Non-Confrontational Nanny Needs a Pay Raise

opinion 2 Advice on asking for a raise...

Hello everyone!! So I'll get right to it, I've been working for this family for a year and 3 months now. I was hoping for a raise after I hit the one year mark, but it's been 3 months since then and no talk of such raise has ever come up.

Here are the details:

When I first started, I was hired as a part time nanny for the school year but I would start in the summer to get to know the family. There are 3 boys who are now 6, 11 and 13. I was told that there were 2 dogs and I would occasionally care for them (fill the water and food bowls, let them out, etc.) over the school year my hours would be approximately 2-7pm. I would pick them up, help them with hw, make them simple dinners. Let me be clear, I love my job and I love the kids, but I feel that the longer I've been with the family, the more has been expected of me, and it's gotten to the point where I feel I deserve a raise. Since I started, I realized that 2-7 really meant 2-whenever the parents are done with work...which is rarely before 7. I sleep over a lot more, which includes putting the boys to bed (no easy feat since they each need me to individually put them to bed and scratch their backs and heads- it's a 2 hour process to get the 3 of them to bed), making sure they shower, making breakfast, preparing lunch, getting them dressed and dropped off at school. The kids need a lot of hw help. So much that it's hard to make dinner on time and give each kid attention and playtime. And if everything can't get done they complain to their mom that I didn't play with them (which makes me look awful). I understand kids need hw help every once and awhile, but I come from a family where I never received any help and have a big "suck it up and do it" attitude, and these children get so stressed out that at least 2 or 3 times a week I have to calm one of them down from having a meltdown over hw...while dinner is burning on the stove of course. Also, the oldest child has a learning disability so I think he really needs a private tutor who is trained. It's also expected that I go grocery shopping once a week for the kids and basic family needs.

Please don't think I'm lazy or uncaring. Whenever my boss asks me to run an errand I always say "sure no problem," if they need me to stay late I always do, anytime they ask me to come in over the weekend, I always agree. If I'm at home and the oldest kid txts me asking me to pick up some art supplies from the store so we can use them the next day, I make sure to do it. I feel that I've made myself so available to the family, that they now expect me to do everything.

Lately I've been working 2-9 even 10pm. So it's usually a 40hr work week. I'm sleeping over for two separate weeks (all week long) while both parents are away on business. MB has informed me that work has been crazy and she really needs me to be flexible, which I responded "of course, no problem, my schedule is free.". I think my tipping point was the new dog. They recently bought a new puppy who is in the process of being house trained but who still pees everywhere and aggravates the other dogs. It's a headache taking care of the 3 dogs and the 3 boys all at the same time.

Am I selfish to ask for a raise? How should I go about it? I've always been super non confrontational. But I think I deserve a raise. Thanks in advance for the advice :)


Belle Vierge said...

Ask for a raise, definitely. You didn't say if you were getting paid hourly or weekly, but it sounds like you're getting paid weekly. Sit them down and say, "I really love this job, I understand your busy schedules, and I'm happy to be flexible with my hours. However, I feel as though my responsibility has greatly increased over the last year, and I deserve extra compensation." I'm super non-confrontational too, so I know it's hard, but you deserve it. Good luck!

Village said...

To start, reduce your request to writing. Don't say you need the money, or this is how much others make. List your duties, and requirement for a salary for said duties.

When you go into negotiations, you have to come from a position of power. That means you have to be ready to quit. In the end, that's your only recourse. So be ready to leave. Be packed, have another job lined up, or alert the agency to start looking for you.

You have to be prepared for them to say no, and already know in your mind if that is acceptable to you. Some people (and corporations) prefer a rotating work force so they don't have to give raises. This may be the case with your family. So if you really want more money, walking maybe the only way for you to get it.

nanners said...

The 11 & 13 year old boys need their backs and heads rubbed to fall asleeep?

If you are being paid hourly you should sit down with the parents are ask them to reevaluate their needs. If you normally work 30 hours you should be getting paid XX for each additional hour. Give them a bill at the end of the week.

RaisesForEveryone said...

First off, I think it's great that you said you love your job. That makes me think that you aren't on the verge of quitting and you aren't just looking for a way out. That being said, I agree that you need a raise. Just as well, you need to stand your ground on the hours.

I am also non-confrontational and have found myself saying "sure, no problem" one too many times. Being in this nanny business, you learn that there are always going to be extra hours added on BUT the key is to make sure that this isn't happening too often and when it does happen, you must be compensated for your work.

I would start by warning the parents that you would like to speak with them at some point, this way you don't hit them blindly. I am betting that they probably thought about a raise at one year but they are getting away with paying you the same rate so they just didn't bother. Outline the duties of your job and show them how much work you do for them. If you do as much as you say you do, which I'm sure you do, I think they would be happy to give you a raise, or at least seriously consider it. Next, I would discuss the hours with them. Tell them that you are and always have been flexible but would prefer more of a set schedule. I must admit, the thing I like least about my job is that I never know when I will be able to go home. Somehow a 5:00 end time turns into 5:30 one day, 8:30 another day, then surprisingly 4:00 the next. Bottom line, I know it is tough but you might as well just bring it up when you talk to them about the raise. Please let us know how this turns out!

NannyPoppins said...

First, to address the dog issue. Perhaps they should find someone to care for the dogs walker/trainer. There are TONS out there with great experience and negotiable fair rates. It's something to look into since they decided to add on an additional pup to the situation. Your responsibility should be the children first and foremost adding on training a puppy is not fair to you. Second, you definitely should address the raise. And like people above said tell the parents you would like to set up a "nanny review" and not spring it on them last minute when they are coming home. List all your duties/responsibilities and what you think would be fair pay. You sound like you truly do enjoy your job but these extra responsibilities are causing some stress and that's totally normal. I think it would even be in your best interest to write up a contract as well *you can find many sample nanny contracts online*. It's wonderful that you enjoy the children but since they are getting older you need to explain to them that it's important for them to become more independent. Bed time should not take that long. I would be gentle but firm and set up a shorten schedule for bed time. It's not being mean it's part of growing up. Setting up a meeting with the kids to address the bed time and any other issues (like homework time) would be beneficial as well. Once again this doesn't have to be "mean" just explain to them that it's not fair to you to spend the amount of time you do to put them to bed or have to go through such a process for homework. Express that you love and care about them and want to be the best nanny you can to them but it's only fair they treat you with respect and not take advantage of your kindness. You would be surprise how well kids DO understand when adults talk "serious" with them about feelings. You do have a great attitude and love your job and that's great! Don't lose that! But there is 1 thing to be helpful and another thing to be a pushover. It doesn't sound like these people are trying to push you over. It just seems like they are comfortable with you and since you have a "go get em everything is OK" attitude it's easy to take that to their advantage unintentionally. The family has to see how great you are and I am sure they will come up with a pay raise for you. You just have to step up to the plate and speak your mind.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I am a nonconfrontational person as well OP and I hate it!! However, there are many issues that I have had to deal with that needed immediate attention and could not be ignored. So what do I do?? I send an e-mail. Sure it probably is not the best way to ask for a raise, yet for me it is the ONLY way since I would rather eat worms than confront my bosses.

Just make sure the e-mail is well-written and stresses how much you love the kids, dogs, etc. If you complain about how much work the job is, they may not consider paying you more. Strange, I know, but such is life.

Hopefully they will start paying you more. Since you work 40+ week and you have been with them over a year, I think it is a good idea since you have proven to them what a great Nanny you are. However, remember we are in a recession and depending on their situation, they may not be able to afford it now. Have they given you holiday bonuses or birthday gifts? If so, then I would not be too upset if they could not give me a raise.

I have been with my current family over a year, yet have not asked for a raise. Why? They have treated me well, have not asked me to do more than what we agreed upon and always add a nice tip to my paycheck. I do not get bonuses, yet this family is one in a million and after going through 30 families prior, I know I am very fortunate to have my current family. It's all about perspective.

nanny 1 said...

Why are you scratching the heads and backs of these boys? They are old enough to put themselves to sleep. I have been looking after 11 and half year old boys for the past 11 years and they have been putting themselves to bed since the age of 6. All the parents and i do is make sure they are in bed and lights off after they have read alittle of their books.
The 2nd family i work for little miss 3 year old will put herself to sleep after we read her a couple of bed time stories. even her 18 month old brother does not need his back rubbed when he has a sleep. we trained him to fall asleep by himself. These children are old enough to fall asleep by themselves not having their backs rubbed or their hair scratched.
I also think you should sit down and ask for a raise and ask for more money when you do sleep overs etc.

MissMannah said...

No, I do not think you are lazy and uncaring. I think you're a total wuss and pushover. You are not only letting the parents walk all over you, but the kids too. They are 6, 11 and 13 and still can't get to sleep by themselves? Uh-uh, no way. They need so much help with homework that you can't get dinner fixed? No go. (Learning disabilities being a different story, he does need a lot of help and that's ok.) Time for some tough love with these kids. As for your raise, you can ask for one, but don't be expecting one. Be prepared to walk if they turn you down, which very well might happen.

A Mommy Nanny said...

Girl, become confrontational!

another nanny said...

I try not to think of it as confrontation. Asking for a raise isn't some kind of personal attack on them- it's only asking to be fairly compensated for the work you are now doing, which is not the same as the work you were doing when you first got hired. The facts are that you have taken on more responsibilities and more (often unpredictable) hours than originally agreed upon, and it's reasonable to have your salary increase in conjunction with your workload.

noname said...

I know this was posted awhile ago, but, I'm wondering what your main issue is? Is it money? Is it the additional hours/duties? If they scale back the late nights and dog potty training/ extras, are you ok with the salary? The good news is that it all sounds workable. You like them, they like you. It sounds good. But yes, you have to talk to them. I would request a meeting, and bring the homework. The nanny review was a good idea. you sound like a sweetheart. Hope it goes well.

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