From Bad to Better

From Bad to Better, and it only took 2 years! I have been a nanny off and on for the last 5 years. I took my first nanny job during my second semester of college. I had been babysitting since the age of 13, and at this point, I had taken 3 Child Development classes as well as volunteered at a local Day Care Center. I used and to find a nanny job. I had posted my profile with background and driving checks on file. I had received numerous responses and answers to all of the jobs that I had applied to, and thought things were going great. I narrowed the replies down to 3 families that I thought were offering the perfect gigs.

Family 1: A work at home mom and a dad who worked outside of the home about 60-70 hours a week. They had one 8 month old son. They needed someone to come Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-5:30pm. They were offering $11 an hour with 4 paid sick days a year, and 2 weeks paid vacation a year (one week of my choice, and one week of theirs). They lived in a safe neighborhood within walking distance to a local library, local Park, Gymboree, Toddler Play Center, and a Children’s Museum. Family 2: Mom and Dad both worked outside of the home. They had one 4 and a half month old daughter. They needed someone Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. They were offering $12 an hour, no paid sick days, one week paid vacation. They lived in the same neighborhood as I, probably only 5 miles away from me. They were offering to buy the nanny a membership to the local Zoo, the local Gymboree, and the local YMCA. Family 3: Mom worked outside of the home while dad worked in a home office and traveled about 15 days of every month. They had a 6 month old daughter. They needed someone Tuesday-Saturday from 7am-4pm. They were offering $11 an hour, 3 weeks paid sick days/vacation days a year, and lived in the same neighborhood as Family #1.

I chose to work with Family 3, mainly because I felt as though I had really connected with not only the parents, but also the baby. They were offering what I was asking, and the schedule seemed to really work for me. I started the job, and everything went great…for about the first month. At the beginning of month two, dad began traveling more, and mom’s job was becoming more demanding. They asked if I’d be interested in becoming a live in, and I agreed upon the agreement of an increase in pay. I moved in the following week, and my pay had increased to $14 an hour. Mom started working 12 hour days, and we saw dad about a week every month. I became very connected to the child, and it was almost as though I was a parent to this baby as her actual parents were rarely around. It wasn’t long until I was responsible for this baby during every moment she was awake. Weekends and weekdays started to blend, and I was feeling trapped. I dropped all of my classes that semester, and it got to the point where I was never away from the baby. About 11 months into the job, it had become too much. I needed space, I needed me time, I just needed to get out.

After a week of finding the time, I was finally able to sit down with the mother and father. I expressed my concerns, and they had told me they agreed. They also chose this time to tell me that they were expecting their second child. (How they found the time, I will never know!) They told me that they felt as though I wasn’t a good match for their family. I was shocked, devastated, angry. I wasn’t a match for their child? I was with her every second of every day. I loved her as though she was my own. I couldn’t imagine not seeing her everyday. While I was the one to start the conversation, I didn’t expect to take such a shocking turn. They let me know that they would only need me for one more week. MB’s parents had decided to move in with them and help raise their grandchildren. Parents and I had agreed that I would still be able to see the little girl, and I accepted it. I worked the following week, and received my final paycheck. I wasn’t given a thank you for time/services, I wasn’t given any sort of bonus, I wasn’t even told goodbye by the parents.

I tried to contact the family numerous times that following month, and still to this day have never heard back from them. I felt like I had lost a part of me. I miss that little girl so much, still to this day. Since I left that job, I have been working as an Infant/Toddler Class instructor at many local Recreation Centers. I taught classes such as Baby Sign, Music and Movement, Baby Yoga, Focus and Flexibility, Mommy and Me, Ballerina Babies, and a few others. I did this job for about a year, before I decided to go back to school. Upon reaching the decision to go back to school, I decided to go back to a career as a Nanny. I began the strenuous search for a job, interviewed with many families. This time around, I made my requests very clear, demanded the use of a contract, searched more for a family who practiced parenting styles similar to mine.

After 3 months of searching, I finally found the job that worked for me. I now work for a family with a 6 month old baby girl. The parents both work outside of the home. We have a mutual trusting relationship. We have a respect for each other and are working together every day to raise this amazing baby. I have no complaints over my new job. I have been here for 3 months now, and have not had a bad moment in this job. They have accepted me into their family. I work M-F 7am-3:30pm. I am invited to their weekly family game night. I occasionally babysit for them outside of my scheduled work hours. I get a month off every three months paid. After 2 years, I have found my happiness. - Anonymous


MissMannah said...

"You aren't a good match for our family" is code for "you've done something to piss us off but we'll never admit what it was" or "we are jealous an outsider is spending so much time with our baby."

I must say, I am shocked that you were making $14 as a live-in! Did they take some money out of your salary for rent? If not, and the amount of time you were working, you must have been making bank!

I'm glad you have found your happiness. We all have to pay our dues at some point.

blurp said...

You get a MONTH OFF for every three months worked? What do the parents do for that THIRD of the year for childcare?

EastBayNanny said...

Moral of this story: don't be afraid to take a leap of faith. If you are not respected, know that you CAN BE elsewhere and leave!

Good for you!!

PS $14/ hr is modest!!! I can't figure out where Mannah is coming from. Mannah- care to elaborate?

MissMannah said...

Must be a regional thing.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

This story is proof that if one perseveres in life, the outcome can be favorable.

OP, I am so glad your story had a happy ending.

This post gives me faith that good families ARE out there and it is not IMPOSSIBLE to find them.

Thanks for sharing. ♥

EastBayNanny said...

Mannah- yes agree! Most definitely is regional, but regardless we all need a living wage. I hear that in some places in this country it is possible to be "comfortable" on $1800/ month. I don't believe it! LOL!

ericsmom said...

Geeze I live in Jersey near the city. Its such a struggle. I think we need to make at least $6k a month.

MissMannah said...

Not really "comfortable". Yes, people could live off $1800 a month around here but they would still have a bit of a tough time. I can't think of anywhere that has a lower COL than us.

Mrs. Billy Lamar said...

I thought happy endings only happened in massage parlors. Just

Great story OP.

I am glad things worked out for you and you are in a much better place now.

You are truly one of the lucky ones.