Tuesday

Insight and Advice

opinion 1
I have a minor dilemma/potentially fabulous opportunity, and would appreciate some insight and advice. I am a nanny to ADORABLE two year old twin girls, and have been with them since August of 2011. I absolutely LOVE everything about this position, and I get along with the mom (who is a single parent by the way) famously. I am incredibly happy with everything and am beyond grateful. I wouldn't change this position for anything. Total dream nanny job.

Tonight I was informed by mom that she was offered a position about a 2 hour drive away from where we currently reside. She has asked if I will consider making the move with them as I am such an important part of their family. I feel extremely honored, but also a little conflicted... that would be 2 hours away from my home that I have worked for and adore, 2 hours from family and friends, the city I have lived in for over a decade, and most importantly - my son's amazing school which he has attended since Kindy.... basically everything would change.

Mom has asked if I will try it out for just 1 month - stay with her and the girls Sunday night through Friday, and I will then drive home Friday night to spend the weekends with my son, and then make the 2 hour drive back each Sunday night, but only for a month. She would like me to feel out the new town to get a taste of what it's like, so perhaps I will choose to permanently make the move. She said I will have my own room/bathroom, and will be off at 5:00pm each evening, with occasional evening assistance with the girls. She offered $20/hour at 45 hours/week, including paying for all of my gas expenses to and from my home and her home, which in total will be about 4 hours driving time each week. It will only be for a month, maybe 2 months at the most, until I make my decision, but I am wondering what others feel is adequate pay for this request?

I LOVE this family, but also love my own, and want to make sure this is worth the time and energy. I currently make $16.00/hour and live about 8 minutes from this family. So, 1st question - What is appropriate compensation for the month long commitment? And 2nd -What would be fair compensation if I make the move permanently? Thank you!!

27 comments:

Aria said...

For me it wouldn't be worth the toll it would take on my relationship with my son.

I'd have to move on.

no said...

Are you really considering leaving your own son to essential raise two girls that are not your own? For me, this would never be something I entertained.

ericsmom said...

Hi OP

Can I ask are you a single mom as well?? If you have a husband can you make due on one income, until you find another position? Also, if you are on the books you should be able to get unemployment. Position is relocating.
I do understand you are probably stressed if you will find another position. Also, a position that you enjoy.

I wouldn't move your son out of a great school district. When the kids get older its harder on them moving to a new school. They have to "start over" making new friends, etc. My parents moved so much. I HATED it!!! I went thru a bad depression. I even had to see a family counselor. The last move hurt my sisters and I. We were settled in a nice house. Great school, and church we attended. Our family was close by. My fathe was relocated when I was in 9th grade. My sisters and I were crying telling my dad we don't want to move. He basically told us tough you don't have a choice. Sorry for going on and on. This is really close to my heart.

Remember family should be your #1.

ericsmom said...

P.S. I think you could get depressed even helping her out for the month. Have you ever been away from your son for a week at a time??
If you really need the money. I would do it maybe for a week or two until you either find another job, or collect unemployment.

Also, if she moves during the summer months. Can your son stay at the house with you?? Since, he will be on break.

Lyn said...

Moving your son away from family, friends and a great school disstrict just wouldnt be worth it to me. Kids hang on to that sort of resentment for a very long time and if i felt confident i could find a comparable job with in an appropriate amount of time and didnt think I'd feel too stressed financially in the mean time I'd just look elsewhere. You can still maintain a great friendship with your mb and her girls. But, its much easier to keep up a long distance friendship than to completely change your and your sons entire lives.

nycmom said...

I think all the points raised so far are good. I doubt this will work out, but if you truly love the job AND can see a potential for a life in this town for your family, then I would consider it.

I do not think the commuting would work as a long-term arrangement, but relocating might if you end up preferring the town and the schools are better. Your son is only in K and that is truly an easy time to transition.

If you do not forsee being able to move to the new location, then offering to help with the transition is very kind and can be lucrative. When we moved our nanny came with us for about 3 weeks to help out. She was invaluable in settling in and helping with interviewing new nannies. I paid her roughly double for the time she was with us, a nice parting bonus, and we used those 3 weeks to get her many interviews set up back in NYC so she basically had a job waiting. We paid her airfare both ways and offered for her to bring her younger child, but that was not possible as her daughter could not take off school. Her daughter was cared for by family and I think it worked out well for everyone.

MissMannah said...

I think you're nuts for even considering this. Is the job market really so bad in your town that you can't fathom getting a new job?

Sarah said...

I wouldn't do it. I moved WITH my husband a 5hr drive away from our families for his work. I didn't know it, but at the time I was pregnant. I HATE that our daughter is growing up away from her grandparents. I wish we lived closer, but there's no way my husband can move back because there is no work for him where we used to live. If your family and you are close (and it sounds like you are) and you don't have a spouse who will be moving with you, I would rather stay and find a new position. I am extremely close to my parents and parents-in-law and I often I'm homesick for them even though I have an awesome husband here with me and we've been here for about 2 yrs now. For me its not about schools for my child or the are I know, its family support.

Ultimately it's your choice, but think about it long and hard!

Phoenix said...

Are you single parent too? Or do you have a partner? The reason I'm asking is because that person would be the first one you should consider. If not then your son. Is it feasible to move schools?

If you advise on the partner thing I can go into more advice. But that is the most important thing if you are attached. What do they think?

Manhattan Nanny said...

Another point to consider. The twins are already two. How much longer will they need a full time nanny? Will they be starting preschool in one year? Two years? This may be something your MB hasn't thought about yet, and you should discuss it with her before you agree to this.

Phoenix said...

Oh good point Manhattan Nanny

I hadn't thought of that. And with her being single now she might not have anymore anytime sooner if ever. She may just be happy with her twins.

Beezus said...

Your son is only kindergarten. Many of his friends that he has now will most likely not be there when he graduates high school. I don't feel like that should be a major concern at this age, especially since the school year most places is about to end and will be starting anew in the fall-a chance to make new awesome friends!
What I would consider is a 2 hour drive.The wear and tear on your car would be nuts and I'm sure 4 hours in of drive time daily will also wear on you. I used to work 1 1/2 hours from home. I hated the drive and the traffic and the gas and how I was already tired when I finally arrived.
If you do NEED this job though, I would say 25 long term is fair. I only say this because it may be a little difficult to keep track of all gas expenses and it may even be a hard to ask her for gas cash some weeks. It's just so0o expensive these days! However if your MB is good for the money , I'd probably try to wrangle $27:)

Mei said...

How can this woman ( another mother) ask you to spend nearly a week away from your child for an entire month or two. That's some nerve in my opinion!

Tell her no.

As has been mentioned you'll be looking for a job soon given that they are 2.

Phoenix said...

I don't understand why kindergarten friends won’t be there in high school. all my friends were. my best friends mom was my first grade teacher and I went to daycare with another person.

My son going to be going into 7th grade and his friends has been with him since kindergarten they were in the same class

N is for Nanny said...

I agree commuting two hours, each way, as the parent of a young child is very difficult longterm. That being said, a lot of our neighbors did it in the town where I grew up. To me, however, this seems more like a job with a lot of travel. If I really wanted to keep the job, I would try to negotiate the hours - specifically that I leave for work after dropping my child off at school on Monday morning and leave work on Friday early enough to be home for dinner/school pick-up. I would offer to work longer hours on the days you are at her home, so she could (hypothetically) condense her work week. I would also ask for the option to bring my child with me during school breaks.

With regard to compensation, I am going to assume that nanny rates are comparable in both area, and that you are currently being compensated appropriately. If that is the case, I think the $20/hr she is offering is fair - it's a premium, but you are providing a premium service. I would ask for mileage, instead of gas money, as that's a lot of wear-and-tear on your car. I would also ask for some additional PTO, so you can relax with your family...not in your car.

Obviously, there are a lot of personal questions, mostly pertaining to the care of your son as well as logistical/financial ones, such as if you would move (and then sell your house? rent? buy a second home?), how long they will employ you, more protections in your contract, etc. I think that those are more personal to your situation/family, but remember to keep them in mind, if they would impact your needs/finances - e.g., if your family moves with you and you have to rent a place at a higher cost than you can rent your home

If you decide you aren't interested/able to make it work with them longterm, I would consider offering to spend a week or two with them, as a live-in, to get them settled in their new home. It sounds like you care for them deeply and having a friendly, known person in unfamiliar surroundings will be a huge help to the mom.

*Melanie Raye* said...

I couldn't do it... that time with your son is so precious...

NannyT said...

I have a family who when I first started working for them, they lived 15 minutes away, then Divorce happened and mom moved with the baby 2 hours away to the other end of the county in a rural city. For the first month she had the baby in daycare and was paying me to keep a eye on her house. Then the baby caught croup from the daycare and she decided it was best he was with me everyday, So I drove every day down to her. She compensated me for a extra 2 hours time and also my gas for the week. I love the family I have been with them for 3 1/2 years now. Hes is preschool full time but I still watch him when hes off. So how about you just make the commute?

Aries said...

It's what you wanna do. What's more important? I personally couldn't see myself raising another persons child and being away from my own.

It's possible the mother wants you to 'try it out'' for a whole month to give herself enough time to find someone else (backup incase you do end up leaving.) But it's entirely up to you and what you would rather do. I know me personally wouldn't have second thoughts and would just staying with family and friends as they are the most important but to each there own. I think your child, friends, family, etc will miss you but if the money and family mean so much to you then by all means.

Beezus said...

Phoenix-
People move.
Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone who responded! Your insight and advice is wonderful. After a ton of thinking and thinking and thinking, I have decided not to even consider making a permanent move. I love change, adventure and new opportunities, but at this point of my life, I love my house more and absolutely do not want to give it up. My house? Yes. For those who are wondering, the 1st family I worked for purchased this home for me since I was in no position to buy a home at that time. Basically, it's a rent to own situation and has been a total blessing!! So, I feel walking away from my home for a nanny position that is obviously not long term is a potential unwise decision. I asked for $25/hr to assist her and her sweet girls until she finds a replacement, but that was turned down, so since I love them to pieces I accepted the commute at $20 for just a month or two at the most. To answer your questions, I am not a single parent. I am married, however my husband and I are not on the best terms. We still live together and he accepted the commute with no problem.

The Sitta said...

Well, you have quite an interesting choice to make. For an additional 4 dollars per hour you can leave everything you know and love. Sure, your son will need to make all new friends and likely resent you for lie. But wait, you will have an extra 160 to 180 dollars per week! With that kind of scratch you could save up for your child's education. Even better - you could keep it for yourself and lease a hot Kia!!!

I drive a Sentra, but I really am an "Altima" Girl.... said...

To the Sitta:

Kia autos suck. They are the cheapest/junkiest cars on the road FYI.

MissMannah said...

That's not true. The older (first) Kias did suck but the newer models (ie: ones made in the past 10 years or so) are quite good, on par with Nissan or Toyota. My husband has a Kia Optima and it drives just as well as my old Altima did. Right now I have a Hyundai Sonata but when I upgrade, it will probably be to a Kia Sportage because they are nice and affordable.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a Kia commercial.

Phoenix said...

i drove a sentra for a long time. We also own a '99 Altima that has $200k miles and still drives! I just totaled my sentra tho. I have always been a Nissan fan but my new car is a Camry. Really nice compared to my Sentra. Nissans run forever. They are the best cars if you are going to be doing something that requires ware and tare. Also, sentra was extrememly safe! When I crashed. My entire front end basically collapsed on itself. My air bags deployed and i had no injury at all. If anyone is going to buy a small car for a nanny if you don't have a huge family, the Sentra was really safe. I was shocked I didn't get hurt.

MissMannah said...

My insane ex had a Sentra so I will forever associate that car with him. But you're right, it is a pretty good little car. But I'm looking into bigger ones now, because I'm hoping to fit a couple of carseats in the back fairly soon. :)

PS: $200k miles?? Is someone getting tired?

Mariah said...

I agree that Kias are cheap and junkie cars.

I have had two and they were very unreliable and only gave me headaches. You really do get what you pay for.

If as a nanny you want a safe and reliable car, buy Japanese. Honda, Toyota, Nissan, etc.

Pro nanny said...

Live your life, not theirs.