Job Creeping into Housekeeping

It's my first time as a nanny and I am a live in. I am going to school, working as a nanny and secretary in an office. All for the same family. The interviews and phone calls seemed wonderful, they really portrayed exactly what I wanted to work for. I took the job and moved 2 hours from home. I wake up, clean the kitchen, which is not a big deal, take the kids to theatre, and go to work. I stay in the office 9-5 and pick the kids up drop them off and go to school 5-8. Sounds like the perfect position right? Initially I was told soo many different things such as they have a cleaner and I would not be needing to clean. Now I am expected to sweep and mop the floors, clean the bathroom, and do all of their dishes? May I remind you I get paid gas money for the week unless I am in the office. Am I being ridiculous or should I quit!?!? - Nanny911


CleaverJune said...

I understand exactly what you are going through. Having been a professional nanny for over a dozen years - I have been there!

First, I genuinely hope that you have a work agreement/nanny contract. If so, what I recomend is that you set up a time to sit down and discuss your concern/issues/frusterations. If it is too difficult to say face to face, then write them a letter (remember, keep it professional!) I would go over that you were told that you were told that you would not have to be doing housekeeping, and take the time to go over what duties were agreed upon in your contract. If doing the mopping/sweeping isn't something that you would mind doing, I would tell them that you would be happy to take on additional duties, but they would need to be agreed upon, added to the contract, and compensated accordingly for them.
If you are not willing to do it, then be professional - but firm.
I know that it can be difficult to stand up for yourself when you feel that you are starting to get taken advantage of. Just remember, sometimes your employer doesn't even realize that they are crossing a personal or professional line.

Be polite, be firm, be professional. If you do, not only will they respect you for how you handled it, but you will feel awfully good about it yourself!

Best luck to you!

gypsy said...

Print a list of cleaning chores with a price next to it. Then when they ask you to do them, charge them. If you'll work for free, they'll certainly have no issues with that! Its totally up to you. Work for free or charge them? Your choice.

RaleighWorld said...

Ha I like gypsy's idea.

My job went from "oh no house work its involved. As long as he's taken care of there's nothing else you need to do" to "can you fold the towels, keep the laundry going, empty/ load the dishwasher, vacuum, wash toys, bottles"... I'm sure there's more to come.

This past week I left cat poop on the laundry room floor for the parents. First, I hate cats. Other then allergies I just don't think they're pretty or anything special. Second, my responsibilities don't include pet care. That would certainly be extra.

I get pretty good perks so I'm definitely a lucky nanny but have also found myself sinking deeper into the housekeeper roll.

gypsy said...

RaleighWorld, do NOT allow them to take advantage of you. When they ask for you to do extra chores Id say,"speaking of dishes, I've been meaning to talk about dishes & chores with you. I've drafted a per chore fee chart! This will keep it simple. Ill keep track for you!!" Smile, set it down & do the dishes with a smile. :-) whistle, if possible.

nycmom said...

You are not being ridiculous. Expecting ANY employee to assume significant extra tasks that were not part of the original job description, without discussion, the ability or refuse, and an offer of a raise is simply unacceptable. Yes, we all pitch in sometimes at various jobs when staff is short. I've done my fair share of sweeping, garbage emptying, and literally hand washing patient furniture for cleanliness when housekeeping was dramatically cut. But I do it by choice because I prefer a clean work environment, am not asked/told to do this, and am not chastised in any way if I do not.

I have repeatedly said that the hiring Work Agreement needs to list EVERY single chore that is expected down to empty, fill, run dishwasher daily; empty full garages as needed; full care of kids rooms/clothes/closets, clean up messes made by self or kids (WITH kids help), occasional ped visits, picking up occasional groceries, etc.

I also strongly advocate nannies adding your own list of chores that are NOT included in your job: vacuuming barring extreme emergency (broken glass); cleaning toilets; mopping floors beyond extreme circumstances (spilled container of juice); you will not load clean/load in dishwasher any dishes that are there when you arrive in the morning; etc.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Nanny 911, this one is a no-brainer to me. You need to quit.

I hope you not only have a place to move to, but also another job lined up. Or I hope you have enough $$ to live off of for another few months until you can secure a new position.

This family waited for you to move in...then they "slyly" added extra chores. They know what they are doing. You sound busy enough, w/a full-time job, school and kid duties. How dare they ask you to clean the bathroom?????!!

Please do not stay in this job. Take off as soon as possible. Let them clean their own toilets, damn it.

De said...

I have been there! One of my first nanny jobs was a live in that seemed perfect at first and ended up with me being a full time+ housekeeper/nanny at minimum wage. The dad actualy said once, "I don't want to hire a cleaning lady, we can save money by having the nanny clean the house!"

no moniker said...

re-post for Anonymous...
Yeah, there are two issues here: the level of housework being asked of you and the fact that the employers added it post-hire. You're pretty enmeshed with the family, so boundary lines might not always be easy to draw (for either you or the family) but you can draw a big fat bright line at heavy housework like bathroom cleaning. In my mind, a nanny is responsible for childcare and only the specific other tasks laid out in the initial contract or job discussion. Sure, you pick up the bowl of jello that the baby throws on the carpet at lunch. But unless you were hired as a housecleaner, you are not one. You're a childcare person. A post partum doula, for instance, does light housework (folding baby laundry, preparing snacks, MAYBE unloading clean dishes) but she would never be expected to sweep and mop floors or clean toilets - and post partum doulas can make up to $30 an hour! These people are taking advantage of you and it's not okay.

NanonymouslyYours said...

Before quitting,

I think you should talk to you bosses first. They don't know you're annoyed by it unless you say something. In all honestly, I'm sure they KNOW you're annoyed but they will keep pushing until you say something - this happens all the time. Put on your big girl pants and stand up for yourself. If they don't understand where you're coming from, then start looking elsewhere.

Best of luck!

gypsy-the-chore-chart-maker said...

I agree with Nanonymously. Why not work out the issues? You'll have issues regardless of where you work. If you quit everytime you're not happy about something, you'll never find peace. Learning how to stand up for yourself is a skill all domestic employees will need to learn (and practice). You'll feel so much better about yourself if you learn how to draw clear boundries & practice setting them. You may have to draw the line regularly until they get it. But make no mistake, its your job to create clear boundries. This particular family is content having you be a free housekeeper. Its up to you whether or not you're accepting of such a position.

Sweep, mop, clean the floors, clean the bathroom & do the dishes? List these chores & come up with a fee. Id charge $25 an hour to clean. And only clean when ur not the nanny. OR, like I said charge per chore. Ohhh you know what Id do?? Id make a Cleaning Chart. List all chores. Each chore has a fee. Each time u do a chore, record the date & time. Keep it on the fridge. Total the chores up & circle & highlight the money they oew you. Make a copy & turn it in once per month. If you want mee to create it for u, just ask. I have plenty of free time to help u anyway I can. ;-)

smile said...

haha, Gypsy, you're brilliant! Love that idea. Wish I had thought of it a year ago!!

gobacktoyourholegypsy said...

Gypsy's idea is hardly original.

Village, Tales, and other awesome experienced nannies on this site have advised the same things many times before.

gypsy said...


gypsy said...

If by hole, you mean my bed, I think that is an excellent suggestion! :)

Well, let's think about this for a minute. Had the OP been here to read Village, Tales & the other awesome experienced nannies advice on this site advice, she wouldn't have written this letter to ask for help & advice.

Although I have too much free time on my hands, I am not going to get in the habit of searching for like answers & omitting mine should they be a repeat of someone elses thoughts or ideas. Feel free to skip over my posts. I make it easy for you because I use the same moniker "gypsy" on every topic.

I make no claim of being original. I am no different than anyone else, except of course I am me. :)

Have a good one....