What Would be the Best Way to Cut Ties?

Received Monday, May 31, 2010
perspective and opinion I'm greatly in need of advice. I've been kind of unhappy at my job, I am a live in and work 45 hours or more a week. I love the kids dearly but I do not enjoy living here all too much. Not to mention most days I am not off on time because now i have to pick up the two oldest who are 16 & 5 from school and it puts me getting home 1/2 hour later than I'm supposed to get off, and then rushing out the door to get to my own classes (by the way no one acknowledge that adds up to 2.5 extra unpaid hours a week... or any other extra hours they have me work... for my already less than minimum wage salary). The parents sometime argue to the point that it gives me panic attacks, and when mom boss doesn't like how something was done, and boy she likes it perfect, she resorts to yelling at me. There have been other instances that have led up to this moment over the past 2 years, like not paying for 1 day off when my grandfather died, leaving for a week on vacation and leaving me with the kids without asking me if that's alright (actually that's happening next week... and god knows I wont be paid for it).

Ive been keeping my eye out for a new job the past year but being the way the job market has been, nanny jobs, especially live in ones offering a car too were few and far between. Last week I happened to see one and curiously contacted the woman and everything is sounding well... wonderful and perfect for me... itd be part time all they need is someone to come through the house 1-2 hours a day and straighten up but not clean, they have a cleaning service, and 15 hours of babysitting and be making exactly the same amount that I am now. Thats perfect for me, then I can spend more time studying and less time working and still make enough to pay my other bills. Ive done a phone interview and they love me already and said I sound like I will be a good fit for their family, and invited me to come meet the family. I honestly feel with 99.9% assurance that I will be offered the position. which i cant be more happy about.

But there is a downside, I really dont know how to QUIT my current live in job, the parents are going away for a vacation next sunday and will be gone for a week without the kids, and then I am supposed to have my one week paid vacation (the only paid vacation i get other than the standard holdiays) the first week of july. Now if I'm offered the job before then, I am affraid to give notice before I go on vacation, for fear that they will decide not to pay me for that week and or might kick me out right then. I thought I could tell them when I got back, I told the new family I could start first week of august, leaving current family 3 weeks notice. Is this okay? I feel really bad not giving more notice or even telling them I was interviewing.

And yet there's one more thing to make me feel bad about quiting, they plan on putting their son in a co-op preschool 2 days a week and having me be the helper, as shes talking about this, I feel awful knowing very well that I probably wont be there when he starts preschool, and that Id be leaving shortly before school starts making it hard for them to find any care since they have no family around the area, but I dont want to tell them sooner for fear of A) being kicked out right away and B) losing my paid vacation for which I cant afford to go on if im not paid that week but the plane tickets have been purchased.... I plan on telling mom and dad that while i was looking for some extra weekend babysitting opportunity, I came across this live in ad and it sounded like a good opportunity, so I went for it and got it, and it would give me more time to concentrate on school since itd only be part time. This is a very sticky situation... How do I tell them? Email? Letter? Sit down n Chat? Any advice?


taking advantage said...

They are taking advantage of you. I don't know much about co-op preschools, but I do know that they are very parent oriented. These people want another parent for their child, not a nanny. Just quit, just do it.


FrogBabyNanny said...

You need to put yourself and your happiness first- go for the new job and give them 3 weeks notice after your vacation. You have worked hard- you deserve your vacation, and 3 weeks is certainly more than enough. Provided your contract (if you have one) does not state you must give more notice than 3 weeks, that is being generous. I just left my nanny position and gave them 3 weeks notice, and they were very grateful for that extra week beyond the standard 2 weeks.

I know it's tough- as nannies, our jobs are caring for people. So naturally, we tend to be very caring, giving people. Because of that, it's hard to leave positions and cut ties. But you need to be professional about it too, meaning it is just a job, they can/will find someone else, and you will have a better job! You will be so happy with your decision looking back. Go on your vacation, have a blast, and give them notice as soon as you get back!

On a side note though, I would be prepared if they do kick you out then and there. It doesn't necessarily sound like they will, but if I were a live-in that is something I would always want to be prepared for, just in case.

Angelina said...

I think it is wise that you are planning ahead, however you may be jumping the gun a little. I am a Nanny who is in the process of finding a consistent job and I try not to get my hopes up and make plans until I actually GET the job. I have met families in person who told me I seemed like the perfect fit and that we had so much in common along w/great chemistry, etc. I got along well w/the children and I left the house excited feeling like I had nailed the interview. This has happened a lot, then the dreaded email.."We decided to hire another nanny" and "But we wish you the best of luck", etc...I used to get jobs so easy, but now w/budget cuts in the schools and such, I am taking it that a lot of teachers are entering the nanny field and are my new competition.
So, do not burn your bridges w/this family (yet!). Especially if you live there. Take a wait and see approach and tread carefully. Again, until you actually begin working for this new family, then the deal is not sealed. They may be saying the same thing and interviewing other nannies as well. they know about your present situation? If so, maybe if they really like you that much, they would be willing to accommodate your situation.
Best of luck to you OP.

thank god i live out said...

I agree with Angelina- I would personally be hesitant to believe I had a new job lined up until it had actually been offered to me.

Go on your vacation, and when you come back, give them 2 weeks notice. Three weeks is excessive in this circumstance and it makes for a long time for potential New Family to wait. Have a plan in case Old Family throws you out.

Stop feeling so guilty. If they want to hang on to their nanny, there's a way to treat her, that includes paying (at least) minimum wage and not using her as a verbal punching bag. In your next job, try to set some boundaries.

pro-nanny mom said...

If you don't trust the family to pay you what was contractually agreed to - 1 week vacation - that is a family that does not deserve the courtesy of extra notice. They take their vacation, you take yours, if you have the new position confirmed you can then give notice. With the economy being bad, they will find someone else soon enough. Hopefully losing you will help them wake up and treat their next nanny better and not cheat her out of earned hours of pay.

I agree with the others, until you have the job, do not say a thing.

Village said...

They have been taking advantage of you. You don't owe them a thing. Work out your departure as it best suits your needs, and then depart. Fear not, they will find another person to use and abuse.

Congratulations on your new job. Be proud of yourself for taking care of YOUR needs.

oh well said...

First make sure that you do get the job and that you have everything covered (including a possible kick-out). Then you can have a talk with your family (no letter or e-mail). You seem to have lots of valid reasons for leaving (higher salary, more time for studying) that your employers should understand (if not necessarily be happy with). You should not feel guilty for doing what is right for you.

Sakeena said...

I'd quit after my vacation. Worry about yourself, they worry about themselves.

OP Nanny said...


I went to the interview sunday and met the family, they were so nice, I was there for 2 hours, the daughter sat right down at the table and started talking to me like we were sisters.

At the end of the interview they told me that it was between me and another girl who they also really liked, and they needed some time to talk it over and would decide this week.

6 hours later, I got a call, and they said they wanted me.

I think a big reason they chose me over someone else is that, I'm also an artist and so is the mother and so times when she may not need me for childcare, I could help her in her studio! That would be awesome!

They also said that they don't really want to wait til august for me to start since theyll be gone for the second 2 weeks of august and itd be a strange transition, so they offered to pay my week of vacation if it mean I would start sooner. :) So my plan is to write a letter of resignation and ask to sit down with them at the end of this week, probably Thursday night. I will tell them that my last day will be July 2nd. My vacation begins july 3rd - 11th. I will just make sure I get all my stuff moved to the new familys house before then and I can start with the new family on July 12th. It seems the best logistically.

It already seems as though the new family will be great since they already offered to pay that week of vacation. I'm so happy, but honestly scare about how my boss is going to react when I tell her, I expect plenty of yelling.

pro-nanny mom said...

Congratulations on the great news OP. If the employers are going to yell at you, that just reinforces this was a bad situation to be in. I feel badly for the kid.

cheshirecat said...

You have been exploited by these people and nothing but. Thus you owe them nothing. Seize the day and do what makes you happy (ie. quitting and taking on a better job)

Angelina said...

OP, I am so glad that you landed the job! Congrats and kudos to you! If the other family yells...let is their own darn fault and they can go yell for as long as they want to!
The new family sounds like a wonderful opportunity and the fact that they will help you get out of this bad situations speaks volumes on their part.
Best of luck to you.

Been There said...

OP, I feel ya. I know what it's like to have a boss who yells like that. She is also the type who would try to make me feel guilty about stuff like taking a day off or whatever. I always just had to remind myself that her tantrums were all on HER, not to do with me. You have already decided to go, you know it's the right decision. When you tell her, don't get defensive, don't get upset, just tell her calmly, and if she gets upset, that's her choice.


Urang garut said...

Life is a challenge and a lot of obstacles,, But you must remember that there must be a way out.
I am not able to give us suggestions.
but just a reminder. Never Give Up Dude, All Come From Zero

roseofsharon said...

you have to get out of there - working for someone who takes their stress out on you verbally can hurt your health. Btw, as i am sensitive and get stomach aches around people like that that yell all the time,i looked up reasons why - here is one reason why they do it - anger and rage produce endorphins - a natural high in the human body.

certain people can become adicted to that response as blowing up produces a natural stress relief high,also this response runs in families, it can be genetic

get out - and update us on her response

Fawn said...

Tell them in person, 3 weeks is plenty of notice.

OP Nanny said...

I'm selfish because Id like to not work 45 hours a week for $160? I am selfish because I'd like to spend more time in school then I do working? I am selfish because I want to take the vacation I so rightly earned? I am selfish because I dont like being yelled at?

OP Nanny said...

I decided I am sitting down and giving them a formal resignation letter. I can say what I need to without getting upset.

It reads like this, any opinions helpful:

Dear MB and DB,

I regret to inform you that this letter serves as my formal notice of resignation. My last day will be Friday, July 2nd, 2010.

I’ve decided that it is in my best interest to spend more time in school, and less time working. I have accepted an offer for a part time position, which will not only afford me more time to study, but to be able to go to school full time.

I would like to thank you for allowing me to share in your children’s lives, they are truly blessings. I have watched DS and DD blossom into two beautiful children over the last 2 years, and I will forever treasure that, and the relationship that I have built with them.

I will do my best to help you with a smooth transition over the next several weeks.

I want you to know that this decision was not made lightly and last week I had decided to keep an eye out for a part time opportunity as they are far and few between, and speak with you regarding my concerns. However, I saw an opportunity right away and went for it and was offered the position right away. I truly believe that this will be most beneficial to me in the long run. My hope is that you realize that this has nothing to do with you or the children but that I am keeping my best interests in mind. I hope that you will be able to find someone else who will love and nurture them as I have, and still maintain a relationship with them, I love them both very much.


I obviously edited out names.... but you get it...

Bostonnanny said...

Op- your a much better person then me because I would have told them the entire truth about why I was leaving. If someone treats me poorly I let them know, it burns bridges but I see it as those bridges went very good to begin with. Good luck on your new position

Miserly Bastard said...

You sound like a nice nanny.

First, remember to protect yourself, which means talking to your new employer, and explaining that you dont want to do anything that puts your existing employer in a bad spot -- therefore, you'd like to have some flexibility on start date depending on what your existing employer needs. They will appreciate this, and be glad that they have hired somebody like you.

Then go to your existing employer, and explain the situation -- you've decided to move onto a new job, but you dont want to leave them or the kids in the lurch. You're willing to give your existing employers as much or as little transition time as they need (not to exceed X weeks). You appreciate the work you've had with them, but you made the decision to leave because you've found a new job with hours that work much better for you. Try to get a written letter of recommendation from them when you leave, and an oral commitment to be your verbal reference.

If the employers are decent people, they will work with you. If they screw you, then grin and bear it, and dont blow up a multi-year relationship (and reference) over a little pay. Keep your eye on the long term ball.

Katlee85 said...

OP good for you! One thing, in your PT position, have a contract. Even though it's only part time, it protects both you and the employers.

OP Nanny said...

i gave notice... it did not over well... apparently im selfish and inconsiderate of how this will affect the children...

pro-nanny mom said...

OP that reaction to your resignation must reinforce how happy you are to be leaving.