear Busy Mother @ Depok,
Assign Nanny A for washing and Nanny B for ironing. Then reverse that on monthly basis. If only one nanny do both washing and ironing, the other one would have no incentive to limit the number of clothes coming into the laundry basket. Suppose for example that both tasks fall to Nanny A, Boy 1's babysitter. Because Nanny A would know full well how inconvenient washing and ironing are, she would be very concious that her boy doesn't play with too much dirt. That way, the number of dirty clothes can be minimized. But that's not the case of Nanny B. Imagine this. Every time Boy 2 spits on his cloth, no matter how small, Nanny B will just take it off, throw it into the basket then get a new, clean one. Worse yet, she would have less incentive to teach Boy 2 about living clean. Now, if you give her responsibility to iron the dry clothes, she would think twice. After all, she wants less clothes to iron later in the evening. Kate.