Wednesday

Is this Normal?? Need advice please!!

Hello,
I'm looking for some advice from fellow nannies and those that know the industry. I started a nannying/'general assistant' job three months ago. I've never really known what I wanted to do career-wise so have just stumbled from one menial, over-worked and under-paid job to another.
Anyway, I currently work from Monday- Friday from 10am-6pm (and the odd Saturday) and would like to know if my work load and pay are 'standard' for the industry as I currently feel quite taken advantage of and like the pay doesn't even begin to reflect my hard work and the tasks I have to complete, which are as follows:
The children- There are three kids, aged between three and seven. The eldest two are at school until half three, and the youngest is at playschool, she's back at 12pm three days a week and 3pm the other two days. When they're at home it's impossible to get anything done around the house. The youngest is an absolute nightmare, if I take my eye off her for even a second she will seize the opportunity to draw on walls, flush things down the toilet, urinate on the floor, cover the house in cream/lotion or whatever she can find, make a mess and generally be destructive. She is very spoilt and demanding, she needs constant attention and entertaining or will simply have a melt-down and scream and scream and scream. The eldestt two also make a lot of mess and have no consideration at all. They will come home from school and kick their shoes off and throw their bags on the floor, and proceed to make as much mess as they fancy. They are sweet children and I genuinely adore them all and have a very good rapport with all three, but they're self-entitled, over-indulged and inconsiderate. They are very hard work and full on, and incessant with their demands. One of my biggest issues is that I don't have an adequate amount of time to spend with them when they are at home; the cleaning, cooking and washing take up so much time that I don't have enough to occupy them and engage them as much as I should. I will sometimes do basic things with them like bake, read, take them out for a walk or to 'collect' things in the garden, play hide and seek etc but it's rare that I get the chance, and when I do it's not for long- even sparing half an hour puts me behind. It's all very well saying 'the washing can wait' but it just doesn't work like that, and ultimately I'll just end up running around like a headless chicken with a broom up my arse trying to catch up!
Laundry for the entire household- mum, dad and the three children. The washing machine is on at least twice a day every single day with full loads and all must be ironed and put away.
Cleaning- this is a very large, old, dusty and cluttered house and I am responsible for cleaning and tidying all of it, bar the third floor which isn't really in use and just needs a hoovering from time to time. The house is an absolute TIP, and the kids further trash the place. They have two playrooms, one of which is bursting with more toys, books and teddies than Harrod's and often looks like it's been totally ransacked (you would honestly have to see it to believe it), they couldn't make more mess if they tried. I'll spend a good two hours blitzing it only to find it in the same state of disarray the next morning. It's the same with the rest of the house, as fast as I'm cleaning and tidying, the family are making a mess and undoing my hard work. They just make such an unbelievable mess that, on some mornings when I arrive, I momentarily wonder if they've been burgled before remembering that no, the parents (who aren't much more tidy or considerate themselves) have just let the children run amock, comfortable in the certainty that it will be nanny picking up the pieces, literally.
Cooking- I cook an evening meal for the whole family, the kids eat separately from the parents so I have to try and ensure that they eat everything or at least a substantial amount (the youngest are very finicky eaters), which is arduous to say the least. I then clean up after dinner and ensure the kitchen is spotless again and the parents' dinner is plated up and ready for when they come down.
As well as this, I must ensure the kids are ready and have what they need for their various after school activities, prepare packed lunches, put the bins out, and all the other minutiae that ensure the smooth running of the home.
The parents are very self-absorbed and inconsiderate, they pile extra work on me seemingly without realising I already have a ridiculous amount to get through. They both work from home and will come down for lunch, make a mess in the kitchen, leave their dishes for me and then go back upstairs. Sometimes the mum will come down and bake a cake or dish for a dinner party, leaving me to wash up, put away everything she's got out and clean the sides down etc. That said, they are generally very laid back, amiable people and always make sure to thank me 'for all my hard work' at the end of the day (though I can't help but feel this is in recompense for the lack of financial reward). I occasionally forget things or make the odd mistake and they are always very gracious about it and understanding, and very diplomatic if they ever need to address anything with me.
So for the above I am paid £7.50 an hour. Barely over minimum wage. I could earn more stacking shelves in a supermarket!
Is this 'normal'?! Is this an average workload and wage?
I would like to ask for a pay rise but feel that, because I'm essentially doing the job of two people I'm spreading myself so thinly and not getting everything done to the standard that I would like, which in turn makes me feel incompetent and like I'm not doing a good enough job to ask for more money. It's very difficult!
I absolutely detest this job, it's back-breaking, mentally and physically exhausting, unrewarding, monotonous, degrading. I genuinely cannot believe anyone could enjoy it!? I know it sounds like a case of 'just quit and find something else' but for various reasons it's unfortunately not that simple.
Apologies for the rambling post, I needed to get it off my chest! Any advice would be much appreciated, I'd like to know what other nanny's days comprise of, and any tips and tricks to manage my time etc. Many thanks :)

Regards

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nope. That is not even slightly normal. Honestly, slobs are never going to change, and they won't realize how messy they are either. I make $19 an hour for doing laundry when the kids are in school, and for taking care of them when they get back. No where near that amount of work. I would start looking around for a job, and see if you can find something that pays more. Then, sit down with the parents and tell them that you feel the amount of work is too much for how much you make, and you'll have to leave unless they can raise your salary. But make sure you have another job lined up first, just in case. Good luck!

Corina Yildiz said...

Work anywhere else for now. Even a retail job. Now with the holiday season many places are hiring. Or think about advertising yourself as a helper for the holiday seasons. A lot of parents may need help with Christmas shopping, gift wrapping. Watching their kids on weekends while they gift shop.

Jess said...

You know you are underpaid and overworked. You have to either tell the parents to at least double your salary or get another person in there to half your workload. Wages in nanny world depend a lot on experience, child development certifications and how low you will go. Kid's laundry and clean up after kids are also pretty much a standard. I take care of toddler triplets and have at least one full load everyday, so 2 loads everyday for a family of 5 is not that bad!

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Anonymous said...

You definitely need to be making around $15/hour. The extra work is standard.
The kids sound like normal kids, kicking off their shoes. The parents sound like normal parents. I would not expect anything different if you work somewhere else, but you should be getting more money.
You should have a discussion about that.

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Anonymous said...

thats crazy you deserve far more than that, I make 20 american dollars per hour and am very clear about not doing any household chores (even the babies laundry) beyond the mess I make in caring for the baby. The problem is the more families want from their childcare help the less they want to pay which makes no sense! Find a family that places your role with the child as the most important thing, those are the types of people who realize that you can't give the best care possible to the children when your attention is divided!

Maren Fischer said...

You poor thing!!
7.50 pounds is WAY too little for what you're doing. TRUST me. I've been a nanny for about 8 years for different families, and for what you're doing you should be making at least 12 or 15 pounds an hour. You are totally being taken advantage of.
I would say that yes, sometimes doing a bit of kids laundry and cleaning up after them, keeping the play room tidy, etc, that 's usually in the job description. But doing laundry for the entire family? That usually requires extra pay. Tidying and cleaning the whole house? Also extra pay. That's what a housekeeper is for.

You definitely need to ask for a higher wage or tell them you will have to find another job. Try anything you can to secure another job. I know it's not easy, but there must be something out there for you.. anything really, until you can find a better family. If you find the right family who will treat you right, you can be making really good money!

Liz said...

They are taking advantage of you and you are letting them. You are a nanny not a maid.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you need to ask for a meeting. I would go over all your tasks you are willing to do and be very specific. You are not a housekeeper and nanny. You can't be both. At a minimum I would charge a flat rate of $12 an hour if you do not live there. Live in I could see a bit less. Our area rates for a job like that would be $12-20 hourly for the nanny side( childcare and basic tidy duties for mess you make or child makes) you can find another job in a snap if they don't want to pay or compromise. If they want a once a week deep clean I would agree to a fee of an additional $100-200 per cleaning. If not they can hire a cleaning service. Not your problem so don't worry about asking for more. I'd give notice if they aren't open to it and find another job from a site.

Marta N said...

I think you already know the answer to all your questions. You are working for two people your know that right. This is the tactic they use. They overload you with work so you can feel incapable of accomplishing you are asked for therefore not willing to put your foot down. Start by saying you are sorry but u can't do any of the extra stuff they ask you to do for the same salary.

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on what your job description was when you were hired... if you accepted the job knowing they needed childcare and household help, I do not think they are taking advantage of you. In America, there are plenty of mom's who do the list of tasks you shared daily. As for the messy children, I would not expect those age children to have already mastered cleaning up. You could kindly help train them in a fun way. For example, if you arrive and then play room is a disaster.. "let's clean up playroom and then we will play a game."