Tuesday

Nanny Rant #71

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
rant "Here is my rant and I am sticking to it. Things I will not miss about being a nanny:

Working with kids has afforded me some of life's simplest and most complex pleasures all in one gooey mess of a time. I will be forever grateful to the lessons the children have taught me as I move into the next phase of my life. Lately, it has been difficult to remember these gifts as my frustration gets the better of me. I am ready to move on.

It all started a few months back when the father was home while I played with the kids. I was giggling that one of them thought I had to do what they said and was very adamant about it. As I laughed and explained to the dad he says " No kiddo she has to do what we say, like your brother." Insert appalled face here. Did he just say that I have to do what they say, just like a 10 month old? Ahem. I was taken by surprise with this statement but tried to remain calm and switch my attention to the children. It was a statement of ignorance more than malice after all. Dad is a bit of a fruit loop.

That day started us down the path to Pissed Off Nanny Ln. I know I should have addressed it right there but there were other mitigating factors that made me think it best to zip it for that moment. Now the moment has passed and it is best I just suck it up. I am finishing up some education that will enable me to move on and while the prospect is a welcome one- it has also shined some light on the things I will not miss about this position or nannying in general.

Parents please take heed: If your child is sick, the proper thing to do is let the nanny know in advance what to expect. You would do this for a family member coming to watch the kids so how does it vary simply because you are paying someone to do it? They have a right to know the kid is puking, pooping liquid and coughing up green monsters. We might like to take some extra supplements ya know? Some of us might also like to know that we could be about to contract the swine flu from your little angel so we better add a 'maybe' to our weekend plans. Seriously, a little consideration please. If you really want a gold star how about throwing in some extra money for sick pay? Doesn't quite seem fair that we come and take care of your kids while you take care of more pressing issues only to donate our weekends to the cause treating our new illness. For those with immune systems of steel- move along, nothing to see here...

I will not miss being informed that I will be working somewhere else last minute. Just because we do a nanny share doesn't mean you can move us around like chess pieces. (Maybe some of you pay your nanny enough to move her like a chess piece?) Either way it is rude. And just so you know, suggesting what you want to happen and ending with the caveat 'as long as it is OK with you' is not the same thing as including us in a discussion. It makes it uncomfortable to say 'well, actually this arrangement is a lot more work for me and I would rather not deal with any more drama this week than is already scheduled.'

If you can not afford a nanny- go to day care. It is not a right to have someone come into your house to take care of your children. It is a luxury and should be treated as such. I do not want to hear about how you can not afford to pay me half of my regular rate when you decide to stay home from work for whatever reason. My bills do not go away because you do. Also, to those parents who hire a nanny without budgeting in the cost, what the hell is wrong with you? I have actually had a family let me go (after I gave notice at another job to work with them exclusively) because the mom had a shopping addiction and they could not afford me AND her shopping habit. Blech. Enough said.

And I just have to ask- is there some sick pleasure that comes from hearing your baby cry for you or what? If you know the child has separation anxiety and you draw out your exit, coming back in for a pen, waltzing in throughout the day to grab a coffee cause you work close, you should know: that is about as cool as a boiling colonic. This morning mom actually came back into the room after the child was calmed down and prepared for a day with nanny just to tussle his hair and let him suck her boob for a minute. WTF? He was calm/happy and now beside himself. Thanks. I know you can rationalize and say that this is merely a strong parental need to touch baby and not some shitty game but give me a break. You know he is sad when you leave, you know coming in and leaving immediately is going to get him going. It is clear: He misses you, he loves you, you are the center of his universe. Yea! Now can you kindly get the hell out of the way and let me do my job? It is especially bothersome when one of the parents is acutely aware of this yet uses it as a passive aggressive tactic when they are unhappy about something.

And finally, I will not miss being subjected to your filthy house. Moldy toilets, stinky cat box, experimental fridge, overflowing compost and crusty floors no more. You seem embarrassed about it but not enough to clean up after yourself or hire someone to help. I'd have more understanding if you worked for a living or did this all on your own. The last laugh is your kids will be equally as messy and you get to live in that squalor from here on out. I do not. Perhaps after we have parted ways you will realize just how much a skilled nanny brings to the table. Maybe you wont. No matter really. Know this though: I am teetering on the edge of a big f*ck off and if you press me I'm liable to flip the switch.

Can you tell I am feeling bitter today? Just trying to process and get through it like the rest of you. Thanks for listening. I do not really need advise or to be chided for being a judgmental butthole. I know ;P

Happy Holidays!"

99 comments:

Ohio Nanny said...

I'm glad my family has a clean house!! :)

TeacherinNY said...

I am a teacher and if I get sick from the students, I don't receive extra pay. That is part of my job, and believe me, I have been sick quite often over the years. Sometimes I think some nanny's are just not realistic. Just because I live in a nice clean house, in a nice neighborhood doesn't mean I'm rich. I took care of my nanny the best I could. She made a nice living but just because I went on vacation, doesn't mean she deserved a raise.

Nanny in Berkley said...

Teacher: I dont think the nanny is saying she deserves a raise for either vacation time or illness. She says she deserves to be told what to expect with a sick child and if they really want to go all out some extra cash would be nice.

Teachers do not have to deal with extremely sick children, it is a different ball game when you are covered in snot and shit.

nanny and mommy said...

bravo to this post! i love it!

teacher: "nannies," not "nanny's." yikes.

Bostonnanny said...

Teacher in ny,
I don't agree your nanny deserves a raise when you go on vacation but she should be paid. If you recieve all federal holidays, school vacations,summers off and decide you don't need your nanny for that time then you either pay her or let her go and find someone new when u go back to work. I don't think it's fair as a nanny to told, we won't need you because we're going on vacation and since your not working you won't get paid. I think nannies should be treated more in daycare terms, you pay 52 weeks a year. I also don't think 20-30grand is a decent salary, it's hard to live off that and pay bills unless your a college student living at home, on campus, or have multiple roommates. So I hate when people say it's good money. It's only good if you don't have any real bills. Yet I know going into nannying that it is the likely salary I'll make, but don't try to give me some crap that it's great pay.


Being sick and caring for sick children is part of the job.

runnynose and fever said...

i totally agree with you on the issue of parents stretching out the good byes. really, i think some parents love making their kids sad. or they just hate seeing their kids happy with someone else.
as for teacherinny: teachers don't get that up and personal with their students, otherwise we would have think 'abuse'. and whenever kids are extremely sick guess what the school requests that we keep them home. so save your ranting for another blog.. oh and bty guess whose home with the sick child.. you guessed it THE NANNY...

runnynose and fever said...

btw*

TinyDancer said...

I worked for a family where the dad would keep saying goodbye until the little girl cried even if it took 20 min and then as soon as she would he would just walk out. So frustrating!

etereia said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Nanny in Berkeley and the rest about the sick kids. Teachers/school nurses call the parents (or in a couple of cases - me, the nanny, because they could not get mom and dad on the phone) the second the child sneezes or coughs at school. On the other hand, I get rudely drawn out of my blissful day off to hang out with the kids amidst raging flu, stomach viruses, and pink eye, among other things. It is part of our job and we know that, but it cannot be compared to dealing with sick kids at school.

Ohio Nanny said...

Teacher in NY, I don't believe that you don't have sick days built into your contract.

And, like someone else said, if a child gets sick at school, they get sent home. In a nanny's case, the sick child is cared for hands on by the nanny. She cleans up the vomit, and the diarrhea and wipes the snot. If a child vomits in your classroom, do you clean it up? Of course not - the janitor does.

I do agree with you that a nanny does not deserve more pay just simply because you are able to do some nice things for yourself. However, if you call last minute on a day the nanny has expected to work, and cancel on her, you SHOULD pay her for that. She depends on her paycheck like you do. How frustrating would it be for the school system to decide that you don't get paid for a last minute cancellation on THEIR end when you depend on a certain amount to budget? Here, since teachers are salaried, their snow days are paid even if school is called off.

Some nannies may be unrealistic, but I think some parents are as well. They expect their nanny to be at their beck and call, to handle last minute cancellations without pay, and take time off yet want the nanny to 'hold' her time for when they need her again. That is not realistic. A day care makes you pay whether your child is there or not - because you are paying for the spot to remain open for your child and not for attendance. If you take regular time off and have a full time nanny, I believe parents should do the same - pay the nanny to remain open for your needs to guarantee you retain her.

VAnanny said...

LOVE this post! Well said!

MONKEYSHINES said...

I am glad you realize being a nanny is a go no where situation, you don't advance yourself and it really is not mentaly stimulating. you work long hours and get bored very fast and it a lot of work, you might as well work as a garbage man, the salary is amazing with benefits including a pention plan!as I said before these working moms are cold, any mother who chooses to leave her children to be raised by a nanny is discusting, how do you give your infant over to a stranger? very cold!

dabble this said...

I know many daycares that get screwed when they take teacher's kids in because the teacher is usually home all summer and leaves a vacancy in the daycare. If the daycare cant fill it, they don't get paid. I bet the nanny doesnt get paid for her summer either.

Listen, you are not a professional nanny unless you are paid 52 weeks a year.

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

dabble this-- there are quite a few daycares around here who specialize in "teacher kids". They are open 6am-6pm from mid-August to mid-June. It means the parents don't have to pay for year-round care and the day care provider gets the summer off, too. It's works great if the provider can afford to take the summer off.

Although, I believe in a lot of daycare "centers" (versus home care) you pay whether or not your child goes. I know that my nephew's day care works like that. My sister pays a flat rate for the year whether or not he goes.

And while we as teachers are necessarily as "up close and personal" with the germs as nannies, we do get our fair share of germs. You would not believe how many parents send their kids to school after they've been throwing up all night. Or dose them up with Tylenol to get them to after lunch before their fever spikes again. In the meantime, everyone in the school gets exposed to their germs.

And, btw, we do get "up close and personal" by working closely with students. You don't need to be in physical contact with a student to catch their germs-- you only need to be a foot or so away. Or touch something they touched. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure teachers get sick just as often as nannies. Yes, we have sick days built into our contracts, but we have three times the work waiting for us upon our return to school.

Nanny B said...

Just as a note, I have worked both as a nanny, as an elementary teacher and also as a preschool teacher and in all situations I have been thrown up on, delt with snotty noses, contracted pink eye, lice, delt with the flu, colds, etc you name it I've had it. Just because you are a teacher doesn't mean you don't have to deal with these situations, yes you have someone to clean it off the floor but definitly not someone to deal with the throw up on your clothes, you can't leave till lunch to go and change (cause a teacher usually doesn't bring a change of clothes with her). Don't think for a moment that teacher's don't have to deal with the same things, but as a nanny I can give my charges extra attention, make them feel loved and cared for and in return, get nice and sick myself, and in most cases, never got time off because the parents needed me to be there even if I was sick.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP, I agree that parents need to think their budget more and decide prior if they can actually afford a nanny. Having someone come into the home, providing one on one care and allowing the child to stay in their familiar surroundings w/out being exposed to multiple germs and whatnot is a huge perk. You won't believe how many families compare what I do to a daycare. When I mention my rates, some have been known to say stuff like..."Well in a daycare.." as if the childcare I provide is even comparable, WTFF??! Unless you can afford the $10-18/Hour it costs to employ a nanny, don't even try to hire one then shortchange her by saying, "Oh..this is all we can afford." If I hear that line again, I may scream!! Do you ever get a tooth filled, then tell the dentist, "Sorry, this is all I can afford." NO! Then give the nanny the same respect.

Agree with OP said...

Things I won't be missing about being a nanny:

1. as im brushing the daughter's hair, she exclaims..."I JUST HAD LICE!" ....oh..dear...God...

2. as the mom leaves to go shopping, "Oh all of the kids are sick..."
Fast forward 2 days-I, too, am sick as a dog. Oh HEY, I wonder if my MB will pay me back for my prescription medicine. I won't hold my breath...

3. arriving after the children have gone to bed to babysit while the parents go out. be aware that I have not been there at all that day and have only come to babysit in the evening. before leaving, the father requests that I clean up all of their childrens' toys. Hi, I'm "occasional weekend date-night sitter", not cleaning lady. mmmk! get it straight..

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

To Agree with OP: That is rude!! You were asked to clean up toys that were used prior to your arrival? That family sucks!!!! I would just sit on the couch, read and listen to the baby monitor.

OP, I hate it when a family hires me, then I tell other families I am unavailable, then the new family bails out on me at the last minute not realizing that I have lost money. Or do they even care??????

a mom said...

I think you've made the right decision to quit nannying. Some of your post is a bit unbelievable - the family has a nanny but no housekeeper? Most families I know that can afford household help have a housekeeper once a week (and would pick a housekeeper over a nanny if they could only afford one). And sick kids? Carrying for them is part of being a nanny. That is why one hires a nanny over daycare - you can't send sick kids to daycare because they will infect other kids. A professional nanny should be able to care for sick kids and minimize getting sick herself - washing your hands frequently does wonders. As a mom, I've cared for my kids with stomach bugs, strep throat, impetigo and in my 9 yrs doing this, caught 1 stomach bug.

Regarding what "agree with OP said"..... Maybe I'm an idiot, but I babysat in high school for $2 an hour (minimum wage back then was $3.35 an hour). I'd go in in the evenings, put kids to bed after an hour and clean up the family's dinner dishes and put toys a way. If I am paying a sitter $15 an hour now (when minimum wage is what $7.25/hr) I think asking them to load a dishwasher and put some toys away is not asking too much, especially if the kids are sleeping when they arrive. The attitudes that work ethics by some nannies on here never cease to amaze me.

Nanny in Rainy San Diego said...

To a mom:
No, I disagree..caring for a sick child is not a definite part of being a Nanny. Look in sittercity and Care.com profiles and they both give an option whether a Nanny is comfortable or not caring for a sick child. In my Nanny interviews, I have been asked if I am comfortable doing so and I have always stated it depends on the nature of the sickness. A cold would be okay, but not Chicken Pox as I have not had them yet. Caring for a sick child is a privilege for the parent, not a given.
As for work ethics mom...I agree that a strong work ethic equates a great Nanny. But I would NEVER ask a Nanny/Babysitter to clean up any mess (dishes/toys/laundry,etc) that needed to be done prior to her arrival. It is just not right. And yes, the going rate for Nannies has gone up since when you baby sat less. But that is because the liability issue is higher. Back then, the law wasn't so strict about children's safety as it is now. The law wasn't so tough on child abuse, child molestation, etc..as it is now. Laws are much tougher now so liability for us childcare providers is much higher so that is why rates are higher now. That doesn't give parents like you the right to over work us or give us jobs that we have no right doing. Sheesh.

TinyDancer said...

If the family pays and treats me well I have no problem coming in and doing something a little extra like their dinner dishes, toys, or laundry. I know I'm going to get hounded but I think nannies are the only people who expect to get paid to sit around for hours while the kids sleep and do nothing. Not all are this way, but a lot are. I am being paid, I will do just about anything that is asked of me within reason and generally spend my entire work day up on my feet working. Whether its doing laundry, dishes, p/u toys, wrapping christmas gifts, organizing, anything to help MB. I am treated well and paid well and not to sit around while the kid sleeps. Most jobs get 1 30 min break and it is unpaid, a lot of nannies (of small children) get a 3 hour paid break! I think working 2 or 2.5 of those hours around the house isn't unreasonable as long as you are being paid/treated well! Whether you all like it or not you are household help and dishes/laundry/picking up/light housework/occasionally deep housework is part of the job!

TinyDancer said...

And yes I know that in that 3 hour "break" you are not totally off the clock cause you still need to be there in case and all that. I am not suggesting nannies not get paid while children sleep I'm just suggesting that some nannies need to be a little more lax and spend a little bit of time helping with things that "aren't their problem" when they get to spend hours sometimes watching movies, reading books, surfing the internet, or whatever and are paid well to do it

misha said...

Yes, Tiny Dance, and when there are no fires; fire fighters should be required by law to teach ESL classes and take in ironning.

Are you kidding me?

A professional nanny is a professional nanny, not a prize fighter, pharmacist, housekeeper, gardener, laundress, chef, or dog catcher.

a mom said...

To Nanny in Rainy San Diego,
To answer your question, I worked a summer from 8 am to 6 pm caring for a 4 yo and 2 yo when I was 16 years old while both parents worked. I was paid $2 an hour. I'm not sure why nanny rates have skyrocketed but "liability" isn't the reason. Kids today are still molested and abused at the same rate they were way back when - it just gets reported more and we have the internet so news travels farther and faster. Paying nannies more money per hour does not impact rates of child abuse. As a nanny, do you purchase some type of liability insurance that I am not aware of? I truly do not understand why you think nannies should charge more because of "liability issues." The kids I nannied for had the Detroit River as the border for their yard and no fence so I had to watch them like a hawk - again, for $2 an hour. I understand that salaries increase due to inflation so I'm not saying nannies should be paid $2 an hour now, but if you look at the avg sitter pay back then compared to now and in relation to federal minimum wage at the respective times, nannies have fared really well. Somehow as an unorganized 'group' you have successfully driven up nanny rates and since your buyer's market can afford it, you've made out well. Sorry but you don't have any more liability today than a nanny 20 yrs ago. If you neglect a child in your care and something bad happens as a result, you are legally responsible, whether you are being paid nothing, $2 an hour or $25 an hour. That's the law. A defense of "my employer didn't pay me enough" isn't going to absolve you.

a mom said...

Misha,
In smaller towns, firefighters are VOLUNTEERS and don't get paid, in big cities, they are paid but generally by the time they get back from one call and put all the equipment back in order and file reports, they have to go out again. Not many people out their get paid $15 an hour to sit on a sofa and watch TV for long stretches at night while children sleep. If that is what a 'professional nanny' does for $15 an hour, I'd rather have a nanny like Tiny Dancer that shows a bit of initiative. I mean come on, picking up a few toys or loading a dishwasher is a bit different than "hey would you mind scrubbing the toilets and cleaning out the hamster cage."

MAnanny said...

I don't think the wage increase for nannies is simple due to inflation and that "somehow as an unorganized 'group' you have successfully driven up nanny rates;"

I don't know about you and your experience being paid $2 an hour, 'amom' but a lot of nannies in my circle have at least their bachelor's degree in most often, a child-related field.

misha said...

My husband was a firefighter. He spent a small portion of his time cleaning trucks and the station. Some time fighting fires. Some time working with community and over half of his time working out at the firehouse gym, cooking and playing cards with the guys.

Get over yourself, Mom. My sister is a nanny and her children are now in school all day. She may run an occasional errand for her employers, but mostly she is from from 9-2! I bet that angers you. Yes, they have a housekeeper. And no, they don't assign her odd tasks. I don't ask my tv repairman to work on my air conditioing just because he's there.

If you have a good nanny, the goal is to keep her. I know of two people who have the same nanny for their children that they had since the child was born. It's a give and take on both sides. A nice perk for the nanny to have free time.

bostonnanny said...

A mom,

I believe in previous posts you said you have 2-3 children and pay $15 per hour for a babysitter in NYC.

I'd like to tell you what you consider a to be an amazing good wage for a babysitter is pretty ordinary. I have a couple of babysitting gigs for families with 2-3 children, The families with 3 children pay me $20 per hour and never ever ask me to clean, especially after them. They offer me food and allow me to watch tv, (which i never take or watch) and I've been with one family every weekend for a 1 1/2. If the parents just need an extra pair of hands and i work as a mother's helper with one or both parents actively involved i get paid $15. I work with another family as a mother's helper for twins and I get paid $17 and never have to clean.

None of the families I work for live in Boston because its to expensive, they all live right outside about 5 miles away. Now I know I have been very blessed but I still find babysitting jobs for $15 per hour for one child. So over all I think your babysitter is getting the low end and she has to clean, I hope you take good care or her and appreciate her because she could prob find a better paying job.

As for cleaning, I believe light cleaning like wiping up counters, picking up toys and cleaning up any mess you or the children make are required but having to clean up after your employers everyday is not.

Also a mom, its sounds like you got taken advantage when you were 16 because minimum wage 20 years ago was not $2. I'm sorry you were taken advantage of but don't compare your high school babysitting gigs to a professional nanny. Also because you wer only 16 i'm pretty sure if something happened to the children out of your control, the parents would be to blame since you were a minor.

bostonnanny said...

I'd also like to add that not one family I worked for ever had a housekeeper. Most had a maid service come bi weekly, one family had a service come weekly.

Most families tend to choose childcare over a housekeeper.

reyna said...

I'm a professional nanny. I won't work in a home unless there is a full time, professional housekeeper.

-Kellie said...

Umm... "a mom",

Have you ever nannied? I have worked for 7 families total and to date, only one has had a housekeeper.

People would rather have help cleaning than a nanny? Where did you come up with that? Pretty funny if you ask me.

Sorry, but you sound angry and uninformed.

Jacqui said...

What's the big deal about picking up toys that were played with prior to nanny's arrival?

And why would a nanny expect extra pay for caring for a sick child? I have read all your posts and I just don't buy it. Unless you have no idea what being a nanny is about, you should realize that that is in your job description. I don't care what sittercity.com says....caring for a sick child is one of the most basic, fundamental duties of a caregiver. As far as not being warned about the child's sickness.....Ummm....I guess that sucks that you didn't get to pop a few echinacea before you arrived at the sickhouse? It's not something I would lose sleep over though.

etereia said...

I don't think that a parent's phone call to the nanny in advance, warning about a child's sickness is necessary, but it does suck when you see the parents in the morning and they do not mention anything. I have had two occasions where I went to work, chatted with the parents for a bit and then saw them out the door. Then playing with my charges I realized their heads smelled funny. When asked, the kids told me: "Mommy found buggies in the hair and washed us with a special shampoo." Now, would it have killed mom and dad to tell me they had lice? I am not asking for extra pay, when the kids are sick, but come on, at least telling me is a common courtesy .

Jacqui said...

etereia, understandable and not being told that the child has lice is downright shady and weird. It's possible they were embarrassed, but still....telling the nanny about it is not like broadcasting it on the local news channels..

OP said...

OP here.

You guys are funny. I am not losing any sleep over this either, I just needed to vent after a crappy day and knew some others were probably experiencing something similar.

If you do not think you should inform caretakers before they get there that your kids are sick- don't. Just do not be surprised if they get sick of it and find a better gig. I have extended flexibility, a strong work ethic, genuine and creative care for my charges. That is why my employers are not firing me (3 years on the job). I am allowed to have a negative opinion of my employers unsavory behavior while still doing a stellar job. I should not have called dad a fruit loop though. That was uncalled for. I baked some cookies as a silent apology for that one.

As for comparisons about a teenager, an educated adult, the level of care the provide and responsibility they are capable of- I'll leave that to those with more time. I would pay whatever is necessary to have my child with someone who has life experience and culture if given a choice. Yes it will cost more.

It is amusing how identified we all become with other people's situations and internal slights about our own behavior. I am moving on just in a nick of time as these recurring issues are beginning to grate the nerves. I try not to dwell in misery though we all know it loves company.

Thanks again for hearing my whine. I am gonna go try and get this cookie dough out of my hair.

Jacqui said...

OP, it's not that I don't think you SHOULDN'T inform the caregiver, it's just something, as a nanny myself, that I wouldn't take up issue with. Then again, in my four years with the family, I don't think they have ever failed to let me know in advance that their children are sick. Maybe if I was blindsided, I'd have a problem with it as well.

I wasn't commenting so much on your original post as I was to some of the responses :-)

I have my moments that I need to rant as well. My issues are different than yours, but I still have them. I think in order to stay sane, ranting about a job is a healthy way to let off steam.

Mad Scientist said...

I once nannied for this family where the father and daughter had white bumps in their mouths. The mother told me it was called "mouth disease" and I had never heard of it. Anyway, I changed the daughter's diaper and fed her, etc. and was so freaked out I would get what she had that I didn't show up the next day for work. I called the mother and told her why and she promptly fired me saying as a Nanny, I was expected to show up and was being totally unprofessional. Not only did the daughter and father have all these creepy white bumps, they also had high fevers and since I had never seen or heard of anything like it before, I erred on the side of caution and avoided them like the plague. Oh well.
And I agree with Boston nanny, a mom..you are not paying a very high rate.

MONKEYSHINES said...

o'kay, I have to come clean! I got "crabs" from one of the dads I slept with!I wish he had told me before I slept with him!

former nanny said...

I think this needs to be said. Good for you, OP. I think this is a very honest post and I like it.

Mom and Nanny said...

to "a mom":

caring for sick kids is not part of being a nanny.

I think you are an elitist snob. Your posts are not that bright.

Wait what said...

Teacher - You're not recognizing that you DON'T have to clean the vomit, you DON'T have to keep the child in your class and you DON'T have to handle the most clingy young ones. You have a janitor, a school nurse and children without diapers. You are NOT as close as a nanny. In fact, by design, you're suppose to stay away and boot the child. Face it, yes teachers have it tough, but it's not tougher in everything. All nannies want is a little warning and understanding when we fall sick. What the heck do you have against that!?

nycmom said...

I agree that caring for sick children is an essential nanny duty. If my nanny did not do that, I'd use a daycare center. I would never call her ahead of time to inform her of a sickness, but would of course tell her when she arrived to coordinate meds and the occasional doctor visit. I go to work when I am sick. If I am too sick to continue, someone will relieve me if available, but sometimes they aren't. I have not missed a single day of work in the past 5 years including a pregnancy and 3 dc at home spreading germs. I expect the same from my nanny and make that clear at hiring. I don't have a job I can miss. Of course, there have been 2 or 3 days in the past 3 years when my current nanny has been sick and 2 of those I was able to make other arrangements send her home. Once I was not.

I really value a great work ethic in my nanny, but don't expect the same in my date night sitters. My nanny always uses downtime productively and shows initiative and that's a big part of what makes her so amazing. I would find it off-putting if she sat and read for dc's 2-3 hour nap.

Finally, as far as rates, $15 really is a normal good rate here in NYC. $13 has become increasingly common since the recession. An average starting salary for a 45-50 hour workweek is $600-650 which also comes out to $12-14/hr. I've consistently read that SF and Boston are the 2 areas that pay better than NYC. We have a huge oversupply of both immigrants and educated sitters here that keeps rates low. When I placed my last Sittercity ad for an occasional sitter at $15/hr for 3dc I had 70+ replies in less than 48hrs and had to take the ad down. I interviewed 10 or so who were all quite qualified and there were a dozen more women who were equally impressive. I had a handful of people ask for $18-20 (and it is *always* the recent college grads who overestimate their market worth) and I replied that the rate was too high ($15 was clearly listed in my ad) and no thanks.

Bostonnanny said...

Wow I guess im staying in Boston if the rates in NYC are that low. With the high taxes and cost of living I dunno how any nanny in that city can survive.

I care for one child, and his parents practically force the tv on me during naptimes. I don't watch tv, so tend to take a cat nap and do homework since I get all the clean up done while he eats meals. I don't think after running around all morning to activities that I would have enough energy to continue into the afternoon/evening without that break to recharge. Nycmom, your nanny must be wonderwoman to keep going without a break caring for 3 children. I'm glad the family I work for has never forced me to work when I am sick, they have hectic schedules but still manage to make other arrangements.

Mpls Nanny said...

I personally think that "a mom" should be spending more time being just that...a mom. What a novel idea, eh? Consider all the nice things you could be doing for your beautiful children instead of complaining on this website!! It seems to me that you spend far too much time bitching about how expensive nannies are, how crappy they are, etc, etc. Blah frickin' blah. Get a grip, lady. Oh I bet I know what you're doing. You're probably paying your precious $15/hour to a nanny while you hold a bitch session on here. Well bitch all you want. I bet you feel real great after you hit enter. But all you've made me do is pity the person that works for you. I bet you're a real treat to be around. I wouldn't work for you for double or even triple what you pay.

nycmom said...

Yes, my nanny has a busy day, but I am diligent about keeping her hours to 45-47 a week. I employ another pt nanny so she can have one half-day each week. Though I have 3 kids, the older two are 8yo and 10yo, and in school for 70-80% of her average workday. But no doubt about it she works very hard and has amazing time management and work ethic. It's a generalization of course, but my experience has been that middle-aged women who have already raised kids themselves tend to be very good at pacing themselves and managing the workday. My younger sitters have never been able to maintain the a consistent energy level and tend to have incredible energy for part of the day, then get exhausted later. The last full-day young nanny I employed would clearly get tired by mid-day to the point that I would need to encourage her to take a nap with dc, but that never happens with my current nanny. My nanny is very even, calm, and consistent which is a great fit for us. I do use younger sitters for date nights and shorter workdays.

Yes, the needing my nanny to come to work even if she is sick is a tough part of her job. But, to be fair, I do the exact same thing at my job. As I said, if she is sick when she arrives I will do everything I can to get her home. It is definitely one of the hard parts of working for us. I'm an ER doctor and the only one working each shift so I simply cannot call in sick. I've done other jobs within psychiatry and internal medicine, and every other job except this had more flexibility for sickness. Luckily my husband has more flexilibility so if he is not traveling he can usually pitch in, but he travels a lot.

a mom said...

to everyone criticizing $15 for my 3 kids for a sitter- -she's in college, works 16 hrs a week and never is with all 3 at one because I am home too. She comes when my 2 older kids get out of school and basically entertains my 3 yo while I take my other two to after-school activities, cook dinner and help the older ones with homework. Anyone who thinks this is a crappy wage for this job is seriously off their rocker. I cannot believe the elitist and entitle attitudes of nannies here.

MissMannah said...

As for daycares and illness, the one I'm working at does not have a janitor and I just cleaned up a lovely mess of projectile vomit a couple of days ago. And a few weeks ago, I got the joy of cleaning up a child who was bleeding quite a bit from the mouth. And let's not forget the dozens of green snotty tissues I throw away daily.

Remember your role is a caregiver and caring for a sick child is right up there on the list. If you think you're too good for that, I guess you need to find a different field to work in.

PS: I am appalled to see so many teachers not know the difference between a plural and possessive noun. I certainly hope you are not teaching grammar lessons.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think it is mean of you nyc to make your nanny work when she is sick. You stated that she was sick 3 times and once you actually made her work. I thought only slave owners did this to their slaves back on the cotton fields. Shame on you. And your poor kids. They not only were in the care of someone who was ill (I can't imagine her being able to attend to their needs at all while she is ill), you also exposed them to whatever she had. To all parents: It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY as a working parent who employs a Nanny to have back-up childcare in the event your Nanny falls ill. You are putting your children into a neglectful situation if you allow a seriously ill Nanny to watch your children.
And to the mothers who are against a Nanny relaxing during naptime. That is so much better for your kids as well. Caring for young ones is very physical and emotional work. Period. Even Mother Nature acknowledges this by allowing the younger ones naptimes thus allowing whoever is caring for them naptimes as well. People are so darn concerned about getting all they can for their dollar that they prefer a Nanny to do household chores during naptime instead of allowing her to recharge. Shoot. Even after working hard for hours at a time, my laptop needs to recharge to allow optimal performance. Not that a Nanny is an electronic device, but she should be allowed the same courtesy. Naptime is restime for Nanny too. No extra housework aside from cleaning up her own dishes and toys that were used during her shift.

Doctor Who said...

The fact that a doctor requires an employee to work when sick is indicative of the entire problem with our health system- greed and ambition before people.

Hippocrates must be rolling over in his grave. Heaven forbid you exercise due diligence and have back up child care so that a sick employee can depend on an empathetic and understanding work situation during times of illness.

Comparing the fact that you push through and show up for your very lucrative job that other peoples lives depend on with that of a childcare worker is just too much. If your nanny puts up with your draconian ideas, treat her well and thank your lucky stars.

Mpls Nanny said...

@nycmom: Is there a reason that you're working a job that doesn't allow much, if any room for sick days? I am a professional nanny and so I don't like to complain too much about a parent who works long hours. After all, it's those long hours that in turn pay my salary. However, if you've worked in other areas of medicine that allowed you more flexibility then why not stay in that field while the kids are young? Is it a money thing? I know doctors make good money. Perhaps an ER doc makes more? I am guessing so. Also, have you ever considered utilizing an on call nanny service for when your nanny does fall ill? It is definitely something worth looking into. I know some parents don't like the idea of their child being with someone they don't know very well, but sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone to make it so all parties are comfortable (your children being exposed to a sick nanny would be one these parties by the way). I live in Minneapolis and there are a few agencies that just do on call work. And they perform background checks. I really encourage you to look into it if you haven't already. That way your nanny can get some rest when she is sick and be back to peak performance in a day or two. You're a doctor, right? Isn't rest the number one thing a person should do when they are sick? Why is your nanny exempt? It seems logical to me, but again I guess I don't know your whole situation. But with the information you've given us, I can't help but see the logic of the two people who posted prior to me.

TinyDancer said...

I'm sorry but if you are SO exhausted after 4 or 5 hours of taking care of children that you can't even fold a load of laundry or do some dishes you either have extremely misbehaved children or you ought to go see a Dr about your fatigue. Look at nurses, they are in a similar line of work, caring for people, and they work a 12 hour shift with only a 30 min unpaid break and they work much harder than nannies do. I DO think that nannies deserve 30 min to recharge and more if they feel everything is done, but sheesh you can take 1 hour of a 3 hour nap to help around the house

Bostonnanny said...

Tiny dancer,

I actually get all the housework done prior to his nap time which includes laundry, preparing all his meals for the day, sweeping, dishes and cleaning the kitchen. So maybe I'm tired because I get the house clean before his father gets back from working the overnight shift, so he comes back to clean house and less noise since we are out of the house by 10 everyday for an activity. When we come back it's nap time and I won't have to make noise cleaning cuz it's already done.
I am tired after all that running around, so I like to nap for 30 mins and my charge hardly ever naps pass 1 1/2 hours. Not mention in about a month I will have an infant to care for along with a very young toddler, so I might not have any breaks.

Nycmom, I've mostly worked for doctors with crazy schedules, they all had back up care incase I fell sick. Granted I've only been sick twice in two years but i never had to pop meds and try not to vomit around my charge.

nycmom said...

I agree that it is not ideal that our nanny has had to work when sick one day in 3 years. I can't recall what she had, but she was not vomiting. It happens occasionally, same as it happens to me. I outlined this in detail in writing and verbally at hiring. There are back up agencies in the city and I have used them on occasion, but the one time our nanny was sick and worked none of the agencies had anyone available. We also have 4 other occasional sitters as backup and none were available. I don't recall if it was a holiday or what the situation was, but yes we are already aware of all the back-up options. We have no family in the city so unfortunately we don't have anything except paid childcare.

We do try to offer the same courtesy to our nanny and have made the same concessions in terms of exposing our family to sickness. She has a school-age daughter she needs to bring whenever there are school holidays or her daughter is too sick to go to school. So, we have an arrangement that works for her and us. I doubt it would be very easy for her to find another family paying even close to what we pay that would also allow her to bring her sick child to work. She knows this, same as we know how lucky we are. We both make concessions for each other and this works for our relationship. I would be completely understand if we were hiring someone new and they were not comfortable with our setup.

Having her work is definitely not an issue of greed or ambition. I wish I made enough money for that to be a factor! Paying our nanny takes about 75% of my salary, sometimes more. As I said, every other medical job I've had except this had flexibility. I work at this job because it is shift work and overnights. This allows me a lot more time to be with my kids, while still be a wohm. Also, as a psychiatrist, it's one of the few jobs where I am not on call 24/7 - another important factor in my ability to spend time with my family. I get paid less than I would at a lot of other job options so I choose to sacrifice money and sick days for time with my family.

I do get why it would seem appalling to outsiders, but luckily our nanny and I have found a system that works for both of us.

Bostonnanny said...

Nycmom,

Makes sense now, I like that your up front about all these issues but I bet it scares a lot of potential nannies away.

A mom,

Even with your comment about the duties of your babysitter, I still think your pay is pretty average. So I wouldn't boast to much about it.

Reasonable said...

I think some are being a little hard on a mom. I'm not in NYC, but I still think $15 hourly is not something to turn your nose at. I used to do retail, and being a nanny is definitely higher paying as well as easier. I agree that some nannies on here have this nasty snobby attitude. Come on; there are so many jobs where you do things outside of your normal job tasks and still get the same wage. As far as caring for sick kids, imo it would be nice for the parents to let me know beforehand, but not such an atrocious thing if they didn't. After all, if everytime their child got sick and I refused to care for him/her, how would that help the parent? Unless it's lice. Now that I find very unfortunate, but I refuse to have to deal with that nasty situation :)

P.S. - I give way more props to a teacher than a nanny and I'm a nanny. No, they don't have to deal with sick kids as much, but they do have to deal with 20 kids at once and most will still get paid less than a nanny who cares for 2 children without a degree.

a mom said...

boston nanny, you are truly insane if you think a 19 yo with no prior babysitting experience who only cares for one 3 yo most of the time (and works a job where she says "I have finals this week, can I take 2 days off?" and I'm fine with is being taken advantage of. Prior to working for me, she was making $10/ hr at a community rec center. So she is ecstatic to be making $15 an hour with me. Call it average if you want - I'm not boasting that I pay her above average - I never said I was. Although with 'average' you'd probably expect average sitting experience and she doesn't have that - so it is above average for her (especially since it's 50% more than she was making 5 mos ago at her other job)

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Boston Nanny, I like your idea of getting all your chores done while the child is awake, thus allowing yourself a brief nap during the day. This is how I prefer to do things, but unfortunately with my current family, this is not an option.
My current family has a work at home parent and this parent has specifically instructed me to only do my "chores" while my charge is napping. She wants me to give my 100% attention to the child when he is awake. Then when he sleeps, I am to eat my lunch and perform any household tasks she needs done. Now if I was working for a parent who worked outside the home, I would love to nap when the child naps. I know a lot of parents take issue with a Nanny napping on the job, but I see it as a great thing for the child too. Again, it all boils down to the child getting optimal care as the Nanny is recharged and fresh.

Lola said...

Doctor Who: well said, you took the thoughts right out of my head (and verbalized them much better than I could have, I'm sure). NYC mom, I think you could find alternative care (maybe your PT sitter?) in extreme illness situations. I understand being sick and coming to work, I was a restaurant manager once upon a time and I HAD to do the books, cost efficiency management and bank deposits every day no matter what. BUT, I would hole up in my upstairs office and stay far far away from the kitchen and guests when I was ill. I don't think its fair to your children to possibly expose them to grown-up germs of a serious illness WILLINGLY. *Happy Holidays Everyone! :)

Jacqui said...

Reasonable, I couldn't agree more with everything you said. I think a lot of nannies act so incredibly entitled and ridiculously snobby, as you put it, because it's been ingrained in us that we have to have our defenses up. Nannies aren't viewed in the best light by the general public, and especially by other moms. We have a stigma attached to us that suggests we're sneaky, lazy and only out to deceive our employers. Whether people realize it or not, they choose to mstrust the idea of a nanny before they even give it a chance. The opposite of innocent until proven guilty, we are guilty until proven innocent. We're always on guard and even though the families we work for may be on our side, most misinformed people aren't. Again, I don't even think a lot of people realize they have these misgivings about nannies, its just something that's in the back of their minds.

On a more personal note, I hate that I tend to be referred to as a babysitter. I am 29 years old and while I am not suggesting my title be considered elite, I HATE that I am called a babysitter. It may be silly and completely trivial, but the title of nanny just seems more professional. I have spent over 15 years as a full-time caregiver. I think I deserve a little more than babysitter :-)It's funny because my 5 year old charge has only just begun to understand the concept of babysitter and she's really curious about it. Whenever she talks to me about being her babysitter, I half-jokingly tell her, "No D, I am your NANNY!" She giggles and says, "you're not NANA! you're so silly." Finally, I referenced Mary Poppins sans the warbly sing song voice, and it looked like she began to get it.

Bostonnanny said...

Just my two cents,

Yes I'm very happy with the family I work and they allow me to manage the day how I please. My charge sleeps in late and also takes his time eating meals, normally it takes him 30mins-an hour to finish up. So during that time I watch him and clean up the kitchen. He also likes helping with the laundry so we do it together, he hands me all the socks and repeats socks each time( it's super cute). I have taught him to help be clean and wipe things up which he really enjoys. All the chores I do outside of his cleaning is optional for me. His family has never asked for me to do dishs, sweep etc. I do it because I'm a clean freak and need to stay busy.
Usually the condo is sparkling by the time we leave for an activity, which we go to everyday. When we come back it's nap time then when he wakes it's snacks, art project and building/puzzles. I find the day goes by much quickly and smoothly if I plan it out. I can get everything done with feeling stressed out. When I interview I make sure to tell families I prefer to plan out the days, which Somethings doesn't go so well because they have this odd Idea that if a nanny does it, she will choose to sit on her ass. So I know right away if it's going to be a good fit, if they allow me to manage. Plus I hate being micromanaged I'm not 5years old, I'm very capable of taking care of everything in a timely manner.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Boston Nanny, kudos to you! You have a great family and you are very lucky. I had one family who let me plan out my own day with their child and that truly is one of the best jobs I ever had. The majority of my families give me set schedules when they want their child to eat, nap, do certain activities and it just makes the job harder. If they truly trust me with their child, I think they should truly trust me with scheduling our time together as well as the two go hand in hand. To Jacqui, that is so true what you stated about people's misconceptions are about Nannies. No one likes to admit it, but it is true that those negative stereotypes exist. That is why people set up nanny cams and do background checks on us. It is just ASSUMED automatically that we are going to do something bad to the child or that we must have some sort of criminal intent since we are nannies.

In AZ said...

Wow - I'm mainly astounded that some of you are watching 3 kids for $15 in NYC! I'll stick to the west coast... 1 beautiful little girl for $20/hr with full benefits including medical, dental, and vision. Even when I was a new nanny (over 10 years ago) I was making $13 plus benefits.

bostonnanny2 said...

OP, amazing post. I agree with everything said and have felt your exact frustrations. With no consideration from the parents. In a filthy house where the dogs constantly pooped on the floor and the kids and parents slept until 8 am and Id have to wait for them to wake up and sit on the dirty couch with the dogs and when I was supposed to take care of 1 kid it turned into all 3. and getting them ready for school/day care in the morning was a chore id cry about having to do every single day.

Thank goodness I've found a great clean wonderful kind family who I have an amazing open relationship with and a wonderful baby boy who is a joy to take care of. I recieved an amazing christmas gift so I know they want me around (besides them saying it in our weekly catch ups) It's perfect chemistry and I wish that for every good nanny out there! Especailly you, OP!

San Diego Nanny said...

Wow..I live in San Diego and no nanny out here that I know of makes $20/Hour for one child. I didn't know the rates were much higher in Arizona!! That is an awesome rate. Do you also do housekeeping duties as well In Az?? If not, you hit the lotto with your family and I am envious. In San Diego, for one child, the bare minimum is somewhere around $10-15/Hour. $15/Hour would be if housework were involved or if the family was just generous.

Jacqui said...

I'm surprised San Diego is so low. That's about what the low end is in NJ and San Diego is a city...a pretty affluent city is certain areas. I can't imagine people in La Jolla for instance, only paying their nannies 10 dollars an hour. About 4 years ago my boyfriend at the time was stationed on Coronado and I had been in the process of making plans to move out there. When I was looking at nanny jobs a lot of them paid pretty well. Not quite 20 an hour, but around 18 an hour seemed to be the average.
I don't live there though, never have, so you definitely know more about the nanny market out there.

San Diego Nanny said...

Jacqui...you would be surprised. Sure we have La Jolla and Coronado as our most affluent areas, but many of the families in these areas are really quite cheap. A lot of people tell me to look for jobs in these areas since they know they are the rich areas, and I do..but most of the families here are only willing to pay out $10/Hour. I don't know if it is the economy or that rich people pay less (a stereotype I have heard in the nanny community.) But overall, it is tough to find a nanny job that will even pay $15/Hour around here. San Diego is not as affluent as other parts of CA, for instance, San Francisco pays about $15-20 I have heard.

world's best nanny said...

My family did make sure they could afford to pay for me, the cook, the housekeeper and the weekend nanny. That should be #1 priority for any family considering in home childcare.

Before the kids get sick, snatch up the household credit card hit the pharmacy and buy medical gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, peri wash and some sort of animal odor control spray for carpets and furniture. Remember they pay for this, not you! Kids get sick, that's the way it goes. Nurses don't get paid extra because someone is sick.

Arghh!! 1 family I worked for would use the kitchen all weekend long without even so much as picking up a sponge. I had to deal with baked on, caked on, burnt on food stuffs on counters, the sink, the floors plus every single dish and piece of cutlery in the house first thing Monday morning!

world's best nanny said...

Oh, BTW Peri Wash
http://www.allegromedical.com/skin-care-c535/bedside-care-perineal-wash-formerly-peri-wash-ii-p172961.html

BostonNanny liking the snow?

bostonnanny said...

World's Best Nanny,

Not at all, I hate the winter and can't wait to move somewhere warm. Plus with this crazy snow emergency I have limited off street parking. To top things off I'm gonna risk a car accident to drive to Southie for work. it normally only takes me 15mins to get there but it will prob take an hour tomo since people drive like snails whenever they see a speck of snow. I can't even take the train unless I walk 20mins to the station and my little cuban ass says hell no to walking in a blizzard.

Brrr I'm cold already.

Bostonnanny said...

*on street parking (I wish I had off street parking)

Speaking of which I better fold my side view mirrors before some asshole who can't drive hits my car.
My Boston road rage is kicking in lol

Kourtney K. said...

World's Best Nanny, of course nurses don't get paid extra when someone is sick because their job is to care for someone who IS sick. Period. Nannies are supposed to care for children, but not when they are sick.
What irks the hell out of me is when parents have their nanny care for their sick child(ren), then complain when the nanny gets sick a few days later and can't come in to work, thus causing them to miss work. Nannies are just as human as anyone else, if your kid gets sick, so will they!!!

world's best nanny said...

Wow what a blizzard! The generator kicking on woke me! I'm half awake, but for vomit clean up on the floors, sprinkle some oatmeal on it, let it sit, keep the damn dog away! Don some gloves and sweep in up into a dust pan, chuck it into a small bag before throwing away. Bleach that dust pan! Spray area with odor control product let dry. Time to try and go back to bed.

nycmom said...

I think nanny rates are driven largely (not entirely) by the availability of an inexpensive, work-ready, immigrant population. Although *all* big cities have pockets of immigrants, I think it depends on the culture of the population and their comfort with childcare work (and conversely the employers comfort with hiring them as childcare providers). Although that may not be fair or popular, I do think easily available, inexpensive childcare naturally drives down costs even for those who are willing to hire on-the-books nannies. We lived in San Diego before coming to NYC and found childcare there to be inexpensive and in line with what San Diego Nanny posted.

cali mom said...

I'm just curious about the last item in this rant. That is, the messy house. She implies that the parents don't work for a living, but if neither of them had a job or worked at all, why would they be wasting their money on a nanny? Since they have a nanny-share, I'm guessing that paying her is a stretch on their budget, but apparently she expects them to also pay a housekeeper and pay her extra for days when the kids are sick?? FYI, not all working parents get 6 weeks of paid vacation time and 10 federal holidays and unlimited sick days with pay. Many people are paid hourly and don't get paid for time that they do not work. It's called reality.

cali mom said...

I agree with you, "a mom". Yes, nannying IS hard work and nannies deserve to be treated professionally and paid fairly. But there seems to be this ridiculous assumption here frequently that actually showing up at work is completely optional for all working parents, that all working parents get paid 6 figures with unlimited paid time off and that jobs are as easy to find as dog poops on a city sidewalk.

MANY people, in MANY industries, HAVE to go to work when they are sick.

San Diego Nanny said...

nycmom, that is brilliant what you wrote about why nanny rates are very low in San Diego. San Diego is very very close to the Mexico/U.S. Border and in San Diego there is a large Hispanic population. Many Hispanic nannies work very cheap here and the benefit to hiring one is not only the price, but the fact that many do not speak English and speak to their charges only in their native Spanish. This benefits the family as well since living in San Diego, or CA in general..one needs to be fluent in both English and Spanish since the Hispanic population is growing very quickly.
This is unfortunate for nannies such as I, who must work for a much lower rate. :(

Steely Jane said...

About napping: Why do so many nannies need to nap during the day or "relax to recharge" for the kids? Always for the sake of the kids. Why wouldn't a professional nanny be in good enough physical/mental shape to work a 10 hour day without a nap? While at work, as a mental-health R.N., I am in charge of up to 25 mentally ill patients. I am in my late 40's and I don't need to nap during my work hours. I am paid to work during the time I am there and handle whatever arises during that time, such as multiple admits, out of control patients, and the constant turmoil of the unit. I don't get paid extra if we have a really psychotic group of pts, or a patient who may be sexually assaultive vs. the usual insanity, or if I have to de-louse a pt. versus leading a relaxation group. I would be fired instantly if ever caught napping on the job, as I would fire my nanny. I wish all the overly self confident, entitled nannies would realize what doing a professional job really means and start focusing on doing your best during the hrs you are paid, whatever that might be, or heaven forbid, doing some housework during the kids' naptime. We are all aware of the low esteem society holds childcare workers in, sometimes, it seems, fairly, if the work ethic shown on this board is at all representative of nannies everywhere.

Jacqui said...

Steely, you sound very important.
:-)

Bostonnanny said...

Steely,

I'm sorry your job is so stressful, you should take a vacation.
When I start making as much as an RN and my employers start treating me like a professional by giving me raises, bonuses and helping to pay my health insurance, paying me gas and mileage and for the T pass I use to take their child out, crap when they pay me the $50 I spent on Santa pictures for their son I will gladly stop taking a cat nap and relaxing during my break. Hey I might scrub a toliet, but they know that they offer very little benefits and I provide great care that exceeded their expectations. So if I want to take a cat nap or read my book once in awhile they have no problems with it.
Not every nanny position is the same their are nannies who care for mutliples and children with behavioral problems 40-60hours a week, they need a break.

cali mom said...

Boston nanny, if you got a better education you might be able to get into a career that pays more than nannying, (since you sound envious of a RN's salary). You could also discuss the issue of unpaid expenses with your bosses and attempt to resolve them like professional adults do, if you wish they'd treat you as a professional, instead of bitching on a message board about it and slacking off on your duties. Just sayin...

Bostonnanny said...

Calimom,

I am getting a better education thx u and Im not the RN type. By the way I have excellent time management skills and can get all my chores, activities planned plus do extra cleaning that isn't required of me. I have spoken to the family about these issues in a professional manner and have set up a new contract but you know how things are, not everyone follows through. Luckily I enjoy my other benefits like having a break and that is why I stay. I think it's rude for other individuals to assume all nannies who have a break must be a lazy ass because she doesn't become a maid for nothing extra. The terms of our agreement are always accomplished plus some and that is why my employers decided not to stick their child in daycare or hire another nanny to replace me which would
be cheaper.
Naps and breaks are agreed a upon between employers and employees, if my employers didn't allow it and expected me to scrub walls once my chores and activities are done, I wouldnt work for them. But that's my choice and if they wanted a maid that watches children then they wouldn't hire me.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Steely, your post was very unfair and uninformed. Sure, you work long shifts, but you also get other job benefits as well. Bonuses, health insurance, educational expenses, 401K, etc. Well since us Nannies do not get any of your benefits, then why not consider a nap one of our benefits? Benefits come in many different shapes and forms, depending on the job. You get 401K, we get cat naps.

Steely Jane said...

Actually, no benefits. Employers keep hours below FT and pay a 6% shift diff in lieu of benefits. So, I have two PT jobs with no benefits, as do many R.N.s I pay for my own health insurance, licensing, continuing ed, clothing, transportation, IRA account, etc. I am not complaining about my job, that's just the way it is and how I expect it to be.

On a salary, you stay until the job is done, for one set salary, no matter how long it takes. How many nannies are given a list of chores and expected to stay as long as it takes to finish them no matter how much they were being paid? Then, there would be a legit complaint, if these chores were just piled on without regard to how long it would take you. However, if you are being paid for 8 hours, it is hardly onerous to be expected to work all you can in those eight hours and then be free to go on your way, until on the clock again.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Steely Jane, I am friends with a lot of nurses and all of them get health care from their jobs so I 100% do not buy what you just said.
Also, you get a great benefit that us nannies do not and that is a lunch break. Whether unpaid or not, it is easier for you to work an 8-hr shift if you get a 1/2 hr lunch break mid-way through your shift. Us nannies do not get a mid-day break. (Naptimes do not count!!) So we work 8 hrs straight. Sometimes more. Which is why we get tired during the day. Mid-day slump, whatever. Since we do not get lunch breaks, then why shouldn't we allow a nap when the baby sleeps??

Web-Nanny said...

OP...
Mom boss has always been very respectful of my time and would never call/text once I'm "off the clock." However, I am always informed at the start of the work day of any changes in health or any situation that needs my attention.

Mad Scientist..
I agree with u there! If you don't know what you're dealing with then how can you possible take the necessary precautions to protect yourself?

Teacher...
When my child got sick at school he was sent to the school nurse and I got a phonecall to come pick him up .

Runnynose and fever..
I agree with u there! Once the parents are out of sight and the child is calm, settled and ready for a day with nanny, coming back in only upsets the child and makes the job harder for the nanny.

Monkeyshines...
Nannies are wonderful caregivers/alternatives to/for parents that work outside the home. We nuture, care , protect, teach and enrich the lives of our charges. We may start the job as strangers but most of us eventually feel like part of the family and love and treat our charges as we would treat our own children.

All Nannies....
Taking a break at nap time is important.. it really refreshes you and it's also beneficial to your charges...HOWEVER, doing chores while your charges eat is pretty risky.. Please be aware that even adults choke during meals so please stay close to your charges while they eat. Caution and Prevention are the keys here!

cali mom said...

Boston nanny: "Us nannies do not get a mid-day break. (Naptimes do not count!!)"

I'm confused. Why don't they count??

Granted, not all charges nap, but if they do, why does it not count as a break?

Bostonnanny said...

Cali mom,

I didn't say that, just my two cents did.
Naptime is break time unless you care for an older child or two children on opposite schedules like I'm about to do in mid Jan. Or unless you can't get all your other required chores done before nap time and you spend the entire time cleaning or cooking.

Anyways please direct that question to just my two cents for an explanation.

BipolarNanny said...

Steely Jane...jealous much? You see us crazies everyday. Would you really want us caring for your children when we're not at our optimum capacity? I'm only halfway joking here. Yes, I have my condition under control but stress really affects me physically and sometimes I desperately need my midday catnap.

Cali mom...you're a snob and a half. I can't tell you how sick to death I am of hearing "Why don't you go back to school and get a *real* job?"

Nanny in AZ said...

@ San Diego Nanny
I do light housekeeping but the same any nanny should be doing anyhow. The house is immaculate and I keep it that way. Just as I pick up after myself in my own home. :) In my 10+ years of nannying I have made $13/hr, $14/hr, $18/hr with full benefits, $20/hr will full benefits and I have LOVED all of my families (and they loved me in return).

Some other comments on this entire thread:

1) I absolutely care for sick children! My job is to provide care for the children during specified hours because their parents cannot due to varying reasons (work, luxury etc). Is it a bit of extra work...sure, but honestly, a trained professional nanny should be able to care for a sick child no problem. If you are grossed out, scared etc of bodily fluids then nannying might not be for you! :)

Monkeyshines - your post about parents leaving their children with nannies is quite ill-informed and arrogant. If you were to ask the parents, children, and myself about our experience of being a "nanny family" we would all say we are richer for the experience. I would not trade in the time I have spent with my previous "Nanny Families" for the world! They are loving parents who made the best decision for their circumstance and family.

@Tinydancer
I am in agreement with you! When I am on the clock I am moving. I would never DREAM of taking a nap on the job and I work 18 hour days 5-6 days a week. The most I do is sit down with the children to have lunch, but a good majority of the time I am cleaning up lunch and snacking on my sandwich as I clean up the kitchen. As far as I am concerned, I am open to doing most tasks because I am paid well and my employers show the utmost respect towards myself and my chosen profession.

@Kellie
Every family I have ever worked for has had a housekeeper.

@CaliMom
I hope you do not employ a nanny as your comment about "getting an education" is quite rude. I am a professional nanny with 2 degrees from very well known universities. I LOVE being a nanny and while I do not make the six figures I could make with my degrees - I also know that I am doing one of THE most important jobs in the world. I am a professional who works for professional wages, benefits, and demands to be treated with respect and dignity. I would never lower myself to work for someone who did not respect my profession, value me as a person, and/or realize that I deserve respect.

(cont...)

Nanny in AZ said...

@ San Diego Nanny
I do light housekeeping but the same any nanny should be doing anyhow. The house is immaculate and I keep it that way. Just as I pick up after myself in my own home. :) In my 10+ years of nannying I have made $13/hr, $14/hr, $18/hr with full benefits, $20/hr will full benefits and I have LOVED all of my families (and they loved me in return).

Some other comments on this entire thread:

1) I absolutely care for sick children! My job is to provide care for the children during specified hours because their parents cannot due to varying reasons (work, luxury etc). Is it a bit of extra work...sure, but honestly, a trained professional nanny should be able to care for a sick child no problem. If you are grossed out, scared etc of bodily fluids then nannying might not be for you! :)

Monkeyshines - your post about parents leaving their children with nannies is quite ill-informed and arrogant. If you were to ask the parents, children, and myself about our experience of being a "nanny family" we would all say we are richer for the experience. I would not trade in the time I have spent with my previous "Nanny Families" for the world! They are loving parents who made the best decision for their circumstance and family.

Nanny in AZ said...

@Tinydancer
I am in agreement with you! When I am on the clock I am moving. I would never DREAM of taking a nap on the job and I work 18 hour days 5-6 days a week. The most I do is sit down with the children to have lunch, but a good majority of the time I am cleaning up lunch and snacking on my sandwich as I clean up the kitchen. As far as I am concerned, I am open to doing most tasks because I am paid well and my employers show the utmost respect towards myself and my chosen profession.

@Kellie
Every family I have ever worked for has had a housekeeper.

@CaliMom
I hope you do not employ a nanny as your comment about "getting an education" is quite rude. I am a professional nanny with 2 degrees from very well known universities. I LOVE being a nanny and while I do not make the six figures I could make with my degrees - I also know that I am doing one of THE most important jobs in the world. I am a professional who works for professional wages, benefits, and demands to be treated with respect and dignity. I would never lower myself to work for someone who did not respect my profession, value me as a person, and/or realize that I deserve respect.

Nanny in AZ said...

@ All Nannies
I'm baffled that so many of you seem to be working in positions that you are not happy in. In all of my years of being a nanny I have only ONCE worked for a family that was not the right fit for me. I had interviewed them extensively (yes, interviewing is a two way street) and even after an evening trial period they seemed great. I was VERY wrong - the first day I quickly discovered the mother had some severe bi-polar issues. I spoke with the father that evening, voiced my concerns, and resigned under the circumstances that we were not a good fit for each other. The father understood.

True, wonderful positions are difficult to come by; however, you MUST respect your profession enough not to sell yourself off to the first person that comes along and waves a $1 in front of you. Finding a great family takes time, a sense of yourself and what you are looking for, and a TON of interviewing. You must go in, hold your head up high, respect yourself, your profession AND the put yourself in the families shoes.

A professional nanny will honestly state what she is willing to do and what she is not willing to do (I do a LOT of things but I do not mow laws, clean pools, wash windows). I am the type of nanny that will gladly follow the parents set schedule for a child but I am most happy when that schedule allows for me to take charge and plan out at least some part of our day (going for walks, the park, story time at B & N etc). I tell my families this. Communication is key. If during the interview they state that they never want the nanny to leave the house I respect their parenting decisions and let them know that we are probably not the best fit. If we are not the best fit it is OK...that is what the whole process is about!

After all these years, I know almost immediately when I find, "the right one." Cheesy? Maybe. But my long term track record and close relationship with all of my families is proof that I truly am a professional in this field.

At any rate...I'm new to commenting on ISYN but I enjoy the dialogue!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Cali Mom: I said that, not the bostonnanny.
Nap times are not true break times in the true sense of the word. Meaning, my current charge is 14 mos old and yes while he takes a nap during my stay, it is never a break for me. I need to be watching over him or at the very least, listening over him as he cries and wakes up at least 4 or 5 times in his sleep. Sometimes he loses his pacifier..no a lot of times..LOL..and sometimes a noise outside jolts him for a minute or two. I wish I could have a break where I could make an uninterrupted phone call to my Dr. or run down the street to 7-11 for a cup of coffee. But I cannot. I need to be there when he cries out so even though he takes a 1 1/2 nap, it is never a true break for me.:(

Anonymous said...

* I just read through my post and found quite a few mistakes. I should have proofed it first! :) Oops!

Anonymous said...

Amen sister!!!! So much to add lol good for you! Glad you didn't wait years years to get out!!!!I call for a nanny Union.

gary branstetter said...

i was an unpaid white male slave nanny for a year..after working and being paid to care for 2 boys one was a special needs boy..severe brain damage/looked like he was hit in the top of his head with an ax,this happened before she adopted him from russia. i spent up to 6 full days and nights alone with them for many months was paid $250.00 cash per week for 8 months.for a single mother working in many other states was constantly on a plane.had a high paying marketing job...plus i had to care for her 4 dogs..then she met mr right..and sold her house for 400,000.00 and still owed very much on her house and had very bad credit..she knew i had really great credit..please help me ..i promise to repay you in full.feeling like part of the family by now i gave her an $8000.00 credit card.and put the moving expences from chicago to portland oregon on my other credit card.she ran the credit card to the full limit of $10,000.00 /then stopped payment and setteled for $5000.00 this ruined my credit..she stopped paying me anything for the next 4 months i was still with them working as a slave..expecting they would pay me someday...she never paid the moving expences on my other credit card in the amount of n $5000.00..i was stuck with this amount..with all of the money they never paid me..its like they never paid me anything for my full year of service..this happened many years ago..still never received anything of the money they owe me and they never will pay..

Anonymous said...

You think women who have to work shouldn't hire a nanny? Well what would you suggest then? Quit our job and go on welfare? You are an idiot, monkeyshines.

Assiged2baby said...

Please excuse me for switching things up, I just needed to vent today. Firstly a Nanny Share is no joke and has been on my list of DISLIKES for years. I've been a Nanny for 20 years literally! I was offered a Nanny job recently, everything about it was on point (with a school teacher schedule, vacations and days off), even when the family told me during the interview that there were cameras everywhere...I could careless....I do my job and have always done it with dignity.
A week later another mom entered the picture and suggested 'me' working as a Nanny share. My entire schedule changed, my life wasn't mine, all my daily duties for my own family was dismissed because I had to work a longer day, my entire initial vacation plans with my 1st family were changed totally and I now would work 11 hours a day vs 8, year round none stop. I was offered $15 to start only because the baby was a Newborn, as MY Assignments usually begin at $18. However the Nanny share is offering $15.50? What happened here!!???? SO think about it....NOW, not only am I being offered less and I do know my worth AND when one family doesn't need me the other will. No rest for the weary. I plan to fix this today. Thanks for Listening!

Ashley Lipford said...

You are a teacher and receive health benefits so yes you do get extra pay