11 December, 2012

Core Values

OPINION
I have been employed as a professional child care provider for over four years, and have worked with two different families as a Full-Time Live-Out Nanny. With my first family, I cared for two adorable children, ages three months and two years at the time of my hire. MB was a single parent, and I quickly found our philosophies in child rearing and personalities in general to be very similar. The children wore cloth diapers as opposed to disposables, both MB and I practiced baby wearing frequently, and we both agreed with attachment parenting practices. I fell in love with this family, and was so sad when MB was transferred to another area for work. I was invited to live with them in the new home, but declined due to my own continuing education obligations, and wanting to stay near my own family.

Fortunately, MB was able to introduce me to a friend in need of child care, and I was able to start the new position almost immediately after their move, and this is the family I am currently employed with (children's ages are twelve, five, and one year). However, after working with the "new" family for about six months, I am finding that I just don't "click" with any of them. The family raves about how much they love having me, and compensate me VERY well. Often I feel like the only reason I stay with the family is for the high salary. The family pays me $400.00 per week (which may not sound like much to some nannies, but is a big deal in my small city), and I am paid for ALL time off (including sick days, holidays, vacations, and anything else that may arise for either the family or myself).

Unfortunately, in my area, it seems to be difficult to find a family that realizes I am a professional care giver, and not just a babysitter. Therefore, it can be tough to find a family that both values my work, and compensates me fairly. And even though I don't "click" with their personalities and parenting styles, my current family DOES value me, compensates me well, and shows me a ton of kindness.

Ideally, I would love to be employed for a family with a young infant (newborn - six months), and possibly a toddler (one year - three years), similar to the ages of my first charges. I would like for the family to be at least a little familiar with attachment parenting and baby wearing, and hopefully already practicing it themselves. It is also very important to me that the family value my experiences and expertise, and compensate me appropriately.

My question is, have any other nannies experienced a similar situation, feeling unhappy in the job, but fearful of leaving because the compensation is so good? Also, how would I go about finding another position with a family that more closely values the same things I do, AND is willing to compensate we as well as my current family does? Sometimes it feels like parents in my area want the best care giver available, but aren't willing to pay much more than $150.00 per week for that "amazing" person caring for their children. - Anonymous

13 comments:

nnnanny said...

Are you still trying to continue your education? Could this be a job that would take you through until the end of your program? If so, I would definitely hold out.

I hate to say "in this economy,"... buuuut... In this economy, and especially in a small town that undervalues child care, I wouldn't even think about leaving the job. It may not melt your heart to go to work every day, but it is steady and temporary. If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. 3 years to finish college, or whatever) then it makes it so much more bearable.

Good luck!

oceanblue said...

We all want our dream jobs, nothing wrong with that, but we have to be realistic too.

You have a good paying job for your area with a kind a respectful family. So many nannies would give anything for this deal!

Sometimes a nanny job is just a job and you don't have to be uber close to your nanny family and match all their beliefs
Hang on to what you've got!

Maybe once you finish school you can look for jobs outside your town. It's not likely you are going to change the mindset of your small town.

Spread your wings and be willing to move or commute for the higher pay.

Moniker said...

Newborns turn into toddlers. Even if you found a family with an infant, it wouldn't stay an infant for long anyway.

As for the attachment parenting/baby wearing thing, only a small fraction of parents use these methods. Sure it is nice to agree with a parent/employer's way of parenting, but I really don't think it should matter that much.

You are paid well and it sounds like you are treating pretty well too. Instead of dwelling on the things you don't like, why not just be thankful you have a decent job?

I'm not sure what kind of answer you are looking for.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Like nnnnanny stated, if you are in school now + are studying up for another career, then perhaps you can stick this job out until you can get started in your future career.

Your job sounds good. You are respected, paid well and have great benefits. It doesn't sound like you are miserable and hate going to work every day.

However, IF your current family's method of parenting is really affecting you, then it is not fair to neither you or the children/parents if you continue to work for them.

You can stick this job out while going to school or you can start looking for another position and when you find the "ideal" position, you can give proper notice and move on.

Since the two oldest children here are probably getting attached to you, it would be best to move on soon. The longer you stay, the harder it will be for them to see you go.

Just be prepared to be searching for a job for awhile.
Yes, part of it is the economy, but part of it also is the AP thing and wanting respect plus good compensation for it. As you well probably know by now if you are a regular on here, good families are not so easy to find.

The best of luck to you OP.
You have a good head on your shoulders and seem to know exactly what it is you want in life. ☺ ☺

MissMannah said...

I would say keep the job because it is a good one, but keep your "feelers" out there just in case something better comes around. There's no shame in saying a family isn't a great fit and we all have our preferences for the ages of children. Just wait it out and eventually something more you-friendly will come along. In the meantime, put 100% into your new job. If you find yourself slacking or resenting them, it is definitely time to step up the search.

melissa said...

I had a similar situation once- I was making amazing money (I was taking home $1000 per week), but I absolutely did not agree with the parenting style. I did the best I could, but I grew resentful pretty quickly. Now, they didn't treat me terribly, but they didn't respect me as much as the other families I've worked for. I decided to start looking for a job on the DL because I knew I couldn't stay there. I also knew that I would be taking a pay cut. In the end, we parted ways (I did not have a new job yet) on fair terms. I guess I'm just saying that I understand where you're coming from. I also agree with everyone else though- I wouldn't leave unless you can line something else up first. It's so hard to find a good job right now. Plus, they treat you well and with respect- that can be hard to come by.

oh well said...

How long have you been with this new family? You seem to miss your previous work conditions, which is
understandable. Maybe all you need to do is to give it a little time. If I were you I would focus on my education and try not to rock the boat. If the parents respect you and pay you well, you should definitely give them a chance. Plus, there is always something to learn from people who have different values. Good parenting comes in all styles. I hope you feel happier soon.

freespiritedm said...

OP here! Thanks so much for the suggestions and kind words. As I said, this family is wonderful, and everyone treats me so well, but I think I am just missing my previous family. Since the children were so young when I started (especially the littlest who was three months), and I spent a year with the family, I felt like I really grew attached. MB and I still talk on a regular basis, and genuinely just get along.

At this time, I am working toward learning to enjoy my current position more. I would never let it show that I don't particularly "click" with the family, and they are always telling me how wonderful I am in the home. At the same time, I am definitely keeping my options open, and on the look out for a similar paying position, but with younger children. Maybe I'll luck out.

RBTC said...

best wishes Op ! let us know any updates !

Bethany said...

It takes awhile to adjust to a new family, especially after having a deep bond with a family for so many years.

The truth is you don't always "click" with every family even when their beliefs and your beliefs match on paper, and you can have a great bond with a family with a different approach to child care.
I'd hate to see you spend your nanny career chasing after a "golden egg".

You made it 6 months why not try another 6 months?

If you do decide to leave please give your current family plenty of notice.

As far a finding a job, your best bet will be to look outside your small town and be willing to commute.

Another thing is your schooling do you plan on being a nanny after grad?

If not it might not be the best thing to find a new family only for you to be upset about leaving them in a few months or a year.
Good luck with whatever you choose.

nannyfromtheblock said...

Um where do I have to live to take home $1000 a week?

I'll buy a ticket today!

Siriusly James said...

To-and-a-half years ago, I stopped working for a family whom I've been with for three years. I still talk to all of them, and they're like my bonus family. The second youngest (my main charge) refers to me as her best friend.
The family I'm with now - great pay, wonderful people, and they relly appreciate me. I don't agree as much with their parenting style as with my "bonus family", but this is my JOB - a big part of my life, but nevertheless not my whole life.
Just because I may not agree with every single thing they do (and I do miss my organic food, and I do despise Babybjörns) it's still a wonderful job.
These are not my children, I am their nanny, and it is important to me as a nanny that these children grow up to be their parents' children and not my children.
I will try to say to the parents in the nicest way possible "well, I would like to try and sling him, if we had a sling. it's good for him because this-and-that", but at the end of the day, it's not my decision and it never will be.

We all want the dream job where MB, DB and nanny agree on everything, the children are the right ages and gender, the food is our favourite etc. etc. but there's only one kind of parent that will parent exactly like you, and that's you.
I think maybe you see your old family in a kind of "love light" = you don't think of the things you disagreed on. One year? There must've been things you didn't agree with MB on.

After this novel of a post, my advice would be to keep up the contact with your old family and focus on all the good things about the new family. They honestly sound like a very good family to work for (and there are a lot of crappy ones out there!) and if they appreciate you that much, maybe they deserve you.
Maybe you can teach them something? Or maybe they can teach you something. I think one of the very interesting things about the nanny job is that you get to see all kinds of different parenting styles.
It's more than okay to miss your old family, but it's not the new family's fault they aren't your dream job. Stay with them and enjoy it as much as you can :)
Best of luck!

Denvernanny said...

Maybe take some time to write a pro/con list. If your job has more pros than cons, and the cons are manageable, I would stick it out. It's good for your career to work with many different kinds of families.