Sunday

a day in the life
756 ring the doorbell
800 wonder if someone is going to answer the door
802 older sibling slowly saunters to the front door, has trouble unlocking the door and opening it
804 I am in and start up the stairs to free the youngest from his baby jail as it's referred to
805 open the youngest's bedroom door and am hit with the powerful smell of a dirty diaper, get him out of bed and lay him on the changing table and realize he's in the same diaper he was in when I left last night. This means a diaper rash and that he needs a bath
810 diaper is changed and baby is dressed, we head down the stairs so I can fix breakfast, I put him in his high chair and listen to him scream because he doesn't want to sit there
812 frozen waffles are ready and I hand a few to the youngest while calling to the oldest to come eat her breakfast, listen to her scream because she wants to watch tv with daddy. He caves and she stays in the bedroom with her parents
818 he sends her out with crocodile tears because she wants to watch tv, I remind her she needs to eat while ignoring the tears
819 remind her to sit down and eat
820 remind her to stop tormenting her brother and eat while looking all over the house for her blanket
821 remind her to eat while packing her backpack with her blanket and show and tell item
822 threaten to make her go to school naked if she doesnt hurry
825 finally finished feeding both and frantically trying to get the oldest dressed
826 still trying to get the oldest dressed
827 start fixing oldest kid's hair and listen to her cry because she wants an elaborate hairstyle and I dont have the time for anything but a ponytail
829 remind the oldest she needs shoes for school, listen to her whine while reminding her she cannot wear flip flops to school
830 mom comes out of the bedroom and she and oldest rush out the door to school and the youngest cries for mommy
835 the youngest has calmed down and is playing with his cars quietly in the living room while I throw a load of clothes in the washer and fold the clothes in the dryer
840 dad comes out of the bedroom in his boxer briefs and talks to the youngest and remarks that he just started saying dog the night before while I smile to myself and know that he started saying dog a week ago and I told them that then.
842 dad goes to his room and shuts the door behind him leaving the youngest to scream at his door
845 calm the youngest down and have him playing in the living room with his cars and watching blues clues while I unload the dishwasher and load it with dirty dishes
855 start straightening the kitchen, pick up dads dirty clothes off the kitchen floor and throw them in the laundry room, go in the office and grab the dirty wine glasses dad couldn't bring to the kitchen. Go upstairs and collect dirty dishes that dad couldn't bring downstairs
900 tell mom we will be at the park and head out
930 get to the gym and drop the youngest off at the gym daycare
1030 pick up the youngest and go to my house to shower and wash clothes
1100 leave the house to find lunch
1200 leave restaurant and head back to the kid's house
1230 get back to the house and take the youngest upstairs, change his diaper and lay him down for his nap
1240 find dishes in the sink that dad couldn't possibly put in the dishwasher, start the dishwasher
1243 throw clothes in the dryer and another load in the washer
1245 take clean clothes upstairs and put them away
1250 clean up the toys, wipe up the pee on the seat and floor because dad can't aim
100 realize the dog hasn't been fed and fill the bowl up and let the dog outside to go to the bathroom
105 call the dog to come back inside and realize she isn't in the backyard anymore
106 mutter dammit under my breath while grabbing the baby monitor and leash and heading out the front door to look for the dog
145 finally get the dog back in the house while vowing never to go after her again
145 go around to the side of the house and make sure the gate is closed so the dog doesn't get out again
148 sit down
200 unload the dishwasher
210 fold clothes and throw clothes in the dryer, take those clothes upstairs and put them away
220 find a pile of ants under the high chair, clean that up and spray ant spray
240 clean up the counters, restock the sugar and coffee canisters and the drink fridge
300 doorbell rings and the dog barks, answer the door and spend 10 min telling the person at the door that I do not want magazine subscriptions
320 doorbell rings again and the dog barks, UPS delivering a package
330 doorbell rings and the dog barks, wish the dog was still lost in the neighborhood and sign for a package from fedex
345 youngest wakes up and I head up the stairs and am hit with a powerful smell of a dirty diaper
350 set youngest on the potty while filling the bathtub
355 take youngest off the potty and put him in the tub
430 pull him out of the tub and put him in clean clothes
435 go down stairs and give the youngest a snack
440 remind youngest that he cant feed the dog graham crackers
445 remind youngest he can't feed the dog graham crackers
450 threaten to make the youngest get down if he feeds the dog again
500 take him out of the high chair and turn on barney for him while I clean up his mess
510 play with the youngest
555 dad sends me a message saying he is running late and will be no more than 10-15 min late he promises
600 look at my watch and sigh wishing I was leaving on time for a change
630 realize dad is 30 min late and start looking for something to feed the youngest for dinner
645 set the youngest in his high chair and feed him dinner
715 put youngest to bed
730 dad comes home with oldest in tow and apologizes for being so late
815 get home and get into fight with hubby over my hours again
845 hubby goes to bed and I take a shower
930 eat dinner
1000 go to bed

69 comments:

Rebecca said...

OP, I like your post and can understand your frustrations but will you clarify one thing for me? Did you lie to your boss that you were taking her child out for exercise, then instead go to the gym and drop him off with someone else to supervise him while you worked out on the clock, and then took him to your house to cover up the evidence? If that is indeed the case, your behavior as a professional is very wrong. If I were a parent and my employee was doing this on a regular basis I would terminate said employee. If I've misread your post accept my apologies. I too feel the need to workout daily, but I do it after work, around 7:30 at night. Thank God my gym has late hours or I'd never get it in.
Can you please clarify this for me, and if indeed you are lying to your boss and cheating the clock on a regular basis I would really be interested in hearing your justification.
Thanks!

nc said...

She would work out on her own time, if these parents stuck to the schedule, and allowed her to leave on time...

a mom said...

your day sounds a lot like mine, but I don't get paid! I think you should find another line of work. Hashing out every minute of your day like this makes it sound like you really resent being a nanny or you thought you would just be watching soaps all day while the kids played at your feet.

NannyZen said...

I get that this isn't the absolute ideal situation from OP's point of view (dad giving in to screaming, issues with dad being very late, etc), but I'm still very confused here. The annoyed tone carries through the entire post, even when the baby wakes up from her nap with a dirty diaper! Seriously? That's worth complaint? Maybe it's not this family that's bothering the OP. It seems to me that most of the complaints stem from very basic Nanny expectations. So you do dishes and laundry. You know what? I have the exact same duties as you do, am also responsible for taking two children to and from school as well as caring for a two year old who stays with me during the day... And I manage to get the dishes and laundry done, and ACTUALLY take the two year old to the park. I work 7:30 to 6, and don't have a parent at home to help with driving kids to and from school. And you know what? I love my job. I love it because I love my charges, and I love their parents. We are all very, VERY busy during the week and help each other when we can. We have an amazing relationship. Perhaps that's what's missing from OP's position: a relationship with the parents.
I understand that's not in the cards for everyone. Sometimes it's not up to us who we can form bonds with. But if you feel like you have to sneak around and secretly go to the gym/restaurant/your house during the day with your charge, you'd be better off nannying for someone else. Or maybe not nannying altogether.

Taleia said...

I agree with Rebecca - if you are lying to your employers about what you are doing with their children, it's not justified. Ever. I don't care how crazy they are.

I kind of feel sorry for these kids - they sound like pretty normal kids for their age, and you sound like they annoy the living daylights out of you. Perhaps you should look for another line of work. Or maybe this was just a bad day and you wanted to blow off steam?

op said...

I did lie to the mom about going to the park.

I didn't lie about going to the restaurant, we are allowed and go out for lunch almost daily and I did tell her where we went for lunch.

I didn't cover up anything going to my house, I went to my house to do the chores that I can't do because I get home so late. Same thing with the gym. I don't have time to go during the week or on the weekend because I am usually working then as well and trying to fit in all my other errands as well

I have no contempt for my charges, I love them. The use of the phrase overwhelming smell of a dirty diaper was simply using figurative language. I just wrote down how my day goes, I have no problem changing dirty diapers. They are par for the course. The only thing that irritates me is when the poor kid sits in a dirty diaper for hours on end because the parents wont change it and would rather just wait for me to get there to change it.

I don't always lie about where we are going, sometimes I really do go to the park, or where ever else I tell the mom we are going. I do tell her sometimes that I am going to my house for various reasons and she is always ok with it. I just felt the need to lie that day because I had just gone to my house the other day and I don't want her to think we spend the days at my house. We usually don't, we live in a big city with tons of things to do and most of the time we enjoy all our city has to offer.

TC said...

I am not annoyed what so ever with my charges or my job except for the father, this is a day in the life and I simply wrote down how my day goes on a fairly regular basis.

If you think I am annoyed, you would be wrong and simply read to much into the post :)

Village said...

Grammar Police Here

FYI -Est as in youngest and oldest requires at least three of something. If there is a youngest child and an oldest child, there must be at least one middle child.

If there are only two children, then one is older and the other is younger. The older child came to the door, and the younger child wears a lot of dirty diapers.

More FYI-Lying is lying. Lying about where the children are, for your convenience, is a firing offense. I would suggest resetting your moral compass, and demanding to be paid time and a half after six. Or get another job. Your husband is more important that your charges.

Rebecca said...

I think it's brave to write about our professional shortcomings on this blog. And I know it's frustrating to have very little time to yourself. It's hard to balance work, chores, exercise and downtime into a limited schedule. However, even if it's only a handful of times that you have lied and done personal things while you are being paid to work, that's certainly not okay. In addition, has the parents approved and or met the person who is watching their child while you use the gym? I would flip out if I were paying someone to watch my child and she had placed him in the care of someone I didn't I feel for your situation, but know to go and work out.
I would urge you to consider another position with less hours if you feel the only option you have is to lie to your boss and do personal things while she is paying you. It is not ethical and you could get caught and fired on the spot and be left with no income. I feel for your situation, but I just can't get past the lying. Even when I fuck up severely, I am totally honest about it.

TC said...

No lying is not ok but I don't feel bad for what I do.

When the parents start being truthful to me then I will give them the same respect. You can not tell me when you hire me that I will only be working when the parents are working only to find out a year into the job that one parent never works on Friday but they still have me come in and work at least my full shift if not more because they are running late.

You can not tell that you have a very important meeting to attend on the weekend and beg me to watch the kids and then post pictures on your blog with the caption out celebrating a friends bday on the day you begged me to watch the kids for a meeting

You cant beg me to watch the kids because you have a very important meeting with a client that you must attend and then tell me later you were out bar hopping with friends.

Or tell me you have to go out of town for a meeting for a few days and leave the kids with me only to find out you went on a vacation to the Bahamas with your husband.

I go to the same gym the parents go to and they use the daycare as well.

Truth Seeker said...

@TC aka. OP: I see your side of things. I believe that respect is definitely a two-way street and since they obviously are not giving you any, they do not deserve any in return. Plain & Simple.
As for the lying part, I can see why you do it. You need to maintain your sanity as a Nanny and if going to the gym for a measly hour will let you do just that, by all means do it!! What your bosses don't know won't hurt them. The child is being cared for in an adequate manner and the Nanny is doing something that will benefit the child later on, which is maintaining her sanity. It's not like you are neglecting the child for God's sake! Believe me, I have heard worse stories...this definitely is not a Bad Nanny Sighting. I also think the fact that the parents have lied to you repeatedly is justification for you to do the same to them. I know many will argue that two wrongs do not equate a right, but hell...I would be resentful if I was lied to as much as you were OP. It's time you stand up for yourself and give them a taste of their own medicine. Period.
I personally think you sound like a good Nanny. It sounds like you are punctual (since you show up a few minutes early) and you are energetic. You work crazy hours and no where in your post did I see you take even a break. Some Nannies would use the down time for a nap, etc...but I see your employers are the ones who believe a child's nap time means "work harder" time since you do laundry, dishes, etc...I do not feel these are your duties. Being a Nanny is providing childcare, not being a housekeeper as well. Taking into account that you work 12 hrs, w/out a break, I don't see why others have a problem w/you going to the gym. My goodness....you are a human being, not some robotic being.

NannyB said...

Why oh why would you go to your own house and take care of it when you are at work and are supposed to be taking care of the children and your employer's home? That just seems completely irresponsible to me! If you don't like your hours and have no time for yourself to even work out or clean find another job! I know the kids are like little magnets keeping you there but come on you aren't being a great nanny by taking time away from the kids for yourself! Idk not going to lie if I was your employer I'd have a problem with your actions...like I said find a new job that allows you to have more time for yourself.

MissDee said...

What does the dad have to do that is so important he has to arrive home an hour and a half late?

What is the mother doing that is so important she can't take over when DH is late, so that you can get done at 6p and have your own life?

I wonder if the secretary/assistant/colleague knows he's married with a wife and kids?

no way said...

I feel bad for the younger child, because it appears he spent most of this day watching TV, at the gym daycare, or waiting for you to finish your personal chores. I think lying about your whereabouts is going to come back to haunt you eventually. If they find out and fire you, the next potential employer is not going to give a crap that "well, they lied to me, too!" They are just not going to hire you. If it were me, I would just let the dad know "My hours are until 6. At 6:05 I will be leaving for the gym. If you're late, please pick up the child from the gym daycare."

AustTXNanny said...

@OP: I represent an agency, and I have multiple clients. Some need me in the evenings, some during the day, a few on the weekends at different times. All of them know that Friday is MY day, unless it is truly an emergency, then I'll work them in, especially if it's a family I haven't seen in a while.
They don't always have to give me a reason. Sometimes, I just really miss the kids and would like to see them. In every case, I assume that when they DO tell me what they are up to, that they are doing just that, and that if they change their minds and decide to do something else, well, that's fine to.
I understand this is a family you see everyday, and so that shifts the dynamic. However, consider this; you're looking to add to your client load. You contact an agency, and they put you in touch with potential families. You invite a set of parents to meet you at a restaurant. You sit down and have a nice meal, but you also talk business. Later, the family you currently work for sees a picture of you with the parents at the restaurant. They automatically assume you were lying. How do you feel?
Now, suppose they assumed that you were lying, but they didn't address the issue with you. Instead, they let it fester. They take it out in passive aggressive ways, they get annoyed with your charges when you aren't there simply because they are annoyed with you, and all because of a misunderstanding which could have been avoided by them communicating their concerns.
As Nannies, we are as, if not more, responsible to communicate when we feel there has been a breach in trust. After all, if we can't convey ourselves in a mature manner with other adults, how can we possibly be trusted to treat our charges with respect?
Sure, everyone has to start somewhere; maybe this will be the hardest family you ever have to deal with, but only if you also change your behavior. I would recommend fessing up to them about how you have been spending your time.
I don't go to the gym every week, but that is my choice because I chose to be a career Nanny. I supplement this by using a jogging stroller, if MB/DB are comfortable with it, or by playing tag with the kids, or by throwing the ball for the dogs, or by doing yoga while the kiddos are sleeping. All of these things, I ask the parents about first, and only do with their consent. I make it crystal clear that they are not obligated to allow me to do these things, because it is their time and they are paying me good money.
If you don't clear these things up now, chances are pretty good it will come back to haunt you later. You will be missing a valuable opportunity to learn how to express yourself, a skill that is necessary in any job and is expected of every adult that has ever and will ever grace the work force with their presence. In addition, MB or DB will figure out what's happening in some way (maybe someone will see you and post it here; those actions qualify as a bad sighting). You'll loose a valuable reference in that way. Not only will it be the worst experience you might ever have as a nanny, but it could very well be the last.
Or, it is possible that this is not the career for you. Or maybe a business course would be helpful in learning how to deal with these kinds of situations. Make no mistake; you are you're own boss. You chose the contract, and you chose the family. You put yourself forward for the contract you have. You were shown the greatest trust another human being can give. You repay it by abusing your position.
You might need to find a way to enrich your own personal life outside of work, which might mean having to cut down on hours, which might mean having to tell them No once in a while. First off, be honest with how you have been using their time, and then, if they will still have you on staff, discuss your own needs. If you can't bring yourself to have this conversation with them, the situation will continue to deteriorate until you are either fired or resign.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Find a new job, with better employers, and don't lie to them.

Or stay where you are make sure the parents know you will be leaving at X time, and that you will find sitters for them who will be there when they get home unless they do so themselves. Or inform the parents that the new "late fee" is $100 per half hour of OT.

Lying as a method of revenge for being lied to is just as wrong as lying just because you feel like it.

NVMom-movedtoTX said...

OP, you may also want to consider the risks of lying. If something should ever happen to your charge at your house or even at the gym daycare, you will be put in the position of having to cover that up and the lies could quickly escalate. Not likely, but certainly within the realm of possibililties.

As a Mom, I appreciate reading these daily journals; it is an interesting perspective of what some nannies are putting up with.
OP, I would also address some of these issues with the family (cleaning up, unless it's been agreed to, and the lateness). These sound like chronic offenses that are out of hand unless you state your side of the situation.

MONKEYSHINES said...

the lying is really scary!
your nanny could be pimping out your kid and you would never know it!

I do not miss being a nanny it is not a very mentally stimulating job, why would anyone want to make a career out of it? I found it to be socially isolating and dealing with awful parents!
the long hours, boredom and it can be depressing how these parents just leave their children with strangers

skeptical said...

I didn't even make it to 9am before I was saying to myself, "you can't handle this job!"

Sounds like there is a lot of "telling the children what to do" and not a whole lot of communicating (with children or with parents). Why do you put the toddler in the highchair to wait while you get breakfast ready? Mine always plays while I do this, then we sit and eat.

Anyhow, I could nitpick away, but if you don't like your job - quit. Sounds like you can't really handle all the responsibilities...

Phoenix said...

wait. did you tell the mom you were going to the park and then you instead went to the gym?

nycmom said...

I very much agree with everyone above especially AustTxNanny's explanation. Honestly, apart from the lateness (which is inexcusable on a regular basis and for which you should be paid extra), your day really doesn't sound so bad:

-Your only housework chores appear to be dishes, laundry, and occasional dog-related duties.
-Mornings are always hectic, but you have a parent taking older child to school.
-Dad is messy. So are 90% of men. Yes, it sucks that you have to deal with some of his fallout, but again it is a very common (even standard) part of working in someone's home.
-Although mom and dad do upset the kids when they show up, then leave, they do not appear to do this intentionally, inappropriately or excessively (vs. the last Day in the Life)
-Parents seem a bit disconnected (not knowing speech milestones) and a bit lazy (not changing dirty diaper. But these are pretty minor weaknesses for two busy working parents!
-You have immense amounts of easy, realtively free time during your day. Basically from 8:30am-12:30pm you did nothing but care for yourself, eat lunch at a restaurant, load the dishwasher and do some basic pickup.
-Then from 12:30pm-3:45pm, the younger child is sleeping and the older child at school. ALL you have to accomplish during this time is two loads of laundry, tidy up, feed and find the dog, and unload the dishwasher.
-Then from 3:30pm-7:30pm you again have only younger child and all you have to accomplish is answering the door, feeding the child, bathing and putting to bed.

Honestly, your job sounds on the easy side. Of course the lying and going to the gym is completely unacceptable. Completely. There is no amount of "lying" by parents that justifies this. It's extremely disturbing to me and I would absolutely fire you if you did this.

Your justification is that they lie to you. This is a very poor excuse. Yes, they unquestionably should NOT BE LATE. If they are, you should get paid or demand comp time (your preference). As far as working Fridays or weekends - they should not have to justify to you why they need help (assuming you are fairly paid for your time, of course). They could hire you so they could go lay in the middle of the floor and blow bubbles. If you choose to work those hours, don't spend the time being resentful.

Perhaps the bigger problem is that you are not paid fairly? You don't mention this. Regardless, as many have said you have a choice here. Stand up for yourself and/or get a different job. Of course it may take a while to find a new job, but start looking. You are angry, resentful, burned out, and completely misperceiving your work situation. You, the kids, and the parents all deserve better. Not sure how long you are worked for this family, but it's time to move on.

p.s. If you are silly enough to lie and take the child to the SAME GYM THE PARENTS USE, you are going to get caught!!

Phoenix said...

I read back through the comments and foundt that you did in fact lie. You can't do that. What if there was an emergancy or the kid got hurt while at the gym daycare? How would you explain yourself? If you want to work out put the kid in a stroller and jog at the park. You shouldn't lie like that.

NomoreBigBird said...

Just wait until the "youngest" starts saying more than the word "dog" and tells mommy and daddy he spent his day in the gym daycare and at your apartment . . .

As interesting as I found your story, I have to agree with the others here, you are not cut out to be a nanny. Lying is grounds for firing, especially when it comes to working with children.

1 word: FIRED said...

I second Bigbird, just wait tell the little boy starts talking.

1 word: FIRED said...

tell = until (it's been a long day).

Anyway, good luck with that OP, children love to "tattle" and it sounds as though the little guy is getting more and more verbal.

TC said...

It's funny to see what you guys pick up on. I knew I would catch slack for lying but I had no clue I would be criticized for putting the kid in his high chair 2 min before feeding him or allowing him to watch about 30 min all together of tv.

Once again I am not angry, this was simply a day in my life. I don't resent the kids or even the parents. I do admit to being irritated with the actions of the father. Sure it may be normal for a man to pee on the floor and not clean it up or to leave dirty clothes on the kitchen floor or dirty dishes all over the house but that doesn't mean it's my job...because it's not. My job is not to clean up after a grown man, it's to take care of and clean up after children.

You guys can not hear someone's voice when they type, and that's where the problem lies here. I just wrote out how my day went and tried to illicit a laugh with the comments about the dog, and show imagery by mentioning the smell of the diaper. Once again people, I am not angry or upset, I WANT to work. I don't have to work. If I really hated this job I would quit.

When I first took this job I did need the money, and then I fell in love with the kids. Then I met my husband and got married. He makes more than enough to support us and we've talked about me quitting but I don't want to, I get bored sitting at home and actually enjoy the hectic days I have at work and that's why I stay. This job isn't going to last too much longer, my husband's job allows him to move virtually anywhere and we've already decided to move out of state in the near future.

And to the person who mentioned something about the father cheating. I've actually thought that and my husband thinks that but I don't think so. He has to pick the oldest from school by a certain time and does...and still stays out. Not sure what he does but I really really hope he's not bringing his child with him if he's cheating on his wife. The reason the mother is never home is because she spends her time with friends either shopping or bar/club hopping.

One last comment to the person that doesn't see a problem with the parents lying to me about where they are. Imagine the kid gets hurt bad enough that they need to go to the er. Now imagine mom isn't picking up her phone because she can't hear it over the noise of the club. I wouldn't have a clue and if I couldn't get ahold of her I would probably try to contact the place she told me she would be only to find out that she isn't there. What happens when hours pass and I can't get ahold of a parent?

So how is it ok for the parents to mislead me but it's not ok for me to mislead them?

I also did confront the mother about lying about where she was. I got a small laugh and an oops with a smile from her. She knew what she was doing, if she had told me she wanted to go out and party I would have told her I couldn't watch the kids because I like to have my weekends free, she knew if she played me a sob story I would cave.

christine said...

Ya know, I read this post and while I was astounded that she went to the gym and her own home, I thought her life seemed like a day of pure drudgery. Schlepping the kid and the laundry and then waiting for the father to drag his ass home. I would be mad too! But, when I stayed at home with my children, I found a network of other moms to connect with. I had a little social time and so did the kids! She should find other nannies or even moms at the local library or park to hang out with a few times a week. Also, she really should arrange a teenager to sit if the parents are running late. Their behavior is terrible and in my opinion, rude.

Reese said...

@TC: The parents are getting back exactly what they are putting into your relationship w/them. You do not have to make any apologies to them. People...get a reality check here. You get back what you put in to a relationship. Period. I am appalled that so many people on here who are criticizing TC for lying. She is only treating the family how they treat her.

I think your job sounds pretty bad. Being a Nanny involves caring, loving and educating a child. Certainly not doing laundry, dishes and caring for a pet. Don't even get me started on the Dad's pee mess. LOL. I think it is a crying shame the parents are giving you chores to do during nap time. Considering that you work such a long day, I feel it is inconsiderate of them to ask you to wash clothes and empty the dishwasher during nap time. Many parents consider you technically "on the clock" so they try to get as much work from you as they can. Sadly, their children will be the ones who will be affected negatively. :( You as a Nanny need to use the time to enjoy a quiet lunch and perhaps lay down and read a book or magazine. Then when the child awakes, you will be refreshed and ready for round two. No one can run on empty and that's all you have at the end of the day. I was recently a Nanny for this family who assigned me light household tasks similar to yours during the child's nap time. Boy, the last thing you want to have hanging over your head when you arrive is the hamper full of clothes and the full dishwasher that will need unloading in a few hours. Plus, it is really stressful trying to complete your chores while listening for any sounds at the same time coming from the bedroom. It's like your carrying two responsibilities altogether!! Needless to say, that job didn't last very long. Nap time is the Nanny's rest time. Young children take periodic naps because it is Mother Nature's way of acknowledging that whoever is caring for said child needs to rest and regroup as well. Older children do not take regular naps and Mother Nature acknowledges this as well since whoever cares for them does not need periodic rest as older children are much easier to care for.

Don't let the negativity get you down TC. You are doing a fine job. I am sure many of these same Nannies who are criticizing you today have lied once or twice to their bosses. Likewise the Parents as well.

I did it . . . said...

Around Thanksgiving I fired a nanny for lying to me about where she was taking my son during the day. The day after I confirmed it, I walked her to the door before lunch and that was that. I later found out she lied to me about too many things to count, big and small, some of which were truly dangerous to my child.

Someone who thinks it's OK to be devious in one situation rarely limits themselves, they are likely to lie about many things once they gain momentum and confidence.

I hope these parents get wise to you and walk you out the door too, before someone gets hurt.

MissMannah said...

I agree, it isn't OK for the parents to mislead you. But, on the other hand, it isn't their occupation for you to know their whereabouts 100% of the time. It is yours. You said what about an emergency, well in that case you need to have written permission from the parents that you can make decisions regarding medical care because it sounds like you might have to be the one taking the kid to the hospital if an emergency arises. (God forbid)

You also said it isn't your job to clean up after the father...so why are you doing it? You're right, he's a grown man, he should be able to take care of himself. And if he can't, he has a wife who should be able to take care of him. Stop picking up his laundry/dishes. Walk around it, nudge it out of the way with your foot, whatever you have to do to prove to the parents you aren't their housekeeper. And for the love of God, no more wiping up his pee! That is disgusting and totally unnecessary. Is there not another bathroom in that whole house you can use so you can avoid this? I also can't believe I'm the only one who is horrified that the dad walks around in front of you in his underwear. Did you know that could be considered a form of sexual harassment because he is making your work environment uncomfortable for you? Who cares if it is his own home! Put clothes on when you have company!

Alright, getting off my soapbox. Not going to get into the lying bit--I'm sure you already know what I would say about that anyway.

MissMannah said...

Reese...I only just saw your comment and I have a question for you: what do you do during naptime? I would get bored out of my mind if I didn't have anything to do--I can only read or watch TV for so long. My first nanny job, the parents never asked me to do a single chore, but I usually did the dishes and children's laundry during naptime anyway, because it needed to be done. Plus they were respectful enough to separate out the children's clothes from their own and they never left last night's dinner dishes all over the house. As a result, I often got some pretty nice bonuses for going "above and beyond" my nanny duties. It's not as if dishes and laundry are strenuous chores anyway--I still enjoyed a resting time.

nycmom said...

Reese, not sure where you are located, but in NYC doing "light housekeeping" aka empty/load dishwasher, kids' laundry, and keeping the home tidy are generally standard duties in most nanny jobs. Heavier housekeeping is not standard. Not sure why you found these tasks so overwhelming. When I have been a SAHM and done these they take very, very little time or effort:

Load dishwasher: 5 min
Run dishwasher: 1 min
Empty dishwasher: 10 min
Load washer: 3 min x 2 loads = 6min
Transfer to dryer: 4 min x 2 = 8min
Fold laundry: 15 min x 2 = 30min
(and this assumes 2 loads a day which is likely excessive)

Grand Total of daily chore time (apart from keeping place tidy which everyone should do): 60 min
Grand Total most children's naps: 2-4 hours

If you truly found it "really stressful trying to complete your chores while listening for any sounds at the same time coming from the bedroom. It's like your carrying two responsibilities altogether!!" then perhaps working in someone's home is not a great choice for you. Most skilled nannies are perfectly capable of listening for a crying child while folding laundry. Plus, most nannies are capable of doing those basic chores during the regular hours by multitasking and having the child help (good lesson for children to learn to unload dishwasher and "fold" clothes) so they don't need to relegate it to naptime.

fired. said...

I can't condone lying to your boss about where you are taking their child.

I usually side with the nanny, as I am a former nanny to truly horrid parents. But if I found out my sitter was taking my child somewhere without my permission, I would fire her. On the spot.

Reese said...

MissMannah: During naptimes, I usually eat a quiet and interrupted lunch, use the restroom w/out distraction and freshen up by brushing my teeth and fixing my hair/face since I usually don't have time to do these things while on duty. My charge is a toddler and needs constant supervision. It only takes a minute to trip on something and fall, put something small in her mouth, etc. Then I usually just sit on the sofa and either make phone calls that can only be done between 9-5 during the week and/or check my e-mail. Or I simply just drink a glass of tea and look out the window. Once my charge awakes, I am re-energized to take her to the park, library or whatever since she is refreshed from her nap and I can now take her out w/out worrying about her getting cranky in public or falling asleep in the car seat right before I need to take her out to attend story time. :)

nycmom: I have heard that it is standard for some nannies to do "light household" tasks during downtime and I think it is a personal choice. Some nannies are okay doing so, others not so much. I am the latter. My last position was caring for a 9-month old baby and while he napped, Mom had a little laundry list drawn out on the fridge of my household chores that I was to complete during nap times. She told me that her baby took 2 dedicated naps each day and that during that time I was to do whatever chore needed done that day. So I would come to work and immediately start caring for the baby. However, I would see the hamper full of his clothes, blankets, etc...whenever I passed the laundry room and the dishwasher was always full when I would go in the kitchen plus the dirty bottles would be on the counter. It just stressed me out to know that once the baby took a nap, I had all that stuff to do and overall it overwhelmed me. Also, the baby did nap for me, however he only napped a solid 1/2 hr at a time. I had to go give him his pacifier every 10-15 min. after that while I was trying to fold the laundry and concentrate on emptying out the dishwasher. I ate my lunch when he was awake and it was not very easy eating a rushed lunch while making sure the baby didn't crawl away from me and hurt himself. Also, when the parents would get home and I didn't have all the baby's wash completely folded and put away on wash day, the parents would ask me why I didn't have it done. I told them the baby didn't sleep very well that day and that I had to keep going in his room and try to calm him down. Well they didn't believe me, they claimed when they were home the baby slept for 2-3 hrs uninterrupted and that I should have had all his wash done, folded and put away as well as the dishwasher emptied and his bottles washed and sanitized. I made the decision then and there that having the responsibility to do chores along with caring for such a young child was too overbearing, so now as a nanny, I make it clear I strictly do childcare only. I pick up any toys that are played with as well as wash any dishes that are used during my stay. I always make sure pets have adequate food/water and that the tables are wiped up and the floor is swept. But a nanny's primary job is childcare...she shouldn't have the added burden of having to make sure her chores are completed faithfully since us nannies as well as parents know that children are unpredictable and some days they may sleep like babies (!), while others they may not sleep very well. Same goes for eating patterns, mood swings, etc...............

christine said...

I agree that a nanny should take care of the children ONLY. Any cleaning that pertains to daily living, like wiping the counter or doing dishes after a meal seem like the only tasks a nanny should be responsible for, UNLESS they are paid an extra sum of money for the extra work. Laundry, even if it's the children's comes under the "housekeeper" job description. I think it's a little presumptious for a parent/employer to assume that their nanny/employee should do their bidding since they're already there and may have some down time while they are being paid.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Wow. I've always done the kids laundry and been chief dishwasher loader/unloader in my 17+ years as a nanny. I even (gasp!) take the kitchen trash out occasionally.

Of course, I don't worry too much about fixing my hair and make-up during naps, since anything I do wqill just get undone by slobbery baby kisses and tiny hands.

Ah well...some folks can multi-task and are willing to do small things to help, some can't and aren't!

listening is stressful? said...

compared to chasing two active toddlers, folding laundry is incredibly relaxing, and I do consider that "downtime" while the children are resting. Cleaning up after adults, while not really that much more work, is twenty times more irritating, knowing that they should be able to clean up after themselves (and if they can't, they need a daily housekeeper)

sharon said...

reese - good post

and op - good post

Nanny Nanny bo Banny said...

Good Lord! I couldnt possibly read all of these criticisms. Just a few comments of my own...

1.) I did not get the vibes that she was complaining at all. It is her job people, in this line of work, is it really possible to wake up early every day and say to yourself, "Gosh! I really love waking up early to go work 10 hours in someone else's home! I wish I could do it for 12 hours a day instead!"

2.) Hey, all you angels out there--->never told a lie before? If so, feel free to judge her...but i suspect that None of you are perfect, and no one does their job perfectly.

3.) She is working as this family's nanny and housekeeper clearly. Those are two separate jobs, she has a lot on her plate. Even stay at home moms dont have to do all of that stuff in one day. I would be a little resentful too if the father of my charges left his clothes on the kitchen floor. (wtf?), and dirty plates and wine glasses all over. and he came out in his boxer briefs. um, if you want the nanny to be 100% professional, try treating her professionally too. Common courtesy people!

fired. said...

Nanny nanny bo:

I can honestly say that I would never ever lie regarding where I am taking a child that is in my care. I never have and I never would.

To me, that's a big deal.

MissMannah said...

"I simply just drink a glass of tea and look out the window"

You have GOT to be kidding me. I'm working in daycare now, and I'd love to have that kind of luxury during naptime, rather than washing toys and making lesson plans...for less than what I was making as a nanny.

Putting on makeup? Checking email? Honey, this isn't your house, this is your JOB. Yes, downtime is important and I understand some kids only nap for a short time, but the average toddler takes at least 1-2 hour naps daily. It is perfectly reasonable for the parents to expect you to do a small amount of work during naps.

I've never understood why some nannies have such a problem with feeding the kids and eating her own lunch at the same time.

Kathryn said...

I would have big concerns about lying about where you're going. Think of it this way -- suppose the child was injured while at the program. Are you going to continue to lie about where it happened?

My bigger concern is that through this list of tasks, you seem to have little joy in what you do. Much of the language you use in describing the children seems very disrespectful and unloving. "Whine," "crocodile tears," etc. A child wants to spend some time with her daddy and is sad because it has to end. Kids cry or yell (like adults do) because they have strong emotions.

Have you ever read How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber? You might find it useful.

Taking care of kids can be really hard and exhausting, but it's also pretty joyful work, and if you're not someone who finds joy in it, maybe it's not the right work for you. Kids deserve to spend time with people who see them as more than drudgery.

Wow said...

The first thing that stands out to me is how little time nanny spends one on one with the child. I counted about 45 minutes that she said she played with him. There's a lot going on, but most of it doesn't directly involve positive interaction with him. Maybe she should consider a housekeeping job, or getting a job that involves interacting more with her charges. Maybe this was a hectic day. I would be interested to see what a good day looks like.

Even as a nanny to triplet girls, I had a daily schedule that facilitated their physical/motor, cognitive and emotional development. We did daily circle time, art projects, music and movement, story times, and played with puzzles and toys. I made them playdough, we had dress up and pretend play, went for a daily walk and played outside.

I let them know how much I loved and cared for them. They were able to climb into my lap when they felt the need for one on one attention. When there was conflict (and you can imagine there was a fair amount of it!) I taught them acceptable ways to handle it.

I also dressed them, did the entire family's laundry, kept the play areas, kitchen and toilet areas clean, fed the dogs and rotated the girls' clothes seasonally. When they were babies I didn't take a break, but when they hit toddler age I took a 1 hr. break each day. I would leave very tired, but feeling good.

I got along very well with the parents. Their mom did not work and she was in and out of the house, but she did not come into the room if we were doing something because she knew that would disrupt things. Sometimes we would all (me, their mom and the triplets) go on an outing to the park, the mall, or a children's play place. I also accompanied the girls and both parents to doctors and early intervention appointments.

The girls are 4 1/2 y.o. now and I'm only with them once a week. I've taught them yoga, we do art projects, practice their writing, do puzzles, and play games. They show me what they learn in their dance class and fill me in on what happened since they last saw me. And they love when I give them their manicure/pedicures every few weeks!

I guess everyone is different, but the reason I work as a nanny is because I love helping to facilitate the physical and emotional well-being of children. I could not work at a job where everything else crowds out the ability to do that.

Concerning the lying, that's an integrity issue. I don't mean to sound harsh, OP, but that's what it is. The only way trust can be built in any relationship is if there is honesty. Ok, they lie to you, and you don't trust them. Maybe it's time to get another job. Just my opinion.

Reese said...

Miss Mannah: Instead of running your mouth off criticizing me, you need to read my post carefully. I said doing chores along w/childcare is a PERSONAL CHOICE...some are okay w/it and others are not. I happen to not be okay w/it and stated my reasons why. Then you turned it around and made it seem like I was a lazy nanny. Yes, I agree the average toddler takes 1-2 hr naps, but there are some that do not. Some children may not be able to sleep w/out their pacifier and when it falls out of their mouths, they need you to put it back in or else they cry and cry. Even if they are still in need of more sleep, they will not fall back asleep sometimes unless they have the pacifier in their mouth. Also, sometimes it may be too hot, cold or there may be too much noise outside. Many times naps can be interrupted for certain reasons and no parent can ever guarantee to the nanny that the child will sleep a dedicated 1-2 hr nap. It is completely unrealistic for a parent/boss to get angry because all the laundry was not folded and/or the dishwasher was not fully loaded/unloaded because the child didn't sleep well that particular day. It frustrates me when a parent comes home and asks why my chores are not completed. Even if I tell them the child did not take a good nap that day, they act like they do not believe me and some have even made me stay later so I can complete them. Personally, I do not need the stress of the added responsibility of household chores along w/the liability, labor and stress of caring for someone else's child. If a nanny is okay to do housework along w/childcare...then more power to her. To each his own. I personally feel that the parents who require their nannies to do chores during naptime, since the nanny is still "technically on-the-clock still" are just trying to stretch out their dollar. They are totally disregarding the nanny's happiness and comfort and sadly think none of it will affect the child. Sadly a tired and stressed nanny will always affect the child. The nanny may not have as much energy and be burned out. Nannies can only do so much and asking them to watch your child and complete a laundry list of household duties will only burn them out in the long run.
As for a nanny eating lunch while her charge is awake, it is doable and I wasn't complaining. It just would be nice to eat for 15 min in peace w/out having to share my food or jump up from the table every 2 seconds.

Geeenaaa said...

At one of my past jobs I stuck my charge in the playroom at Ikea and went shopping. They give you a little pager thingy when it's time to take'em out. With shopping bage full I went to get my charge as was taking her out the neighbor was putting hers in. I was fired the next day??

sharon said...

i work at ikea ALOT of nannies use the daycare and the playtime day. i wonder why they would not want you to bring them there - kids love it there

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Sharon, I would guess that a nanny leaving a child she is being paid to care for in a play area so you can shop for yourself (or work out, or take a nap, or whatever) might be an issue for many parents.

Doing that is likely to go hand in hand with lying about where you are taking your charge(s), and IMO, that's a firing offense.

I would fire you too said...

Geeenaaa,
I would have fired you too if I found out you took my kid to Ikea and dumped her in the play area without my knowledge.

OP,
I would fire you also if I found out that you lied to me about where you were going with MY child.

While I have nothing against daycare areas at such places like Ikea, and gyms, etc, and have indeed used the gym daycare myself, my problem is with the actual lying, or just not telling me where you are going. If you, as a nanny, feel you need time to work out, or shop, tell me, and we can arrange it. I have no problem with my child spending an hour at the gym day care so you can get your workout, just as long as I know she's there. I used to be a nanny, I know the hours are long and hard.....but God fobid, something were to happen to my child, or you, while you were somewhere that you shouldn't be, and no one knew where to find you.

Common sense here people. Don't lie to the people who's children you are caring for. So many things could happen. You have thier most prized posessions in your hands, trust is absolutely mandatory!

nanny in pgh said...

1. I know a nanny who used to drop her kids off at the gym daycare 3 times a week to spin...one day she was out and about with the mom she worked for and some one from spin class came up and said "see you in class tomorrow"...this nanny did not get fired but she surely had explaining to do. Set boundaries. If you only want to work until 6, say you have a class and ask them to hire a night sitter or if you can take him to gym daycare...I am a nanny and can't imagine doing what you are doing. Also, don't you think that would be a prime time to go to story hour, etc.

2. I think part of being a nanny is to help families have quality time together. I would much rather me do the dishes and laundry and the mom and dad have some time to go on a walk with the kids, etc. ? I think most nannies do the dishes, laundry, take out the kitchen garbage, organize, groceries...I even go every Friday and get fresh flowers! not because they expect me to. Because I love the family I work with.

NVMom-movedtoTX said...

I once had a nanny that I asked about doing some housework. I suggested that one day a week, I would watch the kids if she could help me with some housekeeping and she agreed. She like the break from the kids and the cleaning was light, not heavy, and I spent the day with them. Not an arrangement that suits everyone, but it worked for us. The key was thought that all of this was agreed beforehand. Dumping extra duties after the fact is just wrong, IMO.

On the whole 'what to do when the kids nap' issue I would say there has to be moderation on both sides. I would not expect my nanny to do a bunch of tasks just for the sake of her being on the clock. On the other hand, I don't think it's unreasonable to have a few requests if possible. There are jobs, at least that I have ever worked in, that a 1-2 hour break is possible. However, after the children get older, and the naps are gone, that is something parents must consider as well. They can certainly recognize that a nanny going all the time 8-10 hours a day will burn out. When that happened with my kids and I could not be there, I suggested a quiet time of play or even watching tv, where both the kids and the nanny had some down time during the day.

Reese said...

NVMom: I understand that there are some jobs where you get a 1-2 hr break and you are asked to do other things which is completely understandable. However, I think the point that many people are missing here is that no one can equate a child napping during the day to an actual guaranteed dedicated daily break. No matter what other duties you may have, you must always have your ear listening for that cry coming from the baby monitor/crib. Just because a child sleeps 2 hours straight one day, doesn't mean he will every day. Plus, during downtime considering how much work it is to be a nanny, I do not think a quiet lunch is too much to ask. I think that being a nanny should focus on childcare and the child's well-being overall. To ensure that the child is taken care of in the best possible manner, the nanny should be content and comfortable. Mother Nature acknowledges anyone who cares for young children periodic breaks as younger children require more care and they take naps and thus the caregiver gets a rest from time to time. Older children have the ability to entertain themselves better and are not as much work to care for so the caregiver does not really require a periodic nap.
I think the best nannies are the ones who strictly focus on childcare duties only. My fellow nanny friends and I make it clear up front we only do childcare...no housework. We do not do family grocery shopping, parent/sibling laundry or empty the dishwasher out from last night's dinner. Based on common sense, we keep the house tidy by picking up any toys played with, washing any dishes/bottles used as well as cleaning up any messes or crumbs on the table or floor. However, our focus on caring for the child. We do arts and crafts for them, take them on fun, child-friendly outings and teach them ABC's or 123's, etc. I believe it is a nanny's job to engage the child, provide nurturing and care as well as educate them daily. If I had to do all this and worry about folding the full laundry basket of sheets and/or make sure the dishwasher was emptied I would go nuts.

somebody's mom said...

I would be really wary of hiring a nanny who found folding laundry and listening to the baby monitor at the same time to be overwhelming. If that's too much, how would the nanny possibly be able to meet the needs of two children if and when I have a second child? Adding an infant to the mix is way more stressful than laundry.

sharon said...

i agree that if the ikea daycare was off limits from the parents that was a firing offense - my friends kids beg to go there and the staff is awesome so - it sounds like geena should have gotten permission first

especailly if the objection is to her shopping while they are playing as opposed to taking them somewhere fun they request - we don't really know the whole story there

oh well said...

If you think that their lying to you about having to work a particular day is on a par with your lying to them about where their child is, you are seriously deluded.
And I think there are no general rules for household chores. It depends on what the nanny likes to do and what the kids are like. I would have to say that nannies who do not mind doing some chores are also more likely to enjoy doing stuff with the kids as well (this can be transposed to any other job).

Lindsay said...

@somebody's mom: I would be wary of working for a mother like you who would even ask me to fold her laundry during nap time. It's like having two jobs at once...on call in case a child wakes up and having to complete household duties at the same time. A nanny should only be there to watch your child, not fold your towels. People have this misconception that just because a nanny is already in the home, then she should empty the dishwasher or fold the laundry. That is what you hire a housekeeper for. Or better yet, wash your own dishes and fold your own clothes! Imagine that....

Rebecca said...

Before posting this response, I went online and looked at the current nanny jobs being offered by the two premier San Francisco Bay Area agencies. Every job listed described duties required beyond childcare, including children's laundry, family laundry, dishes, cooking, light tidying, errand running, family related admin work, homework assistance, pet care and general household organization. In the 14 years that my primary occupation has been as a nanny, I have expected no less than these duties to be part of my day in addition to childcare. To me, being a professional nanny is a lot more than reading books and playing with finger puppets. Anyone who does not expect to have these responsibilities, and to find a flow to their day to have all these task run smoothly is seriously kidding themselves. Being a nanny is not a relaxing "sit a sip a cup of tea" occupation. Wear a comfortable pair of shoes to work, because I promise you, you will be constantly on your feet. That being said, I couldn't think of a more fulfilling, joyful occupation, no matter how tired I am at the end of the day!

MissMannah said...

As far as the chores go, I think a lot of you are missing the point. They are meant to be "extras" on the nanny's part, to make life a little easier for the parent, and only if she has time. If the child is not taking her regular nap, in case of illness for example, I agree it would be completely unreasonable for the parent to get angry that the chores weren't completed.

Reese, you said I am making it seem as if you are a lazy nanny. No my dear, you are mistaken. I fully believe you ARE a lazy nanny. Did you go into this profession thinking it would be all fun and games and then were shocked beyond belief when you found out it was actual work?

Reese said...

Miss Mannah, I agree with your first paragraph but think you are extremely narrow-minded and uneducated w/no common sense whatsoever. Just because I believe in resting during a Nanny's downtime does not equate being lazy. You have no idea what type of things I do during the child's awake time which is the majority of my day. You act like caring for a child is easy and not work at all...you act like the only actual work is when the chores are being completed. That is nonsense. Caring for a child requires a lot of manual labor (how many times do I chase the ball and retrieve it..chase it again..and retrieve it, etc...), mental stress (try calming down a screaming child who's parent just walked out the door or who doesn't want to take a nap!) and has the biggest liability factor over any other job. I mean, where can we purchase liability insurance in case something were to happen to the child? Doctors get to purchase malpractice insurance, if we make a mistake, we are screwed to the bone. Childcare is work!! And it is a lot of it. The way you discount the childcare aspect of being a nanny is one of the reasons that people view it as "easy money." Sadly this belief still exists and devalues all the work us nannies do.

Rebecca: All I can say is Praise the Lord I do not live in Cisco!! To do the parent's laundry, cook dinner for the family, do administrative work, clean up after pets and pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy along w/childcare would stress me out beyond belief. These duties are not what a nanny is required to do. A nanny does childcare people..wake up!! The other stuff you listed require either a separate housekeeper and/or a household manager. Kudos to you for wearing so many hats. It's a miracle that you haven't had a meltdown yet and done anything out of line. My nerves would be shot by this point!

One of the Best Nannies by far...... said...

Wow Rebecca, I think your job title should include more than simply nanny. I agree that being a nanny is primarily caring for a child. I see it as a step up from a babysitter in that a babysitter simply comes on occasion to sit and watch the child while the parents are out, etc. A nanny to me comes on a regular basis and develops a unique relationship with the child she is watching. Instead of sitting with the child, she educates him or her, interacts and plays with him or her doing age-appropriate activities/games as well as stimulates their mind educationally. A good nanny also mentors older children and is seen as a role model. If a nanny wants to do housework and both sides agree to job duties, then that is okay too. I just don't want people to think that just because they are hired to work as a family nanny, they are obligated to do whatever household chores are suddenly thrown at them. I have had many families tell me that they thought all nannies did housework during down time and that their last nanny did this and that, etc. I tell them that I do not perform any housework, I am there to entertain, care for, stimulate and educate their child and keep him or her safe and healthy at all times. If this is not enough for the parent and they want more...they need to hire a housekeeper, household manager or dog walker. I am a Nanny only.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I am utterly curious as to where those nannies who are posting that they refuse to do any chores at all, even those related to the kids work?

Where in the world is it possible these days, in this market, to coolly tell agencies and parents that you simply do not wish to lift a finger to empty the dishwasher, since you are so exhausted from the maunual labor of childcare that you need to use naptime to sip a cool drink and recharge? I am fairly sure that in many major US markets, this attitude would get you laughed out of reputable agencies and openly mocked by parents.

So, please do tell us all where you work? Please?

nycmom said...

Tales, Miss Mannah and Rebecca:

I think we all agree and I think between us we have a lot more collective experience either working as or employing nannies than some of the responders above, who, frankly sound very young.

I have also never heard of a family employing a nanny who would not do ANY child-related or basic housework. A *big* part of the appeal of a nanny for two working parents is someone competent and skilled enough to make the household run smoothly in their absence. If I had to come home to doing all the laundry, cleaning up toys and dealing with dishes accumulated during the course of the day by my nanny and kids - well, I honestly don't think I'd employ a nanny! Of course, it goes without saying that the employer needs to be EXPLICITLY clear, in writing, prior to hiring what the job duties include. It would never be fair to add on duties later. However, I just cannot fathom how anyone finds it difficult to empty/run a dishwasher and do a few loads of laundry each week. Further, of course common sense dictates that no normal parent would be upset if the nanny or kids were sick and laundry/dishes took a backseat those days.

I think Tales raises a good point that these people may be in very different locations. I suspect they are also much closer to "babysitters" than professional nannies, and likely are paid as such. I also imagine they are hired by first-time moms (can't imagine how they could juggle more than one child). These moms also are inexperienced with hiring nannies and for the first hire are likely to agree to zero housework. But that won't last long. Just as nannies compare salaries, parents compare nanny duties and performance. If I were the only one whose sitter was incapable of handling any duties beyond playing with my child, I would quickly move onto someone more qualified and capable!

MissMannah said...

"try calming down a screaming child who's parent just walked out the door or who doesn't want to take a nap!"

*raising eyebrows* Because I've never done that in my life? Nope, sorry I can't comfort the screaming child, I'm too busy folding laundry and other strenuous tasks.

PS: You said I sound "uneducated" and yet you are the one who consistently cannot see the difference between an adjective and an adverb.

PPS: You can buy liability insurance at any reputable agency but that isn't the sort you want anyway. The parents would buy liability to cover their nanny's injuries and their child's injuries would be covered by their own medical insurance. If you are worried about being sued for any injuries that occur while you're on duty, you should put that clause in the contract up front.

PPPS: Yes, I'm aware I'm being a total smartass now. I can't help myself--every post you write forces me to roll my eyes farther back. Nycmom is so right.

Reese said...

Miss Mannah: You sound like a horrible nanny that you much prefer to fold laundry over comforting a child. I am glad you are not my child's nanny.
You sound very uneducated to me as you are using a very slippery slope in your arguments vs. facts.
And for the record one can get bonded, however there is no liability insurance in case a child is injured while a nanny is on duty and it cannot be proved the nanny was negligent. If you were educated, you would know that.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Reece, I'm guessing that wherever you work, they don't speak sarcasm?

I think nycmom is likely correct, and that you have conned first time parents/nanny employers into believing that all nannies are incapable of doing household work during naptimes due to the exhaustive demands of the job they willingly have chosen to do.

Or are you an Norland Nanny with a CACHE (aka an NNEB diploma)? I would guess that if that were the case you would have been so well trained that your qualifications (and the snob appeal of having a Norland Nanny) would make employers overlook your refusal to do minor household chores like the children's laundry...

But if that is the case, you're not exactly living up to Norland standards:

"Norland Nannies, including probationers, are responsible for all nursery duties. This includes cooking, cleaning and laundry but only for the children."

http://www.norlandagency.co.uk/nannies/nanny_duties

Such a mystery you are!

Truth Seeker said...

Guys! Guys!! You are both arguing about something that collectively cannot be proven one way or another. You are all defining what a nanny's job duties are and are not and whether a nanny should or should not do housework. There is no official duty that makes one a nanny except that she MUST be caring for a child in her presence. Whether she performs housework during nap time is entirely left to the discretion of both the nanny and her bosses. I have been a nanny for a long time and during interviews, preferably on the phone before we meet, I let the families know that I do strictly childcare. If they are looking for someone to do housework, no matter how "light" during nap time, then we both agree that perhaps I am not the nanny they are looking for and it is not a good fit on both sides. No one argues with anyone else about anything. And for the record, not all families want you to do household chores during nap time. I have worked for many families who even encourage me to rest during nap times. They tell me they know as parents how physically and mentally tiring it can be caring for young children. So they are okay with me reading a book, watching T.V. and working on my laptop during naps. The only thing they do require is that I do not leave the house...not even for 5 min to do a coffee run which I would never do anyway. These are the families that I work best with.

I am appalled that some of you guys are criticizing the nanny who wants to rest during nap time. You act like she is a slacker or something..one even called her a snob. Just because some nannies only do childcare does not mean they are either not nannies in the true sense of the word or they are lazy!! My God. People stop being judgmental and face reality. It's tough caring for young children, satisfying all their needs while keeping them happy, safe, educated and entertained. It's cruel to expect your nanny to work a 8-10-12 hr shift with no down time. The only reason parents do this is because they want to get their every dollar's worth and squeeze out of their nanny as much as they can. What they SHOULD do is let the nanny rest, rejuvenate and refresh. Even computers need to shut down and sleep from time to time...(not saying that a nanny is a machine...LOL.) But if the nanny is allowed to rest during nap times, then she will be much more productive in her job and the children will definitely reap the benefits tenfold.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Truth Seeker, for me, the issue is that some posters who refuse to do any household chores act as if unloading a dishwasher and doing a load of laundry will consume every single bit of downtime they might have during the day.

That is ridiculous, IMO. I know nycmom outlined this before, but here's the amount of time I spend doing daily basic chores.

Dishwasher - unload - 10 minutes MAX. Reload, same.

Laundry - washing - 5 minutes. Drying - 5 minutes. Folding, 15 minutes MAX. Putting away - 5 minutes.

So, a grand total, if I actually have both things on my list, of 50 minutes MAX.

I can't comprehend not being able to manage less than 1 hour of chores during a day of childcare. And I can't believe parents are willing to hire nannies who don't do things to make the parents lives easier.

As a nanny, I strive to ensure my employers can spend time with their child, not time doing tiny chores that I can accomplish while I work. Acting otherwise is selfish, IMO.

nanny2 said...

Wow, I'm really late to this game, but what an interesting discussion. I care for 4 young (under 6) children and by the time naptime rolls around I definitely need a break. But I take the perspective that the chores I do help everyone (myself included) by helping the household to run more smoothly. Think about how much more stressful it is when you are trying to get out the door with 4 kids, but little Bobby has no clean pants to wear. We do have a housekeeper, but she takes care of more of the heavy cleaning.
I also agree with nycmom that if you can't balance one child and a few chores, it would be very hard to manage 2 or more children. That having been said, I would never want a job where I felt like the household chores took priority over the children.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

This whole discussion has just coalesed for me. I have been a nanny since 1993, and I cannot count the number of times people have asked me when I'll get a "real job", or questioned me about what I do all day, since taking care of kids is "easy".

Nannies who publicy state that they absolutely cannot handle simple household chores are damaging the nanny profession as a whole. Those hapless and helpless nannies make those of us who take pride in our profession (and do all we can to make "our family's" lives run smoothly) angry because people see and hear their self-pitying statements and assume all nannies are lazy and unable to do difficult work.

Let's face it, childcare in and of itself is not seen as hard by the majority of people out in the world. Hearing someone say that they are so exhausted by childcare that they must sit and sip tea for an hour or so reinforces this bias, and makes all nannies and the work they do seem useless and fluffy.

It's kind of like how SAHM's feel about the sterotype of the bonbon eating, tv-watching SAHM. SAH parenting and nannying are tough tough jobs, and people who make the bad sterotypes seem true damage us all.

Some folks felt that Rebecca's spanking column was going to do irreparable damage to the nanny profession and how it is seen by the public. I think comments about nannies refusing to do any household chores like children's laundry because it's "hard" do much more damage to the nanny profession over time.

I want to be respected for my career choice and the amazing, exciting, difficult work I do. When people think of a nanny, I want them to envision hard workers who can manage to do a load of laundry and still nurture their charges in every way possible.

I don't want to be seen as some whiny chick who can't manage a hard day's work. That's not true of any nanny I know, and I want the world to respect nannies, not consider them useless wastes of money.

Reese said...

@Tales: What you are failing to acknowledge is that childcare is hard work. Yet, people tend to think that just because a nanny is in the home, she must do some things around the house or she is not competent.

I think it is crazy that people are being called lazy and incompetent just because they do not do cleaning. It is not fair to mock someone just because you do not agree with what they do. A family's number one priority should be to have a sane and content nanny who loves her job and wakes up each morning excited to spend the day with their children. If this same nanny preferred to not perform any cleaning while on duty, then they should respect that. If she is a valuable asset to the family, meaning she shows up on time, does not flake out and keeps the children safe, happy and clean..they should be content with just that. Who cares if the laundry didn't get folded? As long as a family has a great nanny, someone they can bond with and have great chemistry with, laundry does not matter.