Afraid to quit?

opinion 2
I work for a stay at home mother with two children. I make good money and have great benefits. I don't have to do any housecleaning, except as related to cleaning up after the kids, which is not easy since the family lives in an expanive home and the children have more than any child I've ever even seen in movies. I do a lot of picking up after them and organizing their toys and clothes and books. The housekeeper washes and folds their clothes but I have to put them away. The children are also almost 2 and almost 4. The almost 4 is going to do a 1/2 day, 3 day a week program in the fall. My hours are LONG. I live in a gatehouse on their propery. I start work at 730 and work until 730 PM. When I first started, I was told I would probably never need to work that long unless she was out. I also babysit when they go out during the week. A weekend nanny arrives Friday at 7 and stays until Sunday night. When I started, I was told that she wanted a nanny so she could have one on one time with her first child. Prior to my start, she had a babynurse for almost two years. I am paid well and have great benefits. But, she doesn't ever spend quality time with her older child or her younger child. Ever. She told me she was having another baby (planned) due January. I had a feeling she might be pregant but my mind wouldnt process that because I don't understand why she wants another child. As it is, this job completely consumes me except when the weekend nanny is there. During her revelation that she was pregnant, her husband comes in and puts his arm around her and says, "she's going to count on you for some extra help and even some TLC".  I don't know if I want to be a nanny to three young children. It seems she increasingly relies on me to raise her two children and it feels so wrong for the children.  I think I need to quit, but she and even her husband are so reliant on me, I am afraid they could get nasty. My friend suggested I gradually start moving my things out of the gatehouse, just in case they flip out on me. Ideally, I would stay until they find another nanny. I would offer that. I am also going to be looking for a new nanny job in this area, but wouldn't feel right doing that until I talked to my current employers. I am also concerned as to the reason to cite for leaving.


Nanny Nouvelle said...

This is a difficult situation you're in. You're right to believe things could get nasty. The bad part of all of it is that there is no decent way around it. If you stay, you will be miserable. Leaving your job could mean a scathing confrontation but in the end- it sounds like the right thing for you to do. Just be prepared for it. I wouldn't tell them the real reason why upfront: they wouldn't be interested in what you have to say. Write them a letter later voicing your concerns and they will do what they will with it. It is not your job to raise their children. That is their failure. Love and help them, then let them go- that's the job of every nanny.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Don't do anything until you have lined up a place to live and a place to store your possessions. That way you'll be prepared if the worst happens and you end up being told to leave as soon as you tell them you plan to give notice.

I hope you have a significant savings account to live off of while you job-hunt if you do wind up out of work as soon as you give notice?

Ask for a letter of recommendation right now, saying you need it because you are considering volunteering or enrolling in on-line college.

When you start job hunting, tell the agencies/parents you are not giving notice because you live-in and are concerned that you might be left without a home if you give notice too soon. Do not allow anyone to contact your current employers - prevent that by not giving their contact info on any paperwork or in your resume packet.

Check your contract and see what the minimum required notice is, and plan to give them that once you find a new position and have all your other ducks in a row.

When you do tell them you will be leaving, use any reason except your dislike of the mom's parenting practices. Say the hours have gotten too long, or that you are more comfortable caring for only 1 or 2 kids, or anything at all that makes leaving YOUR fault, not theirs.

And good luck to you - please let us know how you do as you start your search for a new job!

crazyness said...

wow, I am sorry. It is people like that who just have children for "show" that make me so upset! There is absolutely no reason (unless of a disability or something) for a sahm to need constant (!!) care for her children!! I feel very bad for those two kids who are basically growing up without parents. I mean, I know it is none of my business what people do with their own kids, but this is just so wrong!

Eh, sorry for my little rant! Anyway, I agree with the above posters, it sounds like it could get nasty just based on the fact of how long your hours are and how they have everything done for them. I would have a plan in place and start moving your stuff. I would then sit them down and explain that you are wanting a different career and it is nothing to do with them or their kids etc. etc. It may be lying but it would be much better for them to think that then for them to know that you are basically sick of raising their kids. And you are smart to do it now when they have the third coming!

pgh nanny said...

Be sure that you can find a job making a comparable salary and is a nice perk you aren't doing a nanny, I don't feel its my place to question why a family has a nanny..just be glad the work is there. It may not be what you would do..I am only saying this because I know a lot of nannies who are top notch and can't find a job. A dear friend of mine is considering taking a temp job in Europe this summer because she hasn't found as good of an offer through local agencies.

When you job hunt, keep it on the down low. Don't give their info out..end it nicely too just for the sake of the future.

MissMannah said...

I am just wondering what the heck this mom does all day long. She has someone to raise her kids and someone else to clean her house and doesn't have a job. Just seems crazy to me.

Your situation sucks, I'm sorry to say OP. The above posters are right, you need to make arrangements before telling the parents. I understand it doesn't feel right but you have to think of yourself first, they will be just fine no matter what you do.

oh well said...

Miss Mannah, rich people lead complicated lives, and spending time with one's children may well be difficult, as incredible as it may seem to us.
OP, you should line up another job before you tell the parents anything.
You should not give them the real reason why you are leaving. Telling them that they are lousy parents is not going to improve their parenting and it may hurt your prospects.
I would tell them that the job has affected your health and that it is too much for you.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I agree with the other posters that you should prepare for the worst. As seen on this blog multiple times, many times when a nanny gives notice, she is canned immediately. Be prepared for this and start planning ahead now. Find a place to live and make sure it is available on a minute's notice. Yes, discreetly begin moving out your things one by one as well as look for another job during non-work hours. Be very discreet in everything. Save some money since you may find it may take some time to find a new position given the way the economy is now. Try to get that letter of recommendation, but try not to raise their suspicions too much. Once you have your new job lined up, I would leave. You could give notice, but honestly, I am not a fan of giving notice to a family I am unhappy with since these situations hardly ever end amicably. *sigh*

Tell your new employers you currently work for a family, yet there are misunderstandings between you and you realize you and them are not a suitable match. Do not badmouth your current employers...simply state that things aren't working out and that it is in the best interest of everyone involved for you to move on.

Best of luck to your in all of your future endeavors.

TinyDancer said...

I'd be very careful about your reason for quitting. If the family really likes you they may try to "fix" the problem. For example shorter hours for you and more nannies! If your job hunt takes a while you could say that you are uncomfortable caring for the 3 children, but that's a tricky one because you are a technically a mother's helper since she's a SAHM so they may not understand because technically you shouldn't be caring for all 3 kids on your own (whether or not this is actually the case) Is there anyway you have something more personal you could use? Relocating to be closer to family for example? Something that they couldn't possibly try to change. It would just be so akward to give your notice and then they try to fix things and then you're trying to worm your way out of it. Something very personal also will make cutting ties nice and clean with no hard feelings.

Berry said...

Hi, I only just started reading your blog and I assume you live in America ? I live in Australia but I work as a Nanny for an American Mum living in Australia.

I think it is easy to become so used to helping people that you feel responsible and relied upon. You need to think about yourself though - who is worrying about you ? what about your youth - you only get one chance at being young, finding someone to have kids with, building a future etc etc. They aren't worried about you and trust me, if you weren't meeting their expectations they'd think nothing of taking your livelihood away from you. As a nurturer and care giver I think it's normal to want to give and give but you have to be caring of yourself too and not feel guilty.

Tonight I had the same discussion with the American Mum I work for - thought I was doing the right thing by preluding our conversation about my resignation with a text message but she said it was 'unprofessional' to send a text message asking to discuss my problems with the position. As it stands she promised me x hours but cut them right back, never pays me on time and changes hours on wim. While she acknowledged her fault she tried to put it back on me. The text message I sent was to give her a chance to gather her thoughts so she wasn't on the spot when I brought it up - basically, my point is, that she found fault with that and even though she was in the wrong and admitted it (giving me less hours than promised) she still found a reason to get annoyed - there is no non confrontational, nice way of doing it. Be sneaky, get what is owed to you, give the kids a big kiss goodbye and think about numero uno first. Find a good reason that leaves you with a good reference - you could tell her that you're unable to work so many hours because you have a sick relative etc - be smart and play your cards close to your chest.

Babinurse said...

This is simply a case of the lifestyle of wealthy people. It is not new for wealthy women to hire nannies to raise their children. I don't think it is anyone's place to judge these people. This is their culture and their lifestyle, and they are certainly entitled to that. Just because it is different doesn't make it wrong or horrible. Some parents send their kids to boarding school! I imagine this is how celebrities and even some politicians and people of royalty live their lives. I guess it takes a certain type of person to work as their nanny. Acceptance of this different lifestyle is essential. I think it is a good idea for you to move on. They will find someone else as there are many nannies out there looking for work. After you secure a new job and a new place to live, give the appropriate notice, and move on. You don't need to worry how this family will manage. People quit jobs everyday and new employees are hired. You will make a great nanny to another family. Good luck, and I suggest finding a career mom!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused. Would you want to stay if it was a 40 hour work week, and the parents hired a third nanny for weekday evenings?

If that's the case, then reluctantly give notice, stating that you can only work a 40 hour week and have a happy life. Be prepared to be fired. Get the rec like the poster above mentioned, and perhaps line up a new job, but don't pull the trigger until you see what the parents do. They might surprise you.

If you don't want to work there, get another job. This time, make it clear you are only working a 40 work week, and clearly lay out the hours. And when you get on the job, and the time comes to leave for the day, pick up your purse, and leave. You gotta train 'um right from the beginning.

MissMannah said...

Oh well, you said "rich people lead complicated lives". Would you care to explain that one to me because it sounds like this "mom" (because I don't think I can really even give her that title) has it pretty damn easy.

Berry, your boss was absolutely right when she said you were being unprofessional. Why does that come as a surprise to you? You should have told her face to face "I would like to have a discussion with you later on when we have free time after the kids are asleep" or something. Texting is wussing out.

I am not feeling particularly harsh today, but both of those posts just rubbed me wrong.

another nanny said...

If you have decided that you want to leave, I absolutely think it is a good idea to gradually move some things out and also make sure you have another place to stay. When you cite your reasons for leaving, I would talk only about the number of hours you're working. Let them know that you don't feel you can accommodate the current number of hours (or possibly more with the new baby) at this time. Say that you might want to go back to school or something. I would say absolutely nothing about their parenting. Let them know that you will stay up to (however many weeks) to help them find/get used to a new nanny. But also be prepared for them to let you go right away.

Nannyandmommy said...

I was in your exact same situation. I hated my job because I resented the mother so much for hiring round the clock care so she could sit on her butt watching Gossip Girl reruns all day. I Was with the family for almost three years until one day I just couldn't take it anymore. I emailed them and said I was done. Yes, I blew my chance at a letter of recommendation but it was the best decision I ever made. I now work for normal families, middle class, with less pay, but you can't put a price on my well being and sanity. Do what makes you happy and never look back

joann, ct said...

I am a professional nanny and I work for a stay at home mom. I am NOT a mother's helper. I am paid $22.50 on the books, have a professional contract, health insurance and every year in lieu of a bonus, (3 years so far) my employer has set up an IRA for me for retirement purposes. This year, I was also gifted with a nice stock donation. So, if anyone dare told me I was a mother's helper, I would be pissed and also have to tell you- you have no idea what you are talking about and how wealthy people live. Neither did I, but I am rolling with it.

GrammaMama said...

What's the difference? Do you have some sort of complex with being called a mother's helper? Chill out, Joann.

By the way, "gifted" is not a real word. Gift is a noun and you cannot add a suffix to a noun and turn it into a verb. You were "given a gift."

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

GrammaMama, a Nanny is someone trusted to take independent care of a family's children, without direct supervision. She is often college educated or highly experienced, and can manage on her own for 10+ hours a day. Nannies are often trusted to make decisions about their charges without clearing things with the parents first, and they generally do only childcare and chores related to the children.

A Mother's Helper is going to have less education and experience, and require more supervision. She may or may not be capable of handling the children alone for extended periods of time, and is not seen as a "third parent" or parenting partner. She will do whatever needs to be done around the house to help out her SAH employer.

Working as a MH is one way to get the experience needed to find a nanny position.

Yep. Kind of different.

And please don't say anything about nannies and au pairs being the same. You wouldn't be able to take the heat on that one!

Just sayin'... said...

GrammaMama, according to my dictionary, "gifted" is a word (when used as a verb rather than a noun). You are correct in the more common usage of the word "gift" (noun), but not that it cannot be used as a verb. Of course, there is also the term "gifted" (meaning talented) but that is entirely different, and an adjective.

Since you seem to like to correct others, here yah go! :) :

gift |gift|

verb [ trans. ]
give (something) as a gift, esp. formally or as a donation or bequest : the company gifted 2,999 shares to a charity.
• present (someone) with a gift or gifts : the director gifted her with a heart-shaped brooch.
• ( gift someone with) endow someone with (something) : she was gifted with a powerful clairvoyance.