Team Nanny!

Received Wednesday, April 14, 2010
rant 1 Purely for venting purposes and hopefully the relief of some other nannies, I present you with my....

TOP 13 most Obnoxious, Annoying or Infuriating Aspects of my Nanny Job:

* Not to be taken too seriously. I don’t need insightful advice that I can quit or renegotiate. I just want to let off steam.
13. Having me ‘help’ with homework you assign over break: You buy some workbooks and decide to have your third grader work on lowest common dominators over the school break, even though her teacher is nowhere near covering fractions. Of course she can’t do the homework by herself. Guess whose taking over this one?
12. Kids are not awake when I arrive: Do you think I got up early just so I could sit in your house and wait for your kids to wake up? Do you want to go to work and sit around waiting for something to do because your boss was not prepared for you? Get the kids to bed on time!
11. Low budget during breaks: So I spend $50 on three kids in one week including gas and that’s a bit too much for you? Try to spend less in one day. How about buying some groceries so I don’t have to pick up lunch if you don’t want me to spend money on lunch?
10. Dad doesn’t have any say: It would be really nice if I could ask the dad a question about how much we can spend, or how long the kids can watch TV, or how many sick days I have, without him telling me to ask the mom. It would also be really nice if you would actually give her your input a.k.a. stick up for me if you disagree with her decisions.
9. Not backing me up: Please don’t comfort crying children who are upset because I am upset with them. They only do this when you are around because it works on you. It’s called manipulation.
8. Not enforcing rules: I thought we agreed that if your fussy three-year-old doesn’t eat a certain meal, then we offer it to her every time she is hungry until she eats it. SO, if I let you know she didn’t eat her lunch and it’s in the refrigerator so she can have it for dinner, I don’t want to find out the next day that you have her something else!
7. Your Vacation: It’s really nice you’re taking a little weekend trip or a ten-day vacation. Explain to me why you are keeping me up until the second you are in the car? What am I waiting around for after the kids are all ready to go and you just need to finish your last minute (or three hour) packing and preparations? Let me go home!
6. Disaster Times: If your neighborhood is at risk for being evacuated and mine is safe, I don’t’ really like hearing you are still counting on me to come in to work. That’s not very heartwarming. Your lucky I didn’t’ take my husband’s advice and quit after I hung up the phone.
5. Birthday Parties Cost: I know you don’t like hearing this, but it’s really not that nice for me to watch you spend well over $500 on a young child’s party and then receive a card with a $50 bill for my own birthday. (Which is a fraction of what I spend on your whole family's birthdays) I don’t care if you think it’s my business or not, I am human and this does bother me.
4. Birthday parties attendance: Please don’t invite me to attend your child’s birthday party that I have been planning, have me arrive early to help prepare and set up, and then invite me to relax and enjoy the party so that you don’t have to pay me for my time.
3. Sick days: I don’t really appreciate it when you keep your child home from school with me for the sniffles, or call me to pick her up at school for having gas if you are going to give me a hard time for staying home when I have H1N1 I received from your family.
2. Holidays and Visiting Friends: I am working the afternoon of the day before Thanksgiving, or the day after Thanksgiving, or Christmas Eve day or some other near holiday when companies all over the country have long released their employees out of kindness. Meanwhile, not only are you at home cooking, getting manicures, out to the movies or shopping, but you often have a house full of guests with eight kids and eight adults. All of them wondering…what the heck is the nanny doing here?!?!?!?
1. Not Really Being Able to Afford a Nanny: Recognize that you are my employer not my customer. If you don’t’ provide my healthcare, sick days, or extra gas money, raises or holidays, I go without. If you can’t provide some petty cash so the kids and I can get some ice cream and pay for parking, you probably better not hire a nanny. You know what? If I can’t afford to eat at a restaurant and buy a drink, and pay tax, and tip well in addition to my entrĂ©e, I don’t go out to eat.

Thanks I feel a lot better now. ; )


LovingNanny said...

My input:
13. Isn't it your job to help her with her schoolwork?
12. I don't get what's bad about that. You can prepare their breakfast and have a coffee yourself.
7. Maybe in case she does need help with the kids and she can get ready aswell. Why does it matter? You get payed for that time.
5. She spends HER money on HER child, what is bad about that. You seem to be very jealous. Get over it! You are not family, you are an employee. Be glad you get any kind of gift for your birthday.

It seems like you really dislike your job. Do yourself a favor and find a new one!

Are you serious? said...

Oh wow...

13. She is giving her child a head start. When the teacher starts with fractions the child will be able to understand it all. That is, if YOU do YOUR job as a nanny and help her. Every nanny job I've had has included homework help.

12. Do the kids REALLY have to be awake? And get to bed "on time"? Why is the time YOU want them to go to bed "on time". They put the kids to bed when THEY decide it is time, and while you wait for them to wake up, prepare for them to wake up. Get their breakfast ready. Eat. Watch tv. Read. Get ready for an arts and crafts activity. Or wake them up if you're so incapable of entertaining yourself.

11. Instead of getting mad that the mother thinks you spend too much, why don't you try spending less?

10. I had a family were the father had no say. That is because the MOM hired me, paid me, and was my boss. Some families are like this, accept it.

9. I can understand this one.

8. What happens after you go home, is not your business. Enforce the rules when you are there, and the kids will learn to behave the right way for you. Who cares what they eat when you leave?

7. It's your job. Again, get over it.

6. Why didn't you take the kids to your house?

5. Are you SERIOUS? Are you honestly old enough to be a nanny, because you sound like my 3 year old charge right now. You think the family is going to spend anywhere NEAR as much for you as they do for their own CHILD? Be grateful you got anything and realize that you have your own mommy and daddy. And your bosses aren't them. Grow up!!

4. Don't go early.

3. Keeping a child home from school isn't the same as a nanny not working. If they keep their kids home from school for 2 weeks straight, it isn't your business. Just do your job or find a new one.

2. I don't know a single person who gets days AROUND the holidays off. Simply the holidays themselves. I know of no companies that shut down so people can have the days AROUND Thanksgiving off. Or Christmas. Or any other holiday. Why didn't you go over holidays when you started the job?

1. If they can't afford icecream, then don't buy the damn kids icecream. Many families have nannies because they cut back on things like icecream and paid for parking. Just do what the hell you're supposed to do and stop adding expenses.

I really thought I'd be able to relate and agree with everything on the list, but it really sounds more like a bitching 14 year old sister who has to babysit every other Friday for $50 and can't just get over it.

Anni said...

The entitlement in this post is staggering, even if you "don't take it too seriously".

13. Unless there's some statement that this isn't part of your job...this is part of your job.

12. ...are you complaining that you get paid for doing nothing until the children are awake?

11. Things like this need to be worked out beforehand. You can't just spend spend spend on a regular basis and then get upset that someone doesn't want to reimburse you. Make a nanny kitty with a set amount of money for the week that you can both agree on. Problem solved.

10. I had a family like this, where the dad hardly knew a thing about how we ran the household or his kids lives, and it is a bit pain in the butt, especially when he'd come home at midnight and try to tell me what he wanted me to do when the mother had a completely different system, so, I understand you here.

9. Again, I feel you. I can't stand parents who make the nanny out of be the bad guy.

8. Again with the bad guy statement.

7. As long as this doesn't up your hours to some ridiculous degree, or keep you into the wee hours of the morning, and of course, you still get paid, I don't see an issue.

6. I've never had this happen, but I probably would've tried to work it out so that you don't have to be in the evacuation area with the children, or perhaps some extra cost for the drama. I'll be the first to say that harboring children in your own house is not a reasonable expectation to keep them safe otherwise.

5. Like you said. She's your employer. She's not obligated to give you anything but your contracted salary. In return, you are also not obligated to do the same, and especially not with an expectation that you should get back. That'd be the whole entire point of a gift in the first place!

4. Agreed. They shouldn't call you for anything that involves work unless you are being paid.

3. If sick days are listed in your contract, they basically need to suck it up.

2. Most everyone works the day before Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas Eve I have not heard a lot of people working, and I'd give an allowance for that. The other days, suck it up.

1. If they can't afford petty cash, then stop paying for things you know they can't afford! It's not the job of an employer to provide the nanny with "extra ice cream and parking money" ESPECIALLY if they are using that extra to pay you for your time.

The job of nannying doesn't include eating out whenever you want, taking the kids, and claiming that you should be reimbursed for that expense. Get over yourself.

get a moniker! said...

re-post for anonymous:
I agree with almost everything except the birthday gift. It's a birthday get over it, some people don't give their nannies anything for birthdays.

MA nanny said...

Ladies, let's not get our knickers in a twist! I read this for what it was, somebody wanting to vent in a lighthearted manner on aspects of a job that is very different from any other. I'm sure we all have things in our job that irritate us, as well as those that we enjoy.

VAnanny said...

I love when I get to work and the kids are still asleep! It gives me time to organize various arts and crafts or make plans for any other activities for the day! Don't know why this would be an issue! But a good read regardless, OP!

Go ahead and vent said...

Everyone needs to vent sometimes. The things that bother you don't necessarily bother other people but everyone has their list of things that get under their skin and I think it's o.k. to air your feelings. It's therapeutic!

Kentuckychickrk said...

While I don't agree with a lot of this, it was as you stated, a vent. And we're all entitled to those!

I will say though... I always LOVED when the kids were still in bed when I arrived. What I hated though... the kids were still in bed and mom wanted me there like TWO HOURS before she left for work, you know... just in case they might wake up (which they rarely did). Yeah, God forbid you tell your kids to hang out on the couch for a few minutes while mommy takes a shower.

Oh, and the holiday thing... I don't know too many people who don't work the day before and after Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas and New Year's Eve. I've worked every one of those days for the past nine years.

Rose said...

I agree with you 100 percent. It is kind of ridiculous. Sometimes I feel overworked and underpaid. Some of the people complaining don't know what it's like! I LOVE my job but just like other jobs there are things that frustrate people. You guys can't tell me that you have loved every single thing at every single job you have ever worked. I didn't think so! If you do, then you are really one in a million!

re-post said...

Anonymous said:
soooo freaking funny! you are awesome! I totally understand your need to vent without input:)

(How come ppl continue to post anonymous? Can't they read?)

anonynanny said...

13) I can understand not wanting to have to teach fractions to a kid who's never learned them, if you aren't a teacher and don't know how best to teach the material. It's one thing to help with actual homework that the teacher has presumably touched on in class, but it's quite another to be the teacher. I agree with you on this one, as long as you're only talking about parent-assigned homework and not school-assigned.

12) I don't like showing up when the kid is still asleep. I feel really awkward sitting around reading while the parents are running around getting ready for work and the kid is sleeping. It feels unprofessional, but what else am I supposed to do? A lot of times I end up cleaning up dishes or something, just to feel like I'm doing something.

10) Understandable, but aren't those all things that you should have known before you even started the job?

7) I hate this too, only because I don't like feeling useless. I realize I'm being paid for my time and I am grateful for that, but again, I feel awkward and unprofessional when the parents are running around and the kid is reading to himself. It always feels like I should be doing something, even though there's nothing for me to do.

6) That is scary and if I were you, I would explain to my boss that I am uncomfortable putting myself in danger, and refuse to come in.

5) I agree with everyone else in saying that that's not something to be upset about. I know fully well how much my kid's birthday party cost (hint: more than all my childhood birthday parties combined), yet I was still grateful and surprised at getting a small gift card for my birthday, because it's not necessary and it is an extra expense for the family.

4) I always expect to be paid for any time that I am responsible for some level of care for the child. If the parents left the party room and the child fell down, I'm sure you'd be the one expected to take care of him. You should be paid for any time you spend with them, unless you're choosing not to be paid. I keep track of my own hours, and sometimes I say I worked a little less than I actually did, because they said I could go home and I stuck around to finish a game or something. But that's MY choice.

3) Now you know for the future that sick days are something you need to work out ahead of time. Also, if they're giving you a hard time for not coming in when you have H1N1... come in and show them just how bad a job you'll do when you're sick and not able to function right! (Disclaimer: Don't actually do this.)

1) This is all stuff you should have known BEFORE you started. Next time ask first.

Denver Nanny said...

As a future elementary teacher: Many teachers find it frustrating when parents decide to take it upon themselves to introduce new math concepts--though I see no problem with asking Nanny to help with hmwk over breaks. Math is not taught ANYTHING like it was when I was in elementary school in the mid-late 90's and when the teacher has to "unteach" or "reteach" material, it makes the teacher's job that much more difficult. Maybe tell momboss you'd be happy to ask the teacher for additional homework revolving around what they're actually working on...?

I understand the present thing... and that's why I put myself in check and stopped spending money on my charges.

Great rant :)

pick a moniker! said...

OMG! Are you friggin' serious with your "complaints"? If you hate being a nanny so much then why don't you go get an education & get a job where you can have the paid sick days, bonuses, and the day after Thanksgiving off. Your sense of entitlement in that post is just ridiculous. I wish I knew who you were so I could tell the parents you're working for what kind of a pig they have as a nanny. You shouldn't be anywhere near children!

NervousNanny said...

Okay, anonymous.
What makes you think the nanny does not have an education? I am a college graduate in a Masters program and I work as a nanny. Many of my friends who work as nannies are college graduates as well. Where do you get off thinking she doesn't have an education? Most nannies I know are incredibly smart because they need to teach the children things everyday--whether it be practicing numbers, letters, reading, math, etc. Nannies are also teachers in many ways.

OP-I question some of your ideas, but I get that this is a rant and when I talk to my non-nanny friends about job-related things they don't understand my frustrations. Vent away.

cali mom said...

My only comment is about the spending money. Maybe the reason mom and dad can AFFORD a nanny at all is BECAUSE they don't spend $50 a week on entertainments for toddlers. Pack some sanndwiches and walk to the playground like SAHP mostly do and limit the big adventures to once or twice a month.

PinkNanny said...

wow it's very funny how many people felt the need to itemize the list of someone else's vents and debate each one.

i wonder why that is? is someone feeling a little defensive?

maybe people don't know what venting is for. interesting.

monkeyshines said...

please vent away!!

isnt it better to vent then go upside one of the kids heads?

CuriousDad said...

Hope your rant helped you a bit. It is always good to get things off our chest once in awhile.

You might want to ignore this part. It is long.
But hey, I would like to get this off my chest.
As a "Dad and Husband", from our prospective: I do NOT sleep with you. I sleep with her.

Yes we do have a say. We just know that saying it in FRONT of the employee and/or kids just undermines our spouse. Better to talk to them in private. The only time we NEED to step in, is if there is actual danger, something is going on that is illegal or in some way just messed up. Then we can ask our wives to come and talk to us in PRIVATE.

If you think I will step in when you want me too. You will be coming to me EVERYTIME you might have a conflict with my wife or you will short circuit my wife’s authority.

So, when she starts giving me the cold shoulder because I took your side over hers are you going to let me sleep with you? Why are you coming to me, when you very well know from the way we have things set up, she is your actual boss?

Kids try that; "Let us go to Daddy, because we think Mommy will not give us the answer we want". I answer our kids the same way you get answered by the Dad. "Ask Mommy" Why? Because it is consistent and it works for us as a division of Labor. And I do not screw up, because of a decision made by my spouse, I do not know about. By you coming to me, I may give you the wrong answer then my wife and I must backtrack. This causes more problems for everyone involved. It is far easier to make you go to one person.

I do not know of a couple who does not do this. Because not everyone needs to mow the grass and wash dishes, one person can do one thing and the other can do the other. Both do not need to deal with the Nanny all the time. Better for only one of us to be the main go to person for that job. Such as needing to keep track of your sick days, one spouse already has taken upon their self to do that. That decission was made by either spoken or unspoken discussion with me.

BTW: When you have an actual boss and but there is another "senior" person/boss, but they are not the one directly in charge of you, though they may be above you. If you pulled that stunt in an office setting your career would be on thin ice.

Dad response??? said...

I don't understand the last response from the Dad. Aren't both parents responsible for the children? I would hope both parents hire the nanny too.

Even if the mom is mainly in charge, why doesn't the mom communicate the rules and job requirements to the dad so they can be on the same page? Then he can answer questions at least.

Even still, I don't really understand why the dad shouldn't be able to make executive decisions regarding his family in the circumstance that the mother is not available.

If you are worried the nanny is going behind the mother's back to try to get something, I'm sure both parents would figure it out pretty quickly if they ever communicate about the nanny at all.

Very strange.

CuriousDad said...

Dad response???
Sorry was very tired when I wrote that and it comes across very disjointed from.
“I don't understand the last response from the Dad. Aren't both parents responsible for the children?”
Yes, both are responsible. But there is a difference between being responsible for something and being the primary person in charge of that task. Most couples split the work load into agreed work areas.
“I would hope both parents hire the nanny too.”
Right, I know the husbands response on this. 'You want so and so? (Mental process of information: Is she a known felon? Does she smell? Is my wife pretty set on this decision? Riiiiight.) Yes, Dear.'

Most of the households I have seen come across this board that have a Nanny, THE WIFE is in charge. Matter of fact the only time I have seen where the dad is really heavily involved with the Nanny hiring beyond asking questions or voicing concerns. Is when they are a single parent, or the couple has agreed that he has more say in the hiring decision, which is very RARE.
As Are you serious posted above.
"10. I had a family were the father had no say. That is because the MOM hired me, paid me, and was my boss. Some families are like this, accept it."

“Even if the mom is mainly in charge, why doesn't the mom communicate the rules and job requirements to the dad so they can be on the same page? Then he can answer questions at least. “
Is this a perfect robot family or are they a living breathing family? Mom might have communicated what she wanted and the needed information to the Dad at some point. Does not mean he remembers it and the rules might have changed in the itnerim in her mind. That the dad should tell the Nanny to talk to the mother anyway might be THE rule.

“Even still, I don't really understand why the dad shouldn't be able to make executive decisions regarding his family in the circumstance that the mother is not available. “
Are you married? What husband in his right mind is going to piss his wife off over the Nanny by making an executive decision, if he does not have too? We will save those times for when it is important to us. Like a new car, or bringing home the new puppy for the kids that we already discussed and the decision was made that we would hold off another year. OR sarting that projecgt we think will only take a week and you KNWO will take 6 months when you hire a professional. We only get so many screw up points before going into the dog house. He is dealing with a WIFE (You know best friend, Lover, the person that can put him down and get away with it, the person he SLEEPS with.) not a Peer or Employee.

“If you are worried the nanny is going behind the mother's back to try to get something, I'm sure both parents would figure it out pretty quickly if they ever communicate about the nanny at all.”
Not worried at all, just the way the OP wrote made me think that. My response would be exactly what many a Husband would do and the reason why he would do it, to get the Nanny to talk to the Mother instead.

Standard Husband lines for continuing harmony within a household:
“Yes, Dear.” “Ask my wife.” “I am sorry.” “I won’t happen again.” “Damn you look beautiful.”

Husband is in the doghouse said...

Curious Dad said:
"Standard Husband lines for continuing harmony within a household:
“Yes, Dear.” “Ask my wife.” “I am sorry.” “I won’t happen again.” “Damn you look beautiful.”

My response:
You have it nailed. Your Wife is very lucky to have a Husband like you!

1st time poster said...

Curious Dad said:

" *inserts everything he said* "

My response:

Honey, you GET IT! Do you have a twin? Is he single? Can I have him pls?!? Failing that I will settle for your clone xD

P.S. I especially got a giggle out of "We only get so many screw up points before going into the dog house"... and the rest of that paragraph was perFECTion! xD

P.P.S. sorry for being 'Anonymous' but I will probably never post here again and really didn't want to waste time signing up for one wee say =)

Seattle Nanny said...

13. I am with you on this, to a point. Practicing is one thing, trying to push his or her son or daughter ahead of the class begs the question, "Who is the parent trying to impress?"
12. I think you're a little nuts on this one. Sure it'd be best for them to have a regular bedtime if they don't, but that's up to the parents, not you. Don't get me wrong, always being able to do something is one of the joys of the job, but even when my charges are asleep, I find projects, things to do to prep for when they wake up or things to help out. Try it.
11. I stopped tracking gas and rolled it into my asking rate a long time ago. It drove me nuts to have an employer trying to get me to use a different gas station because it'd save her a few cents. This and the logical inconsistency with the lack of food in the house and complaining about you finding lunch elsewhere, I'm with you on. However I must wonder, have you ever offered to buy groceries or instead just bought them? That'd be me. I was frustrated with one employer putting off buying a light bulb, so I went out, bought it, changed it and billed them for it.
10. Having the parents not be a team is annoying. I feel for you.
9 & 8. Parents undermining the nanny authority I imagine would be fairly frustrating. I would probably respond to the parent with a resignation letter because I wouldn't be able to do my job.
7. If you're not going to see them for ten days, why don't you want to stick around and be with your charges every second you can? I would be stuck to mine like glue.
6. I don't know enough to comment.
5. I'm sorry, I would love $50 on my birthday. A card from one of my charges would be even better because that I'll enjoy ten years from now when ruffling through a box for something. I don't believe my current employers are aware of when mine is.
4. No sympathy here. I am giving notice to my family tomorrow and hoping I'll still be able to attend a charge's birthday party next month. Although what to get now that Fisher Price doesn't make the Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo Choo, I don't know.
3. On the double-standard, I'm with you.
2. Meh.
1. This I'm with you on one hundred percent. It's insane how many parents don't ever ask themselves, "Can my nanny live on this?" Then they're surprised when we give notice and move on.