Hi fellow nannies. As we all know, there are some great things about being a nanny. The strong bond you form with the children, the accomplished feeling you have after a long day's work, and the paycheck at the end of the week are great perks, just to name a few. On the other hand, there are also things that we don't particularly like about our jobs. As a frequent visitor to this website, there are common themes that I often see. The one that sticks out in my mind, because it hits so close to home, is the general topic of being taken advantage of. It seems that us nannies are always subject to this, even if we have an agreement with the family as to what hours we are SUPPOSED to be working, what our duties are SUPPOSED to be, etc.
Personally, I find myself using the terms "of course I can", "no problem", and "I'd be happy to" far too many times. Before you go off and say that I am a pushover (which I'd partly agree with you on) I know that I am not the only one! For me, the biggest problem I have is with hours always being inconsistent. I understand life is not predictable and things happen (there is traffic on the way home, there was a line at the store, etc) but it just seems to me that hours being extended happens way too often, and not just to me. It happens to you too, admit it :) It's difficult to plan things outside of work when you don't know when you will be done working. Also, although this doesn't happen to me, as my household duties are (thankfully) very limited, a lot of nannies get chores added on little by little, and before you know it, they are running the whole house! I always try to be as helpful as I can be (especially while the children are napping) but I also don't want the family to expect that I will clean everything, thereby putting more pressure on me. Countless times I have read that nannies end up focusing more on housework and less on the children. And that isn't good.
So, my question for all of you is how you happy nannies out there prevent this from happening to you? I find it particularly difficult to say no, especially to someone's face. I also feel badly because I know this person is paying me and I don't know where to draw the line. It is one thing to be helpful and flexible but it is another thing for someone to walk all over you. I must say that in my current job, this doesn't happen too often but it has happened to me a lot in the past. I think a lot of us can benefit from the advice from those of you who feel as though they are being compensated for their work and not being taken advantage of. Thanks!