Monday

Blah Blah Blah...

Received Monday, July 12, 2010
perspective and opinion I've been a Nanny for the past 2.5 years for the same family. I started when the child was 2 weeks old now he's 2.5, obviously. Anyway, when I came on the interview for the job I was assured that both parents would be returning to working. Long story short mom never returned to working full-time. She works 2 days at the office and 3 days at home. At first I thought it was a new mom anxiety thing, not wanting to leave the baby with a stranger but would soon see there's nothing to worry about, that I can be trusted, and I take GREAT care of the baby. Needless to say it's been 2 years and mom still hasn't returned to work on a full-time basis. The job has progressively gotten harder, with mom being home, sometimes she works from home all 5 days. The child is increasingly getting very hard to deal with, especially since he knows his mother is right down the hall (the apt is tiny). Everything is a struggle. When I brought the subject up about 5 months ago that I'm uncomfortable and stressed with her working from home, mom just simply said to me in a very sarcastic tone"you just have to get use to me working from home". Yes I know it's her house and she has all the rights. But I always get the feeling that my opinions for unimportant to her, this is very hurtful. Personally, I don't think I need to get use to anything. All I need to do is get a new job. I feel as if I was tricked. Honestly I really tried to adjust to the situation, but it's hard and mom doesn't make any easier. Finally I found a new job and I really want this new job, how do I break the news to my current employer? I intend to give 4 weeks notice, but what do I say? Should I be honest and tell her how I feel and why I am leaving? I really want her as a reference for future job hunting... Or just make up something? What to do?

29 comments:

anonynanny said...

You've been with them for 2.5 years and now you have a new job lined up. You don't need an excuse for leaving. Be polite about it. Say that you've had a new opportunity come up and you are planning to take it, and that you are leaving in four weeks. There's no need to explain that you are upset with how you were treated. Leaving on a professional note will be much more likely to get you a good reference.

As for her reaction to what you told her, I don't think she's being unreasonable to want to do her job from her own house! You're right, you can absolutely quit instead of working in an environment where you're uncomfortable. But she also has the right to work in an environment where she's comfortable. It sounds like this is the best solution for everyone.

A nanny who cares said...

I also do not think you need to explain why you are leaving. In my opinion and experience, it never works out. Inform her that you have a new position and will give her up to 4 weeks to find other arrangements. Also, I would ask her to write you a letter of recommendation if she would like you to stay on. That way if she gives you a bad reference you have proof that she is just bitter.

Village said...

Four weeks is WAY too much notice. She is a stay at home mom. She can cover for the nanny while she interviews. Two weeks is plenty, maybe even too much. That apartment is going to get much smaller when she feels you have rejected her.

I don't think you need to tell her why you are leaving. You already have. You didn't need to get used to it, and you got a new job. Good for you.

You gave her 2.5 years. You don't owe her an explanation, or a long notice. The shorter the notice, the better for both of you, IMHO. Especially since you already have a new job lined up, a letter of recommendation isn't needed. And she long ago breached your verbal agreement, by never going back to work.

NannyK said...

I had a similar situation, I was working for a great family then the mom's jobless boyfriend moved in. It was so stressful. Having someone there watching your back is the worst! He didn't even work for home, he was just playing on facebook, watching movies about Chinese monks, and constantly trying to be nanny #2. I told her I left for a different reason, a better job with betters hours, which was true. But the driving force for me to find this new job, was the at home boyfriend. She was ok with me leaving for a better job with better hours, totally understood. But in the end, I quit before the end of my notice (one month) because I was so stressed and crying every night because of the jobless boyfriend constantly breathing down my neck. She asked me why and I told her, and her response was "Well sometimes that's just how families are, in transition". Yes, I guess that's true, but you can't expect to have your jobless boyfriend move in and have no problems with the nanny, especially because she never discussed how he being at home would affect my day and the baby's day (age 1.5). I didn't feel bad in the end, since she was obviously more interested in her love life with her new boyfriend than her child's well being (he was also confused by this new man living there and his role in the household). I don't have a reference from her but that's life, I had to get out to make myself happy. Now I feel so much better.

So my advice to you, give notice, maybe just mention the new job and if she asks about anything, tell her the truth. Maybe she'll understand that by you quitting, it is a problem and hopefully with the next nanny she'll find a better situation. Best of luck. And I don't think 4 weeks is too much notice, here in Europe it's the norm and child care is something you don't want to rush when searching.

Megan said...

I agree with others here. Two weeks, no more. If she responds negatively, make it two minutes.

TC said...

It depends, do you want her as a reference? Do you want to burn bridges? If not just simply say you were offered a job with better pay, or better hours, or closer to home.

4 weeks may be appropriate for you, it might even be in the contract, if not like the others said I would give two weeks because she will probably be upset when you tell her you're leaving which will make things harder on you.

Ariel-chan said...

Why are so many talking down about working with SAHMs or mothers who work from home? Every one of my nanny jobs have been in households where MB was home with me all day, and at one job I sometimes had both parents.

I never felt like anyone was "watching my back" or waiting for me to screw up. I've always liked it - you get to know your boss better and you can truly work as a team. When something does go wrong, you have back-up to help you.

Nanny Sarah said...

OP, I sympathize 110% with you girl! As a career nanny, I have worked with families where a parent works out of the home and let me tell you it is PURE hell. The parent is constantly watching you which can be quite unnerving + the child behaves much worse knowing mom or dad is a few feet away. I never work these jobs anymore as I would rather be in the bread line than with a work-at-home parent. That being said, you agreed to a job where the parents would not be there. The job was miss presented to you and you have every right to be angry. I would be too. Sure Mom has a right to work from home, but since she told you she would not be then she tricked you. And sure, you have a right to leave based on this deception. These situations (parents who work from home) are for certain types of nannies (bless their hearts!) and you are not one of those types. I have even seen nanny ads online where a parents specifically states that the person who works for them MUST be comfortable if a parent works from home (if that is their situation) as even they know this type of work is not for everyone.
Anyway, moving along....I would give notice (4 weeks is nice of you, but only 2 would be required)and just keep things short and sweet. You can say that you just do not feel comfortable with parents who work from home (I see no wrong in such a statement) and that you have found another position with a parent who works out of the home. Stress the positives of your job, how you enjoyed working for her and wish her luck.
The other posters are right, since you have a new job, you may not need the reference from her. But if you are working on the books, then later on you can always just put her on your resume later on. Perhaps your new family then will call, perhaps not....but by then she may not be angry anymore and have moved on.
In this economy where nannies are clawing tooth and nail for jobs, I am sure she can find someone for sure in a month.

cali mom said...

Skipping ahead here and have to chime in on one point: OP first says the mom did not go back to work FT as she works from home 3 days a week. Then Village refers to her as a SAHM. Um, clearly none of you has ever tried to get actual WORK done while caring FT for your child?! Just because a person is working remotely does not mean they do not have clients or bosses with projects which need to be completed on deadline, and tasks requiring extreme concentration which need to be finished in order to fulfill the job requirements. Nannies, your job IS to "play with me" and "can you read this boook"? and "can you make me something to eat now"? But have you ever tried to do all that while silmultaneously balancing a client's books, composing text for a technical manual, soliciting vendor bids by phone or building a multimedia presentation or website which must be completed by tomorrow at 3pm?

All that aside, OP should just inform her MB that she has accepted a new job and will be leaving in 4 weeks. Then ask MB if she will be willing to give you a letter of reference.

Former Nanmy said...

I was a nanny for a family where BOTH parents worked from home. It was unbearable. I decided that the best thing for me to do was to leave. I sat down with them and politely explained.
You don't have to feel bad. Four weeks notice is very generous and they should not have a problem refering you since you handled the situation professionally.
Good luck!

MissDee said...

I had two jobs where I worked for MB, who worked at home:

I was hired to care for a 6 month old infant one day per week. Then MB decided she wanted two days, including her preschooler, who she decided to pull out of daycare. MB "worked" however, she "worked" when they were sleeping, which explains why she looked like hell in the morning. Bags under her eyes, and falling asleep with her eyes open. The routine? I started one, yet she didn't want one, because she didn't believe in them. Her biggest issues with me? That I had structure. I didn't dress her 3.5 year old son. I encouraged him dress himself. I also encouraged him to take off and put on his own Pull Up. I had him clean up the buckets of toys he dumped over, and when he didn't, I put him in a time out. I had him try to fall asleep at the same time each day that I was there. She didn't like that, because she claimed he wasn't going to bed until 11p, which explains that this child woke up at 7a-8a, didn't nap at all during the day, and crashed at midnight. I thought that was a crock of bs on her part, because if he didn't nap when I was there, he was falling asleep at 5p, before dinner. Her other issue was that when the baby showed signs of being ready to go down for a nap, I didn't call her to come home to put him to sleep. (She was usually shopping when I was there)It took awhile, but he would go to sleep for me eventually. I ended up leaving within two months, only because I didn't know about this site and how to handle the nanny-mb issues that may arise.

The second WAHM that was my MB was great! She was an attorney that worked from home since she gave birth. She was great, her office was upstairs, and she acted like I wasn't there; like she was at work in her downtown office. I was able to do activities that I wanted with the baby around his schedule and she was ok with it.

Not all WAHM and WHAD's are bad to work for, you just have to come to an agreement for rules while the nanny is on the clock, and help the child learn that when mom or dad are home, they are working, just like the nanny.

This site cracks me up said...

I'm sorry, you told her it was an issue for you that she worked at h9ome and she said you would have to get used to it? And, that bothers you?? What did you want her to say? "Oh dear nanny, I am so sorry, let me go and get a job out of the house so you can feel comfortable in my home"

LOL, enjoy your new job

Phoenix said...

Uh get over it. Sometimes people work from home because they like to work from home. It has nothing to do with her not trusting you. I agree she should help with the issue of her kid acting up but she is allowed to work wherever she wants. She pays you. My mother worked from home her entire life. Went into the office about once per month. Granted she never needed a nanny because we just don't roll like that. But I find it odd that you would be complaining about this after 2.5 years. I would have just accepted that she wants to work from home. No big deal

student nanny said...

I've worked for several WAH parents, and i agree, it's not all bad. I certainly think space is an issue. The parents ive worked for have all had their own private offices within the house. So it was easy to pretend they weren't there.

OP whatever you end up telling MB make sure to remain respectful. As calimom pointed out, she is not a SAHM she is actually working. Being respectful of that choice will go a long way to a smooth transition, and a good letter of reccomendation.

TC said...

I work for a family where the father is a stay at home dad. He has his own business but he never goes there. He spends his days in his boxers watching porn in the bedroom. I'm lucky if he decides to put his robe on when he comes out of his room. It drives me nuts, sure it's his home and sure he can do what he wants in his home but I sure as hell don't want to here the ohhh ahhhhs coming from the movies in the bedroom....a room that shares a wall with the kitchen so I hear it often since the kitchen table is also in the kitchen. I don't want to see him walk around the house in his boxers either. Now if I'm lucky he keeps the porn to the bedroom but his magazines as well as some movies are saved in the family room (ppv) What a pleasant feeling it is to scroll down the list of saved movies reading them out to the kiddo and see Big Busty College Co-eds mixed in with Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse Club house and Max and Ruby.

And no before anyone asks or thinks it, he is not hitting on me and never has. I really do think he's happily married.

Snickerdoodle said...

Honestly, you sound like a snot. The mom has every right to work from her own home and your opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant. Seriously, who do you think you are?

You can feel free to share that with her, but hey, don't expect a good reference out of it. Better just to tell her that it was time for you to move on and not offer any excuse.

MissDee said...

Snickerdoodle: Have you ever worked for a WAHM? If you haven't then you need to close your mouth. Do you know what it's like to work for a WHA parent without boundaries for the child? Do you not understand that WAH can make nannies uncomfortable? Read my response-do I sound like a snot?

TC: Now the movie selection explains why he doesn't go into the office. Just imagine what the kids would think if they accidently clicked on one of "his" movies.

TC said...

MissDee I'm waiting for that day, the oldest is 4.5 and knows how to work the remote. The baby of course can't figure that out yet but he's a smart little cookie, it wont take him long. The playboys are all over the family room, I know the oldest has gotten into them. Not sure how they handle it.

Snickerdoodle, YOU sound like a snot. It's not fun working for a stay at home parent, some people can handle it some can not. I don't particularly like my sahd, when he's not taking care of himself he's in our business and it's frustrating. Imagine having your boss breathing down your neck constantly criticizing every single thing you do. Imagine cooking lunch and having someone come out and ask you why you cooked that, that it's not healthy enough and then proceed to hand the kid goldfish crackers. Imagine telling your charge she can't wear flip flops because she can't walk in them and having dad look at the child and say you can wear flip flops. Imagine telling your charge she can't wear her bathing suit to ice skate in and her father looks at her and tells her she can wear whatever she wants. Does that sound like fun to you?

MissDee said...

TC: Imagine what kinds of things the oldest one will say in public...lol Funny, but embarassing!

You forgot one point to Snickerdoodle-Mom or Dad kissing and cuddling the child when they are crying because we took something away from them for not listening...

TC said...

MissDee that is the absolute worst but lucky for me my charge usually doesn't cry when she's in trouble, she will pout but that's it.

The reason I put up with this is I love the mom, her friends, his parents, and of course the kids. I've been there for 3yrs and dad has only been a business owner for about a year and is about to open another one which will take him out of the house for a few months almost constantly, I'm praying 2 business will keep him busy and I'm praying it takes off so that he opens a 3rd. Now I have added a repeal of the new moratorium in my prayers because that will play a HUGE part in not only his business but my job :)

Anonymous said...

I was so angry today I came here to write in about my WAHD and it was awesome (in a way) to see so many people are struggling with the same issues.

Dad used to have a private office in the basement and left me to myself. Due to a house change and new girlfriend, I have had two people butting in and out of the kids lives whenever they feel like. Today the girlfriend jumped in the car to go to the park with us (without asking or saying anything to me) then proceeded to ignore the children for several hours, then give them ice cream cones AND milkshakes (at the same time).

For those of you (who I will assume are parents who troll this blog) who don't understand how upsetting this can be...

Imagine you have a job that you're happy at... you've got your office/cubicle set up the way you like it... you do a good job, no complaints from the boss, and you come in every day with a plan and a smile.

Now imagine your boss decides to set up a chair right outside your door, listening in on everything you do. Every once in a while, they randomly answer your phone and promise your clients 95% discounts and two hour shipping, and then hand them off to you. I imagine your job satisfaction would drop significantly.

While you can't make the WAH Parent get a job that requires them to wear pants, they should respect the fact that they hired you to do a job, and if they trust you to do it right, they need to butt out.

Parents who don't do this are either ignorant or too weak-willed to tell their children no.

WAHMs should just find someplace with WIFI... said...

All you parents...so self-righteous.

Both parents work from home in my situation. The dad isn't so much a problem, but the mom is. She doesn't do anything wrong at all, my charge is just extremely attached to her. His dad travels for work quite often, so it's just the two of them most nights and he's so clingy with her. He runs to her office and opens the door and screams and sings at the top of his lungs when she's on a conference call or doing something else important. He gets fussy and wants mommy to do everything if she's around: tie his shoes, put on his diaper, put him down for a nap, etc. etc. Every other sentence out of his little mouth is, "NO, Mommy do it." When she's at a meeting downtown or out running errands, he's very pleasant and cooperative. I try to go on outings as much as possible to avoid melt-downs.

And since I'm a live-out, I have nowhere to go during naptime. Mommy has the upstairs. Daddy's always scrounging in the kitchen and putzing around in the tv room. It's so obnoxious.

This work at home mom stuff not just an issue for nannies, it's an issue for everyone. Mommy doesn't get as much work done, charges are whiney and miserable, nanny is exhausted and wants to quit...very soon.

I think that if you're staying at home to work, you should send your kid to daycare...dragging a nanny into your domestic circus is a bad idea.

cali mom said...

Just have to add that if a nanny or a WAHP is bothered by the other then one or both of them are not doing their job properly. If I'm paying a nanny to take care of my kids while I'm supposed to be working, I should be getting my WORK done, not be popping my head out all day to see what they're up to. And if the nanny and kids are popping in on me at the drop of a hat while I'm trying to concentrate on my work, the nanny is clearly not doing HER (or his) job properly.

And IMO, Snickerdoodle hit the nail on the head. If you don't like your job, find a new one. A nanny job is one of the few where the employee has the luxury of having their boss be absent most of the time. But of course, working from home also has that luxury so there you have it.

cali mom said...

Imagine that, the parent's S.O. not even asking nanny's permission if she can come to the park with them!

Alice said...

I've worked for several WAH-parent families. I've found it's frustrating in the beginning, but if parent/nanny communication is good, it gets better quickly. As long as both parents and nannies are clear with the kids on the expectations - When Nanny is here, she is the boss! You stay with her and do what she says! - the problems rarely last for long.

I feel like it's silly to complain about the Mom working from home... it's her home! Take the kid out to the park or the pool or the library if you don't want to deal with it.

OR, better yet, instead of saying "it's hard for me when you work from home" say "I'd like to set some clear boundaries to make sure this works for all of us. Let's have a talk with the kid together, and make sure he/she knows that when you're 'at work', this is how things will be..."

As long as Parents and Nannies can decide on clear boundaries and be consistent with things, it isn't a long term problem.

However, you of course know what you want and what you don't in a job and are perfectly in the right to find the job that suits you best. Please, though, don't sass this poor mom about making things hard for you when she's just doing the same!

LookToTheWesternSky said...

I don't see how you lasted 2.5 years!! I have worked for Parents who are in the home.....some were very nice, while some were not.....either way it's insane! It's 10x harder on the child AND the Nanny. The kids are always (usually) so well behaved when Mom and Dad are not home. I use to go home and cry every night.....I have been a Nanny for 10 years, and now and know to make it crystal clear that I work alone! Highlight "NO STAY AT HOME OR WORKING FROM HOME PARENTS" in your resume. I did, and have had no trouble finding jobs in the last 8 years :-)

Katlee85 said...

I'm a mom who doesn't use a nanny, but I find it extremely selfish for SAHM's to USE a nanny. I can understand wanting to go out by yourself once in a while, but that's what babysitters are for. The point of being a SAHM is to be the one to take care of your kids.

WAHM's or WAHD's should be very clear with their nanny about what they expect, and the parents HAVE to communicate with the Nanny about discipline, schedules, etc.

Communication is key for any job, and even more so when it involves your children. Parents can't expect their Nanny to read their mind, and the same goes for Nannies. If you're not comfortable about something, or have a question you have to ask or request a sit down so you can talk everything out.

This is why contracts are so important, because they clearly outline everything and if something is not in that comes up, it needs addressed to both the parents and the nanny's approval.

OP I can definitely understand your frustration, and I would suggest trying to talk to your boss calmly and rationally without getting defensive or sounding judgemental before giving a final thought to quitting. Sometimes we parents get into a habit that we don't realize is bothersome to others until brought to our attention.

Just a thought.

oh well said...

I think Cali mom has nailed it nicely as usual. Please do not tell the mom how you feel. From what you have written, it is very unlikely that she will understand and if she did, even more unlikely that it would help her write a glowing letter of reference. Do not burn bridges.

getoverit said...

maybe i missed something, but i don't understand your problem with this family. you can't tell a mb to work elsewhere...? i'm confused. yea, it's best you move on.