To read Part I of this feature, please click here.
11) Never make the mistake of interviewing with parents just after the birth of their first child. Perhaps they are just too happy. Maybe it is the ecstasy of being a new parent, maybe it is C section drugs. I don’t know but I definitely got a wrong read on the parents, especially the mother. My third nanny job I got and was able to show lots of good references. I was to take care of just one baby. This would be a cakewalk for me because one child didn't compare to the 4 I had at my last job. The mom didn't want me to start much earlier than when she went back to work because she wanted her bonding time. I came 4 hours a week until she went back to work. 4 hours a week I spent barely taking care of the child but more helping her with errands. This was not a problem since they were paying my full salary. Yes they were generous. I can say that they were easily very generous. The baby was beautiful. He wasn't a crier either. Just a real good baby. And so my job started. Mom called alot. Warning sign #1. When I say a lot, I mean about twice every 3 hours. Mom also provided me a cell phone. She asked me to send her pictured of the baby at least 2x day. Okay I could do that. Mom had asked me originally to jot down notes of the baby's day so she would know when he had his last bottle or what. That seemed pretty reasonable. Within a week, Mom who now starts to show herself as a total corporate micromanager type was grating on my nerves. The child was to be dressed in a certain outfit. Even though the baby was still sleeping when she left for work. So not only was I told what to dress the child in on a particular day, but she called to confirm the child was dressed in that outfit! I was to record what time the baby woke up. Ok. And what was in the baby's diaper. And how much the baby ate at every feeding. For example, 12:15 PM, 4 ounces made, 3 1/2 ounces consumed. Sound like enough? No. Then she thought it might be helpful if I recorded how many "burps" I got. I was also supposed to record the # of bowel movements the baby had. Not just how many, but the size and consistency of them. Do you see where this is going? Mom and Dad had went out of their way to hire an experienced nanny and for what? Mom scheduled the baby's entire day. Feeding I understand, napping even. But suggested activities. She even scheduled suggested times for me to make my personal phone calls or take a break. She suggested songs I should sing to the child while feeding him and then songs I should sing to the child while rocking him to sleep! Only an idiot would need this kind of direction. I was getting nothing out of the job. A monkey could have done it. So I gave notice. The parents freaked out. They threatened to sue me for breach of contract and called me a "corrupt individual". The end.
12) Nanny B here, a frequent blogger. I have my own horror story that I think will beat them all out of the park.
My first nanny position was in Maryland where I worked for a married couple with 4 boys. Mom worked alot and dad was in the military overseas. After 2 months of working there, mom started dating not 1 but 2 different men. On several occasions she would have one guy sleep over one night and the other guy sleep over the next night. What made it worse is that my room was next to hers and I could hear all the awful things being done (sex isn't awful but when your trying to sleep it is). It got to the point when mom wasn't even coming home anymore and I found out she had rented out her own place somewhere else and started moving her stuff there. The highlight came one day when one of the boyfriends ran over the dog and killed it and she left me there to explain to these 4 boys what had happened to their dog and then called me up later to ask me if I could call boyfriend #2 and find out where he was so she could take boyfriend #1 to a restaurant. Dad ended up coming home about a month after all this took place but then I started feeling trapped in the house because he would take the car and be gone all week and I was left with the boys in the house until the weekend. The final straw came when they locked me in the house one night and took away the keys so I couldn't even get back in. I managed to have a friend of theirs come pick me up and get my stuff and I went to her place for a week until I could get on a bus and come home. It was horrible!
13) My worst nanny job wasn't really all that bad. I moved from Texas to work in a suburb of NYC for a woman who had achieved a lot of fame & recognition in her "field" and her husband who worked in some sort of finance business. They had two children. The husband was one of those men that was just drop dead good looking. I doubt anyone could disagree with that. He was tall, built, with dark blonde hair and an easy smile. Probably the best looking man I have ever personally known. Having said that, he didn't act like he was the best looking man. He was quite down to earth, involved with his children, in love with his wife and always pleasant to me. The wife who was attractive, but not especially so was the problem. The nanny job was fine. What wasn't fine was that the mother would have a bad dream about her husband cheating on her or leaving or, or even after watching the movie Indecent Proposal and she would show upon my doorstep sobbing hysterically. I lived in a gate house on the property. The woman was very nearly inconsolable. I would have to talk her down and tell her how much he loved her and this happened probably once a month. Other times, when we were out to dinner even, and after learning about her issues, I could see her tense up anytime an especially attractive waitress was serving us. I was with the family for about 19 months and the woman told me all of her secrets and fears. What made this job so awful is that at a summer barbecue I attended with her, I met one of her old friends now living in Denver. After introducing me to her friend and telling her what a great nanny I was and what a great friend I had been to her, I thanked her and walked away. It was then I heard the mother, this friend I consoled so many nights say "X is the perfect nanny; no man would ever look twice at her". I don't know why I let it, but it hurt me to the core. I quit shortly after for no other reason then I fell out of the love with the job and the whole situation.
14) I have worked for a nanny for about 10 families, all over the United States. I recently took a job for a family on the East Coast. This is an example of where nannies got to be as on guard of wrong first impressions as employers (continue reading Worst Nanny Experiences Part II- #11-20)