31 January, 2012
Is Nanny Obligated to Stay... and Endure Abuse?
I need some help. I've found myself in a pretty sticky spot and I'm not sure exactly what to do. I've been nannying for a family with 3 children, a set of 4 yr old twins and a 6 yr old, for about 15 months. Things started out great of course... and quickly went south. Since the time I started working there they've replaced their nanny of 3 yrs, the mom quit working from home and moved to an office, they've started building a new home, sold their old home before their new home was ready, then moved into a hotel for about a month, then moved into a very small apartment for the summer, then finally moved into their new home. I was, of course, heavily relied upon during this time. I did all the deep cleaning to prepare their old home to be sold, I did all the cleaning when they moved out of the hotel, I did all of the deep cleaning when they moved into their apartment as well as when they moved out. I also did all of the packing for the kids stuff in every move. I'm now responsible for all of the cleaning in their new home... vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms, kitchen etc. I'm also now responsible for all of the cooking. When my boss goes out of town I work 12 hr days with no extra pay, she just lets me go early one day of that week and calls it "even." I do all of their grocery shopping, I pick up and drop off the dry cleaning, make daily post office runs for her husbands side business... and on and on my duties have accumulated. I'm not being paid any extra for any of this.
On top of everything their oldest son has decided to take out on me his frustration with his parents. He screams at me if I come within a few feet of him. He tells me he hates me and wishes I would never come back. He tells me I'm a terrible nanny and he wishes I had never been born. He always speaks me to me very disrespectfully and condescendingly. For much of these tantrums my boss is still home and she rarely, if ever, intervenes. I've addressed the issue with my boss who tells me he's going through a phase. A couple of months after I addressed the issue I was scolded for his behavior towards me and told I need to do more to connect with him. One of the twins has also decided to take out his frustrations on me with 2 hr long tantrums. To the point where he throws up. He screams at me and kicks the door and tells me he's going to bite me and punch me and kick me and he never wants me to come back. I've informed the mother of his behavior and she chalks it up to "a few bad days."
This is only a very brief description of the things I've dealt with in the last year. They are at times very nice to me. She sometimes gives me $5 gift cards to Starbucks and gives me clothes that no longer fit her, etc. However, after all of this I was anticipating a significant raise in January. I received a $.25 raise. In addition to this slap in the face, she took away my vacation time (I used to get 2 wks of paid vacation time... now I have 3 days from January to June) and I no longer get paid for their vacation time (which I did last year). She also wants me to teach the twins how to read and write and schedule out every day with special learning activities (she says the kids don't have enough to look forward to and that's why they act up), she also wants me to take classes and do outside research on how to be a better nanny (she says she does it for her business too so its perfectly reasonable).
Needless to say, I have turned in my notice because I've decided to return to school. I gave them 3 wks out of guilt because they rely so heavily on me and my boss was out of town most of this week. My problem now is that the parents trash talk me to their children behind my back, which they've always done, but I'm just now starting to realize how disrespectful and detrimental this is. Friday morning I came in and the kids were all screaming saying "you're a bad nanny! you made daddy mad! we don't have to listen to you because daddy said you're bad! daddy was calling you naughty names last night!" They already have a nanny lined up but they want me to stay and train her.
I've explained all of that to pose this question: Am I crazy for feeling like trash talking the nanny to their kids is unacceptable? They see no problem. I feel betrayed. Since I already gave them 3 wks am I obligated to stay those 3 weeks and train their new nanny? Or can I just leave?
at 6:16 AM