28 March, 2012

Mom of 6 in SC

opinion 1
Hi ISYN readers, I've recently decided to go back to work now that my youngest will be starting school in late August (preschool). I was wondering if anyone knew the going rate in the Charleston, SC area? I absolutely will have a contract for her/him (Not opposed to a Manny). It will be from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, Mon-Fri. I have six children, ranging in age from 13 to 4, and I want to be fair. My older two kids won't be much of an issue, but I know she'll still be expected to be there in case something does come up. I am asking for light housekeeping (Kids laundry, any breakfast/lunch dishes.) If you can help I'd be grateful. Thanks, Mommy of 6 and loving it.

Midtown West Behest

opinion 1
Hi, I'm Kaitlyn. I'm 21 and I live in New York City. I work 50hrs/wk with an adorable 2 year old little girl. We are looking for other nannies and their charges to meet up with for playdates. It's time for my charge to begin making friends and I would love to have some adult interaction during the day. We're in Midtown West, but my charge is an only child so it's pretty easy for us to travel anywhere in Manhattan. Anyone interested in getting our charges together for a playdate sometime? Thanks!

26 March, 2012

Putting on your Big Girl Panties

opinion 1
Hello, I am a nanny in Oregon and have been a nanny for a little over seven years. My first family was a former teacher of mine and I watched her two children for 6-7/hr. This was almost 8 years ago when I started. Fast forward to now where I have watched children full time for two families and am now more of a career nanny. I do a lot of on-call/weekend work for numerous families in the area. I am now making between 11-15/hr for all new families. All of the families I work for now have no problem paying this wage and I am actually right on the lower end of the pay scale in my area.

My question is I have been contacted by my former family for some date night/weekend work. How do I tell them that I now charge almost twice as much as they paid me seven years ago? This is a very awkward conversation for me. I always had a hard time standing up to them as their nanny when I worked for them full time (they were often late coming home, I started out working two days a week and all of a sudden was sometimes working 40 hours a week). I love your site and would love any suggestions that your readers have! Thanks so much!

Soon-to-be NYC Nanny

opinion 1
Hi! I'm going to be moving from Chicago to NYC around August and have started lightly searching for a nannying job. I nanny in Chicago and love it, working part time with 2 families to equal one full time job. I also babysit here & there for lots of other people. I have great references, am a college graduate (in art) and am ready to find the perfect family. Ideally they'd be artistic and very open, but generous would be a huge perk.

I'm on Sitter City & have a good profile there & scope out NYC families who are looking that far ahead. What else should I be doing? What's different about nannying in NYC rather than Chicago? Should I be going through an agency? And, of course, how do I make the big bucks I hear about on here? My partner is going to be in grad school so I'd like to be able to 'bring home the bacon' so to speak... gluten-free and vegan of course. Where do you find the 'big fish'???

That being said, when I should I tell my current employers? I know one family is very loyal & would keep me until the day I drive off, but the other I'm not so sure about. Mom is pregnant and due in October, so I kind of worry she'd fire me as soon as she found a suitable replacement. I'd really like to think she *wouldn't* do that, as I'm a big part of the babies life, but you never know. Thoughts?

25 March, 2012

Loehmann's - (17 St and 7 Ave) NY

bad nanny sighting 5
The Nanny was pushing a black Bugaboo with stripes on the top around Loehmann's at 2:45pm today. She was shopping, not looking at or speaking to the child. Finally after about 20min she gave the baby a bottle still not looking at her or engaging in any way. The baby girl looked like she was around 8 months and had big blue eyes. The Nanny was around 5' tall, slim, middle aged, wearing black jeans, a stripped blue and white top and had glittering ornaments on her shoes.

Alyssa K. from San Clemente, Orange County, CA

warning
OC MOMS: BEWARE OF ALYSSA K. FROM SAN CLEMENTE!
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Previous post was deleted for personal reasons.

Lame Name

opinion 1
What is going on with baby names? Everyone has gone insane. There have always been those few people who name their kids freaky things, but lately it seems to have gotten out of hand. People come up with unusual names to stand out, or name their kids something the parents find cute and funny, and they have such fun taking little Brecken or Grather out to the park, but then when the kid starts socializing, their cute, unusual name is suddenly just weird. Kids will pick on you for being different, and they are quick to latch on to anything about your child that they can use against him. It's a tough world out there, and some of these names just make it tougher. Before you all say I am exaggerating, I can assure you I know what I am talking about. I also grew up with a very, very unusual name. My mom wanted me to be a non-conformist. I grew up surrounded by Jennifers and Ashleys and Sarahs, and I felt my life would be so much better if I had one of those names. So often I heard people say, 'your name is WHAT?' and I remember being very young, and the kids standing around me looking at me like some sort of unidentfied bug. What this lead me to do is try to conform in all other ways. I wanted the brand names, the hairstyles, I wanted to make sure I saw all the right movies and liked the right songs. And when I started dating, I would do anything to make sure the guy would stay with me. I'm fine with all of it now, but I would never want my own child to go through that. The fact that my mother gave me a weird name to make me not conform kind of backfired... all I did was conform my little heart out.

Ok, here are some of the weird names I have encountered: I went on an interview the other day with 2 little girls named Quinlan and Waverly. I felt so bad for them, they seemed like such sweet little girls. Those are both hideous names, but poor 4 year old Waverly is going to get so sick of people saying, 'oh like Wizards of Waverly Place!' My god people, what are you thinking? Naming your kid after an old TV show is bad enough, but a current show that is probably watched by your childs' peers? That is just cruel.

I took my charge on a playdate once with a friend named Ainsley. I hadn't met the child before, and Ainsley sounds like a last name, but as a first name I figured it was a boy. Nope, that unfortunate child was a girl. Darling little 2-year-old girl saddled with a name that makes me think of an old man on his deathbed (just the image that comes into my head).

One of the worst names for a boy these days is Keegan. There are little Keegans running around everywhere. I cannot hear that name without thinking of Kegels! The lucky thing for these boys is that most kids don't know what Kegels are, and the name has become common, so even if people make fun of it, the Keegans can all suffer together.

I knew a family once with 3 kids named Tabitha, Brynn and Skye. Tabitha had to constantly deal with jokes about wiggling her nose (and having never seen Bewitched, did not know what they were talking about), Brynn had her name mispronounced as 'Bryan' all the time, people who just saw her name written assumed she was a boy until they met her. Skye had all the jokes you would guess about up in the sky, high as the sky, etc.

Does anyone remember the news story a few years ago about people naming their kids ESPN? They literally named their kid after a sports network! It was pronounced 'ess-pen'. This one seems like bordering on child abuse! Are they going to have another kid named MTV?

Even some of the good names are being mangled. I met a little girl named Cadence a few months ago, and told her what a pretty name she had. Then I saw a certificate she got from school, and saw how her name was spelled. KAEDYNCE!! Can you believe it? She is going to have her name spelled wrong her entire life. She will have people mispronounce her name forever.

I had a friend in high school named Penny Nickels. The name Penny is fine out of context, but mixed with that last name... I still want to smack her parents. I had another friend named Crystal and her sister was Christy. That's pretty much naming 2 kids the same thing. I babysit 3 little girls named Indigo, Madeline, and Eleanor. My problem with that is in the same family, we have a very weird name (Indigo), a very trendy name (Madeline) and a very old-fashioned name (Eleanor). It seems unfair to give one kid a weird name and the other two fairly normal ones.

Some names are very pretty, but have multiple pronunciations. I have a friend with a daughter named Talia. Beautiful name, but the problem is people never know whether to say 'Tallie-a' or 'Tawli-a'. Same with Alicia. Is it 'Alee-see-a' or Alee-sha'? I just mentioned the name Madeline, but is it Mad-a-line or Mad-a-lyn? These names might not make your kids into freaks at school, but it will be super annoying to correct people on your name hundreds or thousands of times.

Throwing punctuation into names seems to be on the rise too, and it's just obnoxious. I knew 2 sisters named C'Eleste and K'Leigh (pronounced Kaylee). Those would be nice names if the mom didn't mess them up with apostrophes and weird spelling. There was another little girl named Le-a and her teachers keep calling her Leah or Leia. Finally her mom had to come in and explain that the pronunciation of her daughters name was Ledasha. You are supposed to pronounce the dash. Insane! Punctuation in a name is just going to cause problems in spelling, pronunciation, and you know when you have to fill out a form and it says, 'please print your full name, no punctuation, numbers, or other characters.' Problem if punctuation is IN your name.

I love the idea of naming your child after your heritage, however, there are some names that are normal names in other countries, but really do not work here. I met a precious baby girl named Kaylee (yep, another one)... then I found out her name was spelled Ceildh. I guess it's the Welsh spelling of it, but no one over here is going to read that name and automatically think Kaylee. Same with Rhys. It's a great Welsh name, and Reese is a great name for America, but you need to adjust the spelling depending on what side of the pond you are living. Over here your darling little Rhys is going to be called 'Rice". In high school I knew a boy named Anibal. I don't remember what country he was from, but I remember everyone calling him 'Annabelle' to be mean. When I was a kid I knew twin Japanese girls named Christy and Toshi. Their dad was from Japan, and the mom was American, so they thought it would be cute to name one twin an American name and one a Japanese name. Sure, very fun and cute for the parents, but they did live in America, so poor Toshi was the one with the 'weird' name and she couldn't even commiserate with her own twin. If you are going to make one twin a target by giving them an unusual name, give them both weird names so at least they have an ally when the teasing starts.

One more thing to watch out for is the gender change of a lot of names. Girls seem to be taking over the boys names! You never meet little boy Lindsays or Ashleys anymore. Even some of the more modern names for boys are taken over by girls. When was the last time anyone met a little boy Morgan, Taylor, or Jordan? Are these names still borderline, or are they considered girly? Little boys are quick to use 'girly' as an insult to their peers, so make sure you give your son a definitely masculine name. Girls can pull off boys names much better in our society, sad but true.

I'm not saying it's right that kids are treated differently because of their names, but that's the way it is. It would be great to change that kind of thinking in children, but you are not going to change the world by naming your kid something weird. Remember, you may think a name is cute or fun, but your child has to deal with all the baggage that goes with it. Kids can be very cruel in social groups, parents should be arming them against this, not making them even bigger targets. I think it is fine if people don't want another John or Jane, but why get completely weird with it? There are plenty of names that are very pretty, not that common, but are still actual names that won't turn your kid into a laughing stock.

Preposterous Proposal

opinion 1
I have just started work as a nanny to a 4 month old little girl in the southeastern region of the US (Alabama, specifically) and while I know nanny salaries probably aren't great down here in the south since the cost of living is fairly low, I feel that what my employers are proposing they pay me is, well, nothing short of preposterous.

I was hired very very last minute: as in I was interviewed at 7:00 on one night, and started the next morning at 7:30 am. Salary was barely mentioned as the parents were eager to get their daughter out of daycare, because they felt she wasn't getting enough attention, they didn't like the people there, and they were concerned that she only had 2 dirty bottles when coming home, meaning she was fed only twice a day.

They kept using phrases that I NOW know are huge warning signs, such as "Oh she's a very easy baby" and "This won't be a hard job" because the parents are very very lax and laid back and do not mind if I do with her what they would do with her all day: which is give her some playtime and attention, and then sit and watch tv with her or go on the internet. I will say, despite having explicit permission to do this, I still feel strange about it, even though there's not a whole lot you can do with a 4 month old. There's not a lot that really captivates her at this point and she has no interest in toys.

To get to the point: they want to pay me $200 a week for 50-52 hours of work, 5 days a week, 10-10.5 hours a day. That's.... $4 an hour with no overtime. In fact, they WERE going to pay me $175 until I sheepishly piped up and said more would be better, and the mother said $200 would be fine. To her merit, she does seem a bit clueless about what to pay a nanny and pretty much admitted to that. She did say she didn't want to screw me over, which is great, because I'd rather deal with someone who's clueless then someone who is deliberately trying to cheat me out of fair wages.

I genuinely have no idea how to go about telling them that $400 a week (meaning DOUBLE their proposed salary) is the MINIMUM I can accept. That's minimum wage with no overtime. I drive 35 minutes to work every day, and 35 minutes back. That eats up a lot of gas, so that's also part of it. Ideally I think that $500 a week is fair, but I know there's no way I'm getting that out of them. I do believe the father is fairly well off, but again, this is a sensitive issue and while I am grateful to them for hiring me, I feel it is a waste of my time for spending 50 whole hours a week being paid so little. How do I bring this up without it being a huge issue?

Attractive Incentive

opinion 1
My husband and I are very interested in landing a girl to be our nanny. She’s great, experienced and has great references. It’s hard to find a good nanny in our area, never mind one that has infant twin experience. Her take home would be $400 to $500 a week for no more than 35 hours a week, which is good for our area. No other chores just caring for our babies. But I’m wondering if a signing bonus is unheard of. My husband and I were thinking of offering up to $6000 signing bonus.

20 March, 2012

Is Economic Downturn to Blame for Downward Spiral in Quality Jobs?

opinion 1
Is it the economic situation, a growing sense of entitlement among this new generation of parents, laziness or ignorance that is causing the increase in outrageous demands made by parents for nannies? I’m talking about ads asking for a full-time nanny and wanting nanny to perform dog walking, cat grooming, errands, ironing, cooking etc., right in the ad. Or folks that want 40-55 hours of work for $150 or less a week with multiple children and they don’t want to consider a nanny share and they want to argue with you about your wage and get offended when you tell them you can’t accept wages that low. It wasn’t always this way. What gives?

18 March, 2012

Approaching and Discussing a Sensitive Situation

opinion 1
After many years, I was recently diagnosed with an illness. Without getting into too much detail, this illness will most likely be terminal. Symptoms including headaches, body pain, extreme weightloss, nosebleeds, hair loss, nausea, and fatigue. For now I’ll be on medication but could eventually require hospitalization. I could live for years or months, it all depends on how rapidly I progress. My doctor, that I trust, has assured me that I can safely keep working at my normal pace for now as long as things stay as they are. I feel comfortable continuing my job as a nanny for now. My question is, when and how should I inform MB & DB of my situation? They are very understanding, good people. MB is actually a cancer survivor and I have been with them since their oldest was 3 months old, he is now 6. I have no desire to plan any major trips or check things off my bucket list. My family is close so I can still spend time with them. I want and need to work.

Infant Increase

opinion 1
I would like to remain anonymous. I work for a wonderful, generous and considerate family in central NJ. I mainly care for a two year old boy and part-time for his 3-1/2 yr old brother before and after his 9-3 school day. My hours are 7:30 to 5:30 Monday - Friday. My question is they recently had another boy and I will be taking care of him beginning in June. MB says she will increase my salary then but we didn't discuss an amount. I was thinking $100 more each week to care for the infant too. My regular salary is $650 per week. I have been using my car to take the boys to school and activities but they are purchasing a van for me to use starting in June. How much do you think is fair for the infant?

17 March, 2012

Watch your Language

guest column Written by, Daddy Confidential
At 20 months, my son Fox is exhibiting some scandalous baby-talk. No joke: if you point to a wall clock he snappily supplies the word “cock.” We recently bought some pussy willows, the first two syllables of which Fox says flawlessly. But for some reason he refuses to say “willows.” And don’t even ask what he said during Monday’s art class when we made a kite… I don’t want to involve the Anti-Defamation League.

The other day as he reached for my sunglasses, Fox confidently said “gafas”. I commended him for his effort, then patronizingly pronounced the word glasses. His nanny Maria overheard from the kitchen and timidly offered that gafas is in fact Spanish for glasses. (Maria wears her gafas on a granny strap, from which they dangle about her bosom.) Holy frijole. My son is bilingual. Since Maria is only part time, my wife was initially concerned that occasional Spanish would confuse our son – and maybe even delay his speech. I figured that for babies, all languages are foreign (or native, depending on whether you see that glass as half empty or half full). It seems to be working out. Maria speaks to Fox solely in Spanish, and he appears to understand everything she says. Granted, besides gafas Fox’s only Spanish words are a few numbers, plus gracias and naranja (orange). Wait, can I count no? Maybe that’s a stretch.

In our neighborhood it’s fashionable to hire a nanny from somewhere exotic. The hope is that an unusual second language will distinguish your child on a school application. It’s even more fashionable to procreate with someone from an exotic country (assuming it’s not the nanny). My wife’s friend married a Japanese chick and at 18 months, their daughter Magnolia barely speaks a word. But she holds back with such assuredness that you know she’s already fluent in both English and Japanese. She’s just biding her time. Talk about a triple threat: English + Japanese + she’s adorable.

As a college Russian major, I always intended to speak the language of Dostoevsky to my son from birth. But like a bad tennis stroke, there was no follow-through. So while Spanish may not be as interesting, it will almost certainly be more useful. And the early exposure to a second language is wiring Fox’s brain in all sorts of developmentally salubrious ways.

When I lived in Russia a friend teasingly told me the following riddle (translated for your benefit): “What’s the word for someone who speaks three languages?” I answered, trilingual. He continued, “What’s the word for someone who speaks two languages?” Bilingual. “And what’s the word for someone who speaks only one language?” I thought for moment, but couldn’t think of an applicable word. He smiled and said “American.”


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To read more Articles from Daddy Confidential, please visit his Blog: http://daddyconfidential.com/

Beware of Fabiola from Chicagoland

warning
I am the neighbor of two lovely girls in the Chicagoland area and I just found this website. I wanted to let you all know that I witnessed abuse to both of these girls from a nanny by the name of Fabiola -- several times hitting, yanking the arms of, and insulting these two poor children. I let the parents know and they fired their nanny... but please be aware if you are hiring part-time or full-time nannies in the Chicagoland area... I would hate to see anyone elses children suffer like these two did.

Back-Biting Parents Should Give this Poor Nanny a Rabies Shot

opinion 1
I am going to keep this brief. I've been with a family for 7 1/2 years. During the past year I have watched their marriage crumble. The arguing, sniping and back biting are awful! It's hard to believe this is the same couple I met years ago. The oldest child is now in counseling (she's 10) and the youngest is just a baby and is not aware. The parents are in a stand off, neither will leave without the kids. So they still live together. The problem is I am getting pushed and pulled between the 2 of them to take sides. I refuse, but it is getting harder and harder to work there. They are making it unbearable for me! What should I do?

Is it ok to Intervene Between Father and Daughter?

opinion 1
I'm working for the most amazing family ever. Thoughtful and kind parents who are both physicians. The toddler is super well behaved and the baby is adorable.

Today I came in and the little girl told me her dad pulled her hair with the brush while brushing it and then pushed her down. Mom was nearby so I quickly brushed it off. When we got to the car to drive her to school I asked her to tell me about it. Without going into too many details, basically she was whining and didn't listen to her dad and then went into her room where baby was being put down to go to sleep and she disturbed the dad and baby. Dad got upset, yelled at her and pushed her down and closed the door. This morning she was very sad and cried a lot. She didn't even want to go to school. No, I'm not calling cps. Dad got upset and she did not injure herself. He always treats her well. Now if I notice a trend and this happens again I will reconsider.

My question simply is: what do you say to a child who is 4. I told her - Evan, I am really sorry this happened. It should not have happened. I know your dad loves you but it's not ok. I asked her if it has happened before to her or mommy and she said no. I also told her that if it did happen again to use her words and tell dad violence is not ok and he needs to use his inside voice and words to express his feelings. And that he hurt her feelings. She is incredibly smart and articulate and is capable. I also discussed with her the fact that she didn't listen to her dad - she described a few incidents leading up to the incident involving whining and disobeying him. Listen this is his fault, he needs to not allow her to whine and then she will listen better. It works with me! And if they did preventative behavioral guidance this would not get to the extreme. But she needs to listen to dad as well. I was very delicate in not blaming her however.

Did I tell her enough? I followed through with several hugs and kisses. And verbal reassurance that mom and dad love her sooo much. Did I do the right thing?

Will New Addition to Family be Ruff on Nanny?

opinion 1
I am curious what other nannies have done if there is a new puppy in the home. I have been a nanny for this family for about 2.5 years and things are great. I am highly educated and considerate, as are they. I truly love my job. That said, I was recently informed that there would be a puppy coming into the home. While I have no issues with helping out, I don't want it to become a situation where I will have to take care of the new puppy plus the two kids. While the dad says that he will be staying home often (working in his upstairs office) with the puppy, I can see this becoming problematic. Has anyone ever dealt with this before?

Parents Cast Milestones at a Pay Raise

opinion 1
I need advice from fellow nannies and employers. I have worked with a family for over a year, so when my annual review came up, I expected both a cost of living and merit raise. My work load has increased in the last year, as I have picked up an extra day of work and basically do anything the family asked with no increase in my salary. At my review, the family decided they do not believe in giving raises unless merited. Their proposed solution to this was they will give me raises if the children reach selected developmental milestones, i.e. potty trained by 18 months. They asked me to propose certain milestones for them to take into consideration. I would like to know if first of all, you think this is an appropriate way to prove merit, and if so, what milestones you suggest. Thank you!

Aloha!

opinion 1
Just wanted to know if anyone knows the average salary of a live-in Housekeeper/nanny in Hawaii? I have a degree in education and was a live-in governess for 1 1/2 years. I also have 2 years of experience as a housekeeper, 5 years as a cook in a camp setting, and 15 years of overall childcare/teaching experience.

13 March, 2012

Appleseeds - NY, NY (UPDATE)

bad nanny sighting 5
I have to follow up because it happened again. Today is Friday, March 9th. Your nanny was at Appleseeds with your kids around 5p and the younger one got hit above his right eye (around the eyebrow). He was crying and your nanny was nowhere near him when the incident happened. The older one is old enough to walk home, but the younger one rides in a grey & orange MacLaren techno XLR stroller. You really need to re-evaluate this nanny. She is nothing if not negligent. You can even ask the staff at Appleseeds.
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(Original Sighting: Thursday, March 8)
I have seen this go on too long and I feel like I have to say something. Every afternoon, I take my toddler to Appleseeds to met up and play with his grandmother. While the two of them are having a grand old time, I am able to look around and observe the nannies who are there with their wards. Some are very loving and engaged, but many are just sitting and socializing. The worst of them all is this one nanny who completely ignores the two boys she is there with every day, to the point that the younger one is constantly getting into fights with other kids and menacing them.

Your two boys are adorable, huge brown eyes, cute brown hair, very active; the younger one (around age 2.5) has an adorable mop of lighter brown curls and his older brother (maybe 5 yrs old? He is tall) has sleek dark hair in a stylish, longer blunt cut. Your nanny is overweight and of south Asian ethnicity. She was wearing a purple and lilac striped cardigan this past Monday, and a mustard colored top on Tuesday. I forget what she wore yesterday -- sorry -- but it was a travesty that she had the two kids locked up inside Appleseeds when it was almost 60F outside and everyone was at the park (we came into Appleseeds just to wash our hands and do a diaper change -- the place was almost deserted).

Your nanny is always just sitting in one corner or along one wall, talking with other nannies or staring off into space. Your youngest one got into a huge fight with another kid yesterday and the Appleseeds staff had to intervene. She had no idea what was going on because she was in a completely different room from him and he was in tears in the other room! I can understand that she can't keep an eye on both boys at once, since they are all over the place at this age, but she really should keep better tabs on the younger one since the older one can handle himself pretty well (he is rambunctious, but not a danger to other kids); your younger one, however, I have seen start several fights and he is always grabbing toys away from other kids. I have observed this here and there for well over a month, but since I started going to Appleseeds every day at 4p two weeks ago, I have been able to observe your nanny's behavior being this way day in and day out. Yes, lots of nannys just sit along the wall and talk to each other, with no idea of where their ward has gone; she, however, is the worst offender in terms of completely ignoring the kids she's supposed to be taking care of. Mind you, her behavior is also breaking Appleseed rules.

I hope that this reaches the parents of those two handsome little boys. It would be a shame if they, or some other kids, got hurt because of this nanny's negligence. I also don't see why she doesn't let them play outside on an afternoon when it is so beautiful. Today (Thursday, March 8th) is supposed to be 60F outside and if I see her with those two kids locked up inside Appleseeds again, I feel like I should say something to the staff about informing their parents about this nanny.

Quasi-Bad Nanny Sighting

opinion 1
(The beginning of the following Submission was cut-off. If the Reader that sent the letter in would clarify, it would be much appreciated.)
... under the age of one), and she came over and moved her boy away by grabbing one of his arms and pulling him across the playmat. He wasn't upset, and didn't seem hurt by it, but you cannot do that to an infant!! She could have easily pulled his arm out of his socket, and if she did it this one time, she probably does it often. There are many other things I could say about this nanny, but really the point of this post is to ask you all if you really think parents are oblivious to how their nannies care for their children? One week, this nanny had their grandmother with them, and acted the same way. Every time I saw them that week the grandmother was playing with them, and their nanny was on her phone - so clearly she saw what I see every week.

I could post all the specifics needed for a "bad nanny sighting", but I truly can't imagine the parents not already knowing what I know. To be honest, I don't think she is a bad nanny, I think she is a lazy nanny. She is an older woman, who is not passionate about children, or her job. It makes me very sad, especially because her charges are sweet little guys who would benefit greatly from a nanny who would actually talk to them. I'm sorry this is so long, with so little information, but I really am just wondering - are parents truly oblivious?

Nanny Makes Huge Trek with Parents Move

opinion 1
Hello fellow nannies and MB's I need some advice. I currently work for a family that I absolutely ADORE. They are in the process of closing on a new home and moving thirty minutes away from their current house at the end of the month. I want to stay with them.. they have asked me to and I agreed. We still have to chat about more pay, hours.. etc., so this is where I need advice.

It usually takes about ten minutes to get to their home now which means I will be driving about forty minutes one way to get to their new home. Taking the time and gas money into account how much of a raise should I ask for? Also, their son is in a private preschool class and they want to keep him enrolled to finish out the school year. Which means I will be driving to their house (40 mins) back to child's preschool (same city I live in) back to their house and then back to the school for pick up three times a week until June. I think this is too many miles on my vehicle. I currently take home 1,200/biweekly. I drive an SUV that eats gas like crazy.. I'm estimating I'll spend well over one hundred bucks/paycheck just to get to and from work which does not include pick up and drop off to preschool. My car has 130,000 miles on it currently and the added miles make me feel uneasy. Any advice?

Nanny Wants the Ability to Leave Without Hostility

opinion 1
No matter what we do for a career or where we work, there comes a time when our time is up. Our work environment rocks, and we don't picture ourselves leaving. However, all good things come to an end-even in the world of early childhood education, from the nanny and teacher's worlds. An understanding boss, wonderful families, and adorable children who hold our hearts with their smiles and laughter keep our feet planted firmly where they are, making it difficult to say goodbye to those we love. Whether one is a nanny or teacher in an early childhood classroom setting: the nanny family and co-workers, along with the children we care for, become family.

Here's my situation: I am a college student majoring in early childhood education, currently working at a childcare center where I have been for 3.5 years. Throughout the 3.5 years, I have seen children and families grow. I have seen my co-workers get engaged, married, give birth, and go through break-ups. We are a family, and if someone asked me in an interview why I don't like my job, I wouldn't be able to answer the question honestly, because I love my job and my co-workers. In addition to working at the center, I also nanny one day a week.

I feel like my time has come to an end at the center, and I am actively seeking new opportunities. MB gave me a compliment last week: "it feels so good to have someone I trust who can take care of A and really understand her". (A is a special needs child.) MB's sister adores me: she asked me to babysit for her in a few months for an event she and MB are taking part in with DB. I told MB that if she ever asked me to nanny for her part-time, I would do it in a heartbeat. MB is a SAHM actively involved in her children's lives, and we share some of the same interests. Overall, I think we have a good relationship. MB's sister and I are also on good terms: MB's sister has high energy kids, and the first time I babysat for MB's sister, her sister asked me jokingly if her kids scared me to the point that I wouldn't come back and babysit if asked. I started laughing, because MB's sister would ask something like that, based on her sense of humor, which is similar to mine. I feel blessed to have A, her siblings A and A, along with MB and DB, plus MB's sister and her family in my life.

MB and I haven't discussed summer plans yet, in terms of whether I will be caring for A. Due to MB's sister having a large family and being a WAHM, I could see MB's sister needing potential help getting kids here and there during the summer. Here's the thing: MB's sister brings her daughter to my center for 4K, so she knows my boss. My reasons for leaving have nothing to do with my boss or co-workers. How would I bring up the subject of being available during the summer on a part-time basis to MB and her sister if they need more help without dropping the hint I am leaving the center? I would like to leave quietly, without hostility and a bad reference from my boss, as I need the reference. Any thoughts?

Should Mom Throw Out Nanny That Threw a Fit?

opinion 1
I want to start by saying that I LOVE our Nanny. She has worked for us for over 2 years and looked after my youngest (4 month old) since she was born. The children adore her, she gets on with my husband and my parents and until today I have always always felt comfortable and confident in her.... until now I had never heard her so much as raise her voice to my children and I was always in awe of her firm but fair way with my children.

Yesterday, I was on my way home from a meeting to grab lunch, thinking that she and my kids would not be home as they were meant to be at a music class... BUT, they were home and as I opened the door, I jumped out of my skin to hear her literally screaming at the top of her lungs at my 2 year old! I stayed where I was and she continued, unaware that I was even there. She threw one of the kids chairs to the other side of the room, called my child a messy pig and continued to throw books and toys around while screaming her lungs out. Both my children were crying. I came in and she got a HUGE fright. She burst into tears and told me she was not coping so I said to her to take the rest of the day and I called into work to say I would not be back until further notice. I then called my friend at the music class to see if she thought we could still make it if parking was good and she informed me that she had not seen our Nanny or my children in weeks, all the while our Nanny had been telling me each week what fun the class was for my children.

What am I going to do?? My husband says to let her go and not look back but I cannot just turn my back on her after she has been such a big part of our lives. If this is not a once off I am worried that I have been one hell of a bad Mama missing the signs but for the life of me I can't pick any. I loose my temper, of course we ALL do! But throwing things shows a complete lack of control.... What do you all think?

MB's Tacky Sister Takes Advantage

opinion 1
I work as a part time nanny and take a lot of occasional babysitting jobs. I used to work for a wonderful family, and I still work for them on occasion. The mom asked me if I could give my number to her sister, in case her sister needed a babysitter. I agreed, I had met her sister a few times, but didn't really know her.

We spoke on the phone about a month ago about a weekend she was going out of town. She has a 6 year old daughter, I was going to stay with her from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning. We exchanged a few emails and worked out the details. She mentioned that she didn't have much money (SO tacky when they do that!!), but she offered me $12 an hour while the child was awake and $30 for the overnights. I agreed to that, and she also said there would be times when her daughter would be at her grandma's so she wasn't sure the exact times. I asked her to email me when she knew the times and days she would need me.

I didn't hear back from her. I turned down other jobs for that weekend in order to save it for her. A week passed with no email, so I sent her an email and left a voicemail asking her again to pin down the times. Another week passed with no response. When I finally got a response, it was a voicemail and she said, "oh, sorry, I meant to call you, I am canceling my trip so I won't need you after all." I was very annoyed that I had turned down those other jobs, probably losing out on $100-$150. Then she called and left another message saying she might need a babysitter for sunday. I said I would do that, and asked her to let me know the starting and ending time. A few days later she called back, said she wanted me to come early Sunday morning and stay all day, overnight, and take her daughter to school the next day. Again she whined about not having much money, she asked if I would do the whole day and night for $100.

I feel like this woman is jerking me around and trying to take advantage of me. If this were some random person I was considering working for, I would probably tell her I couldn't do it after all, or tell her that I already lost money because I saved the weekend for her, and I need her to stick to the price she quoted me. But since she is the aunt of one of my favorite kids, and the sister of one of my favorite MBs (not to mention a great reference!) I don't want to do anything that will make me look bad. The family I worked for never ever pulled anything like this, they were fantastic to work for, and never tried to take advantage. I'm not sure if they know that mom's sister is like this, or if they will just think I am being greedy. How should I handle this?

Should Broke Nanny Revoke Loyalty?

opinion 1
I would like to ask my fellow nannies and employers a question. I have been part-time with a family and just became full-time with them almost a year ago. When we sat down and talked about a "contract" and all the odds and ends of the job, things were discussed. My employers had said they would give a bonus for Christmas (of course) and depending on the bonus they received I would get another one in March. I am a student and a full-time employee of 60+ hours a week. I would have to say I go far upon my duties and do a lot of extra things. I take initiative to do extra cleaning and grocery shopping and do special children parties and activities. I would like to think that the bonus is well deserved. I know the economy is down and I am sure that my employers bonuses are also suffering. So my question is.... Do I ask them if they don't give it to me at the end of the month? Do I let it go because it was not promised? I could really use the money!!! Please help?!?! I have received many other offers and I turned them down. I do not know how long I can keep loyalty when I am broke! Thanks in advance.

Hello From New Zealand!

opinion 1
Hello, I have been following your blog very cool! I am from New Zealand and am desperate to move to N.Y next year and fulfill my dream of being a nanny. I will have completed my Early childhood degree by then, so will be qualified. I was wanting to know if anyone knew how I go about finding a job without doing the au pair programme? I do not have a US passport or visa... I am unsure who to even talk to about getting these things. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks sooo much :-)

09 March, 2012

Divorce and Visitation Situation

opinion 1
If you've worked with a family who has gotten a divorce how was visitation handled? I'm wondering more how the summer will go when the non custodial parent has their summer time. Did you work during that time? We're you expected to watch the kids at the non custodial parents house? What about during the holiday breaks? When the non custodial parent has visitation during the week and weekends, were you the one that handed the kids off? If you did/do, is the person picking the kids up allowed in the house or do you have the kids ready and waiting at the door? Any other advice you can give me except to stay out of the fighting between the parents?

Flight Insight

opinion 1
Dear isawyournanny,
This is the situation that I am in right now and I would like to know what others think. Thanks for taking care of this wonderful board. I've been reading it all last night. :)

I started working for a wonderful family a couple months ago. Everything is going smoothly. No complaints at all. Two wonderful toddlers, the parents are great, pay is very good, too. Now MB has asked me to travel with her and the kids for five days, which includes a weekend and two long flights. On vacation i will work the same hours that i usually work, just additionally on Saturday and Sunday. She said she will pay flight and meals, but other than that she asked me what I would charge, and I honestly don't know what to say as I've never been in this situation before. I've done some research and found various rates, some seem to be very low, others ridiculously high.

Now my question is, what would you say is appropriate? I don't want to be greedy, nor do I want to ask for too little. After all, I give up my weekend and will work twelve days straight, which I don't mind. It is just something that needs to be taken into account. MB has always been fair, and I don't expect anything less now. I know I am very lucky. This is why I am careful as to what I am going to tell her. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks! :)

Appleseeds - NY, NY

bad nanny sighting 5
I have seen this go on too long and I feel like I have to say something. Every afternoon, I take my toddler to Appleseeds to met up and play with his grandmother. While the two of them are having a grand old time, I am able to look around and observe the nannies who are there with their wards. Some are very loving and engaged, but many are just sitting and socializing. The worst of them all is this one nanny who completely ignores the two boys she is there with every day, to the point that the younger one is constantly getting into fights with other kids and menacing them.

Your two boys are adorable, huge brown eyes, cute brown hair, very active; the younger one (around age 2.5) has an adorable mop of lighter brown curls and his older brother (maybe 5 yrs old? He is tall) has sleek dark hair in a stylish, longer blunt cut. Your nanny is overweight and of south Asian ethnicity. She was wearing a purple and lilac striped cardigan this past Monday, and a mustard colored top on Tuesday. I forget what she wore yesterday -- sorry -- but it was a travesty that she had the two kids locked up inside Appleseeds when it was almost 60F outside and everyone was at the park (we came into Appleseeds just to wash our hands and do a diaper change -- the place was almost deserted).

Your nanny is always just sitting in one corner or along one wall, talking with other nannies or staring off into space. Your youngest one got into a huge fight with another kid yesterday and the Appleseeds staff had to intervene. She had no idea what was going on because she was in a completely different room from him and he was in tears in the other room! I can understand that she can't keep an eye on both boys at once, since they are all over the place at this age, but she really should keep better tabs on the younger one since the older one can handle himself pretty well (he is rambunctious, but not a danger to other kids); your younger one, however, I have seen start several fights and he is always grabbing toys away from other kids. I have observed this here and there for well over a month, but since I started going to Appleseeds every day at 4p two weeks ago, I have been able to observe your nanny's behavior being this way day in and day out. Yes, lots of nannys just sit along the wall and talk to each other, with no idea of where their ward has gone; she, however, is the worst offender in terms of completely ignoring the kids she's supposed to be taking care of. Mind you, her behavior is also breaking Appleseed rules.

I hope that this reaches the parents of those two handsome little boys. It would be a shame if they, or some other kids, got hurt because of this nanny's negligence. I also don't see why she doesn't let them play outside on an afternoon when it is so beautiful. Today (Thursday, March 8th) is supposed to be 60F outside and if I see her with those two kids locked up inside Appleseeds again, I feel like I should say something to the staff about informing their parents about this nanny.

08 March, 2012

Incognito

opinion 1
Is anyone ever concerned that their nanny/employer will see the posts they put up? I know its a long shot, even if you post it anonymously and change some key aspects of your story, but has anyone ever run into this problem?? I'd love to hear your experiences!

07 March, 2012

Voracious Reader Bookstore - Larchmont, NY

bad nanny sighting 5
I'm a local business owner in Larchmont, NY. A couple of times a week I see this hispanic (mexican) nanny pushing a stroller down the street with a little girl in it. She is about 2 years old, caucasian. The nanny has brown hair which appears to have been colored that way. The poor child cries uncontrollably the entire time while the nanny talks away on her phone. The little girls face is beet red and it's heart breaking. They appear to be going to the Voracious Reader bookstore. (Today is Monday, March 5). If I see her on the way I am going to ask for your number, although I doubt she'll give it.

MB Wants to Gently Convey Grievances

opinion 1
hello fellow nanny and employers of ISYN! i suppose i just need a tad bit of advice on a current nanny i am employing for my 2 year old son. she has been working for us for almost a year now. she is part time and only comes 3 or 4 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day. she is generally very pleasant and interacts well with my child but some things bother me. for example, this week my child has had a mild cold and i asked my nanny to wash every toy he plays with in a combination of water and bleach to disinfect his germs. i'm almost positive she either didn't do it at all, or missed about 6 or 7 toys? also, my child is allowed to have a small dessert after dinner, but she gave him one oreo instead of his usual scoop or two of ice cream. this poses a problem because, in my household, oreos are saved as "treats" to encourage going on the potty, following directions, etc. also, she encourages my son to help her clean the playroom before his nap, which i suppose i just don't agree with. he eventually does help her clean the room, but for the first 5 minutes he quite detests it and asks her to clean it up. he is only 2, i feel that is a little young to begin teaching a child how to clean up? how do i go about bringing up my grievances without sounding like a total type a mom?

06 March, 2012

Done and Done!

I JUST QUIT
I need opinions on my situation. Background: I am in my mid-twenties, have a bachelor’s in elementary education, 3 years experience as a lifeguard (taught swim lessons), know an extensive amount of baby signs (took ASL classes for fun), 1 year experience as a camp counselor, have clearances for working with children (state law) and 5+ years as a babysitter. I would say I have experience working with children.

Family: Dad (works) and Mom (stay at home mom) and their 4 children (8 yrs, 4 yrs, 3 yrs, and 4 months) I have been with this family for over 2 years.

Problem: Where do I start? I liked this family when I started... then it turned ugly.
1. Parenting style is too permissive. There is a counting system with time-outs, but it is not utilized enough.
2. Children whine allllllllll day long. I am not exaggerating. The 3 year old doesn’t just whine either, he screams at the top of his lungs until he makes himself gag. This will be over things like not letting him have a cookie (which his mom doesn’t want me to give him, but it’s okay if she gives him one).
3. Children do not know how to play by themselves. With a “No TV” rule while I am there, this exhausts me as a nanny. I have to entertain them the full 8 hours I am there. BTW, when I step out the door, mom turns on the TV immediately.
4. Mom is at home all day (minus running errands). We all know the down side to that. Looking over my shoulder the whole time and giving me suggestions on how to play with her kids.
5. When they “play games” it’s really them playing for 5 minutes and then throwing the pieces. I cannot get mad at them for throwing pieces because the mom thinks “it’s just them being kids”.
6. The mother does not play with her children. I think I have seen her on the ground playing maybe a total of 10 times since I have worked for her. Although I know they hired me to play with their kids and to be at home while the young ones took naps and the mom ran errands, it still blows my mind that the mom does not play with her children more.
7. I didn’t want to drive the kids around. Personally, it’s a liability issue for me. Not to mention, gas is not cheap. Now she wants me to drive them everywhere.
8. The mom just recently started giving her 3 year old melatonin to help him sleep at night. Is that normal?
9. NO SCHEDULE! I worked 40 hour weeks not knowing my hours until the week I worked (sometimes the day before). I am a flexible person, but really!? Also, constantly she asked for me to stay a little longer on days.
10. The 8 year old can’t wipe herself after going #2 on the potty. She is a normal, healthy child. Mom doesn't want her to wipe, I have to wipe or the mom has to.
11. 4 year old and 8 yr old talk to me in a disrespectful manner. “Ugggh! You did it wrong!”, “Get this, get that!", "Go away!"
12. The dad is socially awkward and has said rude things to me before.

After dealing with all this craziness: I wanted to quit a year ago. The mom wanted me to phase out and another nanny to phase in. I thought “sure! No problem. I can work a month more while you find someone”. Well it never happened. She never found anyone else. Then she found someone else (by bargaining with one of her friends who had a sitter). As a side note, this sitter also thinks this family is nuts. Then she still wanted me to work once a week. Does she not know what quit means? I finally said, “It’s never a good time to tell you this because I know you are busy (she is a stay at home mom with a nanny, come on!). I am done. Today is my 2 weeks notice. After those 2 weeks, I will be done.” She became passive aggressive and started slamming doors and not talking to me. Now she wrote me an e-mail saying how she was appalled by my behavior, like I was the one slamming doors. The e-mail contained more personal jabs at my character.

After all I have done and put up with! I have always shown up to work on time, I have said 95% yes to days when she asks me to work last minute (only declining because of appointments or sickness). I parent her children how she wants me to parent (even though I disagree with the style). Although I have listed all negative things in this post, there have been positive experiences I have had in these past 2 years with this family. However, if I look at it as a whole… I believe the negative outweighs the positive.

After the e-mail the mom sent, I am SO done. I still have one more day left and apparently she is getting a good-bye cake. Would it be bad if I didn’t show up? Thanks, SO totally done!

How do I Depart Without Pissing Off the Parents?

opinion 1
Hi! I'm a nanny in a large city. I have been working for my current family for 6 months. I've always thought I would be a career nanny. I am able to support myself just fine, however after doing a lot of thinking, I have decided that I want to go back to school for my RN (nursing) and eventually work in pediatrics. The family wants a commitment of at least a year from me. My problem is that nursing classes start in August. I need to complete a few prereques (anatomy, physiology and medical math). These classes begin at the beginning of May and overlap with my job. I do not have a contract, so they cannot hold me to working a year for them. How can I give notice without them being so po'd they won't give me a reference? I've never quit a job before so I'm a little nervous, especially since MB and DB are a little intense. Thank you!

Sick of Being Sick

opinion 1
So I've been working for a wonderful family for almost two years now and I can't stop getting sick! They are so nice about it. They pay me for all the time off, call to see if I need anything, and have the kids make me get well cards! I'm not the type to just call in with a cold, and I've gone into work pretty sick. Their kids are always sick too, and I know I'm picking up a lot from them. I just feel so bad for not only the parents, but for the kids. I'm home today with a stomach bug when we were supposed to have a playdate and go to pizza hut with friends. This is something they've been waiting for for weeks!

Before working for this family, I was with a family for 5 years and could count on one hand how many times I was sick with them! I don't know what's happening to me. I've lost count of how many days I've been off this year, but I'm guessing around 7 or 8. Any ideas on what I could do to make it up to the whole family? I've offered free babysitting time and time again and they won't take me up on it, so I need some other creative ideas. Thanks! :)

Celeb Nannies

opinion 1
How do people score gigs with celebs?? Seriously. Do you need to work for an agency? I'm sure you can't flip open the Sunday paper and BAM! There's Brad and Ang looking for a new sitter for their brood. I have serious job envy (although I'm quite sure that some celebs are complete nutters to work for...!) Does anyone work for an elite family? If so, how did you score your gig?

By the Book

opinion 1
Is it ok to see if a family will pay on the books prior to an interview? I'm talking about exchanging emails. I'd rather not go on an interview only to find out they want to pay under the table. Waste of gas to me. I want to be on the books because I need a record of employment to file for student aid.

Good Night

opinion 1
Newborn night nannies: Tell me your experiences, do you work through an agency/service or on your own? How do you advertise? How do you handle taxes?

04 March, 2012

Insufficient Funds

opinion 1
Hi everyone... So let me explain my situation. I've been working for this family for about a year and a half and I really enjoy this job and the kids. However within the last couple of days, some things have caught my attention. Yesterday I learned that the paycheck I deposited over the weekend bounced, leaving me in the negative. Then, while I was at the house getting ready to pick up my charges from school, one of the many services that my bosses hire came to the house to let us know that the most recent credit card payment my bosses made had been declined.

Also, on my first day of work this week my boss told me that I would need to use my car for the time being to pick up the children because the car they let me use was being serviced. However, yesterday when I had some alone time with one of my charges he informed me that over the weekend a tow truck came and took the car away, and how his mom had argued with the tow truck guy. Therefore, I'm pretty sure the car is not being serviced. Later in the evening I asked my boss when the car would be back (I'm not really supposed to use my car for work purposes) and she quickly responded "I don't know". Then while (I thought) my charges were distracted I quickly mentioned how I was informed that their credit card had been declined. Immediately, the oldest boy, who has a knack for "overhearing" things, chimed in and said "yea mom, I tried to order something the other day but it said that your card had been declined." Boss Mom replied "oh, I have to check which card is on file, it was probably the expired one," and the boy said "No, I checked, it definitely wasn't the expired one," and then Boss Mom tried to change the subject.

I haven't mentioned the bounced check to her yet because I'd rather do it in person and when my charges are not around. I know it may be just my imagination, but part of me is very concerned. She has her own business but I know that it hasn't been doing too well lately. I just get confused because I'm pretty sure her husband is doing very well financially. Should I be concerned? Should I look for a new job? Thanks!

Is This Considered Job Creep?

opinion 1
I was wondering if you think this is right. So i was a live-in nanny until the wife left 2 days after i was here. So now the man that hired me said i can stay and he will pay basic necessities, food, and everything else i need... as long as i clean and do laundry and cook dinner and give him a massage once a week. Nothing nasty or like that just back, legs, and arms. I was wondering if you thought that was okay? is there anything to be ashamed of? oh btw, hes not naked.

The Cost of Flexibility and Being Paid your Worth

opinion 1
I am a part time nanny in a large metropolitan area (about 14 hours per week). I began my employment by watching one of two children when she got off of school (pick her up, bring her home, make lunch, etc). I also take her to gymnastics class, swimming lessons, and regular outings to parks, etc. I am paid 12/hr, and thought that was fairly reasonable for this area (I usually get around 15 for less regular babysitting). I was assured I would have time for homework during her nap time, and they would appreciate me helping around the house. I also began watching her brother (alone), but sometimes I have to watch them together when there are school holidays. This was not discussed prior to employment, but just assumed I would charge the same rate. Should I charge more for days when I watch both children?

Also, chore requests (sometimes demands) have been creeping on the to-do list, including vacuuming and mopping the floors, doing laundry, taking out the trash, completely re-organizing the kids’ room, and doing all the dishes (including scrubbing the pot from the family’s breakfast caked in burnt oatmeal). I feel like some of these demands are outside the scope of what a part time nanny should do, and outside what we initially agreed upon. I appreciate the flexibility they allow me (to run short errands I have when I pick their child up from school, use their washing machine occasionally), but I wonder at what cost this flexibility comes? Also, the child has recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism, which explains the heightened attention she needs, but now I am required to read material and watch DVD’s about how to understand how to best interact with the child. I completely understand this need, but it leaves me with little time to do chores, and my employer is beginning to express disappointment with me if I have not done everything.

Finally, my employer has frequently shown up late with little to no notice, making me late to class (I am a grad student) or having to cancel yoga classes I was signed up to attend. I am more worried the situation will get worse if I do not address it quickly. I am glad to help out when I can, but do not want to be taken advantage of. Which things should I charge more for or should I just say they are outside my responsibility? Would love any advice you have!

Relatively Speaking

opinion 1
I wanted to get this out there, and get some opinions from both nannies and parents. How do you deal with friends or relatives visiting and staying in the house while the nanny is working? In my opinion as a nanny, this is absolutely intolerable for more than a day or two. Having relatives around while I am trying to take care of the kids is so difficult. I have dealt with relatives before, mostly grandparents, and it is a nightmare! Here are some examples of the problems that come up:

- Some relatives, grandmothers in particular, can feel jealous of a nanny. They are blood relatives, but they don't see the child anywhere near as often as the nanny, so of course the child feels closer to the nanny. I had one grandma who visited for weeks but never played with her granddaughter, she just sat and watched soap operas. The little girl and I mostly went to the park, did arts and crafts, and played silly games. Grandma couldn't understand why her granddaughter wanted to be with me and not her, she was just furious.
- Grandparents like to spoil their grandchildren. Sometimes Mom can leave very specific instructions for the nanny, and Grandma will totally derail them. For example, Mom wants her child to have a sandwich for lunch, and no sweets. Grandma says he can have candy if he doesn't want his sandwich. What is the nanny supposed to do then? Have an argument with Grandma right in front of the child, or disregard Mom's wishes? Nanny is screwed either way.
- Even if the grandparents don't get jealous, and doesn't interfere, sometimes just having another adult around can be incredibly annoying. Some of us nannies are introverts, who relate fantastically to children, but feel uncomfortable when forced to interact with unknown adults. I know I do! That is one of the most uncomfortable situations for me, having to make small talk with a stranger.

I am trying to look at this from all points of view, but I'll start with the nanny's since it is the most familiar! I think it shows an incredible amount of disrespect to a nanny to force this situation upon her. It is a trap, it seems like she either has to put up with an intolerable situation at work or leave her job. It seems that parents either don't realize how uncomfortable this can be, or they just don't care. It seems to me that they are not considering the feelings of their nanny at all. A nanny should not have to babysit your relatives, or entertain your guests.

I feel that if you have a nanny and you want to have relatives coming to town, you need to either:
- Make sure the relatives are out of the house the whole time the nanny is there.
- Have the nanny take the kids to her house while the relatives are in town.
- Give the nanny the time off (PAID) and let your relatives take the kids.
- Put the relatives up in a hotel and tell them not to come over while nanny is there.

OK, now I'm going to look at this from the parent's point of view:
- If they have someone come to visit, they aren't going to want to kick them out of the house for a large part of every day.
- The parents might not want the kid's at nanny's house, which is their right.
- Maybe the relatives don't want to spend their trip caring for the kids while nanny has paid time off.
- Why spend money for a hotel if they have a perfectly nice guest room?

Maybe the parents are extroverts, and have no concept of how immensely uncomfortable it can be for some of us to make small talk with strangers. Perhaps it isn't that they aren't considering the feelings of the nanny, maybe they honestly can't imagine she would have a problem. Maybe they think the guest will actually be. So what about the guests point of view? They may also feel uncomfortable having to deal with the nanny being in their way all day. If I went to visit someone and they had someone else in their house all day while they were gone I would be horribly uncomfortable, and pretty angry at whoever I was visiting. But at least the relatives can probably explain this to the parents, while a nanny usually can't. (unless you have one of those rare Nanny-MB relationships where you can actually talk about stuff without anyone getting angry!)

If I were the parent in this situation, I would make sure the nanny and my guests were never in the house together for longer than a few minutes. I feel like any other action would be disrespectful to my nanny and my guests. I wouldn't want either my relatives or a nanny who is helping raise my kids to feel uncomfortable in my house. As a nanny, I just want to avoid this situation whenever possible. Is there a way to get this out before getting hired? Do you bring it up when they tell you someone is coming to visit? Do you just have to suck it up and deal? What have other nannies done? I would love to hear the parents side of this, too. Thanks!
a day in the life
9:00 Monday morning, I raise my hand to knock on the door but MB opens it before I get the chance, Baby C in her arms. She asks me how my weekend was as I hang up my coat and kick off my shoes. We immediately begin chatting and she tells me that Baby C (10 weeks) turned over for the first time on Saturday. I smile and say “That’s wonderful!” I don’t burst her bubble and tell MB that she turned over for me on Friday, because I’d rather her think that she witnessed this milestone. We talk some more about Baby C’s sleeping schedule, which has been all out of whack lately because we’re trying to transition her from the bassinet to the crib. It has not gone smoothly, to say the least.

9:30 MB goes into her downstairs office to start work and I take Baby C upstairs to her room, making sure to take a bottle with us. I change her diaper and pick out an outfit for the day and then lay her down on her play mat, where she immediately starts smiling and batting at the hanging toys. I love watching her do this.

9:50 C is starting to tire out, so I feed her the bottle and lay her down in the crib, which she does not like and is not afraid to tell me about it. I turn on the sound machine and stroke her forehead and cheeks a little.

10:15 Baby C is asleep and in record time! I go downstairs and mouth “asleep” to MB through the office window and she does the “Yes!” fistpump. I wash out all the bottles in the sink and throw in a load of laundry. MB comes out and we talk for awhile.

10:40 We hear C start to cry over the monitor. Well, that nap didn’t last long. We both go upstairs and I change C’s diaper and MB takes her to nurse. I use the downtime to flip through a magazine.

11:15 I can tell Baby C is still tired and wonder if I can get her back to sleep. I hold her in the football hold, which is her favorite, and she hugs onto my arm with a death grip. I can never get over how cute that is. She is a bit gassy so I bounce her around for awhile, patting her back. She eventually spits up all over me and I am glad I had the hindsight to put a burp rag under her. (I swear I can hear devious laughter.) We walk around in the football hold awhile longer, and then I switch her over onto her back and start rocking her in the glider. She knows it is naptime and starts crying again…ok, maybe she doesn’t know it is naptime, but she isn’t too happy about it regardless.

12:10 Baby C is finally back to sleep and as soon as I lay her in her crib, she flails her arms around, her eyes pop open and she starts wailing again. I look longingly at the bassinet and curse the startle reflex for about the millionth time. But I pat her tummy a bit and she gets back to sleep within a few minutes.

12:20 I eat my lunch, wash dishes and fold up laundry. I also manage to check my email during this time.

1:00 Baby C is awake and hungry! I change her diaper and feed her a bottle, then lay her down on the play mat while I put her laundry away in her closet. Her closet is my domain, because I am super-anal about organizing it and MB is totally ok with that.

1:30 We come downstairs because I know MB will want to see her. MB holds Baby C while I wash out the bottle and comments that she still looks tired. I agree with her and say I’ll try again in awhile. MB doesn’t argue with me because she trusts my judgment. I put C in the swing, but she makes a face and looks away from the mobile. OK, try something else. I put her on a blanket on the floor with a toy but she is having none of that and starts crying. So I try old faithful and bounce her around in the football hold. She grabs onto my arm, as usual, and falls asleep almost immediately. I try laying her down in the pack ‘n play but she wakes up and starts crying. So we go upstairs for round three of trying to sleep in the crib.

2:00 Baby C is asleep after about 15 minutes of rocking in the glider and her kicking and fighting as hard as she could. But she exhausted herself so much that at least she didn’t wake back up when I laid her down in the crib. I come back downstairs and get on my laptop.

4:50 Baby C wakes up and I jokingly tell MB that C has perfect timing. I go get C, change her diaper and take her to MB. We are both thrilled that she took such a good nap, because it has been a couple of weeks since she’s done so. I gather my things and tell them goodbye.

In the Best Interest of a Child

opinion 1
Why have children? That is a question that I often ask myself when I deal with my current nanny situation on a day to day basis. Is it to adhere to a biological need, to satisfy your partner, or in the worst case situations, a 'mistake'. I am not sure which situation occurred to my employer, however, what I am sure of is that my employer is in no way, shape, or form ready for the the task of parenthood. I work only Monday-Friday but stress about the weekends because I know my charge has to spend them with DB, who is their primary custody parent. During this time my charge is often unbathed, eats take out food, watches plenty television etc. As a caregiver it is a hard position to be in as you care so much about the child however have no control over the matter.

During the week the DB does not clean up (dishes, personal laundry, kitchen messes, food, garbage removal) nor does DB get groceries even if a list is left... Yet time and time again, I notice that personal purchases are made (new video games, movies, adult beverages) etc. It puzzles me how one can go out and buy this, yet not ensure there is lunch/dinner options for the child on hand. My charge will go Friday-Monday with no bath, teeth maybe brushed (however, I know for a fact that there are times when this task isn't completed). Over the past years working in this situation, I have witnessed my charge throw up/or wet the bed on the weekend and the soiled sheets be sitting in the regular hamper with the rest of the week's laundry. The DB doesn't even have the basic knowledge to throw it in the washer and turn it on. I am not in charge of cleaning the DB's messes nor clothing, however, because I am at the house for a large portion of my life I get so disgusted and it begins to smell that I end up cleaning up after the DB all the time.

When the charge goes to their mother's residence they always smell of tobacco smoke, they seem to often have cough's, and I have mentioned to DB that I feel that MB is perhaps smoking around the child or that the situation is unclean/unhealthy for the child. The DB does not take action against MB and allows charge to still go there, regardless of the obvious health risk! I just sometimes wonder, what are parents thinking? I mean, its basic, have food for your child, keep yourself tidy/clean, keep your child/tidy clean, and ensure their safety, this is inclusive of health as well.

Another thing, when the holiday's come around, the DB does not invest in a Christmas tree, or other holiday decorations/activties, the DB has only this past year purchased gifts for the charge (bday-xmas). The DB has lived an extremely privileged life and in turn has no clue how the average person without 'Help' operates. Yes, I make great money, and have fantastic benefits. However, I am beginning to wonder, what happens when I leave [as that time is soon coming], then who will care for my charge and for sure they won't put up with half of the nonsense that I do.

On a final note, I am employed by a wealthy family member whom employs me as a favour to the family. Thus, I feel like a rock in a hard place, for if I say anything to my financial employers I may lose my job or cause tensions between myself, them, and the DB. I want to talk to the DB but he is not good with confrontation and will for sure take it the wrong way. How else can you state the above issues without causing tension? I really think that DB just wants me to watch the child, provide the best care, keep quiet about everything else, and mind my own business. But I feel that I am emotionally invested and am the only person who is honestly looking out for the best interests of the child. HELP!

Help Grandmother's Helper with Advice

opinion 1
I have a dilemma that I need to deal with and I really would appreciate any input from both parents and nannies. Okay, about two months ago, I accepted a job as a Grandmother's Helper. My job is to help a Grandmother care for her three small children, 2 infants and a preschooler. I initially interviewed with one of the daughters. She was very friendly and explained the job to me. It would be three days a week, for 8 hrs each and I would be basically an "extra set of hands" for the Grandmother (her mother.) We agreed I would be paid ten dollars an hr and that it would be strictly childcare ONLY... no household duties, which is great. I then met the Grandmother whom I hit it off with immediately and they even gave me a "working interview" for 6 hrs to see if this was something I wanted to do.

In a nutshell, they did everything right. They explained the job to me correctly, we agreed on pay and they stressed during the interview that it was important that I stick around to give the children some consistency. My problem? I hate the job!! I accepted it since I had been actively seeking a position for around eight months and was really behind in my bills. At the time, I was really desperate for any job so I accepted. I honestly thought I would like the job, etc. Why do I hate my job? It's tough working alongside a Grandmother who likes to be the Alpha at ALL times. If the toddler falls down and cries, the Grandmother gets upset at me for not "paying adequate attention to her." If the preschooler hurts the infant, I am again reprimanded for not doing my job again. I can't live with the anxiety of always being on edge... hoping the kids don't fall, or get in to anything they are not supposed to, etc... for if they do, it is ALL on me.

It has been getting worse and worse and I wish I could throw in the towel, but since they really wanted someone who could stick around, I feel guilty leaving after two months. But I dread going to work and hate being on edge all day hoping the kiddos don't get hurt. This Grandmother should realize that all children will fall when learning to walk and that siblings do fight. No matter how well you watch them, sometimes they are too quick. I am not a parent yet, however I have taken many child development courses and was taught this. I really want to quit this job, I have work on Tuesday (today is Monday) and I am tired of dreading going to work. It sucks. What should I do? Should I stick it out since they did everything right and I am the one in the wrong by changing my mind? Should I try talking to the daughter or Grandmother myself? Or should I just quit and move on since this anxiety is killing me? Thank you guys in advance for your advice. I will take it. I was also wondering if you thought ten dollars an hour was enough? Initially, I thought it would be okay... but after a looong day at work, feedings, changing diapers, playdates at the park, etc... I don't know if it is enough.

Special Preference

opinion 1
This is more for the parents, but do you consider a nanny's race when hiring? Would you prefer one racial background over another?

Paying Taxes is Taxing this Nanny

opinion 1
Hi everyone! I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I have been working for a family for 7 months. I've had my ups and downs with them, but I'm happy for the most part. I'm getting a semi generous salary. I feel horrible for not paying taxes and I want to do the right thing by paying them. I talked to an accountant who advised me how much to put away each week. I can't afford to put away what was advised without going into debt. I'm afraid that if I ask the parents for a raise to cover the taxes, they'll say no, and I'll lose my job. They can certainly afford it, but they're the type of family who won't spare the money unless they absolutely have to. I don't have a contract btw. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!! :-)

Most Often Asked Question...

opinion 1
1st Reader: Experienced nannies what do you wear to interviews? I want to look kid friendly, but since I tend to look about 10 years younger than my actual age, I want to look mature enough for the job.

2nd Reader: What do my fellow nannies wear on job interviews? Dressing up seems so formal, dressing down seems so... slouchy? What do you wear??