Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
Hi, I need some advice/words of encouragement. For the past six months I have been working for an older couple with a 10-month-old baby, their first and only. When I say they are clueless, I really mean it. I have never in all my years of childcare met parents who are as clueless and lack the common sense that they do. The crazy thing is, they admit that they have no idea what they're doing and ask for my advice all the time, but they never take it.
Since I started I have been trying to get the baby on a consistent schedule, especially regarding naptime. The parents have in a sort of passive way been fighting this the whole time. They look at me like I'm crazy every single time I stress to them how important it is for babies to have a consistent routine, and yes, even when I tell them he needs to nap and get his rest. They flat out tell me they do not put him down for naps on the weekend or follow his schedule at all, saying they "don't believe in schedules" and that "he'll sleep if he's tired." Even when I have written out the entire schedule for them (at the Mom's request so they could follow it) and they have promised to stick to it, they nonchalantly tell me Monday morning that they didn't at all and the baby had no naps. Well obviously I'm left with an overtired, cranky baby every Monday, and sometimes lasting well into the week. To make matters worse, the Mom is home on Fridays. So she, in the politest way possible, avoids him taking naps and purposely plans things against his schedule, so they are more convenient for her. But as soon as he fusses, she's suddenly busy. Ironically though, if she is out of the room and he gets fussy, she runs in like I'm doing something terrible and insists to take over. When I tell her he's just tired, she laughs it off or says he must be hungry even if he just ate. I really think for some reason they just don't want him taking naps, ever. The pediatrician even recommended he take more naps awhile ago and they just dismissed it.
I'm incredibly frustrated at this situation and the parents response. They say and act (in every other regard) like they trust me and keep asking for my advice, yet completely ignore everything I say and the baby and I are suffering because of it. I have already decided to find another job because of this situation (and they pay really well), but I would like some advice on how to handle this in the meantime, since I can't leave until I find something else and then I have to give a month's notice. Thank you for your help!