Mary Poppins Returns!!!

I am currently a preschool teacher at a wonderful non-profit which is inclusive but primarily caters to low-income families and provides early intervention services. I have been working here for a year and a half and have reached my point of burnout. For many reasons associated with the typical challenges a preschool teacher faces there are other difficulties that have led to job burnout and exhaustion including excessive paperwork, meetings and workplace politics. I came to this position with the hope that it would help build my resume, give me more experience and be a stepping stone towards my plans for the future. I am realizing that being burnt out and constantly exhausted is actually counterproductive in working towards my goals, completing my degree and just being content in general. I am ready to find a great family again and get back into nannyworld!

Prior to this job I was a full-time nanny to a great family for nearly two years. The children were amazing and we were very close to me however job creep began to be more of a daily occurrence. I was burnt from this job and wanted to get back in the classroom for all reasons stated above. During the summer of 2016, the family had gone on vacation, providing a paid week off for myself (as agreed to in our contract). The school I work at now had called me back during this week for an interview. It came out of left field since I had applied several weeks before and heard nothing. I went on the interview, landed the job and thought I was on my way toward a rewarding career. Needless to say, I didn't have many options and the new job was not willing to negotiate a longer notice and I had to start the job at a specific date. This left me with giving my notice to my NF via email over vacation. I understand this is not ideal but was the best option at the time. I gave a full two weeks notice however given their vacation dates it was not a complete two weeks. I fulfilled the last of my job duties to the best of my ability and with complete respect for my NF. Although the last couple weeks were tense (understandably so) I am confident in the care I provided for all three children during that time. I had a respectable and professional rapport with both parents, more so DB and often found MB to be on the colder side.

Anyway, I have blabbed on because I'm hoping to give insight into my situation to seek advice for going to another nanny position. I have letters of recommendation and a reliable list of references however I am nervous that my last MB will give a poor reference based on how I left the position. I'm not sure if I should even approach her asking for her to be a reference. I am not looking for judgy commentary, I am fully aware that it wasn't the most professional or best way to leave a position. At the time I thought it was going to be a perfect opportunity for my life and I went for it. I had never left a position (nanny or anywhere else in the field of education) in such an abrupt way and still feel slightly guilty about this. Any suggestions in how to approach and handle this as I search for a new nanny position and go on interviews would be greatly appreciated. Given that this is my most recent nanny position I assume prospective employers would want to speak with last MB and I am at a loss....

Thanks in advance!


Anonymous said...

Test your previous employers.

Call or text or email (whatever you are comfortable with) and let them know you have an offer from a family, to nanny for them. And they would like to contact your precious nanny employer.
Then- make a fake email account and email your previous MB (pretending to be perspective employer)
Say something like
I am considering hiring “your name” and you are listed as previous employer.
Would you be willing to provide references and answer a few questions.
Was “you” reliable?
“Was “you” trustworthy”?

Thank you,
“Fake name perspective employer”

Good luck!!!

Leigh Raymer said...

That is really good advice! If the former MB makes you look bad, then do not use her name and tell people you had a not good situation, stuck it out, but had to leave. Note: the Op graciously answered a question which I am going to print about what she meant by " job creep" and her answer was very interesting. The parents were very unreasonable and it's amazing to me she lasted as long as she did.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. That’s totally sound advice. Lie. That’s the best way to go about it *eyeroll*. No, don’t create a fake email account. That’s absurd. If you want to use your former MB, unfortunately you stand the chance of her saying something negative. But here’s the thing- if you really had a good relationship with this family for two years, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. What I would do is contact her and ask if she’d be comfortable giving you a reference. If she says yes, more than likely you shouldn’t worry.
But seriously, don’t create a fake email account. You’re an adult (I assume) and you should deal with the consequences to your actions as such.

Nanny said...

I think that is brilliant!
I am going to do that. Not because I worry what my previous employers would say about me. But because I have always been curious what is said in my Reference convos.
It’s a white lie! Who cares! No one gets hurt! And the nanny (OP) can move forward with confidence in her reference and actually give thier contact info out.
Or know she can’t trust them, and move forward accordingly.
Brilliant brilliant brilliant!
Thanks anon!

Leigh Raymer said...

Both examples of advice are very good yet different. I would have said to be honest with the MB and ask her if she is comfortable etc. because that is the ideal way. But after a further clarifications from the Op I will print later tonight on how she was treated, It is my belief this family was not honest in their dealings with her.

A weird MB could destroy the Ops perfect job search, the MB is questionable, the Op should protect herself by doing what is necessary to become informed.

I hope the Op keeps us posted, and thank you to all commentators for good advice

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a weird MB destroyed a number of opportunities for me. I only found out because another family told me that was why they were declining my services. But the kicker was that while she was spitefully and gleefully giving out derogatory reviews and references, she was also still contacting me for date night care! When I asked her why she would want someone she thought was such a terrible person and danger to children to keep coming back into her home to be alone with her only child, she said it was because her three year old really liked me. What did she expect? I raised him. Why did I leave? Because I don't tolerate job creep or the blatantly (and subtly) racist attitudes from the mom that were creeping into the child.

I would just explain that you have lots of experience in the classroom, and some experience as a nanny, but that there were interpersonal problems in the nanny/family relationship.

Unknown said...

I had a part time nanny job Mom once tell me that they really considered giving me a bad reference because they were afraid the new family would steal me away and I wouldn’t have time for them. It should have been a red flag but I laughed it off and later got embroiled in a CPS case where she accused the Dad of molestation in the divorce. (Not true, she was pissed he moved on and has a great career as a fire fighter while she is working at a supermarket). I always like to know what I’m getting into so I don’t give her name during interviews. It may have been my first but I have many solid and nog crazy references since then.

Anonymous said...

OP here! I just wanted to circle back on this as I was scrolling through! A lot has happened in a short time (I started my own small business and nanny pt now) but the MB stated above has actually given me several rave reviews. I risked it and put her name and number down and she had said very positive things about me. You never know! I'm glad to know she was probably in her feelings during the time I left (rightfully so) but she came around. We're friends on FB now and it's all good. I would have liked to have stayed on closer terms with the family but I know that has a lot to do with how my leaving went down

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