Monday

Advice for a mad nanny?

Received Monday, May 5, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
I am a nanny who has been working for a family for 2 years. I work 10 hrs a day 5 days a week. I go on vacations with them and will pick up on weekends.. When I started, both parents worked outside of the home. Now, neither parent does. Mom has taken up being a SAHM, while dad works from home.

I LOVE these children with all of my heart. I am so happy to get to see the everyday. I have such a blast when we go on outings and have play dates. They really are great kids and I am thankful to have them in my life.

But, I am becoming increasingly frustrated. The oldest child(DC) is nearly three. The youngest is not yet one. The oldest has started losing his mind. He hits, yells, and pitches fits like I have never seen before. These started to develop when mother started staying home. I understand that DC wants his mother's attention and would rather be with mom than me. I understand that desire. But i can't do my job with DC going crazy until mother comes in. I talked to mother about this. I stated that when she comes in to "rescue" DC it only reinforces that yelling and screaming will get him whatever he wants. Mother responded," I am the mother and I'll do whatever I want." ooookay......

I have been told not to give DC time outs anymore. I am to use alternative methods of discipline. okay. I can do that. I am actually into that. But it takes time to adjust my way of thinking. This is something I have to retrain myself in. I am excited and willing to give this a shot. The only problem is that mom and dad don't adhere to what they ask of me. Most of the time if DC pitches a fit, mom and dad fill him with cookies candies or plop him in front of the tv. Other times, they spank. If DC hits, they spank. If he pitches a fit, they spank. I don't get it. The problem is that DC has ZERO consistency.

I have been trying to communicate with mom and dad that I am so frustrated. I told them that I am very worn out and would not be picking up anymore weekends. I told them that I wasn't at my best for the children when I was so tired from being there 6 days a week. I have asked them set aside special times during the day to hang out with DC so that he won't feel as if he has to compete to get attention. I have asked them to limit the amount of time outside of that they are involved during the day. That way DC won't defer his parents for everything. Also, I asked them to back me up when they are in the room. For example, we eat breakfast together. I limit juice to one glass. DC loses his mind. Parent will just pour another glass. DC immediately calms down. Parents look at me and say,"his blood sugar must have been low." (really?!? i think maybe he's two and likes juice.) Then I deal with DC on a sugar high while mom goes to her room and closes the door. ARGH!!!!! Their only response to my concerns, frustrations, and suggestions was that 2 is a tough age and at every age there will be challenges. WHAT? Thank you for your observations but that is not exactly what I 'm looking for. Any suggestions on how to make rearing these children a group effort? Am I in the wrong and just don't see it? I'm just confused. Any other perspectives on this would be helpful. Thank you.

75 comments:

marypoppin'pills said...

Wow. Do you have your hands full. And I don't mean with just the children. Mom is definately a problem.

And you are right ... how in the world are you going to help raise these kids without consistency?
Mom has to partner up, or these kids are only going to get worse.

You don't say much about Dad. Is he willing to step up with you and work something out with the Mom? You will need him on your side because Mom probably doesn't realize the damage she's doing.

You seem to have the best idea of discipline in line, and I am personally a big believer of time-outs myself. I won't even get into the spanking issue ... I think we know that's not going to work and for a child that's already hitting and pinching ... all it does is tell him it is o.k. to use your hands and that's exactly what he's doing.

Try to talk to Dad and see if he and you can work something out, and then approach Mom. These children sound like they definately need all three of you to help them.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Please, you really think the dad is going to get involved. Hes not going to listen to the nanny. He will take sides with his wife.

TX Nanny said...

So you are still working 50 hours a week for a SAHM? If mom won't work with you on scheduling out your day with the children there is not much you can do. Sounds like you have tried to communicate what would be helpful and that she really doesn't care to do things your way. I feel for you, I stopped working for stay at home parents a long time ago because I aways felt like a hired playmate rather than a professional caregiver. I wish I had some wonderful words of wisdom for you but all I keep thinking is that it's time for you to find a family who really needs a nanny and not just someone for the 3 year old to abuse.

Anonymous said...

9:44
Who said anything about taking sides? It's not a war.

The nanny just wants to try to figure out a course of action. There's nothing wrong with trying to get the dad involved. He should be worrying about his kid's emotional stability anyway.

Anonymous said...

I have been a Nanny for 15 years. Believe me when I tell you, as a Professional, Trained, English Nanny; Stay at Home Mothers have a 1% chance of being a great situation for a great Nanny. Most children act out or act differently around their parents. Resign and find another job, you sound like a wonderful, warm and caring nanny and deserve a family who respect your authority and experience. It bewilders me when Mothers hire Nannies only to tell them exactly what to do - particularly stay at home Mothers. If you want to do it - do it yourself!

JerseyXJacqui said...

Quit!
I agree.
That sounds miserable and unfortunately, there probably isn't much you can do to fix this.
Mom sounds unreasonable and stubborn.
I understand that you're attached to your charge, but it seems like more stress than its worth. You sound like a great nanny and I'm sure you would be able to find another job easily.

Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion:

Quit and work for a family that actually needs a nanny. Mother's who stay at home and can't be bothered to watch their own children are so lame. Having a sitter or a very part time person to help out so you can get things done is one thing, but 50 hours a week because you can't fathom watching your own children, that's pathetic. This situation WILL not change. Unless you like it this way, seek employment elsewhere. I've worked for a SAHM before, and a mother that "worked from home" but didn't EVER do any work, and it was a nightmare. Chalk it up to a learning experience and find a position with a family that values you because they NEED you!

Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

I gotta jump in here.......I agree with the English nanny, JXJ and 11:40...QUIT! When the heck do these people parent???? It does not work with a SAHM who will supercede your decisions. I'd give notice immediately!

Kate in CO

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if the kid wants the mom all the time and the mom wants to call all the shots with the kid, WHY on earth has she hired a nanny for 50 hours a week?? It boggles the mind.

I would NOT stay on in this situation! It sounds like a lose-lose for everyone if there ever was one. And you don't have to worry you are leaving them high and dry with TWO SAH parents, lol!

UmassSlytherin said...

Dear, I think this is a no-brainer. If you are as good of a nanny as you say you are (I have no doubt in my mind that you are excellent!) you WILL find a family who needs and deserves you.
You should give notice as soon as you are able. Someone will snap you up, I'm sure.
Good luck!

A nanny who cares said...

I know you were probably looking for better advice than to just quit, but unfortunately I have to agree with everyone else. I am currently in the same situation, and just gave my employeer a month notice, last week. I figured a month was more than enough time for a SAHM to find another nanny to raise her kids for her and will increase my chances of getting a good reference from them. This is the third stay-at-home mom I've worked for, and like so many other nannies said, I REFUSE to do it again. EVERY SAHM or WAHM that I have worked for have been CRAZY control freaks. If they want someone to do exactly what they say, then they need to hire an unqualified babysitter because that is the only person who is going to let themselves be told what to do. I have a bachelors degree in Child Development, and it is a complete slap in the face to have a mother try to tell me exactly what to do for EVERYTHING!

Your situation will probably not improve, and most likely get worse. I hate to say it, but get out now before you get even more attached and loose your sanity!

Anonymous said...

Even if the SAH has a nanny 50 hours a week I see no problem with the child having a 2nd glass of juice. I would have given the child the juice and he wouldn't have had a tantrum.Juice is not going to hurt them.
Kids learn very early how the game works and Mom doesn't want to hear that screaming so she gives in. I guess this child has learned that being bad will get the attention he apparently needs. I don't think a sugar high is what is making this child behave this way,it is the lackl of the parents attention.
You need to move on and they can get a 17 yr old to watch the kids and play with them all day because they certainly don't want someone as qualified as you are to teach them anything. If they have a babysitter then Mom can comeout of her room and smack the kid and then go back to whatever she does in her room. Save money and have kids that no one else wants around lol

Anonymous said...

quit and let the mother be a mother to the children she decided to bring into this world.

Hellcat said...

The "mother" (she doesn't deserve the title) sounds like a lazy cow to me.

Westchester nanny said...

OP I'm so sorry that you're in this situation. It is a habit with SAHMs to on one hand want to control their own house and on the other put the duties on someone else. I think you're doing all that you can for them at this point. If the child goes on in this direction you will no longer love seeing him. Two is of course a difficult age everyone knows that but these parents are not helping him in any way and they are obviously not respecting you as a professional. I too agree with the rest of the comments you should find a family who appreciates what you bring to the table. I like that you want to limit tv, sweets, juice etc these can form bad habits in the future. And yes that second glass of juice every single day will soon be followed by a third and ..... The bottom line is that you cannot change a grown person this SAHM wants the convenience of having you around but still wants to remain in control that is something that will always be. To save yourself and your sanity just quit you'll feel healthier mentally in the long run.
Good luck!

marypoppin'pills said...

Well, it seems I've been out numbered on this issue.
The overwhelming advice is to quit.

Do you want to quit this job?

Anonymous said...

If the SAHM mom wants everything to go the way SHE wants it to go, then let her have it that way. LEAVE. I don't see why a SAHM needs a 50 hour a week nanny. Why did she choose to stay home? To go to the gym and get mani pedis while someone else cares for her kid? Is she always there while you are there? And dad works at home? Crikey!

Trust me. SAHMs are not the best to work for. If mom isn't willing to help with the consistency that you've established, you're only going to be more frustrated. And it sounds like dad is a wimp who will side with whatever mom says.

And lastly: 2 year olds don't need a second cup of juice. Hell, I don't even think they should have a 1st one, but that is just me.

Get out and find a good fit in a new job. I am betting that if you don't, mom will soon be on your tail to try to get rid of you. I just have a feeling.

Anonymous said...

juice=sugar. 2 year olds don't need that.

goodnanny said...

op here.

no i don't want to quit.

I want to figure out how to make this work. i love these children so much. but quitting has crossed my mind. i am starting to think it is the only way to keep my sanity. I just can't figure out how to be respectful and, at the same time, convey the stress i am under. every time i discuss the subject they blow it off.

more than anything, i just want to have my opinions considered by my employers. that would make all the difference to me. i know how difficult raising a child can be. it can be confusing and overwhelming. i know changes take time. if there is any effort made to at least try out some things i have suggested or edit any parental behavior i would be more than happy to stay on. but the more i read the advice above, it seems very unlikely that anything will change.

i'll give it a month. if efforts are made in the next 4 weeks, i'll be so proud and happy. if not, i guess i'll be looking for another position. is that reasonable?


i appreciate all the advice! this is the most caring group of nannies i have ever encountered. it's so nice to have sites like this around.
if there are any parents out there who have had a nanny address a situation or any concerns with them, i'd love to here from you too.

and as side note, i know juice never killed anyone. I just try to limit the amount of sugary anything we eat. and if you give this 2 1/2 year old 2-3 glasses of juice in the morning he gets the shakes. visible shakes.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should deal with it this way:
Sit down with SAHM and WAHD and tell them that unless they help out to make your stress load less you are leaving. Tell them you will give them blank amount of time to replace you and that you feel you would be appreciated and needed more elsewhere. I assure you that this will not change in one month and probably will only get worse. They obviously don't respect your thoughts or efforts. Let them deal with this behavior issue on their own. Then maybe they will appreciate the love and thoughtfulness that you brought to their home. Nannies like you who actually give a crap are few and far between, they should be counting their blessings. Keep us posted!

Sue Doe-Nim said...

I know this will sound pithy but it applies to my marriage and likely should apply to the Nanny - SAHM dynamic.

"For better and for worse but never for lunch."

marypoppin'pills said...

I think 7:01 has the right idea, but I'll take it and put a spin on it.

Tell the Parents that you need to have a "sit down" with them. You are concerned that all three of you aren't on the same page and your worried that it's affecting the children negatively.

Explain as best you can everything you told us, and see their reaction. At best, maybe they'll make more of an effort. At worst, tell them that you're sorry but it's time you should hand in your resignation. I'm hoping they won't call your bluff. But be prepared just in case, because you probably can't go on like this anyway.

Maybe then they will understand you mean business, and since they don't want to lose you ... they will try harder. If none of these tactics work, then you may have to decide whether you should continue with this Family or not.

I know you don't want to quit, but if you know that's the direction you may be headed, you may as well go "balls out", if you know what I mean.

Good luck to you, and please let us know what you decide.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this situation is going to improve. You and the parents are too far apart in your views on child care. You didn't say how you feel about spanking, but if you don't believe in it, and the parents do, that alone would be a reason for me to quit.
It is always painful to leave children you have become attached to but If you do consider quitting, just keep in mind, that all nanny jobs end sooner or later. These children will be out of your life at some point.
Ideally you will find a new family that is a better match with children you will come to love. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

QUIT or stop complaining. These people will not change and you are therefore subjecting yourself to this on your own. so how can you blame them for your choices.

Signed a nanny

Anonymous said...

Op, you are NOT the one making parenting choices...the flakey parents have all the control. It's unfortunate, and sad for your charge, but you do not get to decide how to raise this child. If you're not on the same page with the parents re: discipline and consistency....forget it! Move on. I know that's easier said than done when you've developed an attachment to your charge, but face reality, please. You're headed for nothing but more stress and frustration...trust me, I know of what I speak.
Another Nanny

goodnanny said...

OP HERE

while i appreciate ALL the feedback, there is no need to be so harsh. i was asking for advice, not complaining.

i never blamed my employers for anything. if it came across this way, i apologize. it wasn't my intention. i also know that I don't make the parenting decisions. I want to follow my employers instructions and have. I am "exited and willing" to try any new disciple techniques. but i'm not into spanking. No one in the family has asked me to spank. I certainly have not told them to stop.

as a person paid supervise these children during all but 2 of their waking hours each day, i assumed (possibly wrongly) that my thoughts about the children's behavior would be heard. our situation of parents being home is a new change for us i have only asked for advice on how to communicate more fully with my employers.


i have gathered many helpful tips and perspectives from this. so thank you all. i'll let you all know how things go.

Anonymous said...

OP, your heart is obviously in the right place. I think you need to discover for yourself weather or not the parents you're working for are open to what YOU have to offer them in terms of experience or expertise in child-rearing. Too often, parents want to do what's easiest in the short-term...whatever meets their need for a quick resolution of conflict with a child, but which ultimately undermines the child's healthy development. If you discover you're working for parents like that...you could find yourself beating your well-intentioned head against the wall. Figure it out soon.

Anonymous said...

OP
I'm so sorry that you got jumped. It happens to everybody, and no - you were not complaining.
I know you mean well, and those children are SO lucky to have you.

Whether it works out or not, please don't feel as if you've done anything wrong. These parents have a huge problem, and it's a shame that they don't realize that the solution is right under their nose!!

YOU!

mom to twins said...

Again another nanny getting too attached to the kids. Its understandable of course. It sounds like your with them all the time! What does this lazy mother do all day?

You sound great. Heres a suggestion instead of getting attached to other peoples kids. Find a nice guy and have your own kids. Hopefully, someone with some $$$$$.

Gloria said...

What in the hell does,
"Again another nanny getting too attached to the kids."
mean?

What should a nanny do when she mistakenly takes a job where the parental unit is incapacitated, incapable or cold?

Would you advise she deaden her heart to the children, let her blood run ice cold and manage the children like filing projects?

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Gloria,

Yes. That's what yer paid to do.

Duh, it's what Mom says.

xoxo
Sue

*now removing tongue from cheek*

goodnanny said...

op here.

mom to twins- your tone is insulting. i've never thought i was TOO attached. I see these children on a daily basis. I am asked to care for them. I have witnessed first steps and first words. I love them. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

and i do have a nice guy and a life outside of my charges. so please if your comment is snide rethink it.

i am more than willing to consider your opinion if it is conveyed respectfully.

i feel for you said...

What a shame. As someone said above, this will never change.
The parents are lazy and clueless and have very little respect for your expertise as a nanny.
You have the distinct misfortune of working for people who are expecting their nanny to perform miracles, to bend and adjust to their flakiness and to handle a cranky toddler without a set schedule or a standard pattern of time-outs or other non-violent discipline. They spank him, but expect you to deal with his tantrums in some magical, special way. They parade in and out of his routine at random and drive him (and you) nuts.
Here's the bad news: learn to like this unsettling situation or get out and find another job.
Here's the good news: you can always find another job!

Anonymous said...

Sue,
Come on. Nothing wrong at all with giving a little of your heart to a child you are taking care of. At least I would know they were being taken care of properly.

Gloria,
I liked your post.
You have a warm heart.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Calif Nanny...I have worked for stay at moms and work at home dads. I prefer both parents work at work. Its almost never a good situation. Im lucky in that Im 50 and the women I work for look to me for advice on almost everything. But the dad can be a pain sometimes since he over reacts about almost everything. So his wife, who works out of the house tells him to butt out and let me do my thing. Thats what they pay me for. He only has to be reminded about once every 3 months. If I was young and maybe intimated by my employers I think this would be an impossible way to work. Since you started out with both parents out of the house, this might not be a situation for you that will work out. I agree about giving it a month but almost for sure they will not let you have control while they are there. Its a hard thing for some parents to see someone else tell their perfect kids what to do or not to do.

Anonymous said...

mom to twins-
What?
Why marry someone with money?
I grew up with money, the child of a detatched father and socialite mother who never hugged me. We had nannies and later housekeepers who tended to our needs. My mother was miserable and cried herself to sleep when she wasn't passed out on the sofa for all my friends to see. My friends all had money, we went to a private school where everyone I got to know personally was plagued with issue on top of issue. When I graduated, I became engaged to my college sweetheart, a member of the same club we belonged to. My mother sobered up enough to congratulate me on snaring a provider. I broke the engagement off after I decided I wanted to work in the not for profit field. We fought so much because he had a detailed plan which included us both working as much as possible for three years, saving every things and buying a property that was owned by his great aunt. Four years later, I married a dentist. My mother sobered up enough to tell me that she wouldn't be shaking his hand because "who knows who's mouth it had been in all day". I still work for not for profit. We aren't wealthy by any standards and refusing help and money from my parents is the one thing that seems to help me stave off the infectious craziness and unhappiness that I came from.

Anonymous said...

12:06- i agree with you totally.

aliana said...

dear, there is nothing you can do at this point but quit, i know how hard it is to find another job, but you deserve better!

definitions said...

Perhaps parents should know what they really want before they hire in-home childcare.
Let me break it down for you parents who are considering hiring someone to care for your children:

GOVERNESS:
Usually has 10 to 20 years experience or more, college-educated or degreed, mature and worldly.
Can guide your children through almost anything---etiquette lessons, schoolwork, proper attire and hygiene, you name it. Often manages your household staff as well as your children.
Versed in art, music, literature, science, the classics. Has special skills (paints, draws, writes poetry, knits, sews, rides horses, sings beautifully, etc).
Will treat you and your children like respected members of her extended family, but will maintain a professional distance in all personal matters.
Usually lives-in and long-term with each family.
Loyal, discreet, reliable and expensive (will cost you $800-$2,000 American per week with all the perks).

NANNY:
Warm, intelligent, kind, creative, has several years experience (between 2 and 15, though there are exceptions).
College-educated or degreed or has special training in child-development.
Has many of the attributes of a governess, but is often younger and more "carefree" with her charges (this is a plus for some families).
Can be live-in or live-out. Loyal, discreet, reliable (notwithstanding nannies who write tell-alls or sue their employers). Moderate to expensive ($500-$1,000 American per week with perks is average salary).
AU PAIR or BABYSITTER:
Au Pairs are visiting here on a work visa from another country. Usually young, sweet, creative, fun-loving and very excited about being in America (the Au Pairs) and able to teach your children a second language.
Au pairs live-in.
Most babysitters do not.
Usually loyal, sometimes discreet, not always reliable but adequate. Inexpensive to moderate (most sitters charge $8-15 per hour American, and most Au Pairs are paid weekly $250-$450 American, plus room + board).

GRANDPARENTS, GODPARENTS & FRIENDS:

Already love your children.
Already love you.
Loyal, reliable and (sometimes) discreet. For the most part, FREE!
Chances are slim they'll work full-time but they'll be there for you in a pinch with a smile and a tin of cookies.

Now you know.
Go forth and hire the right person for YOU.

Anonymous said...

But she really doesn't want to quit!
can ANYONE try to offer some advice to a nanny that wants to stay and work it out? or is that too difficult?
Come on, I know you guys are smarter than, "just quit".

Anonymous said...

like 12:37!

Anonymous said...

oops. I like 12:37's POST

definitions said...

[message to 12:39 in the morning]

I wrote the "definitions" because it's crucial that employers hire the people they really need and want for their children.
Part of the reason the OP is having such a difficult time is that her employers should have hired someone who suited their needs---a part-time sitter or an Au Pair.
The OP is a NANNY and needs to be treated with the respect every good nanny deserves.
People are begging her to quit because she'll be much happier working for a family that actually needs and wants a nanny. These two stay-at-home parents want someone who will indulge them in their dysfunctional relationship with their offspring.
An Au Pair may be ideal for this family, since her work visa will expire at approximately the same time she becomes fed-up with the parent's nonsense and the child's unruly behavior.

Good luck, OP. I'm pulling for you!

definitions said...

Thanks, [12:44 in the morning].
I hope it's helpful.

Anonymous said...

To 12:39am, (and OP):
Alternatives to Quitting:
1. Sit the parents down, explain your professional perspective and opinions on their parenting to them, make your suggestions for how they can do their job better, and how adopting your approach to discipline and consistency will benefit their children and make everyone's life (including yours) better.
2. Invite a child psychologist, or a family therapist into your employers home to do an evaluation of their parenting and discipline techniques, explaining the error of their ways to them, and a detailed plan for improving.
3. Call your employers extended family, tell them about all the mistakes the parents are making in their parenting, and request an intervention.
4. Accept the fact that these flaky, lazy, misguided people are who you choose to work for, that THEY get to decide how to parent and discipline their children, that THEY pay you to do things the way THEY want you to do them, that THEY get to make all the mistakes they want, and you get paid to watch it all happen and put up with it. DON'T QUIT! You can stay, accept the fact that THIS is your job, but for your own sake, do whatever possible to prevent yourself from being drawn into their dysfunction, or from becoming totally demoralized by working for people who do not share your child-rearing values or standards. **If someone can tell you how to do THAT, I'd love to hear it!

Anonymous said...

Didn't somebody say on another thread just 2 days ago that they were sick to death of all the advice the nannies get on this blog are "quit your job", and never receiving any real advice?
Well, here you go. That poster would LOVE this thread. LOL

Chizmosa said...

I think you have to quit if you can find a better job rather than being stucked in a job you no longer like.

Anonymous said...

mom to twins...
you sound...er...lovely.
not. :(

mom to twins said...

Thank you

I don't see why my comments offended anyone?

What I am not allowed to voice my thoughts on this subject.

And for O.P. to get offended by what I said, you need to lighten up.

And I stand by what I said. Nannies get too attached.

sam said...

obviously you are speaking from experience, mom to twins. but, worry not, if you focus on being a good mom and spending quality time with your child and answering your child's questions when he/she asks and waiting to hear the answer to "how was school" and if you hug your children when they need a hug, not when you need a hug, well then you will be meeting their needs and a nanny won't have a way to get 'in' with your kids.

what did you do, mom of twins?

fire a nanny for loving your kids?

mom to twins said...

Why would you say that? I don't even have a nanny. If I need help I ask my mom to come over.

sam said...

oh, so you live in fear of nannies. knowing a nanny could conceivably come in to your life and love your child and take just as good as care, if not better than you- of your precious twins.

don't be a hater.

undercover regular said...

meow!

Anonymous said...

what did you do, sam, forget to take your medication today?

Anonymous said...

mom to twins-

you can voice whatever opinion you wish.

but we are not here to cat fight. we are here to respectful dialog with one another. to suggest "finding a nice guy and have your own kids" is not kind or useful.

most of the complaints on this site are about nannies who don't give children the time of day. to give this nanny a hard time for caring TOO much just seems silly.


and i stand by that opinion

just wondering if you don't have a nanny why do you visit this blog? are you a nanny yourself? not trying to be offensive. just wondering,

anyasnew said...

I guess I live in some sort of odd parallel universe, because I've never once used the words "caring too much" negatively, especially regarding children. Some of the best mentors, teachers, and childcare workers are the ones who selflessly give of themselves, and form attachments. I think it'll be a sad day when the teachers, nannies, and mentors of this word distance themselves from the children they work with, as a Dr. distances them self from their patients. How unhealthy that would be for our youth, to look up to a person as a guiding light and a role model and in turn be what? A chore? A paycheck? I think most adults can look back on at least one non-familial adult from their childhood and fondly remember them, and I also think we'd all like to at least hope they fondly remember us as well. What a pitty it would be, if they had instead decided it was too much hassle to care for us, too much trouble, because one day we'd grow older and they'd be forced to move on. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll take a 'broken heart' any day, over breaking a child's.

Anonymous said...

Wow 'anyasnew' - you rock!
What an awesome post!

No offense meant towards 'mom to twins' - but what a stark comparison.

I'm with you. If I thought I ever did anything to hurt a child's feelings, I don't think I would be able to stand it.

I get teary-eyed whenever I see a young kid cry, whether I know the reason or not. And I don't care about looking out for my own feelings, they come first!

Good for you!

mom to twins said...

7:39

I am sure I am not the only mom that visits this site that doesn't hire help.
Where does it say its only allowed for nannies or families that employ nannies?

And my comments weren't meant to cause so much anger. I thought the O.P. sound nice. So I just wrote a reply of what I was thinking.

No offense. But I see alot of people like the drama. So if you want to continue it fine.

Anonymous said...

i quite agree. drama drama. so silly

Anonymous said...

Mom to Twins
I think you may have just ruffled a few feathers by your comment earlier. I know you don't think there was anything wrong with it, but honestly, it was a tad bit condescending:

"Heres a suggestion instead of getting attached to other peoples kids. Find a nice guy and have your own kids. Hopefully, someone with some $$$$$."

Although I'm sure you meant no harm, people have a tendency to get riled by comments like that, and referring to nannies as "the help", and "another case of a nanny getting too attached", which implies coldness to children.

Anyway, I'll just assume your new around here and don't quite know the ropes yet, and what may be a "trigger" for some.

On that note, I'd like to say Welcome Aboard, and best of luck to you from here on out.

Try not to get too miffed, it's almost kind of like an initiation around here now! lol
:)

count your blessings said...

"Mom to Twins",

I'm sure you meant well, but some of your comments were really offensive.
You see, not all of us are blessed with a wonderful husband and beautiful twins.
I was engaged to be married a year after I graduated from college. That dream was destroyed when a drunk driver plowed into my fiance's car and killed him.
But I tried to move on and through much hard work was accepted to law school.
My feelings of loss and severe depression made my law studies difficult and I struggled with my grades.
My parents disowned me financially when my grades floundered and another dream died (though I hope to return to law school and finish one day on my own).
I've tried to find new love, but my broken heart always gets in the way.
So I became a nanny and now give my love and loyalty to my brilliant little charges. At least I feel I'm contributing something to the world.
I hope to have the blessings you have someday, but I'm not holding my breath.
So when you admonish nannies to find a "nice guy" and have their "own kids", it cuts me to the core.
I'd love nothing better, but for some of us...it's just not in the cards.
Be grateful for your blessings, "Mom to Twins", and try not to criticize those who are less-fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Count your blessings
Thank you for your post.

Although I can't say I understand your pain, I lost a child - so I do sympathize. And Mom to twins comment kind of got to me, too. Like everybody should expect that kind of good fortune, when it just isn't true.

You sound like you've been through so much. Bless you for being there for your charges.
I'm sure you are very special to them and are making a difference in their life.

count your blessings said...

12:50

I'm so sorry for the loss of your child. I think that sort of pain is the very worst anyone can have.
And thank you for your compassion and clear perspective.
Take care.

anonymous1 said...

Count your blessings,
you really hit home with your post. after a long and unhappy marriage i had finally found a wonderful man who i would have married had he not suddenly died. it's a very lonely life now and i;ve come to believe that he was probably my final chance to find happiness with someone. i suppose we've all suffered losses but i am glad that you spoke out about your feelings.

mom to twins said...

I will be honest. Yes, I am married. But we are not well off by any means. Maybe, thats why I put the $ sign in. I love my husband don't get me wrong. Its just a struggle everyday to get by.
I really meant to just find someone thats financially stable. Theres nothing worse than having kids and not having a little money in the bank.

And of course its my fault too. I never went to college. I never took working seriously like I should have. Maybe, I wouldn't be struggling if I had taken school seriously. And had a career.

And I was a nanny in the past. I got very close to a family. In the end once they didn't need me, it was the end. Never kept in touch as they said they would. They considered me their "family" but not after my job ended. I went above my nanny duties, to make their life easier. I guess they figured oh shes young. We will act like she really means something to us. That way she will work harder, and we can take advantage of her.

Anonymous said...

mom of twins,
there is no better advice than the cautionary advice of former nannies. why didn't you say so?

May I ask, are your twins natural?

mom said...

Mom of twins. I have been busy so haven't read the whole thread, or even your earlier posts.
But I have a word of caution for you. Do not let your lack of finances in any way hinder your enjoyment of your small children.

Money can come later, but your kids will continue to grow whether you have money or not. There is no reason money and enjoyment of your kids needs to coincide (unless you are having trouble actually feeding them or taking them to the doctor...in which case I understand your stress.)

We also had little money when my kids were small. I was not tempted to work to have extra material items because I wanted more than anythting just to be their mom. And guess what, it takes no money to entertain a small child. They just like to be played with or read to or to go play with other kids at the park. Storytime is free at the library, and your city probably has a lot more free activities for kids than you realize. Heck, we even went to play video games a few times and didn't put any money in the machines. Very little kids have NO idea that they are not really playing. They like to feed ducks...and in the summer I have never had a kid get tired of the pool, even after going for several hours almost every day. Play Doh, bubble baths with a fleet of ships and army men or barbies, etc. There are a million special things to do for free. We had a ball and hardly spent any money.

Now we have more than enough money, but I can say in all truthfulness it doesn't make us any more happy. I admit it did feel great to go to the orthodontist and write out a check for braces for my son, in full, in advance...but if I had been on the payment plan (as I was with the first son)...no big deal. Money makes it easier, but it doesn't make your kids any more of a joy. I promise. Now my kids are mostly grown (oldest in college, youngest about to start high school)...but if I had the chance to go back and do it all over again...being financially strapped and all...I would JUMP at the chance...because nothing, ESPECIALLY MONEY, can ever replace the joy that comes from watching your children grow.

Don't be sad or waste time on regrets. ENJOY!

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny as well, and I must say that you need to do what YOU believe in. If you don't want to 'spank' the child and would rather use time outs, then that's what you need to do, and if the parents don't agree and want to take the upper hand in punishment, then what are you there for? They need to let you do your job. You are there to supervise them completely. When the parents are home, they should act as if they are not there unless you yourself ask them for advice. If they want to spank him, they should actually do it on their own time because this tug of war between you and them is only confusing the child. When you are on your shift, YOU ARE IN CHARGE. If they can't work with you, then you should ask to have a 'meeting' with both parents and try to come up with a plan of action. It's important you are honest and voice your opinion.

chick said...

Well, here's some actual advice for you! I work for two WAH parents, and our situation is 180 degrees opposite of yours, so you have my sympathy!

I don't know what your communication style is, but you might think about whther it's possible that you are (inadvertantly) antagonizing the parents when you try to discuss things with them. If you think that might be an issue, try to reframe and rephrase, think before you speak, etc.

If the parents seem to have a hard time taking you seriously, would they be willing to read books and articles discussing the sort of discilpine issues you are all experiencing? Sometimes a "professional" opinion helps make the point for you.

The mom honestly sounds jealous of you. She is deliberately undermining you, and being very passive aggressive. Can you speak with her and find out what she sees as your role in the family dynamic? If she sees you as more of a sitter than a nanny, it may be time to leave.

If she says she sees you as a nanny, an equal partner, etc., try to schedule a time to sit down with the parents and go over how they prefer to handle various issues. Discuss how things have changed **from your perspective** since their work situation changed. Explain to them that you love little X, but that you have a hard time managing his days to go as smoothly as possible when your rules get tossed aside. From there, try to work out a way for them to be comfortable giving you the final say-so when you are on the clock.

Honestly, the situation sounds very difficult, and I don't think that you will beable to repair the issues you are facing. It might be best to look for another position, where you will be respected as a professional. There are terrific familes out there!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chick. Good advice, like many other's suggestions on this thread. I'm a nanny of seven years and have worked for SAHPs WAHPs and in homes where both parents are gone ten hours a day. All of these situations can be difficult and require something different from whatever type on child-care they seek.

I think that the important thing with this situation is that it is not the one you were hired into. I don't know what kind of arrangment was communicated with you (OP) when mom decided to SAH but if there was little or none then there must be some now. They need to think through what they expect from you as their nanny and convey that to you in a professional manner. And should it be that what they expect is something more suitable for a sitter they need to be told that in an equally professional manner.

But any type of professionality that may happen between you and these parents is going to require a focused meeting so you may need to ask them to set aside an evening after the kids have gone to bed or have a trusted friend come over for an hour or so. Perhaps naptime is a good opportunity. But treat it like a business meeting, where you (all three) can focus on the children's needs.

In preparation tell them you have noticed that the recent changes require a review of your position in their home and ask them to prepare a list or statement of what is expected of you. And come prepared yourself with suggestions, but let them lead the conversation as much as possible.

Ultimately we are mere helpers to parents have no power with their children except that which they give us whatever level that is and you need to know how to best help these parents. And perhaps the best help in the long-run is to leave this family. I know that can be heartbreaking for a "true care-giver" because giving care requires that you give a piece of yourself every day. But it could be that those pieces you've already parted with will be the most useful to these parents and children.

Our job is a difficult one because every home situation is different and changes as children grow and family dynamics are altered and We have to be ready to deal with those changes too on top of those going on in our own lives. But there must be communication for any family to function. You (OP) are very much a part of this family so step out and communicate in a respectful and focused manner.

- N. Lea

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chick. Good advice, like many other's suggestions on this thread. I'm a nanny of seven years and have worked for SAHPs WAHPs and in homes where both parents are gone ten hours a day. All of these situations can be difficult and require something different from whatever type on child-care they seek.

I think that the important thing with this situation is that it is not the one you were hired into. I don't know what kind of arrangment was communicated with you (OP) when mom decided to SAH but if there was little or none then there must be some now. They need to think through what they expect from you as their nanny and convey that to you in a professional manner. And should it be that what they expect is something more suitable for a sitter they need to be told that in an equally professional manner.

But any type of professionality that may happen between you and these parents is going to require a focused meeting so you may need to ask them to set aside an evening after the kids have gone to bed or have a trusted friend come over for an hour or so. Perhaps naptime is a good opportunity. But treat it like a business meeting, where you (all three) can focus on the children's needs.

In preparation tell them you have noticed that the recent changes require a review of your position in their home and ask them to prepare a list or statement of what is expected of you. And come prepared yourself with suggestions, but let them lead the conversation as much as possible.

Ultimately we are mere helpers to parents have no power with their children except that which they give us whatever level that is and you need to know how to best help these parents. And perhaps the best help in the long-run is to leave this family. I know that can be heartbreaking for a "true care-giver" because giving care requires that you give a piece of yourself every day. But it could be that those pieces you've already parted with will be the most useful to these parents and children.

Our job is a difficult one because every home situation is different and changes as children grow and family dynamics are altered and We have to be ready to deal with those changes too on top of those going on in our own lives. But there must be communication for any family to function. You (OP) are very much a part of this family so step out and communicate in a respectful and focused manner.

- N. Lea

Anonymous said...

sorry about the double post.
- N. Lea

Anonymous said...

To the OP:

Do you realize that continuing to work for people who spank their child could put YOU in danger of being questioned or detained by law enforcement in the future?
If you stay until the child is school-age and he says ANYTHING to any teacher or school admin about being hit by his parents (yes, "spanking" IS the same as hitting!), CPS may be called.
They may question YOU when they question the parents. They may want to know how long the hitting has been going on and why you did nothing to stop or report it.
Are you prepared for this?

Anonymous said...

Re: "spanking" versus "hitting".
Let me make this point---I was "spanked" as a child and I remember it felt exactly like "hitting". It was painful, demoralizing, frightening and taught me nothing but fear and mistrust of my father.
My mother also "slapped" (hit!) me a lot in the face. This humiliated me and made me feel disrespected and unsafe.
I hate the terms "spank", "swat", "tap", "slap" because they're euphemims for abuse.
If you are hitting your child, admit you're HITTING them and deal with the consequences. Deal with your conscience when you see fear and pain in your child's eyes instead of trust and love and loyalty.
You adults who hit your babies and children should be ashamed of yourselves. It's your responsibility to be skilled and loving enough to discipline them without resorting to physical abuse.

Anonymous said...

Euphemisms (correction)