To Hell X 3 by D, - Guest Column

Friday, June 27, 2008
My nanny experience could very well be summed up by the saying "going to hell in a hand basket." I was in nursing school and thought it best that I take a year off from the stress and rigors of clinicals/death/blood/exams, by engaging myself in the world children/play dates/art projects and snack time. This I learned, would not be the usual nanny experience.

I was a nanny for a total of 3 families. The first family, had 2 children one of which was under psychiatric care, on the days that this child refused to see the psychiatrist, I was told by the parents that I was to see the psychiatrist and work out any issues that I may be having in my personal life. To me and to many others, this idea was absurd to say the least. The parents reasoning for this was that they had to pay for the session anyway, somebody ought to see the doc. The child often refused to see the doctor and there were many a sessions, hours upon hours that the doctor and I sat across from each other and discussed baseball, different magazines that we subscribed to and where to find good Mexican food. I felt horrible about this, especially because the kid really needed help. He had a fear of lunch meat and dying plants, and oh did I mention that his father used to come home from work, demand a wrestling match and pin his 8 year old son to the floor in less than 5 seconds and tell him he will never be good enough. An addendum to this story is that my very good friend who was also a nanny was sleeping with the father.

Onto family number 2. The mom, who clearly had the money and the power in the family was a tyrant at best. She had requested that when the child was at preschool, that I take those 3 hours and "carefully and strategically" (her words, not mine) lay out her outfit for the next day. To go through this plus size woman's underwear drawer, in addition to applying her pantyliner to the next days underwear was revolting and needless to say was not a highlight in my day. This woman ran a fortune 500 company for god sake!! Her husband was no better, a high powered attorney in NYC, wrote porn screenplays for a hobby, had me read/proof them and demanded a one paragraph critique by the end of the day. This man was also a recovering alcoholic and hid his bottles of mini-bar size liquor bottles in his briefcase, I only know this because I drove him to the train, and when he handed me the 'porn manuscript of the day' his bottles rattled around. The child was easy to care for, smart, funny, beautiful and had no idea what lay ahead of him. My heart broke for the innocence of his childhood.

Family number 3. Where to begin? The children were school age 12 and 15 years old, really no reason for a nanny, the father was home when they got home from school. I did all the grocery shopping, cooked the meals. Attempted to steer the older child away from drugs. I would do random drug searches while she was in school, always came up with something. Though she did have some ingenious hiding spots. The mother in this family was also the moneymaker and decision maker. When interviewing for this position, I had told her about the 'porn manuscript' aspect of my previous job and how uncomfortable that situation was, at that point, it would have been nice had she have mentioned that her and her husband were (are) "swingers" and they host a 'party' every six weeks and would I mind finding a place to stay, when the party was being hosted. Not that I'm a prude, but come on the pictures and left over party gift bags were also too much to bear. My final straw was when the mom sat down with me and told me how I should be spending my paycheck, that I needed to lose the 10 extra pounds I was carrying because I was a poor example of what a "fit young woman" should be and she didn't want her daughter to follow in my path of morbid obesity and gluttony. I guess everyone has a breaking point.

I wish I could say I'm making this up, I didn't want any children for a very long time. I am happy to report I recently received my masters degree in nursing and on the management team of large metropolitan hospital, married and have a fantastic, awesome son.
Yes, I've been to hell and back.


UmassSlytherin said...

It is sad, nanny, that these experiences made you not want children for a long time, since these families are really crazy. Not all of us are that crazy, and in such a bad way.

That being said, your story is very hilarious. I especially enjoyed the part about putting the pantyliners on the mother's underwear. That is priceless.

mnanny said...

Holy hell.

That is all I can say about those.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have to admit, that was an awesome post, but the pantliner thing stuck out for me also!

I'm glad things worked out for the best, you certainly did your time and deserve it!

Anonymous said...

eeesh, almost too hard of a word to type:
"pantyliner", sorry.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, dont believe a word of this post.

Also, the person in the post was not a NANNY- sorry don't know what to define her as-
except- dumb??? no self esteem or backbone???

When someone expects a nanny position, they are their own advocate. No one can take advantage of you unless you allow them to.

Anonymous said...

9:06 she was just telling her experiences not that she had been taken advantage of. I personally loved reading these horror storys and think you should just go sit your fat ass down and down some more hohos as you look for more posters to put down

Anonymous said...

Woof! 9:06, no need to be so mean!
9:51, I agree! I thought it was a great post. It's all a learning experience.
Everything I go through, leads me to where I am now .... you can only have so many regrets.

She's happy now, that's all that matters.

Anonymous said...

BIZARRE!!! I want to think that you made this all up but you say it's all true so I believe it. It's just too much to take in. People are so messed up!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you have a career now. Something you can be proud of. I am glad you are happy.

Anonymous said...

I don;t think she made it up. We lived in a very wealthy area outside of chicago. We had headlines about 20 parents that got busted for having a sex club in their homes once a month, Names addresses the whole 9 yards. The shame of it is most of them had kids in high school. These kids went thru hell.
People from all walks of life are into this but you would think they would have some brains and not leave it for the nanny to celan up. What a pack of morons.

UmassSlytherin said...

I agree with 4:20. People are freaking weird. I'm sure this story is true.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I am working an office and have been laughing hysterically over this. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of this. I thought i had worked for some crazy families! I am glad you had a happy ending to your story!!

Anonymous said...

9:06 you are an idiot. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

You are either full of SH-T or an idiot which is it?

If all this stuff really happened, and I am skeptical to say the least, you are God's own fool for putting up with it.

Anonymous said...

6:40 is jealous that she doesn't have any good stories.

Anonymous said...

These posters did us a favor sending in stories for us to read while Jane was out of town. We should be grateful, not nasty.

There is so much crap in this world, how is it so hard to believe that anyone could go through any of this? I have been through so much in my life, you'd have a hard time believing any of my stories, but you can bet your bum that every single one of them is true.

I've been treated like $hit by the best, too.

640-the-jealous-toad said...

6:47 yeah I am so jealous that I never got to put the panty liner in some fat chicks underwear....give me a break!

I'm thankful for the laugh though, it certainly gets most inventive tale in my book but is it true? Doubt it!

cali mom said...

9:06, speaking of dumb, I assume you MEANT to say "When someone ACCEPTS a nanny position", not "When someone expects..."

OP, holy batshit, what crazy people there are in this world. VERY sad that these types are allowed to reproduce. I'm glad you have it all worked out better now! I take it that with each family, it took a couple of months or so to figure out exactly how psycho they were, before moving on to the next?

Anonymous said...

Bam! Haha, funny Cali!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe someone asked their nanny to put panty liners in their underwear! Gross!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least they were clean.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I really don't believe the panty liner story either it's a little too over the top. And adding that the woman was plus sized was a just too neat a touch, next time, don't try so hard.

Anonymous said...

I can believe what she is saying. I knew a nanny that had to empty a womans "chamber pot" in the AM. The master bath was being "redone" and the "lady of the
house " refused to use the hall bathroom at night.
There are many people out there that think people are only here to wait on them hand and foot.
I don't know why people are suprised at this. People expect their nannies to walk thier dogs, clean the house, go on NON paid vacations with them ,do thier errands and laundry and put up with moronic MIL's. Taking knives to the toilet because the nanny plugged it up and then telling her to use her own bathroom from now on. Coming home late anytime they feel like, not paying medical, not paying OT, taking the car away and making them pay for an accident that is not their fault.Sticking notes on food that they are NOT to eat, So what is so hard about someone making a nanny lay our her clothing and sticking a panty liner in their underware LOL Not to mention the husbands that are making passes at them &Cleaning up after their night of wife swaping too.
I don't think being a nanny is the easiest job in the world. You go from being the childrens nanny to the up stairs maid, then the personal maid and then some.
I would have glued her damn panty liner to her front door along with her underwear and told her to stuff it and walked .
I would love to see a nanny write a book about their experiences.
Working for some of these people reminds me of "Runing with scisors" LOL
Great Post OP


Survivor said...

I believed it. Only because I have had my own horror stories. I nannied for a family with 4 kids.
9, 7, 4, 3- 3 oldest medicated for ADHD (though I don't think they were). Parents had no clue how to parent or discipline. Live is a HUGE beautiful new house and inside was FILTHY, from inch and filth on the couches to stickers and old gum covering the floors. 7 year old wet the bed parents LEFT nasty sheets on bed ALL weekend. There were peed in underwear all over the playroom. Anywhere they kids were it smelled like pee. I was supposed to get older 2 dressed in school uniforms in am- quite the feat! Took me 20 minutes to find the right parts clean and even stuff that was supposed to be clean would smell like pee. The younger 2 were STILL in diapers (ALL the time) and drank from bottles and slept in cribs! Not only that but they had those net things on top that the parent knotted shut with yarn every night so they wouldn't escape? They slept on nasty crib mattresses that had broken apart (from urine? or the weight of them jumping?) urine would sink in those opening- stunk. Only a sheet (that was never on) in the cribs. The gave the girls books to "keep them busy" while on lockdown. Every morning I would be greeted by the stench of urine (and stool sometimes) and a PILE of paper shreds hat used to be books. Oh and a diaper genie that smelled like the gates of hell.

Did I mention they did not have a SINGLE cleaning product in the house? I brought my own, along with hand soap I shared as there was none AND a thing of body wash- there was almost never soap to wash the kids (which I wasn't supposed to do but how could I not?)

The mom was a teacher and dad worked for the government. When hey got home the kids would kick at them, spit on them, hit them and the parents would just say soothing lovey things. Huh? The oldest daughter was extremely combative and argumentative with me. EVERYTHING was a damn struggle with her. They also expected me to grocery shop for all of them with 2 crazy kids in tow! The cart would literally be overflowing. If I was lucky the girls would fall asleep in the car and I could run and put it all away.

I took the job when I was desperate for $, I had been injured in an accident and as result had been out of commission for 8 months. My savings were gone and I had my own kid to take care of. They paid me a LOT of $ and I needed it.

Once there- I was at first in disbelief and then tried to help the family. Turns out the kids were great before meds- just never PARENTED or DISAPLINE. The needed consistency! I got the younger ones potty trained, off of bottles (when I was there- parents would start making them as soon as they got home) and into big girl beds which they stayed in. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned (though not in my contract but it was so disgusting I couldn't even play with the kids in that!) and every Monday the same filth would greet me. They even had a cleaning lady 1x a week! Bizzare.

I was there 5 months when was handed an envelope by the MIL. It said that although they loved and appreciated all I had done they were dismissing me. The mother said she was concerned the one daughter hadn't "bonded" with me and that she felt she needed to take a leave of absence to care for her 4 year old who she was certain had some rare disease or perhaps epilepsy as she often would jerk her head up (when falling asleep in the car) and hit her siblings for no reason. Under the circumstances I would not be paid for the week I had just worked.

Whhhhhaaaatttt???? It seemed to imply that somehow these things were my fault? I have never in my life been so offended.

Flipping nuts. I was already looking for another job anyways and counted myself lucky that I wasn't her. That family made me not want more kids.

Now I see her youngest at the same school my current charge is at- she looks neglected (messy, sad).


Sorry so long, unexpected vent.

Survivor said...

oops- just re-read, very tired sorry so many mistakes!

Anonymous said...

You should've wrote your story for the blog. Pretty unbelievable you went through all that!
I hope things have worked out for you now. Are you still a nanny?

Anonymous said...

Survivor here- yea, I have nannied for 3 other families and loved them all- terrific people. I learned to be VERY selective about who I work for- we MUST agree on disapline and have similar parenting styles. I also have to like and respect them.

I have been with my current family for 3 years (1 child) and I love my job. The parents have become my trusted friends! I will NEVER again work for a family that has more than 2 children and they HAVE to be clean people.

I do NOT do anything unrelated to the direct care of the child.

I am a nanny (PT) because I LOVE children and I am VERY good at it. It is not my only job (I am a self employed patient advocate, photo journalist and starting a small business) and I am educated (degrees in nursing, child development and psychology). I am experienced (have run home daycares, playgroups, been a pre school teacher and school district educational coordinator). But I was desperate enough that $ blinded me and the children's welfare kept me there longer than was right for me. Lesson learned.

I need to love what I do and have flexibilty to have a happy life- I work a lot but I have found balance and things are great thanx! :)

Anonymous said...

OP, thanks for the post.
Anyone who doesn't believe your stories hasn't chatted with a lot of nannies!

Anonymous said...


I almost can't believe this it true, except that it's too crazy to make up. How do you FIND these people??? None of the people I've ever nannied for have ever been anything other than "friendly, average" type people! Man. You need to write a book. And then send it to me.

Anonymous said...

well im a nanny, and ive worked for a terrible family before...but I still don't believe this post, gosh you all are gullible

Anonymous said...

I could believe every story is true, but not one person working for all three! And who in their right mind would even put up with putting a panty liner in someone's underwear even once? Or reading even one porn manuscript? Sorry OP I ain't buying what you're trying to sell!

Sounds to me like OP is the one talking to nannies and possibly borrowing their varied expereinces as her own?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, because that sounds more realistic.

lorenza said...

1:42 Haven't you noticed how many women keep choosing the same type of men who are completely bad for them? I suppose it's also true of men choosing the wrong women, and it sounds like this nanny was drawn like a moth to a light to these oddball richies. Even with friends I've often found myself with needy, helpless incompetents and end up getting manuevered into doing some pretty incredible favors for them. It's not what I intended to get into. It just seems to happen but I am trying to be more cautious in making friends and am much quicker to pass up an offer of friendship when I sense the same old vibes. Live and learn. Sounds like this gal did. Good for her.

melamonk said...

I completely believe this. I HAVE FRIENDS who seem to delight in humiliating their help, and then come to learn the help is paid in excess of 1,ooo per week. Who knows how much this nanny made? I bt it was a damn good amount.

Anonymous said...

totally unbelievable. not a word could be true.