I work for a lovely family with twin toddlers and have been with them for 13 months (since the boys were four months). MB and DB are very involved, loving, and treat me respectfully. I love my role with the boys and feel everyone values what I do. Overall, I'm very happy with this position. 

There are several things that have come up for me since I started and I'm not sure how to open up communication. MB works long hours and I only see her in passing some mornings, so I'm not sure how I could schedule a time to sit down with both. We haven't had any sort of professional review and they've never corrected me in any way. I thrive on knowing what I can improve so I almost feel they are too nice/passive in this area for my liking. I fear they'll see my communication as complaining, since they never bring any issues up themselves. 

The biggest issues for me is DB working from home. When I took the job I was told both parents work out of the house. DB owns a business and his hours are flexible. Over time he has started working in his home office more. Sometimes he's here until midday, sometimes gone all morning then home midday, and often he's here all day. I sincerely can't tell you the last time I worked a full day without him in the home at some point. DB will come out multiple times during the day, which upsets the boys. In a genuine attempt to help calm them down, he'll give them a food/toy/ect to distract, which completely messes up whatever I'm trying to do with them. I would much prefer him to make his entrance and exit quick and not interfere. This morning he gave twin b a huge 32 oz. container of yogurt to distract him and twin a a cup of cereal, then left. This resulted in yogurt and crunched up cereal all over the kitchen that I had to clean. 

Directly related to the above, I'm paid salary. I was told the salary was based off me working 40-50 hours/week. My regular schedule being 7:30-5:30 M-F, but because of DB's schedule flexibility I could expect to leave early often. This rarely happens. If DB gets home early, he hides out in his office/mows the yard/ect. In the summer he would lay out in the pool until 5:30, which honestly really irked me. I don't mind working my set hours, nor do I feel it's any of my business what the parents choose to do while they pay me to care for the twins. I just feel like my salary needs to be reevaluated to reflect all of this. I make $600/week before taxes and take home about $1,000 bi-weekly after taxes (which includes some untaxed cash to reimburse me for outings or supplies I used those weeks). 

I also have issues with DB forgetting to pay me. I just expect not to get my check without a reminder anymore. He also forgets to pay the house keeper. 

The boy's grandmother will drop by at random times (yesterday she told me she'd be here at 1:00/1:30 but showed up at 11:00) and ruined nap time. Sometimes she comes by completely unannounced to both myself and the parents. I don't mind restructuring the day when I know she's coming. I just feel that I deserve a heads up and a specific time so I can plan accordingly. 

I've considered leaving this position to work for a more career oriented, straight forward family. I know there are pros and cons to both, but I wish my employers communicated with me more and that the position was more professional/straight forward. Sometimes I read about nannies here never interacting with their employers, only showing up in the morning to endless Post Its, and I kind of wish my life was more like that. 


Corina said...

Onky thing I have to say is that your underpaid.

Corina said...

😜. *Only

Kim said...

You're SEVERELY underpaid! I wouldn't nanny twins without a 1000 per week minimum plus benefits. So that's number one. Number two, I don't work where there's a stay at home parent. For all the reasons you mentioned and more.

Finally, None of this seems to be a family problem. Rather: a fit problem. There may well be nannies for whom 500 per wk is ok. And who could work with a STAHP. If I were you, I'd reevaluate and seriously consider leaving.

OTNanny said...

STAHPs are fine if they stay in a home office or if they do their best to make themselves scarce- I used to work for one and it was totally okay. It's not fair to you, but it's especially not fair to the children that your DB is coming in and out, disrupting their schedule and attempting to placate them simply by giving them food and treats. That's crappy parenting, for one thing, and secondly, it undermines your ability to do your job. Grandparents were the bane of my existence as a nanny - unhelpful, micro-managerial and disruptive to the nth degree. There is a reason that many parents don't give the nanny time off when grandparents come to stay (I know this one just pops in, but still)! And yes, you are definitely underpaid. I suppose you could try to address your concerns, but since some of it is going to be seen as "your presence as a parent is making my job more difficult", I don't know that I'd be willing to pick that battle, and it might be better to find a family who is a better fit.

Lacy said...

You are paid about $11.40/hour for 45 hours and an OT rate of $17.1 for the last 5 hours... to get your $600 for twins. This sounds low, really low, even for one child-- I'm in the Bay Area of California. But again, pay rate is biased on your area and experience.

I'd send both MB and DB a group text or e-mail informing them that you wish to have a sit down discussion about your job all 3 of you together. Create yourself a list of topics you wish to discus. * Accepted the job knowing both parents work out of home-- having DB in and out makes the job harder-- give examples, exact examples. * Grandma coming when she wants-- thus changing schedules, stress the importance of having nap on time every time. * Lastly, pay, look up the going rate of child care in your area ( has a great calculator)-- also your over due for a yearly raise (a $1/hour raise only puts you at $650/week).

But really I would start the hunt for a new family. A family who pays you well. A family who respects your time with the kids. A family who lets you do your job. As nannies we 'parent' differently then parents. I also don't think Salary is a great thing, I rather be hourly. Also have contracts, put things you want in it:
1.) Guaranteed minimum hours in a week/day (work shifts toward the hour minimum will happen between M-F during the hours of 8-5). My contract has minimum hours per day a 1 hour shift is not worth my time to drive there.
2.) I have late fee's and bounced check fee's in my contract.
Put what ever you feel you need.

CleaverJune said...

I agree with what Lacey said, but I would add that is good as a rough guide for rates ONLY. It is usually UNDER the going nanny rate for any given area by 4-5$ per hour. I think this is because the rate calculator is for babysitters and not nannies. It also doesn't take into account extra duties like cleaning, or care of twins. Multiples, especially YOUNG multiples are a completely different ball game from having two children in your care.

Start looking for a family that is a better fit for your needs, and communicate to your MB/DB clearly what is not working for you in your current situation.

Best of luck to you

Leigh Raymer said...

A question for kim - you were saying you do not work with stay at home parents. How do you avoid it? I had to quit one who made me and her kid crazy, but i could not confront her i was too timid - how do you do it? Do you head them off at the pass, is it in your contract? Do you confront if it starts?

And Lacy - would you be willing to give us an example of your contract?

Lacy said...

The Schedule-- broken down by each day

List of Job responsibilities-- list each think I am to do.

Name of children, DOB, allergies,

Compensation and Benefits:
--- pay rate per hour. Overtime rate, over 9H in one day, and over 45H in week.
---Cancellations: Family has booked the nanny for the times specified above. The family shall pay the nanny a minimum of ___ hours per week. Each shift Nanny shows up for is to be paid at a minimum of ____ hours. --- [(I work part time so my weekly 16 hours with one family, this happens in 4 days; If I work more hours on 3 of those days and for the family to meet the 18 hour weekly minimum... not so fast because each day has a 4 hour minimum to show up)]
--- Sick days
--- Paid days off on the listed holidays-- if on my normal working day
---If family has nanny work a longer day then scheduled, family needs to ask first. If Family is late without prior approval causing nanny to miss a: class, appointment, job, ect; family is responsible for paying the fee's associated with that. In the event the families lateness cause nanny to miss next job, family is to pay for that missed shift. If the next job fires the nanny over missing work, then NF is responsible for 1 month worth of that job's wage.

-- Both myself and the family will not post each others images, sounds, video online to any source without written consent.

-- family will pay the nanny with a W2 at the end of the year. Thought the year the family will withhold all employment taxes: FiCa, state income, federal income; the family will also show on a pay stub each of the deductions from gross to net pay. If family fails to withhold taxes from nannies pay checks family is responsible for paying the taxes.

-- pay period is from Saturday- Friday
-- pay day is every other Friday
-- If family is late at paying the nanny for any reason the family will pay a $_____ fee per day
-- If families payment to the nanny bounces the family is responsible for an NSF fee of $____ and the late payment fee until the nanny gets a replacement check-- starting from the date the check was due.
---- Family is also responsible for any overdraft or NSF fee's the nanny encounters waiting for proper payment.

Lacy said...

That is how I do it.
I have had a family go on vacation for 3 weeks, leaving me with no pay. I still had to care for the kids (I worked for DB, and the "MB" (not my employer) was divorced from DB). For 3 weeks I worked, with no money. At the end of the 3 weeks when I finally got a check I had to wait for it to clear. During this time I have about $300 in overdraft fee's. I owed my parents $200 for gas and food. My cell phone got shut off and DB was pissed he had no way to contact me-- the "MB" too. During that time I couldn't go out with my friends, I was also in school full time and had to skip lunch sometimes-- no money. I was young and dumb, I learned from that story. I wont let it happen again.

Another story, my check bounced and the MB took 2 weeks to issue me a new one and didn't think any of my NSF or overdraft fee's were her fault. Those 2 stories got my payment clause to how it is.

Another Story: family was late at reliving me. I missed an appointment had a no-show fee; they didn't think it was their responsibility to pay. This same family, was again so late that I missed my next job (that paid a higher wage); again they didn't want to pay the difference. Same family--I didn't learn yet-- made me miss my next job again and again, I was let go for excessive lateness/cancellations. Again this family felt no remorse.

Another story, not in my contract, as I am still trying to figure how to word it.... Parking. I got a parking ticket on the street. It was the only spot to park for this NF, I let the MB know were I was parked and when i needed to move the car. MB said she would be home in time. I got a ticket, because MB was late very very late. MB told me I should park some place else-- there is no place else to park!

My stories have cause me to become a hard @$$

Kim said...

Everything Lacy said x 1000!


I interview twice with families. I'm interviewing them as much as they're interviewing me .

The first interview is to see if the pay, job location, hours and parenting styles match up well. Second interview is in more detail to ask about their schedules, work routine, needs and requirements are. If any of that pings a red flag, I look into it.

I can't /won't work where there is a stay at home parent. It drives me insane and they all say they will stay out of the way, but they don't.

My contract spells out a lot of things so I feel empowered to advocate for myself

Anonymous said...

I agree!!!.. $500 a week for twins...and 45 hrs of work? wayyy....Here in California by law is considered overtime..if you work more than 40 hrs....

Leigh Raymer said...

wow, good., i wish i was that experienced in the past

Leigh Raymer said...

note: we may otherwise publish these ideas anon. so let me know if that is not ok

Anonymous said...

Actually nannies are considered domestic workers- personal care attended. Over time for that kind of work starts at 45 hours in a week. I live in CA, Google California domestic bill of rights.

this_nick said...

I think the advice to quit is premature, since you haven't yet brought up these issues and given your employers a chance to remedy them. If they're a lovely family who treats you well, those aren't a dime a dozen - try to resolve this with them if you can. They may genuinely not think Dad and Grandma's random pop-ins are a big thing that throws off your whole routine. One of my DBs used to walk in during lunch eating something other than what the kids were (something less healthy), and naturally they would stop eating their food and want his. I mentioned that it wasn't helpful but just sort of in passing. By the third time he did it I scolded loudly "KNOCK IT OFF!" Lol. So it's better to address this type of thing in a sit down than wait for it to fester. (He did knock it off LOL.)

KnoxvilleNanny said...

OP here. Thank you for your thoughts. I wrote this last week and still haven't decided on the best way to talk about these issues.

Another truth for me is that I'm not thrilled with my salary and I'm wondering if previous posters are right in saying I should just leave. I was happy with it for a while, and still feel like an ungrateful person on some level for thinking I deserve more. I have 8 years experience as a provider though and Knoxville is far from a small, rural town. You all definitely gave me some things to consider.

Leigh Raymer said...

keep us posted ! experience teaches us all not to undervalue ourselves - do what is best for yourself!!
this_nick - I really like that!!! Using humour while standing up for yourself!!

two said...