guest column
By Nanny Megan
Weekly Questions

1) Nannies: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about your job? Parents: How are you able to tell if your Nanny is “good or bad”?

2) Nannies: What is the most frustrating part of your job as a Nanny? Parents: What does your Nanny do that frustrates you the most?

3) Nannies: What is your favorite meal to make for your charges and their family? Parents: What is your favorite thing that your Nanny makes for family?

4) Nannies: How much do you think you should be paid for the duties that you do each day? Parents: If money wasn’t an issue, how much do you think your Nanny should be making daily?

5) Nannies: What is your favorite activity to do outside of the home with your charge? Parents: Are there any activities you require your Nanny to do with your children, if so, what are they?


lexeael13 said...

1) I find the most rewarding part of my job to be seeing the children learn new things and master them. I have taught the kids I nanny for how to write their letters and read and seeing them master it and knowing that I helped to make a difference is great.

2) The most frustrating part is not always knowing when I will get out of work due to parents schedules but honestly its not that big of a deal I love my job

3) My favorite meal to make them is baked potato with baked beans.

4) I get paid 650 weekly (before taxes) I wish I could make an extra 50 but i know i make the top end of the pay scale where i live (suburban Philadelphia)

5) My favorite activity to do out of the home is going to science class they love it learning about nature and science. we do lots of activities though from library, little gym, kids museum, reading class,etc.

Floor dweller said...

1. My most rewarding part of being a nanny
Is helping raise our future generation and
Knowing that the kids love me.

2. What I find most frustrating is not being
Told in advance about playdates.

3. I don't cook for the family.

4. I'm paid 715 (net). I feel I'm
fairly compensated.

5. Activities I like to do are zoo, water parks

Just My Two Cents Just Now... said...

1). The most rewarding part for me of being a Nanny is when my charge learns something new that day and when his mom or dad return home, they can show them what they learned. I.e., I once taught my charge when he was younger how to say his name since whenever we would go out, people would ask him and he would look blank. So when his mom came home that day, I asked him, "What's your name?" and he responded with his name. His mom was so happy, she high-fived me.

2). The most frustrating aspect personally of being a Nanny is feeling overworked, under-appreciated and underpaid. I feel like many families I have worked for previously tried to get as much work from me before I left. My last family (before the wonderful family I work for now!) wanted me to perform chores while the child was napping and we even agreed on the chores prior to me taking the job. The specific jobs were written out and agreed upon, yet I noticed as time went on, my chores were adding up. The job I had prior to that did that to me 10x worse. Before the baby napped, the mother stated all the chores I was to complete...then stated...there were so many, she would make a "little list" for me. Both of these jobs paid me $10/Hr and my employers were Software Engineers so the whole thing was a joke.

3). I do not cook...the parent usually have the food already prepared for me to give the child which is ideal since concentrating on cooking while supervising a baby/toddler would be super-stressful.

4). The activities I enjoy most are doing puzzles, playing at the local park/playground, story time at either the local library or Barnes and Noble, zoo trips and doing educational activities whether they be from a book or CD.

Just My Two Cents Just Now... said...

OOoops....I missed a question.

I feel that I get paid fairly in my current position, however since I have proven to them my reliability (I have NEVER called in sick yet!), punctuality (I have always showed up on time...not a second late!!) along with their child being taken care of very well, I wish I could have had some type of bonus...yet they never have offered me any. They are very nice people and I am their first Nanny as they are first-time parents so I attribute it to lack of knowledge/experience in dealing w/a childcare provider as opposed to being stingy.

Northern Nanny said...

1) Nannies: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about your job? -getting the hugs and 'i love yous' from the kids. That makes my day every single time

2) Nannies: What is the most frustrating part of your job as a Nanny? - that I work for 2 families and sometimes that means i have to be rubber band quality flexible. Also that I know other nannies who make more than me... I'd love to be the best paid nanny in my area. (but who wouldn't)

3) Nannies: What is your favorite meal to make for your charges and their family? - I only cook for the kids and only lunches. My fave is 'bugs and cheese'the bug shaped pasta and homemade cheese sauce is so yummy and a hit every single time

4) Nannies: How much do you think you should be paid for the duties that you do each day? - In my area most nannies are paid 10-12/hr. I think i should realistically be making 16-17/hour. (that would be high in my area.

5) Nannies: What is your favorite activity to do outside of the home with your charge? - If it were up to me we would go on outtings every single day. my personal fave. is the zoo. I also have my own pass so its not a money issue. but often i have a napping baby, or 5 kids at once so i can't transport them all there.

Manhattan Nanny said...

1. Watching my charges learning, growing and developing as distinctive personalities.
2. I don't find anything frustrating about my job, but I do get frustrated with the horrid weather that limits outdoor activities.
3. I don't cook for the family. When I stay in the evening, I make dinner for the children. I make pasta and add ground meat and peas to jared tomato sauce, or pouched salmon (yes they love it), chicken a number of different ways, brown rice, . They will eat broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini if I sprinkle grated cheese on it. Salad with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers if they get to put their own dressing on.
4. I am paid very well, at the top of the range in my area. I feel fortunate, but also that I do earn it, as I work very hard.
5. I love toddler music classes with singing, playing instruments, and dancing. I also love a long summer day in the park when the sprinklers are on.. We play in the playground, and have a picnic and story time on the grass.

Kelly Star said...

1) I find most rewarding varies from child to child. I feel the most rewarded when the Eldest is polite and thankful to me, when the second Eldest comes home or greets me in the morning with a flying hug and a squeal, when the third eldest lets me do something with her and tells the other nanny or her mom this time I want Miss Kelly to help me with "x", and the youngest when he lights up when he sees me and reaches for me. Also it is rewarding when the mother and father let me know how much they appreciate my hard work.

2)My most frustrating part with my job is when me and the morning Nanny's shifts over lap and our two Nanny techniques clash and I feel like I have to give in to her not because her technique is right but because she has been Nanny to the kids longer than me.

3)I don't have a favorite meal that I fix for the kids. It is either chicken nuggets or hot dogs with some fruit or chicken broth with star shaped noodles. I would really love a chance to cook a real meal for the kids but the food available for me to choose from doesn't allow for that.

4)To be honest, I know I am making way less than I should be for what I do but I frankly don't care because I make enough to live on my own and still have money for fun stuff but more importantly I truly love my job. I look forward to going every day and I am still happy at the end of the day.

5)So far my favorite activity was when the second oldest child said she felt ugly and needed a makeover, the mom told me to take her to Glamor Shots. Just me and her got to spend the afternoon together playing dress up and to see her modeling (something she told me was a secret dream of hers) really made me happy.

STLNanny said...

1.) The most rewarding thing about my job is when all the kids are happy and having fun! I also love it when they trust me with something they don't trust anyone else with (besides their parents). Then the end of the day hug makes it all that much more rewarding!

2) The most frustrating part of my job is when the kids are in a bad mood and nothing I do seems to pull them out of it! Bad moods usually lead to fights and stress!

3) Tuna casserole for the youngest (he loves it as much as I do!) and with the other two, we pull out cookbooks and make things together, which is so much fun!

4) I'm well aware that I am not paid enough, but because of my love for the kids and the fact that if I were rich, I'd watch them for free, I accept it. My number one priority is to have a job that I love and make enough to survive off of. I have both.

5) Nannies: What is your favorite activity to do outside of the home with your charge?

I love field trip days! We are lucky here...The Zoo, Grants Farm (family farm/petting zoo kind of place), Science Center, Art Museum, Cahokia Mounds (Indians homestead site), Botanical Gardens, etc. are all free so we have plenty of fun activities to chose from!

Just My Two Cents Just Now... said...

I find it amazing that most of us Nannies feel we are not making what we should, yet we stick it out because we love our charges so much.

I love my little charge so much. I wake up each day excited to go in to work and spend my days with him. He is so funny and adorable and I hate to leave him after 10 hours (!), but I have to. I think I would even watch him for free if suddenly his parents became bankrupt.

Personally, you cannot put a price tag on job satisfaction. Either you love your job or you do not. I love my job and would much rather do this than do something I loathed but paid better. Life it too short to be miserable doing anything.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

1) Nannies: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about your job?

The chance to be a positive daily and long-term influence on the child(ren) and their parents, and the chance to see and encourage the emotional, intellectual, and physical development of my charge(s).

2) Nannies: What is the most frustrating part of your job as a Nanny?

On occasion, I feel that the solution I have offered to a particular problem would be more effective than what the parents choose to do - luckily, this is quite infrequent!

3) Nannies: What is your favorite meal to make for your charges and their family?

I make some killer turkey meatballs that anyone from infants to grandparents have eaten and enjoyed!

4) Nannies: How much do you think you should be paid for the duties that you do each day?

I think the work good nannies do is actually invaluable, and no amount of money would be sufficient, but since it's hard to figure the taxes on an infinite paycheck, I am happy with what I earn.

5) Nannies: What is your favorite activity to do outside of the home with your charge?

Playground outings, as well as library trips and trips to the zoo, children's museum, aquarium, and other kids friendly venues.

Vanessa said...

1) Nannies: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about your job?

Watching my charges grow up, knowing that I'm being an important part of their young lives. Having found an amazing surrogate family for me, since mine is far away.

2) Nannies: What is the most frustrating part of your job as a Nanny?

Sometimes trying to punish the kid for a wrongdoing and having the mom intervene, when it should be between me and the child.

3) Nannies: What is your favorite meal to make for your charges and their family?

Hahahaha! Maybe I'm spoiled rotten, but I don't cook at all. I'm a lousy cook. They do love my omelettes though! And the parents actually cook for me! How lucky am I?

4) Nannies: How much do you think you should be paid for the duties that you do each day?

I think I'm paid fairly. Can't complain.

5) Nannies: What is your favorite activity to do outside of the home with your charge?

Oh gosh obviously taking them for a walk around the harbor and buying them treats! Happy times for everybody! Besides I love chatting with the eldest, counting cars, naming colors of doors, feeding the ducks... it's awesome!

NZ Nanny said...

The most rewarding thing about my job is basically watching the kids grow up, and seeing how much of a difference I can make in their lives. I just left my position of the last two years, and I know that I have really helped them. The two younger kids were six, and their mum is pretty negligent with their homework, but I've ensured that they have had the home-support necessary to start them off reading and writing. Making a difference is insanely rewarding.

Easy- the way the parents changed my duties all the time! I worked for them for almost two years, but every week they'd say, 'can you only let the kids watch 15 minutes of tv', or, 'i want them to do their homework the second they get home from school' (basically to ensure it is done before they themselves get home, lol!)

3) Macaroni cheese! More complicated then it sounds, since there is no kraft dinner here in New Zealand lol, I make it from scratch. I add chopped fresh veggies (trust me that there is nothing better than NZ veggies) to it and omg it tastes amazing and the kids love it. The parents are always impressed by how easily I can make the kids eat their veggies!

A lot more than I do! I only get $15/hour, and I'm a part-time nanny (still at university!). Terrible wage, for the work I do I ought to make around $20- $25/h. But it was my first proper nanny job and I didn't know that was crap when I started! Plus, I don't pay tax so that makes it a bit better. And I love the kids a lot, so I put up with the employers! Lol.

Taking the kids and their bikes or scooters to their favourite playground, about a ten minute drive. It is a fun playground and has all sorts of bike ramps and slopes that are appropriate for younger kids. Or, heading down to the beach which is only a three-minute walk!

Nanny Caroline said...

1. The most rewarding is when I teach the child something new. Though cuddles and smiles are rewarding too.
2. The most frustrating things are not getting the hours I was promised and having a ton of chores to do. Also when I lose a job to daycare or grandma.
3. I make a really nice quiche. I also love making pretty fruit plates.
4. I usually get 10 an hour, and I want 15-20. It would make paying bills so much easier.
5. I love taking the kids to the library storytime, or to the JumpZone (bouncy houses and stuff).

Someone's Nanny said...

1) The most rewarding part of my job is watching the children learn and grow.

2) The most frustrating part of my current job is hating the children's pre-school, knowing there are better options, and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

3) My favorite meal to make them is french toast.

4) I know I don't get paid anything near what I'm worth, but I really don't care. I'm able to support myself, and I LOVE my job. How many people wake up in the morning excited for work?

5) My favorite activity is going on day trips. We live within 2 hours of all sorts of cool places like museums, zoos, farms, and theme parks. I'm always discovering somewhere new, and I get just as excited about taking a trip as the kids do!

NannyB said...

The most rewarding thing about my job is seeing the girls grow into "sisters". I love how they have went from ignoring one another to hugging, playing and even holding hands in the car.

The most frustrating part of my job is dressing the children and worrying if MB will like it.

My favorite Meal to make is anything that's new. My family sticks to the same meal for the kids every day due to culture so it's nice to bring in some variety.

In a perfect world I would expect 20 plus an hour...but it's not a perfect world. I give my whole LIFE to these kids and there are very few proffessions where you do that.

My favorite activity is play group (only activity sometimes)... little charge gets to play and I get to intereact with other nannies.

nycmom said...

1. I don't feel I can reliably tell a good from bad nanny during the interview or reference checks. I think it does become obvious quickly during a few trial days. A nanny that is a good fit for us is one who shows initiative in all areas.

2. My nanny is really amazing all-around. If I had to pick something frustrating, it would be the difficulty she has discplining my 8and 10yo, and her inability to prevent their fights from escalating. However, I do think that discipling older kids is a *really* hard thing for any caregiver.

3. My nanny only cooks for my kids, but will sometimes make extra and encourage my husband and I to enjoy it. I think the favorite dishes for both my kids and us are chicken noodle soup from scratch and homemade chicken tenders with breadcrumbs.

4. I think we pay our nanny above market salary already and she is well worth it. But certainly if I had much more money, I would gladly pay her more. It's hard to put an exact number on this for me, though.

5. My nanny only has our 3yo most school days. In terms of recreational activites, I have long since stopped "requiring" her to do anything. I trust her judgement and she plans her own day. However, I prefer that she take my son to the park most nice days and try to incorporate basic, age-appropriate learning (for example, right now that would be learning letter sounds) into their day.

Nanny E said...

I'm a little late to the game, but my answers are below:

1. The most rewarding part of my job is feeling a connection to the kids. You become so close to them, and it's wonderful to walk in their room every morning, and just see their face light up. :)

2. The most frustrating thing to me is the somewhat unstable aspect of nannying. I had a nanny friend who didn't want to relocate with her family. They fired her on the spot, and now refuse to give her a reference. She worked for them for 5 years! Sometimes the lack of respect people have for nannies is frustrating.

3. My current charge is still very young, so my meal prep is limited to processing fruits and veggies for baby food. :)

4. I am paid 800 a week take home as a live in nanny. Before taxes, it comes to around 1200 a week. I realize this may seem high, but I live in a high paying city (nyc), and I've worked as a nanny for over 7 years.

5. My favorite activity is this baby yoga class I take with my charge. I'm a total yogi, so it's great to have something that I can share with him related to that.

NervousNanny said...

1)The most rewarding thing about my job is being loved by my charges. Having them happy to see me everyday is just great.
2)For me, the most frustrating is when family members drop by the house announced.
3)My favorite thing to make is breakfast. I like to make scrambled eggs or pancakes. Mornings always feel more luxurious to me, and we can take our time.

4)I do think I am underpaid, but I love my job so I'd never leave, but I wish I earned $15/hr.
5)Since my charges are only one, taking walks is our favorite activity right now. I like to sing songs and point things out to the girls.