Dejected and Disconnected

opinion 1
Let me start with some background. I am a 20 year old college student with no previous nanny experience (although many years of babysitting and child care experience). I accepted a position in April 2011 that started Sept of 2011. Over the summer I watched the girls about five times and immediately connected with the whole family. I was really excited to start going every week. About three weeks before I was going to start, the Mom emailed me and let me know that they will now need someone Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as Fridays and asked if I knew someone willing to work just the other two days so I could still care for the girls on Fridays. Then about a week before I was set to start, she emailed me again and said that they found someone else to watch the girls but they would need all three days, including my Fridays, but that I could still do occasional babysitting. I was so crushed. I was already so attached to the three girls and was looking forward to caring for them every week.

After that, I was desperate for a job and accepted a position with my current family in Sept. At the time of the interview, I didn’t really feel the same connection as I did with the first family but I just thought the bond would come with time. “G” is 5 and “J” is 2 and both are really great kids, very well behaved and I have never had to discipline or have either of the kids take a time out. With that being said, I have been with them for about 8 months and I still do not feel connected with the kids or the parents. The parents are great and are so nice and genuine but I just don’t feel a bond with anyone in the family. I guess I am just wondering if anyone else has run into this problem or if I am alone in this. And if anyone has any advice that would be welcome too!


UmassSlytherin said...


I think your current position is a lucky find. Who cares if you have a "bond?" They sound like great employers.

And if someone hired you for a position and then changed their mind, do you really want to work for someone like that? I wouldn't.

Your new job sounds great. You are an employee, not a member of the family. You don't need to feel a familial bond with them.

Anonymous said...

What Umass said.

nj girl said...

UMass is right

I was always a great childcare provider in the past. I am very caring and loving with the kids. Let me be honest, once I leave for the week thats it. To me its still a job that pay the bills.

ericsmom said...

Be happy that you found a great position and a great family to deal with. Stop complaining for no reason. Really like UMass said its not your family. You may never feel a bond and thats OKAY. Don't feel like it must be the wrong position if you don't feel a bond.
As long as you are doing your job and being caring with the kids thats all that matter

You're Not Alone said...

Wow. I could've written this post. I worked for a family for 6 months and really bonded with them. Then, after not hearing from MB for awhile, I contacted her and found out she'd hired someone else but told me I could still babysit for date nights. I was heartbroken but had to get over it quickly and find a new job. I now work part-time for two other families and don't feel the same 'bond' but they're good employers and great kids and I'm grateful. 

I agree with the previous comments; it's a good job. 

There are tons of flaky parents out there!

nycmom said...

I also agree with UMass.

Truth Seeker said...


I know this is easier said than done, but try not to wear rose-colored glasses when looking at your first family. The Mother is a thoughtless flake and in the long run, it was truly a blessing that you ended up not working for her.

Try to focus on your current family and appreciate all that they are. They sound great and I promise you, once you stop thinking of the first will truly bond w/your current one.

workingMom said...

Thank you, Umass!

On a side note, is it just me, or does anyone else notice that this generation seems to think they should feel like "family" in their jobs? We see this frequently here on this site, but I see it in my place of employment as well.

Why don't these young people understand that work is work, and your personal life is your personal life?

Susannah said...

Perhaps, because they are the children of the generation that made their entire life about work?

It's not just the 20 year olds that feel this way.

I would love to go back to the time where you'd punch in at 9am punch out at 5pm did your job and went home.

Sadly that's not the case anymore inmost places you work.

Susannah said...

Not feeling a strong bond doesn't mean this isn't the right fit for you.

In someways it's probably better that you don't. It's more likely that you and your employers will keep things on a professional level where they should be if you don't feel that familial bond.

Let the other job go. It's over and done with, no point in living in the past and appreciate the good job you have now.

Sam said...

I've worked with a family who has become as important to me as my real family. I know how awesome it is to have a bond + get a paycheck. However, getting too close isn't good professionally. I'm sorry you feel rejected, I wouldn't take it too personally. These days, all parents care about is affordable childcare, not the great qualities of the nanny.

workingMom said...

I disagree. Parents DO care about the great qualities of a nanny, however, I don't consider "loving the child" a great quality - or one that trumps all other qualities.

It IS possible for one to be kind, compassionate, and nurturing without "loving" those that one is caring for; teachers do it, nurses do it, etc.

It's called boundaries and professional detachment.

the Noble Nanny said...

I can totally see the perspective of you and the comments that have been posted in response to your story. As opposed to beating a dead horse, let me offer you a different perspective.

Instead of focusing on how this family makes you "feel" why don't you start treating this family as if you already have a connection with them?? Go about your day in the same way you would have with the other family, engage yourself the same way, respond to the children and parents in the same loving manner you would as if you had a lifelong bond. I guarantee a week doing this and you will start to "feel" a greater connection. Your feelings will follow your thoughts and actions. I understand this bc I was in the same situation at one point. You can't determine how the family will behave or think about you, but you can determine how you will feel or act towards them.

Hope this helps!

Mannhattan Nanny said...

Is it possible that because you bonded with the children in the first family, and got burned, you are subconsciously holding back from bonding with your new charges? You describe them as great kids, and nice parents. I think you should focus on how lucky you are to have what sounds like a very desirable job. Perhaps you are looking for more attachment than is healthy. Remember, it is a job, it will end at some point.

Sam said...

Working mom:
Nurses deal with patients for a few days at most. Teachers deal with MULTIPLE kids throughout the day, and are always doing busy work with them. Nannies hold, care for, play with, smile with, talk to, etc, the same child(ren) for sometimes over 40 hours a week. Of course it's easy to love them!!!!

Jessica said...

Good point Manhattan Nanny.

It could be 100% psychological here.

anon nanny said...

When I read OP's post, I kind of thought the same thing, Mannhattan Nanny. Maybe it's like a subconcious protection mechanism?

OP, I hope this job works out for you. They seem like a nice family. Try not to grieve too much over the other kids, mom and dad seemed flaky and there probably would've been other problems along the way. Good luck to you!

Phoenix said...

I don't think a bond is a requirement. I think if it happens it is a nice perk. But if the bond isn't there don't force it and don't determine your job satisfaction on whether this invisible attachment exists.

To me it almost sounds like you are trying to get over a boyfriend who dumped you. The other family knew it was business and they hired a nanny that would satisfy all their needs. You can't be selfish.

It sounds like you have a wonderful job now. I don't think you should worry about "bond"

bostonnanny said...

I keep my jobs very professional but friendly. I don't expect or want to feel like part of the family. I enjoy leaving my job on time everyday and going back to my life. work to live not live to work; it seems like so many people forget that. I think it has to do with the expectations of employers changing and forcing us to become more involved and feel more committed that way we have an emotional attachment to a position. Once you have an emotional attachment you feel the need to go above and beyond without compensation most of the time. They psychologically mind fuck us then fire us when we aren't needed because its "just business". In the nanny industry this is so common and even painful because the emotional attachment is the strongest. We just have to remember its a job, that it's okay to care for and even love the children but not as if they were ours or part of our family because they aren't. Once the job is done in most cases all connection is shut off. Be happy they treat you as a wonderful employee, a deep bond isn't necessary.

Tessa said...

I am surprised that more people weren't more sympathetic to your situation. Feeling a bond with your charges can make a huge difference in a job. That is why most of us are nannies, because we love children and enjoy playing, teaching, and helping kids. That is a million times more rewarding than caring for kids you aren't connected to.

I think a lot of posters here are confused about the difference between bonding with the kids, and becoming part of the family. A lot of times I have had jobs where I respect the parents, but don't actually like them as people. That doesn't matter to me in the least. But I can honestly say that in all the best nanny jobs I have had, I really loved the kids. I have no need to be treated like family or even a friend by the parents, but if the kids and I adore eachother, it always makes everyone happier-me, the kids, and the parents.

Bethany said...

I wouldn't think you are automatically doing something wrong because you don't feel the bond.

It's also not a bad thing to want to feel a bond with your charges. It makes a world of a difference going into work each day when you have that bond, it also makes leaving a position ten times harder.

Just give your all and be the best nanny you can be with the kids you are caring for now

Could you be holding onto some anger about the way things ended with your last job? Maybe that's why you're having a hard time bonding. You're not as trusting as before and are trying to protect yourself.