I need help. I have no idea what to do.

I started working 48 hours a week for a family with 2 full time parents last February. From the beginning, there were a couple of issues. First, the parents clean almost NOTHING! They are the dirtiest sloppiest people I have ever worked for. In the initial interview, they said extra duties include maybe a load of laundry once in a while and filling the dishwasher every few days. Nope. Everyday I clean the disaster of a kitchen (they leave their dinner and breakfast dishes for me everyday, they don’t even put away the breakfast food they get out), I sweep floor, clean up tons of food dropped on the floor, clean up toys and paint (they don’t have the kids clean up anything), do 2-5 loads of laundry, make bottles, organize toys/playroom, clean the kid’s rooms, clean out the fridge, organize the pantry, do odds and ends for the mom such as finding something for her or organizing whatever she wants, plus putting away tons of the parent’s crap that they leave everywhere (mail, clothes, nail polish, brushes). My day is an endless frenzy of getting everything done since they do nothing for the house except make a mess.

The other problem is that the mom doesn’t discipline the children or expect them to obey her. Normally, I can deal with this and set up boundaries for the children, so it isn’t a problem. But I realized, the mom doesn’t want anything to change… She doesn’t want the children to have structure or discipline, even if she says she does. For example, one day I told the mom that I gave the 2 year old a timeout cause she hit her sister 5 times… The mom instantly looked displeased, and asked if I had made sure the 2 year old had eaten her snack, and had gotten a good nap… Of course I had, and the 2 year old just needed a timeout and take a break from beating up her sister..

I have talked to the mom about the housework, and that it is way too much. She said that of course I don’t need to do more than I can handle, and that since she doesn’t do anything, she understands. However, everyday for 5 days after that conversation, she started texting me asking me to do more stuff. Such as pick up all the toys her children had thrown all over the downstairs that morning, before I arrived. Or helping the housekeeper pick up toys and clean the kitchen. So obviously my talk did not kick in.

Despite all of these issues, I am happy to have a job and they pay me pretty well. $15 an hour for 48 hours, with me nannying 3 kids. I don’t want to go through the interview process again, cause it took me 4 months to find this family.

This brings me to the reason I am writing. I found out 3 days ago that the family is probably going to screw me over…. I am supposed to go on vacation in the beginning of June, which is supposed to be paid. Well, I was looking on care.com, and I saw that the family posted looking for a summer nanny… To start the week I leave for vacation.. Under another name… They blocked me from being able to view it, but the mobile app screwed up and allowed me to see it.
I was devastated when I saw it… I was at work, and I felt so betrayed.. I work my butt off for this family. I play with the kids, keep the house running and clean, and am starting to get attached to the children. That afternoon I sat down with the mom and asked them if there were any issues, or anything that I could improve on with my work… The mom assured me that they were really happy with me and loved how attentive I am with the kids. When I began the job, the parents told me that they are big on communication, and that they want me to feel free to talk to them about any issues, and vice versa… Meanwhile, she was standing there lying to my face. It felt like my heart was wrenching. I have never worked for a family that hasn’t loved me. I thought this was going to be my last family. That I would work for them until the kids didn’t need a nanny. Now, I am pretty sure that they are planning hiring someone the week I leave, then telling me the week I take off that I’m fired and not paying me for that vacation week.
We have a contract that says they must tell me 3 weeks ahead that I’m being fired, unless there is cause. However, we haven’t gotten to signing it yet because I just changed to salaried and we had to redue the contract. They are both lawyers, and I just don’t know what to do now.

I started applying to jobs, but I hate the job interview process. I hate going through tons of families that are not the fit, and getting discouraged after interview after interview doesn’t work out. I am so disappointed and sad. Every time I go to work and look at the moms face, all I can think about it that they are planning on screwing me over, and that even though they seem really nice, they are actually planning on being horrible to me. What should I do? What can I do? Please help.


Anonymous said...

Do what I did in this situation- just leave. They are making your life miserable. If they say anything- you can mention the Care.com ad. You can also say- I don't work with liars. You are angry and just leave. More than liking either way they are not going to give a goodbye present or pay- they only care about themselves. You deserve a better family.

Anonymous said...

^^^yeah, don't don't do that^^^

Be a professional! You are better than theses people and they don't deserve you! You are fortunate to know in advance you are going to be screwed over. So fortunate you saw their disloyal ad! Put your butt into gear and find another job. You have one month! Join an nanny agency, if you have one in the area.
I am so sorry that's people have betrayed you like this. It is appauling! They really are cowardly and manipulative people. And you are better off out of their lives!
Once you find a new job, you can confront them and tell them off!

Anonymous said...

That's not professional ^

Anonymous said...

OP here.
i have some new information.
2 weeks ago, the Friday before the mom posted the ad, I had sent her a text saying I had an hour of overtime from that week. She never replied to the text and the overtime wasn't in my paycheck that week.

Well, yesterday the mom said she wanted to talk to me. She said that she had been keeping hours too, and didn't calculate any overtime for 2 weeks ago.
Thankfully I keep very good track of my hours and was able to give her the exact hours I had worked. Well, when I keep hours I Round up to make the hours less confusing. For this family my scheduled hours is 7:45-5:15. So, if I work until 4:08, I round up to 4:15. Or if I work until 6:22, I round up to 6:30.
Well, the confusion was that the mom was rounding down.... If I worked to 5:09, she rounds down to 5:00.. Or if I work to 5:38, she rounded down to 5:30... We talked about it and she wants me to write my EXACT times on a sheet on the refrigerator and use the clock on the microwave... Which is 3 minutes off. I check in and check out. So yesterday when I asked her what time it was, she said it was 5:13 and that's what's she wanted me to write down.
I of course am going to do that because she wants me to, it just feels weird...
everyone I have worked for in the past has told me to round up, so I just thought that was normal...

Anyways, I have started the search for another job. But so far the search hasn't been very successful. There is one lady who would need me to start right away. But that means I would just have to walk out of the family. I don't know how I could explain the situation to the lady wanting to hire me too. I am in Alabama, does anyone know how much notice I need to give before leaving legally?
I am payed on the books and we technically have a contract that says 3 weeks, but we haven't signed it. To give me 3 weeks, they would have had to tell me this week, if someone else is starting the week they posted in the ad.
Also If/when they do fire me, do I ask for severance? It isn't in the contract and I've only been working for them since February.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Such penny pinchers!
If the contract is not signed then it is not legally binding.
You can up and quit, and you have a good reason to! You do not need to supply two weeks notice (which is customary)
I would print out 2 copies of the ad they have posted, as evidence that it exists. (One copy is for you to keep)
Take the other job that starts right away!
Just hand them (horrible MB and DB) the ad and walk out the door with your head held high. And don't look back. Enough said!
What to tell the new family is the question, (do they know you are currently employed, do you have other good references? and do not need this family as one?
Maybe tell them, that you were okay with leaving the family with such short notice because you knew they had family close by that they could lean on, until they were able to replace you.....
- good luck!

Anonymous said...

OP here.
The family I'm interviewing with doesn't know that I'm currently employed, and I have lots of other great references. The problem with just leaving my current family without notice, is that they are both lawyers with slight anger problems... And I have this sinking feeling that they will get super angry and give me a bad review on care.com, and then go out of their way to try to not let me get hired again... It makes me super nervous.

Anonymous said...

I was in the same boat you are. If worse comes worse (and I know it will be a pain) erase your profile again and build up a new one. They will be upset (say your goodbyes in private with the kids) and turn around wirh your head held high and just leave.

Anonymous said...

As in a post earlier in the week, professionals don't let other people's shitty behavior change their professionalism for the worse. These people are jerks and don't deserve notice, but I still think you should offer it as per your unsigned contract. You can hold your head high knowing you did NOTHING wrong.

My first nanny quit with 2 weeks notice and called in sick for her last 3 days of work. I paid her for them as we had an agreement about sick leave because that's the professional thing to do although I know she wasn't sick (we have a mutual Facebook friend who verified this). She contacted me as a reference and I told her I would speak well of her childcare but felt obligated to mention to a potential family her lack of professionalism. I know she thinks I'm a jerk but I had to take vacation days myself to cover her sick leave AND pay her....so I just feel like I should let other families know she is not a professional nanny.

Anonymous said...

Give a two week notice, they may tell you just to leave ( make sure you record that ) then you are off the hook. They are both lawyers and they only pay you $15 with three children? And not to mention being a maid!? Wow no Matter where you live and with their line of work you are being way under paid they are taking advantage of you so bad. I would see if you can hold out until your vacation , give your notice now, work for them till you leave for vacation then make you know you are not going to return. Take your much needed vacation then start fresh with a new job when you return. They are lawyers they will play nasty... So if you are able to afford it don't count on being paid but you never know! Yes I would try & get severance pay!
Good luck! My first Nanny job was much like this, I tried to post it A few times but some reason a lot of my arrivals do not post .

Unknown said...

Ok so as far as the two weeks notice thing - if it's not a signed contract it doesn't hold up.The reason they didn't sign it,obviously because they were never planning on paying you for the vacation. These "miscommunications" happen so much in our nanny world and it's so hard to find good families or parents I should say,it's rarely the children I have a problem with!
I would just say ,on a Monday this will be my last week, and that's it.That way you have time for the kids to adjust to you being gone,or if you're completely fed up with them,quit on a Friday and say you feel taken advantage of and just cannot continue! They know they're using you,so I doubt they will argue much if they do just walk out! Good luck and I hope you can enjoy your much needed break! I've been there before and it totally sucks.

Jill said...

Honestly, I think the ONLY time a nanny should just walk out without notice is in situations of personal safety. For example, if her personal safety beca5an issue or if the NFL threatened her in any way.

Otherwise you open yourself up to hassle and bad reviews. And from a professional standpoint, most families expect notice. And will make parting hard on you if you deny them notice.

The good news is that in situations like this the NF may get annoyed at your quitting and let you go on the spot. I recommend giving written notice - in person and via electronic means for your own record keeping purposes.

In the future, don't do more than what is on your contract. Nannies imho aren't housekeepers and should do NO adult cleanup, cooking or laundry. I have never done so. I clean up after the kids. And return the house to its original state. That's it.

And 15 for three seems really low. Is that the going rate in AL? I couldn't nanny one child for 15. So 3 seems outrageous.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your advice! I am going to give notice this week. I have decided that I am going to go the most professional route that I can while letting them know that what they did is wrong. I am going to tell the family that I saw the ad, and because of it, I feel like I cannot trust them anymore and need to give my 3 weeks notice. However, I will help them train a new nanny, to help the kids with the transition, if they find someone within those three weeks. I am still looking for a new job, with no good leads at the moment, but i'm hoping something will come along within those 3 weeks.

Taleia said...

OP - just wanted to say I am so impressed! That's very professional behavior and it's rare in this world. When you find a great nanny family they will appreciate you like you are worth! :)

Anonymous said...

OP can you please update with how that confrontation went down. I've got the popcorn ready!!!

Anonymous said...

"My first nanny quit with 2 weeks notice and called in sick for her last 3 days of work. I paid her for them as we had an agreement about sick leave because that's the professional thing to do although I know she wasn't sick (we have a mutual Facebook friend who verified this). She contacted me as a reference and I told her I would speak well of her childcare but felt obligated to mention to a potential family her lack of professionalism. I know she thinks I'm a jerk but I had to take vacation days myself to cover her sick leave AND pay her....so I just feel like I should let other families know she is not a professional nanny."

If you felt you could not positively recommend her, you should not have said you would give her a positive reference. I'm sure you would counter with "I wrote I would speak well of her childcare" but you are playing a game with semantics. Saying you would speak well of here would be taken as a positive reference from most employees. You wanted to get the last diss in, as she took her last days off, congratulations, you sure did show you had the upper hand. You such a woman in control, be sure to tell yourself that when you look in the mirror....no nanny or such underling will cross you. If you found her parting behavior unacceptable, you should have said so, and let her find a way to honestly earn a positive reference somehow on her own, going forward.

You were quite the unprofessional employer yourself.

May 5, 2016, 9:30:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit.

I TOLD her that I would tell future employers that her childcare was good but that I would mention what she had done the last week. I was honest about what I would say, I didn't promise a 100% positive reference. She opted not to use me as a reference.

I didn't do this to be controlling. A PROFESSIONAL fulfills their professional obligations. As an employer I want to know if a potential nanny behaved like a professional or an entitled brat.

Anonymous said...

You said EXACTLY what I predicted you would say, exactly as I wrote in my post. The phrase LOL is overused and inane, but I did truly snicker when I read your response.

You keep telling yourself that. Professional. Say it in the mirror. Stand tall, shoulders back. No one will take you for granted. No one. No girl who has her life ahead of her is going to get the upper hand with you. You are valid. You are important. You have status No one, no one will make a fool of you. Okay, stop the lip trembling, relax those neck tendons...you don't look convincing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you found such a bad family. They must be friends with the people I worked for. Yesterday I was fired with zero notice and no reason, just because I told them that I wouldn't tolerate their nine year old hitting me and I disciplined him (the "punishment" was to write sentences, but since he refused I increased his school work since I was the homeschooling tutor). Seven months of bending over backwards for them and I was let go without even a talk. She told me that if I needed to find another job "for the sake of my family" (she told me the day before that our agreed upon plan of having my two kids at her house during the summer wasn't going to happen, and it's too late now for summer camp arrangements) she "loved me enough to let me go", then when I left for the day she called me back and handed me a week and a half of pay saying that I was now able to find something else before my scheduled vacation. She was crying while saying so. I'm looking into leaving them a negative feedback on Care.com if I can.