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.

Fast Exit Interview Etiquette

You search for a nanny job, find a position or two that may interest you, send your resume and/or credentials. The family sets up a phone chat and/or interview, and you are interested in the position. That is, until something tells you it's just not the right fit.

Sometimes it happens during the phone interview. Other times it happens during the interview. And sometimes, it happens within a few minutes of chatting with a family on the phone or meeting with them in person. They may appear not so friendly in person, oblivious to the hiring process or you can tell they are just plain rude. Whatever the case may be, you can feel they aren't the right fit for you.

I had this happen twice: once during the middle of the interview. It was things the parent said that made me want to leave right there. He couldn't believe that someone with my experience, degree and credentials was applying for their nanny job, and insisted I was taking a step backward. After looking at my resume, he didn't even ask me any questions. He kept commenting on the fact that I was overqualified and too experienced to be their nanny.

The second time it happened was a few months ago. This family was hiring their first nanny and the father stated things like they are " 'new to this....not sure what they are doing, do not have a start date yet...not sure who they are looking for in a nanny...exploring options and taking information from candidates for now and getting back to people once they start moving forward...' " As I was sitting there listening to them speak, I was trying to figure out what was going on. I listened to them, answered their questions with a smile, and thought I did very well. I never heard back from them, and when I saw the position was open again, I contacted the family expressing my interest. I got a message from the family stating they didn't feel I was the right fit....Wait. You weren't sure what you were doing, didn't know what you were looking for in a nanny, etc but you knew I'm not the right fit?

As I look back on that experience, something told me to get up and leave within a few minutes of this interview. Of course I ignored that voice.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Have you ever chatted with a family on the phone or met a family in person and figured out within a few minutes they weren't the right fit for you? If so, what did you say to the family to end the interview right there? Is there a way to end an interview politely without being offensive when something like this happens?

I also own a placement agency, so I need to be extra careful.


Helping Parents Help Their Child

I have a child in my class that I am concerned about in a developmental issue. From what I observe and have heard from his sister's teacher from last year, EVERYTHING is done for him and I believe he is developmentally behind.

No interaction with other kids. He plays by himself. I have a child in class who takes things and displays aggressive behaviors to specific children because he knows he can, and this child is a target. The other day, this other child took something from him, and I encouraged the child to say "stop, that's mine." He didn't say anything. Doesn't speak at all. When he does speak, it's "A Mama", and that's it. It's like he has one emotion, and he always looks like he could burst into tears at the snap of a finger.

If we say " ' go to _____and _____' ", he stands there, waiting for someone to do it for him. He cannot wash his hands or turn on the water. A few weeks ago he stood in the bathroom crying because someone wouldn't turn on the water for him. He has no interest in an open cup, and cannot drink from one without spilling it on himself-he needs to be fed the cup, similar to feeding a baby their bottle. If he is not fed his cup, he doesn't drink anything the entire day.

M stays home and D works from home. My guess is that everything is done for him. I have spoken to M about this, who said she is trying to work with him at home, but then she seems like she is something which I cannot figure out.

He turns three at the end of January, and I want to help him, only I'm not sure what to say to M about his lack of social skills and communication, along with self help skills. I know that she did say when she enrolled that she enrolled him because she noticed the lack of self help and communication skills.

Then there is the other child. I wrote about this child a month or so ago, because curiosity makes me wonder what the nanny actually teaches him. He too cannot use an open cup, and has no interest in doing so. We noticed he was unable to drink from an open cup, mentioned something to the nanny when she came to pick him up. We stated in a positive manner, "hey, we noticed he isn't using an open cup and doesn't drink anything all day when he is here. Does he use an open cup at home for you?" She didn't answer the question and blew us off with an attitude.

The nanny is there full time, and he is with us part time, two days per week. I feel like if we see something at school, we should be able to ask the nanny if she sees the same behavior at home, and vice versa. I feel as though it should be a team effort between all of us (myself, co teacher, the nanny) and the parents.

Mom is aware he is not using an open cup, and said he prefers bottles to drink milk. There is a younger sibling at home (just turned a year) and most likely still gets bottles, which is understandable if the sibling wasn't introduced to a cup. This child needs to be fed an open cup, or he won't drink anything during the day. Most of my class is 2, and they are able to use open cups. Even the two youngest who just got into the classroom two weeks ago having just turned two are able to use open cups.

I realize each child develops at their own pace. But parents and those who care for the child like the child's nanny are partly responsible for teaching self help skills. I can only teach so much for so long, and it's a team effort. I feel like neither of these parents nor the nanny get that.


Resigning from nanny job

I am considering resigning from a nanny position that I've been in for about 6 months. The kids & I have a good bond but I have to use my personal car for work. At first I thought I wouldn't mind. But I literally have to take them somewhere everyday & run errands for the parents in between. I am only paid $20 a month for this. Yes a month. The mom thinks that is fair compensation. I don't because I am adding extra miles to a car that I have to keep for the next three years, & paying for extra cleanings, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. Is this fair? I am not sure if I am overreacting. Or should I look for something else? I would feel horrible to leave but it stresses me out so much.


what is a reasonable wage?

I recently (about 2 months ago) started nannying for a family with two children ages 3 and 4. I was background checked, cpr certified and the whole 9 yards. I have about 4 years of experience and have wonderful relationships with the previous families I have nannied for. I was hired for a nanny/assistant position. I took the job with the pay of 15/hr. During the day while the kids are at school for a couple hours, I do all the laundry, (not just the kids, the mother and fathers too) make all the beds, do all the dishes, run any errands the mother leaves on the daily list for me, some of these errands usually include taking the dog to the groomers, dry cleaning pick up and drop off, preparing dinner so the mom literally just has to put it in the oven when she gets home (which most of the time I end up doing anyway), I mail letters for them, I ship things at ups for them, shop for them, grocery shop for them, pick up fresh flowers for their home for them,bathe their kids and get them in their pajamas/ready for bed by the time the parents come home most nights, I do a lot of driving for errands and activities for the children and put about 200+ miles a week on my car for them. I'm not compensated for mileage although I get about $20 a week for gas, which isn't enough seeing as how my car runs on miles and is a lease. When I talked to the mom about mileage she said the government rate of .55 a mile added up to quick and she would rather just give me $20 a week for gas. I went with it. This family is very well off. They live on the water, have a Lamborghini, Maserati and bmw, a yacht, condos in different location across the world, THEY ARE VERY WEALTHY. I stay everyday hours later than I am supposed to (which I get the same hourly rate for) without them asking me if I have to leave, if I have plans, nothing. They just expect my schedule is free to stay and help them all night. I just feel that I make life very easy for them and do almost everything for them. They ask me to do something- I do it without question and with a smile. I feel really taken advantage of a lot of the time. I have so many bills to pay and barely make it with the 15/hr I am currently getting. I think it would be reasonable to be paid the 15/hr during the hours I have both kids but during the day when I do everything and anything for them I feel it should be more. I don't even get a chance to go to the bathroom or have a sip of water during the day because of the list the mother leaves me. I am not a confrontational person and I am wondering how to propose a possible raise to the mother. Also, I was wondering what you guys think the reasonable wage I should get is?

Update on Scam originating on

I wanted to share the "check" my daughter received via priority mail and I also wanted to share what had to say about scams...

Since I last posted about this, we have not heard anything further from this man (except receiving this check)

This is taken from in reference to scams...

There are two main types of scams that are prevalent on the Internet: the “overpayment scam” and the “pay in advance scam.” They're very similar and usually go something like this...

A scammer poses as an employer and attempts to trick you into sending money. Typically, the employer reaches out via text message with a job offer that seems too good to be true.

Once you reply, the scammer may ask you to buy a needed item (like a toy or wheelchair) or claim they're relocating and want to pay you in advance.

After you share your full name and address, the scammer sends you a check (often for a large sum of money) and requests that you cash it and wire a portion of the money back to them. They may tell you to keep the rest.

But here's where the scam comes in: the check is fake. Unfortunately, you often don't learn that until it’s too late -- after you've already sent a portion of the money back to the scammer, which you're then responsible for repaying to the bank, as well as additional fees associated with this type of fraud. In some cases this can amount to thousands of dollars of lost funds. and scams


Beware.... scam on

Just an FYI to all those that use  My daughter is almost 20 and currently works fast food. in speaking with her today she informed me she put her two weeks notice in at her job because she got a new job she found on  She proceeds to tell me that a man named John hired her to watch his 3 year old son from 3p-7p M-F for $400.00/week in Alvin, TX.  She then tells me that he is sending her some money for her first week but he is going to add some extra because he needs her to go and pay for something for him.  (which came in the mail today, YES, she gave him her address ) it is a cashiers check (fake I am sure) for $2750.00!!!  

I had her ask him for his address and he told her he would send it later.  Then I had her ask him to contact me.  which he did, by text..and it went like this..  (excuse the grammar, I am typing exactly as he did)

Him: Hello, its Mr John, sorry are you Shanna's mum?

Me: Yes I am, Can you explain what it is you are asking of Shanna?

Him: I told you to be my son childcare and she agreed

Me: She said you wanted her to pay for some furniture?  Also please tell me about your son.

Him:  My son is 4 yrs old and he is calm and gentle

Me: and the furniture?  Explain that situation please.  What is his name?  Where do you live?

Him:  I live in Houston 

Me: Explain that situation please, What is his name?  What part of Houston?


Me: Because I am her mother and I don't know you.  Did you send her payment already?  Frankly I am concerned that you would allow someone that you have never met to take care of your child.

Him: YES

Me: In what form?

no further replies...  notice the discrepancies in the child's age and where he lived. 

Now I am sure that no one on here would fall for something like this, but my daughter did and I just wanted to let someone know!


Nanny needs advice...

I am a self employed nanny & babysitter. I have over 15 years of experience. I have never had my information shared on any site, all of the families I work with have all been through word of mouth and from my families passing me on to others. I have never left a family before, so every family I have worked with would be more than happy to give references for me. My problem right now is I am currently working part time with a family, 2, 11-12 hour days. There are three children, one 2 year old and 11 month old twins. I make 10 an hour, and am expected to do all household chores including changing sheets in children's rooms, children's laundry, both parents laundry, feeding the dog, doing all the dishes from the parents, and keeping the house picked up. The oldest child is also very behind, because the nanny before me did not do anything with helping him learn words and communicating. So he gets very frustrated when you can't understand his own language. I know I should be making more than 10 an hour, but I don't know how far up would be too much. Any help would be much appreciated from other nannies and moms!


Should I say something to the parents?

Hi, I recently left a 16 year interaction with a narcissistic personality disordered woman. I've had her arrested for domestic violence twice and I left her for good a couple years ago.

If you look up narcissistic cycle of abuse you will learn these people are capable of causing great mental anguish.

By the time I walked out I was almost to the point of suicide.

Ex is a nanny and I am concerned about the way she treats her charges when she is out of camera range.

I'm a fully grown adult and she messed with my mind big time.

My blood runs cold thinking how she might be mentally abusing the children she nannies.

Should I say something to the parents?


Hourly or Salaried?

Does anyone know if it's illegal for nannies to be paid salary? I thought I recently read that nannies are protected under a fair labor act and have to be paid hourly. I have been a nanny for almost 11 years, and started my current job almost 2 years ago. She would only pay me salary, so I don't get paid for any extra hours that I work, and I also don't get overtime pay, and I'm definitely being taken advantage of with the amount of hours I work. However, she claims it all equals out in the end because they pay me when they go away (which is only a few days/year). My feeling is that they should be paying me regardless, because I'm not choosing to take that time off. I am a career nanny and depend on a steady weekly income

I'd love some insight on this issue. Thanks!


Nannie needs Advice!!

So I need advice the family I nanny for Their great. Except for when the mom and dad come home on their lunch breaks and have sex while I'm taking care of their child downstairs. I can hear them having sex or one time I accidentally walked in I feel SOOO uncomfortable with them having sex while I'm here working(yes I know people have sex and I'm all for it...... Just not when I'm ten ft away from them) my question is how do I approach them about this because like I said it makes me feel very uncomfortable and also kinda frustrated that they chose to spend their lunch break having a "quickie" instead of being with their child.


It Certainly Was Not The Nanny - Bad Dad In Cleveland Tx. Walmart

A hero named Erika Burch stepped in the last few days to help a child being abused in a Walmart by her father. He wrapped his daughters hair around the cart and pulled her along like horse or dog. She was begging for mercy and he told Ms Burch to mind her own business. She told the dad this is my business. She took pictures and is in the process of reporting the incident, which is not really easy as she initially was being told by the Cleveland Police Chief the situation may not be serious sas the child had no bruises.

Here is a link from Fox News on the story...
bad dad in Walmart, Cleveland, TX


Baby food at two years old?

At what point would you question a parent feeding their child Stage 2 baby food pouches after a certain age? This child is currently in the toddler (1 year old room), so I am not sure as to what is going on with her diet, but from what I heard, she is fed one pouch per meal, given her own snack at 430p, and that's it. Apparently if she is hungry after her pouch, we cannot feed her anything but the pouches and her snack with water. I don't think she drinks milk or anything from an open cup. This child is almost 2 years old, and will be transitioning to my classroom next week. There are no food sensitivities or allergies, just a parent preference. I understand it's a parent choice, but could this be considered a form of abuse, seeing the child is being underfed?


HELP!! need advice!

Help! So I've been nannying for the same family for almost a year now, I love the kids and the kids love me, my bosses are amazing and even take me on all of their vacations all expenses paid including paying me on top of that. Amazing gig. I just recently found out I am pregnant and I told my MB yesterday. She was thrilled and even mentioned me still working for them after the baby came and bringing my newborn with me. I didn't even consider that this would be an option but if it is then that's great news for me. My only concern is that I've never been in this position before and I've nannied a newborn and know how much work they can be not to mention the strict schedules their usually on. I'm worried that doing this could end badly or it would be way too hard to keep giving my charges the attention they need while still caring for my own child. Bow, my charges at 4 and 6 - will be 5 and 7 by the time my baby is born. Anyone have similar experiences and can give some insight? Thanks so much!

Advice from Nannies please

Hello, I would like some advice. I am 19 and graduated high school last year and I am wondering what advice you could give me on becoming a nanny. I have cared for (babysat) children since I was about 12 and I really enjoy it, however after researching I thought it might be wise to ask other nannies on what to do to get started, and any advice you can give me would be appreciated!!


A Nanny want to be


Food for thought...parents and nannies on mobile devices

I just wanted to give my two cents regarding the pearl clutching when strangers see a caregiver apparently too absorbed in their mobile device to focus on the child to their own standards.

I care for a child and do have to take texting breaks, and some days considerably more frequently than others. Not for a boyfriend, not for pals. In fact I rarely text in social situations other than "I'm here, meet me there" sort of logistical messages. The number one person on my texting list is the child's mother, second to that the backup caregiver. Mom sometimes needs to switch up plans on short notice, or wants updates on her child, who has been dealing with some health issues. This isn't always completed in a few messages. 

On the parental side, I imagine some parents who may be looking at or speaking that device may have unfinished work that is being resolved via a mobile form of communication. Perhaps it is planning with the other family members plans regarding the rest of the day. If it wasn't for this admittedly compromised attention (assuming eyes are frequently on the child) maybe the parent would not be able to be home or take that outing at all in the first place. 

When I text or receive texts, I still manage to keep an eye on the child and look up very frequently. I also tell him I'm communicating with his mother. My glances to him when he's a few feet away may or may not be detectable to others. 

Just some food for thought before you take out a camera and point it at a stranger. 

Pay Rate/arrangement responsibilities

Hello, I'm a SHM in Greenwich, CT and have a 14 month old baby. She'll be starting school in Jan for 3.5hrs in the morning 5 days a week. We've had a mommy's helper since she was 3 months due to some health issues I have - pay rate $20/hr. The girls I've worked with (2) are great. Hard working and will do almost anything to help me around the house - including taking out the kitchen garbage, household dishes, and unpacking packages in addition to housekeeping directly related to the baby. They are however not 'experienced' nanny's and I would not feel comfortable leaving them alone with the baby for more than a few hours a day. I'm considering going back to work FT. If I do, I'd like an experienced nanny. My question is, what is the typical pay rate/arrangement in the region and what are the typical responsibilities?

Looking for a Nanny in CRANSTON, RI

I am looking for a full time nanny with experience in Cranston, RI for a 1 and 5 year old. Must be able to drive. If interested, please email me.

Kim Reed |

Need advice from nannies or parents who have nannies

I am a nanny for a 1 yr old girl in Sacramento, CA. I usually work anywhere from 30-35 and occasionally 40hrs a week at 12.00/hr. I have been working with this family for almost a year. I do not receive any benefits nor do we have a contract.

At least once a week i am watching their other child, which I am not paid any extra to do. As well as other duties that have nothing to do with my charge, up until this point I did not mind one bit doing all the extra stuff but my father passed away this week and I missed 4 days of work, I asked my charge if I can have paid leave for the days I was not able to come in. She replied that technically I am a part time employee and am not entitled to that benefit, but she offered to pay me a quarter of lost wages.
I love my charge and I love this family but I feel like after everything I do, this is not fair.
I want to bring up a contract because now I see that I have to make sure I am protecting my best interest as well as theres but how do i go about that now that it has been a year? Please give me any advice that may help, TIA


Care dot com asks you to purchase "credits" to apply to jobs?! OUTRAGED!

Hi! Thanks for keeping your blog going. There was something I wanted to bring to your attention (that I'm sure other nannies are aware of, as many of us use Care dot com). Well "Care" started this new system several months ago, allowing parents the option to have their job posting require "credits" to apply. It does narrow the posting to only 5 candidates (lessening competition in theory), but otherwise, this has no benefit to the providers or families. It is simply a greedy move on Care's part. And it disgusts me.

The credits are fairly expensive and expire after 90 days. They are even sold in uneven amounts, so that it would be impossible to use up all your credits without purchasing more! (The application rate I've seen is "4 credits" -- for now!) Not only is it ridiculous to have to PAY to apply for a job (or in this case, even just ask clarifying questions about the posting!), but I think it must be illegal! This discriminates against job seekers who can't afford the credits. (And yes, there are some jobs that are still free to apply to, but they are few and far between. And Care puts the "apply with 4 credits" jobs first in the list when you search.)

I held off as long as I could in buying credits myself, but Care is still the best place for me to find nanny jobs online (in my area, anyway). So eventually I broke down and bought some. It looks like it may actually lead to a job offer, but I'm still pissed. $19 to apply to 6 jobs?! Ridiculous!

I've been waiting for someone to post about how awful this is online somewhere, but haven't see anything. So I thought I might as be the one to blow the whistle on this discriminatory practice.

Please keep this post anonymous, as I know Care dot com happily deletes members who complain!