13 Things Your Nanny Won’t Tell You

reader sbmission
1. Being a nanny is a profession.
Please treat me as you would other professionals. Some people treat their plumbers with more respect than their nannies. I’m making sure your child is safe and cared for—is there anything more important?

2. Don’t tell me that I am part of your family and then ask me to work overtime.
Just because I work in your home doesn’t make me part of the family. This is my job—which means I deserve basic rights, such as sick time, overtime pay, holidays, and at least a day off a week.

3. I'm a Nanny, not a Housecleaner.
Sometimes I clean parts of your home because I simply cannot stand the filth. But this is not my job. Hire a housecleaner if you need one: I am here for your child.

4. Live-in nannies need a room of their own.
Some couples actually expect me to share a room with their baby—or worse, to share a bed with their child. We need a space of our own. And like parents, we function better on a good night’s sleep. Sharing a room is not good for the baby either, as nannies may be using perfume or hairspray or other things bad for babies to breathe.

5. Don't tell me to help myself to anything I want in the kitchen and then scream at me when I eat a few bites of your imported chocolate sauce — loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
If there are foods I shouldn’t touch, tell me. I will respect your boundaries, but you need to be clear with me.

Special thanks to taleia_and_company for their Contribution.


I want my mommy mr.squidward said...

they left one out

I am here to take care of children, I am not here for your husbands sexual pleasure, tell him to keep his tallywacker in his pants!

Joy said...

This was taken word for word from readers digest. :(

To Joy said...

Joy- there's a link to the RD article at the bottom. No one said this was an original article. Someone emailed the link to the site and they posted an excerpt.

Mountain Nanny said...

#15. I make sure your children are happy and occupied when you leave in the morning, please don't stand there with your thumb up your ass when I'm trying to leave after a 10 hour shift and your baby is clinging to my leg crying.

swanyway said...

Wow... cruddy RD article with atrocious stock photos. And it's not "what your nanny won't tell you" but rants. Lame.

CuriousDad said...


Next time we hire, a nanny with some common sense who wont think, every time I am within sight line of her I am trying to hit on her.

ATL Nanny said...

This is a pretty decent list of nanny-employer basics. But the title seems really silly/misleading. Any half-decent nanny will tell you any of these things. They aren't secrets. And furthermore, a nanny shouldn't HAVE to tell you most of them. They are mostly common sense.

bmw said...

I know I care for your kids and I know that is very personal BUT that is where it stops...don't tell me how to live my life unless it it's illegal, immoral, or affects your children.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

The "Nanny" being part of the family irks me...if I ever hear that term again (from a nanny or a family) I will scream! A nanny is NEVER a family member people! Family members usually get the benefit of unconditional love. I.e., they may treat each other like crap, yet the love still endures. But the dynamics are much different in a nanny/parent relationship. If things head south, usually all ties are broken. Plus since there is money involved, it automatically falls under the "business category." Sure, families may love their nannies (as I hope mine does me!!), but NEVER can it be compared to the love of someone related to you.

unicornsparkleprincess said...


I totally agree. I hate hate when people say that, because it is never ever true. Once money comes into the equation, you are not a family member.

Penelope Marie said...

I have been a full time Nanny for 15 years for 4 different families. I consider my first family to be family! I have not been their Nanny for 11 years now, but we still get together once a week. I take their kids everywhere (and insist they DO NOT pay me....they have been known to chase me to my car, and throw money in the window! LOL!). If anything were to happen to the Parents (God forbid!), I am named in their Will to take custody. Their entire family lives on the opposite side of the U.S., and the kids don't know them well. I feel honored that they would name me.
Sorry JUSTMYTWOCENTSJUSTNOW, I think each family/nanny relationship is different. Most families just come and go (I cared for a family once that I want nothing more to do with), but maybe 1 out of 1,000,000 are keepers for life ;-)

NJNannyC said...

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mismatchme said...


Some of us don't have blood (or otherwise) relatives who share that relationship, so actually, it CAN be the same kind of unconditional love. I am far closer to my employers, the children and their extended family than I am to my own. I don't have the fortunate life that many commenting here seem to, that allows me to have ever received that from my actual relatives.

And maybe it's not completely professional to become so close but I'm a good nanny and they are amazing employers who have never once used our relationship to short-change me in anyway.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

@Penelope Marie:
As is true with any stereotype, generalization, etc...there is always an exception to the rule. Your situation is one of them. While it is rare, I think it is wonderful when the Nanny gets as close as you are to your former family.

However, I agree w/unicornprincess...once money is introduced into the equation, the dynamic changes by default. While I am sure your family loves you and cares for you very much, I don't think they feel the same way about you as they feel for their blood families. But I don't want to rain on your parade...after all, it is just my personal opinion and I will never tote my perspective as absolute truth.

All I can say is let's agree to disagree on this one. I am glad your previous family treats you so well. All of us nannies should be so blessed. :) :)

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Hey mismatchme: I am in the same position as you. I do not have any blood family (I was adopted as an infant by a family of a totally different race) and my adoptive family is not very close since everyone is pretty much dysfunctional. I would love to find a love like most families have. I currently work for a wonderful family and honest to God, I love my little charge like he is my own. I wake up each day eager and excited to spend my day with him!! He always makes me laugh and keeps me distracted from the stress in my life (school, family, etc.) His parents always pay me above and beyond what they should and they never have tried to use me like 99% of my past families have. We have discussed it already and have agreed that once the little boy goes to Pre-school and beyond, I will always be a main figure in his life. For instance, when his parent ask him to name all the people who love him, he recites, "Mommy, Daddy and _____!" Which is me.

As much as I love my current family, I will never be so naive to think I am part of their family. Sure, all their family currently either resides in Europe or is deceased, but I would never think they think of me in the same manner as they think of them. Since money is exchanged on a weekly basis, I have to understand the reality of the situation. It is business. Sure business mixed with love, but business nevertheless.

By the way, who is the hottie in the pic? The guy....

Bostonnanny said...

The difference between a real family and "work" family is complete honesty unconditional love and trust.
Can you tell your "work family" that you think that some of their decisions are bad, relationship wise, financially or ethically? Can you be completely open about absolutely everything from,relationships, sex, drugs and stupid personal things without fear that it may reflect badly on how they see you? Would they loan you money without accepting some form of reimbursement? Can you call them at all hours of the day just to talk? If something serious happened to their children(car accident, falling down the stairs etc) that was your fault would they forgive you?

I think most of these would be no.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Well said bostonnanny. I agree that in those situations the answer would be a clear NO!!

Nannies are just what the name implies..Nannies. We may all be respected by our families and even become great friends with our families. But NEVER will we be in the same category as their families are. We are not bound by name or blood and we get paid to be around their children. If these families really saw us as part of the family, then perhaps on occasion they would ask us to watch their children for free as a "favor." Would us nannies do it? Nope..not unless we got paid. After all, we are not true family members that's why.


The only way I would want to be around these whiny, self centered brats is for money. It pays better than min wage!

I am here for daddy, if the price is right and he is handsome not cute, there is a differance.

mismatchme said...

@Just My 2 Cents: guy in pic is Tom from Gloriana, met him this summer!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

@mismatchme: You go Girl!! Lucky Girl. ;)

Jacqui said...

I agree it is a sham when families advertise they are looking for a new nanny to be as they put it, "Part of our family...."

I always chuckle to myself as I read this. Nannies will never truly be family members, most people even treat their dogs better than they treat their nannies.

Mrs. Smith - Allen said...

I employ a nanny and while I love her with all of my heart (after all, she provides me with the greatest gift any working parent could ask for...peace of mind so I can completely focus on my job duties!!), I would never consider her a family member. We don't eat holiday meals together nor do we take family trips together as well. As already mentioned, since money is part of the equation, it is a business deal primarily. Never, ever mix business with pleasure. I cannot stress this enough.

Interestingly enough, my policy is to never mix money with my relatives or close/best friends. It only complicates things more in relationships. Money is for business and love + money = DISASTER.

NANNIES: If a family ever says they are seeking a nanny to be part of their family, I would run.