Opportunity Knocks... Should Nanny Answer?

opinion 1
Okay my nannies with experience in this area, and even those that don’t, should I consider this job or not? First let me tell you a bit of my background. I’ve been in education for 4 years, my primary experience is with ages 18 months to 4 years old, and to make ends meet in tough times I’ve taken on being a nanny. I’ve been looking for a full-time gig for close to a year now.

Here is the opportunity: a family is seeking a nanny for their 2 and 4 year old little girls. They also have 3 older children that do not require nanny care. The new nanny would be replacing the old nanny who had to leave very suddenly due to an illness in her family. This former nanny is well loved. They want a nanny who will do household laundry, cook and buy groceries twice a week, and travel with them at least twice a year, all that in addition to typical chores like getting meals for the little girls and transporting them to and from their activities. Pay is decent. The hours are Monday through Friday 7:30am to 5:30 pm. They are looking for someone long-term, who is fun loving, creative with just the right touch of discipline. They describe themselves as laid back.

Here are my concerns:
1. In my albeit limited experience, despite what parents say, you do at some point become responsible for all children, be it on school vacations, illness etc. I am not into caring for teens.
2. I have no problem attending to the kids’ laundry, but I am firmly against household laundry.
3. I’m not against traveling, but I have a very specific schedule at home and I don’t know for certain how flexible they will be with coordinating dates.
4. Replacing a well-loved nanny, who had to leave suddenly, almost seems an impossible task.
5. They say they want someone who can be with them for years, but I see it as only another year of one child needing full-time regular care. After that I see this position becoming part-time nanny, on-call nanny, and a whole lot of housekeeper.
6. On the plus side I am very creative and think I would match well with the personality they are looking for in a nanny, and 2s and 4s are my forte.
7. It’s a bonus the job is near to where I live and is full time.

Is it worth it or should I pass this up and hope something else comes along?


Denver Nanny said...

I think you should bring this list of concerns to the potential employers and discuss each one with them. Most of those can be ironed out, and get it put into a contract to avoid confusion in the future.

The only problem you may not be able to get away from is the older kids who "don't need you". They are almost always more trouble than the parents realize.

Good luck!

MissMannah said...

I think it is totally worth it. Like Denver said, talk to the parents and negotiate a contract. How old are the 3 older kids? If they really are teenagers, then they probably won't need too much supervision on school holidays so you might not have to worry too much about that. But if they're all under 12, you will have your hands full for 3 whole months during the summer and you need to bring that to the parents' attention and put in the contract that you have to be paid more on days you have all the kids. I don't understand how parents can suddenly forget that they have older children who will be needing care at some point, but it has happened to me time and time again.

About your other issues: you'll find that a lot of families will be really flexible about what you want. They've just stated what they want, based on what their former nanny delivered. If you won't do the parents' laundry, they'll most likely understand that. And as far as long-term is concerned, I always go into a job saying "Let's sign a year-long contract and then at the end of the year decide if this is a relationship we want to continue." Because I am not about to commit myself to a family for longer than that right off the bat.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Try working out a contract that covers your concerns, and includes a trial period, which can be anywhere from a week to a month.
I wouldn't be too concerned about the teenagers. They tend to have after school activities, and come home to disappear into their rooms, hopefully to do homework, which they may occasionally need some help with. If they have friends over, make sure you have snacks on hand they can fix themselves. They often go to camp in the summers.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

Considering jobs are scarce now, I would take it. However, I would suggest a trial period if the family agrees to it. That way, you can see if your concerns will make this not a suitable match or not.

Good Luck.

Annie said...

I would definitely be willing to try it out, especially if you can negotiate for a trial period. I had a nanny job with 4 children where the two younger ones were my primary charges. They had an older teen brother who was able to drive himself and of no problems for me. However, their older sister's schedule basically ruled our summer, which became very frustrating. She wanted to sleep in, then wanted a ride in the early afternoon when we would be in the middle of an activity. Just something to consider-- not sure how old the older children are :)

Marie said...

I really think I would reconsider this nany job. It doesn't sound like a good match. If their looking for several years commitment and your not? Almost all nanny positions require laundry but just the childrens your caring for. That is crazy if they require the "households"; that in itself is a f/t job! I would sit down and discuss your concerns-what do you have to loose? And get all in the open and possibly a contract.

Bre said...

Thank you for the tips. I've decided to go over things with them and see what can be negotiated.

I'm just so desperate for work, but I don't want to end up in a living nightmare. Thanks again

MissMannah said...

Maybe see if you can sign on for some kind of extended trial period, like 60 or 90 days. That way, it can include spring break and you'll get a sneak preview of exactly how much contact you'll have with the older children over the summer. And if you decide it is too much for you, then you can bow out at the end of the trial without feelings getting hurt.

Bre said...

I'm really hoping they give me a chance , MissMannah.

I'll just see how it goes when we talk , but I'm sure they can easily find another nanny willing to do it all and not ask any questions.

MissMannah said...

Unfortunately, that is going to happen with our job. There's always going to be a nanny waiting in the wings who is willing to do more work for less pay. Or one that is willing to be treated like crap while we stand up for ourselves...and the parents know it and sometimes they take advantage of it. I hope these parents aren't those kind of people. Let us know how everything goes after your interview.

Bre said...

So I'm still looking for a job. They didn't want to be flexible. They also wanted to 1099. Oh well!

Smile said...

Good luck, OP! If they aren't willing to be flexible, then you're better off not even getting involved in the first place. This isn't just a job - it's a year + of your life that you can never get back! Don't worry, you'll find some great position soon - you sound very professional and experienced, and any parents with half a brain would jump to hire you over a "cheaper" nanny :)

Bre said...

Thank you for the kind words, Smile!

I really needed to read that, I was feeling a bit down.