Wednesday

Current Nanny vs. New Nanny

Okay, So the family I have worked with for 2 years (3 this coming September) just had a baby. So right now- I am on moms hours (average around 30 a week) while she is finishing her maternity leave. Upon my MB returning to work- she has decided to enroll her older son (my current charge- I have cared for since he was 5 weeks) into preschool. I like the idea. He will still have time with me but he needs to socialize with other children. I wasn't allowed to take him many places.

Now the new schedule is shaping to be like this:

Me: 4 full days (3 of C being in school) 11 hour days. When I have one child- I am at $10 an hour- with both children- my rate goes up to $12

The new person that they want to hire is: 1 full day (same as above) and picking up C from school/ maybe drop offs - all 3 days of school (that has not be decided) and she is at $15 an hour- no matter what.

I have 16 years experience and she has had only 9 years.

Does this seem off to anyone? Nannies, I want to get your opinion on this. Thank you.

Worst Job....EVER

Had the worst nanny job ever. 3 year old twin boys and a 7 year old girl. The father had passed away from an overdose five months prior. I went to meet with the mom and immediately after walking in, one of the twins tried to punch mom and called her a "b". He wasn't happy about being asked to not play so loudly or throw stuff. That should have been a clue but I still took the job out of desperation. I was told that once a week a therapist came to work with the boys on behavior. The mom absolutely never disciplined the boys. no matter what. She would tell them but not follow through. I on the other hand, always gave time outs for bad behavior. Not these time outs consisted of making the boy stay in his room (which had no toys because they destroyed everything). I would sit in the doorway not saying anything while they threw their tantrum and screamed bloody murder. They began to hate me because I always followed through with what I said. no meant no. no toy if you kick. no donut if you spit. And yes, the twins would bite, scream, spit, kick, punch, call swear words, try to literally kill each other every single day. It was absolutely exhausting to have two of them there. The therapist who came did nothing but play a board game with one twin at a time each week. At one point, during a time out the boy ripped out his dresser drawer and threw it at me landing on my foot and breaking my toe. I extended his time out and as usual, made him pick up his clothes. (wishing a good spanking could be given, believe me). Mom came home and I explained. nothing more. Now a week later (after about 7 months of being with them) the same twin needed a time out for trying to throw his brother down the stairs. In his room he goes. This time he went for the top drawer and pulled it onto his face. He got his time out and when she came home I explained the line on his face and why his entire dresser was thrown around the room. Next morning I get a call before work that she doesn't want me to come in and he said I had punched him in the face. I had NO words. I explained that the boys were just mad that they get their time outs and she should know by now that they behave this way. She said she couldn't risk me being there anymore. So, fine. Next week I get a call from social services wanting to talk to me about the incident. I explained my view and was very upset that lies were being told about me. I waited a few days and contacted the social worker wondering what the outcome was. I was told that the boy changed his story and said he had fallen on the side of his race car bed so they figured it wasn't true. After all that I was completely terrified to be in charge of a child who could completely ruin my life on a whim. The mother ended up asking me back and I said HELL no.

Regards,
Worst Job Ever

Tuesday

The Dinner, Interview and Being Too Nice

I advertised on social media about being available for weekend childcare. Having been a weekend nanny with an education background, I was specific about the schedule and the pay. I got a response from a family located a half hour from me. The drive wouldn't be that bad because it is mainly interstate. I met the parent, a single mother with sole custody of her son; dad isn't in the picture. She is a sweet person, offered me the position which is one weekend per month, totaling 28.5 over the two days, Saturday and Sunday. This would be in addition to working full time during the week. As it turns out, she is the sister of a family enrolled in my old center, and may know my former nanny family, as this mother and my MB are both in the same field. 

When I wrote the ad, I was specific as well in pay: $10-15/hr, negotiable. This position pays $50/day, which is $100 per weekend. That is well below what I want, and the only reason I accepted the position is because she's a single mom, very nice and I know her sister. 

After thinking about it, I don't want the position. Part of it is the fact that I have to be there at 6a, which is getting to be the norm for me with my new job. The other part is that I would be there 14 hours both days, not to mention the pay. I have great pay with my new position, but I am trying to move and have bills to pay, just like anyone else. 

Is there a decent way to tell her I'm not interested? I drove out to her after work, she bought me dinner. I don't feel like I wasted anyone's time, but I also don't want to upset her, either.

from a reader..... what do you think about this?

Hi! I stumbled on your blog and read your article about how shocking the nanny industry here is. Are you still looking for employment? My husband and I live in Orchard Park (20 minutes from city of Buffalo). We have a son who is almost 2. I work part time and we are looking for a nanny 2-3 days a week. Depending on what it is you would do (any cleaning etc) , we could pay $10-$15. If interested, I would love to talk.

C

PS. if you would like her contact info just ask!

Looking for advice on how to give constructive feedback to nanny


Looking for a way to help 'right the ship' with my new nanny. I really like her and want to build a good relationship. We are 2 weeks in. She is sweet and generally trustworthy, so I fear her feeling attacked or criticized. What approach has worked best for other nannies?

She watches my 4month old weekday mornings from 8am-1:30pm. Here's what I wanted to address. Please let me know (kindly :)) if I am off base on any of these.
- I would like her to spend more time playing and interacting. i.e. Tummy time, and some developmental exercises recommended by the pediatrician. Currently she spends around 3 hours napping with her in the nursery with the door closed which is long to me considering the baby's naps are usually only 20-50 minutes. My husband doesn't think such a short shift warrants needing a nap considering we don't nap during those times. (nanny is in her 40's).
- I'd like her to handle some of the baby chores while the baby naps. Currently she naps with baby in the rocking chair. This does not sound like a safe practice, but as a sleep deprived new mom I know I've dozed off like this in the past so I'm trying not to judge. I'd prefer she put the baby down in the crib for naps and uses that time to get any baby chores done like washing bottles, sterilizing, baby laundry or taking a snack break/reading break for herself. Instead, she uses baby's awake hours to do all this.
- I'd like her to leave a quick note on how things went. Very short, just so we know how much she drank, any diaper changes or anything she noticed that was unusual like wheezing, excessive spit up, started coughing. This can either be on paper or verbally to my mom who takes over at 1:30pm.
- Lastly, I'd like her to put things back before she leaves. Wash any bottles she used, return any toys or books that she took out, move the rocking chair back to the living room (or don't move the rocking chair at all).


Thanks,

Monday

question....

I volunteered to come babysit C while mom was at hospital having a baby. I am usually Monday-Friday 7:45am to 6:00pm. I was called to duty about 1:00am Friday morning and stayed with C until 5:30pm when we went to hospital to meet baby. Do I ask for that in pay? I got my normal paycheck via PayPal..

a day in the life

I'm a full time nanny to four kids, a five year old and three year old triplets (two girls and a boy). We started homeschooling the oldest this fall as he was bored at preschool but his birthday was too late for kindergarten, and started doing preschool activities wjth the triplets at the same time. I work M-F an average of 35 hours a week (sometimes a little more or less depending on the week's activities).

I coach and teach swim lessons in the evenings; this is my love and passion, and my bosses have been really supportive about this. They have a second nanny who comes when I'm not able to be here due to coaching commitments, and I charge less than market rate because it's worth it to me to be able to coach. :)

6:59 I let myself into the house and whisper-hiss at the dog to shush (lol). I put my jacket on the table and my lunch in the fridge. The kids won't be up for another half hour so I crash on the couch and check my email.

7:10 MB comes downstairs and gathers her things to leave. We chat as she gets ready to leave. I tell a funny story about one of my students last night (I coach and teach in the evenings) and we share a laugh. She leaves for work; I fix a cup of coffee and make a breakfast casserole and pop it into the oven

7:30 I hear the feet hit the floor as soon as it turns seven thirty (the kids have clocks that change color when they're allowed to get out of bed). I go upstairs; one of the triplets is already dressed, and I pull out outfits for the other two. We head downstairs where the kids use their morning chart to navigate their routine and help get ready for breakfast. I put on an oldies channel and it feels like a party! :)

The triplets are eating breakfast when DB and older brother come downstairs. Older brother is immediately upset about something; I try to help but quickly realize I won't be able to do anything with him until DB is gone ;). DB leaves for work soon after, and the temper tantrum ends almost immediately. All the kids eat, clear their spot, and wash their hands before heading into the playroom.

8:30 I sit in the playroom while the kids play, then facilitate clean up.

9:00 The kids get out their school boxes and find their seats at the table. I get big brother started on a math worksheet and then help the triplets do a worksheet about matching upper and lower case vowels (something we've been working on for several weeks with hands - on activities). Then I give them a fine motor skills activity - giving paper plate people "haircuts". Afterwards they move onto stations - different activities for phonics and math activities. I bounce back and forth between the triplets and big brother, helping whoever needs it.

Big brother finishes math and moves on to handwriting. Triplet #2 zips through stations quickly and goes back to the playroom. I help the other two, one who is struggling and one who is just dawdling. ;) Big brother finishes his seat work for the day and I get him set up with a cutting and pasting project - making a poster showing the long and short vowel sounds (a concept we introduced this week).

Triplet #3 keeps rocking the sensory bin (filled with dried beans) over. I tell her to stop several times, and a moment later she tips it over. I tell her she needs to clean up the mess she made (something else we've been working on!).

I sit for a moment to help older brother with his project, and remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. Triplet #2 comes in from the playroom and wants to do art; I tell her to get her art journal and box and come work at the table. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. Triplet #1 finishes and goes to the playroom to play.

I text MB about taking the kids on an outing, and she reminds me that DB took the van to get the oil changed. I look in the fridge and start fixing some green beans for dinner, and mac and cheese for lunch. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up.

Triplet #2 has finished a picture for mommy and asks me to take a picture and send it. :) I fix lunch plates and put them in the fridge for easy reheating. I remind Triplet #3 that she can't play until the beans are cleaned up. She finally finishes cleaning up and joins her sister in coloring.

Older brother tells Triplet #2 that he likes her project, and then tells Triplet #3 that he doesn't like her project as much. We talk about how he would feel if somebody said that to him, and how you shouldn't make somebody feel good at the expense of somebody else. A minute later, Triplet #3 asks if he likes her projext as much as Triplet #2's. He tells her that Triplet #3's project is his favorite because she used his favorite color, but that hers is very good, too. (Mission accomplished!)

Older brother finishes his project and asks me to make him two paper plate haircut people. I do; he spends the next ten minutes playing with them. The girls put away their art supplies and go to the playroom to play.

11:00 I hear "I'm hungry!" several times, and decide to do an early lunch so we can play outside. Older brother finishes his play and gets the vacuum cleaner out to clean up the mess that has fallen on the floor. Everyone helps set the table and get ready for lunch (today it's chicken nuggets, steamed broccoli, and mac and cheese). I fix my own lunch and we eat together.

Triplet #3 starts spitting at her sister. I tell her to stop, and she does it again immediately. I send her to her room. She's just in time - out but she thinks she's being sent to bed, and I use it to my advantage.

As the kids finish eating they clear their spot at the table, then potty and wash their hands. The boys put on socks and jackets, eagerly anticipating outside play. I call Triplet #3 downstairs to finish lunch.

We head outside to play in the yard. While the kids play, I enjoy another cup of coffee and sketch out some plans for activities for the rest of the month.

Everyone plays well for about an hour, then Triplet #1 poops his pants, older brother gets put in timeout for pushing, and I catch the girls stuffing dirt into the playhouse (which they know they're not allowed to do). I herd everyone back inside where they put away shoes and jackets and wash hands.

1:00 We all snuggle on the couch with our current read - aloud book, the Boxcar Children's Yellow House Mystery. I've barely started reading before Triplet #3 is slamming her sister into the sofa. I give her a warning, start to read, and she does it again. I send her to lay on her bed and continue reading. We read our usual two chapters, and the kids are so engrossed they ask for a third. Older brother wants a fourth, too, but the other two are tired of reading.

I send them into the playroom and watch them play while I work on a busy bag for working on numbers 1-10. I call up to Triplet #3 that she can come down now. She's had a little nap and seems much happier.

2:00 I call in big brother to do his reading at the kitchen table while I laminate the busy bag pieces. He's really taken off with his reading this month and it's very exciting!

After he finishes reading, I help the kids add a feather each to their "thankfulness turkeys" (we write one thing we're thankful for each day on the feather). Today it's "my toys" and "my sister" (both girls). Older brother has had a spat with Triplet #3 and asks me to write down all the members of the family but her on his feather. I decline. ;)

I set out grapes and granola bars for snack time. Afterwards, everyone piles onto the couch to watch an episode of Odd Squad (we're phasing out naps and this is our compromise to give the kids some downtime).

2:55 The other nanny arrives, and we chat about the day. I leave for my second (and third, haha) jobs (coaching and teaching lessons). I'm surrounded by kids all day, and I can't think of anything better! :)

An oldie but a goodie!! What did you get for Chirstmas ?

Yes, this is now and has been one of ISYN's most popular Features and the Reader's can't wait to see what everyone got for 2016... good or bad! Please follow the format below and e-mail it to: isynblog@gmail.com.

* Bonus this year (2016):
* Your weekly salary:
* Any supplementary gifts aside from the Bonus:
* Length of time you have worked for the Family:
* City, State and Country where you live:
* How many children, ages:
* Live in or out:
* Additional comments:
  





New Years Eve

I was asked to work on New Years Eve, which I had to decline because I had already made plans, But I would like to get some opinions on that,  Do you work on holidays like Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and if so, what do you charge?

If I  had not had plans I would have done it, but I would have charged them my regular rate, and now that I have had time to think about it, I am thinking it should be more.

Opinions please...

Saturday

Taken Down and Rising Up - Working With Kids

I am Leigh, the blog owner and I have been in the hospital for almost a month. Myself and 2 of the admins are in out late 40's while many of you contributors are young, pretty, talented, and hard working ( all that may be true but I'm still buttering you up because we were out of pocket - hope it works a little bit! ;)  The problem is heart related, routine, and they had to take lots of tests and it was the WRONG time to get sick as the doctors were in various stages of being out of town, so we hope we can be given a little bit of a pass from our loyal, talented, awesome, experienced,wise, articulate readers.

My illness has affected my job with children for at least 2 years. The illness is Congestive Heart Failure which may not present for years. 2-3 years ago it started getting harder to walk distances to the site of our children's events, I would schedule myself the indoor jobs with close parking ( this  is called  " compensating " ), I would get friends and fellow workers to help me carry child oriented equipment, i would give the most strenuous jobs to others and etc.

Finally a fluid build up started which had to be addressed, it was getting harder and harder to walk and breath , for 2 weeks I could only do jobs with the kids which involved sitting - like telling stories,so over this period of time I have had an amazing amount of fluid taken from me, and I will still have to have another surgery .

So - TELL US ABOUT YOUR ILLNESSES! How they affected your work with kids and how you overcame it - or any other thing that comes to mind

we are very committed to the blog even though we are not perfect ;) - this came out of left field and my 2 assistants have been concentrating on myself, and the children and moms of our business - thank you for your patience ;)

Happy New Year and PROSPERITY AND SAFETY to all our readers - bigtime !!!


Grandma Nanny Takes Advantage

My Nanny is a grandmother in her forties and she has a 9 year old granddaughter, my children are 2 girls, 5 years and 2.5 years. My nanny kind of pressured me into letting bring her gd to work, not an emergency but to give her parents some space. At first I thought this idea could be helpful to my 5 year old, she could learn from an older playmate...but, my nanny's gd is very aggressive with her, telling her what to do, and grabbing her toys etc. Sometimes I feel I need to take my daughter with me to the store etc which defeats the point of having a nanny. It has gotten better a little, it's apparent my nanny has said something as the gd has said   " I need to be nice and do thus and so" to my little girl, but I am still not comfortable - suggestions?

Tuesday

Input please.... How would you feel?

Greetings. I have a situation in the workplace that I would like some input on. I know how I feel, and I am curious to know how readers would feel if they were in the same situation.

Workplace: Preschool. Been there for eight years and worked as both a primary teacher and support staff with toddlers (12 months)-school age. We enroll at 6 weeks and go upto 12 years old.

My background: Nearly twenty years in the field of early childhood education working with infants-school age, including special needs. Degree in education, with twenty five credits in psychology and sociology. Membership in three professional organizations, endless hours of continuing education (my state requires x amount of hours per year for lead teachers; college students are an exception), CPR/AED/FA certified. According to my state, I am also center director qualified and assistant director qualified. One may say I've given my life to this field and I love what I do, which is work with children and families. I have a saying that goes like this: "if I didn't get marker on my hands, paint and dirt under my fingernails, and I'm not the least bit tired at the end of my day, children didn't learn, which means I didn't do my job".

And now I am wondering how much longer I want my current job.

The situation: Our administrative team: one administrator (she does scheduling, payroll, etc) and three directors (my school is governed as one big center broke down into three smaller centers each with their own license and director), plus an administrative assistant and two secretaries. The admin team (not including assistant and secretaries) get together frequently to develop policies and plans, which we, as a staff, are expected to follow within our classroom. This includes the "behavior plan", issued to children who are demonstrating disrespectful, unsafe or aggressive behaviors. This plan clearly states the level of admin involvement, and if a child is acting out in a way that we feel is unsafe, etc. we are told to call admin to deal with the issues.

I have a child on this plan in my two year old class for aggressive and unsafe behaviors. He has been on this plan since January at eighteen months old, and the behavior has gotten worse since he turned two in July. A month or so ago, my director told us that she would try to not come in our classroom so much because her son is in our class and she doesn't want to disrupt his day. Sometimes he has meltdowns when she leaves. I understand her reasoning for that. She did say that the other director would be in to help if we needed it.

We need it, and that director refuses to help. Actually, we are told to work with this child 1-1 when he has an outburst, and for the other teacher to work with the other group of children. Some days there are upto eleven other children in the class, depending on the day. I am burned out by this situation, as this child is clearly a problem that M and D are working on. The behavior is getting worse, and other children are copying this child, and we are calling admin for help. They know he is on behavior plan, and within two years, I have seen my director send other children home for the day who demonstrated similar behaviors. But this child can do the following and nobody can help us:

Tuesday: we asked him to put his trucks away so we could serve breakfast, as he was playing with them at the table. We gave him multiple choices to do so, and he refused to listen, so we took them away. He got mad, threw his yogurt on the table, looked at me as he poured his cup of milk on the table, threw the cup, two chairs, two buckets of toys and tipped over the wooden fridge in dramatic play. We called admin. Their response?

Me: ____ is having a hard day already. I described to my director what happened.
Director: Did you call _____ ?(the director who is supposed to help, but refuses to help)
Me: Is she here? I didn't know that. And there is no point in calling her because she refuses to help anyone.
Director: I understand. One of you will have to work with him 1-1 and the other teacher serve breakfast, because you have to do that.

Later, same thing happened. We were getting ready to go outside and this child pushed another child, and tipped the fridge over. In front of a parent. I called my director again, and let her know what happened. Her response:

" 'Well you will have to shadow him all day to prevent his behavior from reaching this point' ".

But he's on a behavior plan, and you are supposed to be involved. Or should I say _____ is supposed to get him, as you told us that a month ago.

____ is also pregnant, and from what my co-teacher said the other day, she won't come into our room to help because it's out of control. And I will say it is, partly because of one child's behavior and fact the nobody is doing anything to help us.

Administration's observation: As a result, my director called me into a meeting last week Thursday at 5p to tell me that as of tomorrow (11/21) I'll be support staff. They believe that I do not understand typical two year old development and this class doesn't fit me. Then it changed to they know I'm a great teacher who can work with any age group. Finally, it turned to they feel I'm burned out and my light of passion is dimming, and to further avoid burnout, they feel a move to support is the best option for me. My co teacher wasn't even asked her opinion, there was no transition with the new teacher. Nothing. Just make a teacher switch and problem solved.

How I feel: I'm not happy. I blame admin for not being there, and feel like if they were more supportive, things would be different. Our room is so out of control that we need three teachers, yet they will not provide us an extra teacher, and they are blowing off this child's behavior plan they implemented for him. I feel like they are misinterpreting the situation, are being judgmental and treating me like crap. I've been in that classroom for two years, and during those two years, I have seen admin jump faster for behavior issues (I had them two years ago with that group) to now ignoring myself and other teachers with issues in their classrooms. This child's behavior concerns me. What if he tips the shelf over while there are children next to it during center time or has a tantrum during center time and does it? What if he throws a chair and hits a child in the face? Or hurts a child on the playground? What if a child gets hurt and the room is at a one teacher ratio and this child hurts someone else by throwing toys, chairs? He is impulsive and unpredictable and the fact that we need to shadow him to prevent this behavior from getting to a certain point is ridiculous. We don't know what he is going to do or his reaction, and administration knows the situation needs their attention, but can't help us for whatever reason.


Thanks for listening.

Urban Sitter Overview and Bad Urban Sitter Sighting!!

UrbanSitter Overview

I haven't seen anyone on this blog write about the new-ish childcare platform UrbanSitter. I have just really began using it, so I thought i might write about my experiences.

I currently work 25 hours a week after school for a family I really like and enjoy that I found off SitterCity, They treat me great, the pay is good, but I live in NYC and the holidays are coming up, so who doesn't need extra money.

There isn't much demand for only morning sitters, unless the child is sick which I avoid like the plague. But they have an option for one-time sitters. A little about this--- This blog used to write about Craigslist add horror stories, but this site does some things that really make doing a one time sitting job for someone you don't know less scary. As a caregiver I can see how much they've used the site, how many nannies they've hired, how many have been repeat caregivers and the caregivers can even review the parents in terms of the child care experience, how safe they felt etc which is something I wish SitterCity and Care.com would offer.

Also people I have sat for can review me, leaving 1-5 star reviews or even written reviews. You can also invite previous employers to write notes of recommendation on the site, which is great because if you're just looking at one time jobs, I would hate to constantly be bothering previous families constantly for one-time jobs. So like, I feel like it helps parents and sitters both feel safe providing one time work for people you have never met before.

I've done about 7 jobs on the site now, and its been mostly very positive. I only 5 star reviews and glowing feedback
There was only one job that really bothered me. It was very last minute and he was only offering $13 an hour whereas my normal rate is between 20-25. Quite frankly I needed extra money for the holidays so I negotiated it up to 15. But when I got to the home I found out two things that I feel I was purposely not informed about.

Bad UrbanSittter Experience

1. The family was going to a party and the kid (10) I was watching was in trouble and his punishment was to stay here with me, and I was encouraged to talk to him about his bad behavior while making sure he didn't sure any of his tv/tablet privileges that had been taken away.

2. It has become very clear that the kid had a very severe case of ADHD (don't get mad at me for assuming the obvious-- at one point he blurted out he had to go to a special school because of it)

Between him being upset about being punished and his ADHD he was a very difficult child. I had to give him CONSTANT SUPERVISION--- which I know everyone is going to say is my job, and yes I agree it is. But when I am watching a 10 year old I expect to be able to spend 2 minutes going to the bathroom without coming back to him turning on all the gas burners on the stove for fun...as one example of the reckless and impulsive things this kid did that night.
This whole experience really rubbed me the wrong way. I feel that the parents should be obligated to inform caregivers about these kinds of things for the welfare of their own children. Not all caretakers are up to the task, some are just not equipped-- the parents we're lucky that I was. Also, quite frankly I would have charged more- not a ton more, but certainly my normal rate.

I understand there is a conflict here. I am not a parent, and I understand that they might not want to disclose this kind of information for privacy or simply being afraid people wouldn't want to babysit their child, or GASP having to pay more. I am sure having a kid with ADHD is hard enough without having to pay more than you can probably afford to have someone watch him, but I feel I was taken advantage of lured over there by not provided the info that I should have been

Another issue I have is with leaving the punishment of your child up to a one-time babysitter. I can certainly understand a part-time or full time sitter being in charge of discipline, but for a one time sitter I think he the only discipline I should be responsible for is reflective of the behavior when I am there. Hiring someone to punish your child so you can go to a party is passing the buck and shitty parenting in my opinion.

I have had a lot of good experiences on UrbanSittter and met great families, great kids, made a little extra money, but I really considered this experience bad more because of the parents communication that their child's dangerous behavior in their home. When UrbanSitter contacted me about leaving a review I said as much.

I just feel bad because despite the child being very difficult I do think he was a nice and caring kid who really did like me. When I left he hugged me and said he hoped I would watch him again soon, and that definitely not going to happen. I just hope this parents realize its worth telling caretakers about their children's behavioral issues, pay them what they deserve, in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children.

Saturday

Where is my cape?

My MB and DB frequently have me work overtime sat nights,9pm-11pm, watching my 2 charges, 5 year old boy and 4 year old girl at an enclosed playground at a restaurant. There are usually about 40-50 kids there over the 2 hour period and my job is to keep my charges from getting killed. The other kids are so aggressive, particularly these 4 boys and 1 girl, I keep my kids AWAY from them. It's a pretty big area and I will think of games for app 10 of the gentle kids to do with my kids.

Last week one of the aggressive kids did something or other - tried to choke a kid, I did  not see it, but the mother came at ME like it was my fault! I explained I am a nanny to 2 specific kids who have nothing to do with your son and I think I got way to her, and other parents do the same thing - come to ME as if I am in charge of the 50 kids with questions and sometimes anger. There is no adult watching the kids and I get the impression parents dump their problem kids here and go eat dinner.

My MB and DB just laugh and do thank me for taking care of my loves, but am I liable for all the kids in the playground?

What words can I say to get across I am a nanny for 2 kids not the restaurant baby sitter?

Tuesday

In case you missed it.... UPDATE ON HOUSTON NANNY SLAVERY CASE

In Case you missed it....UPDATE ON NANNY SLAVERY CASE

When is enough, enough? What do i do?

Hello,

I have been working for a family for a couple of years now and love the children I work with. I have had ups and downs with the job, the typical crappy things that nannies deal with but for the most part have been content. However, a few months back the parents let me know that they would be moving states and would like me to come along for a month to help them get settled. I agreed as I love the children and wanted to help ease the transition as much as possible. Fast forward to now, the month that I was staying has passed by two days, the family still hasn't found a new nanny and haven't made any effort to try and find one. Instead, they offered me $1 more an hour to stay in the new state with them (which I refused I make $12 now) and I have found a new job in my home state. I told my current boss that we agreed on a month, when my last day was, and that it's time for me to look out for myself, and was berated with texts about how I'm ending things on a bad note and how stressed she is about finding a temp. They have had months to find a new nanny and refused. What do I do in this situation?! I am so sick of being walked over and manipulated but standing up for myself at all is met with harsh criticism.


Thanks!


H


First time poster needs advice!

This is my first time posting, and I'm hoping someone could share their opinion!

I am a part time babysitter who has been working with a non verbal teenage girl five days a week after school. This is the second school year with the family. I have a small conversational relationship with the parents as we usually just chat randomly as they come home. I have been told the mother has cancer and because of chemo my hours would be cut which I didn't mind since I am also a student who's busy. The problem is that every day the mother comes home she tells me about how horrible she feels and how sick she is, and I feel horrible! Should I be doing or saying more to help her? I don't ever want to say the wrong thing but since she opens up to me I feel like I could be saying more to help.

Regards,
Boss has Cancer


Wednesday

Is this Normal?? Need advice please!!

Hello,
I'm looking for some advice from fellow nannies and those that know the industry. I started a nannying/'general assistant' job three months ago. I've never really known what I wanted to do career-wise so have just stumbled from one menial, over-worked and under-paid job to another.
Anyway, I currently work from Monday- Friday from 10am-6pm (and the odd Saturday) and would like to know if my work load and pay are 'standard' for the industry as I currently feel quite taken advantage of and like the pay doesn't even begin to reflect my hard work and the tasks I have to complete, which are as follows:
The children- There are three kids, aged between three and seven. The eldest two are at school until half three, and the youngest is at playschool, she's back at 12pm three days a week and 3pm the other two days. When they're at home it's impossible to get anything done around the house. The youngest is an absolute nightmare, if I take my eye off her for even a second she will seize the opportunity to draw on walls, flush things down the toilet, urinate on the floor, cover the house in cream/lotion or whatever she can find, make a mess and generally be destructive. She is very spoilt and demanding, she needs constant attention and entertaining or will simply have a melt-down and scream and scream and scream. The eldestt two also make a lot of mess and have no consideration at all. They will come home from school and kick their shoes off and throw their bags on the floor, and proceed to make as much mess as they fancy. They are sweet children and I genuinely adore them all and have a very good rapport with all three, but they're self-entitled, over-indulged and inconsiderate. They are very hard work and full on, and incessant with their demands. One of my biggest issues is that I don't have an adequate amount of time to spend with them when they are at home; the cleaning, cooking and washing take up so much time that I don't have enough to occupy them and engage them as much as I should. I will sometimes do basic things with them like bake, read, take them out for a walk or to 'collect' things in the garden, play hide and seek etc but it's rare that I get the chance, and when I do it's not for long- even sparing half an hour puts me behind. It's all very well saying 'the washing can wait' but it just doesn't work like that, and ultimately I'll just end up running around like a headless chicken with a broom up my arse trying to catch up!
Laundry for the entire household- mum, dad and the three children. The washing machine is on at least twice a day every single day with full loads and all must be ironed and put away.
Cleaning- this is a very large, old, dusty and cluttered house and I am responsible for cleaning and tidying all of it, bar the third floor which isn't really in use and just needs a hoovering from time to time. The house is an absolute TIP, and the kids further trash the place. They have two playrooms, one of which is bursting with more toys, books and teddies than Harrod's and often looks like it's been totally ransacked (you would honestly have to see it to believe it), they couldn't make more mess if they tried. I'll spend a good two hours blitzing it only to find it in the same state of disarray the next morning. It's the same with the rest of the house, as fast as I'm cleaning and tidying, the family are making a mess and undoing my hard work. They just make such an unbelievable mess that, on some mornings when I arrive, I momentarily wonder if they've been burgled before remembering that no, the parents (who aren't much more tidy or considerate themselves) have just let the children run amock, comfortable in the certainty that it will be nanny picking up the pieces, literally.
Cooking- I cook an evening meal for the whole family, the kids eat separately from the parents so I have to try and ensure that they eat everything or at least a substantial amount (the youngest are very finicky eaters), which is arduous to say the least. I then clean up after dinner and ensure the kitchen is spotless again and the parents' dinner is plated up and ready for when they come down.
As well as this, I must ensure the kids are ready and have what they need for their various after school activities, prepare packed lunches, put the bins out, and all the other minutiae that ensure the smooth running of the home.
The parents are very self-absorbed and inconsiderate, they pile extra work on me seemingly without realising I already have a ridiculous amount to get through. They both work from home and will come down for lunch, make a mess in the kitchen, leave their dishes for me and then go back upstairs. Sometimes the mum will come down and bake a cake or dish for a dinner party, leaving me to wash up, put away everything she's got out and clean the sides down etc. That said, they are generally very laid back, amiable people and always make sure to thank me 'for all my hard work' at the end of the day (though I can't help but feel this is in recompense for the lack of financial reward). I occasionally forget things or make the odd mistake and they are always very gracious about it and understanding, and very diplomatic if they ever need to address anything with me.
So for the above I am paid £7.50 an hour. Barely over minimum wage. I could earn more stacking shelves in a supermarket!
Is this 'normal'?! Is this an average workload and wage?
I would like to ask for a pay rise but feel that, because I'm essentially doing the job of two people I'm spreading myself so thinly and not getting everything done to the standard that I would like, which in turn makes me feel incompetent and like I'm not doing a good enough job to ask for more money. It's very difficult!
I absolutely detest this job, it's back-breaking, mentally and physically exhausting, unrewarding, monotonous, degrading. I genuinely cannot believe anyone could enjoy it!? I know it sounds like a case of 'just quit and find something else' but for various reasons it's unfortunately not that simple.
Apologies for the rambling post, I needed to get it off my chest! Any advice would be much appreciated, I'd like to know what other nanny's days comprise of, and any tips and tricks to manage my time etc. Many thanks :)

Regards

Monday

Ignoring That Instinct

I consider myself a helpful person, and I love my job working with children and families. I also have bills to pay, and when I saw a family hiring for a sitter after school two evenings per week, I jumped on that and contacted the family. She had heard of me through word of mouth, and we met for an interview. We decided to do a trial run for two weeks to see if everything worked out.

And something told me it wasn't the right situation for me. But I ignored my instinct and greed took over. I just had to be their sitter. I had to do it. I had to. I had to. I had to do it.

But it was a mistake. And what happened sounds gross, but it taught me a lesson.

While babysitting for this family one evening, their son wanted to play with the neighbor kid. Being the person that I am, I won't let a child I am caring for play with a child without meeting the parents first. Call me crazy or paranoid, but that's me. So I went over and introduced myself to the family. The mother wasn't really friendly, and the father was surprised that I took the time to meet with him. As I was talking with the parent, I picked up and played with their puppy who was rolling around in the grass. About a week or so later, I started noticing black dander in my cat's fur (I have four cats) that was similar to coffee grounds. Thinking nothing of it, I kept brushing her to see if things changed. I dismissed it as something different, until last week when I found something I didn't want to see.

My cat had a flea on her. A live flea. I was so grossed out that I almost threw up twice in Walmart when I went to get flea spray and garbage bags. I had a case of anxiety so bad that I had a horrible stomachache, called into to work the next day and thought I was going to throw up. How could I let this happen? The last time I dealt with this issue was back in 1994, when I was a young adult and got a cat that had fleas. Here we are twenty-two years and cats later. Never gave my cats flea preventive. Yeah, I know, bad cat mom. I never let my cats outside and never came into contact with anyone with fleas. When I found out about this, I bagged every single stuffed animal, every pillow on my bed, and threw out clothing that was on my floor, along with old clothing and items that the cats (I have four, but only three would be in my room sleeping, etc) came into contact with. Everything was washed, including curtains, big blankets, etc. per the vet. and all four cats, including my sick 12 year old with a tumor in her eye got flea treatment. I had watched my girls itch and groom themselves, which indicated I had a problem.

Not sure how I got them, but the vet did say fleas can travel with people. The only animals I have been around recently are the new kitten (I checked her before she came home and didn't find anything) my cousin's dogs who go to the dog park several times per week, her cats which are outside cats.

And this family's neighbors.

I broke down into tears in front of my boss, and told her why I called in. She was very understanding about the anxiety thing and stomachache. As I sprayed furniture and curtains, and combed through the cats fur to check for flea dirt, eggs and fleas, I began to realize something.

I honestly believe had I not babysat for this family, I wouldn't have had contact with the neighbors. No contact with neighbors, no contact with dog.

No fleas.

As a result of this issue with fleas, I am panicking that there are more fleas in this house, and we haven't gotten rid of them yet, despite cleaning. I do not allow the cats in my room or to cuddle with me. They just exist-I feed them and acknowledge them. but that's it. It's like I have OCD and anxiety. As if anything on the carpet or floor will come into contact with fleas. When the cats itch, I panic. Sitting on the couch or chair (the cats sleep here. as it's a cat thing) will bring more fleas that have yet to go through the cycle, even though I sprayed.

I feel dirty. Gross. Contaminated. I also feel like a bad person, because I had to babysit for this family. I felt like it wasn't right for me, and but being the person I am, I wanted to help them because I love what I do. Had I not babysat for this family, I wouldn't have gotten fleas.

Through this experience, I've learned it's ok to be helpful, but you can't help everyone. If something feels like the wrong fit, it's fine. The wrong fit for me is the right fit for someone else.