Gaining Control and Drawing the Line
I'm hoping some nannies, and possibly mothers, can help me sort out some feelings about the family I care for. I've been caring for two kids, A age 8 and T age 6, off and on for 4.5 years. I know this family through my mother and their mother, K, who work together. I assumed full care for them last February. I have them before and after school (with drop off and pick up), holidays, breaks, etc. Our families are pretty close, and much to my objection they've now started sharing all birthdays, holidays and family get togethers with my family.
My problem lies in the fact that I think the mother is a "lazy" parent. K and her ex haven't been together for about 5 years, and this guy put them through all sorts of hell, mostly mental and emotional. I think K feels the need to be the extreme opposite of the spectrum; she is very passive and let's her kids get away with murder. However, I do have to say the kids are mostly well behaved with me and I've never had many issues with them. I'm starting to resent the mother. The kids show up every morning with clothes that are way too small, A usually in high waters and T in skirts that are way too short. This is a HUGE pet peeve for me. I've tried to subtly ask K what's going on by asking if I could assist in getting them better fitting clothes. I always try to press upon the kids that they need to wear clothes that are properly fitted and that are comfortable.
This morning T showed up with her wet hair in a lumpy uncombed pony tail on the top of her head; she has just gotten over being sick. T is showing huge red flags of misbehaving in class, not turning in her work, talking back, etc. When asked if mommy ever talks to her about her behavior T said no. Also, their eating habits drive me up the wall. I have struggled with my weight since high school and recently got the gastric sleeve. K has mentioned numerous times that she was very overweight as a child, but is now a normal weight. Unfortunately, she lets the kids eat anything and everything they want. They will have a sandwich, cookies, chips, a fruit snack and juice for lunch...sugar sugar sugar. At get togethers all they want are chips, cake and ice cream and mom sees no problem with it.
K pays me once a month on the 1st. When I first started watching the kids K was in a much lower position at work and to help her out I took a very low wage ($500/mth). Now that she's moved to management and making 2k more a month, without talking about it with me, she started paying me $300 more a month (for approx the last 6 months)... mind you, this is still far less than what a daycare or other nanny would charge for 2 kids. But this month she paid me my original wage which put me way behind on bills. I know I shouldn't EXPECT the higher pay, but because it's been months so I figured this was the new norm. I'm still angry over this, and I still feel $800 is more of a fair wage. Am I wrong in thinking this? I just have so many resentful feelings towards K in that I feel I'm making better common sense decisions about her kids than she is. There's more, but this is already way too long. My family tells me I need to let this go and stop putting so many feelings into it, that they're not my children. However, they're with me day in and day out, I've become like a second parent. I don't know how to draw that line that I'm not technically their parent and to stop caring how she parents them. Help! - Anonymous
at 9:30 AM