Thursday

...Should I just resign myself to packing a lunch?

Received Thursday, March 8, 2007
I just took a new position with a very well off family. I only mention this because the mother seems to go out of her way to keep her cupboards bare. I work a very long day and previous positions, I have always had my meal with the children. There is nothing to eat. Is this woman just "tight" or is this how things are done out here? I previously had two wonderful nanny gigs with generous families in San Francisco. Is this worth discussing or should I just resign myself to packing a lunch?
-Hungry on the East Coast

Please email ISYN if you have a question to ask or an experience to share.

111 comments:

Lauren said...

who would treat an employee like that? Don't you have to make meals for the children? My nanny makes lunch for the children and she makes herself lunch to. Our nanny likes ham and cheese on white bread. So every weekend, I buy ham, cheese and white bread to keep on hand. I shudder to think of the mindset of someone who would do LESS than I do. I know many people who do more. This is the woman who rocks my baby to sleep every afternoon, not the guy who details my car. Not only is their a huge difference, but I can't imagine the day that I have to replace this person. If you are lucky enough to have a good nanny, you hold on to her with both hands and treat her kindly! Common Sense!

Lauren said...

too.
herself lunch too!

Anonymous said...

maybe she is a nice person but has been guided by a minacious and skimping husband type? Talk to her.

Anonymous said...

My boss only keeps foods like chicken nuggets and processed cheese food on hand. So the kids have plenty of junk to eat but nothing that will tempt her. Is your boss on a diet? Diets are hard work and I understand removing temptation.

Anonymous said...

My employer doesn't provide my lunch for me, why do I need to provide lunch for my nanny? I actually interviewed a nanny once who told me that she only drank bottled water and asked me if "that would be a problem". I assured her it would not, as we drank tap water but she was free to bring whatever she liked for her own consumption!

The gall of these people!

Anonymous said...

12:43, I assume you are not required to work through lunch, and if you were, your employer *would* provide your lunch. The gall of you for not seeing the difference between your situation and a nanny's position!

Anonymous said...

My "employer" does not provide my lunch either, but my nanny arrives at 7 in the morning so I can commute to my job and she stays until I finish my evening commute, which is unfortunately 7 most nights! That is a 12 hour day. She can put anything she wants on the grocery list!

Nanny B said...

As a live in nanny, I get all my meals provided, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, whatever. shoot, I drink a gallon of oj a week by myself, and i've yet to hear any employers of mine saying it was a bit much. I don't get a lunch break and some days I don't even get a dinner break, so of course I'm going to eat their food since i'm cooking it anyways. What a load of crock people, these are your children's primary caregivers, can't you treat them with respect!

Anonymous said...

to 12:43pm-

"the gall of these people"-wow, what a great response! That shows right there what you think of women who take care of children for a living!

BTW-my employer doesn't provide me with lunch either-but, they do provide me with a lunch hour where I can go out and buy lunch and eat it at my leisure. Do you provide that for your nanny? I don't think so! And, if my employer asks me to work through lunch, as you expect your nanny to do? Then, yes, they do buy me lunch ordered in from wherever I like.

Don't be surprised if you read about your own nanny on here one day! I don't understand how people treat their hairdressers better than the woman who is taking care of and protecting your child all day long! Your child's LIFE is in this woman's hands day in and day out! Don't you want her to be happy? Is this really the place to save a buck?????? What is wrong with some people???

signed, annoyed

Anonymous said...

As a mother who has had a truly remarkable nanny, followed by three freaks, two thieves and a scallywag; I can tell you this much-
If I find a great nanny-
She can eat anything she wants and as much as she wants! I have been through the ringer with a slew of bad apples.
And this makes me angry that I see great nannies being treated unfairly by Bad employers! It isn't fair!

Anonymous said...

Dear moms who spoke up in favor of providing lunch. It is these little things that make a huge difference to a nanny. Your considerate attitude makes us feel that our efforts are appreciated, and we want to do a great job for you and your children. 12:43, it is so frustrating when parents compare their jobs to a nanny job. They only seem to do this when it is in their favor however, like not providing lunch. You don't see a lot about health insurance, retirement plans, stock options, let alone coffee breaks, and lunch hours when you can actually take a break from the workplace, and go out to buy your lunch.
A nanny

Anonymous said...

My nanny is useless. She could go to the store herself but is too damn lazy. So no more hot cross buns for her! No more minestrone soup! She's cut off! I packed up all of her favorites and took them to a newstation that had a food drop off!

Annie said...

I'm glad to see that (other than the "gall of these people" woman) people seem to be coming out in favor of families providing food for the person who is cooking and caring for children in their home.

However, I'd like to directly address the nanny's question: "Is this worth discussing or should I just resign myself to packing a lunch?" Nannies, just like everyone else, are responsible for how other people, especially their employers, treat them. The only way the mother you work for is going to know how you feel is if you TELL her. If you chose to resign yourself to packing your lunch, it will be your decision. But I do think that you should definitely discuss this with your employer. If you are good at your job there is no reason why you shouldn't stand up for the things that you think you deserve during your working day. If your request falls on deaf ears, then you might be wise to look into other jobs, as the mother's "tight-ness" and lack of compassion will surely spill over into other aspects of your life at work.

Anonymous said...

2:07 - if your nanny is useless, why is she taking care of the most important people in your life?

Sunny said...

2:07

What?

Anyhow, I am one of the forunate ones...I have a great employer, a great charge, and anything I need.

I do the grocery shopping and I get whatever I want. Anything. I bring things from shopping up to my apartment and have them for the week. I understand this is not the norm and that I am very lucky.

Really moms and dads...the key is this- A happy nanny is a good nanny. Keep us fed and watered!

Anonymous said...

A few things:

I have gone out of my way to accomodate my nannies over the years, even buying things I would never by for my family (ie ham for sandwiches and diet coke as a beverage).

That said, I don't think it should be expected at all. Like another poster said, lunch is certainly not included at MY job!

Directly after my children eat lunch, they sleep for 2 1/2 hours. This is when my nanny eats. Additionally, she has my blessing to watch tv, read a book or even sleep during this time. It's her free time.

My current nanny does indulge in my food, although she sometimes makes soups with my ingredients.

Whatever!

Anonymous said...

2:03, you put it so perfectly regarding the hypocracy of nanny employers when it is convenient for them to be so. I employ a nanny and as many others said, I happily provide food she wants, and encourage her to add to our grocery list, though the provision is that it must be within the nutritional guidelines we set for the household, i.e. no soda or junky snacks. We eat this way as a household. If she wants to eat potato chips, for example, she is perfectly welcome to go to the store or whatever with my child and get it. If my child wants to try it, and the nanny does not mind sharing, that is OK too. I'm not going to restrict my child in a "it is ok for some people to eat this right in front of you but you can't" because I believe that leads to irrational cravings later. It may seem like a contradictory policy, but it works for us.

To the original poster, I am in the SF Bay area, so I don't know if it is an East Coast custom.

Anonymous said...

Can we say "communication" people!! I agree with what the previous nanny stated, "If you keep your nanny happy, then she will strive to do the same for you" If nanny ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!! It's just food...it's not like we're talking priceless jewels..

Anonymous said...

First off - who said 'this' nanny is awesome. Maybe she's mediocre like many. And yes, Mom's get a lunch hour but they don't get a break like naptime when they can put thier feet up for as much as three hours. Some nannies that I've had have just sat and read a magazine and read books and did not offer to help with anything leaving the house a mess with dishes of thier own in the sink. So, I'm neutral on the subject. Yes an 'awesome' nanny should be catered to but at some point there is the cost to consider. We feed our nanny lunch and no kidding she can eat 'more' than my husband and I combined in one sitting. She has put a serious dent in our food bill but that's okay. Recently, however I had to ask her not to eat breakfast here anymore. I felt it was inappropriate and our discussion was prompted by her having a meltdown one afternoon because she didn't have time to eat breakfast because she had to hit the ground running when she got here one morning and didn't get a break until lunch time when the baby went down for a nap. Althought that prompted the conversation, I also thought it inconsiderate of her to arrive here and then spend the first hour of her day preparing herself breakfast and eating instead of engaging the baby and giving her full attention.

Anonymous said...

It is much easier to find something to eat in your employer's home when their children are old enough to eat real food. I work for a family with a 4 month old. They only stock the fridge and cabinets with the food they need for breakfast and dinner. But, when I go grocery shopping for them, they give me extra money and have told me to pick-up whatever I want to have here to eat and drink on their tab. Afterall, doesn't it make more sense for there to be food her rather than me dragging the baby out everyday so I can get lunch.

Every family I have ever worked for has bought food/drinks for me and they have all told me to help myself to everything I want! It just makes for a good relationship!

gd said...

I agree with everyone. In one way or the other. The nanny I have now does not compare to some of the brilliant women we have had in the past, she doesn't go out of her way for me or us so I have stoppped going out of my way for her. I am apalled by the nanny that arrived every morning to start work by spending an hour making her breakfast. Where do people get off pulling that kind of stuff? Look very carefully at your nanny, if your job is the best job she could get then you rule the roost. Perhaps that is an argument to employ Islanders, I don't know. In the past I have enjoyed a mutual respect, two way street sort of relationship with my nannies. This nanny is loved by the children and responsible but personally, I don't like her. Nor do I like that she is always asking for thing. Extra groceries, old clothing, old toys (she "calls them" before my children are even done playing with them). I loathe that sort of entitled behavior.

As for the person who opined that perhaps it was the thrifty husband that prevented the mother from stocking her cupboards, I doubt that. My husband is the most generous person on earth. We went to Costco this weekend and he earmakred an entire case of water for her so she could have a bottle to drink on the train at night.

Who knows the secret resentments we harbor. All that is certain is that we know who has the good nanny and the good relationship & that is better and more coveted than a vacation home or luxury sedan!

Anonymous said...

I like this "feauture" and hope you keep it going. It has never occurred to me in all my time as a nanny employer to do anything but keep enough food on hand for everyone in the home.

What about playdates? How does this nanny tell the visiting mother or nanny that there is no food for her? The age of my children lends to the fact that most playdates end up being 11-2 ish so we usually incorporate lunch. I know for a fact that my nanny is always offered lunch and beverages when she goes somewhere.

Sorry nanny, but your employer has no class. Must be "new money". Or quite possibly "no money".

a said...

anon At 207,"My nanny is useless. She could go to the store herself but is too damn lazy. So no more hot cross buns for her! No more minestrone soup! She's cut off! I packed up all of her favorites and took them to a newstation that had a food drop off!"
Classic!
YOu and I should do lucnh!

Anonymous said...

207, my nanny is useless too!
But she has been around for a long time so I would rather be used to her laziness *and lack of energy then bring a new nightmare into my home!

Anonymous said...

Honestly some of your posts (just a few) are just appalling saying how lazy your nanny is and that she could go to the store herself etc. If she is really lazy then do you really want her taking care of your children? Are your children not supposed to be engaging in activities and learning instead of sitting in front of the TV or other things that this "lazy nanny" must do with your child?

I am in the middle on all of this. I do not think it is required for employers to go out of their way to buy their nannies favorite foods, it is very nice, but not required.

What should be made sure of though is that there is food for the nanny to eat, because as others have mentioned the nanny does not get a break to go buy food and therefore making themselves something or having what the nanny is having is perfectly acceptable. To make it so that the nanny has to bring their own food is pretty ridiculous .

And although some nannies are lazy, a lot of times people employ nannies so they can be lazy and not care for their children. I am not saying anyone is or anything like that but a nanny has a pretty hard job taking care of children and normally higher standards are set for the nanny's behavior with the children than if the actual parents were caring for the child, so to have food is not too much to ask.

jmt said...

I have to wonder what these children eat? Kids aren't air plants that get misted once a week and just pull nutrients out of the air. What does mom feed them to keep them alive? Weird.
I would talk to her about proper nutrition for her kids and getting some good staples in the house to cook: berries and other fruits, salads, beans, root veggies, olive oil, pasta, nuts, chicken for soups, on and on. Perhaps if you approach the mom with the attitude that well fed children perform better in school and stay healthier in general it will get through her skull. And then, finally you can eat! BTW, I would make it clear that you WILL be sitting down to meals with the children to eat with them - another important trait of confident, happy kids who learn to communicate better.
It's sad that busy parents are rarely home even once a week to sit and have a dinner with the children. Can you believe the parents are HOME and still too busy to come together at once to eat? Even when my nephew has a snack, I sit with him at the table so he's not alone.
Great replies by Lauren and Annie, among others. Basically, running a home includes keeping everyone there fed. And if there is a problem with a nanny eating at a "wrong" time, maybe relax and let it go once or twice. If it's a real problem, redraw some boundaries. Don't passively snatch away her food. In-home employees are human and so are the parents - cut some slack for being humans. If nanny really doesn't work out, hire one who is better, knows about nutrition (and can cook good food for you and your family).
One more thing: there's a great book I have called "What to Cook When You Think There's Nothing in the House to Eat" by Arthur Schwartz. A must have for everyone. It's back in print. Get it while it's hot. It has a section on pantry basics everyone should know. And the best brownie recipe I've ever made. Enjoy!
Bon Appetit

Anonymous said...

I think it's disgusting that people won't leave food for their nanny to eat while taking care of their most valuable possession - their child! As a working father, I routinely discuss with my wife, a working mother, what kinds of foods our nanny likes - and then we buy them! This is not a routine job where lunch is NOT provided - these are NANNIES! And even though they usually make more money than one expects (ours does - and we pay her totally on the books like good Republicans) they should still have food in the fridge that they can munch on. The one strange thing is that since our nanny started working, it seems our dog has been eating twice as much Purina dry food. Hopefully it's just him eating it.

Anonymous said...

Rats eat dog food, so watch out. Perhaps your nanny brought some in with her.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to the mother who's husband bought the nanny a case of water. I say this because I happen to have an unbelievably great nanny who takes great care of our two children for which I am eternally and constantly grateful to her. My husband however, can often not remember to say hello to her in the morning and that pisses me off!

Anonymous said...

I'm all for keeping food in the house for the children, their friends, visiting nannies and my own. Anyone else have experience with a nanny who seems incapable of saying THANK YOU? I keep all of her favorite things on stock, I bring her sandwiches and salads from the best places and she smirks and takes the bag from me. She has never ever said thank you!
I know this is not OP's point, but if you are a nanny, there is nothing wrong with saying thank you. More people should say thank you more often.

Anonymous said...

Some responses to some respondents:
1. If you consider your nanny lazy, why do you keep her? Are you too lazy to look for a better one, or maybe you don't pay enough to attract a top nanny?
2. Many nannies do not get nap time breaks. Siblings nap at different times, or one or more no longer take naps.
3. If you are concerned about the expense of providing lunch, you can't afford a nanny.
4. I bet I could go down the list of responses and tell you who has a high quality nanny, and who does not.
5. To the OP: Yes, the employers who have happy nannies on the east coast provide lunch. Unless your employer is a new parent and doesn't know this, look for a better job.

Anonymous said...

ding ding ding ding
you are right!
if that packet of Budding pressed meat and multi pack of processed cheese food is straining your finances, your child needs to be in daycare.

Nannies were never meant for people like you!

You are clearly living beyond your means. PATHETIC!

and you can't buy class!

Anonymous said...

To the Op, how old is the child/children you take care of? If you are watching an infant, and she is trying to loose the pregnancy weight, it would explain the lack of food. But if you are watching older children, she needs to be more aware of the lack of food, and you may need to ask her what she expects you and the children to eat.

Personally, I have a nanny who helps out twice a week with my son. I usually provide money for her to go out with him, and make sure there is enough money for them both to eat lunch or have a treat. And she knows she is welcome to eat anything in my kitchen when they hang out around the house. I think it's a shame that some of the moms here think providing a meal is a bad thing. And if they have "lazy" nannies, really, they should find a better match.

Anonymous said...

She may not have time to go to the food market. Have you offered to do the grocery shopping? If YOU don't think she has ANY food in the house, I'm sure she's noticed it as well. I know you are busy with the children but this is actually a very common thing for nannies to do. I bet she wouldn't be offended at all, it would probably make her very greatful!

LA Woman said...

if your nanny works a 12 hour day, then by all means keep food on hand.
Do not encourage your nanny to eat seperately from the children, especially if the nanny is black- it teaches horrible stereotypes and looks apalling when company visits.
If your nanny works 8 hours or less or you have children in school and she has lots of child free time, then she should handle her own lunch.
And no one but a fool shows up to work and then sits down and has breakfast! You show up to work and WORK. breaks come later!

Anonymous said...

9:14 am "if she only works eight hours she should bring her own lunch, and if she is black she shouldn't eat seperately frome the children because it looks apalling when company visits"
OMG You sound like a wonderful person, I would just love to be your nanny. NOT!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course families provide lunch. Isn't this part of the deal??

ALl the families here provide lunch and/or dinner (if the nanny is still working then).

Families don't have to provide special food but should at least have bread, some ham/sandwich spreads or whatever and drinks!

jmt said...

PS: NYC and all around it is serviced by Pea Pod and Fresh Direct grocery delivery. It takes no time to put together a list and food gets delivered to you when you want it. Parents could even allow their nanny to add to the list before sending it off. This way busy parents don't have the excuse that they have no time to shop, and nannies don't have to do what I think falls under a housekeeper's job. Besides, ever try to do a big food shop with little kids? In Manhattan? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

I dont think LA Woman said anything bad. My nanny doesn't want to sit down and eat with my child. Which would mean my child would be sitting and eating lunch alone everyday. (Age 3). What kind of message does that send to a child? Seperate lunches? No way!

Anonymous said...

WTH does the nanny have to do the shopping? she is a nanny, not a hosuekeeper!

Maliksmommie said...

My situation is a little different. I am a teacher at a lisenced childcare center. We have different classrooms for children ages 18 months - 4 years old. My employer feeds me breakfast and lunch everyday. I sit on the floor, at a very low table, and eat with the children. It keeps the children at the table, eating longer, and everyone has a better afternoon with full bellies!
Thanks!
Linz

b said...

if the employer has to shop for the nanny, then that makes the nanny the DOMINANT person in the house.

NO GOOD!

Anonymous said...

I don't think nannies should be offered food for lunch, etc. Our nanny from Brazil started out quite heavy, and now she wears really skimpy clothes and tight outfits. My wife is starting to be a little jealous, but I assured her nothing is going on with us. I owe her success in losing weight and looking great to the fact that we don't allow her to eat our food. Now we can be proud to have her push the stroller around and may even bring her on beach vacations with us!

Anonymous said...

259:
How wonderful!
Marvelous. Really.

Anonymous said...

I've always opened my friedge to my nannies. My current nanny is wonderful and eats normal meals and snacks. I've had a previous nanny who was a wonderful caregiver but took a lot of liberties with the food (eating whole boxes of chocolates, expensive cheeses, macadamia nuts, sushi...you name it.) Although it was tough sometimes to find that my favorite snack was gone, I just bought more because she was such a wonderful caregiver that stressing little details would not be worth the tension. After all, no matter how much she eats, it wasn't costing more than $15 a day and if it makes her happier, the children reap the benefits.

sprak said...

2:59 You cheap bastard. If your nanny wanted to diet, she was capable of chosing to do so. Don't pat yourself too hard on the back, you'll break your wimpy, puny arm. When you go to the beach, I hope you get sand kicked in your face by the hot bodies that are following your nanny around.

Anonymous said...

interesting, my husband thinks our nanny has put on 80-90 lbs since she started working here 14 months ago.

and in case you are wondering, our cupboards are never - not ever bare!

jmt said...

2:59 I really hope you're kidding. What you said is cheap, sexist and creepy. Every phrase in that post has a different kind of wrong in it. Eww.

And that nanny that eats everything is wrong. Everyone should be considerate of the others in the house. Leave some for others. Don't finish off the expensive cheeses/chocolates! That's rude! My friends and I have a joke about the "pigslice" of a pizza - the last slice. Which greedy bastard will eat it? lol. I think this nanny should become familiar with the concept.

Anonymous said...

I call BS on 259. just trying to get a rise out of people most likely.

Pintella kid said...

3:44 your problem is NOT that they're bare, but that they're unlocked. Get a locksmith.

Anonymous said...

JMT:

Yeah sure! I'll shop at those expensive places for my nanny when YOU start shopping there. The nerve.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Resign yourself to packing a lunch. I almost fell off my chair laughing when my nanny scribbled on the grocery list "Fiji Water" and "Boars Head Chicken Breast".

I have the best filtration system you can buy and if it is good enough for the baby's bottle, then I am guessing it is good enough for her. And I know damn well, she doesn't spend her weekends in the South Bronx eating Boars Head chicken breast on crusty bagettes.

jennifer le carlo said...

259-
now that was amusing.
at long last.

and 344-
Perhaps you should weigh the nanny each morning & evening?

Anonymous said...

554-
And you want to make damn sure she doesn't get "Boars Head Chicken breast" on your watch. Afterall, you are much more entitled to everthing the world has to offer. It is your birthright.
The Stingy Rich. Sad.. .

Anonymous said...

b at 2:59 The DOMINANT person? Are you trying to be funny, very insecure, or into S&M?

jmt said...

5:48
Not for your nanny - for your family. Don't use their services, I don't. I don't need to. It's a good solution for urban families (who can afford a nanny in a big city) who refuse to make the effort to keep food in the house to feed their kids! No "nerve", just common sense.

Josephine M. said...

Here's a thought. To begin most jobs, and in fact to qualify for many jobs, one must take a physical. At the time of the physical, a person gets weighed, certain tests are run to ensure that the person is healthy, and then based upon the findings, the person will either gain employment... or not. To carry it a bit further, psychological testing is done before some jobs are awarded to prospective employees, and wouldn't it be supremely sensible to have a well-adjusted person caring for one's offspring?

Mandating that nannies secure physicals before obtaining a position would then allow the family to monitor some of the warning signs and red flags that suggest arising problems. For instance, everyone knows that extreme weight fluxuation can often pinpoint a drug problem or an eating disorder. Additionally, it would be comforting to know that the family nanny was drug and disease free. As for the psychological evaluation, it would eliminate the possibility of hiring someone with a personality defect or disorder. In the scheme of things, this would not be all that expensive and my instinct and common sense tells me that this would be an invaluable tool for parents who are considering the hiring or a nanny.

Anonymous said...

You really should have made a written agreement with your employers--even if only an informal list--laying out ALL of your expectations and theirs before you accepted the position. If you neglected to do so, then it would be reasonable to establish one now. If you DID make an agreement, but omitted this issue because you forgot or took free lunches for granted, then it is reasonable to tell your employer so, and to ask that a free-lunch benefit be added to your terms of employment. Ask nicely with the understanding that it would be completely reasonable for your employers to decline. However, if they are nice, reasonable people themselves and if they value you in the position of employment you hold, then they will probably agree. In reality, nannies really hold most of the cards. We parents are putting our most precious people in the world in your care, and if you ask nicely, we will bend over backwards to fulfill any reasonable request you make... especially if we think it will help increase your sense of loyalty to us and your conscientiousness in caring for our children. -- San Francisco Mom

Anonymous said...

I've been dating a nanny here on and off since I got here in January and the people who employ her are spectacular in their generosity toward her. They've even taken us out to dinner with them a time or two and given us tickets to see a Broadway play, as I'd never been to one. I don't think the rich are stingy, at least the ones I've met. I'll tell you one other thing and that's that I've never met people who are so blind to other races as these folks are, and they're Jewish. I'm learning a whole lot on my little NY adventure, and not just in class.

Pintella kid said...

that was me above

Anonymous said...

Hiring a nanny and not being able to afford to keep a sack of bread and tub of Bologna in the house is a bit like going to an upscale restaurant and leaving a 6 percent tip.
YOU DON'T BELONG!

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny that a nanny would "require" Fiji water!

Josephine M. said...

Speaking of crusty baguettes, when I was living abroad in England, that was a breakfast specialty. You could have your eggs scrambled and along with the eggs, any number of accompaniments would be served on a wonderfully, yeasty, crusty baguette. A lot of working people would grab this from a diner and navigate down the boulevard enjoying their morning delight. I, myself, preferred mine with bacon, cheese, mushrooms and eggs. The bacon in England is so superior to what we get here in the states. It's much like Canadian Bacon only served in strips.

Aside from that and the wonderful fish that most pubs served with their "fish and chips", there wasn't much about English fare that was overly impressive. Of course, I didn't eat the beef so that eliminated many of the dishes that they are so fond of across the pond. I would think that the English nannies would really enjoy the excellent food that America has to offer.

fg said...

I wouldn't serve my dog bologna.

Anonymous said...

2:59- BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Too funny!!! I love it. As for required physicals for nannies, not a bad idea. I used to work in a daycare before I became a nanny and a physical was required as well as proof of vaccinations. To keep up with several small children and provide the care they should have on the level and pace they should have it requires someone who is physically healthy...

jmt said...

I never thought about physicals for nannies. I personally would want screenings for blood transferred diseases like Hep C and AIDS, and other viruses that could be passed by kissing a kid on the face (herpes). If the nanny were going to be driving, I'd also want to ask about any seizure disorders or diabetes which could cause unconsciousness.
Seriously, I can't believe I never thought about screening for function-impairing diseases before now, even if only in a questionnaire.
Thanks for the thought fodder. Now I have to mull the invasiveness of all this.

Anonymous said...

fg-
but the nanny?

Anonymous said...

duh the reason why physicals or mental examinations aren't done is because it's bloody expensive! Employers have to pay for that, btw. Sure if you have plenty of money, then by all means get it done (better safe than sorry) but if you don't have that much, you'll just have to rely on your own instincts.

Anonymous said...

It is true that most jobs require a physical, although the only thing the employer would get is a document stating that the employee is fit enough to work this job: any information on weight fluctuation would not be made available to the employer. If you want to drug test your employee, get their permission and by all means do it. But the physical would tell the employer virtually nothing: someone's medical records are confidential, beyond the basic "OK" the doctor gives you to work, and possibly a negative TB test.

Anonymous said...

One thing to have a family put in a contract is what to do when the children have contagious diseases. I became pregnant while employed as a nanny and the child came down with the coxsackie virus which my OBGYN said was very harmful to pregnant women, and the family I worked for got angry when I became concerned.

Anonymous said...

i would have fired you for getting pg.

Anonymous said...

As someone who "doesn't belong" in the nanny circle I think it's a shame if a parent doesn't provide meals for their nanny. My husband is a blue collar worker and I make slightly better than he, yet we scrape together every penny we have to ensure that our daughter receives the best care she can. And yes that includes providing our nanny with meals. She has breakfast, lunch and dinner in our home because I believe that eating with our 6 month old daughter will help encourage our daughter to be a big girl and not just drink from a bottle. I might have to go without the salon trip every week or the latest designer clothes, but in my opinion the happier our nanny is the happier my daughter will be.

Common sense

jmt said...

Children learn so much whenever they are in the presence of grown-ups. They model on us. So sitting down to a meal is a great way to teach them how to eat properly, speak nicely at the table, stay at the table, how to set a table, and how to try new foods that the adults are eating. I took my nephew to a diner and of course his meal was beige: chicken fingers, french fries. I ordered broccoli and we devoured it together, along with the tomatoes and lettuce from my plate. Most kids wont touch greens unless an adult is showing them how NUMMY they are.
Just one more reason to have a sense of family in the home when M & D aren't available. They are always learning from us.
One more thing: someday whem mom and dad actually take Junior out to a restaurant and he behaves like a human being, who do you think taught him that? The person who sat and ate real food with him the most.

Anonymous said...

0837:

so nannies aren't even allowed to get pregnant?? i hope your employer fires/fired you when they you are/were pregnant!

i cannot believe some of the people here! i've had housekeepers, maids and nannies and have even been an au pair when i was younger and never once have i heard such ridiculous stories!

Anonymous said...

I can believe the stories and I'll tell you why. I have been over to visit friends and walked with my friends over the nanny and the children. Neither the nanny nor the children were even introduced. I also have friends who treat their nannies like members of the family and take personal offense if the nanny is treated anyway but kindly. What comes out on chat boards and such is how people really think. And act behind closed doors.

Anonymous said...

8:37:
I think they wanted to fire me! However, considering that would have been illegal due to discrimination, and they knew I was no dummy, they kept me on since they had no good reason to fire me, and their jobs were more important than their child. Looking back at how horrible they were, I wish they had fired me: I would have sued the pants off them...

Anonymous said...

well you might have lost your own pants in a misguided and ill advised attempt to sue your employers.

Private Employers can fire you for just about anything except your race.

And that never happens because if they didn't like your race, they just don't hire that race in the first place.

I am not saying it is right.

I still think professional nannies with eds should unionize.

fg said...

Jeez, you'd think rich people served gold-plated food or something.

Anonymous said...

less food for the nanny means more botox and cellulite removal for mama!

Anonymous said...

I have been teaching for years and through a turn of events decided that I might be able to make more money as a nanny. Although it is true I am currently making more money, I also do not get a lunch break and am always hungry. My employer says she will buy me whatever I want but they don't eat meat or wheat or dairy. And everytime I go to eat something that I actually enjoy the child looks at me like she wants it or just goes ahead and sneaks it. So I have just come to terms with being hungry because my employer looks at me funny when I try and grab a bite to eat. And when I am spending the night, waking up and making her and her daghter breakfast and not making any for myself what does she think I am eating. The fact is she doesn't even think about it. Some people in life think that they are the center of the universe and everyone should bend over backwards for them. To sum it all up I am new to the whole nanny thing and am shocked at the lack of respect that my employer has for me. I am overly qualified to perform this task and somehow think it might be easier for someone with such an attitude to find someone less qualified so that she can have an easier time making them feel small. I know that many nannies know my frustration and I don't know how they do this for a living. I quit.

fg said...

How sad

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the postings that say you should talk to your employer. As a nanny myself I do the grocery shopping for the family and on the rare occasions that I don't they ask me if there is anything that I would like for them to get for me. I've been with them for 3.5 years and at this point they know my likes and dislikes, which are pretty much exactly like the families so we mesh well together.

As for the comments about mothers not getting a paid lunch at work..COME ON! You have an hour at least that leaves you the flexibility to leave your office and relax/unwind. As a nanny we arrive very early in the morning so you all can commute to your jobs and stay on til the end of the night for the same reason. I am with my "kids" for all 3 meals, cooking for them and eating 2 of the 3. Dinner is reserved for the parents to eat with their kids unless I'm invited I don't indulge. I can also see the point about nap time, some nannies do have the time off...however there are also the nannies that spend that time doing other things such as cleaning up after a busy morning of art, science and crazy play, laundry for the kids and prepping dinner. My "kids" don't nap that long so if there is any quiet time I soak it up after I've finished everything else.

Sure I know each situation differs but if you are at a job for 10+ hours a day and you are in charge of feeding the kids I have come to the understanding that you've got free reign of the food. PLUS, why not just make a little extra of what the kids are eating and eat with them?

Sad how parents can abuse their nannies and not ensure that they are happy in their jobs when we are taking care of your beautiful children! And I agree with the comment about stock options, health insurance, etc. We sure don't get those!

signed,
a nanny who ADORES her job/employers :0)

Anonymous said...

I think I would normally be sympathetic to the nanny and even suggest that the employer keep her lunch favorites on hand but to be honest the nanny who arrives every morning and has her breakfast on the clock before tending to the children has ruined it for me. That and the Fiji Water nanny. In fact if put in the same position where someone demands such a wasteful and unnecessary request, I would have suggested the nanny make a donation to AMREF or African Well Fund. People are dying because there is no water. 70% of hospital visits in Africa are related to the dirty water. Most importantly, dirty water is often the cause of ordinary childhood diarrhoea, a leading killer of African children.

As one poster so eloquently responded,
"The Nerve"
!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

if you can't afford to feed a dog, stay out of the puppy store.

Anonymous said...

I was a live-in nanny for 7 of the 9 years I worked for my first family. For 7 years I shared all of my meals with their children. And then one day I let the family know that I wanted live-out wages so I could get a place of my own. By this time I was in my 30s and thought it was high time I had a life of my own.

The mom took my need of living apart from them as a personal rejection, I think, and things got a bit weird when I finally did move out. Suddenly I was no longer allowed to eat any of their food. It was never said by the parents "You can't eat our food!" But little things came trickling in from their children about how they didn't think I should eat their food anymore now that I didn't live there.

I was working 60 plus hour work weeks, mind you. 6:30a.m. to 6:30p.m. were my usual hours...provided I didn't get called in which was not unusual. For two years the youngest quizzed me, "Is that your food or is that OUR food?"

As soon as I got the first inkling that they now took issue with me eating any of their food, I made a point to start bringing my own meals. I resented the hell out of being asked over and over again "is that your food or is that OUR food?"

There were actually weeks in which I was with the children 24/7 while the parents vacationed and I would have to bring practically everything from my cupboards to the house and put my name on it all with black permanent marker to cover the breakfasts, lunches and dinners I would have 7 times that week. It was ridiculous.

I was just so completely offended by the whole experience that I have ALWAYS packed my own lunch and a bottle of water to every job I have had after that just so it would never ever be a source of contention between myself and my employer.

a vegetarian nanny who wanted to offer a different perspective

Anonymous said...

Nanny who got pregnant here:
I doubt I would have lost had they decided to fire me due to pregnancy since I had a contract with them. I never went beyond my allotted sick time that was in the contract. It is ILLEGAL in my state to fire someone because of pregnancy unless your pregnancy infringes upon your duties.
I would have won, had that happened. I was an excellent nanny and they had no other cause to fire me. Like I said, if they could have, they would have.

Anonymous said...

pregnant nanny,
they could have fired you for being pregnant. they are not mandated by ANY rules.

Anonymous said...

You are mistaken. I don't know what state that nanny lives in but in my state it is also illegal to fire someone unless the pregnancy makes it impossible for them to fulfill their duties.
The problem is that they could find another reason, however bad a reason, to fire her.
People suck.

Anonymous said...

Treat your nanny well
Value her for the care she brings to your children

Monique said...

anon @ 427:
I agree with you 100%.
I have had the same nanny for 5 years. Such a strange chain of events occured that brought her to us and I believe it was fate. She is integral to our lives and I hope/think we are to hers. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her and I believe she feels the same way.

Margarite Elaine said...

This one is very simple. Tell your employer about your misgivings and encourage them to provide food for your consumption. If they choose not too, then you choose to leave. Problem Solved! I'm a nanny as well and have adpoted a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for the foolishness.

Pintella kid said...

I just had to check back on this free lunch for nanny dispute! Not only am I learning a lot, this is entertainment!

Anonymous said...

the nanny should eat with the children. it helps the children learn how to use thier manners,also helps them in thier social skills.all important skills that a nanny is able to teach. DB

Jennifer said...

Dear Nannies and Parents:
You need to have a work agreement/contract that discusses everything upfront. What is common sense to one person is not common sense to another. Nannies, for a detailed sample work agreement go to http://www.nannyanswers.com/topics.htm#contracts Do not be afraid to add to your contract when new situations come up! Newborn specialists feel free to go to my website and look through my contract. http://www.themodernbabynurse.com/forms.htm I’d rather share my contract than have you all working without one!

- An irritated nanny said...

I used to eat breakfast at work but now I don't at the request of the parents. Why? Well, at first the excuse was because their kitchen is to small for the 3 of us adults to be in every morning. It was to much for me to be preparing my breakfast (sometimes scrambled eggs and microwaved turkey bacon or oatmeal made in the microwave)and my charges so they said. Then one day the dad tells me there had been a time where there were "2 or 3 seconds" (exact words) where his daughters needs weren't being met because I was finishing up my scrambled eggs (took me about 30 more seconds for me to finish cooking them) before sitting down to eat with her. What he had failed to see is I not only had her hot cereal already made, but she had strawberries and milk in front of her. I was talking to her while she sat in her chair about an arms length away from me and encouraged her to eat her strawberries and told her we are going to have her cereal soon (she still needs help eating it) It wasn't like she was sitting there starving and here I am making a gormet breakfast for myself while she is wasting away from not being fed. Instead of going about his business and getting ready for work, he felt the need to step in and feed her all of maybe 2 spoonfuls of cereal before I was done with my eggs. There have been times she sat there and started with fruit and milk while I finished up making breakfast (many times her own) without starving so I don't know what was so different this one time. When he brought up the "2 or 3 seconds" his daughters needs weren't being met, I asked him how he thought I did lunch. This is a multi-tasking kind of job and I just can't believe he would actually think I can't handle making my eggs and feeding his daughter at the same time. Oh and another thing: This is my OWN food I'm cooking! I don't get food provided to me during work hours so I bring my OWN! I could understand if I was eating their food (although in the past my families have ALWAYS provided ALL meals during work hours and WELCOMED me to eat ALL meals when taking care of their children) but I wasn't so I just don't get it. When I brought up the question "How do you think I do lunch?" he got this dumb look on his face like 'Oh never thought about that.' Now, I have been a nanny for 8 years so I think I know how to get my job done. My question is: should I also not pee while she is awake? I mean that is at least 15 seconds where her needs aren't being met (30 if I have had alot of water!) because during that time I'm taking care of myself right? And what about blowing my nose? If I use 3 tissues and blow for at least 5 seconds each time, there is another 15 seconds his child is suffering because of my taking care of myself right? It just shocks me how some parents treat the person who takes care of their children everyday. What is really sad is I see there are other employers like them here on this board. These kind of people should be taking care of their own children.

Anonymous said...

i would have fired you after day one if you showed up for work and set about scramblings eggs and cooking bacon. Arrive at work READY to work. WTF is wrong with people? You sure sound entitled to a three course sit down breakfast on the clock and on someone else's dime! You are what is wrong with the US. You and about 900,000 liberals.

Anonymous said...

re:i would have fired you after day one if you showed up for work and set about scramblings eggs and cooking bacon. Arrive at work READY to work. WTF is wrong with people? You sure sound entitled to a three course sit down breakfast on the clock and on someone else's dime! You are what is wrong with the US. You and about 900,000 liberals.

What happend to families actually wanting to have their nannies eat with their children? This person sounds like an employer who treats their nanny like hired help instead of a person. Yet another reason why nannies feel unappreciated. Nannies should report all the families who treat them like garbage, just like families post nannies who don't do their job correctly.

Anonymous said...

12:43 must be the same idiot who posted the liberals comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear moms who spoke up in favor of providing lunch. It is these little things that make a huge difference to a nanny. Your considerate attitude makes us feel that our efforts are appreciated, and we want to do a great job for you and your children. 12:43, it is so frustrating when parents compare their jobs to a nanny job. They only seem to do this when it is in their favor however, like not providing lunch. You don't see a lot about health insurance, retirement plans, stock options, let alone coffee breaks, and lunch hours when you can actually take a break from the workplace, and go out to buy your lunch.
A nanny

___________________________
Soooooooooo true about parents comparing our jobs to their own only when it's in their favor! Parents seem to want their nanny to go above and beyond when it comes to taking care of their child, but don't want to go that extra mile to keep their nanny happy. Looking at some of these messages it looks like alot of nannies should be looking for new jobs because your employers don't care about you at all.

Anonymous said...

re:Anonymous said...
I'm all for keeping food in the house for the children, their friends, visiting nannies and my own. Anyone else have experience with a nanny who seems incapable of saying THANK YOU? I keep all of her favorite things on stock, I bring her sandwiches and salads from the best places and she smirks and takes the bag from me. She has never ever said thank you!
I know this is not OP's point, but if you are a nanny, there is nothing wrong with saying thank you. More people should say thank you more often.
_______________________________
You sound like a good employer. Sorry your nanny doesn't see that. Maybe later on down the road if she gets employers like mine she will realize how good you treated her. Nannies: Don't forget to show your appreciation when something nice is done for you. Just like we enjoy hearing the words "Thank you", employers like to know the appreciation and respect they show to you is something you don't take lightly. Remember to say thank you! I always try to say thank you even if it's for giving me my check on time without having to mention it. It's something I appreciate so I say so.

Anonymous said...

what happened to families wanting nannies to eat with the kids? well that is all good and well, but perhaps lunch. I think it is OUT OF LINE for a nanny to show up to work and have the first order of business be about getting her meal on! Preposterous! who but a lamb would allow such behavior!

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. Who cares if a nanny eats her breakfast at work? Is it the end of the world? Are you that cheap that you have to count the seconds and minutes she is on "your dime" eating? I wonder how many times parents have eaten while working. I bet they don't want to go into that, yet they want to pick apart their nanny! Before making such a big deal about it we should be looking at what is going on while she is eating breakfast. If the kids are eating too and are happy and she is watching them what is the big deal?

Parents need to pick their battles and stop being so picky about everything. This makes for a picky nanny who will be less than understanding should you arrive home late after she has had a long day with your kids. Do you then pay her extra since technically she is not "on your dime" anymore? The nanny relationship is a give and take. A meal is a meal so if you don't want her eating breakfast at your house then perhaps she shouldn't eat any snacks or lunch either.

If your nanny is going shopping, running her errands, or trying to hang out with her friends all day, make sure you let her know its inappropriate. If your nanny wants to eat breakfast at your house, stay off your high horse and let it pass for heavens sake!

Anonymous said...

My high horse?
I need my nanny to show up ready to work at 8. If she is so damn poor after pocketing the $15 an hour I pay her and wants to eat on my dime, she is welcome to do just that. But then she needs to show up at 7:15 or 7:30. Because when 8 o clock rolls around, it isn't about her needs. It is about the employer's needs!

Signed,
Mother who shows up to her office ready to work- even if means consuming a toxic bagel while standing on the train!

Anonymous said...

Yes, your high horse. Read the post we are discussing lady. Food being provided wasn't an issue in this case. Guess that bagel wasn't toxic enough! I feel sorry for your nanny. You sound like a selfish employer who thinks it's all about her. I bet you want your nanny to give your kids her all though!

Signed,
A nanny who wishes moms like you would get a clue and treat the person who takes care of their children all day with respect!

Anonymous said...

Dear Nanny,
I wasn't responding to the post per say. I was responding to the nanny who had the employer that had a problem with her showing up to make herself some gigantic feast of bacon and eggs, instead of arriving read to work. I don't care what my nanny does for lunch. By then she - like any employee- is deserving of some downtime. But to show up for work and to set about your employer's kitchen with the sole goal being feeding yourself? I say, NO. If an employer can heading the other way has to stand and eat a bagel on her way to get to work, the nanny can do the same on her way to work. Both get lunch hours/free time but everyone in every job should SHOW up and be ready to work. I used to have a nanny who would show up and take 30 minuted changing from her train outfit to her work outfit. While I paid her. And then she would make her breakfast. And then she would sit and eat it and read the paper. It was my first nanny and I wasn't sure how to handle this so I simply let her get away with this. Everyday. I changed MY schedule so that she could do her outfit change, make her breakfast and eat it. I kept the children occupied for the first 90 minutes of the day and never scheduled an early morning music class or dare asked her to do the 830 drop off. Looking back at what I put up with, I was completely taken advantage of. And why? Who are these people that come in to your home and act like YOU are working for them? This is a discussion I have had more than once with mothers in my neighborhood. These are not professional nannies. Most often these women have fifth grade education, but boy they have you- the employer walking on eggshells afraid that you might have forgotten to say goodmorning or offered a sack of giveaway clothing to her before you called the Goodwill!

Never again!
It didn't cost me a penny more than what I was shelling out and I know have a European trained nanny.

The difference is night and day.

An irritated nanny said...

To the woman with the "Dear Nanny" posting-

It sounds like you entered into this conversation with baggage. You are letting your past experience cloud your judgment of this one. Sorry you have been taken advantage of, but I wasn't the nanny who did it. Contrary to what you and many others might believe, we are not all the same. Now, if you can call 2 pieces of turkey bacon made in the microwave and 2 scrambled eggs a gigantic breakfast then I don't know what to tell you. No one was making a huge breakfast. I don't sit and make pancakes, hashbrowns, and biscuits. If I was, I wouldn't have even bothered posting my experience because I would feel it was wrong. Also, you (like so many other employers) are only picking out what supports your "story." I know how to multi-task and am NOT just thinking about myself . . . I was preparing breakfast for me AND the child I take care of. If I came in and just focused on myself then I could see how that would be wrong, but I'm eating WITH her. I'm also not reading the paper while I'm doing it. I'm talking to her, making her laugh . . . enjoying my time with her. Yes, I'm actually doing what I'm supposed to do! Wow huh? If this is such a big deal I'm sure the other families I have worked with would have mentioned it because I did the same thing at their house. Sorry you have to eat your breakfast on the train, but no one is telling you to leave your child so early in the morning either. You are making that choice. I don't know where you have gotten your past nannies from, but I don't take advantage of my employers. It sounds like she took advantage of you taking 30 minutes to change then make breakfast and then reading the paper. You having to watch your own kids while she is doing all of that is unacceptable. I agree with you there. BUT that is NOT what I'm doing. I don't expect the parents to do ANYTHING once I start. In fact, even if they happen to want to play with her or read her a book before they leave I always want to make sure they know I don't need any help and are CHOOSING to play with her not that I need them to watch her just because I happen to be folding their laundry or cleaning up our messes. I'm not asking them to change their schedule and I can assure you I'm not taking the first 90 minutes of the day to eat. I'm done eating before the child is done eating and most of the time am up and have emptied the dishwasher before she even leaves her chair. That is if I even sit down to eat. I have cleaned their kitchen many times, cleaning up the DINNER mess from the night before while I shoved food in my mouth. Am I asked to do it? No. I just step in and do the extras to help their lives run smoothly. That is the kind of nanny I am. I go out of my way for my employers so I would like them to go out of the way for me in some way. I don't expect anything extra from them either (no goodwill handouts here) I guess I have been lucky not to have an employer like you or my current employers before, which is why in the past all my jobs have been long-term ones. I really have to keep in mind there are good families out there; not just ones who talk about us badly with their friends, think we are stupid with no education, and are lazy. I'm so glad to know there are families like the ones I have worked with or I would probably just quit altogether after reading all these negative posts about nannies. I work hard and really do treat the little ones I take care of well. If I didn't then I wouldn't care about what the parents said or did to me because I would just view it as a job and clock in and clock out. I refuse to have that kind of outlook on what I do though because it's just not right. These are lives I'm dealing with, not just some paperwork at an office. Thats about all I have to say about this. No need in going back and forth about it because in the end we are each going to feel how we feel about the matter. There are so many hostile/attacking responses here. What is the deal? Maybe a vacation is in order. Goodness!

Anonymous said...

To the nanny above,
I think a professional shows up ready to work. When I show up to work, I am ready to work. I don't duck into a bathroom and change (but if I know people who do that because they bike to work and they show up 30 minutes before anyone else).

I agree with the parent on this one. Multi tasking or not, your needs should not be a part of the day as it starts off. A nanny should jump in and be ready to work. The breakfast hour and the dinner hour are really the only times I actually NEED my nanny. They are crazy times. But she is a true professional and doesn't need me to tell her that! In a million years, she would NEVER show up and start scrambling some corned beef and eggs in a pan. Never! Never! Never!

Anonymous said...

"Boars Head Chicken and Fiji water"? If your nanny does a good job, why not feed her what she requests? It's not like she asked for caviar and champagne. Add up the costs of those things and weigh them against the value your nanny gives you in trust and care..........if you can afford a nanny, the "boars head chicken" and "fiji water" aren't going to put much of a dent in your budget.......and after all, you asked her what she'd like, didn't you?

Anonymous said...

I'm a nanny and I eat breakfast before I get to work.. I think it's weird that you wouldn't too.. I would feel really awkward to start cooking my breakfast along with the childs. I get paid very well and feel that as soon as I arrive I need to focus on the child. That's just me though..

cali mom said...

You certainly can tell how much some folks care about their children by how much these folks care about their nannies.

10 seconds and a strip of bacon is WAY outta line...and I bet that 10 seconds in the microwave ran up their electricity bill too, you entitled lazy slug!

There should be a registered-members only site where nannies can post first and last names of these a$$hole employers and spread the word before other nannies get screwed by them. I sawyourassholeboss.blogspot.com perhaps?

CEO of Bad Mamas said...

We'll take those names, those pictures and photo copies of the assholio notes they leave for us nannies!

reportbadmamas@aol.com

http://badmamas.blogspot.com