I have worked in a live out nanny share for almost 3 years with the same 2 families. Prior to this I had about 2 years experience where I bounced around from several families (the good families moved, and I suffered through some really bad experiences in that time) When I found my current position everything seemed perfect! They paid above what I was asking, they showed me appreciation and respect, and they had adorable children. Since that time one family had another baby, who was a welcome addition to the 4 other children, who played great together, and were all great friends.
There has been one issue that I have let go on for a very long time, and I have lost perspective.
When I first started the kids (in one family in particular) would scream and cry and throw themselves at their mom or dad as they left the house for work. The mom was going back to work after several years and I took this to be a typical adjustment to mom leaving. It would only last 5-10 minutes after they were out the door, and then they became distracted with other things. Eventually they started throwing these tantrums as soon as I arrived in the morning (about 30 mins before mom or dad left). The children were 37mo. and 18 mo. so I never took it personally. I provided them with excellent care and after the 10-15 mins. they would be happy and cuddly and always told me they loved me so I never felt bad about myself I just allowed them to work through the separation anxiety and then move on their own. I was waiting for the day, when the children would accept me immediately in the morning as part of their routine , and would run to the door to happily greet me as other children I have cared for have.
Fast forward 3 years... This has NEVER happened. The 37 month old is now 5 and in Kindergarten, and the 18mo. is now almost 4. Both have become increasingly rude to me, and horribly disrespectful. It really only happens at its worst when another adult is around (ie mom). I have been hit, kicked, screamed at, called mean names the list can go on and on. They make up things that 'i have said' and tattle to mom to try and get me in trouble (its pretty obvious to everyone -'The Nanny said she was going to stab me in the eye with a knife' etc etc) At first the mom would tell the kids that 'Nanny' is part of our family and you will be kind to her but that has long since stopped and I am on my own trying to demand respect to no avail. If nothing else mom is making excuses for the kids, 'They had a late night and are over tired', 'today we had a rough morning' etc. Because of their age now, when they behave this way its hard not to let it get to me. I would say that 80% of the time they are great and we have a lot of fun together, but that 20% is horrible and I am unsure of what else to do about it. We have talked about feelings and how it hurts my feelings when they call me names, and about respect, they get what it is. For example they wont call mom or dad, or teachers those names so it is disrespectful to say them to me. I have given them space, I have tried to confront it head on, I have laughed it off, I have cried over it, I have done everything I can think of to make a change. I know in my heart that there is nothing in how I care for these kids that could make me deserve this. And it is beyond 'testing' their limits with me. They know the boundaries I have set in place, and on more days than not will stare at me as they defy those.
The parents have never questioned the quality of care their children are receiving, they and I know it is top notch. However nothing is changing and I am starting to feel burnt out. Has anyone gone through similar situations? Or have any tips on how to redirect this hostility? I have no intention of leaving this job right now, as the other family, and the majority of the time this family are wonderful employers. I just need some tools to get me through this time. Thank you.