Thursday

Screamin' Demons

opinion dec
!! I need advice!! I just finished high school and i took a year off, so i decided i wanted to babysit overseas. So my aunt told me if i wanted to come to Switzerland to babysit my two cousins and take German lessons, of course i said yes!! So I traveled all the way to Switzerland thinking it was going to be great, but then i arrived and discovered that two little demons replaced my two lovable cousins. Literally they bring out the worst of me!! The 5 year old talks back, she is rude and i simply can't stand her sometimes, and the 3 year old just wants his mom, like i can't do anything with and for him cause he turns crazy!! And of course i cant deal with him and when something isn't done my aunt says it's my fault. Really i'm fed up with this!! And when she talked me into this, she told me that my job would be taking care of the kids, and doing all the house activities that involved them, such as keeping their room clean, making their beds, picking up after them and doing their laundry, but then i arrived and she has me doing all the family's laundry, vacuuming, making dinner, cleaning the cats sandbox (she didn't tell me they had 2 cats), cleaning the dishes, making me work extra hours without payment, cleaning the kitchen, even wrapping my cousins' friends birthday presents!! I'm tired as hell!! I mean, i could carry baby Kangaroos with the bags and dark circles under my eyes!! I feel like they're taking advantage of me, but i don't know if telling them how I feel is the right thing to do cause I live in their house and eat their food after all... and i don't have any full-time babysitter friend to ask what the normal activities are... WHAT SHOULD I DO!!????? I'M DESPERATE!!!!

34 comments:

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StrawberryShortKakes said...

Woah, Jedd! What is so wrong about taking a year off?! It sounds to me like the OP wanted to gain some life experience and who says you have to go to college right from high school? This past May I finished my undergrad and decided to take a year off before I went back to get my masters. I wanted to work and gain some working experience, in addition to saving money. SO many people in my life told me "Oh no. That's not a good idea. It's so difficult to go back to school after taking time off!" The majority of the people telling me this hadn't even been to college!!

Anyway, OP I can't blame you for wanted to go abroad and see what else the world has to offer. Unfortunately, along with these types of situations come some serious risks. You clearly are not very happy with what you have discovered in Germany and I have to say I'd agree with you if I were in your shoes. I do agree with Jedd in that you aunt should feel ashamed for falsely luring you into a situation where you are vulnerable and she can take advantage. It is unclear if you absolutely have to stay in Switzerland or you can come home but I wouldn't be boarding the next plane just yet.

If I were you, I would talk to your aunt and tell her that you have wayyyy too much on your plate. Think back to the original agreement she proposed to you and put it on paper. Tell her you guys agreed to X,Y, and Z. You greatly appreciate the chance to live in a new place but you feel very stressed with all of your duties. I think you should also mentally make a list of duties that you are willing to, or not willing to, do around the house. It can be very awkward to have these types of discussions, especially with family, but it has to be done. Otherwise, she will continue to take advantage of you.

As far as the children go, it can be difficult working with family. I am assuming that you don't know your cousins very well since they live in a different country so it might take some time to get used to them. I think you should try to talk to your aunt about that issue too while you're at it, and kill two birds with one stone. The best scenario is that she will completely be on board with you and want to work as a team in taking care of the children. On the other hand, she doesn't sound like the most open to communication. I think you should at least try and open those lines of communication in stead of bottling it all up.

I am curious, are you being paid at all for taking care of the children? Or is she housing you and feeding you in compensation for your work?

RBTC said...

the above post is the best case scenario - probably not possible

the aunt seems to be like all the bosses we see written about on this site who are slave masters with very little consciences or empathy

i do not see the aunt being reasonable

the OP needs to get out of the situation - is she on good terms with her parents?

have then "decree" that she must return home for whatever reason

let us know what happens OP

what is happening to you is very unfair - your aunt tricked you the same way many nannies on this board are tricked, learn about it, and then work thru it all the time

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RenQ said...

@Jedd: yeap, i took the bait LOL i thought it was gonna be a great opportunity. And i agree with you, she should be ashamed of what she is doing.
thanks for the advice, though i dont really wanna give up that easily. :)

@Strawberry: I agree with you 100% that was exactly what i was thinking to do, talk to her, and if she doesn't get how fed up i am, then im comming home, where im supposed to be. I've known for a long time that my cousins where difficult, with very strong personalities for their age, but whenever they came to visit, they were just sweet, but since the last time i saw them ( 1 year and a half ago) they;ve turned in such a stubborn little demons! you cant have a normal conversation or play just a normal game cause they turn it in hell on earth. Anyways i'm just hoping for the best.
and yes, i'm being paid, about 100 dlls per week (wich here in Switzerland its almost nothing since a plain black venti coffee in Starbucks costs 9 dlls, and a 600 ml coke costs 4 dlls) , plus a room, food, the german course.
loved your comment :) i really appreciate your words!! thank you big timee!!

@RBTC: hahha she really is a slave master!! im actually traveling to Madrid in January to get out of the situation for a little while and figure out what im gonna do, come back to mexico or stay here and continue.
im in really good terms with my parents :) they are supportive, loving, caring & my best friends :)
i agree with you that this is unfair as hell... yesterday i couldnt stop crying cause i found a drawer with all the cereal bars, that i though we ran out of, but what happened was that my uncle didn't want me to eat them, so he hid them from me, i mean that's just plain rude and disrespectful!! and today while i was doing the laundry i found one of his underwear like, with poo... i was so disgusted i literally threw up. agghhhhh disrespectful much??
but thanks for the words again, really they helped me tons since literally i have nobody to talk to.



I really recommend taking a year off before college, it really helps you figure out what you wanna do with your life, i mean, at 17 or 18 you really dont know what you wanna do, i thought i wanted to study marketing, but now im not really sure... you dont have to rush things!!!


THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE!!! HOPE READING YOU SOON AGAIN :)

Phoenix said...

Um, well. Girl I hate to tell you this but you are NOT a nanny. You are a niece babysitting for your aunt. She doesn't think of you as her employee nor does she respect you as an adult because you are the younger family member that she saw as a baby. So family sucks

Phoenix said...

My advice on the college. Don't stop at all. I went straight from high school into college, received my undergrad in business and accounting and got my graduate degree in accounting, all done by the age of 24. Get it done early, then it won't drag on relentlessly for rest of your natural born existence. It is tiring and frustrating and I didn't want any of my life wasted in school. So that is what I did. Masters of Accountancy at 24, that is some cool shit and i am quite proud

StrawberryShortKakes said...

You are very welcome for my comment. I really feel for you because I wouldn't want to be in that situation, especially in another country!

I agree with Phoenix that you are probably not considered a nanny by your aunt/uncle. They probably saw this opportunity to have a cheap babysitter and took advantage of it, as you can see. Obviously I don't know them but I am guessing not all their their intentions were evil, although it may seem that way.

I disagree with Phoenix about not taking any time off from school. It definitely depends on the person. OP, like you said, you weren't sure what you wanted to do at 17 or 18 years old and that is perfectly normal. I was different in that I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I went straight to a large liberal arts college where I could get most of my core classes done early and then decide on my major after the first year. At a college like that, it is fairly easy to change majors and there are many majors offered. For someone that doesn't know what they want to do but has a little bit of an idea (or a few ideas) I would recommend a college like that. If you don't have any idea what you want to do, I would recommend taking time off as not to waste money, college is so expensive! BUT, I would definitely say you would need a plan in order to test out things that you think you may want to do. Maybe shadow someone in a job you are thinking about or observe somewhere. I'm not specifically speaking to you, OP, just anyone going from high school to college :)

RBTC said...

are you sure we are not related? your aunt sounds just like my cousins wife

VERY glad to hear you are on good terms with your parents - as soon as you get enough of this BS have dad "decree" he needs you at home to help him eat all his extra nutrition bars

your gonna be ok !

Bostonnanny said...

I took time off after hs to decide what I wanted to do and completely regret it. I should have just taken general requirements for the first two years at the very least. Now I work full time and go part time which completely sucks because it will take me longer to graduate. Plus all my friends are done with their masters and in their careers while I'm still trying to get my BA. I missed out on the college experience. although I have done will for myself and learned valuable life skills early, I would def go back in time and go straight to college.

gap years are the best said...

I too took a gap year to figure out what I wanted to do. Very common in Europe.

My dear you sound wise as is- you recognize what bothers you. b) you are finding yourself before investing all that time in school.

I thought I wanted to be a wine maker... but taking a gap year and working with kids made me realize how much I love them.

Now I am a pediatric nurse. I can drink wine instead of making it.

I say get yourself in a position where you can buy a ticket back home if needed. Then bring up to her your concerns. Tell her you are happy to help but you feel you need a raise if you are going to continue all those additional responsibilites. Tell her 100 doesn't get you far enough.

Goodluck to you!

MissMannah said...

My advice? Get back to school as soon as humanly possible because the secret English teacher hidden deep within me was screaming in pain while reading your horribly-written post.

Daria said...

OP, do you have a visa? Americans need a visa to be able to work as an aupair in S, which you can obtain if you go through an agency. And if you had gone through an agency the family would not have been able to take advantage of you and pay you less than the law says you are entitled to.

DId you know that Switzerland has the highest salaries in the world? The average salary is $22,6 an hour in Zurich, so if you are going to work illegally Im sure you can find someone who pays more than your aunt does.

Dr. Juris said...

Rotfl....LOVE IT, Miss Mannah.

linda from Sweden said...

OP, after high school I went to Switzerland as an au pair. i stayed for 3 weeks in the family because they treated me lie your aunt treats you (I then switched to be a nanny for a lovely family in the same city).

First of all, the minimum wage for an au pair -which could be what you are- was 650 Swiss francs in 2007. That is definitely a lot more than 100 dollars. Your aunt should be aware of this and you should definitely get a normal salary. Family ties does not matter in this case.

Secondly, I think speaking to her is a good idea. If she won't listen, you can get another job by finding families at aupair-world.net, which was where I found my lovely Swiss family (the one I was a nanny for, not the awful first one).

Also, I don't know which city you are in, but if it would happen to be Basel, I know a lot of people you can contact that can help you if it's needed. If so, just reply here in a comment and I'll give you my e-mail adress.

Please update soon and let us know how you are doing. Good luck!

MissMannah said...

LOL Dr Juris, the million exclamation points just put me over the edge.

MissMannah said...

Oh by the way, I agree with Jedd--if at all possible don't do a gap year. You end up liking the freedom and money way too much and it makes it so much harder to go back to school. That's why I'm 29 years old and still working on my associate's degree right now.

RenQ said...

@Strawberry: agree with you again!! taking a year off is helping me tons deciding what i wanna be :)

@RBTC: probably we are related lol i know im gonna be ok... just im tired of this, thanks again :)

@bostonnanny: Thanks for your opinion :)


@gap years are the best: i do have a return ticket for whenever i want :) im trying to stablish some limits with her, yesterday it worked perfectly :) she brought my cousins home early, at the time im supposed to make dinner, and then she complained why dinner wasn't ready, and i told her that if she wants dinner ready, then she shouldn't bring me the kids early cause i cant take care of the kids and cook at the same time and that im not willing to work extra hours for free!! i just shut her mouth, best feeling EVER :D

@Missmannah: that must be because im Spanish and my mother language is obviously not english ... i mean, if you don't like how it;s written THEN DON'T READ IT!! thanks :)

@Daria: i'm spanish, i don't need a visa therefore i'm not working illegally;) and i didn't know about Switzerland!! thanks :)

@ linda from Sweden: i came here just for the experience and lern german, im NOT in need of money, so if im leaving my aunt im coming back home :) I get 400 ch per month plus a german lessons, so i guess its like 600 ch per month.
I'm in Zurich :)

before reading all your opinions i was simply turning crazy cause i didnt know if i was right or if i was just overreacting... so, all of you had helped me tons!!! THANKS EVERYONE :) in case you wondered, just establishing boundaries makes a big diference :) hope to hear from you soon :)

MissMannah said...

I had no idea the Spanish used an excessive amount of punctuation and had no idea how to do proper capitalization.

unicornsparkleprincess said...

LOL miss mannah! love it.

Dr. Juris said...

I'm confused. You don't have to have a visa to work in Switzerland if you're Spanish? That doesn't seem right.

RenQ said...

@Dr Juris: nope, the European union countries do not need visa to work or move to another EU country :)

Dr. Juris said...

My second question is whether she's from Spain or if she's from Mexico, which she mentioned previously. :)

♫ Amy Darling ♥ said...

OP: Don't take Miss Mannah's comments too seriously Dear. She loves to be the center of attention and in order to do so, loves to create conflict. Check out her previous posts, comments, etc.

I love how she stirs the pot, but I do not take her seriously at all.

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MissMannah said...

Switzerland isn't part of the EU, but they still follow many of their rules such as allowing people from EU countries to work there.

I don't like creating conflict. I like pointing out other people's mistakes. :) There's a distinct difference.

NannyK said...

Choosing to go straight to college or not is a very personal choice and just because it is the common one doesn't make it right.

I dropped out of high school when I was 16 because my dad died and I couldn't focus. Was out of school for a year and a half, worked full-time. Went back for 2 years and completed my associates, and now I've been off for another year. I moved to Colorado so I have to wait a year to be a resident to pay in state prices to go back. Works for some, for others it doesn't but don't project on someone else because it didn't work for you.

Jedd Meir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phoenix said...

I didn't get the "college" experience. I had a family to take care of. I went to night school. My husband at the time was unemployed and we had his son. I worked from 6:00am to 5:00pm as a pharmacy technician (got the license by taking the test, not going to school) I had class from 6:00pm - 10:00pm Mon-Thurs. Thank the lord above my mother employed me on the weekends so I was able to make money working from 10:00am to 5:00pm Sat & Sun. I was so fucking tired. So tired. I did this from age 18-24 until I got my masters and I did summer school. I know for a fact if I had take a year off after H.S. I would have never gone to college. I would have been making money to support my family and I would enjoy the extra time I had.

You see my profile picture? How tired and worn out I look? That is what I looked like ALL the time. I know for a fact that if I tried to do that in my late 20's or early 30's I wouldn't have had the energy. I don’t want to look like that in my 30’s. I wanted to be happy and already on my career path. I had to take out student loans and grants. And I’m going to be paying those off until the day I die but it’s nice to have a jump start. When I apply for positions at companies I am applying with a Masters’ while other people my age only have their BA.

Most people I know who took the time off never got their degree because they would sporadically take classes. Some would get their degrees some wouldn't. By that time you will already be middle aged. And what about the money you can make? Right out of college you won't land a huge salary but you will eventually. I know it's personal choice and everyone does have different goals and situations. You should take your general classes until you can decide what you want to do. College is hard work and it's easier to do it when you are young and you don't have a family yet.

Of course this could be falling on deaf ears. It is something to think about anyhow.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

@ Jedd... what?

Wow Phoenix, that is a very busy schedule! I don't think I would last with a schedule like that. I just started working 40 hours a week and I can barely handle it, I am so tired! I look forward to the weekends to relax and idk what I would do if I didn't have that time to refuel.

It is definitely a personal decision of whether to go straight to college or not. I have some friends that take some classes at night or do part-time and I give them lots of credit! I went away to school right out of high school and I got the whole college experience. I am easily distracted so it was nice to be away to college and only focus on that one thing. I did work a little but not much. Of course I am already done with my BA and have since moved back home but a few of my friends are still taking classes since they are on a longer track. They also work so idk how they get their school work done. I wouldn't be able to do it.

Of course now I have taken a year off before going to get my masters and people have told me not to do that but you just wait and see!

MissMannah said...

OK Phoenix, I am not saying this to be a total bitch, but when you were working and going to school 14 hours a day during the week and 4 hours a day on weekends, what the hell was your husband doing? I understand he had his son to take care of, but please tell me he wasn't unemployed that whole time.

There's nothing I regret more than waiting so long to go back to school. I have always hated school so as soon as I graduated high school, I took advantage of that freedom and immediately started working full-time. So I've been doing childcare for freakin' 11 years but with no degree, I still can't make any real money with it. My husband did the exact same thing. He is 27 and I am 29 and he is about to graduate with his associate's and I'm about halfway through mine, both of us working full-time still. We have no money and we're exhausted and hardly ever see each other but I'm trusting in a year or so it will work out for the best.

The moral of this story is: go to college when you're young and it is easier!

Phoenix said...

You are not being a bitch everyone asks that question. And no he wasn't working and no he didn't want to and no he really didn't care about anything that I was doing. He only started to bring in money this past year and that was because I left him because I couldn't handle it anymore. When I did that he started to make money. It was very exhausting.

lalala said...

oh God, sounds horrible. i'm a nanny overseas as well, and although the family is going through ´thick shit at the moment (one of the parents got paralyzed a month after i came here - been here 3 months now, they're still in hospital) the parents understand how hard it is on me as i'm often alone with the kids (3&4yrs) aaaalll day, from the second they wake up til i put them to bed. easily 4 times a week, plus less intense (:D) babysitting on the other days too.

i really hope you can sort things out with your aunt, one thing is having to work a lot due to a crappy situation, but that sounds like they have no respect for you... lots of love from Ireland! :)

RenQ said...

@Dr Juris: from Spain living in Mexico :)

@Amy: I really don't take them seriously :)

@msmannah: that's what o tried to say, thanks :)

@phoenix: i'm definitely going to college, I actually start in june :)


Thanks again everyone!
things are actually going better, establishing boundaries is the key, at first my aunt was like "what the hell is going on with this girl", but after a few days she realized i wasn't willing to keep taking BS from her, so now I just work my daily hours, not 1 sec more, not one sec less, she is obviously not thrilled about it but as long as i'm good i don't care what she thinks.