Taking My Weekends Back

Since August of last year, I have been caring for an infant one weekend per month. Her parents are a nice couple in their late twenties, and the baby is beyond adorable. Nannies in my area earn $10-15 per hour, and I asked for $12, which M and DB said was fine. I have missed one weekend thus far, which was due to a conference, and this was brought up in the interview. I was late once by seven minutes, as I misread MB's text as to what time I had to be there.
FF six months. Things are going great, at least I think they are. I am there the first weekend of the month, and love caring for the baby. When I was there in January, I was told I wasn't needed in February, as DB didn't work that weekend, so he would be home with her. I was supposed to work last month, and a day before I was supposed to be there, I texted MB confirming the weekend, and she takes forever to respond back and tells me that DB's aunt is going to take the baby that weekend so she (the baby) doesn't miss a birthday party. Hmmmm.
I charge what I charge because A: it's what nannies in this area earn. B. I consider myself a nanny, not a babysitter. C. My background is extensive and I feel that because of that, I should be paid this amount. I don't do this for the money, I do it because I love this baby and enjoy working with children. Is the extra money nice? Of course it is, however, I have noticed that they have shorted my amount a few times. I wonder if I should even bother texting MB about this weekend, because I am thinking she may tell me someone else is watching the baby, once again resulting in my losing money. I am a full time college student working part-time, and I have bills just like everyone else.
 I had my entire weekend planned last month around working, only to find out that I wasn't needed, and I felt that it was rude for MB to not tell me I wasn't working sooner. She had all month (literally) to tell me that DB's aunt was going to watch the baby, takes a day to respond back to my text and tells me the day before I was supposed to be there.
Again, I am thinking this may be about money, considering that I charge $120/day, which results in $240 for the entire weekend, on top of full time childcare center tuition. (The baby attends a center full time during the week.)
What to do? I don't feel like texting MB about this weekend, only because I believe what happened last month may happen again. I would like the reference because it involves working for an infant, but don't really need the reference because I have enough, and because I don't know if M and DB would necessarily be able to give me one, due to flakiness.


Kat said...

I would text her something along the lines of "Hey, just wanted to confirm I'm still watching DD this weekend since I haven't heard from you yet."

I'd do it long before the weekend so if not you can make other plans.

NYC Work At Home Mom said...

You've got to be able to communicate with them. It doesn't sound like this is working out for you. This is what I would do.

Text the mom to confirm that you are working this weekend. Regardless of whether you are working, plan to tell them that you need to find a job with more regular/reliable hours. If she says yes you are working, then work the weekend first then tell them so that you aren't giving them too little notice. If she says no, try to call or make an appt to stop by and then tell her at that point with almost a full month's notice to the next time you'd be scheduled to work.

If you think you'd be happy continuing to work for them on an occasional night or weekend, tell them you'd be happy to work for them in the future if they call you for a specific job and you are available, but you also need to find a part time weekend job with set hours.

That's my advice. Good luck.

Jessica said...

They definitely sound like flakes.Find another job and then quit.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Wow OP. This family sounds like they are not only flaky, but very inconsiderate as well. I guess since you only work once a month for them, they are not treating you like they would perhaps (?) a full~time employee. And do not feel bad for charging the $12/Hr for watching their baby. You are not overcharging them and you shouldn't feel guilty for working for that rate.

As a nanny, I personally prefer to work for older parents since they usually are more "together." This couple sounds young to me and they do not seem very responsible either.

It was very rude of them to give you such short notice. Once you agree on a certain weekend per month, then you reserve that weekend for them and them only. By not informing you in a timely manner they do not need your services, they are taking you for granted and do not value you at all.

I know you love their baby, but since you really do not need the money that much right now, then I would just quit. Staying w/them will only be stressful since they seem so flaky in their mannerisms.

It's your call whether to give them adequate notice, but since they do not extend that courtesy to you, I wouldn't sweat it.

Overall this is not a good match and both sides need to part ways.

BKmommy said...

Some parents are cheap, plain and simple. Nothing you say will change that. I agree that better communication is necessary, but don't be surprised if nothing changes. I suggest starting to look for other opportunities because this one may not have the longevity you're hoping for.

OP Here said...

Thanks everyone for the advice. It's 634a CST, and I have yet to hear anything. A friend of mine suggested waiting for her to text me, to let me know if I am working; apparently her texting me will indicate interest. I am giving her until 9p this evening, and if I don't hear from her, I will take it as they found someone for this weekend.

Now that I think about it, I do feel unappreciated by this family. I wonder if they treat the people who care for their DD at childcare?

I am losing money because of this, and I hope somewhere that I can find a position to replace this one. Again, I think the reason why I am not working for them is money, and for the first time in my career, I am seeing how cheap parents really are. I even got them a gift card to a restaurant, DD a cute outfit, and the dog a bone for Christmas. What did I get from them? Lack of respect, and appreciaton.

My guess is that they hired someone half my age to save a few bucks. I wonder if their new nanny will be able to understand and read DD's cues the way I can?

This is why I am so over being a nanny here in my college town: parents want someone with experience, yet they don't want to pay for it.