Sunday

Sounds like mayhem....

Received Sunday, November 1, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN What should I do? I just completed an interview with a young Russian couple. They had been advertising for a Russian speaking nanny without any luck for a few weeks and contacted me. I have been unemployed since April when my last nanny family's mom lost her job. After several emails, they interviewed me by phone. I then went to their house.

When I got there, I took off my shoes and was ushered directly into the bathroom to wash my hands. They then proceeded to tell me that they had 3 children, not the 2 they were advertising, but not to worry because the 2-year-old had his own nanny. They found him his own Russian-speaking nanny because they wanted him to learn Russian. The family only speaks Russian among themselves although both parents speak English very well.The mom is a pediatrician. The dad is a student, studying for his C.P.A. and he has been "nanny" to his two 8-mos.-old twins. They are looking to hire a nanny for the babies. However, they live in a 3 bedroom condo. So that means 2 nannies and 3 small children in a very small area all day long. They also never leave just one parent attending the 3. When one parent has to leave they have family members "fill-in" for that parent. Grandpa drove all the way from Chicago to "fill-in" for dad so mom wouldn't be left alone with all three children.

They don't want their babies to have the plastic toys the 2-year-old plays with so they have devised a "pen" for the babies to play in. Their children go out very little. They have never been to the library. I would be permitted to take the babies out in their stroller but as the weather is getting cold, not so much.

If they offer me the job should I take it?

36 comments:

Tess said...

Do you love children? Do you have the patience? If yes then you can take it. Do you also speak Russian? Children are unpredictable sometimes and you have to act as their parents.

Blythe said...

To me, it doesn't sound as if you are too eager to take this job. I think it depends on how much you need work, and if you have the flexibility to keep looking.

aliana said...

i think you should take it and see what happends, you have been unemployed for a long time and i am sure you nned the money, try it and see what happends.

just another mommy said...

I would take it on a trial basis, don't sign a contract saying you will stay X amount of time. Because if things do get weird, you want to have an out. But at least you'd be working to for a little while, even if it doesn't work out long run.

candleee said...

You have been unemployed for a while, so maybe you can suggest a two week trial period to the parents? that way if you find that the circumstances that you described are more than you are comfortable dealing with on a day to basis, you can just tell the parents that you do not think that you and the family are the best match.

ashley said...

should you take the job? NO. something is wrong with these folks.

MinuteMuggle said...

I wouldn't, personally. But I guess it couldn't hurt to do it on a trial basis, as just another mommy said. I do see a great deal of red flags, though with this family. The parents sound like a piece of work.

world's best nanny said...

If that little voice in your head is telling you no, then no it is.

Bint Ethel said...

I agree with Candleee.
I personally wouldn't take the job unless I was desperate for money.

nannytothreeandahalf said...

It sounds really strange. It also sounds like they are not going to be too eager to let you take their children anywhere and I could not be cooped up in a small condo with twins all day, every day. I'm not understanding why the two year old has his own nanny. That would also be weird for me. I have been a nanny to a family for four years now and started when their oldest was two and their twins were newborn. It's really not a two person job. And the fact that neither parent will be left alone with their own children? Weird Weird Weird. I'd run.....but if you are desperate I guess I'd say just give it a trial run.

nannyinmanhattan said...

I don't see anything wrong with giving it a shot, you could always find somethng else if you are not happy. You never know, what if it works out??

MissMannah said...

No way. For one thing, you don't sound like you agree with any of their philosophies and you don't sound eager to work with the other nanny in a confined space. If you are absolutely desperate for money, maybe accept it for a trial period but I'm guessing you won't like it. I can understand the needing money thing. I was out of work since June and got several offers but didn't take any until I was 100% certain the job was right for me and for the family. (I start tomorrow--yay!) So if your money situation allows you to keep looking, I'd say pass on this one.

sounds familiar said...

If you are expecting to be a full-charge nanny, I think you will be very disappointed with this job. It sounds like you will be subject to a very high degree of parental/family oversight. If you can handle that, by all means take the job.
Also, I will just say this: if the family is really crazy, having another nanny there will be a blessing.

Black Orchid said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that neither parent will be left alone with their own children. I worked for a family like that, but they only had two kids. So, if the dad was gone for a day or two on a business trip, they would hire an evening nanny to come when I left. Because for whatever reason, the mom couldn't take care of her own two kids herself. I think parents like this have kids more as a status symbol rather than because they want to be parents. But this shouldn't affect you. My advice, though: if they ask you to work sometime because one parent will be gone but one will still be there, don't do it. I did that a couple times and it made my job so much more frustrating and difficult with the mom there than it needed to be.

Ella said...

I would do a trial basis for them and make sure both sides agree it will be a trial basis at first, okay?
Also, having another nanny around may be good for you. You have someone to talk to and won't feel so isolated.

Village said...

I wouldn't take the job. You already find it odd, and it's just going to get odder. They want TWO family members managing TWO nannies who are watching THREE children. It's a different culture than you are used to, or at least that is how is sounds to me.

It sounds very high stress to me as well. You will have two adults supervising you at all times, plus a nanny who speaks their language. I wouldn't do it unless you HAVE TO HAVE the money.

beentheredonethat said...

I've worked for families where at least one parent was home at all times. It's a nightmare. I felt like I was always being watched (awkward), and every time mommy or daddy walked into the room (usually past the room, blowing my charge off) he went into a frenzy for some *ahem* much needed parental attention. There is a huge difference between nannying and being the sole caregiver while on duty, and having your boss stand over you all day scrutinizing your every move - ensuring everything is done their way. I was never able to get fully comfortable, and thus, I know my job suffered. It's hard to waddle around like a duck singing your ABC's when "daddy's" standing in the corner staring down your top . . . but, that's another story. ;) Part of being a good childcare provider is letting your guard down, and getting into the mindset of a child . . . I found it impossible to be this "vulnerable" in front of my charges staunch parents. I left after 2 months, and will never be that 'desperate' for money again . . . not worth it.

OnlyDadHere said...

Judging by your comments there is something off about the parents. Did you say the Mother was a pediatrician? You would think someone in her line of work could manage her own children alone from time to time.

OP said...

Thanks everyone. I decided not to take the job. There were a few more red flags. I would be "on call" day or night besides my regular hours even though Dad would be home at night. I also didn't see any toys. When I asked they said all the toys were on a "time-out" because the 2-year-old didn't pick them up and he had to earn them back one at a time. I could see that for a slightly older child but this little guy just turned 2. They refused to sign a contract with me and acted very suspicious that I wanted a contract. Also when I asked about discipline for the 2-year-old they wouldn't answer, just told me "No worries. He has his own nanny." They also wouldn't answer any of my questions about them aside from what they did for a living. The small living room we would be confined to contains a sofa, chair and a large pen inside with gates at either doorway of the room but it is only about 9' X 12'. I really do like to take children out. I think it is good for everyone. I am most comfortable being the only adult at home during the day. I really need a job, but this one is not the one for me.

OP said...

I have worked with Spanish speaking families but I don't know any Russian.

MinuteMuggle said...

good choice, OP. they really do sound like wackos. I doubt they will have an easy time finding anyone, much less a good nanny like you, to fit into their family.

and you are right: 24 months is way too young to expect them to pick up on their own without help.

OP said...

I guess their older son is really 2 1/2 so he should be learning to pick up his toys but still needs some help I think.

OP said...

They also mentioned a nanny before me quit after one day. I guess what bothers me the most is they didn't even tell me they had a 3rd child and now I wonder what happened to his private nanny?!

Village said...

OP, I think you made the right decision. A nanny quit after ONE day? That speaks volumes.

ChiNanny said...

OP I think you were right not to take this job. Sounds like it would be a nightmare. And what is a 2 1/2 year old supposed to do all day when he can't go out and has no toys? That would be an awful situation.

OP said...

Moderator, could you please remove the email address for these people from my comment immediately. I didn't mean to post their email. Thanks!

OP said...

OP said...

Here is the ad they posted on Craigslist today. Sounds like they want one nanny for all 3 boys doesn't it? And NO sick days now.


We are looking for an experienced nanny to help us with our 3 boys (8-mo old twins + 2.5 year-old) at our home. Infant experience is required. Twin experience is preferred. This is a long term position. Must have reliable transportation and clean driving /criminal records. Duties will focus around taking care of the children and performing related activities. Must be well-organized, energetic, dependable, physically and mentally fit to deal with the demands of watching 3 little children. We are unable to accommodate nanny's child/children at our home. Work hours are from 8:30am to 6:30pm Mon, Tue, Thur, and Fri. Thursday hours maybe be pushed back by 2 hours (10:30am to 8:30pm). Benefits include regular US holidays plus 2 weeks of vacation. We do not offer sick days. Please include your detailed resume, employment references, and wage requirements when submitting to *******

Also I wanted to mention that a trial period was not an option because I would lose my unemployment compensation.

Nov 2, 2009 6:23:00 PM

MinuteMuggle said...

OP: even a 3 year old or an older pre-schooler may need help cleaning up. To take all a toddler's toys away is just insane! You definately did the right thing in not taking this job. I also think any parent who does not expect and compensate their full time nanny being sick really does not look at their nanny as a real person.

OP said...

And I was thinking. Do they really want their nanny to come with the flu and give it to their family?

Village said...

I think they want you to take your vacation days as sick days, if necessary.

MinuteMuggle said...

i doubt it. i'll bet they would make her take it when they take theirs.

OP said...

Yes, they said vacation would be when they would take theirs. They really mean no sick days.

MissMannah said...

I don't think that's so strange. I've never requested paid sick days within the first year of employment. If I don't work, I don't get paid, and I'm fine with that.

The real big red flag is not wanting to negotiate a contract. That's ridiculous and I'm sure this family is planning to spring more "surprises" on their nanny after she is hired.

MakeUpAddictMissDee said...

OP: Are you in the Milwaukee area?

cali mom said...

If you can afford to be unemployed for another 7 months, then keep on looking. If you can understand that many jobs require people to be in siutations not exactly to their liking sometimes in order to earn their pay, then take the job.

cali mom said...

Just read all the comments and it sounds like OP made a good decision. Unreasonable to expect a 2 yr old to clean up ALL his toys all by himself, and the other warning signs are doozies.