From My Side

a day in the life
8:00 serving breakfast in the kitchen to my two year old.
8:15 getting dressed while my two year old plays in the water in the bathroom and gets wet.
8:20 Call my trainer to let her know I will be late.
8:22 Nanny comes through the door. No excuse. Just a good morning.
8:23 I remind nanny "I have Chris at 9 now, so I really have to go" Nanny says "that's right, you changed it".
8:24 I leave to go to Chris's studio and workout.
10:10 I return home. Nanny is sitting on the floor of the living room reading the newspaper and eating cereal out of the box. 2yo is watching sponge bob on television. I suggest nicely that they go outside and play for a bit. Nanny tells me that 2yo "didn't want to" and she "thinks it's going to be just a hangout day". Her cell phone rings and she answers it.
10:15 I take 2yo and show him new outside bowling set. I get him excited about it. I suggest to the nanny he is ready to go outside. Nanny heaves self of floor, leaving paper on floor. Sets box of cereal on counter and heads outside without word or enthusiasm.
10:20 I am working in my studio.
12:15 The phone rings, I answer it. It's the nanny. She tells me that she got stuck in a long line at McDonalds and can I go outside and meet 4 yo's bus. I quickly wash paint off of my hands and face and hustle out to the bus stop. I greet my 4yo and bring him in the house. He asks about his brother. I tell him brother is on his way back. I make him a turkey sandwich with cucumbers on whole wheat. I sit down with him and have a cup of tea. He is talking to me about his day and eating his sandwich.
12:35 Nanny breezes in with large bag from McDonals. 2yo has barbecue sauce on his face even though I don't allow eating in the car. My 4yo who was now having a deser of mandarin oranges and plain yogurt is told by the nanny, "I didn't forget you" and she plunks down a 6 piece mcnugget in front of him as I say, "he already ate". I see an argument coming on so I excuse myself by informing the nanny I have a deadline to meet.
12:40 Working in studio
1:20 I go to the kitchen to get my cell phone which I set down. The boys must be asleep because nanny is sprawled out on the family room sofa. She has a diet coke sitting on the carpet next to the sofa. Her socks and shoes and bra are in a pile next to the sofa. I get my phone and return to the sofa.
3:00 I am busy working in the studio, but I want to make sure the boys are not still sleeping. I go to their rooms. They are still sleeping. I get them up, pottied and ready for their afternoons. I bring both boys down to the family room where nanny is now sitting staring at Jerry Springer. I ask, "can we turn that off" and what she plans to do this afternoon. She replies, "I don't know. Playdough?" She complains of a headache and asks for aspirin. I give her some ibuprofen. I ask if she is okay to handle things. I head back to the studio.
5:30 My husband comes home. He walks in and the boys are watching Scooby Doo eating saltines in the family room. He greets the kids and releases the nanny. He cleans the kitchen, vacuums the carpet (full of cereal and saltines). He puts away toys and hangs out with the kids.
6:00 I am done for the day and in the kitchen with the family. Husband shares with me about nanny and says "when are we going to find someone else?"


NannyM said...

Wow, if you lived anywhere near me, I would take the job! :)

MissMannah said...

Your husband is right. Why are you still paying her to do basically nothing? I can't believe she took her bra off at your house. I would have picked it up and thrown it (and her) outside for good.

Unemployed Nanny Eager to Work said...

She sounds like a truly lazy nanny who needs to be fired on the spot. The only justification I would give her is if she were being underpaid. Please tell us OP that you are paying her what most nannies in your general area are making. If you are underpaying her (which I suspect you are, which I know you will deny)then you are getting what you are paying for. I have had jobs where the parents can only pay me $7/Hr because it is "all they can afford" and stupid me, feels sorry for them. I have heard all the excuses, working single moms getting no child support,military families struggling, etc., yet once I start working for them, I notice they also have a housekeeper and someone who comes and details their cars out front while I am in the yard pushing the child in a swing. Don't get me started on all the beer in the fridge, the Cadillac Escalade in the driveway or the expensive/name-brand clothes I wash.
If you are truly not underpaying her, then she sucks and you should hire me. I am the direct opposite of her and if you tell me what part of the country you live at, I will be there Monday morning bright and early (if you are in my city.)

unicornsparkleprincess said...

@ Unemployed Nanny:
Wow, how are you expecting that the OP would want to hire you if you're being extremely rude about the way she pays her nanny? Conflicting.

Anyway OP, it sounds like the nanny sucks real hard. Have you been looking for a new one at all?

Nanny E said...

Reading things like this make me so upset. As a nanny who works her butt off everyday, and does her absolute best, it frustrates me so much to see someone taking such an unprofessional and lazy way out. OP- I'm really curious, did she appear professional when she started working for you, or has it just gone downhill recently?

Unemployed Nanny Eager to Work said...

I agree Unicorn Princess. I guess I have just seen one too many families lately only offering to pay the bare minimum or less and I am getting discouraged. I have had many nanny jobs where I wish I had the nerve to do what this nanny is doing since I feel so overworked and underpaid, but unfortunately I have a family to feed and can't afford to be jobless.

My gut feeling OP is that your nanny is not really happy at the job and wants you to fire her. She probably does not want to look like the "bad one" in the equation by just leaving, so she wants you to do the dirty work.

another mom said...

I was cracking up at your post. This was exactly the situation I had with my nanny- only she also had her nanny friend and friend's charge at my apartment all I had twice the amount of crumbs to vacuum at the end of every day. I kept her for WAY too long and it is one of my biggest regrets. What's funny is that when my 3rd child was born, my once a week cleaning lady (who had seen my bench nanny in action for those years) asked to be my nanny. She had no nanny experience but had raised two girls of her own. Best nanny I ever had. And to anyone wondering, yes, I did pay the going rate to lazy nanny- she took home $600/wk, on the books. My good nanny took home $750/wk because she did full housekeeping as well (she wanted to do this and it was perfectly feasible since older 2 were in school all day by then.

MissDee said...

I have been amazed with lazy nannies who charm the parents during the interview, and the parents fall for it. These nannies represent themselves as "professional", with experience, references, and even education. The charm gets these nannies the job-and in a short time, the parents see nannies true colors.

I have over 27 years experience in childcare across the board. I genuinely love children and working with them, have tons of ideas for things to do with children, and get told that all babysitting I did when I was a teen/young adult for relatives, along with 13 years in daycare, either overqualifies me for any nanny position. Since when was being knowledgable about child development, along with the abilitiy to provide age appropriate activities, read Dr. Suess books in "silly voices", and providing a busy day make someone "overqualified"?

If I didn't love the job I have now, I would apply for this job in a heartbeat!

another nanny said...

Honestly, OP, you may as well just let her go now, even if you don't have someone else lined up. It seems the only time you are able to get your work done is while they are sleeping anyway, since you (understandably) don't actually trust your nanny to take care of them.

If I had to guess, I would say she probably doesn't see what you do as actually "working" and thus has no qualms about asking you to step in and do her job. Do you really want someone working for you who has no respect for you or your time?

CareAndKeeping said...

The eternal optimist in me wonders if maybe this is something you could talk out with her? Maybe her understanding of your expectations are skewed?
Honestly, she just sounds lazy and inconsiderate, but I'm all for talking things out first. Even if you taking the time to explain your frustrations and expectations doesn't end up being beneficial for you, it could help her be a better nanny if she continues to stay in the field.
For your kid's sake, find someone who loves children and who has a passion for creating an enriched childhood experience with you. This nanny's attitude will rub off on your little ones.
Good luck, you sound like an awesome mama!

Nanny for 22 years said...

This is not a Nanny that you have. You need to get rid of her ASAP! There are so many wonderful Nannies out there looking for jobs. Get one who actually cares about the well being of your children.

Someone's Nanny said...

Are you kidding? Why the hell is this woman still working for you? She takes her bra off in your house? Double yuck! She is not a nanny, she is a warm body. Your children deserve better.

OP said...

Thank you for my replies. I actually have had one agency looking for a nanny for us and just recently contacted a second agency. The nanny works 8-6 = 50 hours a week and we pay her $700 a week. That is $14 an hour. I do know that other nannies get paid more, but that is what we offered and she accepted. We also pay on the books and pay her social security contribution for her.

Sarah of all Trades said...

This makes me so sad! I love my job as a nanny and personally, I can't imagine disrespecting my bosses like that. I'm an afternoon nanny (the boys are school-age) but if you're in Dallas area and want a morning nanny to temp until you find a replacement, I'd be glad to help! You just need to let this woman go ASAP!! There are too many good people out there to waste your time with this.

Anonymous said...

If one is doing the absolute minimum, as she is, then $14 an hour is a fortune.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, I am so glad to hear you're looking for someone else! Have you had a truly good nanny in the past? If so, I hope you find another one soon. If not, you will be blown away to have a true nanny who does all she can to educate and care for your kids, make your life easier, keeps the TV off more than on, and stays fully clothed during her work day.

Women like the one you employ are the epitome of the park bench nanny, and don't need to be working with children, IMO. Such a waste of space!

nycmom said...

I might have put up with this when I was new to employing nannies and had no management skills. Now, she would be fired very quickly.

OP: How long has this woman worked for you? Why are you still employing her at all? She appears to do almost nothing helpful. Even if she does do something positive, it is only grudgingly and after you do all the legwork. You appear to have no true peace of mind. It also sounds like you are an artist who WAH. If that were my situation, I'd rather have no nanny than this nanny. Even as a current WOHM, I would be using the resources I am familiar with in NYC and have interviews lined up in a week and trials ready to go in another week. Why are you only using an agency? What area are you in?

I understand when nannies stay in not-so-great jobs. They need an income while they look for another job. I do not understand why parents continue employing clearly incompetent nannies. I have heard the worry about the kids' attachment to the nanny and the risks of change. But EVERY SINGLE PERSON, myself included, who has changed nannies when they had clear problems has ended up happier and wondering why they did not do it sooner.

MissMannah said...

OP, do you happen to live in the Southwest? If so, I would like to put in my application for the position immediately!

Kendra said...

@another mom: Your post reinforced exactly what I believe. Too many prospective families out there are too busy looking at credentials when conducting their nanny searches. They want someone who has 10 + yrs of "professional" on-the-job nanny experience along w/a college degree and various certifications such as CPR, First Aid, FBI Background Check, Whooping Cough Vaccine, TB Test, 5 Professional References, etc...the list just gives me a headache as I write it. They want someone who has child development units under her belt and totally disregard anyone who is a parent. It's unfortunate, but even nanny agencies who require 2-5 yrs of childcare experience totally discount being a parent as actual "childcare experience." This is preposterous to me. A mother who has successfully raised children knows the stages of a child's development since she has lived through each stage on a personal level. Sure she may not have a Ph.D or have babysat for many families previously, but why discount her a your next nanny if she is loving, patient, responsible as well as mature and reliable? No, most parents would rather hire the 20-something girl who has a college degree and no children since they think credentials are more important than character and personality. In other jobs, I agree. However, not for the nanny world.

MissDee said...

Kendra: Very well said!

The part about the mother who has raised her children, gaining life experience, is often passed over for nanny positions. I have seen ads on agency websites and CL from families seeking nannies. Some of these families are up front about not hiring nannies with children. What about the nanny/mom with grown children in their teens who are old enough to take care of themselves? I do understand the family not wanting to hire someone with a younger child, however, I am wondering if having a child of any age disqualifies a nanny candidate.

I live in a university town, and although I am not looking for a job, I often get passed over for babysitting jobs posted on the university's job center. It is rather insulting to contact someone for a babysitting job, only for the mother to laugh at your experience, and tell you "oh well, don't you think you are too experienced? I mean, it's just babysitting" in a tone that makes you wonder if she would hire anyone off the street. The mother was also rather quick to get off the phone with me when I mentioned my certifications, classes and other unique credentials. She called me a week later and told me she wished she would've hired me and not blown me off; the other sitter she hired for that particular day-evening was 19, a student at the university, immature, and incompetent. The mother made it a point to tell me how the kids were hyper and not in bed when she got home, blah, blah, blah. She finally came right out and told me I had great experience and that she wanted me to meet me later that week for babysitting. I politely thanked her for her "interest" and never called her back.

I work with some very mature teens who have been with us since their senior year in high school when they were in the work study program. I am not saying that all teens and early twenty-something college students are immature, however, it's obvious and awful that parents would hire someone of this age group sans experience to save money.

Alex said...

Wow, you need to find someone new. If that is truly how her day goes you really are doing your boys a disservice and should find a new nanny asap!! Plus it seems like you do all the childcare anyway while trying to work at the same time!! And who takes their bra off at work??

Templates Rule said...

As far as i know when it comes to hiring nanny's they have excellent interviews and convince parebts that they are too good for your children. But when actual time arise they generally are lazy and neglect children big time and makes a relation somehow that children are not able to describe their true feeling as usually they young for their age. If you do not trust your nanny you must get rid of her in first place.

Truth Seeker said...

I agree with you Kendra.
I have a good friend who is set to graduate this June from a UCSD in La Jolla. She works for an agency that specializes in nannies who attend universities called "University Sitters." How fitting, right? They only hire you if you are either attending or have graduated from a university. No, community college girls are not even considered unless they have already transferred. This is so stupid to me. While I love my friend to death, she is only in it for the money. She really doesn't like children at all and has no patience or has ever really baby sat before. She calls her mom all the time asking her what she should do if the baby won't stop crying or the toddler won't take a nap. Blah, Blah, Blah. She only does it because she makes between $15-19 an hour and she is saving up for a car. She can command such a high salary based on her education credentials. She probably will make more once she gets her B.S. in June.
There are so many other girls I know (co-workers, classmates, friends, etc.) who are older and have already raised their children. None of the agencies in the area will put them in their database unless they can show verifiable professional childcare experience. They totally disregard raising one's own children. Many of these women are so great with kids. I see it as a shame. They are forced to seek work from CL where families only pay $8-10 hourly since they only have either a H.S. Diploma or G.E.D. How stupid. In the childcare field, degrees mean nothing unless it is one such as Child Development. And if someone has raised her own child and the child is not a delinquent...LOL...then by all means that should count for something.

Personally, I would rather hire an older woman who has been a mother than a 22 yr old w/a Bachelor's Degree from a prestigious University.

MissDee said...

Truth Seeker: What you said is exactly how I feel, living in a university town. I didn't realize that attending a university made someone more qualified as opposed to attending a community college.

Older, mid-late 30's. YEARS of experience in child development. Babysitting for family, working in a daycare and some nanny experience.

Familiar with the stages of child development, having worked in childcare for so many years.

Attending a community college, where I am majoring in Early Childhood Ed. (I am on the waitlist for the program and have yet to be admitted into the program classes.)

My boss considers me the "gold" of my center, since I have the ability to chat with any parent about anything, and the kids love me. They will ask their parents if I can babysit, and drop whatever they are doing if they see me walk into the classroom or gym and give me hugs when we pass each other in the hallway. I really love the kids, and their families too!

The reason why I am passed over? Because I am not a student at the university. Since when did the name of your school make you "qualified" or "underqualified"?

just sayin it happens said...

I take my bra off as soon as my employers are out the door. I watch a ten month old. I put it back on throughout the day when we go out or a worker comes to the house.

Truth Seeker said...

Miss Dee: My sentiment exactly. Believe it or not, many families are willing to pay a higher rate to someone who is either attending or has graduated from a prestigious university as what looks good on paper must be good for the child. Wrong. Personality, character, patience and compassion matter more than the gold seal on a diploma.

no sympathy for OP said...


You don't really need us to tell you what to do.

Your post reinforces what I believe: that moms who KNOW they have a sub-par nanny will wait and wait and wait because they don't see it a priority to get a good one.

OP: you made your bed: fix it. So many many red flags that I don't feel bad for you at all.

If that were my child? I would fire that nanny immediately and risk losing my job, which I can GUARANTEE I make less at than you do.

Be a mom first. A blogger second. Just some friendly advice.

Phoenix said...

Wow. You really need a new nanny. You are a very pleasant employer. If it were me i would have been screaming at her. She has got some nerve to treat her job like that. She is your employee not a slob family member who scarfs down all your food and sleeps on your couch. Horrible nanny. Just horrible. You are a very good mom.

no sympathy for OP said...

Phoenix: a good mom does not employ a nanny who she knows is sub-par. A lazy mom does that.

ATL Nanny said...

Wow. I'm glad you are looking for a new nanny. I hope this behavior (or this nanny) is new and you haven't been putting up with this behavior for a long time. I cannot imagine tolerating any of this.

I can see how some (awful) nannies get away with this kind of laziness because the parents are gone and don't see it. But it takes a lot of nerve to be this wretched when your boss is home and can observe you. She obviously doesn't think she's doing anything wrong. Ugh.

Ryan said...

Being a parent to your own children is not the same or even close to working with others' children, so, no, parenting should NOT count as a professional reference for ANY childcare-related job. Parenting is a personal, not professional, experience, meaning no one (at least no one who will be taken seriously) can come forward and vouch for your competency at working with children or working FOR an employer--totally different things. Just because someone has raised a child does not mean they did it well, or even an average job--but even the kid turns out a prodigy--that is not professional experience.

That's like saying 'I make dinner at home, why can't I be a cook in restaurant?' Because you can't. You need WORK experience that can be verified and your experience/expertise measured. Sorry.=