Indecisive Nanny Seeks Reader's Guidance...

Received Friday, June 4, 2010
perspective and opinion I'm a college student who's been looking for a job as a summer nanny (I've been working part-time during the school year, and have nannied in the past as well, so I have lots of experience) and I've been fortunate enough to recieve two job offers! Only problem is, now I can't decide between the two. So I was hoping the experts here might have some insight that I may not have considered.

Both jobs have roughly equal pay, for roughly equal hours, and are approximately the same distance from my house.

Job #1: A 6 yr old boy and a 2.5 yr old girl.
Pros- In general, I typically prefer working with children this age. The hours are very flexible, and the Mom has stated that if I wanted to arrange the hours so that I had a very long weekend now and then, that'd be fine. It includes two weeks of (unpaid) vacation, so I could take that time to visit my friends, etc.

Cons- The differing ages and genders will make it a bit more difficult to do activities. The 2.5 year old still needs a carseat (obviously) and it will be more difficult to take her out to do activities outside the house. The Mom works from home, and even though I actually have a lot of experience with this, I find it usually makes things harder than easier.

Job #2: Twin 8 year old girls
Pros- The girls were really cute and fun, and they do a lot of the same activities and sports that I did at their age. Since they're the same age, they can easily play together and do the same activities. They seemed to get along together very well (though I'm not naive enough to think that will always be the case ;-)

Cons- They have a dog that will need to be taken care of, which includes changing and cleaning it's bellyband (which is like a dog diaper). This mom seemed like a bit more high maintenance, and was verryyy concerned about the house staying VERY tidy (no specific cleaning duties are included, just ensuring that I tidy up after whatever the girls and I do). Also this job includes A LOT of driving, to various summer camps and sports and things like that, as well as stuff like going to the library or the zoo, etc. At this point we have not discussed my being reimbursed for gas, but I do think that I will ask for that.

Before I met the twins, I had all but decided on Job #1, but they were really fun. At this point I'm deadlocked, and there is no clear frontrunner.
Thanks for helping make this difficult decision!


fairfieldcountynanny said...

I'd choose #1 hands down. There is no way I am changing a dog's diaper! Is there a reason he can't go outside like normal dogs? And twins can be a handful.. The 2 that are different ages may just be easier to handle. And the younger one may still nap so that would give you time with the older one.

OP Here said...

The dog is a puppy, not entirely house trained yet. I would of course be letting him outside regularly, but while inside the house he has to wear this thing.

Additionally, Job #2 has agreed to gas reimbursement should I take the job.

Village said...

I'd go for #1. It sounds more laid back. #2 sounds like she's tightly wound, as evidenced by a dog that has to wear a diaper. (It's called crate training, people.) And even though you will get gas money, that doesn't begin to cover the wear and tear on your car. It will age more quickly than with family #1.

Good luck with either choice.

Blythe said...

This sounds a little like a Disney movie, but follow your heart. Really. Considering that they are paying equally, no logic in the world will help you find out where you will be happy.

Do what you really feel you WANT to do-- and if all else fails, flip a coin and see how you feel about the result!

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

NannyBee said...

First of all, the 6 year old boy should still be in a carseat, or at least a backed booster unless he's unnaturally big for his age.

2nd I would go with job #1. More laid back and you already expressed that you prefer to work with that age group.

nannyneedsanap said...

The two weeks of unpaid vacation really turns me off with job #1, but if you don't need the money then go for #1. There is no way in hell I'd change a dog's diaper.

Anonymous said...

I would go with #2!!! It's only for the Summer, 8 year olds are fun, no carseats, same activities, etc. I REALLY dislike working for at home Parents. The kids behavior totally changes (for the worse), and a 2 year old is going to be crying more often for Mommy because she knows that she is home.
I had to do diaper duty for a black lab, and it's not as hard as you think.....we actually used large kid diapers for her, and cut out a hole for her tail to go through :-)

NannyD said...

For me, it'd be easy to choose #2. I don't like working for "at home" parents, at all. Unpaid vacation? No thanks. :-) The twins will be less demanding of your attention, and time will probably go by faster with driving to activities. I prefer to work in nicer/neat homes so I'm assuming that someone who is very tidy keeps a nice home, which to me is a plus. And, I love puppies, even if the diaper changing is a bit weird.

i vote doggie diaper said...

I'd change the dog's diaper. I don't think a nanny works well with work from home mom.

NanGal said...

i would definitely go for option 2. Being a mother's helper is a lot harder than being a nanny. Children are less likely to listen to you when you try and discipline them and instead go running upstairs to their parents.

Nanny Sarah said...

Wow...OP, I am just as confused as you are. I am leaning toward number one due to the fact that the doggie diaper makes me kinda "grossed out" and the mother is not as laid back. But to tell you the truth, working w/stay at home parents is a nightmare. Again, the child knows mom or dad is home and acts waaay different + the interference drives me crazy. I feel like I always have to be 110% and that everything I say and do is being judged. But the other job will put lots of wear and tear on your car as well, even though gas is provided. If you are doing that much driving w/their children, you also should include them on your insurance policy because if anything happened to the kids, your liability is so high.
I know...I know..I am not much help.
Is there option #3??

djembé said...

It would be a no-brainer for me to choose Job #2.

1. Lots more freedom to be out and about, active, and doing things with older girls who are the same age. Nanny days are usually long, but that kind of day flies by really fast.

2. Even on rainy days, they are built-in playmates for each other and you don't have to spend hours sitting there playing with playdough or fingerpainting with them. That gets old really fast.

3. Since the mother sounds like a neat freak, she probably keeps the house in order already, and just wants it to stay that way. Since you'll be out and about so much, and the girls are older and can help pick up, that wouldn't bother me.

4. I HATE working with stay-at-home parents, even if they're really "nice", for all the reasons stated above.

5. Although sibling rivalry never completely goes away, eight-year-old twins are much less likely to be problematic in that area than the 6 & 2.5 year old.

6. Unpaid vacation? No thanks, that's a Scrooge move and they will Scrooge you in other ways too.

7. It doesn't take long to house-train a puppy, so the diaper think won't last long.

Anyway, congrats on getting two job offers and good luck!

Wishing you the best said...

I'd vote for Job #1 for you--your overall tone makes it sound like you'd prefer this one.

Doggie band? Ew. I couldn't do it. Job #2 also sounds like it requires a lot of errands and in/out of the car and days full of transitions--it sounds quite exhausting.

Job #1, just because the mom is home, does that mean that you and the kids have to be? It would be just as easy to head to the park or play in the yard (if there is one) and keep the kids occupied this way.

It also sounds like you have a better rapport with Mom #1, so dealing with her in person may be more pleasant than dealing with Mom #2 even though she won't be there when you are.

Is the two weeks unpaid vacation optional? If you choose, can you skip it and work the whole summer?

Best wishes! Ultimately, I agree with the poster who said to flip a coin and see how you feel about the outcome.

let's get real said...

No no no, anonymous poster above me. Job #1 gives her two weeks UNPAID vacation.

I vote job #2!!!

OP Here said...

The two weeks of vacation are unpaid and not optional. They will be on vacation of their own the first two weeks of August and will not need me. The only way this is appealing to me is if I were able to get together with my roommates from school during that time, and it's looking like that will be hard to coordinate.

For job 1, yes the 6 year old is still in a booster seat, but that is far easier to transfer than the two year old's seat. In general, although we are not forbidden to leave the house, it seemed like it would be kind of a hassle to do so.

After reading everything here and listening to my own heart, I think I will be going with job number 2. It spoke a lot to me that even though I don't typically like their age group, I really seemed to click with the girls. Likewise the mom *does* already keep everything clean, and as it already is usually my policy that the kids must help me clean up, it shouldn't be too hard to maintain order.

Thanks everyone!

cheshirecat said...

#2 definitely because looking after a kid at their terrible twos phase while the mother is working at home is a bitch. Besides 8 year olds don't require as much supervision and can entertain themselves. Entertaining children can be exhausting.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I like taking care of pets, and the dog diaper wouldn't be a problem for me. If it doesn't bother you, then I think #2 is the best choice. . There is no way to know how the 2 & 6 yos of #1 will behave with the mom home, until you start the job. The "unpaid vacation" just means they are laying you off without pay while they go on vacation, not fair!
I think you will have a lot more fun with the eight yos and have more freedom to plan your activities. Good luck!

learned a lesson said...

I would choose based on the parents. It doesn't matter how much you enjoy the kids, if the parents are insufferable, the job will be too. Who do you mesh better with?

Jenna said...

I'm glad to see you are thinking about going with job #2!!! I had a summer where I had an 8 y/o girl and we had a blast together! She was so much fun. You'll be able to go mini-golfing, go to the beach/pool, enjoy craft stores (like pottery painting), etc... Should be a blast!