Job Creep... and MB is a Creep, too

opinion 2 I have sort of a problem, and I was hoping you all could help me out with it. Okay a little about myself. I am 21 years old and going to school to get my degree in Elementary Education. I have been a part time nanny since I was 16 years old. I was with my first family for 3 years and then I moved to another city to go to college and was with that family for the past 2 years. I was recently let go by my second nanny family as "my" boys are both old enough to go to pre-school and they just don't need me anymore. I started with this family when the baby was 3 months old and the older child was 2. They're now 2 and 4 and now that I'm no longer with them, I miss them terribly. The mom and I still keep in touch, but it's still very strange for me to not see them every week.

After I was let go by that family, I was immediately hired by a new family with a 15 month old baby boy. The mom put on a great front during the interview and didn't bring up things like cleaning, cooking, or anything other then just taking care of the baby. I was hired on the spot and started the next week. On the first day with them, I just spent the day trying to get to know the baby and see what he was like, get some feel for a routine, etc. Since he had no real routine or anything, I asked the mom if I could implement one. I gave her sort of a timeline that would be easy to follow regarding lunch and naps and she said it was great. The next week when I went back for my second week, I was met at the door by the mom and a post it note. She had a very different demeanor and told me that she had left a post it note of chores for me to do. Cook dinner, do the laundry, do the dishwasher, dust, mop and vacuum, as well as organize all the toys that the baby has. To be honest, I was a bit shocked. I don't mind cleaning or doing meal prep, but to be met at the door with a post it note just seemed rude to me. Plus, the baby only takes one nap per day, when was I supposed to fit all those chores in? He's incredibly clingy and he will scream bloody murder if I try to walk out of the room without holding him.

By the third week, she had added going grocery shopping to the list, in addition to everything else. She isn't blatantly rude to me, but she seems bored when talking to me and has a fake interest in anything I say. I was at the playground with the baby, when I saw my former boss and boys and I almost cried with joy at seeing them. I am sad that I don't have that close relationship with my new employer and I feel like the baby hates me. All he does is cry around me. I try to play with him, I sing to him, I take him places, yet, I can get him to laugh only rarely and I feel like he resents me or something. It's been 7 weeks and we still haven't really bonded. Is this a bad sign? I feel like it's my fault.

There are other things that I just find strange as well. One day the dad boss came home from work early, before the mom got home. I was speaking with him about the baby and we were laughing about something. The mom came in the door and started glaring at me, like I wasn't allowed to speak with her husband. I'm not attractive, so I don't think she's worried about him cheating on her with me. Another time, I got there in the morning and saw that the baby was playing with a meat tenderizer. I distracted him and took it away from him as I felt that he was going to poke his eye out with the stick of it. I put it on the counter and when she came back in the room, she made a comment like "oh, that's right, I'm a bad mom" and then laughed. I started to explain myself, but she walked out of the door. The mom also refers to me as "the nanny,"
never my name, when she speaks to friends and family. My other employers always used my name, regardless of whether or not the other person knew who I was.

In three weeks, my college courses will begin again. I will work during the day and go directly from work to school for 3 hours per night. I am terrified that I won't have time to focus on my school work, as my original plan was to do homework and such while the baby was sleeping. When I spoke with the mom upon our interview, she agreed to this, however now with my massive list of chores, I don't know where I'll find the time. I hate admitting this, but I feel like I may not be what this family is looking for. Should I start looking for a new family to work for? My friend made a comment to me the other day about how sad I seem now and I think that I'm just really not enjoying my job anymore. I'm a great nanny and have tons of other families who love me, but I just feel like this family doesn't. I've never had to deal with anything like this before. Can someone give me some type of suggestion or something? Please help, I have no one to turn to. None of my friends are nannies, so they don't understand. I don't want to let this family down, but I have to do what I feel is right for me, right? Thanks.


UmassSlytherin said...

It bothers me that you say "I'm not attractive." Bull shit. Get some confidence, girl! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I'm sure you are one sexy chick.

Regarding this situation, it definitely seems like a bad one. Do not feel as if any of it is your fault. This is not a good fit, and it's nothing for you to feel ashamed of.

You seem like a great childcare provider, I am certain that another family would be lucky to have you.

Nanny who loves her career said...

You need to get out- one of the things I demand up front is repect. If they can't repect you- then why stay. U need to think of yourself. Good luck. I have learned, the hard way, u r going to find "shity" familied and ones that will treat u like family. Its hard- but that's how the nanny career- you just learn from it and move on.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Start looking now for another job. IF you think it wouldn't get you fired or even more frozen out, sit down and ask the mom what she prefers for you to focus on - her child, or the cleaning.

If you can't talk with her, do your best with the chores and leave it at that.

Baby may be having some issues with separation anxiety, or may be picking up on the tension between his mom and you. Do what you can to keep the level of care you give high, but frankly if you'll be leaving soon, trying to hard to bond with baby is a waste of time. You can give him loving care without "bonding".

Dr. Juris said...

I wouldn't even ask her which she would want to focus on. I would be direct and tell her you need to schedule a time to renegotiate the terms of your contract, as you didn't realize you would be both the nanny and housekeeper. Stand up for yourself. (And start looking for jobs, because I have a bad feeling she's going to fire you anyway.)

Phoenix said...

Children are able to pick up on energy very well. I think the reason he isn't bonding with you is because he feels the energy from his mom directed towards you. He is feeling that you are the reason his mom is sending out negative vibes, and why would he want to be around someone his mom hates.

Some women don't care what you look like or who you are. YOu could have been a 12 year old girl and she still probably would have been mad her husband was talking to you. I have a friend who get's mad when her husband talks to his female family memebers. That is crazy.

To me it sounds like she has a fear that you will replace her as the mom. That is why she said that statement about her being a bad mother. Maybe she is giving you all these chores to make you quit. Therefor she can go back to her husband and say, "You see. We can't keep a nanny. Maybe I should just stay home all the time now" The woman hates you and I recommend that you get another job.

Ms.Nanny said...

You sound like a wonderful childcare provider and deserve a job that allows you to excel, and not be demeaned. With your credentials and a reference from your former boss that you get along with I bet you can find a new job fairly quickly. And about thinking you are unattractive, I hope that you know that you are beautiful, it comes from the inside out, and that positive thinking will allow that to shine through even more! :) Best wishes and I would love to hear an update!

Bostonnanny said...

I would have started looking for a new job the day she left a note of chores for you. Get out know before school starts, it will end up affecting your grades.

alex said...

Please do not say you are not attractive, confidence goes a long way :)

That being said I would look for another job. If this lady has already added these many things to your to do list I can only imagine how many more she will add!! And that will be stressful and then going straight to school. Plus I don't know how secure this job is considering her behavior!

RBTC said...

other posters have written about how dealing with someone like this mom can really depress you and affect your life - get out now - you can easily get another job with your 3 year and 2 year references

do not let this mom make you feel guilty for one second "it's just not a fit" - that's it

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Do not tell yourself you are "unattractive?" Obviously beauty is very subjective these days and what is not beautiful to one person may be adorable to another. If the mother glared at you, perhaps she felt threatened by you...which means you probably are a lot prettier than you think you are.

Anyway regarding the job, it seems like your boss is trying to get what I call the "2-for-1 Deal." Nanny/Housekeeper. I think she orchestrated this whole thing on purpose to suck you in. Well, let the joke be on her. You are a Nanny, not a maid/Personal Asst. and you also are a student on the side. You need to find a Nanny job where you can use nap time to study, not vacuum or wash the dishes. Jobs are tough to come by and normally I would advise you to tough it out until you find another position, but this woman is clearly using you and trying to get all she can out of you. Talk about stretching her dollar. Let her stretch it on someone else. Tick tock...her time is up.

Wow said...

When she gave you the post-it, you should have told her you're not a housekeeper and that you only do child related chores. I assume you don't have a written contract, or you would have simply referred to the contract.

I suggest that you start looking for another job. On Monday, nicely tell her what chores you're willing to do (be specific) and leave it at that.

Concerning the child, keep the routine consistant and take good care of him until your next job comes through. Look for something with a younger infant - less adjustment for the child and longer time at the job for you.

nycmom said...

I agree with everyone above.

For your next job, don't fall for the "The mom put on a great front during the interview and didn't bring up things like cleaning, cooking, or anything other then just taking care of the baby." YOU need to bring these things up during the interview. You are interviewing the family as much as they are interviewing you. Best to address all the possible areas of conflict during the interview and get them ironed out in writing ahead of time.

Good luck finding a better job - sounds like you at least have great past references and can leave this one out entirely.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you should start looking for a job immediately.

As happens so many times, I believe this nanny was set up. The deal the mother made was never intended to be the real deal; she always intended to change the duties.

I don't think notice is warranted. When there is malice and forethought on the part of one party to deceive, the other party has no requirement to honor the deal that never existed.

Shelly said...

When she greeted you at the door with a post-it note of chores, you should have written a post-it note of your own and stuck it to a copy of your contract where it outlines the services you will perform. Because you DO have a written contract spelling out the expectations on both sides, right? If not, you have only yourself to blame.

The only nannies who don't get respect are those who PERMIT this type of nonsense because they have no backbone.

Switching families won't help unless you learn how to nip this crap in the bud the minute it appears. Why do nannies have so much trouble saying NO and asserting themselves???

Dr. Juris said...

It's malice aforethought. Not malice and forethought. And that's required to prove murder and other felonies. Not fraud. Fraud requires the person committed it to mean to do it, but it does not require malice. The intent to deceive is enough.

MojoRising said...

Judging by how happy your previous two families were, you are most likely a great nanny. Just your post seemed like you had a great attitude towards the families you work with-you even still seem like you're trying to give this woman some slack! But seriously-get out- ASAP! You can definitely find a better fit for you. This mother sounds very insecure with having a nanny. This happens sometimes, and it's nothing about you. Some women just get jealous of another woman being in their house, spending the day with her child. My MB does it sometimes...luckily, she's self aware enough to recognize it in herself, and will usually call me from work or email to apologize for it, so I take some things she says or does with a grain of salt, knowing the MB/nanny relationship is a unique thing. Unfortunately, you don't have that with this mom- she is just going to take her frustrations out at you. It will only get worse- especially if the kid finally calms down and starts loving you. Find a better job...and make sure you have a nanny contract that specifies what cleaning you are required to do. Just say no to job creep!

nanny2 said...

ITA with MojoRising that this mom sounds very insecure about having a nanny. I wouldn't be surprised if she's very ambivalent about you bonding with the baby. Maybe the list of chores is also supposed to get in the way of that (like keep you so busy that you don't have as much time to play with him). I've heard crazier things.
At any rate, I don't think the situation is likely to improve, so I would look for a new job if at all possible.

Anonymous said...

We are only simple layman, Dr., nannies you know.

RBTC said...

i liked what the DR said - it very informative. Fraud required intent, not malice - i'll remember that.

chela said...

Is not that you are wrong for them...this is the wrong family for you....get out gracefully, families don't change, but you can sure change to another one that is the right fit. NEVER feel trapped. I have been a nanny for a long time and understand how you feel. I've found myself
in the same position you are.. Do not let the wrong family alter ypur passion for working as a nanny.
Good luck. You will be fine. Never forget to ask for what you expect, need and want.

chela said...

PS: never ever ever, ever, say you are not attractive girl. Bullshit on that.

OP said...

Hi guys,

Thank you all so much for responding! I made the decision over the weekend that I'm going to start actively looking for a new family. I have an interview on Thursday evening actually :)

I read every single one of your comments and I appreciate them so much. They made me feel much better about my decision and helped me to realize that I am good at my job and what I do. Thank you!

mom who can see you will do well said...

:} yay!

TXnanny said...

Any updates? Have you left, and how did the mom take it?

I hope you have found a great family who will appreciate you!