22 January, 2012
What Should Nanny Do About Mom #2?
Hello nannies and parents! I actually have a sticky situation that I would really appreciate your insight on. I have been a professional career nanny for the past twelve years, and MOST of the time, I absolutely love my job! I say most of the time, because I recently accepted a full time nanny position through a local nanny agency and only two weeks in I am already thinking about quitting. Before I get into what's going on, please allow me to give you a little bit of insight about what my previous nanny jobs have been like.
When I say that I am a professional career nanny I mean: I have been exclusively nannying for the past twelve years, have child development units as well as my preschool teacher certificate, have tons of experience with multiples, tons of experience with infants and toddlers, celebrity nanny experience (both in New York and Los Angeles). All three of my last nanny positions were long term, where I was seen both as a professional nanny and an extended member of their families. In my last position, I was nannying for an infant 50 hours a week and was being paid 16 dollars per hour plus overtime for the extra 10 hours per week, was given 10 paid sick days a year and two weeks of paid vacation. Unfortunately for me, the time came for mom to get a promotion at work and they ended up moving to another state, which left me scrambling to find a new position.
To cut to the chase, I ended up going on an interview a few weeks ago for a family with a 14 month old little boy. Mom #1 works out of the home, and mom #2 (two mommy family) works from home. That was an immediate red flag to me, as I am aware of the problems that can arise for a nanny when one of the parents works from home, but because I really liked the family and the baby, I decided to accept their position when they made an offer. Unfortunately, due to the current economy, I was forced to take a position paying much less than I have been making the past 5 years. I am now making a set salary of 2500 a month for 40 hours of work a week. It is roughly 1,000 dollars less than I was making before, but I really was desperate to find a position as I had been out of work for over 6 months by the time I got the job offer.
Now, if this job were easy, I would feel much better about taking a lower salary, but to be honest, it is definitely one of the hardest positions I have ever had. Most of this stems from mom #2 working from home, as I feel that she is constantly watching every move I make with her son. Some examples of this: they live in a very small one story home with the office off of the kitchen and the living room right next to it, instead of her going into her office and working during the day, she leaves the office door wide open, I believe to keep an eye on us through out the day. Not only that, but while I am upstairs trying to put her son down for a nap, she will turn on the baby monitor that is in her office just so she can hear what is going on upstairs. If the baby cries even the slightest bit, she will come rushing upstairs to ask me why he is crying, and then take him from me to breast feed him.
He is not on a consistent schedule in regards to eating or napping and therefore is an overly fussy and needy child. At fourteen months old, his daily diet consists of something like this: am-breast milk, noon-Gerber puffs or baby crackers, pm-breast milk. Due to not being exposed to many solid foods, he often pushes them away or cries when I try to offer them to him. Nutritionally, I feel like this is so wrong, but the more I encourage the moms to feed him solids, the more they shy away from the idea. As far as the napping, the moms do not believe in forcing him to take a nap, and because of this, the poor baby has several melt downs throughout the day because he is so exhausted and is fighting his sleep. Also, mom #2 has made it a habit to hold him throughout his whole nap when he does fall asleep, and she expects me to do that as well. Not only do I think this is completely unhealthy for many reasons, but it also makes it to where it is nearly impossible for me to complete the daily household chores I am required to do.
Now on to what I believe is one of the biggest problems about the position. I was very clear in my interview with the family that I am the type of nanny that does not like to sit at home with my charges all day long. I would much rather be out and about doing fun things with them on a daily basis (and even more so now that I work for a family where one parent works from home.) During the interview, they said they were fine with this, and that they would absolutely love it! I am a very organized nanny and I provided the family with a very detailed list of activities that I would be doing with the baby during the next two months (I like to plan our outings at least a few months in advance.) When it came time for our first outing to see a children's play at a local library, and then go to a local beach for a playgroup with other children around the same age, mom told me that we could only go see the play and that she wanted us back in two hours (the play itself was two hours long, which meant that we had to leave even before the play was over to make it back in time.) I was so disappointed, as I had really been looking forward to meeting up with my nanny friends again and for the kids to be able to play and build sandcastles on the beach. I agreed, and chalked it up to mom just being nervous because it was my first week. During that whole first week, several things like this happened, and it lead to me feeling more and more uncomfortable with taking the baby out of the house at all.
Fast forward to this week. It was on our agenda on Monday, to go see a puppet show at a nearby community college. Originally, I had written down that we would be there from 3:00-4:00, but then I realized that in order to get good parking we would have to arrive at least 20-30 mins before the show started, so I crossed it out and wrote 2:30-4:30 to allow for time to get there and park, and time to get home after the show. Well, to make a long story short, the first thing mom said to me when I walked in the door this morning was "why did you change your outing from 1 hour to 2?" I explained, but she told me to make it work in the me hour time frame. I found this impossible to do, so we didn't even end up going at all. =(
Anyway, I feel stuck in this position, because I really don't want to let the nanny agency down by leaving the job. I am afraid that if I do that, they will refuse to help me find another position, and that would leave me in a really bad place, as finding my own position here right now has proven to be extremely difficult. What should I do? Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.
at 10:23 AM