|BAILE DE DISFRACES|
So, I write this for you, the optimist who might be considering taking one of these shitacular jobs.
If you do, clarify:
1)Who prepares the children's meals? I was told that she loved to cook and did most of the cooking, but warned I would need to prepare my own meals. Sounded fair to me. However in the time that I have worked here, I think I have seen her make a fruit salad and a cheesecake. Not only am I cooking three meals a day for the children, but I find myself cooking entire meals for the family. A family of five.
2) Ask your boss to define child rearing or childcare.? In seriously think she believes child rearing means being within 200 feet of her child, which coincidentally is just the amount of space needed to fuck up any plans or fun I have created.
3) Assess her physical health. My employer would take to her bed at least two afternoons per week. From there, she would summon me to bring her tea, the mail, even a child upon request.
4) Speaking with the still employed soon to be former nanny should never be considered a remedy for obtaining factual information. Assume that nanny is under duress, that her severance or her first born's child depends on getting a warm body in to replace hers.
5) Look for exact words and clarification.
A) I asked, "who does the laundry?" She said, "we have everything drycleaned, the bedding doesn't fit in the washers and the clothes are too expensive to risk ruining. I might ask you to throw in a load of towels, but I'll let you in on a secret, 'I love doing laundry'. Yes, she said all that. I don't know that I have ever seen her in the laundry room. I do know that her husband's clothing is taken to the drycleaners, see 6. I can also tell you that for seven months, I have laundered every item of clothing each child has worn along with sheets and bedding from all of their beds and any towels that end up in the wash.
B) "I have a girl who comes in once a week and does the heavy stuff". Sounds good, right? Well, the heavy stuff starts with her bathroom and bedroom, laundering her bedding, making her bed and doing all of her laundry. For the rest of the time, which leaves about an hour, she quickly cleans the two other bathrooms and mops the kitchen floor. Define who "the girl" is and what "the girl" is responsible for. Figure it like this. What needs to be done - What 'the girl' does = what is left for you to do.
6) During the interview, my boss told me, "I am lucky to be able to stay home with my children. I love being able to dote on and take care of my children and my husband." The doting she did must have been after hours only, but I'm guessing not given the look of perpetual disdain on his face. She could never remember to drop his drycleaning off or pick it up. If he needed a battery changed in a watch, a piece of technology repaired or a gift for his secretary. It was me. I did it. When it came time to make Father's Day gift, who was pushing sticky hands in cement filled pie pans? Not her. All me. And the "girl" would always start a load of his clothes as she went out. This meant that his t-shirts, socks and boxers were left in the washer to go in the dryer. The first time, she innocently asked if I would pop them in the dryer. And then, it became my job.
7) However, it was of tantamount importance that the Mr. never know that the Mrs. didn't do anything all day long. In the afternoon, she would have me, prepare her husbands smoothy contents in a baggie, so in the morning as she sent him out the door, he could see her frappingit up in the blender. All she did was dump it from the baggie into the blender and push play. Also, whether it was pork loin or baked chicken, for all he knows, it is she that makes it. The plus from this is I am always excused before he comes home so there are no awkward conversations.
8) Other SAHMs. Avoid them like the plague. Those that I spoke to for more than a minute asked if I could babysit or complimented me on my skill. That caused my boss's blood to boil. On that note, make sure you let them know that YOU WILL take other jobs as you feel necessary. Your finances are your business. When people in the building or known to my employer asked me to work, she forbade me. Yes, you read that right. She "wasn't comfortable with that arrangement."
9) When you answer the phone, which you invariably will, make sure you answer by saying, "X residence, nanny speaking". Anything else is a fail. Anytime her sister, her best friend or the teacher mistook me for her when I answered the phone, she became peeved. Exhausted by my very presence.
10) If you live in their home and take care of the children, if you make them dinner and bake cookies with them and read them stories and teach them to dance, then DO NOT buy them a cool birthday or Hanukkah Present. Because, that is the one thing she will not allow. I bought one of my charges a really cool wooden doll house to go with people and play furniture she had. It disappeared. Yes, after my boss saw how much my charge loved the dollhouse and rushed to decorate it and fill it with furniture, my boss gave it away. And not just the dollhouse. All of her little people and little vehicle and animals and furniture too. Then she has the nerve to tell me, only one week later when I asked about it, "oh that took up so much space and X was not into it".
11) If you go to work for a SAHM who does not take care of her home, her children or her husband, do not smile excitedly when she talks about getting a puppy. Yes, for the past three months, I have walked and mopped up after a precious little puppy. I have taken her to the groomers and the Vet. Did I mention that I live in NY and this winter has been awful? And I am the one who takes the dog out?
Leah is a belly dancer, runner and nanny in Northern New Jersey.
*This content has not been edited.-Gianluca, ISYN
If you would like to share your own experiences or opinions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.