Thursday

How Should Nanny Give Notice?

opinion 2 Question about how to give notice: I have been working for this family for 10 months now, infant twins. Up until a two months ago, things were pretty great - I was feeling like a valued part of the family, and there was a great friendly rapport between the three of us. An instance occurred where they had to change my hours starting the next week, something I had no idea was even possibly going to happen, and something that would affect me significantly.

Long story short, the subsequent conversations got emotional, on both ends, and I was told repeatedly that I am the employee and that means they get to tell me when they need me and what to do while I'm in their employ (meaning housework beyond child related duties) no matter what we originally agreed upon. This obviously rubbed me the wrong way and I have been trying to get up the courage to figure out how to leave them since then.

I would like to make April my last month with them, and am trying to decide how to tell them, when to tell them, and how much notice to give.

I do not believe they will act out toward me, but in reading the other stories like this, I'm scared to give them too much notice. This Friday is payday and I plan to tell the mom that day after my shift, in person. Or, I could wait until the next payday, which will give them two weeks notice. The other option would be to send an email once I get home after my shift and not do it in person, but I feel this would be strange in our situation...

I know they will press me for details about why I am leaving. I'm planning to just say that it is too much for me physically anymore (because it actually really is - I have some physical issues which have been exacerbated since starting this job, and I'm not going to get another nanny job, I have a small business that I am building which will support me) and reassure them repeatedly that it has nothing to do with anything else, even though in reality it really does...

So, what are your thoughts and suggestions? Thanks!!!

24 comments:

a mom said...

tell them after they hand you your pay on Friday. Say "I've been thinking about this for the past two weeks and I've decided to resign. I am available for another X days/weeks if you need me but I'd like to work on a daily basis with mm/dd/yyyy being the last day I can be available. I am going to pursue my small business full time as I don't feel I'm physically up for the challenge of childcare anymore." If she wants you to come back for a few more days, tell her you'd like to be paid at the end of each day. That way if she screws you over, you'll only be out 1 day's pay as opposed to a whole week's pay.

Be careful. said...

If you think they will keep you on after you give notice, you are naive. Don't expect them to be kind and understanding: from what you have said, they have already shown that they are not. And don't expect to be able to use them as a reference. People like this family take it personally when you quit.

Also, you don't have to give them any reason for leaving, but if you wish to, A Mom's suggestion is perfect. When you tell them this, say it is not open for discussion. Be polite, yet firm.

I agree with A Mom: get your paycheck first. I would not trust this family.

ameera said...

whatever you do, do tell them that its because of the way you were treated or they'll treat the next nanny that way too.

Phoenix said...

Ok. first of all your ARE an employee. I don't understand why you would think that you are part of the family. I understand, I guess that you want to be considered as such. But they are paying you as an employee. And you have every right to not complete the tasks not in your original agreement. Do you have a contract stating your duties? Explain to them that at their job they wouldn't be expected to clean the restrooms if the janitor was home sick. Or go to work in HR when they work in finance. The point being you were hired as an employee to do a specific job that you are qualified to do. You are not a maid otherwise you would have told them that from the beginning.

In my opinion you should take the emotion out of it and treat them as your employers. Get a job description made up and have them review it and sign it. This way they know and you know what is expected of you. If they don't want to adhere to the job description then you provide them with your two weeks notice.

calinanny said...

nannies should never ever be considered part of the family, they are employee and thats it. i never consider myself part of their family and i am a live in.

sharon said...

i respectfully disagree with ameera - do not tell then they are at fault, it won't help.

The idea of explaining that you are starting your own business is a good one - i used that twice with no hard feelings

also - the physical injury is a good one - bring a doctors note and say you are worried that you cannot do the best for the charges - that when quitting you have their safety in mind - use their names over and over - parents can never argue with their child's name

they will know the real reason - don't give them the satifaction of confronting you

let us know what happens

Village said...

Two weeks notice, no more, and quit as soon as possible. Plan on them reacting poorly. They will be as difficult as possible, and may dismiss you immediately.

As for why, don't tell them anything. It will just start an argument. If they press, just say I want to quit. I don't want to work for you, and you can't make me. Just kidding. Leave out that last part.

Normally, I would say do this in person. However, in this instance, I would do it by text for three reasons.

1-You don't need a recommendation because you don't want another nanny job.
2-They will abuse you. Count on it. At least by text, you will have protection from their wrath with a probable immediate firing.
3-They changed the deal. You don't owe them the respect of a face to face resignation. I think quit by text will do the body good.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP, I don't like the things your boss said to you, she basically belittled you. She indirectly told you that you were just the "hired help" and that you were not irreplaceable. Wow...to feel so indispensable to them...she must love her power trip. And what nerve for her to say you were obligated to do other duties for her, even though they were not originally agreed upon initially. She makes me furious as I have had many employers who do the same thing.

Anyway, make sure you get your last paycheck before you do anything. I cannot stress this enough. I (stupidly) gave notice to a family once before I collected my paycheck and they never paid me for it!! To this day, I could kick myself.
In most situations, I would recommend giving notice in person, but since she is not showing you any respect, I would not show her any. Respect is a two-way street. Friday after you get paid (if it is by personal check, you may have to wait until the check clears first...), let them know via e-mail or text. Doesn't matter. But make sure the check clears first, if you notify them Friday after you get handed the check, by the time you get to the bank it could just be a "piece of paper" if she gets angry and cancels payment of it. As soon as you have your $$, then tell them. You don't owe them any type of explanation, but if you feel better giving one, let them know you plan on starting your small business. I warn you though, that there is a high chance after you give notice (whether it be 2 or 4 wks) that the family may retaliate and treat you badly.

My personal opinion is that in the Nanny profession, it is best to resign, effective immediately. Many condemn me for this perspective, stating it is very unprofessional and in some cases it is. But considering that the other side in your case is not living up to the original agreement, then you have no obligation to either. Leave and don't look back. Because they won't.

sharon said...

to any newer nannies reading this - a brilliant suggestion made by a nanny in the past is that when all is going well at your nanny job - get the MB to write you a letter of recommendation on a periodic basis - for "volunteer work" or some other idea

then if the situation turns bad - you have letters of recommendation

nanny in pgh said...

I know so many nannies who have been told to go immediately, myself included, after they try and give a months notice. I had a hard time even getting paid for the time they owed me that I had worked. Never, ever give more notice than you can afford to be unemployed for and definitely make sure you cash that check.

If you got this through an agency, make sure that you let them know you anticipate giving notice.

Good luck! I would say a 2 week notic eat most.

pro-nanny mama said...

As an employer, I have to agree with those saying protect yourself. These employers have shown themselves to be emotional and unprofessional, perhaps even untrustworthy, if they changed the agreement, even a verbal one, and justified it with "we are the employers." Verbal agreements are still agreements. I know many here say "get a contract in writing" but honestly I don't think they have much merit in many cases. If you get paid on a Friday, why not cash that check and give notice on a Monday, it doesn't have to be on a Friday.

Tell them whatever makes it easier on you. If you just want to say the physical issue, stick to your guns and repeat it, as another poster mentioned. Telling them anything otherwise won't teach them, if they are emotional they won't really hear you and make excuses for their own bad behavior. Do it in person though. You are with their children. Email is not cool for that. You can follow up with email for documentation, but have it say "as we discussed".

another nanny said...

OP, it sounds like you are actually in a fortunate position, since you don't need a reference, and it seems you are already bringing in some income via your business (?). So I think you can really do whatever feels best for you in this situation. Personally, I would speak to the parents in person rather than email. I would give one month notice if you feel you can live without the income for 2-4 weeks. I would state the business thing as your reason for leaving. However, I would also document the breaches in your contract (whether it was written or verbal), including the dates of such conversations where they added duties, etc, and keep it for your own records, just in case.

alex said...

I am sorry about them. I am sure you realize that you are not part of the family and an employee but as such you are not to be treated like dirt. They cannot make you do things beyond what your contract states as you did not agree to that.

I would do what is best for you but 1. I would do it in person, I feel like email stooping to their level and 2. make sure you get your paycheck before you do it.

Now if you want to stick to the physical reasons, then feel free to but if you want to tell them why, I don't see why they shouldn't know :)

Good luck!!

STLNanny said...

I just have to say that I disagree with those who are saying you should never feel you are part of the family. I've been a live out nanny to the same family for nearly 4 years now. I am fully aware that I am not technically part of the family, but they have always treated me as kindly and as wonderfully as they would treat a family member. I see nothing wrong with the way I am treated and I appreciate it as I know I could count on them for anything. It's my last few months working for them as the youngest goes to kindergarten in the fall and I already know my last day is going to be awful because of my love for this family, but I also know that it won't be the last time I see them because of our wonderful relationship.

You may not want to be considered a member of the family, but that is what works for you. If being treated like a member of the family works for others, than so be it.

Jacqui said...

STL Nanny: A nanny is NEVER a part of the family. EVER. Since there is money being exchanged between both parties, then it is a business agreement. Sure, you can feel "like" family as you mentioned in your post, and many of us nannies feel like that as well. But to categorize ourselves as truly part of the family is well...unrealistic. Families enjoy the benefit of unconditional love. They call each other at 2 in the morning if they need to, they watch each others children for free and they always have our best interests in mind.

I think you should cash the check at your bank Monday as soon as you can. If you cannot get to the bank by closing time, I hope you can cash it Saturday. I wouldn't go to work Monday since the check didn't clear yet just to give notice and have them fire you on the spot. I would say in most instances this is what occurs. The family obviously does not value you and will immediately hire someone else. They have no respect for nannies in general and the next nanny will feel slighted and dis respected just like you do.

STLnanny said...

Jacqui, again, that's YOUR opinion. I have a different opiniong...

>>STL Nanny: A nanny is NEVER a part of the family. EVER. Since there is money being exchanged between both parties, then it is a business agreement.<<

When I was a teen, I watched my cousins. Their parents paid me. Still family.

>>Sure, you can feel "like" family as you mentioned in your post, and many of us nannies feel like that as well. But to categorize ourselves as truly part of the family is well...unrealistic.<<

I don't think many people do categorize themselves as truly part of the family, but I still see nothing wrong for each party to treat the other that way.

>>Families enjoy the benefit of unconditional love. They call each other at 2 in the morning if they need to, they watch each others children for free and they always have our best interests in mind.<<

The family I care for knows that I would be there any second of the day for them. It was never more true than when one of their relatives passed away. She was well aware that should could count on me for anything. They could call me at 2am and I could call them at 2am if there was a problem.

I would also work for them for free if I were a millioniare, but unfortunatly I'm not.

There are many different situations out there. Again, what works for some may not work for others. For many of us, a closer, less professional and more personal nanny/family relationship is what works and is what we are comfortable with. That doesn't mean we are wrong.

Jacqui said...

STL Nanny: As someone previously mentioned, in ALL situations where people tend to generalize, there are always exceptions to the rule. What you have experienced is just one exception.
If a family ever told me during an interview that they were seeking a nanny who could be part of the family, that would weird me out initially. Usually when us nannies seek employment, we usually do not go into jobs with such grandiose expectations that we will become extended family members. If it happens, great...but most of us like to just take things one step at a time.

OP here said...

Well, here is the update, and it is not good. :(

I should have listened to the advice of previous posts and not to my heart or sense of obligation. Here is what happened in a nutshell: I gave 2 weeks notice on Friday, we had a very nice a respectful conversation, I gave my reason as physical, and we talked about that in a very understanding way. I left feeling like a huge weight had been lifted. I came to work on Monday, felt like something seemed off, and at the end of my shift, mom tells me that they already found somebody else and between everyone's schedules, my last day was going to be in two days. !!!! Yeah. I asked nicely if there was anyway to let me keep my hours these last two weeks, she said she didn't possibly see how that could work, blah blah, and at that point I was just done. One more day of pay wasn't going to make a difference. I kept calm, but let her know that I had sought advice about how I should give notice and everyone said to do it the last day you planned to work, that most families will just end up letting you go, and that I had decided that I didn't want to leave them in a lurch like that so I opted to give two weeks, and now they were basically screwing me over in return. She blurted out that if I had done that they would have been a bad reference for me. I reminded her that I didn't need their reference as I had no plans to do any form of childcare in the future, that my decision to give them the courtesy of two weeks was purely out of respect for them. I let her know that I had been counting on that last check being a full one and I could have just resigned the day I was planning to leave, and she spat out, "Well, we were counting on you being our nanny!" totally taking me leaving as a personal offense. At that point I laid their housekey on the counter and told her she could send my last paycheck to my address (haha- we'll see if I ever get those two days' worth!) and she got a shocked look on her face and said, "You're not coming back on Wednesday?!?!?" like anyone in their right mind would ever consider coming back for their last day after the things she had said. Calmly I said, "no, I won't be coming back", as I walked out the door- and the last words I heard her say were "Wow, you're bad." Nice. So now, those words are ringing in my head, and I keep thinking I should have just taken the high road and shut my mouth and at least enjoyed the babies on that last day, because that is my biggest heartbreak, that I didn't really get to hug and kiss the babies one last time. At least they were taking a nap when all this went on and I got to put them down one last time. But I think it's humorous that they see no wrong in just cutting me loose, but I am bad for deciding to not take her abuse anymore and not coming back on the last day that they decided on for me. Someone commented previously that she is on a power trip, and that is completely the case, both of them are actually, but they would never be able to see it. Also a couple people said not to even bother giving them any real feedback because they won't hear it anyway and will just make excuses for their bad behavior, and it is totally true. I know from experience that these parents hear what they want to hear and nothing else, and if it isn't in writing, they will twist all conversations to their own benefit down the road. (2nd part to this update next...)

OP here said...

(Part two)

One interesting part to this that I discovered is that in the past I have mostly dealt with only one parent, the mom, and hardly ever had contact with the other parent. Well in this case, there were two moms- a lesbian couple- and they were both extremely involved in the childrens care, and so I not only had to deal with one parent, but both constantly. You wouldn't think dealing with two parents would really be an issue, but it was literally like having two completely different bosses, both of whom had their own way of wanting you to do things, and both of whom wanted to know every tiny detail of your day every single day. They actually wanted me to text the working mom if one of them didn't eat lunch, or had an abnormal poop, or just had a crying fit!! Unfortunately, I'm sure they will go through a few nannies and babysitters while their children grow up- their regular evening babysitter was already canceling on them regularly recently and I believe it's because these two are just insane parents. I have learned that nannying is just not for me- I get too attached and start to feel like part of the family, and then I get hurt when I'm not invited to the birthday parties or they start micromanaging me as if I've never cared for a child before (I've cared for almost 100 children between a daycare environment, babysitting and nannying, since the age of 12). Every child has loved me, has lit up at the sight of me at the door, and some have even thrown fits when I had to leave. I am a good caregiver. But it's the parents that drive me insane and hurt me, and it is time to just leave the profession. I will happily work hard at my business and love and spoil the children in my family and my friends' children! :D

Note: please know that I am in complete support of gay and lesbian rights and marriages- this couple is actually an excellent example of a great marriage and relationship- I only mentioned that they are two women because I felt that in this situation it has had a profound effect on how they are parenting and dealing with their nanny. Of course this is not always the case with same sex couples who parent, and that was not my point. Please do not comment bashing same sex relationships or anything like that, thanks! :D

honest abe said...

I would definitely be honest with them. They won't get the consequences of their actions if you gloss over it. Maybe you'll have an impact and maybe you won't but if the next nanny is also treated poorly it won't be because you failed to speak up and give them a chance to correct their bad behavior, it will be a direct result of their own character flaws.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Thank you OP for keeping us up to date and letting us know how things ended. Your post only reinforces my belief that when one has a nanny position, one must get the last payment..then check out. Giving notice is all well and good and works in most jobs. However, when you are a nanny and you let your family know you will be leaving, they automatically take it as a personal thing and retaliate. They either hire someone else before you are set to leave or make your working conditions hell.

I always believe that if you know you are going to quit your nanny job, then collect what is due you monetarily and leave. If worse comes to worse and they are left w/out childcare for a few days, there are tons of women out there looking for work and I am pretty sure a nanny can be found almost immediately.

Petra said...

I have to agree with @JMTCJS, when working as a nanny, it is always best to give your notice, effective immediately. It rarely works out for the nanny to continue in her position after she has given notice. Families tend to get mad at the nanny for "putting them out" and will either hire someone else right away or treat the nanny bad. As seen many times on this blog, when nannies give notice they usually are treated worse than they were before.

Brianne Wicks said...

I have always been an advocate for an in person conversation, but I also have had a serious horror story about leaving a position.

I was 6 months in, and had wanted to quit from 3 months. I stayed in hopes things would improve and they did not. Wasn't like yours, mostly just lifestyle differences and the baby had some really serious attachment and sleep issues I didn't have experience with. I gave her two weeks notice after securing my new position.

We had no contract, but she yelled and berated me in front of her baby and older child that I owed her 30 days notice, I can't quit, I was obligated to do this job for them, she was going to call a lawyer and even went so far as to question her children's safety while in my care. I was appalled and so horrified. She didn't speak to me on the following Monday, and she worked from home so that was very obvious and awkward. They ended up finding a daycare and letting me go that Wednesday (basically a whole week plus 2 days of no work or pay). So be prepared for that.

Good luck and best wishes for you in your new business.

Brianne Wicks said...

I have always been an advocate for an in person conversation, but I also have had a serious horror story about leaving a position.

I was 6 months in, and had wanted to quit from 3 months. I stayed in hopes things would improve and they did not. Wasn't like yours, mostly just lifestyle differences and the baby had some really serious attachment and sleep issues I didn't have experience with. I gave her two weeks notice after securing my new position.

We had no contract, but she yelled and berated me in front of her baby and older child that I owed her 30 days notice, I can't quit, I was obligated to do this job for them, she was going to call a lawyer and even went so far as to question her children's safety while in my care. I was appalled and so horrified. She didn't speak to me on the following Monday, and she worked from home so that was very obvious and awkward. They ended up finding a daycare and letting me go that Wednesday (basically a whole week plus 2 days of no work or pay). So be prepared for that.

Good luck and best wishes for you in your new business.