12 December, 2012
Throwing in the Towel
I've been a nanny for a family of 2 middle school boys for almost a year now. From my perspective, everything has been going reasonably well. There was a small adjustment period for the kids in the beginning since the mother went back to work, but for the most part I felt like I had good communication with the kids and they trusted me. This job is only part time and even though I make an average hourly wage doing this, per month I don't make enough on this job alone to live in this expensive city. So I work another job in addition to it which means, yes, I DO have a life beyond being a nanny, and I do have other daily responsibilities.
The other day, the mother of the children walked in the house and immediately pulled me into another room to "talk". She didn't give me any specifics, she just said that she needs me to put my full focus on the children while I am with them. She said that children can pick up when someone is distracted or preoccupied with something else and that makes them feel as if they aren't worth the attention. I'm not exactly sure where this was coming from, but I'm guessing that her children told her something that led her to this conversation with me. She was extremely vague in her words and I'm really not sure what she's referring to, or how she would even know considering that she works full time and doesn't see me interacting with them most of the time. It was a pretty embarrassing conversation because I take great pride in what I do, I work my ass off with those kids (and they are NOT easy to handle!) and I almost feel betrayed, as if the kids don't like me and they're feeding their parents false information about me.
I can admit that I might glance at my phone a little too often during my time with them for work-related things. But to ask me not to seem distracted around the kids - how do I even do that? I'm human. I work 2 jobs and I have a lot of things going on in my life. I'm not a couch potato nanny - I play games with them, I have interesting conversations with them. The only time I'm not 100% engaged with them is when they're studying and need quiet time. If I come off as distracted or preoccupied, then unfortunately that's just my personality that they're looking at, and they need to find another nanny that will please them.
I'm not sure how to approach this situation. I'm tempted to just quit - I'm so discouraged at the negative feedback after I've tried SO hard and honestly thought I was doing a great job. At times, I really wish they would put up a hidden camera so they could see just how hard I work with them, and how patient and loving I am. I want to throw in the towel. This doesn't feel worth it anymore and if the mother isn't happy with my performance now, she never will be. Thoughts? - Anonymous
at 4:15 PM