30 January, 2011

Dealing with Different Parenting Styles

Received Sunday, January 30, 2011
opinion 1 I am a new career nanny and I found a position as a weekend mothers helper. It upsets me to see that the mother works full time and the father is looking for a job. They have a house keeper and they are paying below the going rate. I mentioned to the mother this and she said that after 6 months I will get a raise... Since both parents are home its fine. However it does break my heart that the father is on board with what I say and want to do with the 2 year old boy -lets call him John- and the mother spoils him (with a brand new toy every time I am there) instead of paying attention to him.

During the interview she was impressed with all of my qualifications and my belief system on how I work with/raise children. I live in a vegan house hold and she said she would love to incorporate that type of life style. It felt like the perfect fit! A few days ago was my 2nd day and the household just seemed to be every where and the mother seemed to get jeleous or mad at me whenever I tried to do something my way, ex put him down for a nap, instead of reading a story with the lights dim in his room the mother cuddled with him on a couch. Or for breakfast they gave him cinnibon frosting and wondered why he was jumping everywhere and I tried to get him to eat an apple instead. Has anyone ever dealt with a situation like mine. How did you deal with it?

29 January, 2011

The Kids are all right. Really.

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
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guest column I have a favorite family that I only see once or twice a year when they visit their Northern California home. For the past ten years I have been Nannying for them on weekends every June for their summer visit, and for the last few years, they come for the Christmas holidays as well. We have a great rapport, the parents and I, for the most part because I have total respect for the way they run their household. They abhor media exposure for their four children, and beyond the laptops that their kids do study programs on and to Skype friends and family (myself included), there is no exposure to speak of. No TV. No iPods. And definitely no social networking. Their oldest daughter, now a freshman in High School, has been trying to test the boundaries of these rules. Namely, she has wanted a Facebook page. Badly. Last August, after their visit, and many discussions of why her parents didn’t want her to socialize online, but rather pursue other forms of childhood entertainment such as reading and playing and artwork, I got a strange e-mail from Facebook telling me that “Don’t tell” wanted to add me as a friend. It didn’t take me long to figure out who “Don’t Tell” was, for even though she hadn’t put up a photo, her only other friend was one of my friends – the lovely young college student who was their main Nanny at home and had been travelling with them for several years. I clicked “ignore” and made a mental note to follow up later with her parents, because, as I wrote, they are completely against their young teenagers embarking on an online existence. Well, I got crazy busy at work that day, and had forgotten about the entire e-mail when my darling little “Don’t Tell” sent me a Skype message. I wrote her back and asked her directly about it, and she said that she had tried to secretly have a Facebook page, but had gotten busted in about ten minutes by her Dad, and had gotten a stern talking to and had learned her lesson.

There was more to the story, however. This Christmas, as the parents and I were catching up in the kitchen, I mentioned the Facebook fiasco to them and they said what really had bothered them was that it was their college aged Nanny who had set up – and encouraged – their daughter’s Facebook page. They were wounded that a long-term employee would go so blatantly against their wishes. They had felt that there was no choice but to let her go as they no longer trusted her with following the values that they had so strongly set up in their home. I agreed with their actions, as I’ve seen this before, this behavior of Nannies, where they think that they know better for their charges and go completely against the wishes of the parents.

I think the most extreme example of this would be the Nanny who preached veganism to her three-year-old charge – the middle child of my old nanny family I worked with when I still lived in New York – to the extent that the toddler was totally conflicted with every meal placed in front of her – for years.

As a Nanny, I always try to follow the example – and values – and household rules – of the parents. Even when I don’t agree. And there have been times when my ideals and the parent’s ideals totally clash, but I fall in line for I am the employee and they are the parents. I like to say that I have extremely definitive ideas on the proper raising of children. And someday – if and when I have my own children - I will follow those rules to the letter like my very own scientific experiment. And then we shall see how right I am really am. But for now, it’s the way of the parents or the highway. I do not choose the highway.
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

28 January, 2011

Is Clueless MB Pulling a Fast One on this Nanny?

Received Friday, January 28, 2011
opinion 1 I am new to being a career nanny. I have found a gig being an after school nanny three days a week. We agreed I get there at 3:30 to pick up the dog and pick up the first son at the bus stop at 3:00 and get the 2nd son at 330 and she said I will be there until the db gets home at 6:30ish and we agreed on (15 an hour) 150 a week guaranteed (and days off when the college is closed because mb is going back to school) which is fine - I was originally looking for a full time nanny position but I love the family and the kids but lately it just seems that mb is not good at giving directions.

I went there once for mb to show me the school bus drops off and then I jumped in to working. Day 1) They live in an apartment and the owners live down stairs and I was told to keep everything quiet and not to disturb them downstairs and the dog wouldn't stop barking so I had to lock the dog in the crate (as directed by the older daughter - who I think is perfectly capable of watching her two brothers) but who am to say that? I have a job anyways I hated doing that it didn't feel right. I was also unaware of the state coming to work with the daughter for the fact that the daughter had mild special needs until a stranger knocked at the door I was also un aware that they were going out of the house. It was also getting close to dinner time and the family is organic and 2 out of the 6 members of the family are vegetarians (I am organic and my mom and sister are vegetarians). I remember during the interview touching base about that but I was unaware of the family eating together so I made the children some food based off of their diatery restrictions - because it was dinner time and they were hungry. All was good I thought and the children ate. Dad boss came home freaking out on me saying it was very important to eat dinner as a family.

The second day the mom texted me saying she left me a note with directions when I got home - I looked and I couldn't find it so I texted her to text me what the note said and she said to ask her daughter to help me it was missing in action. She seemed to get mad. Whatever.... the third day I mentioned when pay day was (I called her in the morning) she said I could get paid every week which was fine, she wrote me a check that bounced which i didn't know at the time I cashed it (this was Friday.) I got a text from her 4 days after that saying it was from a bad account and that she was sorry. I rushed to my bank and they closed out my account. X_x However she did give me cash the next time I went over there.

The next day at work she wanted me to cook dinner with the kids, then she mentioned to help with laundry and look for a book for the daughter to do a project - I am sorry but I am here to watch and help the boys (or so I thought to myself. I didn't say anything and spent a good 45 minutes looking). Is it just me or is this position getting difficult, or the mb isnt good with directions. Also I agreed on 10 hours a week with 15 an hour guaranteed but I am there from 3-6:30/7ish, isn't that 20 hours... Should I complain. I love the family I just don't know if they are pulling one on me.

Update: Suggestions on How to Soothe a Colicky Infant?

Received Friday, January 28, 2011
opinion 1 I wrote in earlier about the 10 month old I'm nannying for so if you would like to know the background please scroll down and the title is "how to soothe a colicky baby." Now this email is going to serve two purposes so please help me out with both if you can.

Update on the screaming fits: I spoke with the mother and they just had a check up and everything was fine. So now I have a feeling it's all for attention. I'm not sure if this behavior has been taught by the mother or the previous care giver but I'm having some issues with the job. I'm going to give you the lowdown on our day and hopefully someone can offer some more insight or possibly things other people have found helpful.

She has a written schedule with her naps and feeding on it. We pretty much follow it since she's been on it for awhile.
-In the morning she normally gets here around 8:45 or 9. She falls asleep for her first nap shortly after that.
-When she wakes up it's normally 11:30 so we start lunch.
-For about 2 hours after lunch I put her in her pack and play with her toys or I lay down a large blanket on the floors and I lay her toys out on that. I always switch them out everyday so that she's not playing with the same thing everyday.
-She normally has a snack and then goes back down for her 2nd nap. Sometimes it goes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2--3 hours.
-When she wakes up we have play time together. I read to her, we play with her toys, we put on music and "shake our diapers", if it's nice out we go for a walk in the stroller, and if it's warm enough out we play at the community playground.

I understand babies need attention but I'm also a firm believer in helping them develop independence and learning how to entertain themselves. The playtime in the pack and play is designed for that purpose. The issue I'm seeing is that she needs constant attention. She will play with a toy for about 5 minutes then look at me and start crying and if I don't respond the screaming fit ensues. When she realizes that I'm not going to come get her she will do a half cry, stop and look at me, and the pattern continues. Does anything think this is a learned behavior because when she does at home or the previous caregivers they immediately pick her up? If I even walk past the pack and play (with the way my living room is set up I have to walk past it to get anywhere else) she starts crying and screaming if I don't pick her up. Is this normal? Should I just continue to let her cry it out? Is there anything else I can do to help her begin to entertain herself?

The second thing I need some advice/help with is the mother. I agreed to take this job because first of all I needed it and being a military wife I understand what she's going through being alone while her husband is deployed. She's a store manager and I understand things happen. I've worked retail before and I definitely know the responsibility that goes along with being the store manager. I work 5 days a week, I work about 9 hours a day, and I get paid $150 weekly. (I know it's not nearly enough and that's becoming the problem). I've only been working for her for a month and she's late almost every single day. One day recently she text me and said "have to stay till 8:30, sorry" and she didn't show up until almost 9:30. She didn't ask if it was okay, or if I had plans, she just assumed her being late was going to be okay. She's also had to switch the schedule last minute about 3 or 4 times. I schedule my time with my husband, my errands, my appointments around the schedule she gives me at the beginning of the week.

I do not want to lose this job. We just found out I'm pregnant and we will need the extra income. I plan on working up until 7 months when I go home to my parents (my husband will be deployed and I don't want to be alone) so I definitely don't want to lose this job, but how do I go about bringing this up? Should I ask for a raise? Should I start charging a "last minute" fee for the days that she's late or when she changes the schedule the night before? I do have a contract with her but it's obviously going to have to be amended because this is getting out of hand. Any help with either situation would be extremely appreciated. Thank you all so much.

Entertaining Ideas?

Received Friday, January 28, 2011
opinion 1 I have been a nanny for several different families and all of them different. I am now in a position where I am very happy and would like to please my boss by putting together a solid daily schedule for her 9 month old boy. Right now it's very cold out so we don't go outside but luckily I work in a big building with lots of friendly people and other nannies. He has a solid feeding/napping schedule which works great for him but for in between those times I am looking for help designating time slots for reading, music, physical activity to maximize his learning potential. I know this seems like a no-brainer task but I am looking for some interesting and different ideas. He is a very smart, and advanced little 9 month old boy who is a joy to work with and I'd like to make sure that he is getting the best of me, and that his parents are getting their $'s worth as I get paid a very good pay check and have very caring employers who treat me with the utmost respect. Any suggestions, opinions etc would be helpful and thanks in advance!

25 January, 2011

Suggestions For an Easier Nap Time?

Received Tuesday, January 25, 2011
opinion 1 I am having a problem and hoping to get some advice from my fellow ISYN readers.

I nanny for twin girls 3 days a week. They are 11 months old and I've been with them for 4 months now. They take two naps a day-a short one in the morning and a long one in the afternoon. My problem comes with the afternoon naps. They normally went down pretty easily, but lately the two of them have been having issues going down-one more than the other. So here's the issue: one baby-I'll call her Maddie-has been crying and screaming for long periods of time. Maddie will stand in her crib screaming. This is abnormal for her, as she used to babble for a little while and just go to sleep. Now it goes on for long periods of time-30 minutes or more. I have tried different tactics. If I go in and try to calm her down, she just gets more worked up when I leave. I also put her in the swing, which generally will put her to sleep, but the two of them are getting to be too big for it and I don't have alternatives. Also, it just doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to anyways. If I hold her, she thinks it is time to play. I've talked to her parents and it doesn't seem as if she does this with them-only with me. The other baby sometimes has these problems, but mostly it's Maddie.

How do I try and alleviate this problem? Is there some trick anyone has in order to ease nap time? I worry about letting her get overtired and her crying for long periods of time is not good either. Her parents and I do not like to do this. My thought now is that she just wants me-as in she is worried she'll miss something. But how do I work with this? If she doesn't nap, I don't get things done during naps that need to be done. Any suggestions?

What Do They Need Me For?

Received Tuesday, January 25, 2011
rant 1 I have a complaint: I can't stand the parents I work for on the weekends. They have beautiful twins that are 6 months old. I am not the only nanny. Besides me, they have a full-time (Mon-Fri) nanny, and a late afternoon/evening nanny, plus grandma. They are both doctors so I understand the full-time nanny. But why do they need me?

They are calling me to work every weekend. You would think that after working full-time during the week they want to spend time with their babies. Today was the worst. They are NEVER at work on the weekends, they are doing errands, at the gym, or spending time together - without the kids.

When I arrived, mom brief me on what the kids had been up to. Mom told me - "The kids are so excited to see you and they are so talkative when your here." Gee, mom and dad, if they actually have the babies, don't speak to them, or for that manner, hardly do anything with them. Its really sad to watch. They are into their own little "country club" world and don't seem to know they have kids. The dad plays guitar or watches football. Mom does spend time with them, carrying them around like footballs and not saying two words to them.

Today I wanted to scream at her. When she came home she said - "ok, I can take them (the babies) from here - thx and bye." She is always like that. I had an obvious upset baby, he had a really upset stomach. Mom told me - "oh, he is just tired and needs a nap, just put him down in the crib." I had told mom that the baby had been kicking his legs and was not comfy at all. He had a lot of gas in his tummy. She said - "just put him in the crib." She got mad at me. So unwillingly, I put him the crib. I headed out the room and he was screaming. I knew his stomach was bothering him, he had not gone potty in 3 days (#2) (excuse me) and was extremely unconformable. The full-time nanny writes me notes, since the parents really don't communicate with the nannies.

As I went downstairs the baby was screaming, and in my heart, I just wanted to cry. It was so sad to listen to. I need to not go back there although, obviously, those babies need me. This is so hard.

23 January, 2011

CL-WTF?

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.... WHAT?!

Feature:
1) Nanny Needed (Texas)
Now, I am completely serious here. I have 32 year old husband that is 5'10 165lbs, thin framed guy. Here's he catcher.............He's an "adult baby" (just google that term) and in diapers 24/7. We have a power exchange relationship where he is the submissive and I and all women the dominant. I m looking for a female willing to babysit him when I go out. Will pay 12$ an hour and for the most part you'll just sit and watch TV w/ him at your feet. There will be the occasional diaper change ( no #2's though!) and feeding of bottles and dinner and such. Just raply if your intrested and I'll send pics and explain a little more. Basically your babysitting an over sized baby is all. 12$ an hour! Location: South Austin.
URL: http://austin.craigslist.org/dmg/2160161830.html
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Special thanks to Betty Spaghetti for our Feature! Also, thank you to the following readers for their contribution: mbargielski, MissDee, nannydebsays, nannybee, cheesenipsaregood, NC, megrose123, NJnannyC, HungryCollegeStudent, vintagebeauty03, JacquiRodgers, AmyFacie and taranels... all of you did an awesome job! For those that don't see your ads, for a change I received an overabundace and will Publish them next weekend. I really appreciate all of your help! Please send next weeks CL-WTF Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the ad, if possible! Thank you!

TO READ THE REST OF CL-WTF: CLICK HERE!

Dealing with a Child's Anxiety Over a New Nanny

Received Sunday, January 23, 2011
opinion 1 I am in a predicament now and desperately need your advice as I need to make a decision SOON!!

Here's my situation: I have currently been working as a nanny for this family for about 6 weeks. The little boy is 1 1/2 and when I started watching him, he had very bad stranger anxiety. He would sometimes vomit when his parents left in the morning and it was hell dealing w/him every day. Now he is 100% used to me and things are smoother. The pay is not very much, I am only making $10/Hr for caring for him and I work 20 hrs pr wk. During his nap times, I have chores to do around the house until he wakes up. I have noticed that I am being asked to do more chores as time goes on such as add'l dishes to wash and add'l laundry to fold, etc. Overall the job is okay. Now I just got offered another job from a previous nanny employer who gave my contact info to a friend of hers and the friend and I met for coffee. Things went great and she offered me a job caring for her 2 1/2 yr old daughter. Same hours, but for $12/Hr. Now I know an extra $2/Hr does not sound like much, but it adds up to an extra $40 bucks a week, right? Also, in this job there are no chores involved..just caring for the child, that's it. The woman said I can use my downtime for studying (I am a part-time student) or reading, etc. She won't need me for another 6 weeks however. (I have enough money in savings so going w/out income until then will not be an issue.)

What should I do? My current job pays less and has more job duties involved, the other job I was offered has more pay and less job duties. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Wrong. The reason I am hesitating is because of the child w/my current family. He went through SO much stress to get to the point he is now w/me, he trusts me now and it was such a long road for us to get here. If they have to hire a new nanny to replace me if I leave, he will go through so much stress again and I will feel guilty doing this to him. ;( I truly care for his well-being. Honestly. Yet at the same time, I would prefer a better paying job with less job duties. I have already done some occasional babysitting w/the new family just to see how things were and they really are great to work for.
If this were a typical job where no child was involved, it would be a no-brainer. But since a small vulnerable child's feelings are involved here, there is so much more at stake. What should I do guys??? Help me!!

22 January, 2011

Overbearing Grandparents...

Received Saturday, January 22, 2011
opinion 1 I am writing to the readers of ISYN to ask a question and get some opinions.

I want to know how all of you fellow nannies deal with overbearing Grandparents. I am a nanny for a 17 month old boy, and have been his nanny for almost a year. Throughout this time, my charge and I have cultivated a very strong bond. My charges Grandmother comes to visit once a year for almost 6-7 months at a time. My problem is that I feel like his Grandma undermines me. I will give a few examples, and I would love it if you would give me some advice on dealing with this.

We have just started potty-training, which some of you know, is quite a daunting task. The method the parents and I have chosen is a pretty simple one. We have him sit on the potty when he wakes up in the morning, after breakfast, before his nap, after his nap, after lunch, before and after bath, and before bedtime. He knows to sit on the potty until he goes, whether it is poop or pee. During this time we’ll read a book or play a game or just talk. It is a method that works for us, however, Grandma (I will call her Beth) thinks this method is useless. She constantly tries different things which bother all of us. The parents of my charge have said something, but it hasn’t made any difference.

She also likes to tease my charge. Whenever my charge is playing with a toy, she will come and take it. As if she is trying to pry him away from playing with me. She is constantly locking him in her room with her. I always go get him, especially when my charge starts screaming and crying to come out of her room. She has a problem with changing his diapers. We are constantly checking/changing his diapers to prevent diaper rashes. I have hear stories from my charges parents about Beth letting the baby go hours at a time in the same dirty diaper. Once again the parents have said something, but little has changed.

It has gotten to the point where Beth is constantly threatening to leave because she feels as though we are always criticizing her. Which at times we do, but when it concerns the health and safety of a child, I think it is important. I would really like to know how all of you deal with this. Or if any of you have to/have had to deal with it.

Bad Cop

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
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guest column Last week, Lila wrote in with a great comment, about how it is very hard for some Nannies to say “no” to their charges, and suggested that I might run with that topic for a future article. Lila, I would write about that in a heartbeat, except I know nothing about that breed of Nanny, for the truth is that “no” is one of those words that tends to fly out of my mouth with great speed and fortitude in continuous five minute cycles throughout any given day. I even have been given a nickname at work. It is “Bad Cop.”

I was raised in the 70’s, truthfully, a decade of decadence and debauchery, absent parenting and divorces, and tons of parents burnt out from the big old sixties party that had preceded my formative years, but my parents, even though they were beatnik artist types that hailed from the East Village, had a stable, strong marriage, and were big on discipline. There were no elbows on our tables. We children went to bed clean and well groomed and well before 8pm. We did not eat anywhere but at the dining room table. Talking back earned you solitary. I balked against these rules as a child – and even more as a teenager - and thought them both overbearing and unrealistic. I longed to live in a place where one could eat a cracker in the car, or a cookie on the couch with the TV blaring loud. I often imagined myself as a grownup, living in a rule-relaxed atmosphere, my shoes up on the sofa, dirty laundry piled on the floor, and a wet towel on my bed. Ah, heaven.

But then, of course, I grew up, and began paying for all my own stuff. A car, my mother likes to say, is the equivalent of a $25,000 sofa. Do you really want to let kids eat all over your $25,000 sofa? And the sugar thing. All kids want to exist on a diet of crap. As I once did. But once you learn about nutrition and read all those articles about childhood obesity and early onset diabetes, well, I make sure to pack healthy snacks and little water bottles for our outings. Every lunch I pack is loaded with fruits and vegetables. I’m even stingy on dessert. As a child I used to cry out in protest at the teensy tiny slices of homemade pie my mother served to us. My Father called those wafer thin slices “cheap pieces” and my brothers and I couldn’t have agreed with him more. I swear you could see through them. But now, I would skip serving dessert all together if my employers would let me. Dessert is the first thing on the chopping block of bad behavior related consequences that I will begin to list at the first blush of disobedience. It goes a little something like this:

The four-year-old boy will not remove himself from the car. I am standing by his door with three re-usable grocery bags slung over one shoulder, which are planet friendly, but are digging into my skin, and his seventeen month old sister on my other hip who is trying to remove items from my handbag and throw them on the lawn. I say firmly,

“Four year old boy, if you do not remove yourself from this car by the time I count to three, there will be major consequences.”

He begins to move before I can say “one” for he knows well what “major consequences” entails. Loss of dessert, television, audio entertainment (the ipod in the car. It’s a hit) Thomas trains, bedtime book reading, and for the really heinous crimes, solitary bedroom confinement.

The truth is, it’s easier to let bad behavior go. Making a toddler toe the line takes up a great deal of time. But just as I am not one of those nannies that always say yes, I am also one of those Nannies that feel amazingly invested in the lives of the children I care for. I love them and I care about the people they grow up to be. If that makes me act the Bad Cop, so be it!
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

20 January, 2011

Mother-to-be Nanny is in a Quandry

Received Thursday, January 20, 2011
opinion 1 I'm in a little dilemma : I am 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first child due early in April. I have been a nanny for my family for almost 6 years and we have a good relationship. I disclosed my pregnancy at 3 months and they seemed happy and excited.

For the last few months, my husband was out of a job and it was the mutual understanding of the family and I that, should he still be without work by the time the baby comes, he would stay at home and I would go back to work for them. Well, my husband just started a great new job. He was offered a much higher salary than we had anticipated, meaning that I now have the option of staying at home with my baby for at least 3 to 6 months. This is definitely what I would like to do. But how do I tell the parents? My husband has told mom boss already about his new job and that I would now be able to stay home for a while, but mom boss does not know how long.

She took me aside last week and stood me in front of a calendar where she pretty much told me that she has coverage worked out for 1 month and that she knows that I will be back after that anyways! She doesn't seem to even think about the logistics of all of that. They have 2 kids and my car is already crammed with their car seats ... adding another infant seat to the mix will be almost impossible. Also, the two kids go to daycare ... all the germs they bring home might affect my baby's health! He would only be 1 month old when she wants me to return back to work!

Also, I feel it is not fair to my baby or their kids if I return that early ... on one hand, I want to make sure that my child is taken care of first (after all he is an infant), on the other hand I get paid to take care of their children. What do I do if my child cries and wants attention, but the two others want the same? What do I do if we are out running around playing and all of the sudden my child needs to breastfeed (I am planning on breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months)?

In addition, summer vacation starts in June and the kids will want to go on outings every day. I cannot imagine taking my then 2 month old to outings all the time, having to breastfeed, changing him, etc in addition to watching two very active kids. I need advice on how and when i tell them that i will not be available until after the summer vacation. I surely understand that they might want to hire someone else long-term (instead of just a summer nanny) and that i will loose my job. That is not a problem, as i will continue staying in contact with them and the kids. I want to give them as much time as possible to find a replacement, but I don't want them to resent me for my decision and make the last couple months of work miserable for me (I doubt they would do that, but i have heard many stories where it happened).

IKEA - Houston - Good Nanny!

Received Thursday, January 20, 2011
nanny sighting 7 At the IKEA Houston store, chatted with the clown who said their childrens program attracts many nannies every week and the clown said all the nannies are good with the kids, joining in the activities - i was happy to see this take place.

I told this nanny she was a good nanny and about this site and got permission to send in the pic - the nanny's name is Maria, the kids are L., J., and C., the clown is" Jiggles." In one pic they are all dancing, at another point the nanny and clown helped the kids make a big flower balloon which they then promptly presented to the nanny. Just to make sure i was not being tricked i whispered to the kids " Do you like your nanny? All three said, "yes!"

Comforting to know there are some Nice Nanny Hot Spots!
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Vivian Maier - Her Discovered Work

This was created in dedication to photographer Vivian Maier, a street photographer from the 1950s - 1990s. Vivian's work was discovered at an auction here in Chicago where she resided most of her life. Her discovered work includes over 100,000 mostly medium format negatives, thousands of prints, and a ton of undeveloped rolls of film. I have approximately 90-95% of the work. - John Maloof
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Special thanks to Rachel Nickerson for her Submission.

19 January, 2011

Suggestions on How to Soothe a Colicky Infant?

Received Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Opinion 4 I have a slight dilema lately and could really use some help.

Background on my job: I care for a 10 month old girl. I'm a military wife and the woman I work for is also a military wife whose husband is deployed. I know how it is when a deployment rolls around so I know the hours and the pay aren't going to match up but I don't mind helping her out and to be honest I needed a job for the money and for something to do. I work 5 days a week. Normally 3 week days and a Friday and Saturday. During the week I work 9-6 and on the weekends it's normally 1:30pm-11:30. (she has been frequently late and I plan on taking that up with her asap) and I make $150 per week. I work from my house and I have absolutely no responsibilities other than the well being and care of the baby.

On to my problem: I've been a nanny for 7 years. I've cared for every from infants to teens. I've never had any issues with children. I have glowing references and I keep in contact with every family I've ever worked for. I've never dealt with anything like this and I've seen my fair share of crying and fits. For some reason when she cries, she doesn't just cry. She screams so loud, for so long, and in such a high pitch that she literally loses her breath and can't catch it until she stops. I've never heard a child do this before unless they were seriously hurt or injured.

My husband came home early from work one day and the baby and I were playing in the living room where he was watching tv and all of a sudden she just started the crying and screaming. Nothing was done to her, she didn't get hurt, nothing. My husband was like what is going on and I had no answer. The mother never mentioned any problems and I'm at a loss for what I should try next. I've tried calming baths, I've tried soothing her, I've tried driving her around (her mother suggested that for when she's upset or fighting nap time), I've tried strolling her through the neighborhood, and more. I mean I've really tried everything I can think of and nothing is working. The screaming is so bad I've had two neighbors come over and ask me to keep it down. Is there a trick to soothing a baby who screams like that? Sometimes she just cries but mainly she has these screaming fits.

I'm sorry if this doesn't seem like a problem to anyone else but I've honestly never had to deal with an issue like this. Kids cry and throw fits and get mad but I've never had a baby who screams like this for no reason. Suggestions and advice are welcome!

18 January, 2011

"I'm Outta Here!"

Received Tuesday, January 18, 2011
rant I have a rant for you. I provide part-time childcare for three families in their homes. I love two of them. I've been with them long-term, the parents treat me well and I've bonded with the children. But I am over dealing with Family #3. I took the job five months ago--$120 to take care of three young children for 10 hours per week. Here's how it's going...

First of all, there are also two school-agers, so when they're not in school I have to take care of 5 children instead of 3 for the same pay. Second, the mother calls me rather often and tells me that something came up and she won't need me to come that day. Or week. Or last time, two and a half weeks. On the other hand there are also times when they need me to work 35 hours/week and pay me $200. An extra $80 for an extra 25 hours?!

The children are not disciplined. Just this morning one of them ate some of his breakfast, then screamed and threw the rest of it on the floor. Then another yelled, "F***er!" And don't even get me started on their home. Stains on the floor and furniture, old food in the toy boxes, dirty dishes in the kitchen, used pull-ups on the bedroom floor, used feminine products on the bathroom floor... I'm looking for another job--looking hard--and as soon as I find one, I'm outta here!

When is the Right Time to Ask for a Raise?

Received Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Opinion 4 I just have a few concerns that im not sure I should be concerned about. I've worked for this family of 1 child for about 6 months now. I have worked for many families of which I never really got a bonus or any gift from. Aside of that all my families were great families, treated me with respect. I'm twenty by the way. My mother owns a children with disabilities home since I was very young, I also grew up with foster infants and children until eighteen and have been a (generally holistic) babysitter/nanny since 16 also while working at afterschool day care with school aged children. I already am 8 credits away from my BA in neonatal nursing. So generally at every job i get paid about 10 dollars, thats it. No paid holidays, no benefits, I mean when i'm sick i tell them they wish me luck and no complaints. I feel like i'm under payed, and I'm not benefiting much from my job. Its hard for me to look for another job because I'm extremely close to this family & the child is absolutely easy and amazing holistic supporting and just above all wonderful. I'm stuck i have no idea what I should do. Technically im a mothers helper right now. Usually i have about 30 hrs a week, I didnt work at all during the holidays and this month. They have stated that theyll both be working soon so Ill have a lot more hours.. is that when I should mention a raise?

17 January, 2011

What Happened to CL-WTF?

I have received numerous messages asking why it wasn't Published this past weekend. There is a lot going on behind the scenes right now and to be honest I only had 6 ads. If I am running short and have the time I will peruse CL to make up for the few missing but I didn't have time this weekend and 6 just wasn't enough. I would love to get it back up this coming weekend so if you happen to find any good ones, please send them in. I need your help!
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Please send your Sightings and CL-WTF submissions to:
1) isawyournanny@aol.com.
2) left as an anonymous comment here.
3) Left as an anonymous instant message using the MEEBO toolbar on the main ISYN page.

The Eternal Question...

By Nanny Deb
guest The Eternal Question: Do Moms Want a Qualified Nanny, or a Frumpy Nanny? I recently read "Only ugly, hairy and saggy Nannies need apply" by Denise Cortes at babycenter.com, and started thinking about why moms would feel the need to hire nannies who are…less than attractive by current social standards. Is it basic insecurity? Do they actually believe that a “hot nanny” is going to sweep in and steal their husband? Do they have that little faith in their husbands? Or is it a generic suspicion of any attractive woman they and their spouse come in contact with?

First, the disclaimer – I am a Single Professional Nanny, not a Married Mom, and I am, frankly, fairly frumpy. I have also worked for more than 10 married couples over my 17+ year nanny career, and while I have enjoyed casually friendly relationships with both male and female employers, I have never felt any desire to try to push professional boundaries and develop a more intimate relationship with a “DadBoss”. Never. Ever. In fact, I once left a position after 1 month because I felt the DadBoss was verging on inappropriate behavior. He was a SAHD, and he would hang around me constantly, even when the kids were napping. It’s likely he was just bored or lonely, but it still felt wrong, so I ended the work relationship.

Now, of course, the “hot nanny” stereotype exists because there have been occasions where a husband and father has become sexually involved with his nanny, but frankly, the only example I can think of is Robin Williams, and his former nanny, now ex-wife , Marcia Garces. Of course, attraction is a personal and individual thing, but I don’t find either of them all that attractive.
So what drives the belief that a husband is going to walk away from his wife and kids for the chance to hook up with a hot nanny? It might be that women who have had children are a bit insecure about how they look in comparison to the (often childless) nanny, or it could be simple insecurity in their marriage, for whatever reason. The issue I have with a MomBoss choosing a nanny based on her looks as compared to the way MomBoss sees herself is that the children are the ones who may wind up shortchanged.

Think of it: You’re searching for a nanny for your infant and toddler. You have two top picks. Nanny A has an amazing resume, is involved in the local Nanny community, pursues additional educational options as they arise, has a background in ECE, and hit it off with your kids very quickly. Nanny B has some work gaps in her resume, and doesn’t seem too interested in furthering her childcare knowledge base. She also hit it off with your kids, and has other nanny friends. Who do you hire? If Nanny A is “hot” and Nanny B is frumpy, does that impact your choice? Would you rather have a less than terrific nanny who is going to be absolutely no competition for you in the looks department, or an amazing nanny who is also quite pretty? Do you potentially shortchange your kids to make yourself feel better, or do you go with the best choice for your kids and accept that you need to do some work on your self-esteem and security issues?

The other thing to remember here is that a true professional nanny is going to have appropriate personal boundaries, and that generally speaking, a nanny with good boundaries isn’t going to toss them aside in order to become the evil step-momster who stole daddy away from mommy and destroyed your kid’s lives. Just isn’t going to happen in 99% of the cases.
And when it does happen, I wonder how many of the husband-stealing-nannies are truly “hot” on any level? Maybe that’s fodder for another column…
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If you would like to read more from Nanny Deb, please visit her Blog at http://talesfromthenannyhood.blogspot.com/

Why the Hostile Send-Off?

Received Monday, January 17, 2011
Opinion 4 I am writing because I am saddened by so many nannies writing in that they are feeling anxiety about giving their notice to the families they work for. So many cases of families turning hostile when their nanny moves on to better things. It happens too often and it speaks very loudly of the way these mothers feel towards their nannies: they don't really see their nannies lives as important as their own. It is horrible. I have seen it from both sides of the coin. I have been a nanny, and I have been a childcare provider, a home daycare provider, and now I am a mom who works outside the home and employs a part time nanny. I am far from perfect, but one thing about me is that I respect my childcare provider. I think if more moms were to try providing childcare, they would see things differently. Unfortunately, most of the mothers who employ nannies would never "lower" themselves to take care of other people's children. As nice as these parents seem when their nanny is doing what they are supposed to be doing, they change when their nanny leaves.

I cared for a child in my home for almost three years. When I gave them a month's notice, they reacted very badly. I needed to give notice because I was having severe financial problems and I had no choice: I needed to find a higher paying job, and you can't do that when you are caring for a little one for 50 hours a week in your home. They were not understanding. Their solution was for me to take on more children. I explained to them that I was not happy doing home childcare. They did not care. How does that make sense? Would you want your childcare provider to continue providing care if they were unhappy? I know I would not.

I guess what I am trying to say is: please explain to me this attitude, this entitled attitude these families have regarding their nannies. Why do they treat them like slaves? Why not wish them well and send them off with a smile and a good luck? Why are people such complete jerks? I just don't get it.

15 January, 2011

Persecuting the Nanny

Received Saturday, January 15, 2011
rant You know what pisses me off? Parents or people who go around policing nannies on their jobs. It instantly becomes a federal case when and if a child cries when he or she is with their nanny. God forbid if you speak to a child firmly, all of a sudden they view it as verbally agressive with the kid. I wish these people would mind their darn business and let a nanny do her job. Lets not get what i'm saying mistaken, by all means if you see a child being abused physically by any care giving one should not refrain from stepping in but for the most part many of these parents just have it in for nannies, they have nothing better to do SO they walk around the parks, streets and kids club seeking out nannies to persecute! I CAN'T STAND IT!!!!!!!! That's why many of their kids disrespects and treats them like S__T in public because they dont know how to discipline their children. Leave the nannies alone!!!!!
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Your nanny sightings and submissions may be:
1) emailed to isawyournanny@aol.com.
2) left as an anonymous comment here.
3) Left as an anonymous instant message using the MEEBO toolbar on the main ISYN page.

Should Nannies be Liable for In-Home Accidents?

Received Saturday, January 15, 2011
Opinion 4 I had a sticky situation happen at work today and I really need both parental and nanny advice on this. My charge, a 16 month old little boy will ONLY eat if he gets to watch Sesame Street on his Mother's ipad while he eats. His parents told me when I took the job that I am to ALWAYS have Sesame Street on youtube on the ipad by his highchair or their son will refuse to eat. (They do this since he is a very picky eater and will not eat unless he has a distraction such as Sesame Street turned on.) Anyway, the ipad was charging on the counter today and the Mother told me to just unplug it and take it over to the dining room table to put on as I proceeded to get his breakfast, etc. Well on the way to the table, I accidentally dropped the ipad on the floor (they have hardwood floors..ugh..why can't they have carpet?) and the screen cracked!! I told the Mom what happened and she told me it would cost about $500-600 to replace and that they would just deduct it from my pay in increments. Is this fair??

My argument is that since I am REQUIRED to use it on the job that it is not my fault should something accidental happen. However, I also see it as a huge liability since I am probably responsible for all equipment used on the job. For example, when if a nanny has vacuuming duties? If the vacuum breaks because the nanny accidentally vacuumed a large object, is nanny responsible? Same if nanny has laundry duties? If a nanny doesn't properly empty all pockets and a crayon is still inside, is nanny responsible for any damage done to the dryer and/or other laundry?

There is so much liability caring for someone's child. No insurance is available for any mistakes. Does the same apply to appliances, electronics???? Thanks so much in advance for your help.

The Amazing Race

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
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guest My boyfriend has an affinity for those competition based reality television shows where they make you eat really gross things and do really strange challenges while the clock ticks. Sunday nights this past fall he would muse while we watched “The Amazing Race” that we could totally compete as a couple, and we, The Carpenter and The Nanny, would surely kick ass all over the planet, and I would think, Yes, perhaps, if the challenges involved herding toddlers through a crowded grocery store with a debit card with a set limit, rules that you could only purchase what was on the list no matter the pleadings for surgery items placed at four year old eye level and only twenty minutes to get in and out the door. Oh, and you would get points removed from your total score for each item any child knocked onto the floor. I would dominate on that sort of challenge.

The first time that I thought my work life was exactly like a reality TV challenge was the day that I forgot to order the pizzas for the forth grade end of school party. I realized that I had totally spaced ordering the pizzas (and arranging their delivery) when my Mom Boss called me to thank me for ordering the pizzas. I said,

“Yes. It is good that I remembered to do that.”

I was driving girl baby to pick up boy baby at preschool with the swim bag to meet Mom Boss at her office to hand over the toddlers so she could take them to swim class. I had to meet her in a half hour. And I had to rustle up two pizzas, deposit them at the forth grade class and then proceed with the rest of our set plans in our set time limit. I whipped out my phone and dialed 411 for the phone number for the closest pizza joint at the first red light. Ear buds in place, I sweetly asked for curbside delivery and gave my credit card information over the phone. The girl baby and I smiled flirtatiously at the large man with the grease-stained apron who handed the pizza boxes through my passenger window and thanked him profusely. We pulled into the school parking lot and I then carefully balanced the baby on my hip, the pizza boxes flat on the palm of my opposite hand and walked slowly to the school gate where I was confronted by the keypad. Dammit! I turned to the baby and said,

“Press three.”

She gurgled, made a grab for the pizza boxes and then pulled off my sunglasses.

The clock was ticking. I had to get this done. I leaned towards the keypad and pressed the proper unlocking sequence with the tip of my nose. I entered the fourth grade classroom celebrant, pizza boxes held aloft to cheers of small children. Everyone else got delivered on time. Rebecca Nelson Lubin, you are the first team to cross the finish line!

Seriously, care giving for small children is like a wacky game show where all the contestants are equally egocentric and demanding, albeit really short. The two babies and I were in the market two days ago and it was like negotiating one of those “Survivor” mazes that they string up on one of those exotic locations with Jeff Probst shouting through a bullhorn as the clock ticks your remaining time away and you try frantically to find your way to the finish line. No one wanted to ride in the cart, which would have cut a good seven minutes off of my overall time. Both children demanded soup samples. The soup was hot and drippy. We left carrots and bits of rice in our wake. We had six minutes to get checked out, buckle everyone in the car and pick up the oldest child. I imagined Jeff yelling, “Clean up on aisle four! That’s gonna cost you points!”

I remembered I needed to bring back coffees. The man at the coffee stand took a look at my sticky, drippy crew, grocery laden cart and said laughing as he handed me two hot coffees on a tray,

“That looks like quite a challenge.”

I smiled at him, and at my small charges and said truthfully,
“I love this challenge.”
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

13 January, 2011

Discussing the Dynamics of a 2 Nanny Home

Received Thursday, January 13, 2011
Opinion 4 A couple weeks ago at my charges school I noticed something I have only heard about on TV. A child in my charges class has 2 nannies! There are four children in the family and I guess they find it necessary. Both of the nannies work at the same hours every day. I didn't want to be rude and was pressed for time but I am very curious as to the dynamics of all of this. Does anyone work in a 2 nanny home? Or perhaps more? How doesn't work? Is anyone the "leader"?

11 January, 2011

Are you currently looking for a nanny job?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
126  nannies voted and here are the results:
Absolutely not, I'm very content at my present job. 64 (50%)
Yes, I am an unemployed nanny. 21 (16%)
Yes, I am a nanny in a job I dislike. 14 (11%)
Not really but if a better one came along, I'd take it. 22 (17%)
Yes because my present employers have informed me my job is ending. 5 (3%)

*If you are an experienced nanny looking for a new position or an employer looking to fill a nanny or domestic position, I reccomend Abigail Madison Staffing.   (914) 262-8590.

09 January, 2011

Proper Giving Notice Etiquette...

Received Sunday, January 9, 2011
Opinion 4 I am currently working part time for two families. I have been with both families for the last five months, and I have a great working relationship with both.

I was recently shocked to find out that my husband's company is relocating us yet again (we have only lived in our current city for seven months). I just don't know how to breech the subject with the families. Both of my charges have become quite attached to me, as I have to them. Both families have come to really depend on me. I had absolutely no inclination that we might have to move any time in the next few years when I accepted these positions.
I will have to move in late March, but I want to give the families as much notice as possible. They deserve plenty of time to find a replacement. I fully expect that they will start looking for a new nanny right away, but I will stay on as long as they need me.

I guess my question is, what is the best way to tell them? I obviously will want to talk to the parents when the kids are not around, but I am honestly a little afraid of what their reactions might be. One of the families is going through some difficult times right now and I feel like I am really letting them down. Is there any etiquette for this sort of thing? I plan on telling them this week, so any suggestions from either the nanny or parent point of view are welcome.

08 January, 2011

CL-WTF?

Photobucket
.... WHAT?!

Feature:
1) Alternative family seeks live-in fulltime Nanny/Housekeeper (Oregon)
Mother: exotic dancer, nude model, artist, comedienne, student
Father: musician, rock star, comedian, student
Daughter: 2.5 years, brilliant, dancer, comedienne

We are seeking a full time, live-in nanny. We both go to school and work and enjoy a night out on the town, so we are seeking a person experienced with toddlers, especially with interaction and correct discipline. Must have valid drivers license, and be somewhat of a homebody, since we will need you more often than not and don't want to interfere with social lives. Bi-lingual a plus. Also interested in non-english speakers.

You would have to drive me, the mother, to and from school and work and watch our daughter in the mean time, and also when we would like to have a night out. You would also have general housekeeping duties. You will get designated nights off, and be reimbursed in free rent (your own room), food, all utilities paid, a cellphone, a vehicle to use, and allowance; which will be discussed upon meeting.

If you think you can handle our creative family, and can seriously commit, then please send us an email. We will be moving into a new house in January and would like you to move in with us.
Please send your name, age, experience, a short bio about who you are and your expectations as our nanny. And also any questions you may have. Don't forget, we will need you a lot so please be able to commit and have few social obligations.
URL: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/dmg/2111472108.html
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Thank you to the following readers for their hard work this week: NannyLexy, afnt81, NannyDebSays, N is for Nanny, NoeNanny, VAnanny, brookeelizabeth, MissDee, Courtney, IndianRani87, sailorwolfius and Jessica... all of you did an amazing job! Some ads I couldn't post because they had been flagged before I could pick them up so try to include the BODY! Please send next weeks CL-WTF Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the ad, if possible! Thank you!

TO READ THE REST OF CL-WTF: PLEASE CLICK HERE!

Out with the Old, In with the New... not always true!

Received Saturday, January 8, 2011
Opinion 4 I have many years of nannying experience, and took a temp job over the holiday period. When I took the job, I was told that the family's former nanny, who was supposed to be emigrating earlier this week, would show me the ropes before she left - which I was fine with. However, I discovered upon arriving at their house and unpacking that this woman's visa had not come through and that she would be "helping" me for almost the entire period that the job would last; while I was less than thrilled about this, because had I wanted a shared charge position I would have said so in the ad I placed online, I decided I'd make the best of it. The problem lay in the fact that this lady clearly disliked me; I don't think it was personal, though, because I got the distinct impression that she felt nobody was good enough to replace her. The youngest child had obviously been babied by this woman, to the extent of still being spoon fed and having her teeth brushed for her at an age when either of these things is vastly inappropriate; she was going through a phase of clinging and whining, something which the previous nanny was adamant had never happened before - clearly insinuating that this behaviour started when I arrived. There was a fair amount of passive aggressive behaviour on the former nanny's part as well - things such as not telling me that the keys I had been given would not unlock the front door of the house, resulting in my returning with one of the children to find myself locked out and having to interrupt my MB while she was at work.

One morning each of us took one of the children on a separate outing; she proceeded to watch me bundle 'my' charge up and strap her into her stroller, only to stop me in my tracks once we were outside and re-dress the child (yes, in full view of passers-by) because she felt I had not done it satisfactorily. (why did I say nothing, you ask? Because I was speechless that she was even doing this - I would never DREAM of being so rude to someone I had only just met) Since I needed the extra money badly and the job was only for a few weeks, I gritted my teeth and said nothing - but what I'd like to know is how your readers have dealt with this type of situation if they have encountered it? I realise I'm probably lucky never to have encountered this sort of behaviour before, and would welcome any advice on how to handle it if it should crop up during a more permanent job - since my current charges are growing up and I am applying for new positions.

07 January, 2011

Got Lunch?

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
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guest I was reading the comments to my “Sick Days” posting last week as I lounged late under the covers and one caught my eye, as it has been a topic of discussion between my boyfriend and myself. As many couples do, we like to “talk shop” on our time off together. He works as an architect / carpenter / contractor, and is usually employed in people’s homes, as I am, so even though I work directly with children and he with hammers, we find a lot of common ground to discuss in our respective careers. The comment that gave me pause was from “Petra” who did not offer her Nanny sick days, but felt that the numerous other benefits she provided more than made up for that, because she offered her Nanny lunch every day. I thought, Lunch? Really? As a benefit? As a reason not to provide sick days? I do not think of lunch as a benefit. I don’t think eating lunch is anywhere on par with staying home while seriously ill. I actually don’t think eating your employer’s food should be an option to a professional Nanny. It’s always a great debate – I’ve seen it here on ISYN before – should the employer provide food for the Nanny?

This is the very topic that my boyfriend and I have been talking about. Should Nannies eat at their employer’s expense? He thinks, yes, within limits. My vote is no.

I’m one of those nannies that feel it is important to bring my own food to work. And as I stay over night three times a week, I make sure to stock my breakfast, lunch and dinner away in my little section of my employer’s fridge upon arriving at work Monday morning. I don’t have anything against tossing a tator tot in my mouth as I serve dinner to the kids, and just last night when my employer urged me to try one of her lamb chops I did not decline, I just feel as a general rule, it’s best to provide my meals for myself. I think otherwise, the employer ends up spending a great deal of money on their employee – and for something that the employer is really not responsible for. Give me sick days, give me paid holidays, provide me with health insurance and toss me some paid vacation. These are true benefits. I’m an adult. You do not have to feed me. I am not your child. I’m your employee.

I once knew a cook who was told she could buy what she needed from the store on her employers dime. It started out with small items being added to the family-shopping list. A liter of cola. A deli sandwich. A box of tea bags. Within six months it had escalated to approximately $500.00 a month in her personal groceries – on her employer’s credit card - and included trips to markets where the family never shopped. Of course this is an extreme example, but where does the line get drawn? My personal feelings are that it is best to keep the food boundary a rigid one.

“When I was a line cook,” my boyfriend told me, “I lived on BLT’s. I made them in the kitchen every day. I think you should be able to eat at work.”

I partially agreed with him. You should be able eat at work, but as I am not a line cook, but a professional nanny, I think what I eat at work should have been paid for out of my own pocket and purchased on my own time. But that’s just me. I’m sure not everyone here will agree with me.
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Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at http://www.abandofwives.ning.com/

06 January, 2011

Ironing out the Details...

Received Thursday, January 6, 2011
Opinion 4 I will be traveling with the family that I used to work for full time and now I work for them on a very part time basis. I love them and I am so excited to be going on this trip to Hawaii with them but I have no idea what needs to be worked out. They are covering all costs for me getting there and for lodging, that is all I know at this point. I want to be prepared for when we do sit down and talk so any advice would be great. There are 4 children in the family; twins (6 months), 3 year old and 5 year old. They are awesome parents and I know that they will be spending time with the kids and that we will be doing some juggling of kids, me with babies while they hang with big kids, me with big kids and no babies and sometimes probably all of them. I make $15/hour when I babysit for them. Any advice is greatly appreciated :)

12 Most Ridiculous Baby Trends of Today

Thursday, January 6, 2011
12 Most Ridiculous Baby Trends of Today
Who hasn’t chuckled at strange things done by parents – or been a parent that did something others thought was ridiculous? Everyone has their opinion on babies, and there are so many different healthy parenting styles that families can adopt. But then, there are some things that really go over the top. Here, we examine 12 of the craziest baby trends out there today.

1) Baby gender cakes: Sparked by the Duggars on the Today Show, some parents-to-be are now asking bakers to get in on the big reveal, creating cakes that are either blue or pink on the inside with white icing outside. Together, parents and family members cut into the cake to find out the gender of their baby. Some even choose to throw a party for the occasion.....

Continue reading this article at Masters in Health Care. (Thanks, Celine)

05 January, 2011

Too thin?

Received Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Opinion 4 I have a unique dilemma. Our nanny has been with us for about 18 months. She works four days a week taking care of our children. The four days she works in the home, I am out of the picture, so she handles all school pick ups, drop offs, playdates and practices. As a result, she has contact with many of the mothers I associate with the other three days. A handful of mothers have approached me to express concern over our nanny's weight. I know this is a very sensitive subjects. I explained to the first two people that her weight was a personal issue and I wasn't getting involved. I believe people took this to mean I did not care about the nanny. That is not the case. When the nanny started working for us, she probably weighed about 50 pounds more.  The weight came off gradually and in the beginning she talked about the gym and her diet.  It does appear that she may be "too thin", but I don't know how I would bring this up, if even at all. I believe that is her business, but at the same level, I feel that having had five people approach me in the past four weeks, that she should perhaps at least know. I believe my nanny is very loyal to our family and I feel like I am keeping this from her. As an aside to that, if my nanny needed any help with any problem, medical or otherwise I would help her in any way I could.

Kitty's Need Sitter to Clean their Litter

Received Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Opinion 4 The family I work for is taking me with them to Hawaii. Of course they are paying for my expenses like the plane ticket and food and we are still ironing out all the other things but one thing I've thought of but haven't brought up to them yet is who pays for the pet sitter?

I have two cats that will need a pet sitter to come over once a day to feed them and clean out the litter box. My pet sitter charges 20 a day and that's the going rate so there is no way I can find someone cheaper nor can I ask a family member or friend, I've already been down that road. So who's responsible for paying the pet sitter for 10 days?

Does this Seem Fair or Crazy?

Received Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Opinion 4 I know a woman who has 4 month old triplets and only offered her $10/hr. That seems extremely low to me. She lives in Northeast Florida in an affluent area. Why would a "professional" nanny, if she is one, accept a salary that low for such a difficult job? She will be caring for the kids by herself and knowing the mother she will also require her to do some housekeeping duties. Does this seem fair or am I crazy?

04 January, 2011

Nanny, the Maid

Received Monday, January 3, 2011
Opinion 4 I would like everyone's opinions on this. For 2 years i have worked as a Nanny. I got into the position because I wanted to change lives. My first family treated me like dirt. I got paid 200 a week for 50 + hours. My boss did encourage me to apply for food stamps though! Nothing was ever good enough for her but yet she sung the praises of me to all of her rich friends. Job #2. More money same junk. I am not anyone's MAID! It has become hard to play with the kids when all I can think about is the MOUNTAIN of chores that must be done. I do everyone's laundry and clean every room in the home as well as care for the children. Its a very cold feeling in the home. I no longer feel that I am helping anyone but the parents (as opposed to the children).

03 January, 2011

Still looking but not settling...

Received Monday, January 3, 2011
A day in the life 10 So I've been looking for a nanny position for a few months now, and I interviewed with a family I thought would be perfect. They were out of state, and even though the pay was low, I would only be in charge of 1 child, there was no driving, or cleaning other than laundry so it would be a good job to get some experience and a reference out of. We decided to move forward with everything so they bought a plane ticket and I asked for a contract. When they sent me the contract, it was for longer than we'd agreed, it had me running errands and grocery shopping, and it had me cleaning so much I would be considered more of a housekeeper than a nanny. I attempted to find out why things had changed (but the pay hadn't) and was told that they had misspoken and/or forgotten to tell me. I tried negotiating to something that was mutually agreeable, or what they'd said in the first place, but the family refused to compromise. When I made it clear that I would not be driving on the job (I have little experience driving in the sorts of conditions I would be required to drive in, it wouldn't be safe, and they'd made it clear in the beginning that there would be no driving). They said that's a dealbreaker and asked for me to cover the cost of the plane ticket. I of course said no way. I contacted their states board of labor who made it very clear to both them and me that I was not responsible for the ticket. Ask for a contract and be very careful to read the contract they send, even if you've talked about everything (multiple times) don't assume that what they said is what they're going to put in the contract. Don't be afraid to back out if you can't come to an agreement, you don't want to spend the next year of your life feeling taken advantage of, or have to quit early because the job isn't what you'd been told it would be.

Wretched Mom Chats up the Wrong Nanny

Received Monday, January 2, 2011
rant I'm not sure what topic this would come under for this blog but I know that my fellow Nannies would like to hear this story as they will be able to understand how awful this situation was better than most of my non-nanny friends.

I was at a holiday party a couple of days ago with my husband and we only knew the hosts so we were doing the standard thing, making small talk, discussing what we did, the city etc etc.. We ended up speaking with one couple, the wife of whom jumped on us when I said I was a nanny. She began launching into a tirade about her own nanny and began pretty much bitching her out to me which I felt was totally inappropriate.

She began by saying that she is a messy person despite this, expects the house to be very clean and spotless when she gets home. She expected the nanny to pick up all her clothes and personal items in the bedroom and bathroom and clean them for her. In my own job I am never expected to clean up after adults, my role is childcare so this is not within my contract. Immediately I began to feel sorry for this nanny but thought that maybe it was a communication issue or something. Then the mother launched into an explanation that these different standards of clean were down to a cultural difference. She explained that because her nanny was from the Philippines then of course their standards of cleaning would be different. How could their Nanny really be expected to know what a large western house should be like when she herself is from a 3rd world country where everyone has dirt floors? I was flabbergasted at this statement? Did she really think people lived in mud huts in the Philippines? Does she know so little about her own Nanny? She said that she wished she could afford a career nanny but that right now the live in caregivers program was the only way they could afford childcare so they were stuck with this sort of situation. I began to talk about how I know lots of families who have very happy relationships with the Nannies that have joined them through this program but I could hardly get a word in edge ways and so the rant continued. By this stage it was getting very uncomfortable and she had begun to use my name instead of the name of her current nanny to give examples of the 'problems' she faced at home. "For example would it be too much to ask you to make me a cup of tea for when I get home. I like tea, you know I like tea..." rant continues. I am trying to edge away to the buffet table and eying up the door for a quick escape by this time.

She goes on to explain that her nanny cannot gain the respect of her children although she does admit they are 'spirited and challenging' 8 and 10 year olds(code word for out of control and spoilt in my book) The children call her at work to 'tattletale' on the nanny. She is the CEO of a large company so I am not sure why she allows non-emergency calls from her kids in the first place. Anyway they tell her that their nanny is pulling their hair and the nanny apparently defends herself in the background by calling out that she did no such thing. The mother had issue with her calling out in the background, apparently it is not the mother's job to have to settle petty disputes like this and she resents the nanny for it. She then went on to say that the Nanny has no idea how to be a parent, that she may have her own child back in the Philippines but that child is only 2 and she left it there anyway so how can she really know what motherhood is all about. I was horrified by this statement, and my husband could see I was seething so we moved away. I wish that I had said something to her about this statement because it was so appalling.

I am a white, north American nanny with a bachelors degree and in my 20s. Often this surprises people of similar ages in the area where i live because most of the nannies in the area are Philippino. Although I am in a very different situation with regards to my background I still feel a solidarity with the other nannies who do the same job as me. Just because they are in the live-in caregivers program they are often taken advantage of with regard to hours, bad treatment and ignorance as demonstrated by this mother. Not to mention insensitivity towards the fact that they have had to leave family and often their own children back in their home country.

Before we could escape the party she came back and made some other awful comments including how she has Nanny-cams that the nanny doesn't know about. I was so glad to leave which was a shame because most of the other people there were very nice. I wondered to myself why she chose me to rant to? Not only did I not sympathise with her on any level but I will also now be letting all the local nannies know that their family should be avoided at all costs. If I could not confront her directly at least I could do that!

I should mention that I work for the most wonderful family who treat me fantastically. I have a great contract and am given lots of room for creativity and fun with the kids. I am never asked to tidy up adult bedrooms, am pretty sure I am not filmed and am never called a bad mother. I love my job!
-Pacific Northwest Nanny

Raise Poll

Monday, January 3, 2011
Only 75 people took part in this poll. Here are the final results.

Did you get a raise for 2011?

I don't know yet. 13 (17%)
No. 40 (53%)
Yes, less than $20 a week. 2 (2%)
Yes, $21-$40 a week. 6 (8%)
Yes, $41-$60 per week. 6 (8%)
Yes, more than $60 per week. 8 (10%)

To those of you who didn't get a raise, what do you attribute this to?

01 January, 2011

Holiday Bonus Feature 2010, part II

Saturday, January 1, 2011
Bonus this year (2010): $1000
Your weekly salary: $450, working 3 days a week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Tiffany & Co. silver necklace with name initial +$25 gift card + Christmas card
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: almost 2 years
City, State and Country: Baltimore, MD
Comment: No words can express my gratitude, I didn't expect something like this ever. Their appreciation sincerely moved me to tears. It's not about what they gave me but the fact that they did it when they didn't have to. They are such amazing people, having them in my life is a gift on its own (as cheesy as it sounds it's true). I'm so so insanely happy working for them, I don't even consider it work. They are part of my family. I love them so much, every single one of them. They are seriously the best people I've ever met.


Bonus: Fifty dollar bill
Salary: 700 per week.
Supplementary Gifts: Yeah. Some advice. "Get yourself a pair of good tennis shoes because I want you to start taking X to X park and walking there". The park is about two miles away!
Location: Westchester County, NY
Time worked for the family: 5 months
* I loathe these people. They have a bunch of money. Mom is a psycho and Dad can't keep his snake in  his trousers.


Bonus: $3,000
Salary: $1,200 Four children. fifty hour week.
Years with the family: 9.
Location: NYC
Supplementary gifts: Gift from the parents: an iPad. I am so thrilled to get this! From the children, A coffee cup made and painted at a pottery class. Dangly cat earrings, a box of chocolates with a card saying I didn't have to share them, and from the two year old a beautiful sweater that MB obviously picked out. I love my gifts from the kids, and especially the cards they made.
*I am so blessed to have a job I love with a wonderful family. The only negative is that the children are growing up too fast and won't need me forever!

 
Bonus this year (2010): $0
Your weekly salary: $300 weekly for 20-25 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $75 gift card to retailer, card, picture frame of children
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 3 years and 3 months
City, State and Country: Houston, TX
*I was surprised by my gift. My first two holidays with my family, I received $25 gift cards, then last year a $50 gift card so expected to receive the same amount this year. I feel really blessed to work with such a great family. I always know I never need to worry about getting paid, and they are generous with paid holidays (4 weeks at minimum) and days I request off. Plus this past Summer, with one parent off from work, I received 10 weeks off paid which completely surprised me as this was outside of my typical vacation weeks, but of course was great as I used that time to work for other families as well. I definitely hope to work with this family as long as I am able to and will be sad when the time comes for me to go.


Bonus this year (2010): None.
Your Weekly Salary: $13-$15/hour, depending on how many kids are
present each day; usually 1-2 days per week.
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: A beautiful wallet, some
toiletries, a cute little notebook and a card. (My MB and the eldest
child chose them, and they have great taste!)
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: Almost a year (I
started just after Christmas last year, so this is my first Christmas
with them).
City, State and Country: Canberra, ACT, Australia.
*I'm pretty happy! :) I wasn't really expecting a bonus; nannies aren't
really common in Australia and I'm the family's first nanny as well,
so I doubt MB had any idea that a bonus was standard. She regularly
rounds up my weekly pay quite generously, as well, and best of all, I
love the kids and get treated like part of the family.


Bonus this year (2010): 175 $
Your Weekly Salary: 600$ for about 45 hours a week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: no
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 4 months
City, State and Country: Merrion Station PA USA
*I am getting 2 weeks paid off in early January over my birthday.


Bonus this year (2010): $640 check
Weekly salary: $16/hr, average about $640 a week before taxes
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $100 visa gift card, $25 Dunkin Donuts gift card, $25 itunes gift card and a new pair of uggs as one of the pairs that I have got paint on them from when the baby spilled it a couple of months ago...completely didn't expect that gift at all but was very happy!
Length you have been with the family: 16 months
City and State: Narragansett, RI


Bonus this year (2010): $40 gift card to the movies
Your weekly salary: $250 (when I was full time, now I just watch the kids every Friday night so about $40- $60/week)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: something the children have made for me or picked out for me.
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 5+ years
City, State and Country: Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
*I used to watch the youngest girl three to four days a week from the time she was 6months to about two years old. Then I got another job but stayed on as a guaranteed babysitter for every Friday night. I still watch the girls and I should mention that they are relatives of mine (not very close but decidedly relatives) I had some experience so they asked me to do them a favor and watch their youngest. I never get a bonus, or much more than a $40 gift card to the movies, which I can hardly use as I work weekends seasonally on top of my full time job and my Fridays are spent watching the kids. I love them and all but without any incentive to stay….I think my time with this family is coming to an end. It wouldn’t be so bad if I knew they couldn’t really afford much, or if they had a full time nanny and I really was just supplementary, but they go out every single Friday night. And I know that dadboss makes much more than he pretends. I just don’t feel very appreciated. I do feel respected and I’m very close to the family obviously, but throwing me an extra few bucks once a year or buying me movie passes for the latest film out and giving me a random night off without guilt would go a long way.


Bonus this year (2010): $1000
Your Weekly Salary: $600
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Gifts for nanny's 4 own children (WII game console, dolls) Gift for nanny (kitchenware she admired of mine and week off between X-mas and NY)
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: She has worked with us for 6 months
City, State and Country: Falls Church, VA (right outside Washington DC) USA


Bonus this year (2010): $1500 (not really a bonus, but a gift)
Your Weekly Salary: $0- I have not worked for this family for four years. I am now the mother of one 2 year old myself.
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Dolls, clothes and letter learning toy for my daughter. Cashmere robe, set of silver picture frames and kindle for me, kindle and a bottle of wine for my husband.
City, State and Country: Purchase, NY, USA
*I worked for this family from 2000-December 2006. I now live 1/2 hour away. She never forgets my birthday and still sends me and my family gifts for the holidays. She also gets my daughter a birthday present and even sends a holiday gift for my husband!


Bonus this year (2010): $500
Your weekly salary: about $500
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: a photo album
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 10 months
City, State and Country: Texas
Comment: The photo album is empty, thank God. When I saw the shape of the package I knew what it was and worried it would be pictures of the kids. I have plenty of pictures of the kids and far more use for an empty album. Yay! I was worried what my bonus might be since the family is not loaded by any stretch and I'm their first nanny, but they did me right. I spent about $100 on gifts for them, so I'm glad everything turned out happy.


Bonus this year (2010): $0
Your Weekly Salary: $15/hour (no set schedule)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $100 gift card
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 1.5 years
City, State and Country: Denver, CO
*I was the families regular full time nanny until I went back to school and could no longer work the hours that were needed. The family and I have a wonderful relationship and I love working for them. They welcomed babies into their family this past year and I am truly happy that they've been able to keep me around for nights and weekends so that I can continue to work and see the kids (and the rest of the family.) I got a holiday card from them as well with a sentimental note inside from the mom that really did mean a lot to me. Would I have liked a bonus? Yes, it would have been nice but I'll take what I got!


Bonus this year: $100
Weekly Salary: $800 for 55 hours, PLUS per week. (with no notice). My base is 55 hours. I average 62.
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: A Chico's sweater that is two sizes too small. There is no way it was purchased for me.
Length of time I have worked for the family: 15 months
City, State: Rye, NY


Bonus this year (2010): $200
Weekly Salary: $340 gross for 20 hours ($17/hr)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: no
Length of time I have worked for the family: 2 months
City, State: Greenwich, CT


Bonus this year (2010):  Zilch
Weekly Salary: $765 gross for 44 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: an apron. A snowman her son made for her.
Length of time I have worked for the family: almost two years
City, State: Fairfield, CT
*As an extra bonus, my boss also told me that this year in 2011, they would not be able to pay me when they were away on vacation, so she GAVE me a Wells Fargo calendar with the dates of their travel marked. This includes two weeks the children spend at their great Aunts, a 17 day vacation to Australia, a ski vacation next month (one week) and two other trips. She oh so nicely explained that I should plan ahead and let other people know I am available then so I can still make money. What??


Bonus this year(2010): none
Salary: $600 net for 40 hours a week
Any supplementary gifts aside from bonus: travel size body products worth $39 plus sponges and a homemade card from the baby(the card I loved)
Length of time you worked for family: 1 1/2 years
City, state, country: Boston, MA
*Family is overall good they do the bare minimum to keep me happy. They don't pay any health insurance or gas/mileage or even offer me a raise. I knew I wouldn't get a bonus or a gift comparable to the ones I gave them. I have one more year with them then I'm moving on to another family who will hopefully offer me better benefits.The only thing that upsets me is that my very personal(expensive) and thoughtful gift was kind of shrugged off with a "oh how lovely, thanks." I was hoping for a little more excitement but they aren't the sentimental type I guess.


Bonus this year (2010): 6500, plus a 3500 tax reimbursement
Salary:1200 cash take home, they pay all my taxes
Length you have been with the family: 5.5 years
City, State: Westchester NY
*I went back to school this summer and cut my hours and pay back significantly. This is a wonderful job in terms of pay. At its worst it’s a nutball situation. But I really appreciate the huge bonus and I’m glad to get a monetary thanks, cause I rarely get a sentimental one.


Bonus this year: 10,000 cash. All in 100 dollar bills. No joke.
Weekly salary: 900 after taxes, for 60 hrs
Supplementary gift: A 75 dollar gift card to design my own Converse, which excites me to no end. I wear Converse a lot, but I have no idea how they knew to get me this. I've been hoping for this gift from anyone in my life for like 5 years.
Location: NYC
Length of time employed with them: 16 months
*I'm shocked, moved, amazed + humbled by this extraordinary generosity. In no way has it sunk in for me yet. When they gave it to me I felt lightheaded + my fingers began tingling. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can convey my gratitude to them, I'd really appreciate it. I'm completely at a loss.
I thanked them up and down when they gave it to me yesterday, but I still feel there must be something I can DO for them to convince them of my gratitude. Money is no object to them, so I fear there's nothing I could buy that'd mean much. Do you think a night of surprise free babysitting would be ridiculous?


Bonus this year (2010): 2 weeks pay ($1200 cash)
Your Weekly Salary: $600 (net)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $150+ sweater from my favorite store
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: about 10 months
City, State and Country: Southern California


Bonus this year: 2010 $100
Salary: $350- $400 a week- depending on how many hours worked in a week. Changes every week- but average 35-40.
Length you been with the family: Since July 2010
City and State: Commerce, Michigan
*I also got a cute picture and a stocking full of goodies. Gift cards and a really nice card from the family- telling me how much they appreciate my services. I am very thankful to have this family. It is nice to finally have a great family. I am honored to work for them.


Bonus this year (2010): $1200 cash
Your weekly salary: $500 for 30 hours a week paid extra if worked over 30 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: 2 weeks paid vacation
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 2years
City, State and Country: New York New York


Bonus this year (2010): $440 cash
Your weekly salary: $780 before taxes (40 hour week)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $175 gift certificate to a really nice spa
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 2 years
City, State and Country: Arlington, MA
*Everything about my job is amazing. In addition to the gifts I received, the family also contributed $1000 to pay for me to take a class for fun at a local university this fall. It was very generous of them to do that (even adapting my work schedule so I could attend the class without having me make up all the time I would miss - still being paid for 40 hours). They are constantly letting me know how much they appreciate me. I love my job and I'm looking forward to more time with them!


Bonus this year (2010): A box of candy
Your Weekly Salary: $520 ($13/hr)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: none
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: almost two years
City, State and Country: The West Coast USA


Bonus: $3000
Weekly salary: $1460 after taxes
Gifts: Books and cashmere sweater
Length of time worked: 1 year 11 months
City, State: NYC, NY


Bonus this year (2010): 2 Weeks Pay- $600
Your Weekly Salary: $300 for up to 15 hours- usually around 11 (Guaranteed 15 hours, anything over at 1.5x pay). I am a college student, so only work part time.
Supplementary Gifts: Super super flexible scheduling- basically whatever hours I say!iPad, $200 for lululemon store, $200 for anthopologie, $200 rei, a journal, a waterbottle, scrapbooking materials and super nice scrapbooking pens. For my birthday I also go a kindle, $200 gift card for apple store, and $300 cash.
Lenth of Time you Have worked for the Family: Just over 3 years.
City, State and Country: Berkeley, CA, USA
* I love that they know exactly what I like! They took the time to pick out some special gifts and then gave me money or gift cards to pick stuff out for myself. They leave me little notes/cards and random gift cards for starbucks, amazon, or gas cards just to show they appreciate me. Plus they completely work around my class schedule! They also make sure to check in to make sure everything is going alright for me (from my classes, to the kids listening and doing their HW, to if I need any extra time off around finals! They also make sure to vocalize that they appreciate me. I definitely feel like I am part of the family and truely appreciate them!


Bonus this year (2010): $0
Your weekly salary: $475 cash
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Kindle
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family:14 months
City, State and Country: Washington DC
*I'm really surprised I didn't get a bonus. Every nanny that I know personally got 1-2 weeks, and they don't work my crackheaded hours.


Bonus This Year: $0
Weekly Salary: $550
Supplementary Gift(s): a haircut/style at local boutique, a pair of J Crew cashmere gloves, a J Crew cashmere scarf, a bottle of vitamins
Location: upstate New York


Bonus This Year: $5,500
Weekly Salary: $1,500
Supplementary Gift: a pair of .6 carat white diamond earings from a jewelry store in Greenwich with a gift receipt so I could return them if I didn't like. I love! I love!
Length of time you have worked for family: 18 months
Location: Greenwich, CT


Bonus: A brand-new 2010 car, fully-loaded compact!
Supplemental Gifts: Prepaid maintenance for car, clothing
Weekly salary: $900 for 45 hrs, plus medical, dental, vision, paid holidays and sick leave
Length of time worked for family: 7+ years
Location:Southern California
*She’s the best!


Bonus this year (2010): Nook Color - something they knew I wanted - 250.00! :)
Your weekly salary: 600 net
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: a nice card saying how grateful they are to have me as their nanny to take care of their most prized possession! :)
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: Only 3 months (tom. will be 3)
City, State and Country: Cambridge, MA



I work for 2 families:
Job 1. $3,000,framed picture of the kids,lovely earrings,and a blackberry
Length of time:15 years,started FT but for the last few years 3-6 M-F

Job 2. $25 Starbuck's card and 2 framed pictures of the kids
Length of time:September 2010 M-F 8-2PM
*I am curious but does that sound like adequate appreciation from family #2? I am not upset but was rather shocked!



I have 3 to tell about. The first is a nanny job, the other two I suppose are babysitting positions.
Job 1:
Bonus this year (2010): $100
Your weekly salary: $10/hr 24-30 hrs a week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Picture of the babies, $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble
Length of Time you have worked for the Family: 3 months
City, State and Country: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
*Since I have not been with the family for very long, I was impressed that they gave me a bonus at all, but it was much appreciated!
Job 2:
Bonus this year (2010): $40
Your weekly salary: $8.50/hr 6-18 hrs a week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: No.
Length of Time you have worked for the Family: 3 months
City, State and Country: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Job 3:
Bonus this year (2010): $20
Your weekly salary: $10/hr 4-8 hrs a week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Homemade candies, a large Yankee Candle.
Length of Time you have worked for the Family: 5 months
City, State and Country: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
*I used to be the nanny for this family before they had some financial troubles and switched to a daycare. I was surprised they gave me a bonus at all since we no longer have such a regular schedule.



I work for two families, each with a 2 year old and a 4 year old.
A) Bonus this year (2010): A paid week off
Your weekly salary: $350 (before taxes) for three 10 hour days (30 hours)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $50 to Montanas/Kelseys/Swiss Chalet chain restaurants, $30 to a movie theatre
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 6 months
City, State and Country: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

B) Bonus this year (2010): $50 to the Keg (a very fancy steakhouse), $20 to Tim Horton's (Canada's best coffee)
Your weekly salary: $160 for two 7 hour days (14 hours)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: a bag of coffee, scented candles, chocolates, and an ADORABLE t-shirt with "WE (my name, complete with accent over the E)" screenprinted on the front, with the two kids hand prints on the back... I'm wearing it right now! So thoughtful.
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 4 months
City, State and Country: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Click here to read Part I of this year's bonus feature.