Using the nanny up before she's out....

Received Monday, May 24, 2010
perspective and opinion I really shouldn't be complaining. It's my last week. At the end of the week I know I never have to come back, but some recent events have made me totally upset and I'm just looking for advice. Would any of you bring these things up? or hopefully just venting about it will be enough for me.
I work for a family Tuesday-Friday as a live in nanny. Normally I let things slide because I if I stay a little later I normally get extra time off the next day or I get "down time" during the day when the kids are at school. But here's what has happened this week to just really set me off.....It was my birthday Sunday. I normally have saturday-monday off. My birthday was not a good one. I'm away from home, my husbands deployed, and the family I have close by went out of town so I spent my birthday alone. I have done something for the youngest birthday, the mothers birthday, and I'm doing something for the oldest before I leave because her birthday falls just days after I've left, But I didn't even get so much as a home-made card. On top of that she asked me to work this morning (monday) for 1 hour. So I had to get up and work for an hour (without compensation). When I come upstairs the father tells me they will need me to do an overnight tomorrow night. I've only done one overnight and I got an extra day off for it. I'm not sure how or if they plan to compensate me since I'm leaving on Friday. I guess I'm just feeling really unappreciated and needed to vent. The worst part of it all is I gave my notice April 13th, My last day is the 28th of May. So as you can see I've given way longer than a month. When the month was up she still hadn't found anyone so I gave them an extra 2 weeks. I just feel really taken advantage of and I don't know whether it's worth it to express those feelings or to ask for Thursday to be my last day since I'm doing an overnight or what. What would you all do? Any advice is appreciated- rudeness is not. Thanks


Jewel said...

As a former live-in nanny, I would tke a look at your contract. Does the contract state a certain number of hours each week, certain days and hours, or certain days? For example, if your contract says you are to work Monday through Friday as needed for up to 40 hours, it doesn't matter if you haven't worked Monday in the past, it's in the contract that you should. However, if your contract is for Tuesday through Friday, then you should get an appropriate hourly rate for any time you choose (because you do choose) to work on your days off. You do not have to work any hours that are not in your contract. However, if this is only a single hour that's a problem, I'd leave it be since you're leaving Friday.

I do think you have the right to leave whenever you are ready, seeing as you gave them your month after saying you were leaving, unless you signed a new contract or gave verbal promise that you would stay for the last two weeks. In a court of law, a verbal contract such as promising to stay another two weeks would not hold up, but if you have any chance of a good reference left from this family, I would stay on their good side to the very last day. Just make sure they know you are *definitely* leaving on Friday.

As for the overnight, unless it is in your contract that you do overnights, you are not obligated to do this overnight sitting. Tell them to get a babysitter if you need that time to prepare for your move Friday or Saturday. Don't let them bully you into doing the overnight if you don't want to. You are a human being and just because you live under their roof, doesn't mean you have to do everything they tell you.

Finally, if you *don't* have a contract, make sure you negotiate a contract with the next family you work for. Contracts are extremely important, and no nanny should enter a job (unless it is a very temporary job of under two weeks) without a full contract, including references from past nannies, babysitters, or others who watched the children or know the parents well.

~Nanny of 5 years

oh well said...

First of all, Happy Birthday! I think you should try to relax, put a big smile on your face and maybe start practicing saying no in front of a mirror. Your employers do seem to be taking advantage, but there is little you can do about it. Just move on.

Megan said...

I wouldn't bother expressing anything to them. Best not to burn bridges / end good references.

But I wouldn't extend again.

Iris said...

I have had several nannies and many sitters and am considered a good employer. However, I do not recognize birthdays of adults (except my Mom) beyond saying Happy Birthday, nor do I have my kids do do. Birthdays are just not that important to a lot of people, once they are grown up, and this doesn't mean they don't value you as an employee. If you have been treated fairly up till now, there is no reason to think you won't be at the end.

CSNanny said...

That is crap, Iris, that you don't have your kids make a card for the nanny. The other person who helps you raise your children.

Nanny Sarah said... seems to me that since they still haven't found someone else...they probably are trying to "punish you" by being this way.

Original Poster-- said...

OP here-
They have found someone. They found her the week I offered to stay but she had to give her month notice as well. She doesn't even start until after I leave. I'm just curious how I should bring up the compensation for the overnight. I've gone above and beyond for this family and I know they are trying to get all they can out of me before I leave but I'm not doing an overnight without some kind of compensation. How should I go about bringing this up? And no to answer a previous post- overnights were discussed but never agreed upon as part of the deal.

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

Forget the overnight, however unfair that may seem to you, leaving on a positive note will serve your interests far more than a single night of pay. Think long-term here, you're not going to forget these people after Friday.

Take the high road, let bygones be bygones.

Years from now when you're seeking the job after whatever you find after them, a positive reference from these people will prove worth at least ten nights. Even if you're no longer a nanny.

For remember every day you're unemployed is a day without pay.

JillianBean said...

I have to agree, grin and bare it, Friday is only a few days away and then you'll never see this family again. If I were you, I'd simply try to focus on being positive, and do the overnight looking at it as one last chance to spend quality time with the children you helped raise and a proper chance to truly say "goodbye". I wouldn't worry about bringing issues up (it's really too late for that) I'd simply do my job, and think toward the future. Don't end on a sour note, don't cause trouble (even if they are taking advantage, during your last few days complaining will come across petty). Put a smile on your face, and simply rejoice in the fact you'll no longer be working for a family that finds it acceptable to squeeze every last ounce of energy out of their nanny before she leaves.

Lastly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It saddens me to hear an adult say Birthdays are unimportant . . . there is magic in youth, and all too often we lose it as adults. Here's to hoping we can all remember what it feels like to turn 10 even at 50, and here's to also remembering that it feels better to give than receive.

All the best to you OP!

NannyinMA said...

I think you should at least bring up being compensated for the overnight since you said it wasn't agreed upon in the contract. I understand your leaving on Friday and you may or may not need them as a reference and it may not be the best idea to bring up other things but I definitely think you should bring up being compensated for the overnight. It sounds like it was sprung on you with not a lot of notice. Ignore the other stuff but bring up being compensated. You deserve to be paid for the time. It might be your last time spending quality time with the kids but they aren't your kids and even if you do care about them and love them this is a job and you deserve to be paid for your work.

Shocked. said...

I'm shocked that some of you are actually suggest she just keep her mouth shut and work an overnight for free. Would any of you work an overnight for free?
She shouldn't bring up the other stuff, it's a little too late for that, but the overnight is in the present. She gave her notice and what appears to be more than a month at that and now they just expect her to be there for an overnight. They didn't even acknowledge her birthday. They sound kinda crappy to me. A person who works and lives in your home, who takes care of your children, and helps run your household should be respected and appreciated. I think she should get compensated for her overnight especially since it's her last week. How dare any of you suggest she not get paid for work. Again please ask yourselves.....Would you work for free?

Happy Birthday said...

How about just casually asking them how they are going to handle the extra pay since your last day is Friday and it's too late to get a day off to compensate you for working overnight. I would just say it like it's a given they are going to pay you and you just want to know if it's a flat fee or hourly. Good luck

JillianBean said...

To clarify, I was actually referring to not bringing up things such as: the birthday not being acknowledged, simply being ASKED to work extra hours, or feeling taken advantage of or used. I don't think any person should work without pay; however I also don't think she should complain about the other matters when she's leaving in a matter of days.

Any employer, whether it be the start of your employment or the end has the right to ask you to work overtime, and you have the right to do so, or decline.

When I said to just be positive and work the overnight, I meant don't bring up small petty issues, but I did NOT mean to work without pay. Ending any relationship (whether it be work or otherwise) with a fight is a miserable way to go. I suppose I simply assumed OP would address the issue of payment, and also assumed (maybe wrongfully) that no employer would be cruel, dumb (or crazy) enough to try to get away without paying an employ for hours worked. Just because OP's boss hasn't mentioned compensation doesn't mean she is planning on stiffing her, she might assume OP realizes she'll get her regular pay . . . BUT, better to be safe and bring it up than sorry later, after all not everyone is ethical and maybe she is holding some sort of grudge against OP for moving on.

Yes, OP, PLEASE bring up the issue of compensation for your overnight work, but please don't bring up the other issues . . . you're almost done! :) I know it sucks to be taken advantage of right at the end of a job, but unfortunately far too many crummy bosses try to get as much as possible out of you right before you leave. Lastly, if your boss isn't planning on compensating you for the overnight care it might not be worth smiling and sticking it out. It might (provided you don't need their reference) be better to simply leave a few days early with your dignity.

cali mom said...

I'd say the issue of overnight pay comes down to whether or not you need a reference from these people and how long you've worked for them, which you don't mention.

If they really are being a-holes and trying to squeeze extra time out of you for nothing, do you REALLY think they'd not turn on a dime and give you a nasty (probably untrue) reference if you put your foot down over this? In other words, if you're fine with swapping your chances of good future employment with an extra $50 or a few hours off for the overnight then by all means, insist they compensate you properly.

I like the idea of just bringing it up as a matter of fact that OF COURSE they have planned to compensate you properly, but unless you already have a written glowing reference from them in hand, I personally wouldn't push it if they act as though that was supposed to just be part of your normal work. Again that is, unless you don't need any reference from them at all but most people in this crappy job market would. But you don't say what your career plans are after you leave them, or if you already have anotehr job lined up, so that would factor in.

Super Cute said...


I would happily work several nights free to be given the opportunity to say a proper good bye to the charges I had at the end of 2008. I swear to God I would. Sadly the parents wanted to listen to the voices in their heads and end on a negative, and rather abrupt, note on October 3rd.

I had no chance to say good bye. Not even a minute. I had done everything right. It's a long story, but I really had, everything right.

OP should be happy with what she has. She is leaving on her own accord and has the opportunity to say good bye. For this she should be grateful. Another's children or not, they are children she has cared for and loved.

OP should look on this positive. In comparison to it a single night of pay just isn't worth obsessing about. And finally, yes, protecting the reference is more important even if OP believes she won't need it - because you can't really ever be sure. Megan was right, a good reference is valuable, it quickens a job search.

I would say, bring up the matter of compensation after the time has been worked with something like, "What about [that] night's pay?" when being paid for the rest of the week. Back off if they hedge. I'm serious, don't let emotion run this and that's all that is above, be a nanny general, keep strategy in mind.

OP here...Again said...

Hey guys. OP here.
Okay I guess part of me just wanted to vent to a site that would understand where I'm coming from. The other part of me is fed up with being walked all over. I needed this job but I don't anymore. I recently got married and shortly after my husband deployed. this is a very stressful time so I'm actually moving home to be with family and will be living back in my old home state because that's where my husband is stationed.
I think with the end finally being in sight I'm just ready to put my foot down and get what I deserve.

I agree with everyone who says not to bring up previous issues (which include overtime hours I haven't been paid for, using my own vehicle for this job and supplying my own gas money, getting an "I don't like to be told NO speech" twice when I tried to put my foot down, etc) It's just a lot of things that have built up and this is like the final straw.

I will not bring up the prior issues but I do want to bring up being compensated for the overnight.
I stayed longer than a month even though I didn't want to because I couldn't stand the thought of leaving them without someone when I know they absolutely need someone. I think I've done way more than is needed and with the end being a few days away I don't feel like letting things slide any longer.

To the people asking about if I need the reference, Honestly I don't. I have 5 glowing references from previous nanny jobs and I also have 4 current families that I been working with as their regular babysitter. So No I don't actually need this reference if it comes down to getting what I deserve and for standing up for what I believe is the right thing.

Cali Mom-
I have been with this family for a year. I have never missed a day, never called out sick, have been late once due to being sick but I was only 5 minutes late and I worked that whole day with no complaints.

I think at this point I'm just really frazzled. I thought I was working for a family who appreciated and respected me and with all the little things that just keep coming up I'm feeling very much unappreciated.
Thank you guys for letting me vent and thank you for all the advice. I am going to bring up the compensation but in a very nice way.

Oakleafnanny said...

My employers didnt even
acknowledge my bday this year..ive been with them for almost 5 years..they know when it is. As a nanny not yet a mom, I dont get a mothers day.. A birthday is one day a year where a childless nanny can be made to feel special,important and valued. A simple "happy birthday! We love the job your doing. Thank you!" is all thats really needed.. I feel you op..good luck..

cheshirecat said...

Treat the relationship with the parents as it is ie EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE. If they're not playing their part properly, tell them. Remember, you have been a loyal and reliable nanny. YOU DON'T OWE THEM A THING.

chew and screw said...


screw this family. I would walk now. Good for you: you don't need them at all.

CSNanny said...

I would tell them you would work Friday overnight for X amount of money. No money, no overnight. If you don't need the reference, then you can maintain your dignity of not being taken advantage of. It sounds like they've been taking advantage of you, and at least this way you can end things on your terms. Say goodbye to the kids the day before you leave. Good luck, and keep us posted. :)

Ravenswood Nanny said...

This comment isn't rude, it's truthful:

You are acting like you are a victim and it's annoying. When she called and asked you to come in an hour early you could have said NO. You had a choice. When they asked you if you wanted to stay over night you could have said NO. You had a choice. If you didn't want to say no, but were hoping for time off to compensate for it you could have said, yes, I'll come in early if I can leave early. OR yes, I'll stay overnight if I can be compensated for it or have another night off.

In these situations you chose to do what they asked without setting it up the way you wanted it to be. You are a victim of your own choosing, not because the family is taking advantage of you. They can ask, you can say no.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think you should wait till Friday and see if she does include pay for the over night.....and yes she did have a choice, and she choose to help and be considerate, that doesn't mean they had to go about it that way.

Never take someone's kindness for weakness. She should have appreciated she decided to work, the week she will be leaving the job, cause most people would say no. So be considerate to both employers and nannies.

Nanny said...

I don't think she's playing the victim. She obviously knows she could have said something earlier. She states she does not plan on bringing up any prior issues. Just the fact of payment for the overnight. I don't know what the "I don't like to be told NO" conversations entailed and I doubt I'd want to but I'm sure she needed her job just like everyone else and she chose to help out instead of getting into a confrontation.

Megan said...

OP, just because you don't need the job now doesn't mean you won't ever, and that you won't ever need the reference. Your other references can move out of the country, die, become too busy with their lives or just lose interest in you. Time for one does weird things to people.

Imagine if one parent was proved unfaithful, both may want to forget everything they associate with the other. You lose a reference. Or if one dies and the other wants to forget everything they associated with the other. You lose a reference. A new promotion, no time to for other things. You were wonderful, but so sorry. You lose a reference. The new promotion one has happened to me.

To think you've crossed some threshold where you can dump a possible reference is dangerous thinking, because if you do it once, you're bound to do it again and some day it may come back to haunt you. However under appreciated you may feel, at least your employers aren't actively hostile.

You're not there to teach the parents a lesson, to correct the parents behavior. Nothing you say or do will change them. Bring up the compensation in a nice way as you've said here, but drop the crusade thinking.

Megan said...

"doesn't mean you won't ever"

I meant a job in general here.

Indigo said...

Wow Ravenswood Nanny, you sound like you don't have a shred of compassion.

Anyway, you know what OP, I have learned something in my nanny experience: People will definitely take advantage of you as long as you let them. I know you have learned this too now.

The shame is on them, but unfortunately, the burden is on you to stick up for yourself.

I do think you should ask for the money by saying that you either aren't available or that you are in a financial bind and really need the money.

since these people are obviously selfish and heartless, you may have to actually pretend like you can't make it in order to get them to break their selfish habits.

honestly, people who hire nannies need to be able to pay for these "extras". keep in mind, they hired you as a personal, exclusive employee - a luxury! they need to act like employers and take care of you the way employers should.

Print this page out if you have to.

Happy Birthday and good luck.

Hey, You're Almost Done! said...

I know I'm a little late, but did you do the overnight? If it had been me, when the dad asked, I would have simply said, "Sure, no problem, what time do you need me? I'll just need X amount of money added on to my check for the overnight and X amount added for the hour on Monday." It really isn't asking much or being belligerent to request what is yours. Yes, YOURS. If you earned it, the wages belong to you. Just keep on your happy face through the rest of the week, give the kids a big kiss goodbye on Friday and dance all the way home this weekend.

PS: A big happy belated birthday to you! No matter what anyone says, birthdays are always important, every single year. I throw myself and my husband a big party every year on each of our birthdays and it embarrasses the hell out of him. It's great!

PPS: So sorry you can't spend this time with your husband. God bless him.

one more nanny said...

I would ask for compensation for the overnight and let everything slide. Then you can (hopefully) walk away with a good reference.

Jewel said...

You should *definitely* bring up compensation for the over-night if you agree to do it. Because overnights are not in the contract, you do *not* have to agree to doing an over-night. If you do not wish to do it, show them the contract and tell them that you need extra time to pack or plan for the move (I doubt you couldn't do with a little more time) and that you can't do the over-night. If you decide to do it, tell them what "Happy Birthday" said: bring it up as if it is a given. The legal overpay amount for a live-in nanny is time and a half, I believe. Yes, there are laws about nannies. Do a google search for laws+nanny, and you should be able to find it. I looked this up when the family was trying to get me to do 60 hours a week as a live-out nanny without overtime compensation. I printed the section of the laws out and showed it to them and discussed compensation. In the end, they hired a second nanny to do the other hours, which worked just fine for me, because I really didn't want to do 60 hours a week anyway, and it was cheaper for them, and the nanny they hired wasn't *too* bad...anyway, look up the law; the law's on your side.

Furthermore, the family can NOT give you a nasty reference. If you use them as a reference and they say nasty things, that is slander, and you can sue them for it. They cannot "air their dirty laundry." Yes, this is based on laws I found. i cannot remember the exact laws, but it's illegal for the family to slander you. If they don't want to give a good reference, the only legal thing they can do is "No comment" or similar. That doesn't look bad, but you can prevent such a thing from happening simply by not putting them on your reference list. You can still put them in your experiences on your resume, but you don't have to use them as a reference. If the family asks, tell them that the family doesn't want to be a reference (which would be the same as the no comment) or that you haven't heard back from them with permission or something. *shrug* You don't have to give every family's information away. Not every family will even want to be a reference.

One more the future, ask the parents to write a reference letter at least two weeks before you are leaving. Thuis way, you have a reference letter that gives the true reference, and even if it goes sour in the end, as it often does, you will still have the reference letter, and they can't take *that* back. Have them write the letter and sign it, and you'll have it to give future families.

CS Nanny said...

OP, I am curious to what ended up happening. Are you working tonight? Did you discuss compensation?