MB's OCD is Making Job Difficult
I have been employed by a wonderful family for nearly a year and we have a good relationship. I love their kids and the parents are very fair and generous. My contract is specifically childcare only and for the most part they respect that, with a few exceptions, which I am for the most part okay with because they compensate me over our contract by rounding up paychecks, etc. (I realize others have different and strong opinions about this, but this is what works in my situation).
My question is regarding MB. I have began to realize she is OCD about cleaning the house, and having things done "her way". I respect all of this, because it's her house and I do find her to be a very warm person and good employer, and know she's only human, but I also feel the expectations are a bit unclear. It is starting to feel like no matter how happy the children are, I just can't get the other things right. I'm just not sure how to even bring it up. Also, she seldom brings the issues up directly, but rather leaves me notes that I have found a little patronizing. I feel I should address this but am at a loss for words. For instance, she has asked me to keep the house tidier. Things like missing a mark on the counter which I would think would go completely unnoticed or be a forgivable offense are HUGE to her. There have been times I will be cleaning the kitchen and she will come home and immediately drop everything to clean a spot I missed or have not gotten to yet. I tried to lighten the mood, but she seemed visibly irritated at me. The day after this particular instance, I arrived to their house to find a note that said, "Please wipe down ALL counters after dinner." I thought it was belittling to specifically spell this out, considering I was not hired based on my cleaning abilities and I do clean up after dinner.
Another thing is that after I was hired, she casually said "it'd be great" if I could take out the garbage/recycling/compost every night. I said that was fine, but was a little irritated this was slipped in after negotiation. This has not been the beginning of "nanny creep" so I am not too worried about the garbage duty. I don't really mind, except when I am criticized for it--one time I did not empty the garbage when there were three things in there (I am not exaggerating, every night means EVERY night) and was left a note that said "Please empty the garbage EVERY night", other times something was found in the garbage that should have been recycling and I am left a note or sent an email that says "we really value recycling, for example, a chip bag in the garbage could be recycled", etc... I don't mind doing these things, but it seems as if I just can't ever do them right. One thing they like to do is wash plastic bags before recycling them. Once MB opened the recycling, pulled out the plastic bags I had washed and rewashed them. Another time, instead of making a sandwich for the children's lunch, the kids asked me to put some dinner left overs in their lunch for the next day. It would need to be heated in the morning. They are older and I know there is a conversation about lunch in the mornings with MB even though I make the school lunches. On this particular day, I guess MB did not ask the children, just saw that there was no sandwich in the lunches and left another note saying, "Please make a FULL lunch including sandwich. Thanks." Afterward I explained to her why I had not included a sandwich and apologized for the lack of communication from me but she didn't have much of a response to that and it seemed to be a big deal.
I definitely feel I want to address these things, but can't think of how to go about it in a way that is tactful, professional and direct. I realize I posted very negative things about MB, but the positives far outweigh this. I think it is just a personality difference I am not really accustomed to. I am a responsible person but not incredibly tedious or tidy, and she seems to be extremely. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
at 8:49 PM