Received Friday, January 28, 2011
I wrote in earlier about the 10 month old I'm nannying for so if you would like to know the background please scroll down and the title is "how to soothe a colicky baby." Now this email is going to serve two purposes so please help me out with both if you can.
Update on the screaming fits: I spoke with the mother and they just had a check up and everything was fine. So now I have a feeling it's all for attention. I'm not sure if this behavior has been taught by the mother or the previous care giver but I'm having some issues with the job. I'm going to give you the lowdown on our day and hopefully someone can offer some more insight or possibly things other people have found helpful.
She has a written schedule with her naps and feeding on it. We pretty much follow it since she's been on it for awhile.
-In the morning she normally gets here around 8:45 or 9. She falls asleep for her first nap shortly after that.
-When she wakes up it's normally 11:30 so we start lunch.
-For about 2 hours after lunch I put her in her pack and play with her toys or I lay down a large blanket on the floors and I lay her toys out on that. I always switch them out everyday so that she's not playing with the same thing everyday.
-She normally has a snack and then goes back down for her 2nd nap. Sometimes it goes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2--3 hours.
-When she wakes up we have play time together. I read to her, we play with her toys, we put on music and "shake our diapers", if it's nice out we go for a walk in the stroller, and if it's warm enough out we play at the community playground.
I understand babies need attention but I'm also a firm believer in helping them develop independence and learning how to entertain themselves. The playtime in the pack and play is designed for that purpose. The issue I'm seeing is that she needs constant attention. She will play with a toy for about 5 minutes then look at me and start crying and if I don't respond the screaming fit ensues. When she realizes that I'm not going to come get her she will do a half cry, stop and look at me, and the pattern continues. Does anything think this is a learned behavior because when she does at home or the previous caregivers they immediately pick her up? If I even walk past the pack and play (with the way my living room is set up I have to walk past it to get anywhere else) she starts crying and screaming if I don't pick her up. Is this normal? Should I just continue to let her cry it out? Is there anything else I can do to help her begin to entertain herself?
The second thing I need some advice/help with is the mother. I agreed to take this job because first of all I needed it and being a military wife I understand what she's going through being alone while her husband is deployed. She's a store manager and I understand things happen. I've worked retail before and I definitely know the responsibility that goes along with being the store manager. I work 5 days a week, I work about 9 hours a day, and I get paid $150 weekly. (I know it's not nearly enough and that's becoming the problem). I've only been working for her for a month and she's late almost every single day. One day recently she text me and said "have to stay till 8:30, sorry" and she didn't show up until almost 9:30. She didn't ask if it was okay, or if I had plans, she just assumed her being late was going to be okay. She's also had to switch the schedule last minute about 3 or 4 times. I schedule my time with my husband, my errands, my appointments around the schedule she gives me at the beginning of the week.
I do not want to lose this job. We just found out I'm pregnant and we will need the extra income. I plan on working up until 7 months when I go home to my parents (my husband will be deployed and I don't want to be alone) so I definitely don't want to lose this job, but how do I go about bringing this up? Should I ask for a raise? Should I start charging a "last minute" fee for the days that she's late or when she changes the schedule the night before? I do have a contract with her but it's obviously going to have to be amended because this is getting out of hand. Any help with either situation would be extremely appreciated. Thank you all so much.