Received Saturday, March 7, 2009
Please help me out. I am in a situation now and I feel very conflicted and don't know what to do. I will take any advice I receive on here very seriously.
I am a single mom in Southern CA. I work as a nanny for a marine family who lives in housing on base. I know they do not have a ton of money since the father is an E-5 and the mother is a medical assistant. I watch two children, a 2 1/2 month old infant along w/a 2 1/2 yr old. They are lovely boys and I have grown very attached to them, even though I have only been caring for them for 2 weeks thus far. I am a student at a local nursing school as well as a parent.
Okay...my problem is this: I know the economy is bad, who dosen't? And I should be grateful to have ANY job in this climate. I work 9 hrs a day, 4-5 days a week. I am stictly responsible for childcare ONLY, no household duties are required. I am also not mandated to drive on the job, but am allowed if I want to. They are paying me $8/hr for the two children. It's tough work, multiple feedings, diaper changings, potty training, etc. The children rarely nap, the baby only naps for 45 min. max and the toddler dosen't nap at all while I am there. It's tough work, yet I need the money. I have two pre-teens to support and bills/rent you name it to pay for. Yet, I am constantly drained to the max. My friends are angry that I am working for this low rate, they say that while the economy is tight and all, I should be charging at least $10/minimum per hour for these children, based on age/number of children. They say I should not be working for this low rate and are very angry at the family, who they feel are using me. Again, I need the money now and would not be doing this if I didn't have to. They say I should move on and try to find something better.
What should I do? Should I stay considering the economy and just be grateful? Or am I seriously being underpaid and taken advantage of and move on?
All advice appreciated.