Received Friday, September 11, 2009
My wife and I have a wonderful Nanny who has been looking after our 6 month old, 50 hours per week, for the last 3 months. We all live in NYC, however her commute to our apartment is an hour long subway ride. A few weeks ago we had our 1st night on the town since the birth of our son (woo hoo) and we naturally asked our Nanny if she would like to do some overtime. Well long story short, we ended up staying out much later than we anticipated. Our Nanny was happy to stay later, but we didn’t feel right about her riding the subway home at that hour so we paid for a car service to take her home. Between the overtime hours, buying her dinner and the car service we spent about $160. Add our own drinks, dinner and a cab home and we were over $320 for the night (ouch). We, like so many families at this time, are struggling financially and our Nanny is working below market rate with the understanding that we will raise her salary as soon as we can afford it. Here’s our dilemma; my wife’s birthday is coming up and we’re going out again (I know, twice in 6 months!). We would love to have our Nanny work some more overtime but we certainly can’t afford another $160 baby sitting expense, especially when we can have one of the trusted teenage babysitters in our building do it for around $30. But we feel like we’re ‘cheating’ on our Nanny by using someone else, and I’m sure she could use the extra money. Obviously we need to discuss this with her however, I’m fairly sure she will argue that she is fine taking the train home late and not having us provide her dinner. So on the one hand we would feel like we’re ‘cheating’ on her by using the cheaper option, on the other hand we would feel like we’re underpaying her, starving her and causing her to take a long ride home on the subway at night. What’s a new, guilt racked, inexperienced, broke-ass parent to do?