A gracious amount of notice...

Received Thursday, July 24, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I need advice, I have been a nanny for this family for 3 years now and I have decided that it is time to move on. I have always enjoyed the family a lot, but now I find myself having less and less tolerance fpr the children and also finding out that I suddenly am getting hardly any vacation time. I have never had sick days and have worked on many occasions while needing to be in bed resting (i.e. a week after surgery). How long of notice should I give as I want to be gracious and not leave them helpless as both parents work full time. We have never had any disputes between us and I just know it is my time to hang up my nanny hat and go back to school, everyone involved deserves better and I do not want to end up resentful towards the parents and especially the kids. Thanks everyone!


NannySarah said...

I think 2 weeks is always considered pretty standard, but sometimes that is too quick in a family/nanny relationship. I gave my last family 5 weeks notice, because I respected them and wanted them to find the best possible match. I was lucky because I was able to give 5 weeks notice, but I think a month would be very graceful, and a good way to bow out. Good luck going back to school! We're in the same exact boat!

Janet English said...
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nyc mom said...

As an employer who WOH I would greatly a month's notice from a long term nanny, though would understand two weeks if the circumstances required it. The standard severance is one week pay for every year of employment, so I think that would be a fair minimum notice also (so 3 weeks in your case).

Also, just out of curiosity, weren't your annual amount of vacation (often 2 weeks) and paid sick days (often nominally 5 days, but usually whatever a trusted nanny needs) agreed upon by both yourself and your employer at some point?

OP here said...

We agreed on vacation and sick pay at the beginning, yes, but I have a problem with confrontation and when I was told I no longer had either I just learned to live with it. I am giving them notice when they come back from their vacation (I am watching kids full time) and plan on giving them 6 weeks at that time. 3 of those weeks the grandma will be at the home too. Does that sound fair? At one point they had hinted that I should provide 3 month period but I find that rather insane honestly.

Liv said...

Oh my Lands, 3 months?!?! They have to be kidding! I think a month is definitely long enough. They may be upset that you are leaving, but don't let them guilt you into staying. If you do, you will only end up resenting the parents and at times even the children. Good for you for knowing when it's time to leave. Good luck!

ericsmom said...

three weeks

lauren said...

As a nanny myself, I would give them a month. That is more than adequate time to find some type of childcare, even if it's just temporary. Two weeks may not be quite long enough.

cali mom said...

OMG Op, I'd give them 3 weeks notice max. How much consideration did they give you when they simply informed you that they were taking away ALL your vacation and sick day benefits that they had agreed to, yet expected you to continue on in your full duties? NONE. I'd have given them the choice at that moment of reinstating the benefits or issuing me my final check within the next 15 minutes and finding a new nanny. You don't say when they pulled that on you but I'd say they used up all their notice and then some since you kept working for them after that and it's VERY gracious of you to plan to give them any notice at all.

Nanny B said...

Oh my, I am like the OP and hate confrintation. When I tried to leave the first time I gave them 6 months because I knew I was returning to school and all that. they appreciated it and it wasn't an issue, there was no hostility or anything. Long story short I decided to stay at the last moment and am finally leaving again. This time I gave them 4 months and I think it was to long. The hostility is definitly there, it comes and goes and I am itching to get out as well. Do what feels right, have it in writing with a final date and stick to it! But be prepared they may let you go earlier than that.

m said...

This is something that really is not standard, because it really depends on the family. All the families except one I have given one month's notice.
My last family, my agent told me that the 'the ----- was going to hit the fan'.
In my gut I knew she was right, and though I wanted to give a month, I realized this was not in my best interest, so I put it off as much as I could until exactly 2 weeks, at the same time discreetly packing some of my things (It's always more difficult with a live-in isn't it?)
So anyway, when I told her all hell broke loose- literally. The wrath of God came down on me, and I was told that I was leaving her kids 'high and dry'. Are you kidding me?
Since when did I give birth to kids???

The last day she told me to pretty much get out...say what? First she was crying for me to say, and because I wanted to do something for myself I have now become a piece of garbage?? you don't say!
So I pretty much told her I would get out when I planned to (because of course I wanted to clean the place).

I had already planned to leave the next day, but this just got my blood boiling, and so I asked her what she was going to do if I could not get out that day. She said 'call the police' I told her to go ahead.
The situation just got really crazy, but I was not about to back down. I was not about to tolerate her disrespect, so I told her I was going to stay right where I was until I was finished with all that I had to do, but she should feel free to call the police.

It was just unreal, and then came the expletives...hold up. I just stood there looking at her shaking my head, and looking at her. I was so disgusted by her, and the fact that she started cursing was even worse. I was speechless, I do not curse and was not about to bring myself to her level.

She said a couple things that I really had to laugh about, like she called me the 'b' word and I suggested probably she was- not actually calling the word out and she got so furious and said how dare I call her that, that she was my employer (which meant that she was allowed) You don't say Madam!
Then she called me cold because I refused to get caught up in her family drama. Oh what a night it was.

Then I went downstairs and slept, and the next day like I planned I cleaned up while the family was upstairs- no one dared to come downstairs- left her place spotless.
Took excellent care of her babies right up to the end, and lost all respect for her the night before I left.

Incidentally, they had tried to bribe me with more money, less hours, a weekend apartment, you name it, but that family was unlike any other that I have seen. I had to remain emotionally detached from them to not get caught up in the drama, but I still showered the kids with much love, which is why they wanted me to say.
The day I told her I was definitely leaving, she grabbed up one of the babies and went in the bathroom to what I assumed was cry, and then came out dumped her beside me unceremoniously, and walked through the door slamming it shut.
Yup, I knew then I had made the right decision.

So...with that said, I think you have to follow your gut, sometimes some situations require you do the opposite of what you
feel is most appropriate and professional.

Incidentally, the 2 weeks were the worst of my professional life, but I stuck it out, I can't begin to imagine what a month would have been like.

I will never understand why parents get upset over someone leaving their employ. It is absolutely ridiculous.
Wish the person well and start looking for someone else!
IN FACT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A BACK UP PLAN, especially when you are not the best employer. I mean this woman admitted to taking me for granted. If I were to give you some stories!!

m said...

Incidentally, I am quite aware of how much parents appreciate these long notices, but when they are about to fire you (I have never been fired actually) but isn't it done that same minute? I don't think they give you notice do they, so therefore when you decide to leave a nut of an employer I think you should simply say 'You're fired' and leave

As far as I'm concerned, no employer is better than me. What is good for one is good for all. They look out for their number one and so should you.

It's not what is good for them and their children, it's what is good for them the children and THE NANNY! YES THERE ARE THREE PARTS TO THIS EQUATION

A nanny who cares said...

I was actually wondering the same thing. I just gave my employers of a year one month notice, and the mother freaked out on me. Since I gave notice the mom has been very hostile, combative, and is asking me to do all sorts of things that are CLEARLY not my job, and never have been. It really sucks, I feel taken advantage of, and wish I didn't give them a month.

Your employers seem of the same caliber as mine, and will probably pull the same stuff. So, I would give 3 weeks notice and move on.

On a side note, has anyone ever had a good experience when leaving their job? If you have, how did you go about doing it? What did you tell them? How much notice did you give? I'm beginning to think I am going about this in the wrong way.

kathleencares said...

2 weeks is definitely acceptable, but I would give a month if you can. This will give the family enough time to find someone else.

mb said...

On the opposite end, some families have gotten angry enough that they will tell the nanny to leave on the spot when they give notice. So just be prepared in case that happens. Hopefully it wouldn't but if you are expecting to give a month's notice and they tell you to leave on the spot you will be in trouble.

OP here said...

a nanny who cares...I do not think that it is necessary for you to pass judgment on this family and compare them to yours. These people are rather helpful and caring towards me and the only complaint I have ever had with them is the sick and vacation leave.

That being said, thanks for the advice, like I said, I will give a 6 week notice and if they choose to let me go earlier, I actually welcome that considering I have some things to do before school starts.

A nanny who cares said...

Sorry OP, but a family who asks you to work a week after surgery, doesn't give you sick leave and takes away your vacation after 3 years of loyal service, are not, "helpful and caring." They are using you and relying on your love for their children to keep you around. In my opinion, someone who is capable of doing this doesn't respect or care for you! Please do yourself a favor and move on as quickly as possible.

cali mom said...

I certainly have to agree with A Nanny Who cares. It's not as if those benefits suddenly started to cost them more money, unless both of THEIR employers suddenly decided to do away with all of THEIR paid vacation and sick days, which would be extremely doubtful. It's one thing to never offer them, it's quite another to pull them off the contract arbitrarily and expect you to politely tolerate it.

m said...

Well said 'a nanny who cares'
That's when the brain washing is complete. Take away your rights and then act as if they care- no, they don't!
Who wants to work all year round? I'm sure they don't.

They unfortunately have detected some weakness in you to have the audacity to take back vacation and sick time. What kind of sick people are those employers, who does that?
It truly makes me sick

cfg said...

Why in the world would you stick up for this family the way that you have? Don't you feel wronged in some way? I am utterly dumbfounded that you would defend them after what they did to you - doesn't 3 yrs. of loyalty mean anything to them?
How was Christmas? Did they give you large bonuses? Extras here and there? I mean, they would HAVE to have made it up to you somewhere along the way because taking your Vacation/Sick days is WRONG!!
Oh, I just remembered .... maybe they weren't the best afterall because they've jaded you. You're hanging up your nanny hat, and that's sad to hear .... I hope this isn't your "calling", and your throwing in the towel because of them. That would be a damn shame.

no me gusta baraq y michelle said... said...

Give a gracious notice if you have been treated graciously and with respect.

Oh, by the way, YOU HAVE NOT.

Give 2 weeks.
They will probably fire you on the spot anyway.

I know people like that.
I stick silver needles in puppets designed to look like them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

And yet, they still see.

Life isn't fair.
And my steak isn't rare.

Anonymous said...
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No Longer Anonymous Regular said...

whoops--sorry MPP and Jane, hit the anon buttong by accident (old habits die hard). Here's a repost:

Good for you OP. As a nanny employer, although I realize most jobs two week is standard (although I've always given at least a month in any job I've left), it is very difficult to conduct a proper nanny search in only two weeks. It often forces your employer to find a temporary or take off from their own job with not alot of notice. That can make what is usually a difficult transition for the kids even more difficult. Six weeks is very professional and will allow for a smoother transition for all concerned. I hope your employer appreciates it--I'm not sure what they must be like since you say nice things about them, but taking away sick and personal time is not what a reasonable employer does.

chick said...

Give 2 weeks, and tell them you are willing to continue woirking for them while you are job hunting, with the understanding that you may find a job that wants an immediate start.

This way, they get a little more time for their nanny hunt, and you have a "get out of jail free" card if things get ugly. At that point, you claim to have found work, and you leave after 2 weeks.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Reneging on their agreement for vacation and sick days is unconscionable, and clearly you can't trust them. If you give a generous notice, they may fire you before your time is up. I heard of one employer who didn't pay the nanny for her last week because they were annoyed that she quit. I would give one to two months notice under normal circumstances ( I have worked for families who treated me very well ), but I think two weeks notice is more than fair in your case.

One Foot Out the Door said...

i would give them two weeks if possible. since you are going back to school, their reference is not especially valuable to give them longer than that.

i am glad you are moving on. it sounds like you are a lot like me, and have been slightly taken advantage of. i already dislike them for the fact that they let you work so soon after a surgery.

don't be like me and stick around forever just to keep them happy.

caroline said...

I left a family that I had been with for a year and a half. I liked and respected them, but decided it just wasn't the right situation for me anymore.

In my contract, it stipulated 3 weeks notice from either party. When I resigned, I gave them up until a certain date (6 weeks in advance)to find a replacement - they were not the sort to let the search drag on longer than usual.

IN that resignation letter I also stipulated and they signed and agreed to, that if they found a suitable replacement before the 6 weeks was up, I would be given 3 weeks notice.

Despite the last weeks of my employment being a little uncomfortable (how dare I decide to leave???...), everyone acted with maturity and the children felt loved, safe, and able to move onto a new chapter in their lives.

If only everyone were so lucky!

Marissa M. said...

I was treated awful by my last employer after I resigned. They knew, btw, that I was leaving after a year.

They treated me like crap. I cried at night. Had anxiety about going to work. I didn't have a choice but to stay- the bills don't ever stop and I had the only income while my husband was in med school.

No thank you or good bye card. Nothing. Even made me an hour late on my last day- as usual.

Today I would slap her in her face if I could. Her and her nasty husband.

I gave 6 weeks notice and they refused to accept it. I offered an extra week, they wanted more. Even called my husband and told them I was unreasonable. They cried: " I just can't talk to you, how can you do this to our children? They need you!"

Unbelievable. Please let us know how they responded. Its always nice to get feedback.

Anonymous said...
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cali mom said...

If you give someone 6 weeks notice and they "refuse to accept it", you work 6 weeks and then don't show up again. Simple as that.

Marissa M. said...

you are right cali mom! i allowed myself to be a doormat for a year. i can only blame myself.