Moving on

opinion 1
i have been with a family for a total of 6 months now. i generally work for them 2-3 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day. the mother is home the whole time watching tv, shopping online, paying bills, stamping letters, or partaking in other light activities. the only time she leaves to run errands is during the child's 2 hour nap. when i accepted the job, i didn't know she would be home so often and it has been problematic more times than not (child knows her mother is home and wants to see her, cries when mother tells her to go to the playroom, etc) it's very frustrating. the mother is also very difficult to talk to (only on occasion will she engage me in conversation that isn't geared towards her child) and when i am unavailable to work on certain dates, she seems to give me an attitude about it. also, the job is incredibly boring, the mother doesn't let me allow the child to watch movies or television when i'm there, so for anywhere from 5 to 10 hours, we only play with toys. it gets very monotonous.

in addition, the mother has strange/unorthodox rules for me to follow. for example, she wont let me use the tap water from the sink or the fridge because she "doesn't trust it", and she also wont let me use the ice machine from the fridge, instead i must open the freezer and manually retrieve ice for her childs drink. the weirdest, however, was when her child had moderate diaper rash and she asked me to wipe her child with a cloth towel when her child pooped, and then flush the towel down the toilet. not sure how i was supposed to do this because the towel was as big as a hand towel you would find in a bathroom!

i have decided i do not want to continue working for this family, but am having a hard time finding an appropriate and professional way of quitting. should i call her? write a letter? just say it face to face? (although i've tried this and just cannot get the words out). i'm planning on giving her a months notice so she has AMPLE time to find someone else, but i'm still concerned about how she'll take the news. i want to help this family out as much as i can, but at the same time i need to live my own life and move on. any advice on how to quit would be great!


workingMom said...

I think it's unnecessary (and too long) to give a month's notice. Give your notice in writing, and give the MB a specific date of termination - one/ to two weeks from the date you intend to give her the note.

I suggest that you give the note on a payday Friday, at the end of the day, because it is very likely MB may decide to terminate your services sooner (which would be a win/win for both of you):
"Dear MB, Please accept my resignation, my last day will be XXX. Sincerely, Nanny"

Keep a copy for YOUR records.

That should be the end of it. If, however, the MB does confront you about your reasons for leaving, simply say (as neutrally as possible) that you don't believe the job is a good fit for either of you, and you have decided to pursue other opportunities. (and be pursuing them before, during, and after you present your termination note!)

The only thing necessary to convey anymore is that you don't want to work IN THAT JOB and you are moving on. Your mind is made up. While I could be wrong, I don't see confronting this MB with your actual reasons being productive or leading to any positive changes; I only see it leading to a fight. Better to just be vague.

And don't feel guilty, either. Finding a replacement or another solution is the MB's responsibility - not yours.

Good luck!

What's With The Water said...

Totally off topic, but I'm wondering why you think the water thing is weird. I don't drink tap water, nor do I use the filter system on the front of my fridge. And I make my own ice too, from bottled water. I don't even give my DOG tap water. I'm just wondering why this rubbed you the wrong way.

Bethany said...

It sounds like you want to leave, so I would find a job first a put in two weeks notice.
Two weeks is all she'll need as you'll see from reading here there are plenty of nannies needing work.

If you decide to stay, why not take child out of the house? Go for walks or to neighborhood story times and sing-a-longs.

Read stories, paints, bubbles, put on a puppet show. get some dollar instruments and play them, There are alternatives to watching TV.

Honestly the water thing isn't that strange. Neither is using a cloth/towel to clean a bottom instead of wipes especialy on sensitive/irritated skin. Are you sure she meant for you to flush the towel?

If you want to continue being a nanny, it seems like your best bet would be a job without a WAHP, with a set schedule and the ability to leave the house with the child during the day.
Good luck!

Village said...

First, do you have another job?

Second, two weeks notice is PLENTY. She will probably let you go as soon as you have trained your replacement. If you have another family ready for you to go to work, I'd go, and give no notice. Without a contract, you have no obligation. As a stay at home mom, she has great flexibility to interview.

Third, do it in writing, from a distance: Email or text message. You don't need the abuse.

Truth Seeker said...

I agree that Nanny jobs where the child is not allowed ANY television are very difficult and can get boring. I am not an advocate for plopping a child in front of the T.V. all day while the Nanny does nothing....however a moderate amount of T.V. cannot harm a child and can only help a Nanny keep her sanity. Most children's shows are educational anyway, right??

Working for a parent who is in the home is hell. I hate it. It's like you have your boss breathing down your neck all day. (!)

I would give my notice as soon as I get my last check. I would just be as tactful as possible and say it just isn't a good fit. Or if you don't like confrontation like me...LOL....make up some excuse for leaving. Like say you want to return to school. Or have a family emergency, etc..

Dr. Juris said...

A lot of people don't know this, but tap water actually has more stringent requirements by the EPA than bottled water. It's also checked three times more often than bottled water for contaminants and cleanliness. (I received my Bachelors of Science in Toxicology, for those who want credentials. :) )

jleigh said...

Dr. Juris, Tap water may have those stringent guidelines on them but a lot can happen between the water treatment plant and the home. For instance, my tap water has elevated levels of lead that are most likely due to lead soldering in the pipes under my street. We had to install a special filter to remove that lead.

To the OP, give 2 weeks notice. I would just tell her verbally (I know it can be awkward) just be upbeat and say you have another opportunity or something similar and you should be fine. It is just a job afterall.

ELam said...

Dr. Juris -- Come to Hawaii and test out the tap water here. I highly, highly, highly doubt it is better for you than bottled water. The carcinogens in the tap water here are horrible!

OP -- When I resigned a couple months ago I told the MB face-to-face on a Thursday before I left, then the next day brought my resignation letter with my final date of work so that we were clear on the end date. The contract I had with that family stated I would give 30-days notice, so that's what I did, but it was a miserable 30-days. If you have no contract, 2 weeks should definitely suffice. Good luck!

Manhattan Nanny said...

I would give two weeks notice, but be prepared to be let go before that. If you are going to look for a new nanny job, think about what would be a better fit for you, i.e., a momboss who works, and maybe older children that you can do more interesting activities with.

Phoenix said...

The tap water thing is not that big of a deal. My husband refuses to drink it. Course the water that comes out of the Phoenix tap isn't very sanitary and has chemicals and gross stuff in it. We don't even cook with the stuff. Mom has a point about the tap water, I don't trust it either.

N is for Nanny said...

I think workingmom's advice is spot on - letter on a Friday/payday, two weeks notice, remember that finding a replacement is not your responsibility. (Finding yourself a replacement job is your responsibility.) Plan your finances so that you are prepared if terminated immediately, but also be prepared for two awkward weeks. (If you are like me, you'll want some sort of treat on workdays, so you can tell yourself, "I get to leave in four hours and my favorite cheese is in my fridge at home.")

Keep any discussion polite and professional, yet honest within those confines. Don't delve into what you dislike about the job. Similarly, when interviewing for a new job, be careful what you say about why you are leaving this one - fit, age of kid(s), wanting something more active, needing a more consistent schedule, etc.

While this was far from an ideal job for you, if possible, you should try to walk away with a positive reference and improved insight into yourself and what sort of family/job is a good fit for you.

A Nanny Mouse said...

Totally agree with N is for Nanny. Also, find a job where neither parent works from home. IT will make your job so much easier to not have a parent breathing down your neck.

workingMom said...

I am replying again because I can't stop thinking about the OP's claim that the MB wanted her to flush the poopy towel down the toilet. I'm not calling the OP a liar at all, but it just sounds "off". I would think any home-owner would realize that doing so would plug up the household plumbing, costing serious repair dollars!

I wonder if that situation is a huge mis-communication due to the OP's youth and lack of experience?

When I was a baby, everyone still used cloth diapers. The poopy diapers were rinsed in the toilet to get the chunks etc. out, before laundering. (yes, gross - I know - but that was life) I wonder if this was what the MB meant - for the OP to rinse the poop off the towel into the toilet, in preparation for laundering?

If so, I don't find this an unreasonable request (although I can understand that some might find it too gross for themselves).

Not trying to cause a scuffle; just adding a different possible perspective to this particular part of the post.

Bethany said...

WorkingMom, I actually thought the same way as you.

For the record I DO NOT think OP is telling duck tales.

I do think there may have been a misunderstanding as to what to do with the dirtied towels, either that or MB is truly out to lunch.

Bethany said...

I would carefully consider if being a nanny is the career for you.

Because as any nanny will tell you parents make odd requests ( I don't think any of the requests made by your MB were that crazy) and unless it's something harmful to you or the child we've got to go by them even if we don't always agree with it.

This situation will arise even if Mom works out of the home. You will probably never find a job where you and the parent agree on everything.
You will also probably never find a job where the parent lets you have total reign. They might say you do, but you won't, and honestly I would be a bit leery of a job that a parent had no input .

I hope I don't sound mean , and I'm not saying you shouldn't be a nanny ,but I just want you to know that's part of the job sometimes.

But you probably already know that and this job just isn't a good fit for you, and that happens and that's ok.

Bethany said...

I also noticed you seemed to be bothered that MB didn't seem interested in your personal life.

From experience I can tell you it's usually better not to mix the two areas of your life. The less the know the better , and I'm not trying to say you have something to hide from her.

Nanny said...

I'm spending too much time here ,but have you considered being a mother's helper? I'm thinking it might be something you like.

In my area these jobs are typically part time with a flexible schedule , the moms are usually into becoming the nanny's friends, and they usually want someone who will take the kids out to the playground or some other place for a bit. Or watch the kids while she runs errands or goes to weekly aerobics. I don't how you feel about chores, but these jobs tend to require more housekeeping than a standard nanny job ie helping with shopping, dishes, laundry at least that's the case in my area.

Nathan @ My Nanny Contract said...

Did you sign an employment contract with the parents? If so, check if there's a termination clause. You may need to give prior notice of a certain period, say 2 weeks or 1 month. If you didn't sign an employment contract, don't just quit on the spot or you'll put the parents in a bind and get a terrible referral. Instead, consider giving 2-4 weeks notice. The parents might want you gone sooner, but be flexible so that they can get a replacement caregiver.

Aries said...

Looks like the tap water isn't the only thing she don't trust. It boggles my mind that some parents hire help just so they don't have to deal with the stress of children but still sit around and act like Top dog in the household. Does this mother work? Or is she getting handouts and using those handouts to pay you to do the dirty work? If you've already quit please update and explain how you did it. I'm not only curious but i think it could be useful for others that are thinking about quitting depending on the circumstances.

If you haven't left yet then makesure you have another job lined up. MB seems to only consider you her employee, she knows shes the boss and she thinks you NEED her more then she needs you which explains why she takes you for granted and doesn't respect you like she should.

And for a parent who doesn't want to parent i bet she goes around acting like she's a hard working parent and using two children as an excuse for being tired or stressed when in reality its YOU whos taking care of those kids. And now she's having you do chores, you might as well take her spot as not only a parent but a wife, a stay at home mom because she's doing nothing. My mother raised 5 children all under the age of 10 with NO help except my father but he worked so she by herself raised us all and if this lady can't even raise 2 children and disrespects you for doing her a HUGE favor then let her go and find a better more comfortable household with parents who will appreciate you.