Calling it Quits before Commitment Ends

Am I terrible? I’ve been with a family for just 3 months. It took me forever to find a job. I have no major complaints. I’m not being taken advantage of, but I need to make more money. At the time I accepted, it seemed like a good fit. I know there is no way for them to increase my salary. It is also difficult for me to find a part time job with the hours I have for them. I also have no time or money to take classes. I made a commitment to them for a year, but I do not see how this will work. I feel guilty for even thinking of leaving after such a short time, but at the same time I have a life to live. Have any of you ever left after a short time?


Lyn said...

I have been in your shoes before. I could have written this exact post 2 years ago. . . And I left.
Now then: Are you under a contract? If so does it specifically say you agree to work one full year from your first day of work? Does it have a section in it about what will happen if you or the parents no longer feel like this is a good fit before that year is up? In mine I have something along the lines of promising 5 weeks notice if I decide to leave before my contracted time is up and it goes on to say that if the parents think this may not be a good fit before end of contract they are free to let me go as long as 5 weeks severance pay is given to me. It's worded much better than the above rambling sentence. But it's 3AM and I cannot think straight. :)
Prepare for your time of notice to feel forever long and dragging once you give it.
Also, please make sure you have a job lined up before you give your notice or you may find yourself back in this same position very shortly and no one wants that.
If it were me I would either start looking immediately and hope it's not to late to start a summer job elsewhere or I would stick with my current job until the market undergoes changes in the middle of August with many summer Nannies going back to school.

And no, you are not terrible. We all need money to live and therefore must do what we must to live. :)

Good luck OP and please keep us updated!!

Susannah said...

I understand taking a job you think is a good fit and falling on tougher times and realizing you can't stay on.

Are you absolutely certain their is no way you can rearrange things to work for you? would they be interested in joining a nanny share. More work for you but also a bit more pay.

If not, I would carefully work out what you need from a job income wise. You should be able to pay your bills and other expenses, save, and have some fun money.

Figure out the hours you need, would it be better if you only worked mornings , nights, or weekends?

Find a job first that is the right fit before giving notice if you decide to leave.

It's not wrong to need to be able to survive on your income.


Bethany said...

As has been suggested by PPS think long and hard about what you need before quitting so you don't end up in the same spot should you decide to leave.

Commitments are important but so is being able to pay your bills.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I have left many jobs after a few months. Sometimes I know after the first day that me and my family are not a good match, but yes {!} sometimes it takes a month or two..or three!!

Anyway, I always save money ahead of time, then up and leave. I have never had a signed contract stating I had to give 5 weeks notice...hmmmm....

If you do give notice, why not have another job lined up? Also, be prepared to look a LONG time for a job....the economy sucks now and plus it is summer so don't expect a job to land in your lap. ☺

During your last five weeks, your family may make the work environment hostile and if they do so, you should be able to leave immediately since no one deserves to be treated badly.

Keep us posted OP!

Plus, I will keep my finger's crossed you find another job soon!

nycmom said...

I think this is slightly different than the twin nanny who is unhappy leaving after 3 months.

I guess as an employer I am a bit confused as to why you would accept a job with a known salary and hours, then 3 months later realize that neither are acceptable for you. How could it seem like a good fit then, but now it is not despite a good family? Did your circumstances change unexpectedly? Did the employers change the hours on you? You do state you have no major complains and are not being taken advantage of. You don't mention any major life or job changes.

Being hit up for more money after 3-6 months employment is SO common by nannies and it can be very frustrating as an employer when we agreed on a raise at one year. I guess this topic is more frustrating for me because it is so widespread and I truly don't understand it. It is often framed as another "perk" instead of straight salary increase (metrocard, health ins, cell phone) so that I had to start listing what was NOT included in the contract as well as what was. I have no issue with a 3-month review and raise if that is a critical contract point, but just be direct about it.

Is the idea that you wait for the child to attach and the family to love you, then they will be more reluctant to start over and more likely to give you a raise that was not agreed upon? If so, build a 3-month salary review and raise into your original contract.

Of course, if you can't afford to pay your bills at this job, then you need to move on. But since you concede they are being fair overall, please give reasonable notice. I understand they cannot pay more, but have you talked with them about other possibilities such as a nanny share, flexing the hours a bit and giving them a chance to work with you on finding another family to fill the remainder or allow you to take classes? You did say it took forever to find this job so finding another, and hoping they are an equally decent employer, is another risk.

But despite my personal issues with this as an employer (not specifically you, OP, and apologies if I was more harsh than necessary), of course, you ultimately need to put your own needs first. Just like a family would do if a parent got laid off and they couldn't afford a nanny anymore after 3 months. However, in that case, we would all be encouraging the family to be as generous as possible with severance and helping the nanny get a new job. I would hope you would try to do the same for this family with notice and even assisting with their new nanny search if you have that network. GL

ELam said...

I agree 100% with nycmom. You should have thought about all this 3 months ago. It just shows lack of responsibility and maturity on your part.

Fiona said...

Elam & NyMom

I sincerely hope you never fall on unexpected hard times.

If you do I hope you find people more compassionate thant the two of you seem to be.

Sometimes we can do all the best planning in the world and things come apart rather quickly.

Should she not try and slow down some of the bleeding because it's more convenient for someone else?

That doesn't seem responsible.

Nowhere did she say she was going to just walk out and leave the family without care.

She's tried other solutions, none seem to be working out.

I agree she should give as much notice as possible.

Truth Seeker said...

I have accepted jobs where the terms seemed like a good fit, then after a few weeks or months, I realize there is much more work involved and the pay is quite meager, etc.

That is why trial periods are so important when accepting a new position. All Nannies should ask for a 90-day trial period before signing a contract.

If they don't, then they will find themselves in the position of the OP which is not a very enviable one.

OP said...

Op here!

They are honestly a nice family.

All my duties are fair and the wage is fair.

At the time I accepted the wage was sufficient.

Some things have changed in the last month that were beyond my control and beyond what a resonable person gould anticipate and plan for.

I know they are unable to to change hours and days. I know they can;t afford more ven if I agreed to more duties.

I'm not certain about a share, but I care for two very young children both under two years old so my hands are full.

I've tried looking for work unfortunately no one is hiring for after 4:30pm or weekends, at least no one worth the time it would be enough to make ends meet.

If I do end up leaving I would give plenty of notice.

nycmom said...


Yes, I accounted for that possibility in my 4th sentence. I asked it exactly because that would be a reasonable explanation, but was not one OP had mentioned in her post.

Please don't assume you know other peoples' situations. I would gladly stand head-to-head with anyone regarding hard times on a financial or personal level. Suffice to say, I've had my share and do not lack understanding or sympathy.


Thank you for answering and that does explain it. I'm sorry that you have had a difficult time. I'm also sorry you have to leave a great family since this one was hard to find! You seem to be handling things fairly. When you find a new ft job that gives you enough $, then tell the family and give notice. No need to bring it up now and risk having NO income when you don't even know if you are leaving or if it is in one month or one year. GL.

Fiona said...

You seem quite happy to assume anything and everything about people you don't know.

Not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot is it?

The OP did not need several paragraphs from you on your personal issues with nannies.

Nor did she need to be called immature and irresponsible by Elam.

nycmom said...


I honestly have no idea what point you are making. Would you like to clarify the logical progression of interactions that led you to believe that I had assumed "anything and everything," and how this then led to me being taught a lesson?

If you don't like my posts, feel free to skip them. I do tend to write longer posts so I'll keep this short just for you. However, in the future, since you are not the moderator, you actually do not get to determine what people are allowed to post.

Phoenix said...

you have to have money to live. If you can't live then you need to find a new job. Simple. I am sure they won't care if you are homeless

ELam said...


I've definitely had my fair share of hard times, as we all have. But I stand by what I said. I can't quite grasp the fact that the OP has no complaints about how the family treats her, no complaints about her duties or wage, and yet still wants to quit. If someone needs to make some money ASAP and they are desperate for a job, then committing themselves to one year as someone's nanny is not the smartest move.

I mean, financially, things for OP must have changed DRASTICALLY over the course of 3 months, I just can't understand the whole "I get a fair wage but I need more money" thing. She should not have committed to 1 year at a known, agreed-upon wage if she desired to make more money. That's poor planning/budgeting/looking ahead, i.e. irresponsible.

Anyway, I obviously don't know what changed for you OP and it's no ones business but your own. And I understand that you could not see into the future 3 months ago, but like I said, things must have drastically changed for you if the once decent wage is no longer enough. That's a very short period of time.

I am just trying to put myself in the families shoes and if I hired a nanny who agreed on the wage and then 3 short months later she said "I have to quit, I need more money" I'd be a little peeved. Of course you have your own life and needs and you should put those first, BUT next time you shouldn't be so quick to a commitment (that's the keyword here, and what prompted me to use the words irresponsible and immature) if you know deep down inside that it's not enough money for you to live on.

Fiona said...

Like I said before Elam I hope you never fall upon hard times and if you do I hope you come upon people more compassionate than yourself.

When you've been on the planet more than 20 or 30 years you learn that there are things that even the best planning does not cover, and those situations tend to arise quickly.

ELam said...

Oh goodness, Fiona. I am just going to chalk this up to reading comprehension fail on your part and move on.

frack said...

Fiona just seems to be jealous of people that might have it a little better than her. There's no reason for her to be ugly, I thought you guys gave great advice.

Fiona said...

Yes, I'm jealous that's exactly it.
And I have comprehension problems ?

What advice did Elam & nycmom give , OP? None.

Just a rant on how terrible, selfish, and irresponsible she is, and how she should feel badly about the family, and how much better people they are and how they have struggled so they understand.

Well if you've struggled you would think you'd have a bit more empathy.

Good lord!

TheDevil said...

Sanctimony and ignorance seem to be the rules of this blog.

Along with a generous dose of you're dumb no you're dumb fights.

Someone calls someone out on their hypocritical shit .

Person says they are to good for this plus snide remark about other person intelligence.

Magically friends and supporters of the person called out appear.

Lather , rinse, repeat.

I truly find it fascinating that any of you are able to care for children. Even more fascinating is that people come here for advice.

Truly a marvel.

frack said...

Then why exactly are you here devil??

TheDevil said...

Love the entertainment.

It's like a car wreck it's horrific, but you can't look away.

anon #1 said...

(REPOST) Being nice for anonymous poster:
It does not matter what commitment your contract states you have with your nanny family. Just like any other job, there is no legal force to make you stay at your job. That's ridiculous. However, don't make a habit of letting families down, it's not a positive trait for a nanny. Be honest with your family immediately, they need a nanny who is content, now that you are not content, it's time for you to leave, it's not good for anyone for you to stay any longer. Give your notice, be professional.