I am an avid reader of this blog, but this is my first time submitting. "Jane" is my 13 month girl I watch. I am a nanny, and where I work there's more SAHMs than Nannies. I see other nannies from time to time, but today I met a Nanny and an Au pair. They just started coming to Storytime at the Library a couple weeks ago, but today we made introductions. I met the Au pair first, and I don't know... she just came across as shady to me. First of all... she's caring for boy/girl twins who are almost 2, and she had earphones in her ears!!! Sitting in a chair... tapping her foot, and quietly humming. Sure, she was watching them, but come on, earphones, really?! Her clothes, I don't think were job appropriate. Her shorts were practically booty shorts and her top was super low. I'm not a prude nor am I saying you have to dress like a prude, but at least be appropriate. You're watching children, save that outfit for the bar.
We made small talk about our charges, work day, etc. Then "Jane" and I went to read in the corner. She came over a couple minutes later and starting talking to me again WHILE I was reading to the baby! She started asking me more questions which lead to personal questions; how do I like the family, what do they do for a living, do I do housework, am I under the table or on the books, how much do I get paid!!! I am a very private person as it is with people I know, but for someone I just met to start shooting me these questions?!? I don't talk about specifics of my job, or answer personal questions... so I just nicely told her she was asking too personal of questions, and went back to reading to Jane. She gave me a look and was like, "Seriously?! I just wanted to compare."
I know how much Au pairs make, and honestly I didn't want to make her feel bad. I just don't think she understands there is a slight difference between a nanny and au pair. The Nanny I had just met, on the other hand, was absolutely wonderful!!! After me and Jane left the library we decided to meet her at the park. There were a ton of kids there running around, but she still managed an 8 month old on her hip while helping the 2 yr old up and down the slide. She was attentive, loving, encouraging, and experienced. The girls were so well behaved too! She actually reminded me of... well me (haha)! We're both young, professional (she dressed appropriate and still stylish), we've been nannying for 5+ years, and we just get where the other is coming from. I have friends who are moms, but it's not the same.
We're both American, but we do incorporate our native tongues into our charges lives (she's Latina and I'm Asian). When asked (in Spanish) to say hello to me the 2 yr old said "hola, L****". Even though we work in the city, there's still not that many nannies around our particular area, so to have met another nanny you click with... it's like a breath of fresh air!! We exchanged numbers and plan on meeting up with the kids after I come back from vacay! I think it'll be good for the girls. Jane just turned 1, aside from weekly Storytime and kids she sees running around at the park, it's mostly her and her nanny (me) all day! And new nanny friend said that since her charge left daycare, she's become really shy and reserved. Nanny really seemed to love her job and the girls she was caring for, which is something I didn't get from the Au pair. I don't believe she's a bad caregiver either, I just think she has a lot to learn.
Do you guys think there's a difference between a nanny and an au pair? Does it make you uncomfortable when people ask you specifics about your job? How do you handle it? Before people make negative comments, yes, I think those questions she asked me were too personal. Quite frankly, my job specifics are no one else's business. It wasn't just that she asked them, it was her demeanor and the way that she asked. Another thing, I don't like to gloat. I'm not going to throw my salary around in someone's face, especially if I know they do the same job as I do, but are making less. So please don't turn this posting into a riot. Thanks! - Lo
Readers: Please be respectful of OP's request for no flaming in her thread. Thank you! ~ MPP
at 6:44 AM