"I am in a Bit of a Dilemma"

Received Friday, February 13, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN Hi. I am in a bit of a dilemma. I hope maybe some of you can give me some advice. Let me first explain my work situation. I work for 2 families. One family has a seven month old(lets call them family #1) and the other family has a 10 month old( lets call them family #2). I watch both babies at the same time and I watch them at family #2's apartment. I have been working for family #1 for 6 months now and have been working with family #2 for only months now. We had a previous share that didnt work out and started new. For the most part its a good situation and I like both sets of parents. Family #1 pays me $325/week and family #2 only pays me $275/week--I work the same amount of hours for both. Family #2 claims that they dont have much money but I will get a raise as soon as the mother gets her raise that she has been waiting for, and I will also get retropay. The thing that irritates me is that I KNOW they can afford it. She shops online all day long. I would say between 5-7packages come per day for them. It is always stuff that they dont need. Tons of clothes for her , the baby, books, dvds, Xbox 360 games, etc. I still havent gotten my raise and I am getting pretty mad. I am a student also and my fiance just got laid off so we really need the money. It is also not fair that family #1 pays more than them. Also for $275 family #2 expects me to do tons of things. They expect me to take her to doctors appointments, clean a lot, take her to different classes, etc. I dont mind doing it but its just they are pretty lucky to have an experienced nanny and that taking care of 2 babies is pretty hard work. They nitpick me on everything . For instance they claim a cheerio was in the high chair and roaches got in. They get mad if I forget to put away the pack and play that is set up for the other baby. I am lucky if I get to eat let alone remembering every little thing. Basically, I am fed up with them and feel I deserve a family who will appreciate me more. I want to approach family #1 with the idea of finding another family but I dont want them to get upset that we are changing families again, etc(even though the first family we shared with moved). What are your thoughts on this??

The second part to this has to do with something that happened yesterday. I have a good friend who has a 9 month old daughter and she also watches a ten month old baby as well. We get together often for play dates and outings to the park, etc. My bosses know her very well and encourage me to have her over . My friend even gave them a spare exercauser that she had. She is a really nice person and has been very generous to them. Yesterday, my friend came over with the babies. We were sitting in the living room and she was drinking fruit punch. She accidentally spilled it on their area rug. We got Resolve and club soda, soap water, etc and tried our best to scrub it and get the stain out. Most of it came out but where the white was it is slightly pink in that area now. ( Its a dark red rug and has flowers on it and their are just parts of white). It is visible. There are other stains on the rug and the rug looks like it is on the old side. When the mom gets home I tell her that my friend spilled juice, we tried to get it up etc. . She seems ok with it and kind of laughs it off and says the rug is filthy anyway and they've been meaning to get it cleaned. Well, this morning, she calls me and tells me she would appreciate it if my friend pays for the area that she spilled on. I called my friend this morning and she was livid. She says it was an accident and they better get used to having stains bc kids stain things. She says she wants the excercauser back. Also , she says she will never come over again because shes afraid something else will get damaged by the 2 babies or herself and she doesn't want to put me in the middle. Too late! I understand her being a little upset because it was only an accident and it will not cost that much to have it cleaned. Also, we were just starting a playgroup with other moms and nannies and now she refuses to come over. My boss bought all sorts of stuff for this group (musical instruments) because my friend had said shed love to teach a little music class. My friend wont do this now and I am NOT teaching a music class and not getting paid for it. I have to talk to my boss about this now but I am stuck in the middle and dont know how to approach it. Help me!! I am so stressed over this!!!


Nanny Sarah said...

I had my in-laws over the holidays and their new puppy made several messes on a very expensive 100% wool area rug- hot water and vinegar work wonders. Please try it.
As for your boss, its little things that are a big deal- she just wants the best for the baby- sounds like she is a first time parent (?).
Please sit her down and explain how you feel about the raise situation. But remember times are tough and her babys' needs come first- the ordering things for the little one. Speaking open and honestly about how you feel is best for all. I am a nanny- I know. Communication is best.

Nanny Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
twinkiesmom said...

I see your dilemma, but you're always going to have conflict serving two masters at the same time. And entertaining yet another nanny and her charges in your host's home adds in another layer of liability on your part.

You are undervaluing family #2's position. They should be receiving a major discount since they let you operate a home daycare for family #1 out of their home...using their facilities, refrigerator, homeowner's insurance. Fifty dollars a week seems right to me...maybe it should be more.

I believe the reason why you haven't gotten your raise is that they probably don't want to make up the difference between what family #1 is paying.

I actually think you should pay for the stain to your boss' carpet since your guests were responsible. It's nice of them to let you have company in their home, and you should be responsible for your guests' damages.

Are you a very young person? You don't seem to be able to see things from others' point of view....You see yourself as taking care of two babies. To each of the other parents, they are paying you for your best efforts for their one baby and know that they are not getting your 100% attention. You can not expect either family to feel sorry you are taking care of two children...The reality is that on some level, they will always feel slighted in some way because their babies are not getting 100% of your attention.

ericsmom said...

I don't agree. The families probably love a nanny share. Even if they pay her the same amount as family one they are saving money. If shes a full-time caretaker for both kids. A full-time caretaker probably makes anywhere from $450-550 a week?

I think you should just work for one family forget this nanny share crap.

Nanny Taxi said...

If you have a work agreement with family #2 it's time to go over it again with them, if you don't have one sit down with them and go over what you do and what you expect to be paid. Switching nanny share families often will end up being hard on family #1's child.

Now the rug. If Mom had a guest who stained the rug she'd pay to get it cleaned and not ask the guest to pay it. This applies to you as well. You had the guest, you pay for the messes the guests leave behind. I think your friend is flying off the handle over this! Asking for the excersaucer (sp?) back and refusing to set foot in the house is very immature. Work out something or it may come down to Mom not letting her child play with your friends.

mom said...

Well, the opinion I first had changed completely when I read twinkiesmoms response. She makes some sense.
I would not want a bunch of people in my house all the time when I was not home...especially people bearing children, because, in my experience, there's always one person in the group who doesn't watch their destructive child well enough in other people's homes. Although, everybody is different, and your employer doesn't seem to mind since she went and bought all of those playgroup toys.

Jacqui said...

That's tricky, OP.
Family #2 seem a bit on the neurotic side...having your friend pay for the spilled juice is just tacky. You invite people into your home and you need to be prepared for accidents. It happens, especially when children are involved.
I disagree with pretty much everything twinkiesmom said (you don't sound "young" to me at all...your concerns and frustrations are legit). However, she is right about it being hard working for two "masters." It sounds like a really stressful back and forth type of situation.
I agree with for one family. You said you're an experienced nanny, so it shouldn't be hard to find someone to match the shared salary you're making now. I'm sure you love the babies but fortunately they're still young and nobody in the situation has invested TOO much time in eachothers' lives. Get out now!
Good luck.

Baltimore Nanny said...

I have worked in a nanny-share situation before and I never had a problem. I am guessing by "family #1 pays you x amount" and "family #2 pays you x amount" you are not having taxes withheld.

In my share situation, family #1, who I was with primarily and a set 45 hrs a week paid me $15 an hour. Then when I had the baby from family #2, which was various hours, I was paid an extra $5 an hour and the two families split the cost (family #2 paid their portion to family #1; family #1 wrote my paycheck each week and withheld the taxes).

I was free to utilize either family's house (they were neighbors).

As for the damage to the rug, you should offer to clean it (heck, go to the grocery store, rent a steam cleaner for $35 and clean the whole rug). In the future, request that your guests limit drinks outside of the kitchen to just water or sprite - they won't stain.

As for the raise, you need to discuss the situation with the family if you feel you are being cheated out of money.

nellicat said...

Wow, your friend sounds like a total brat! She spills fruit punch on someone else's rug, then when they ask for reimbursement, she wants her exersaucer back?!? What could her reasoning possibly be there? Also, she is FREE to come over, just limit drinks to water or sprite or the like. She's just being a brat.

OP, I think the deal you have is a good deal. As others have pointed out, family #2 is allowing you to have what is basically a side business in their home. Now, they shouldn't be as neurotic about things like the rug, but that's the way they are and I don't think it's THAT big a deal. Also, I REALLY hate it when people say "Oh, they can afford more - look at all the stuff they buy!" How they choose to spend their $$ isn't your business. If you were really being underfunded, that would be the issue, not how they spend their other $$. In my opinion, you're not being underfunded.

twinkiesmom said...

Ericsmom, I do think that parents would be happy with the savings of nanny sharing...what I don't think is you can raise the rates of one without raising the rates of both, especially when one is providing all the resources.

Im a nanny said...

you are working for a major bitch on a power trip. Was housekeeping and such a part of your initial job description Do you have a written work agreement to refer back to? This honestly sounds like a losing situation based on the rude moms attitude. Talk with nice mom about switching AFTER talking with rude mom about what you will and will not tolerate. You may work for her but your a human being that deserves to be treated with some respect. You can also tell her that your rates are increasing and you need x amount from her each week. When it comes down to it this is business and you provide a service for her. She cannot expect to pay you so little and treat you like crap. Good luck.

Im a nanny said...

"The reality is that on some level, they will always feel slighted in some way because their babies are not getting 100% of your attention."

They should not agree to share care if thats how they feel. Slighted or not she still deserves respect.

H said...

This is somewhat off topic, but I wanted to follow up on what an employer said in a previous post. I think it is pertinent enough to disrupt this thread, but it won't help this nanny's miserable situation.

In a previous thread, an employer suggested using zillow to check out the address of a nanny's previous residence. I used to use an alternate resource and now use google. Enter the previous reference's addresss in the google maps or plain google search engine. A map will come up. Click on it to maximize it. You will see a little person, drag said person to the street address. You will be able to see not just the foremer employer's reference, but the entire neighborhood. Do the same with the nanny's current residence and previous residence.

chgonanny said...

I am a nanny, and I must say I pretty much agree with twinkie. I have playdates at my charge's house all the time, and if anything were damaged, I'd try to replace it.

I don't think you're immature. I think your friend is. Flying off the handle like that and refusing to ever step foot is WAY too much. Unless there's something you left out.

I think your prices with both families are a little low, although you didn't mention how many hours you work per week (or did you and I'm a dingbat). I also agree that family #2 deserves a bit of a discount, but if they promised you a raise, you really should talk to them.

Bottom line, though, is if you're unhappy, get out. Talk to family #1 and find another nanny.

OP said...

Op here,
twinkies mom--I do not run a "home daycare" out of their home. I am a nanny. Huge difference. I take care of two children. It is the same thing as taking care of twins. If they felt they should receive a discount for using their refrigerator, etc they should have said something. They did not say that. They said that they were waiting for their raise and once they get that raise they will be able to pay me the same at the other family. So, with all due respect, I disagree. They are paying me $6 an hour basically. I am an experienced, educated and professional nanny. And yes, I pay taxes. And no, I am not young or immature.LOL.

A nanny share is not an ideal situation for me. This is my first time doing it, I usually work for one family only. I got laid off in September, applied to hundreds of jobs and this was the one who made me an offer first. I was out of work for 4 weeks and I took the first thing that came my way. For the most part, I like it. I would rather work for one family but times are tough right now.

Regarding the rug-my boss called me yesterday and informed me that they will pay for it as it was an accident. They said it wasn't right to ask my friend to pay for such a minor thing. I was ready to pay for it myself as I agree that she was my guest and I have to take responsibility. As for my friend, I feel she overreacted but its done with so I am just going to leave it at that.

Thanks to all of you that gave good advice. The hot water and vinegar was a great suggestion. Thanks!!:)

Manhattan Nanny said...

twinkiesmom said...
"they are paying you for your best efforts for their one baby and know that they are not getting your 100% attention"

They are only paying half a salary.

". ............. on some level, they will always feel slighted in some way because their babies are not getting 100% of your attention."

Babies with siblings don't get 100% of a nannies attention, and they thrive! Another reason parents have nanny shares is for singletons to have a playmate.

Nanny shares are not a "day care" run by a nanny. They are arrangements made between two sets of parents to save money. Many nannies won't do them, because often there are a lot of problems for the nanny.
A nanny share should work to the advantage of both the parents, and the nanny. The parents are paying less than a full nanny salary, and the nanny should be making more than she would with a single family, as it is more difficult dealing with two different families, even if you are always in the same apt.
That is not the case for the OP however. She is only making $600 a week for two infants, which is below what she could make with one family with twins.

i love steve bartelstein said...

The same daddy employers who participate in nanny shares also buy one prosititute or spitzer call girl and share her with their buddy. It's double dipping, no matter how you look at it.

honest nanny said...

OP, i'm glad to hear it seems to have worked out for you - this time.

if you are unhappy in your working conditions continue looking for another job where you are getting the pay, benefits, and situation you desire. i also was unemployed last fall, for 4 months! (i wasn't looking for nanny jobs, rather going with my degree - no such luck). so when i got desperate for an income i started interviewing for nanny jobs again and took the "first thing to come along." the pay was subpar and the parents never fully trusted me (i wasn't allowed to leave a one block radius). basically, i hated it. i hated going to work.

then they "let me go" VERY suddenly, without ANY warning. we were supposed to sit down and discuss a pay increase and instead they informed me that their nanny fund had depleted and they were switching to daycare. so i got screwed.

now i'm in a fantastic position with a family that I LOVE so being "let go" turned out to be a blessing. don't wait for that to happen to you, go out there NOW and find a job you are going to be satisfied and fulfilled in doing, then quit.

truth of the matter is you will be a better nanny if you are working for people you like.

NannyInCharge said...

Wow are you serious? Pay for an area of the rug to get cleaned? It's going to cost them the same amount to get the rug cleaned whether or not that stain is there.

Tell them your friend is not willing to pay. What can they do? Sue her for a stain? LOL?

As far as the raise you just have to sit her down and ask her for an exact date of when you'll be getting the raise. Let her know that you need a certain amount of money each week to survive, pay bills, eat, etc and if you don't have it, you'll have to find a job where you can make your required amount of money.

Nan NY said...

It's not really your business to critique what the family is buying. It makes sense that the family whose home you are working in would pay slightly less since they are opening their home to others.

You seem a little bit "entitled" and your friend seems childish. I would feel quite bad if I spilled on someone's rug. I bet the mom would be more understanding if the child had spilled (and yes, adults make mistakes too, but when you're already dealing with a baby you don't expect the nanny to cause more trouble). It is childish for your friend to back out of everything because of this little incident.

Where are you located? $600 dollars a week is not horrible for a nanny share for two children, in many places that would be quite good. You have been working for neither family long enough to expect a raise, especially not family number 2.

OP said...

Nan Ny,

I am hardly entitled. As I previously stated, IT WAS IN THE CONTRACT. I originally turned down the position bc I felt $275 is way too low. She said that she really liked me and as soon as she got her raise I would get one and it would come out to about $325, the same as the other family. She also said I should expect the raise in a month or so. So, again, I am not being entitled. Just getting frustrated that she hasnt held up her end of the bargain. I most certainly have ! I will most certainly get upset when I see needless things being shipped to her everyday. It is not essential items. She is addicted to shopping. She obviously does not have her priorities in order and it proves that she can definitely afford to give me my raise. I am not judging, I am seeing it with my own eyes. And I am located in NYC and $600 is below average for a nanny who is experienced and educated. Thanks for your comments though. Oh and I agree that my friend was being immature about it.

ericsmom said...


Could you switch weeks with each family? Like one week go to family #1 house the next week the other family. So no one can say well that family should get a break because they are opening their home to another child.

Give me a break! Even if she gets paid the same amt. that family one pays her, its still a great deal. Where in NY can you find a nanny to work for under that price.

OP I hope you find a better nanny situation for yourself.

OP said...


Great suggestion but I cannot watch them over at family #1's apartment, Dad works from home and his office is in the living room. It wont work. Plus, family #2 WANTS the share to take place there so they dont have to drag the baby out early in the am and into the cold. Us having the share there is not an issue for them. Thanks for the great suggestion though!

ericsmom said...

Oh okay, I understand : )

Work at home parents are the worse I am sure.

Well let me check on my sick sleeping child. This week has been hell and back. Stomach flu, cold, and who knows what else!

chickenslacks said...

The whole fruit punch/exersaucer thing is an embarrassment to *all* parties-she was an asshole for expecting your friend to pay, you were an asshole for letting your friend drink fruit punch out of the kitchen, and your friend was an asshole for taking the exersaucer back.

It is also a symptom of a much bigger problem and honestly, who cares?

You REALLY need to confront her about the "raise", which, in actually, is NOT a raise, but just the money she promised you you would recieve after your first month.

Some of the mothers on here are delusional and insane for suggesting that YOU should somehow reimburse the family by accepting less pay because you are using their home to take care of THEIR child at a ghetto rate.

They do not understand the concept of a childshare and THEY are the entitles ones who are acting out because thier husbands got laid off and now they have to bleach thier own anuses and attend to thier own children, nor do they understand how ENRAGING it would be to see YOUR money (money that was promised to you) be spent on bullshit your employer bought off the internet all day.

It most certainly IS your business, because it it YOUR money she's spending. Period, the end.

As to her anal retentive streak, this also needs to be discussed, but you don't have a leg to stand on if you are having your friend and her kids over all the time.

The mother probably thinks she is allowing *you* to have a social hour in *her* home (not considering the fact that you are watching her (and another parent's) child, as she, like most of th mothers who sound off here, is delusional and entitled) and that if you have time to "hang out" with your friend you should have time to clean up the excess Cheerios, or pick up the Pack N' Play, or whatever.

So if you want to continue to have your friends over, you may just have to suck it up and put a little extra energy into cleaning up before she is expected home, but since it seems as though your friend took her ball (all right, exersaucer) and stomped home, it is no longer an issue, anyway,
so you may want to tell the mother that you have your hands full with two children, you are doing the best you can and if she expects the detail of a full-time nanny she needs to pay for one.

Period, the end.

Remind her (kindly, yet firmly) tat she is paying less than half the going rate of a nanny in NYC and she needs to calm her ass down and climb out of yours.

And she needs to pay you. NOW.

Why didn't the other family share work out? And do you think you could suggest to the other family that you may need them to find another family?

Or do you just want to suck it up and look for a job on the sly until you find something FULL TIME that involves one family?

You do have options. You will get a job. Just try and talk to this woman, first, and hopefully she will act right and you will get your appropriate compensation.

Good luck.

cali mom said...

Bleaching your anus? Ouch! Weird...

op said...


I do work full-time but yes, I would much prefer working for just one family and not doing a share. I am looking everyday! I am not snubbing my nose at $600 a week..I know some people would love to make that, especially in this bad economy, its just I feel that she should follow through on what is in the contract. Thank you for seeing my side of things!! Regarding the fruit punch, I didnt even know she had it, I was in getting the babies down for a nap, I thought she would know better. I do not have her over everyday, just over for playdates. We dont just hang out everyday we are playing with babies and doing activities, etc. She actually did not take the exercauser back because my boss said she wasnt going to ask for her to pay for it. She definitely overreacted and put me in a tough spot. I always clean up after myself and the babies and clean the highchairs but I guess one cheerio( yes, just one) slipped in the crack and I didnt see it. It was my mistake and I take responsibility for it but I highly doubt a roach would come within a day or so. Anyway, thanks for the great advice and thanks for seeing where I am coming from:)

twinkiesmom said...

"Some of the mothers on here are delusional and insane for suggesting that YOU should somehow reimburse the family by accepting less pay because you are using their home to take care of THEIR child at a ghetto rate."

It is a low-class rate, so why would we assume she was a professional, educated nanny from the details of her original post?

I assumed family 2 was getting a discount for providing the facility...OP didn't share that she had turned down family 2's current rate in her original post.

It's hardly a raise you're looking for...rather to put an end to being ripped off and taken advantage of. No wonder why you're eye-balling the shopping bags coming in...She's spending your money! But you're letting it happen to you.

PinkNanny said...

Yikes! What a mess! The best advice I could give you is that FOR NOW, do what you can to keep things going smoothly. Teach the darn music class for now if it's easier.

I wouldn't waste my time talking to the parents in this case. Without saying anything to any family,register like crazy at reputable nanny agencies and search, search, search, for a new job! You can do much of the application process online.

All in all, family #2 is a very bad family for quite a few MAJOR reasons. Even if you have to quit both families and just get one full time job with a nice family it will be worth it.