Not even a card....

Received Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I have been a nanny with the same family for the past 8 months, since the little boy was 2 months old. I live in with them and work very long, hard hours. The problem is I just had a birthday this past weekend that they knew about, and they didn't even give me so much as a card. All that they said was " happy birthday" and I left to go away for the weekend. My feelings are so hurt I cant even begin to explain. I am so good to them and go above and beyond my job responsibilities. Would it have killed them to even get me a card? I was wondering what everyone's views are on this? Do you guys think I have a right to be upset or are they not expected to give me a little something??FYI-they are millionaires who live in the upper east side so money isn't an issue


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

That's a bummer that you didn't even get a card! Look at the bright side...at least they told you Happy Birthday!

TX nanny soon to be mommy said...

I had one family who did this to me, the kicker was that the mom's birthday was the day before mine and I bought her flowers and had the twins make her cards and other arts nad crafts and then all I got was a "happy birthday" as she walked out the door for work. That family was the only one I didn't enjoy working for, they always took advantage and didn't respect that I was taking care of their twin boys 50 hours a week.

I totally understand it hurting your feelings, but what can you do?Hopefully they are good to you otherwise.

Anonymous said...

THEY'RE JUST not that in to you!

Sarah said...

I feel bad for you, because your feelings were hurt. I think of myself in your position, and I probably would have felt the same way, because I treat other people how I would like to be treated. Birthdays, in my mind, are important to people and a chance to make someone feel loved and respected. I always acknowledge the children's birthdays that I work with, as well as the parents. I have always been given gifts from families I have worked with on my birthday. But, when I held a corporate position, I never got a card or a present from a superior of mine. I think some parents, will always view a nanny as an employee. As someone once stated on here, as a nanny we spend hours upon hours with a child and we feel so close to them, but often the parents are less close to us because we don't spend the time with them. I think sometimes people value holidays differently then we'd like them to. It doesn't sound like your boss was trying to be mean or malicious, but rather didn't focus in on your birthday.

Sadly, there will always be people that view special days differently. Maybe she doesn't even do much for her closest friends on their birthdays.

When working with a family, I try to keep my expectations to being treated like a family member/friend/whatever very low, that way I am either not disappointed or I am pleasantly surprised.

**Remember, happiness comes from within and if you let it roll off your shoulders, your days will be what you make them :) PS. Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

Do these employers pay you what you're worth? Do they show their respect for you, and express their appreciation for the job you do in other ways, at other times? Is this slight (no b-day gift or card) a one-time thing, or a daily way-of-life?
I suspect there's more to this story...

Kate in CO said...

Personally, I could care less if anyone in my daycare acknowledges my birthday or not......now, if my family forgets.....that's another story!!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Like 11:39 said, you've got to have no expectations. That way you're not disappointed.

It's a lesson I am sure a lot of us had to learn the hard way. I learned mine after dropping hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents for the kids and parents of my first family. I got nothing from them, no bonus, no gifts, nothing. After five years of nannying, countless Christmas presents, Mother's Day/Father's Day gifts, birthday cakes baked, etc, I have only ever received one $10 item Christmas present.

One family was shocked to find out from a family friend of theirs I'd just celebrated a birthday---sure I'd had a birthday, I'd been working for them for two years.

My advice is keep your gifts to them low key. They are the ones making the cash, not you, and if you don't give big, you might not expect or be as hurt when you don't get anything in return.

Happy Birthday to you.

erics mom said...

Maybe, they will give you a little extra in your paycheck this week. Or maybe, they ordered something and it didn't arrive yet. Who knows.

I just hope for the rest of the year they treat you good. You mentioned you worked long hours. I hope your compensated well.

Let us know

Anonymous said...

well said, 12:04: you are right that unfortunately, not everyone is thoughtful. And gifts are just gifts when you think about it. When I used to nanny, the family I worked for did buy me a birthday gift, but they also treated me horribly, were constantly late, and gossiped about my private life to friends. (The friends they gossiped to happened to be one of my babysitting clients: what goes around, comes around.) Thankfully I no longer work for such thoughtless people, but as above poster has said, if you expect nothing, you will not be disapointed. Some people are more generous than others. The people I care for now were very thoughtful at Christmas: one family chose to give me a cash bonus (about half a week's tuition) and the others gave me lovely gifts for my child. I expected nothing, and kept my gifts to them low-key.
Sorry you were hurt: Happy Birthday to you, though, and hugs! :)

marypoppin'pills said...

LOL ... "Link Love" - cute, Jane!

♥ Congrats Tx Nanny! ♥

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Happy Birthday, OP! ☺
Please don't let some of these rude comments hurt your feelings anymore than what they already are. Some people just aren't very nice.

I'm sorry they did nothing more than wish you a Happy Birthday. Unfortunately, some people are so busy, it slips their mind - or they just can't take that one hour out of their day to acknowledge you with a card or gift.

That being said ... try to look at the bigger picture. Maybe a Birthday is too personal for them, but do they otherwise do anything special for big Holidays like Christmas? And treat you well, pay you well? If so, try to let it go. It will only make you resentful, and you don't want that for yourself.
You're better than that!

atl nanny said...

The family I work for currently has never given me a birthday card or gift. The first year, it definitely hurt my feelings because my previous employers had made a big deal of my bday with lots of presents, a cake, etc. But that previous family also treated me like crap 364 days a year and underpaid me. This family treats me with respect year round and pays me well above the going rate for this area. Put in perspective that way, I didn't bat an eye when my bday passed unacknowledged this year.

Anonymous said...

atl nanny
now that's a positive and real way to look at it. less hurt feelings, too!

Anonymous said...

I don't get why people think because you work for someone that they are to give you Christmas present, birthday gifts, invite you to their personal paries,Bar Mitzvah's and baby showers and on and on. You work for the people nothing more nothing less. When we start thinking we are "part of the family" and thinking they owe us presents and invitations is where the problems start.
Just do our jobs and stop with" I am part of the family". Most nannies get paid pretty good for watching the children. I amnot syaing that it is not hard and the hours are long. It is and they are but you had to have known this when making a decision on your careeer.
I can see being upset when there is no bonus after you have busted your hump all year long. That isn't right . The families take you on family vacations. Granted you are working too but you still go places where you couldn't afford if you were not having them pay your way. You get plenty of perks. Plenty of people are very good to their employees and give them extras and some do not. I certaily wouldn't be drowning in my tears because my employer didn't wish me a happy birthday or get me a gift or a card. I would not be spending hundreds of dollars one them or their children either. Buy small gifts for the children. If the parents are not buying you gifts then why are you buying them gifts? Maybe they figured that if they did'nt buy you something you would get the hint.

Anonymous said...

OMG The same thing happened to me lol. My birthday was last week. The past two birthdays I had while being employed with this family, I received a birthday bonus. This year, nada!

I think it's ridiculous, but I'm trying to let it not get to me because in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal.

I did go above and beyond for their birthdays, but whatever. I happen to think birthdays are a pretty big deal, but not everyone feels the same way I do.

Anonymous said...

You do not sound like a very pleasant person. Everyone is entitled to feel the way they feel.
As far as "never being able to afford" to go to the places the families take nannies to, who says they cannot? If a nanny is making a great salary, as you say that so many do, why wouldn't they be able to afford a special trip? It's the vacation time they usually have a hard time getting: most families with nannies work so much, and the nanny is required to take their vacation week the same week as the family. That was the case when I was a nanny, and it was very hard coordinating it with my husband's vacation time.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel appreciated. A little understanding goes a long way, perhaps you should try having some.

Anonymous said...

"C.C." - is that you? If it is, where have you been?? We need you!!

tx nanny soon to be mommy said...

Thanks MMP:)

Anonymous said...

calif nanny here ....12:52, you are obviously not a nanny. If you are a nanny you are a very bitter one.

not a nanny said...

Unfortunately, a lot of people that frequent this blog (nanny & employer both), feel the same as 12:52. They just happen to be a little more blunt about it. There was a thread the other day that visited this same subject - about a nanny keeping it on a professional level, or employers wanting to keep it all business.

The point of it being, when you start to get too close with your nanny, or vice versa, it makes it a little more ripe to take advantage of each other.

Personally, I think any time you have a nanny that does a bang up job, and she's great to your kids - and to you for that matter ... pay her well, give her time off occasionally to recharge, don't make her clean your house, and for pete's sake ... get her a damn card on the holidays.
It doesn't have to say:
"Happy Mother's Day" -
But "Thinking of you" would work!!

Anonymous said...

Sure, it would have been nice to have received a card for your birthday. But you should never assume that you're going to get one. At least they wished you a happy birthday and acknowledged it.

It sounds like this is their first child and you are their first nanny. They're new to the game and maybe don't have the experience of personal interaction with a nanny.

But be honest.........you were hoping for a bonus, weren't you?

Emily Zeee said...

I was a live-in nanny for an AWFUL family in the Hamptons one summer. They didn't even offer me the day OR night of my birthday off; my "special birthday treat" (after watching their awful kids all day) was that we would all walk down to the beach with a bucket of KFC. The kids were thrilled. I was horrified. I hate fast food. What a depressing birthday that was.

Anonymous said...

emily zee,
you must be in the very bad part of the hamptons if KCF can easily be had.

The horror!

just anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry you got the cold shoulder. I am a nanny and have always received something from my employers. I wonder: are you the one who does their gift shopping for them for their friends/family? Maybe they have forgotten how to buy a gift....or, they're just a$$h*les.

Bed Bug Hater said...

To put it very bluntly, you got the shaft.

A card is the very least one can do for an acquaintance, nonetheless a nanny.

I doubt it has anything to do with you, but it may be quite revealing with respect to the parents.


And good luck.


Anonymous said...

That's a good point, 'just anonymous'.
Maybe the parents are one or the other of what she suggested, OP?
It may very well have nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with her!
Please don't feel bad. Some people are just perpetual jerks.
Good luck, and try to get over it.
Anger only breeds resentment, and you can't work like that.

Anonymous said...

I think it is terrible that they didn't give you a card. They should be giving you a card AND a gift! I have been a nanny for the past 6 years and have always received a gift. Last year I didn't receive a card either(which I understood because they were going through house construction and the very same day as my b-day, the husband found out he was laid off) but at least she gave me a check!

givelove said...

In my first year with this family, I psyched the kids up for special occasions and helped the kids make cards and presents for each of the parents' birthdays and mother's day/father's day. My birthday went by (I had to work three hours extra too!) with no card, kind word, or gift. My 1-year went by and I got nothing I asked for (i.e. a raise, sick time I didn't take converted to money or vacation, etc.). I did receive a Christmas bonus smaller than a weekly paycheck. In no other way have they really made me feel appreciated or even valued or even welcome in their home. So now I do exactly what it states in the contract and absolutely nothing more. I'm still friendly and fun with the kids, but you can bet I won't be renewing my contract when this year is up. I've only held on this long because I'm supporting both my husband in grad school and myself.

So in order not to become bitter/burnt out, you may want to find a new family.

Marissa M. said...

It's treat someone well.... not good. Why do people always make that mistake? It drives me nuts. Then again I make plenty of grammatical and spelling errors so who am I to judge.... but that one gets to me....

OK, when I left a family who I worked my butt off for, they never even gave me a thank you/good bye card. Even though I did. Some people are just oblivious idiots. From now on, don't get them anything. Don't even wish them a happy whatever day verbally!

Marissa M. said...

Givelove, I know what you mean. I let a family walk all over me because my husband who was then in med school and I needed the funds to make all ends meet.

With my current position I do only what is in my contract and if I'm in an extra "thoughtful" mood I'll rinse an extra dish or so in the basin- otherwise that's where i leave them. No more unpacking the dishwasher. No more organizing stuff on the counters.
You just don't get a thank you and sometimes a thank you is all I need to make my day go spectacular.

While I'm at it- feel free to donate to my tata's on my blog through paypal. Help a girl out. If not, thanks for just listening to my venting.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you may be taking the situation too personally. I don't give birthday cards to acquaintances or work 'friends' - just to my close friends and family. I also learned long ago not to depend on other people to make my birthday happy - you'll only set yourself up for disappointment if 1) they do nothing or 2) they do little / the wrong thing.

Anonymous said...

OP, happy birthday. I hope your friends and family came through. My employers have always helped the children make cards for me, which I treasure, and the kids are all about helping choose a gift. I'm afraid some employers just don't realize how much it means to us to feel appreciated.
You have only been with them eight months. If in the coming year you do things with the child/children for the parents birthdays, anniversary, Valentine's day, Mother's and Father's days, etc. maybe next year they will wake up. If your charge is too young to scribble and glue things, you can make hand prints, take his picture and make a frame card etc.
A Nanny

Anonymous said...

Marissa, Janet, whatever your name is this week. It's revolting that you're attempting to use this forum to solocit money for a boob job and I hope you don't get one red cent. Get a soul already.

Anonymous said...

Janet E, is your name really Marissa M?
I'm just curious. I know you've been frequenting this blog for a little while now, and we all know your desire for breat implants.
You say you're devastated now because after your consult, you realize you can't afford them.
Well, how much did you think they were gonna cost? Most decent breast jobs are in the 6,500 - 8,000 dollar range.

And I guess now your trying to get bloggers to contribute to your cause? That's fine, but just a word of advice: Don't insult people like eric's mom about their grammar, then think you'll get many donations.
Good luck, though!

Anonymous said...

excuse my bad typing:
breat, no
breast, yes

Just Do Your Job said...

Someone above suggested your employers may put something extra in your check for your birthday (a sort of "belated" cash gift).

If this doesn't happen, you have every right to be hurt. But there's not much you can do about it. Do not, under any circumstances, complain about it to your employers.
Pretend you don't mind at all. Just do your job.
If they continue to do other things that are insensitive, if they stop paying you on time or expect unreasonable things from you in the future, find another job.
If they continue to conveniently "forget" to do anything nice for you on birthdays or holidays, don't bother to do anything for them on their birthdays or on holidays. Restrict your gift-giving to the children's birthdays and the children's holiday gifts.

Good luck and again, I'm sorry you work for such thoughtless dorks.

erics mom said...

Thank you.
I didn't even know she was insulting my grammar. It doesn't bother me.
What bothers me is that picture she uses. I don't want to see a pair of breast staring back at me.

Anonymous said...

don't worry, eric's mom ... they're not hers.

erics mom said...


I know

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the posters above, however, something struck me as odd. It was the millionaire comment at the end of the OP's posting.
So, because you deem them "millionaires" they are entitiled to give you something for your birthday? Entitlement is an evil thing. I used to work for Ralph Lauren. He's a millionaire. Doesn't mean I could pout on my birthday because he didn't share his wealth with me. I had a job and it wasn't for me to judge my employers generosity based on his bank account.
Op, maybe that sense of entitlement you take to the job with you and the parents feel it? Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I don't think she said it for any other reason but to show "they could have afforded it".
Lots of nannies work for people who really can't afford to pay them a decent enough salary.

Anonymous said...

We had a different experience, I raised our sitter's rate after she spend a half year with us and paid her more than was average in our area, just because the kids loved her so much and she actually plays with them.
For her birthday we called and left messages while we were away and when we got back we had a surprise dinner at an actually very nice restaurant, bought her a nice gift and paid her for the hours that she showed for her own birthday dinner because she thought she was just going to babysit that night.

The next time she came she told me she had raised her rate (to, like, the maximum amount that I had even heard of) so if I would please continue to use her and pay the new price. Which I did because where am I going to find someone we can trust so soon?


I know she loves the kids, we help and hear her out with whatever problem she has in her personal life, but the house is a mess when I come home - she doesn't even let the children clean up their things -, she tends to come late (like 15 - 30 minutes while we have an appointment or reservation, I have to pay for a cab to get somewhere I could have easily walked to) and she lets the kids stay up too late and then blames us when she tells the children they don't have enough time to play.
Oh and she wants %50 per hour extra per extra child if there's an extra child staying with us.

I feel like I'm trapped and started using another (great, reliable) sitter without these problems on a more regular basis and am gradually seeking to discontinue this one's service. My kids will not understand it though.

Anonymous said...

Some employers are like that,believe me I KNOW!
I don't which is better? to just get a CARD or nothing at all?

From what I have seen, families with good parents/childhoods tend to be more loving. The others,not so much.


Anonymous said...

To Marissa M.,
I thought your message was callous, to say the least, of Jane's feelings...as were others' opinions posted here.

And by the way...

"OK, when I left a family who I worked my butt off for,"

It should be...
"Ok, when I left a family FOR WHOM I worked my butt off."

Just thought you would like to know, since you to be quite anal (no pun intended) about proper English.

Have a great day!

john larroquette said...

No. Not even a card.
Are you the nanny or are you the baby?
Birthdays are for children.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Marissa If I would going to donate something it would be for ME to get my own breast enlargements LOL
Quit begging. OMG you have an account set up for people to send you money thru pay pal? ROFLMAO
Thats pretty Ballsy. I would really work on myself if I were you and not someone elses grammar.

marypoppin'pills said...

I'm sorry, but any disposable income I have will go to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughter's, or the local Animal Shelter - not financing a boob job.

I wonder what kind of gumption someone has to have to do that?

LindaLou said...

almost 100,000 dead and countless others suffering in the world due to natural disasters and a doctor's wife has the gall to ask for other people to spend their hard earned money on her boob job. um, i think not. :::eye roll:::

Anonymous said...

;) ..... !

Anonymous said...

Please don't think we don't want you here. We like what you have to say. :)
The boobie thing just threw us off a little bit!

Anonymous said...

You're not their family or friend, just an employee....why should they get you a card?

don't get emotionally involved with the parents. It's the kid you're looking after and the parents merely sign the paychecks.

Anonymous said...

( . )( . )

Sprak said...

If the OP is hurt, then she is hurt. It doesn't matter whether she should or shouldn't be hurt because she is. It wouldn't have been too much for the employers to have gotten her a card at the very least. Maybe they feel that since she hasn't been there a full year, gifts are not in order. I disagree. That was very insensitive.

Anonymous said...

Ok, OP here! thanks everyone for your input. Most of it was kind and helpful and some of it not so much. A few things I want to say--I live with them!!!! I eat with them!!! I take care of their most beloved thing in the world, their son!! I feel like part of the family and we act like it on a daily basis. We are very open, honest and have excellent communication. I have been here for 8 months, that is not a short time. They recognized me at Christmas and gave me a very generous bonus-and at that point I was only here 3 months so that shouldnt even be an issue. I was hurt more at the lack of appreciation and care. I found it to be insensitive and hurtful. Its not that I was a large sum of money but maybe a little card and a cake or something would have been nice. ANYTHING! just that it wasnt acknowledged hurt. I am definately over it and I am not mad at them , I just now know where I stand with them. Ill remember that when their birthdays come around and I dont get them a card, because I did get them cards for their last birthdays. I understand I am an "employee" but when I live in their house and am with them day in and day out I thought I meant a little bit more to them than just hired help. Thanks again everyone!

Anonymous said...

Well OP, I'm sure you're not going to appreciate this, but .... you're a brat.
Why you ask?

"I'll remember that when their birthdays come around and I dont get them a card, because I did get them cards for their last birthdays."

That's why.

So, you say this really hurt your feelings but now you're going to turn around and do the same to them? That's going to make you feel so much better, isn't it.

That's so lame.

You said they've remembered you at other times, and gave you a generous Christmas bonus at 3 months, and you're made to feel like a part of the family.
It doesn't sound like you're treated like "hired help", but that's how you're going to label yourself now because of their oversight. I was sympathetic towards you until you made that statement.

So they made a mistake .....
grow up and get over it.

Anonymous said...

OP here again. I am not a brat for saying I wont get them a card. My point is that obviously our relationship isnt on that kind of level so why bother. Like many other people stated if you dont give anything then you wont expect anything back. This attitude is not bratty and no it will not "make me feel good". Its just I am not going to go out of my way for them, except when it comes to the child, which is the most important thing. I dont think they made a mistake, I think they just are insensitive and thoughtless. I am definately over it and like I stated before now I know where I stand with the family. But thanks for your "input" lol. Again, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and nice support:)

marypoppin'pills said...

I'm glad you're main concern is with the kids ... that's really all that should matter anyway.
I'm sure they appreciate you.