Don't Cut Corners on Child Care

opinion 1
I have been a nanny for a family now for about 8 months. They have one child who is 3 and is typically behaved. While he is not potty trained and still uses a pacifier religiously, he has had few temper tantrums and is easy going. My biggest problem is with his parents. When I began this job I was desperate. My last nanny job I had for over 2 years.The mother decided that she was ready to become a stay at home mom and I was no longer needed. I loved this family but I was very hopeful in finding a great job again and quickly. I have been a nanny for over 6 years and I have awesome references! Things didn't quite go so well and I settled working this job with a "something is better than nothing" mentality.

- First of all they pay me $6.00! I live in long island NY. I know the going rate just about anywhere else in the country is higher. I could probably make more at Burger King. But my college degree that sits in my dresser drawer screams for me not to do that just yet.
- I am not a live in, so every week the mother will text me my hours for the week. I'm not sure why, but she always gets the times wrong and then blames me! Last week she told me to come at 6:20am, so I did. As soon as I came in she told me I was supposed to be there at 6:15 and that that was what the text said. I didn't have my phone with me that morning (I totally regretted not running back into the house for it) but I wanted to scream! She's done this to me at least 12 times. And it makes me feel crazy.
- That same morning at 6:20 am she calls her child into the kitchen to give him a huge bag of candy! Thanks. This just made the breakfast I was making void.
- A few weeks ago after working 11 hours the mother asked me if I would please, please, PLEASE come back and babysit while she went out for a few hours with her friends. I being kind, and mostly just a huge pushover, obliged. She came home outrageously wasted, to the point where she could hardly count the money she owed me, and I'm surprised she didn't break her neck coming up the stairs. On top of that, when I came back over I was ready to put the child to bed. I had been there all day and he had napped very early on about 12:30 so I knew he had to sleepy. (it was now 9pm). But when I tried doing so, he said "I just woke up! Mommy made me nap!" That means she let him nap while she got ready to go out! I was hurt. I was doing a favor and it tossed back at me like it was nothing.
- Their home is messy and very small. I am not a clean freak, but house work was NEVER part of the $6.00 deal. It has however become that, as I can not stay in a place surrounded by crumbs, garbage bags on the floor, and dirty dishes a mile high.
- The child has begun cursing! He cursed very loud at the library and said "God damn it" several times. He also said "stupid bitch". Now I know he doesn't know what these words mean, when I mentioned this, it was thought of as cute.. I did time out, but I'm sure it won't be handled this way by the parents.
- There is more but I feel I could already be identified as is.

I interviewed for another job yesterday, so I am really hoping I get it. I went on one last week and they shockingly wanted to pay me $6.00 as well! I casually said I would have to see, but I'm no fool! I do wish that I had more of a back bone, but what I really wish is that parents didn't try and scrimp on their childcare! Find deals on clothing or microwave meals! Scour the endless adds for cheap used cars or search the shelves for dented cans, but please parents, don't cheap out on your nanny or sitter! They're taking care of your little one while you are unable. Are you only worth $6.00?


Bethany said...

I hope things get better for you soon. I also feel sorry for that child.
Mom is totally using you. She knows you need the job and you'll put up with more because of it. She knows you won't confront her about her treatment of you or her child and if you do she'll tell you to take a hike , and replace you with someone desperate for work in a heartbeat.

I wish I could say I thought it was just because economic times are tough, but I truly think some parents don't give a you know what. They know they can get away with it for every nanny who insists on a reasonable wage, taxes, contract etc there are 10 nannies ( or people who call themselves nannies) who will work any hours for any amount under the table no questions asked.

hope you get your dream job soon.

Kate R. said...

OP I'm sorry this is happening to you. Bethany is right, this mother is absolutely taking advantage of you and it needs to stop immediately. I suggest getting out of there YESTERDAY and begin looking elsewhere. And by elsewhere I mean places other than where people are only offering you $6/hour. I hope something comes quick!

MissMannah said...

Just a suggestion...don't dole out punishments for cursing. Kids do it for attention and they'll take negative or positive attention. If you keep feeding into it, the cursing will never go away. Whether it is bad words, whining or tantrums...I just walk away and tell them to come find me when they are ready to speak to me in a more appropriate way.

Other than that little thing, you sound like a really good nanny who is working for WAY less than what she's worth. Do you think you could get MB to bump you up to at least minimum wage? $6 is absolutely ridiculous, it isn't even a liveable wage!

SA said...

Definitely find a new job now!! She is totally using you. It is so sad that there are still so many parents getting nanny care for pennies. All these parents need to realize that they cannot afford a nanny, and put their kids in daycare.

SA said...

Oh yeah, and I totally agree with MissMannah about the cursing!

Manhattan Nanny said...

The minimum wage in New York State is $7.25. You would be better off slinging burgers! You need to focus on finding a new job. Look into agencies, on line sources, Craigslist, local papers such as Big Apple Parent.
With a degree and experience you should be making at least $15, more for more than one child.

Nanny Lisset said...

Manhattan Nanny:
Please do not advise OP to go on CL. Just sayin'.....LOL.

Anyway, I was wondering is CL where you are finding these cheap parents? Have you tried or Maybe you can try an agency too.

OP, sorry you are getting nickel and dimed to death. Shame on these parents for doing this. I hope when they get older and their own children have to find a caregiver for them, the children will find the cheapest ones. Karma.

Bethany said...

believe you me there are plenty of cheap families on the care sites and in agencies, and she is no safer talking to someone on a care site than she is on CL.

ELam said...

I said it the other day, but and Sittercity have plenty of cheap parents as well, since there is $5-$10 option and even a disturbing $5-$5 option on those sites.

I agree with Miss Mannah, do not give punishment for cursing, it is only reinforcing the behavior. Even if the child does not know what those words mean, when you say "That's naughty! Go to time-out!" you are showing them that it must mean something special to say those words and it will get them attention.

I am glad to see you are seeking out a new job, I hope you find one ASAP and get the heck out of there! I was in a similar position not too long ago and I can't tell you how much happier I am to be rid of it.

Samantha said...

I am a 25 year old single mother of two little boys 6 and 3. when i get a sitter i appreciate it so much because, if it wasn't for her i would be sitting home absolutely everynight alone, going crazy. before she gets to my house, my boys are fed, bathed and in there jammies, sometimes already in bed. I pay her 10$ an hour to sit and watch t.v. because I do appreciate it so much. or say she watches my younger son for the night i'll leave about 5 pm after i feed him and will be back around 8 or 9 am I will give her anywhere from 100$-150$ which he is asleep for about 10 of those hours and i have already put out his breakfast and other things he will need so her job will be easier. some people just aren't thankful for anything and take advantage of others. become less available and she'll hopefully appreciate it more.

Phoenix said...

first of all you don't even get minimum wage. Screw other parts of the country - try getting paid the wage that is required by law.

Manhattan Nanny said...

Nanny Lisset,
I know what you mean, but I actually found one of the nicest families I've worked for on CL. and they paid a very competitive salary. Granted, you do have to weed out the crazies looking for a nanny with a graduate degree to clean the whole apt., do 10 loads of laundry and prep dinner during nap time for $3 and hour.
I've been sent to interview with a mom straight out of The Nanny Diaries by a top agency as well, and the agency was NOT happy when I turned the job offer down. You have to be alert to the red flags no matter what source you use!

Aries said...

$6.00?? Wow and did the other family who tried paying you the same amount know that you were getting paid that much by this family? Maybe that's why they tried skipping you because i can't for the life of me understand how someone could take a job at $6/hr.

Anyways, Now you said she would always tell you to come in at a certain time and then when you got there she would say you were soppose to come in earlier. You said this happened 12 times but if this was on the phone couldn't you of shown her the text? You said you forgot your phone once but what about the other times?

And a huge bag of Candy? c'monn why would she do that in the morning? Are you sure it was candy?

And yes she definitly took advantage of you. People always take advantage of others willing to do and kindness. You seem like a very passive person and she sensed that in you. The fact that she begged you to come BACK the same day to babysit while she went out and gave her child a nap before you even got there is very rotten of her to do. Did you give your 2 weeks and did she have trouble finding another sitter? because i'm sure very few people will deal with $6/hr. She shiuld of treated you like a Queen for that price. People don't realize what they have til it's gone and i hope she appreciates the next nanny and doesn't take her for granted.

Beezus said...

Well. Of course it was candy. A jumbo bag of m&ms to be exact. And my phone will only hold maybe 60 inbox texts at most. Sometimes they're still on there and sometimes I don't feel like being a bitch at 6:20 even though I need to. Either way I got a new nanny job. She didn't get a new nanny either, she got grandma to do it! hahah