Nanny Connundrum ....

I have been nannying for a family for almost a year now in March.

I take care of a little boy-3 and a little girl-1. There have been ups and downs as this is the first nanny position I have had. I love these kids but have been questioning for a while now if this family is the right fit for me or if maybe I'm just not cut out to be a nanny at all. It started out great and it seemed that the parents expectations were all laid out.

We have a contract. However, as the months rolled on little things started to surface. The mom is off every Tuesday and Thursday and seems to fill both days with activities for herself while I do laundry, dishes, and clean up the house and take care of the 1yr old while her brother is at school.

This woman is not domestic at all and I get left holding the bag most days. (She will eat breakfast and plop her nasty oatmeal pot and bowl In the sink for me to clean not to mention leaving all other ingredients out for me to put away) this is in addition to the sink full of dishes left from the night before. I believe the contract says "picking up after the kids" not "maid". I alwaus leave the house clean, laundry done, and dishes done before I leave for the day. Anywho...I guess I have become a bit bitter because the mom and dad will come home an hour late sometimes but then hold hours over my head for time taken off. Example- they were both off for christmas week and still wanted me to work. (I did not) so I now owe them money since I am on salary. The dad is always bragging about how much money they have and how big their house is. The other part of all this is the that they barely do any disciplining aside from the occasional "now, we don't act that way " or "would you like a timeout?". The 3yr old has started to use timeout as a way to get out of eating his meals. He will literally tell me he wants a timeout.:( The one year old has already started throwing kicking, screaming tantrums on the floor when I don't give her her way. (BC she is not used to being told no)

Also, I have been sick constantly since I started nannying and I am only allowed 1 sick day every 3 months. I am currently sick and will be owing them more money. Pretty soon I am going to be paying them to watch their kids! The kicker is that they have no back up if I am out and the dad has to take off work to stay home with the kids ... I guess I just need some advise as to what my next move needs to be. With my year review coming up I am wondering if I should hand over my resignation letter and go back to working in an office. :( Thank you for your time.


Feel your pain... said...

Dear OP:

I feel your pain and have been in that situation before. I suggest the following:

1.) Decide if nannying is the profession for you; do you enjoy working with children, are you willing to before domestic duties, are you comfortable with cleaning up strangers messes, and sometimes bodily fluids, etc, are you okay touching the dirty under garments of your employers?

2. If nannying is for you, perfect. The next step is to sit down to figure out what you are:
- are you a nanny (dealing with child-related stuff only)
- DOMESTIC HELPER: Deals with child related tidying and care as well as makes the beds of the parents, performs laundry duties for the entire family, cooks meals for family, drive the kids around etc.
- House Hold Manager: Do all of the above, in addition to bill payments, booking appointments, sorting of finances, booking for other household staff members, errands etc.

Once you have realized your role then you need to develop a contract with your family... In this contract you need to be very clear about what you are and are not willing to do and what the financial cost will be.

For example in my contract, I take care of the entire household but if my employer takes any time off from work on his own accord then I still get paid and there is no expectation of making "time up:. This works well as, he takes off all of March Break and extra time around the Holidays- I get the time off as well and do not loose money or my own personal vacation time.

I think that in a lot of situations Nannies get taken advantage of and you really need to be a strong person who treats themselves as a professional.

If you want to see an example contract please email me at

Nig nog nanny said...

A nanny job isn't for everyone! But let me just assure you that when you do find a family who doesn't take advantage of you and treats you right then it can be the perfect job for you!

First of all if its not I you contract to do the household dishes and clean up after mom then don't do it! If I see a dish leftover from breakfast or last night dinner I never do because well I didn't dirty and neither did the child I'm not being rude but it's not apart of my job so I don't do it! And the parents always advise me not to!

I wouldn't give up and nannying You just have to find that one family that is a perfect match for you! Good luck!

MissMannah said...

Quit this family. They are taking advantage of you and you've been letting them. You won't be able to change them into good employers.

Nannies do not clean up after their boss-parents. Nannies care for the children and do any housework that pertains to the children. That Is All.

You said you all have a contract, but I wonder how specific it is. Seriously, you have to list out every single chore you're willing to do and every single situation you can think of so they won't be able to scrimp on your pay. Never, ever deviate from the contract, not even once because they'll think that if they can get you to give an inch, they'll try to take a mile.

I don't know if you're cut out to be a nanny, only you can make that decision. I can tell you that there are families out there who will respect you as a professional and won't make you doubt yourself.

PS: Nig nog nanny, I think your username is very inappropriate and borderline offensive.

You Owe Nothing said...

You absolutely do NOT owe them money! If you are on salary, that means you get paid X amount every week, and if they don't need you, that is their loss not yours. Find another job, and make sure you are paid what you are owed when you leave.

Anonymous said...

I was in an almost exact situation!! In fact, your story was so exactly like mine (even down to the mom leaving her oatmeal bowl in the sink!) that I seriously started thinking maybe you were the nanny that they got to replace me and you were working for the same family! Lol! I worked for my family for 13 months because we also had a contract. All I can say is that the entire time I felt taken advantage of, I felt they had no respect or consideration for me (how can they when they are treating us as if we are to be their personal maid when they KNOW we don't get paid for it!) and because of that, I began to struggle seriously with respecting myself. They made me feel like crap because they did not care if I was sick, if I was working overtime, if I had to do things that were not in my contract, and so on. They asked me to stay on for another year and I did contemplate it because I thought maybe I could set them down and go over the thing that I felt they had not treated me fairly on. But I really believed nothing would change. They would have either been offended or they would have apologized amd agreed and then probably slipped right back into their old ways after a few weeks. Only you can really decide what to do, but just from my own experience, I turned down their offer to stay on, I moved on and I have not regretted it even once! Don't stay in a place that makes you doubt your own self-worth because they treat you as though they don't value you. If you are doing a good job and trying your best, you deserve to be considered...and leaving ingredients all over the counter, and consistently being late pr altering the schedule and yet being nit-picky over you being late, sick, etc. is NOT valuing you. Only really self-absorbed people who feel they are ENTITLED to have things act like that. And I learned the hard way that as their kids get older they pick up on their parents self-absorption and sense of entitlement as well! If mom and dad make a mess and leave it out for the nanny to clean up later (my MB and DB would trash the house all weekend, spill popcorn all over the living room, etc. and then leave it for me on Monday) then why shouldn't the kids feel they can do the same? Whatever you decide to do, just know you have the sympathies of someone who has been there, learned from it, and walked away from it all the wiser! Best of luck to you!

Booboo said...

There is another issue no one is addressing: wrote that you are constantly sick since you started nannying for them. How many days do you want to get paid for not showing up? It is disruptive to work and are not realizing that paying someone not to show up makes you look entitled and you write you are sick a lot. Would you rather not get paid, get paid sick day a week, keep the money and not work extra hours and do extra stuff when you do show up? If you give them headaches with a lot of sick days, at one point you are not good for them need to discuss this with them and bring up the domestic stuff as well. I wouldn't keep someone who is sick " a lot"...if an employee doesn't show up, what is the point of them being on a salary payroll?