Sick Days

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest Last week, just before the Christmas holidays hit, so did the dreaded flu. It had been cooking for a while, me and the family I work for have been walking around since Thanksgiving coughing and sneezing and feeling generally like crap. I slugged through my work days, with tissues and hand sanitizer in my pockets, gave up on going to the gym and going out socially, tried to get as much sleep as possible, and spent each morning in a long steamy shower cleaning out my sinuses with a neti pot. I even, as suggested by my housemate, poured a capful of hydrogen peroxide into each ear every morning and let it bubble around for a minute, the theory being that it was killing off whatever virus was attacking my ears, nose and throat, for as she pointed out, it’s all connected in there. Such dramatic measures only seemed to hold the cold at bay, until the weekend before Christmas, when it exploded and I found myself croaking into the phone at 7am Friday morning,

“I’m really sick. Can’t come to work.”

My employer said something very sweet and supportive and after a rather extended couching fit, I crashed back asleep until 3pm that afternoon. I looked at my clock with bleary eyes. Had I just slept eight hours? It was hard to think about. I closed my eyes and woke again at 9pm, had some toast, and went back to bed. By Sunday I was feeling pretty chipper. I phoned my bosses and told them to expect me as usual Monday morning, but when I woke at six, I realized that was not going to happen as I found myself running for the toilet, totally ensconced in phase two of the dreaded flu- pukey time. It lasted a full 24 hours and at times I found myself curled up on my bathroom floor wondering, “How do people deal with this for more than one day?”

My employer sent me encouraging texts. “How r u feeling?”

I texted back “Kill me.”

“Can I do anything 4 u?”

“Make it b 2morrow so I can be @ work.”

The she texted something really nice. She said not to worry. This is what sick days were for, and besides, I still had two left in the year. Stay home and get better.

It is not always like this in the Nanny world. Sick days are usually nowhere in the work agreement. I know I was too na├»ve to even ask for them in my first big time nanny job. It was only after the fact, work agreement agreed to that I said, Uh – what about sick days? My boss told me I wouldn’t need them. Now all the nannies out there know that we work in a profession that puts us in contact with as many germs and viruses as flight attendants and emergency room orderlies. The little monkeys we love and care for are little germ factories, with a finger always up their nose and the entire viral weight of their preschool world on their little shoulders when we pick them up. We care for them when they are sick, we get sneezed on and vomited on and we provide extra hours when their parents fall ill, and then we catch the bug too…and usually get no sympathy. Has any other Nanny than me ever found themselves at one end of the phone, dizzy with fever and begging for a day off to simply be sick and have the time to regain our health? Previous employers I have had have grilled me during these early morning phone calls, making me describe my symptoms in intricate detail, making me feel as if I'm begging for a stay of execution. I have never abused my paid sick days. I follow the guidelines that the schools send home in the beginning of the year newsletters. I stay home if I have a fever, or if I am so obviously contagious I will spread the virus, or if I am so sick, I will not be able to do my job. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about? Keeping your employees healthy so that they can provide the proper care for the children? It makes sense to me. Employers: Provide your nanny with paid sick days so when the flu and viruses strike, as they tend to do during this cold and flu season, they can stay at home and convalesce without guilt or worse - worry about bills and rent. Trust me – fever and throwing up and a hacking cough are enough. It was amazing last week to have nothing on my mind but the thoughts of getting over my bug. A Christmas miracle, one might say.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at

Should Nanny Confront Employer about E-mail?

Received Friday, December 31, 2010
Opinion 4 I have been working for this current family for two years. I take care of 5 kids ages 2 months to 10. I had started with 3 and they have since had the twins. Before I started working for them they had a crazy nanny!!! She was always doing something to endanger the children and then she came to work on three separate occasions high. They felt bad for her at first because of her home life but then decided enough was enough and let her go.

Since I started working for them I have not gotten many complaints except for the fact that the house isn't always spotless, but I blow it of and try a little harder because really five kids? Nothing is going to be spotless. Especially when I'm the only person that works for them. I am already working 10 hour days, doing school drop offs and pick up, activity drives, baths, dinner and bedtimes. I feel bad that the house isn't always perfect but i can't help it.

Anyway today I got on the computer to look up something for the 10 year old when I found an email sent to my boss comparing me and the old nanny. She said I was insecure and lazy. That the house was never clean and that while I'm great with the kids she wasn't sure I was the best match for them anymore. Meanwhile she is singing the other nanny's praises because the house was always spotless. I'm sorry but isn't the purpose of being a nanny to care for the children and not the house? My charges are always clean, well fed, and always taken to their various activities. When we are home I never turn the tv on. I play with them, help with homework, and supervise their piano practicing. As for insecurity, that isn't the first time she has said something like that. She thinks my wearing sweats or jeans and a shirt means I am insecure. That isn't the case. I just like to be comfortable. When I'm out with my husband or friends I always dress up!

What should I do? Should I confront her about this? Or should I just let it go?

The Name Game

Received Friday, December 31, 2010
Opinion 4 My bosses just gave birth and named their daughter the name that I was going to name my future daughter. They took the whole name (first and middle). I feel hurt because I told the mom months ago how much I loved that name and was attached to it. Now I will be caring for a child that has the name I have been dreaming of for YEARS for my child... Am I right to be upset? I haven't said anything to the parents and don't plan on it. What's done is done.


Nanny Feels Like a Doormat...

Received Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Opinion 4 I am a 22-year-old returned Peace Corps Volunteer (taught children English in the Philippines) with a degree in English. I have extensive experience with children through my volunteering experiences with the local hospital as well as my teaching. I was hired by a very sweet and loving family to care for their three children and newborn and to organize the house for $12.50 an hour. I had to fight for that wage in the beginning, when they had said that most people doing my work make $10-12 per hour. They also do not help with health insurance nor pay holidays or sick leave. Since I had never been in a nanny position before, I didn't dare go any higher. At first their wonderful personalities made up for the lack of pay, but now I just feel duped.

A few months after I started, the mother began to ask if I would mind doing chores around the house while she didn't need me with the kids. I needed the hours to make a 40 hour work week, so I agreed. Soon after, she fired their weekly maid and I was given a list of tasks to be completed that started as scrubbing the toilets and soon became odd tasks such as touching up the paint, moving furniture, and cleaning out the car (in 30 degree weather). I do not mind picking up after the kids and the expected duties of house cleaning, but the parents have now desisted picking up after themselves, leaving dishes piled in the sink from over the weekend including rotting milk in sippy cups, their dirty clothes piled wherever they change, and diapers thrown everywhere. A week ago, she asked me if I would mind doing something, then immediately answered herself laughingly, "Oh I forgot, you're my assistant, you do what I ask." We have become quite close, but this still ruffled my feathers.

When the holidays began to approach and I was told they would be going on a two week trip, I had to scramble to get enough money together for bills, let alone the expenses of the season. They gave me a $250 bonus and a picture that the wife took of me at my wedding. Very generous, but still a challenge to make rent. I know they have the funds, I just don't think that I am on the agenda. My grandmother bought a plane ticket to come spend a week with me after hearing that I would not be working and I scheduled my graduate school exam during their trip so that I would not interfere with their schedule. They decided to come back a week earlier, however, and have been quite peeved that I am not available to go to their house to work. I am a famed doormat at times and this leaves me questioning if I am being taken advantage of. I would love anyone's two cents (believe me, my piggy bank's empty).


Received Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Opinion 4 Winter has hit New England hard in the past two days and have left me dreading work. I work for a nice family with an angel for a child but lately I've been waking up wishing I didn't have to go into work.When the weather is nice we are out most of the day because I can't stand staying in. Since this winter weather is leaving us with little options for outdoor fun, I've been feeling trapped.

It's a strange feeling to be stuck inside all day in someone else's home. I try to stay busy and keep the baby entertained but I get these spurts of uneasiness. All I want to do is be in the comfort of my own home. I feel that after two years I should be comfortable in my employers home. They are very welcoming and have made it clear that their home is mine while at work but I can't shake the feeling. I was wondering if anyone else had these feelings and what can be done to ease my anxiety.


Trying to Move Forward...

Received Monday, December 27, 2010
Opinion 4 I need some advice on something I have never dealt with before in my career as a nanny. I worked for a family starting in September of 2009 until September of 2010. A little background on the job... It was horrible. I LOVED the kids... Adorable, funny, sometimes a hand full! But the parents were awful people. They basically acted like their lives were too busy to raise their own kids (which I know a lot of us nannies are used to seeing) and that everyone should help them. Not only that but they treated me (and ANY other family "helper") like a slave! I worked 6am-6pm Monday-Friday (some weekends as well) with not even a thank you or appreciative comment... EVER. The kids were fine with me but they were totally rotten with their parents (Who would still have me work a full day on their days off). They had HORRID sleeping habits so they were tired all day most days. So my point is, the parents are crappy at parenting on top of everything else.

In August of 2010 the family let me know that they would have to let me go because one of the parents took an "hour cut" at work. I said okay and didn't question anything (even though both parents are doctors) and took my severance a week before my contract was up and left. I went to visit the kids a couple of times but once I started my new position it was hard to find much time to physically stop by. So I would email asking about the kids with little or no response from the parents.

About a month and a half ago a nanny friend of mine went to a story time in our area and called me saying she saw my former charges there... with what looked to be a new nanny! So the next week I went to the story time with her and sure enough, there they were. I talked to the nanny and she started the week after I left and works EXACTLY the same hours I used to. She knew nothing of the kids Dad having an hour cut at work... In fact, she said he works ALL THE TIME. I was SO incredibly hurt by this that I felt I had to confront the parents... so I did. They had nothing to say accept that they had no intensions of hurting my feelings but she was just "much cheaper" for them. I think my mouth hung open for a good minute when I read this!!! They told me that the new nanny started as a "mother/father's helper" and that it evolved from there. So, I took it for what it was worth and decided I would believe them. I told the kids Mom that I hoped to see the kids at story time now that my new charge and I would be attending.

Well now 3 weeks have gone by and the kids and new nanny have not shown up to story time. I get the feeling that they are trying to keep me from talking to the new nanny which in turn makes me think they were lying about the new nanny. In all my visits and emails, they NEVER once mention a new nanny or "mother's helper"... whatever you want to call it! I also had asked about visiting to bring the kids Christmas gifts and got no response. Should I keep trying to be involved with this family? I LOVE and miss the kids very much but there is really nothing I can do if the parents are not going to give me the time of day. I have such great relationship with my other 2 past families that I just can't grasp why these people would keep me from at least visiting their kids once a month or two. After all, I did care for them more than they did for a whole year!!! It just hurts and I am wondering ifany of you fellow nannies have had this happen to you? I know it is part of the job to move on from families but I will really miss those kids...

Over all it was a HUGE blessing to have to move on from that family... I work for a new family that have already shown me more appreciation in 4 months than I got in the whole year! It is just hard moving on from the little ones we spend so much time with. Any thoughts or similar experiences would be much appreciated.


Do you recognize this daycare?

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a daycare in Escambia or Santa Rosa counties that was attended by a child considered to be endangered. The photographs are believed to have been taken between 2005 and 2010 at a daycare facility in Florida's Escambia or Santa Rosa counties. Pensacola Police Department investigators have said the facility may or may not still be in operation.
Detective Chris Wilkinson said the child is believed to have been three to four years of age when photographed at the facility. The reason why investigators are searching for the child is not being released.
Wilkinson said employees of the daycare facility are not believed to be involved in criminal activity. “The goal of releasing the photographs is to try and help identify the female child who attended or attends the facility,” Wilkinson said. “We are hoping that by identifying the facility, we can show employees the child’s photograph and possibly learn the child’s identity.”
Anyone who believes they can identify the daycare facility from the photographs is asked to contact Detective Chris Wilkinson at (850) 432-3140, ext. 1103, or the Pensacola Police Department at (850) 435-1900

Survey Says

Sunday, December 26, 2010

186 people voted and here are the responses.

Nannies, how much do you spend on gifts for your charges and/or employers for the holidays


Merry Christmas!

CL-WTF and our Guest Column will run following the Holiday weekend.
Have a wonderful Christmas and be safe!


Nanny Rant #71

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
rant "Here is my rant and I am sticking to it. Things I will not miss about being a nanny:

Working with kids has afforded me some of life's simplest and most complex pleasures all in one gooey mess of a time. I will be forever grateful to the lessons the children have taught me as I move into the next phase of my life. Lately, it has been difficult to remember these gifts as my frustration gets the better of me. I am ready to move on.

It all started a few months back when the father was home while I played with the kids. I was giggling that one of them thought I had to do what they said and was very adamant about it. As I laughed and explained to the dad he says " No kiddo she has to do what we say, like your brother." Insert appalled face here. Did he just say that I have to do what they say, just like a 10 month old? Ahem. I was taken by surprise with this statement but tried to remain calm and switch my attention to the children. It was a statement of ignorance more than malice after all. Dad is a bit of a fruit loop.

That day started us down the path to Pissed Off Nanny Ln. I know I should have addressed it right there but there were other mitigating factors that made me think it best to zip it for that moment. Now the moment has passed and it is best I just suck it up. I am finishing up some education that will enable me to move on and while the prospect is a welcome one- it has also shined some light on the things I will not miss about this position or nannying in general.

Parents please take heed: If your child is sick, the proper thing to do is let the nanny know in advance what to expect. You would do this for a family member coming to watch the kids so how does it vary simply because you are paying someone to do it? They have a right to know the kid is puking, pooping liquid and coughing up green monsters. We might like to take some extra supplements ya know? Some of us might also like to know that we could be about to contract the swine flu from your little angel so we better add a 'maybe' to our weekend plans. Seriously, a little consideration please. If you really want a gold star how about throwing in some extra money for sick pay? Doesn't quite seem fair that we come and take care of your kids while you take care of more pressing issues only to donate our weekends to the cause treating our new illness. For those with immune systems of steel- move along, nothing to see here...

I will not miss being informed that I will be working somewhere else last minute. Just because we do a nanny share doesn't mean you can move us around like chess pieces. (Maybe some of you pay your nanny enough to move her like a chess piece?) Either way it is rude. And just so you know, suggesting what you want to happen and ending with the caveat 'as long as it is OK with you' is not the same thing as including us in a discussion. It makes it uncomfortable to say 'well, actually this arrangement is a lot more work for me and I would rather not deal with any more drama this week than is already scheduled.'

If you can not afford a nanny- go to day care. It is not a right to have someone come into your house to take care of your children. It is a luxury and should be treated as such. I do not want to hear about how you can not afford to pay me half of my regular rate when you decide to stay home from work for whatever reason. My bills do not go away because you do. Also, to those parents who hire a nanny without budgeting in the cost, what the hell is wrong with you? I have actually had a family let me go (after I gave notice at another job to work with them exclusively) because the mom had a shopping addiction and they could not afford me AND her shopping habit. Blech. Enough said.

And I just have to ask- is there some sick pleasure that comes from hearing your baby cry for you or what? If you know the child has separation anxiety and you draw out your exit, coming back in for a pen, waltzing in throughout the day to grab a coffee cause you work close, you should know: that is about as cool as a boiling colonic. This morning mom actually came back into the room after the child was calmed down and prepared for a day with nanny just to tussle his hair and let him suck her boob for a minute. WTF? He was calm/happy and now beside himself. Thanks. I know you can rationalize and say that this is merely a strong parental need to touch baby and not some shitty game but give me a break. You know he is sad when you leave, you know coming in and leaving immediately is going to get him going. It is clear: He misses you, he loves you, you are the center of his universe. Yea! Now can you kindly get the hell out of the way and let me do my job? It is especially bothersome when one of the parents is acutely aware of this yet uses it as a passive aggressive tactic when they are unhappy about something.

And finally, I will not miss being subjected to your filthy house. Moldy toilets, stinky cat box, experimental fridge, overflowing compost and crusty floors no more. You seem embarrassed about it but not enough to clean up after yourself or hire someone to help. I'd have more understanding if you worked for a living or did this all on your own. The last laugh is your kids will be equally as messy and you get to live in that squalor from here on out. I do not. Perhaps after we have parted ways you will realize just how much a skilled nanny brings to the table. Maybe you wont. No matter really. Know this though: I am teetering on the edge of a big f*ck off and if you press me I'm liable to flip the switch.

Can you tell I am feeling bitter today? Just trying to process and get through it like the rest of you. Thanks for listening. I do not really need advise or to be chided for being a judgmental butthole. I know ;P

Happy Holidays!"

Follow up to Seneca Park in Chicago

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
0 update On Monday, 12/20. the mother of the children described in this ISYN sighting post contacted the blog requesting additional information. I contacted the person who submitted the sighting and passed on the mother's contact information. The poster telephoned the children's mother. Below is a follw up as submitted by the mother of the children involved.

"I am the mother of the children. I recently found this website by accident, while performing a Google search for Borders on Michigan Avenue. I am shocked and horrified by the actions of our former nanny and also shocked and horrified by some of the reactions towards the person that posted the information. First, about our former nanny. She no longer works for us because she gave birth to her first child about five months after this was posted. In our presence, she was loving and attentive. She even named her son the same name as our baby. So it was with complete shock to read about her actions. After having spoken to the person that posted the information, I believe every single word. She described the time of day, the clothing, the actions, and has many other pictures to back up the information. The information as posted is undoubtedly true. We live in Chicago, in a safe part of Chicago. That park is across the street from where we live and it is also across the street from the Ritz Carlton. The Park Hyatt, Peninsula, Four Seasons and many of Chicago's priciest and posh hotels, condominiums, shopping and restaurants are all within a few blocks radius of this park. The Museum of Contemporary Art is directly east. Even so, there are homeless people hanging out on the benches in front of the park. Some passed out drunk. Or high. It only takes an instant for tragedy to strike, much less TWO hours. There is NO excuse for her behavior - our older son could have been abducted or injured, our younger son should not have been left alone to cry a foot away from her. No, it was not me who was texting her. I don't believe so, but even if this was the one and only time she neglected to watch and care for our children, once is enough. She was paid the market rate for two children in Chicago, even though she primarily only watched our younger son, as our older son attends school. I don't wish any ill will on any mother, but I do believe things have a way of going around. Anyone that mistreats children will get a reckoning in due time. Perhaps now that she is a mother, she will realize how horrific and reprehensible her actions were. In hindsight, I should have known that anything too good IS too good to be true. She seemed like such a loving and caring person, but I believe that was a ruse. A cover-up to hide her true behavior. The stereotypical wonderful nanny in front of the parents, but the worst when alone - selfish, lazy and not to be trusted. Now, about the person who posted the information. I WISH she could have found me. In this day and age of "bystander effect" when no one bothers to help others in need (see video ) THANK GOD that she helped my sons, that she tried to find me, that she posted this info. THANK GOD nothing happened to either one of them. This park is located in between two busy streets and Michigan Avenue (a 6 (SIX) lane major avenue) is directly west of this park. Even if our son was not injured in the park, even if no one abducted him, even if he just accidentally wandered out of the park, he could have nearly certainly been injured in the traffic. There should be more people in this world like the person that posted the information. She should get nothing but praise and gratitude for her actions. She went out of her way to help my children - complete strangers. What if it were your children? I hope that anyone that witnesses such behavior will also do the right thing and try to help. I didn't know this website existed. The person that runs this website should also be praised. All working mothers should be grateful for this website. A heartfelt THANK YOU, to both of you."

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Holiday Bonus Feature 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010
Bonus this year (2010): promisory note
Weekly Salary: $15 per hour, average of 38 hours. (about $570)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: let's see, my employers got a dog this year and then decided he was too dirty and too messy, so they dropped the dog off at the Humane society. They had the best intentions however, because they had loaded the dog up on leashes, collars, brushes and dog beds. My supplementary gift? She put all of the "leftover" dog stuff in a basket with a BLUE bow and said, "oh there's something else for you on the counter". The way she said it made me think it would be a flat screen television. Thank goodness, I do atleast, have a dog!
Length of time I have worked for the family: 9 months
City, State: Westchester County, NY
*The promisory note is based on the "fact" that my employer does not get her bonus until January. This is very offensive to me because, I don't imagine it's going to be generous, so they just have me waiting for the sake of waiting. Power and control, ladies.

Bonus this year (2010): $1500 check
Weekly Salary: $500 per weekend. I only work 2-3 weekends per month on account of a custodial arrangement, but I get paid every weekend.
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: flip video camera and Macpro, $100 I tunes gift certificate and $300 Nordstroms gift certificate.
Length of time I have worked for the family: About a year and a half
City, State: East Coast

Bonus this year (2010): My holiday bonus is a gift worth $250-$300
Salary: My salary is about 300-350/week (from the family) and $175-225/week paid by an agency.
Length you have been with the family: I have been with the family for 2.5 years
City & State: Denver, CO
I get 3 bonuses a year, 2 are gifts (one around the holidays, described above and between $75-$100 for my birthday) and then I get another $200 every year on the date I started the job. They've been awesome and I feel totally appreciated! Especially coming from families that gave me no more than something really small or a card made by the kids. I was shocked the first year they gave me such a nice gift!

Bonus this year (2010): A one hundred dollar bill stuffed in a "you graduated" money holder.
Your weekly salary: 674.29 after taxes
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Nothing!
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 11 months
City, State and Country: Harrison, NY
*I am the only nanny I know of in my area that didn't get atleast a week's pay as a bonus.

Bonus this year (2010): $1000 cash
Your weekly salary: minimum $650/week but often with a few hours of overtime, usually around $700/week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: a small gift to open from the kids
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 18 months
City, State and Country: Chicago IL

Bonus this year (2010): $500
Nanny's Weekly Salary: $800 for 42 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Three extra days off
Length of Time you have employed the nanny: 3 months
City, State and Country: NY, NY
* The last two nannies I had were so good, many days I can hardly stand the site of this one. Her days are numbered. If I had my way, she would have gotten no bonus. She can thank my husband for going to bat for her. After all, we need her until we find someone better.

Bonus this year (2010): 1 weeks salary
Your Weekly Salary: $150 for a 15 hour work week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: A silver necklace that momboss made for me (she designs jewelry)
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: almost 4 months
City, State and Country: Chattanooga, TN
I have only worked for this family for a short time but we have a great relationship. Their gift was so thoughtful and personal; the mom had to have decided to make it some time ago while I was still a new employee. I take care of their one 7 month old daughter part time and as both parents are self employed, I spend a lot of time with them. I got a gift for them and a few gifts for my charge as well. I'm thankful to have found such a great family to work for.

Bonus this year (2010): one weeks pay: 600 dollars
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus:a bottle of very good wine, a gift bag of high end hand care items, scrub, lotion, nightcream, nail polish, 50 dollar gift card for movie theater, Pics of baby in a bound album and a beautiful card that expressed how much the loved me and were grateful I was there for their baby.
Location: Chicago, City Northside
Length of time with family: Been with the family 2 months
The card was the best gift!!

Bonus this year (2010): $500
Weekly Salary: $680 for 40 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: iPhone 4 and a case for it
Length of time I have worked for the family: 1 year and 4 months
City, State: Newton, Massachusetts

Bonus this year (2010): $1,000
Weekly Salary: $775 for 34 hours
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: I work for an artist. She gave me a painting. I think it was the painting that was rejected by one of her clients. She made a big tada of it. (Note to employers, your nanny knows what goes on in your house. We know what is new and not new and intended for someone else!). I don't like the artwork. I don't have a place for an eight foot painting and if a supplementary gift was supposed to be thoughtful, this wasn't.
Length of time I have worked for the family: 1 year and 10 months
City, State: Westchester County, NY

Bonus this year (2010): one week, $650
Weekly Salary: $650
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: a digital photo frame that I believe was a regift.
Location: Westchester, NY
Length of time with family: Been with the family3 years, 8 months!
* I used to make $750 a week. I took a paycut when my bosses cried economy about 18 months ago. I did not get an anual raise this year. I did not even get an appreciatable bonus. I am a good nanny. The fact that I have been here almost four years should shout that! Two years ago, my boss got me a very expensive jacket, ice skates, a GPS system for my car and a watch. They still make sure to mention their money woes, but when they travel, it's five stars all the way. I feel like I am being taken advantage of and treated like I am dumb.

Bonus this year (2010): $200
Your weekly salary: $13/hour with no guaranteed hours.
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: A picture frame with a picture of the kids (which I LOVED), A comfy sweatshirt (because I was complaining I only had a few to wear to work) and a comfy throw for the new home my fiance and I just bought. They also gave my fiance a nice bottle of red wine. They put my bonus in a Christmas card with the most sweet sentimental stuff in it, it made me cry!
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 1 year, 2 months.
City, State and Country: Dana Point, California
I am VERY happy with my gifts/bonus! My boss told me that her and her husband have a $100 limit for each other for Christmas gifts because both of them had to take a pay cut this year. The fact that they are doing without so that their kids and I can have an amazing Christmas means more to me than the actual gifts themselves! I have the most thoughtful employers and for the first time in my 9 year nanny career, I actually feel like a valued family member! I couldn't ask for anything better!

Bonus this year (2010): $1700
Your Weekly Salary:$850
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: $640 worth of personal training through a special at my gym - NOT their idea, i told them i had signed up and they asked to reimburse me as my gift!
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 4 months - taught their oldest 1 year before nannying for them
City, State and Country: Wheaton, IL, USA
This family asked me to come nanny for them, leaving a job teaching at my local park district - I couldn't be happier with the situation! The parents are respectful, supportive, and kind, and I love the kids - 4 of them, with the oldest aged 6. I truly hit the jackpot with this job!

Bonus this year (2010): $2500
Your Weekly Salary: $1200/wk
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: My boss helped me find an apartment near where she lives that I could afford and as a Christmas gift, she took me on the 15th to go shopping for furnishings. I didn't know what to expect. She bought me a sofa, dining room table set, queen sized bed, dresser, bed side table, two lamps, a chair for the living room, a chair for the bed room, a vacuum cleaner, a set of dishes, 2 sets of silverware, a set of expensive pots and pans and a desk! After all of this, I was not expecting ANY Christmas bonus.
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 2 years, 2 months.
City, State and Country: NYC

Part Time Nanny
Bonus this year (2010): $150
Your Weekly Salary: $225 (15 hr/wk)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: their Christmas card with a very sweet note about how much they appreciate me, and some brownies. And- this isn't explicitly part of my bonus- but I'm a college student and they've been VERY flexible with how my schedule will be changing next semester.
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: Since Sept '10
City, State and Country: Port Washington, NY, USA
Given that I am part time and have only been working for them since September, I was surprised at how generous their bonus was. I absolutely love this family though, and this is just another reason why!

Bonus this year (2010): NOTHING!
Your weekly salary: 900 before taxes (for 50 hours a week)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: NONE!
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 6 Months
City, State and Country: Portland, Oregon
*Like I said above, I have worked for this family for only 6 months, but over these months we have developed a very close relationship. I even purchased expensive Christmas gifts for them, and expected at least a small token of appreciation in return. Well okay, let's be honest, what I really wanted was a weeks salary, which is pretty standard in the nanny industry. It has nothing to do with the economy, as they are rolling in the dough. I always go over and beyond the call of duty, often doing the families dishes, laundry and housekeeping, which is definitely not a part of my job description. I work very long hours, and spend more time with the baby when she is awake than the mother does. The fact of the matter is, I felt very under appreciated before,and this is just the straw that has broken the camels back. It's time to find a new job.

Bonus this year (2010): $0
Your weekly salary: $400 per week
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Nothing
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 4 months
City, State and Country: Durham, NC USA
Received my final pay today. I didn't even get my full pay because of the snow they weren't going to pay me for the days they decided to stay home to be with their children. No severance. Just a check for less than the amount I should have been paid.

Bonus this year (2010): 600
Your weekly salary: 400 for 30 hours a week monday - friday (8 hours monday - thursday and 4 hours on Friday)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: My work family has ornaments made and given out as gifts. Also got a 100 dollar Starbucks card and a Nook from Barnes and Noble. (That I can't open till Christmas day breakfast over at their house.)
Length of Time you have worked for the Family: 2 years and 2 months
City, State and Country: San Antonio, Texas USA

Bonus this year (2010): $500
Your weekly salary: $250 (Part-time nanny)
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: Clothing and a bunch of gifts and perks throughout the year-gift certificates, more clothing, and housewares.
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: 8 months
City, State and Country: Portland, OR, United States
The best bonus is that I love working for this family and they treat me like I am a part of their family.

Bonus this year (2010): $700 (this amount has been given to me every year for about 3 years)
Your weekly salary:$700, working 55 hours a week as housemanager, nanny and personal assistant
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus: none
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family: almost 6 years
City, State and Country: Savannah, Ga
Comment: I must say, I am happy to have received a weeks worth of pay as my bonus, but I also expected a little more this year. I have been working for them for almost 6 years and I am pregnant with my first child (7months along). My husband has not had a job for several months now, so they know that we are having financial difficulties. We are very close (the dad even walked me down the aisle at my wedding), so I am just a little dissappointed that I got the same amount of bonus as every year and no supplementary gifts (something for the baby would have been very thoughtful).
It was also my birthday about a month ago and mom told me she would get around buying me a giftcard to babiesrus (i choose between that and a spa giftcard she offered). Needless to say, I have not received the giftcard yet and was kinda expecting it to be given with the bonus.
All in all, I am happy to have gotten a bonus at all, which will help pay some of the bills.

Share your bonus by emailing Jane at with all the details.



.... WHAT?!

1) Baby Sitter Wanted (New York)
Special thanks to the following Readers for thier Contribution this week: Betty Spaghetti, brookeelizabeth, MissDee, proctorhome, Jacqui, Ladybug1212 and noenanny... all of you did an awesome job! Please send next weeks Ads to: or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the text, if possible! Thank you!



I swear to God Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus!

Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest I was thrown for a loop this week when my little charge, who, by the way is celebrating his forth birthday today, Friday, December 17th, announced in his bubble bath Monday night that he no longer believes in Santa Claus. I asked him what had made him reach such a huge conclusion at such a young age, and he basically explained that he was finding the entire idea somewhat…implausible.

“No one can really live at the North Pole,” he reasoned, “it’s too cold there!”

I went into spin mode like Hollywood publicists set afire.

“That’s why he wears the red fur suit!” I insisted, “to keep him warm!”

“Also I saw a guy in a Santa suit at Safeway,” he went on. “He was a fake Santa. There are a lot of fake Santa’s. There is no real Santa.”

“Those are his HELPERS!” I said, “The REAL Santa has HELPERS all over the world! Because he’s busy at the North Pole making Christmas presents! He’s probably making you a toy train right now!”

“Besides,” the boy went on like a small little litigator covered in lavender scented bubbles, “Reindeer can’t fly. They don’t have wings.”

“They fly by MAGIC. MAGIC makes the reindeer fly!”

He made a that funny little sound he’s been doing lately, the one that sounds somewhat like a fourteen year old guy saying “Sheesh, ” but leaving out the “s” and the “h” at the end because they are fourteen and lazy and totally smarter than you are.

I have been faced with this moment many times in my career as a Nanny, the magical moment where the children reach that magical age of reason and realize truth for truth and fiction for fiction and can’t wait to let you know that they have figured it out and joined you on the adult side of the shore of the childhood sea full of fairy tales that we feed them. Once on an overnight with Reni who was eight then but now is a twenty-three year old beauty, she confessed that recently she had snooped into a drawer of her mothers and found a little box full of her baby teeth. Weepy, she asked me, “Does this mean there is no Tooth Fairy?”

I suggested that perhaps her mother had a secret deal with the Tooth Fairy in which she had contracted to pay a higher fee in order to keep the baby teeth as mementos, and the follow up conversation with her mother gave Reni a greater respect for grownup’s privacy, as well as a sad farewell to the myth of the Tooth Fairy. She was eight, a respectable age for letting go of folklore. But my little charge was only three years and three hundred sixty one days old when he announced he was done with the whole silly Santa business!

“Who do you think puts the presents under the tree?” I asked him.

“Mom and Dad,” he replied, deadpan.

Maybe it is my memories of the thrill of laying awake and listening for Santa on Christmas Eve that makes me want him to keep believing. I can remember being six and totally convinced that Santa would come into my house through the trapdoor to the roof of our Queens duplex that was only accessible through my parent’s closet. I remember that I whispered to my brother, “I think I hear the reindeer!” I remember the sound that I thought was the Reindeer, like acorns falling on the roof. ..or possibly hoofs scraping. And I remember how wonderful it felt. I know I’m not ready to let him let go of that yet. But it’s not really up to me.

I picked him up from school two days after the Santa discussion, and he announced as I buckled him into his car seat that he had thought over the concept of the Tooth Fairy, and thought that one was full of baloney as well.

“So,” I said, “Who do you suppose leaves the money under your pillow?”

“The Mom.” He said.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at

Sportech in Rye, NY

Received Friday, December 17, 2010
nanny sighting 7 Nanny growing impatient with child, blonde, brown eyes, large, regular build. Child may have had ADD. He was not listening to nanny in the store. She left holding his black and grey jacket really tightly. The nanny is jamaican as i heard her accent and could tell. She was wearing a white sweater with pearls on the collar. She has a very defined jaw line, wore no make up and had a strange hair style where her bangs looked like they were permed but the rest of her hair was slick to her head. That is all i have. Poor little boy. Besides his black and grey jacket and blond hair, i didnt notice much else about him. Sportech in rye, ny. I saw her bend over and say something to him but could not hear it. He started crying. I saw them again at family discount about ten minutes later and i saw her grab the child by his head to take him away from to toy aisle.

Nanny Bibi near Lincoln Center in NYC

Received Friday, December 17, 2010
nanny sighting 7 I work at a retail establishment on Broadway near Lincoln Center and constantly see a barrage of nannies when we first open in the morning. The shop I work for is NOT a grocery store, nor it is a children's toy or clothing store, so I see no reason for these women to be here while at work. One in particular seems to be there every morning, ready to hunt down a bargain (those don't really exist at this store) and is constantly harassing the employees about older items, attempting to get a major deal. On tuesday, she was in the store with her charge, a blonde boy, who is usually sleeping or happily munching on cheerios; this day, however he seemed to be in a very bad mood, and kept whining that his ears hurt. She shopped around the store for no less than an hour, while the boy cried the entire time. A coworker asked her if there was anything wrong, and she shot us a side eye and said no. She argued with myself and another manager about getting further discounts on some old picture frames.... we could barely think with the sound of the boy screaming about how he wanted to go home. As predicted, she asked that we hold her bags until later that day (presumably because she shouldn't be shopping while watching your child) and gave us her name: "Bibi". If you are paying this woman to watch your child, I'd re- think what you're paying for. If you think this is your nanny, please contact the blog for the nanny's last name.

Recognizing Great Childcare

Received Friday, December 17, 2010
reader submission
Philadelphia, PA
Childcare Provider:
PreSchool Plus
I know this blog is primarily for nanny sightings and issues, but there are a lot of wonderful day care providers out there, and I wanted to take a moment to appreciate ours. We have three kids under 4, all of which attend daycare at PreSchool Plus. The facilities are not the most impressive in the world, but the caregivers are WONDERFUL. I can't say how many times I have shown up to see my kids snuggling in a caregiver's lap being read a story or seen them run to give a hug or a "high five" to their favorite teacher in the morning. It is a true gift to be able to go to work knowing that my kids will be taken care of by such good people.


Holiday Bonus Survey

Monday, December 13, 2010
We are compiling our annual holiday bonus feature. Please send your information in as soon as possible. What do we want to know? Look here.
Additionally and always, we need nanny sightings and content from nannies for the blog. Share a story or photo.
 00 winter nanny
Acknowledge a good nanny that you know. Employers, share a nanny horrror story. Email . All submissions are confidential, unless you specifically request that they not be.

It's a Small World

Received Monday, December 13, 2010
Opinion 4 Omigosh! I have a little bit of a dilemma here and I need the solid advice of both nannies and parents alike. This situation is kinda weird and it may sound like I made it up, but honest to God it is the truth. Just another reminder of the small world we all live in.

Anyway, I had a job about 2 weeks back that I found on Sittercity. To make a long story short, I only stayed two days with that family and left abruptly. Yes, unprofessional, but honestly I could not give any notice because the parents totally blamed me for everything plus the working environment had already turned hostile. Basically, they misrepresented the job to me. They said they would only give me minimal house chores while the baby slept (i.e., cleaning baby's bottles, dishes, toys, clothes, linens, etc.) during the interview, yet once on the job, they had me doing their own laundry, cleaning the kitchen & bathroom, walking the dog, etc. So while I remained civil to them, I also told them I could not continue the position effective immediately and would not be returning since they misrepresented my duties.

Flash forward to today. I was recently hired for a new position (yeah!) with a much nicer family. They assured me I wouldn't have any other duties that did not pertain to the child and even had the duties drawn up into a Nanny/Parent contract that we both signed today. Well after talking to the family a little about their jobs and where they worked, it turns out the Dad boss works at the same exact company and has the same type of work of my former Dad boss. Now this may not mean anything and they may never mention anything about nannies at work, but I am worried they may know each other since they both are around the same age, are of the same ethnicity and culture and hold similar work positions. When if my new Dad boss mentions one day how they just found a great nanny, etc..blah, blah, blah and then tells this other guy all about her (me.) After doing some talking, they both come to realize it is the same person!! Then my former Dad boss will tell this new family how I left abruptly plus he may say other bad (untrue) stuff about me because he was angry at me for not being happy with my job.

When I interviewed with my new family, I never mentioned this other job since it was only for 2 days and didn't end well. I simply said I was looking for a job and had been unemployed since Nov. 13th (when I left my other long-term position..on great terms by the way, the little girl I watched started pre-school.) If they find out from this other worker that I just left and other negative stuff, do they have a right to be mad that I didn't tell them about it? I mean, would you guys? At the time of our interview, I seriously didn't see why I should. Do you think if they do find out, they will believe the other guy (former Dad boss) and fire me? Even if weeks have passed and I have a chance to prove to them what a great Nanny I am? Should I mention to them before I start my job (in a week) so that I appear trustworthy and honest?? Please help. Thanks so much in advance guys.



.... What?!

1) Childcare and Transportation Needed (Chicago)
Seeking an attractive, open minded, woman with an outgoing personality and great legs to provide childcare for my 2 daughters, ages 12 & 14. English as your primary language is preferred but not required. Usual weekday duties include local transportation to school and athletic activities, light domestic including preparation of small meals and management of the completion of homework responsibilities. A well maintained late model vehicle and valid driver's license are required.

The days and times vary based on school and athletic schedules, but generally have been 3 to 4 days M-F with total hours between 10 to 15 during any given week. Typical times range from 4 pm to 7:30 pm and in some instances may be as late as 11 pm. Weekends and overnight are required on a very infrequent basis.

If you are interested and qualified for this unique role, please provide a statement of your qualifications, have ready references and please provide a picture with your response.
Wow! Some really awesome Ads this week! Special thanks to anjul.of.grace for our Feature! Also, a BIG thank you to the following Contributors... nannybee, Betty Spaghetti, Rose, MayDay, MissDee, Krupitzerb, afnt81, Jacqui, SupperNanny212 and Krossi2009... all of you did a fantastic job! Please send next weeks Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the text, if possible! Thank you!



Gift Ideas for the Boss?

Received Friday, December 10, 2010
Photobucket I need suggestions for a Christmas present for my bosses. They always give me one weeks bonus and a few gift cards and we have a great relationship. Kids are 2 1/2 and 14 months. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
We have received no less than thirty Readers asking this question so we thought you could just leave all of your ideas and suggestions for each other here in the comment section. Have Fun!

Who are you wearing?

By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest Wednesday they had pajama day at my charge’s school. The flyer that the teachers sent home announcing the upcoming pajama day included a picture of my almost four-year-old charge, clad in his favorite navy GAP fleece pajamas and proclaimed that on December 8th all the preschool children were invited to wear their pajamas to school too, as he does every single day. This pajama habit began just shortly after he turned two. He told us he liked to be cozy during the day, and seriously, who could argue with that? I have no problem with indulging him because sadly, this pajama fetish is not going to last much longer. Some day soon he will grow a little more, realize that everyone else is wearing clothes to school, and fall in with the herd. And I for one will miss the old days, when footsie pajamas topped off with crocs was the height of his fashion sense.

I’ve always found it adorable when pre-schoolers begin to dress themselves. It’s truly a time of unadulterated expression, before the filters of society have a chance to creep into their little brains and they begin to censor themselves. I once Nannied for a little girl who loved ballet, and at three she dressed in a tutu every single day – with several costume changes every few hours – and wore out her ballet shoes by wearing them to the park. She never took a class. It was simply what she liked to wear. My darling Sierra received a “ball gown” when she was four and she donned it appropriate wear for the backyard trampoline, no matter how many times her father told her it was to wear at Christmas to see “The Nutcracker.” The older brother of Pajama Boy would cringe to be reminded now, at the mature age of ten and a half – but when he was five, he would only dress in Halloween type costumes. The cop one was his favorite, and there were many walks downtown with him in full dress and sporting a utility belt with a pretend service revolver, handcuff, walkie – talkie and a little plastic Billy Club. To anyone who dared to tell him looked adorable got a stink eyes stare, a gun drawn on them and orders to turn around slowly and place their hands behind their backs.

Perhaps it’s us adults who need to let go a little and not put the little children in our lives into pretty little boxes. Yesterday I played for two hours with the sixteen month old little sister of Pajama Boy. What did I do? I followed her around with a pretty silk bow and a tutu pleading, “Don’t you want to look pretty?”

She kept playing with her books, rocking her applesauce-stained sweatpants and telling me, “No.”

Perhaps she’ll be the sort of little girl I was, only wanting to dress in her older brother’s hand me downs instead of the dresses my mother kept buying me. My older brother would only wear the color beige, because that was the color of our Dad’s car. I’m sure my mother wasn’t the only parent to wash the same pair of pants every night. I know I’ve clocked many hours in front of the dryer, waiting for that one favorite green shirt to be ready to wear. Again.

Give me a kid in a cape any day. I’ll always resonate with the kid with the independent fashion sense. Even if the shirt is inside out and the pants are on backwards. And he can’t move his feet because he’s stuck both down one pant leg.
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at


Holiday Bonus Feature 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010
We have received many requests to repeat the annual Nanny bonus survey. If you are a nanny and would like to share with us what you received for a bonus this year, please email us or send us a text message using meebo. Take some pictures! If you are an employer and would like us to know what you are giving your nanny as a bonus this year, we want to hear from you, too.
I SAW YOUR NANNY holiday bonus
Please Include:
Bonus this year (2010):
Your Weekly Salary:
Any Supplementary Gifts aside from The Bonus:
Length of Time you Have worked for the Family:
City, State and Country:

We will print part one on Monday, Dec. 20 and part two between 12/25 - 12/28.
To read ISYN Bonus Surveys from previous years, click below:
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2006 - Part I December 2006
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2006 - Part II December 2006
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2007 - Part I December 2007
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2007 - Part II December 2007
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2008 - Part I December 2008
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2008 - Part II December 2008
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2009 - Part I December 2009
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2009 - Part II December 2009

Clueless Parents Need Pointers on Child Raising

Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
Opinion 4 Hi, I need some advice/words of encouragement. For the past six months I have been working for an older couple with a 10-month-old baby, their first and only. When I say they are clueless, I really mean it. I have never in all my years of childcare met parents who are as clueless and lack the common sense that they do. The crazy thing is, they admit that they have no idea what they're doing and ask for my advice all the time, but they never take it.

Since I started I have been trying to get the baby on a consistent schedule, especially regarding naptime. The parents have in a sort of passive way been fighting this the whole time. They look at me like I'm crazy every single time I stress to them how important it is for babies to have a consistent routine, and yes, even when I tell them he needs to nap and get his rest. They flat out tell me they do not put him down for naps on the weekend or follow his schedule at all, saying they "don't believe in schedules" and that "he'll sleep if he's tired." Even when I have written out the entire schedule for them (at the Mom's request so they could follow it) and they have promised to stick to it, they nonchalantly tell me Monday morning that they didn't at all and the baby had no naps. Well obviously I'm left with an overtired, cranky baby every Monday, and sometimes lasting well into the week. To make matters worse, the Mom is home on Fridays. So she, in the politest way possible, avoids him taking naps and purposely plans things against his schedule, so they are more convenient for her. But as soon as he fusses, she's suddenly busy. Ironically though, if she is out of the room and he gets fussy, she runs in like I'm doing something terrible and insists to take over. When I tell her he's just tired, she laughs it off or says he must be hungry even if he just ate. I really think for some reason they just don't want him taking naps, ever. The pediatrician even recommended he take more naps awhile ago and they just dismissed it.

I'm incredibly frustrated at this situation and the parents response. They say and act (in every other regard) like they trust me and keep asking for my advice, yet completely ignore everything I say and the baby and I are suffering because of it. I have already decided to find another job because of this situation (and they pay really well), but I would like some advice on how to handle this in the meantime, since I can't leave until I find something else and then I have to give a month's notice. Thank you for your help!

Nanny Saves Young Girl from Being Struck by SUV

Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
In the newsss HOLMDEL, NJ — A quick-thinking nanny is credited with plucking a 2-year-old girl from certain death as a sport utility vehicle bore down on them and the baby's mother as they walked admiring holiday decorations of neighbors' homes Sunday, police said.

Mom Ianina Morozova, 42, and nanny Vera Vereschagina, 46, went on the early evening stroll along the side of South Beers Street, with Vereschagina pushing 2-year-old Sasha Kolesnitchenko, Morozova's daughter, in a stroller. As the three headed southbound around 6:20 p.m, to return to Morozova's Chaser Court home, a tan or silver SUV traveling northbound came speeding at them, according to Sgt. Eric Hoffman.

As the vehicle approached at a high rate of speed, Vereschagina reached into the stroller and grabbed the toddler, who was facing forward, and jumped for the nearby lawn of 40 South Beers St., Hoffman explained.

The vehicle kept coming and struck the empty stroller and Morozova, then fled, police said.

"I give her a lot of credit for yanking the kid out and getting out of the way of that vehicle," Hoffman said.

The posted speed limit on South Beers Street is 30 mph, police said. It is unclear how fast the vehicle was traveling.

Morozova suffered injuries to her left side, left hand and a cut to her nose. She and the toddler were taken to Bayshore Community Hospital. The toddler was released after a precautionary evaluation. Morozova is listed as stable, but remains hospitalized, according to hospital spokeswoman Laurie Zalepka.

The investigation is ongoing, and police are asking anyone with information about the case or the vehicle to call Detective Thomas Foley at 732-946-4400
Special thanks to Jacqui for Contributing this Article.

Christmas Coupons!

Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
Opinion 4 I have been the nanny of my 16 month old charge for almost 10 months. I absolutely love everything about my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I have a great relationship with both parents, and can honestly say that we have become close friends. I love my charge more than anything in the world, and we have quite a strong bond. However, Christmas is coming up and I have no idea what to get them. I am set on what I am getting for my charge, and have talked about that with both parents. What I am unsure of is, what should I get the parents seeing as how I don’t have a lot of money to spend. I thought of maybe doing a Nanny Coupon Book, and was wondering what type of things would make good coupons. Any ideas? Thanks for your help.

More Clueless Parenting...

Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
Opinion 4 I am a nanny for an adorable little boy. My situation is that sometimes I feel like the mother and his parents are the babysitters. The boy has complete respect for me. I literally have him wrapped around my finger when it comes to please and thank you, what he eats and doesn't eat, and just respect in general. The second his parents come home, he's a different child. Although I could care less, I try to understand the situation but it's crazy.

First of all, his parents seem coherent. They have great jobs, they are fun, and can be down to earth people. When it comes to raising a child, it's as if they have never come in contact with a child. Their son is not a baby anymore. He does not sleep in his own bed, he still takes a binky, and he's still on baby food! It's as if they don't want to deal with their own child. And potty training? It's on their time, not the boy in training. If it's not convenient for them, he stays in a diaper.

There are times when I hear the parents begging and bribing him to do something. Isn't the child supposed to beg his parents? There are times when I literally tell them what to do when it comes to eating new foods and it's as if I'm speaking another language. I have explained what steps I take to get him to eat things and how I do it. The kid never drank plain water in his life until I came along. I told them that he will drink water. What happens? He drinks juice all day with them. And juice is the better choice. A lot of times it's soda!

A huge part of me just doesn't care about what they do because the saying "they are the parents, they can do what they want" but I don't understand why these people just don't do whats best for their kid. Who are the parents? The kid or the "parents?"

Southridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Received Thursday, December 9, 2010
nanny sighting 7 GOOD nanny sighting!
Where: Southridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch, Colorado (pool)
When: Saturday, December 4 (12:00-3:30-ish)
Nanny: White female, early twenties, light brown hair, about 5'7", slightly overweight, wearing a purple swimsuit top and black bottoms. I think she had hazel or brown eyes. She had VERY pale skin.
Children (siblings): Girl, about 10, medium brown hair, tall, brown eyes
Boy, about 6, medium brown hair, green eyes
Boy, about 4, dark blond hair, green eyes

This nanny was awesome! So often do I see nannies come to the pool and sit on the edge while their charges play, completely ignoring them. But this lady completely devoted herself to the kids, playing with them in the kiddie pool, going down the slide with the youngest, etc. She helped the boys put on life jackets (which are offered at the pool free of charge) and made sure they had the correct sizes for their weight. She allowed the girl to go into the activity pool by herself since she was old enough, but she always stayed with the boys and checked with the little girl often. She threw toys in the water and congratulated the kids when they went to the bottom to get them.

This lady obviously really cares about her charges. Although the girl wasn't with them much (I think she saw friends and went to swim with them), the kids adore the nanny too. This was very refreshing to see. Her energy and upbeat attitude was fantastic!



.... WHAT?!

1) Babysitter needed (Chicago)
I need a loving and caring nanny for two days a week and probably twice a month on Saturday (Monday and Thursday). Must be reliable and punctual. I could only afford $150 a week for the three days and also some days you would get to live earlier. Please answer to this post if you are interested. Thank you
Special thanks to MissDee for our Feature! Also, we really appreciate all of the Contributions from the following Readers: Lovely.Kec, anjul.of.grace, Janine4Klein, MayDay, Krystal, sewickleynanny, noenanny, Meredith, hijabiniqaabi, nannydebsays and JoyfulNanny... all of you did a great job! Please send next weeks Ads HERE or use MEEBO. Don't forget to include the Links and the Body of the text, if possible! Thank you!


Smokin' Hot Nanny Stomps Out the Embers

Received Saturday, December 4, 2010
Opinion 4 To give you a backstory, I took this job about 3 months ago, what was supposed to be a full-time position, and only 10 -15 hours a week have materialized. I'm trying to pay for school at the same time, so my savings account is now depleted and I'm pretty much broke.
Dad gets home and pretty much ambushes me.
- They want me to do more housework
What? I'm doing everything that's been outlined in our contract - pick up after child, do child-related dishes, etc. Yes, there have been some days that not everything gets done - but those were days that I was told I was working until 9pm, so I leave stuff to finish after the child goes to bed - and then mom arrives home at 2pm. If you're not going to give me actual notice on my hours, this is going to happen. If HALF my hours that day are getting cut, it'd be nice to know ahead of time, and not just so I know to get the housework done early.
- They think I'm not being truthful about my whereabouts?!
This one, my jaw literally just dropped. Took the child out to a charity fair the other week, and apparently they CALLED afterwards to see if it actually took place. Um, really? Have I given you ANY reason to doubt me? I mean, I'm taking care of your kid, I can understand a certain amount of paranoia - but this really bothered me. This also plays into - even though we discussed it in the interview and wrote it into the contract - they pretty much don't want me going out with the kid. If you had let me know this when we were discussing it at the first interview, I would not have taken this job. Plain and simple. Don't agree and then rescind later! I'm (supposed to be) having 12 hour days, and I'm not the type of person to stay completely cooped up for 12 hours. If you wanted someone to stay in the house the whole time, HIRE SOMEONE WHO DIDN'T SAY THEY TAKE THEIR CHARGES OUT.
- When talking to mom last week, I talked to her about taking a second job since, hey, this is supposed to be a 40hr/ week position and I'm not even getting half of that. Well, apparently they talked it over and tonight dad tells me that, basically, they give me their "blessing" to take odd babysitting jobs for friends, but they don't really want me taking a regular second job in case my hours with them start picking up. (I'm sure the fact that the large number of times they've wanted me to come in with only 1 - 2 hours notice plays into this, as well.) And, oh hey, only take a job that you find through word of mouth, don't use an actual service like the one we found each other on. What?!
- Also accuses me of being a smoker, which just, HUH? I have not, at any time, nor will I ever smoke. Nor do I KNOW anyone who smokes.

So, with all of that. I've decided to leave this family ASAP. I'm afraid of what I may get falsely accused of if I stay with them any longer. 30 days notice was written into the contract - but am I correct in already considering the contract broken when the specific number of hours written into it failed to materialize? I'm currently planning on giving them notice after the end of the week, 12/3, and tell them I will not be coming in any longer. I truly fear how they will treat me if I have to work with them after I've given notice. Any help on how to phrase my resignation will be GREATLY appreciated.


Carl Schurz Park on UES - NYC

Received Friday, December 3, 2010
nanny sighting 7
When: Tuesday, 11/30 around 11AM
Where: NYC - Carl Schurz Park on UES
Child: girl I think, probably less than 1 year, wearing light blue coat and white hat
Nanny: AA woman, 40's or 50's, wearing red puffy jacket, striped pants, and a black hat
Incident: Nanny was yelling at this small child to play on the slide/climbing area. The baby clearly did not want to play there, threw herself on the floor and had a tantrum. Now, I have a toddler, and this itself is not abnormal behavior for a toddler but what bothered me was the nanny's reaction. She crossed her arms and turned away from the baby while she screamed. The nanny then yelled at her, telling her to get up and keep climbing. Not once did I see the nanny actually help or touch the baby in any way. The baby must have cried on the floor for 10 minutes. Now, my LO was a late walker and we had to spend lots of time encouraging our baby to get up and exercise, but there was no positive encouragement here. Only, a mean, nasty and cold nanny.
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Nanny Feels Like Giving Parents the Bird Over Thanksgiving Dinner

Received Friday, December 3, 2010
Opinion 4 Dear nannies, I need some advice! I believe I have a bad POST Thanksgiving-$$-experience. Nice parents going cheap on my dinner money and making me work for free!!! I work for this really nice family for about 2 yrs. I have a very nice, friendly, respectful relationship with the parents.

I had always worked PT. I am a college student. I'm currently working one full day (on a Thursday) and 2 other afternoons. The parents had told me that they were giving me off 2 consecutive Thursdays and they were paid. The first Thurs was a week before thanksgiving (they were out of town), and the second Thurs which happened to be thanksgiving day. However, they asked if i was available for a date night during thanksgiving holiday weekend. After the mother saying that it would be paid I said yes. I ended up babysitting a friday night (Nov 26th) from 9pm to 1am. They always leave $20 for dinner delivery, but there were times when i never ordered food because A) I dont really eat past 8pm, B) when really hungry, I'm done feeding/bathing/reading the child 10:30pm. When parents return, they always ask whether i ordered food or not. I always tell the truth whether yes, or no. That night, I only had some ice-cream (they don't have dinner food in the fridge. If i didn't order dinner, I leave the money on the table, however, i wish i could take it with me for next days food after being hungry all night long. On NOV 26th, I called a restaurant by the house, but they never picked up the phone. I called around 10:40pm. Then I ordered from some other place not soo close-by, and said food would arrive in 30 mins. It was 11:30pm...NO FOOD. I was getting a headache. So i never bothered calling back a demanding for a new order to arrive by midnight? This time i did put those 20 dollars in my pocket. The mom comes back at 1 AM and asks if i had ordered food. I said the truth! and she was surprised. They paid for my cab ride back home as usual. As I reach out for the money I see it was JUST one 20 dollar bill !!!. I was told to tip the dude well! I get home, and I'm left with 3 dollars from cab money. I realized they havent paid me for that night! So I thought they forgot, or I misunderstood our previous agreement. Then, I remember this is not the 1st time. They did this same thing to me last year too!!! On that following Monday, I ask the father what the original intention was...

BOTH parents feel that because I was giving 2 days paid off (1- they left, 2- its a holiday) that it was expected from me to babysit for a night after thanksgiving for free!!! The father brought up the topic and asked what happened to the dinner delivery that night. I repeated the story. They never cared before about my dinner as long as I left those 20 dollars on the table. It's obvious that since i took the money with me, they now care why I never spent it. I said I still have it in my pocket if u want it. He said ok, let it be for some lunch for the kid bc rarely there is no prepared food for the child. I later texted that i would fix food at the house. I said that I would leave those 20 dollars on the table for them along with the keys he asked back from the last babysitting night. H texts back and say that he contacted the wife and let her know about my question and she would "bring it up." The mom comes home and says she feels sorry if i felt under-appreciated, because they really appreciate me and said that they would "paid the difference." They owe me 60 dollars for 4 hours. What the mom does is that she takes out 10 dollars from her wallet and adds the 20 dollars I left on the table. I dont know why in the world i received those 30 dollars from her. I felt so insulted. I left because it was 20 mins after the time i was supposed to leave their house. Tomorrow I will get paid for this week and I hope and wish that the so called "we will pay the difference" (the OTHER $30) are added to my weeks salary!!!

I feel that it bothers me so much! Am I the one being cheap here? or is it the parents? is that right for parents to do even if they give you 12 hrs total (2 thurs) paid off ? The dinner money is one issue. They doing this to me after so long is another issue. I kept my mouth quiet 1 time already, thinking it was reasonable then, but i still felt upset. This 2nd time, I dont feel forgiving! I feel I should speak up for myself, but I dont know how to express myself. I am very sweet and funny, but this time I'm hurt and I feel my words wont be kind. What I worry about is that I could be putting my bonus/gift in jeopardy. I know they sense something bothers me. I dont know how to address this issue. I just know that if i dont see that date night money completed along with my salary, I will return those 30 dollars she gave me using that nights dinner money I'd returned. I will tell them that its NOT my call that they give me 12 hrs paid off, and that in appreciation I should work for free during a holiday weekend night. Oh and did I mention that because I WORKED AT 9PM THAT NIGHT I CABBED IT THERE and i did text the mom that and she never cared. So I wasted my time and money on that night : (

Escape, Pillage and Destroy!

By Feature Writer Rebecca Nelson Lubin
guest A few weeks ago, one of my childhood friends posted a picture of her three year old on Facebook. The lovely little boy was smiling, laying in a sea of feathers, having taken apart his pillows while his Mother, a surgeon, tried to sleep in past dawn. I laughed and posted a comment,

“Reminds me of the three year old I watch.”

Why is it that some children are hell bent on destruction? My older brother was required to be on lockdown. Every door in our childhood home, including the one to the bedroom that we shared, had a high hook that only our parents could reach, therefore giving them the piece of mind that the little terror they were raising would stay in the room that they had placed him in – and stay in the house and not wander the streets of Fresh Meadows, Queens, dragging his protesting little sister (me) along. I had always thought that this level of security was completely unnecessary, and that my parents must have been amiss in their duties. Until my own charge turned three and became determined to escape, pillage, and destroy.

The first time it happened it was not on my watch. It was a weekend night, and a few hours after putting the children to sleep, Mom Boss went up to Dad Boss’ home office – a separate structure on the property - to check in on how his work was coming along. She heard a rustling in the dark by the big gate that separated their property from the street…and found her three-year-old son. On the street side. He said that he had woken up and decided to say hi to Daddy. A high hook immediately went up on his door.

My problems with him began during the day. I would have him all set up with an activity and tell him, “I’m going to go and put your clothes in the dryer. Stay right here.” I would race back to the kitchen / playroom / his bedroom after the fastest laundry change in history and find him gone. There is nothing quite like the heart in the throat moments when you race all over the house calling the name of your charge. You picture him floating in the hot tub, poised over an outlet with a screwdriver, or heartily eating the dog food. I found him that first time by the bare garden. It was April. He said, “Where are all the blueberries?”

“It’s April,” I said, “There are no blueberries yet. What are you doing outside?”

“I wanted blueberries,” he replied.

Over the summer my employers moved to a new house. One of my first calls was to Home Safety Services to baby / toddler proof the entire house. I ordered the works - including window latches and high hooks on all doors. I had to replace the basic latches for better latches after one week when the three year old undid his, and leaned far out the window to call to his older brother and myself in the yard below just after I had put him down for a nap.

“What are you guys doing?” He yelled from the second floor window, half of his body visible.

I took him with me to the fruit bowl in the kitchen, grabbed a papaya, and brought him back upstairs to his window. I held him tightly and said,

“Watch what happens to the papaya when it falls out a window”, and hurled the fruit down to the yard below. We both went down to inspect the remains.

“Wow.” He said, “It got all smashed.”

“That would be you if you fell out the window.” I said.

“That would be my head.” He said, impressed.

He got the point about the windows, but there still was some work to be done about the doors. We, the grown-ups, had to remember to keep them hooked, for example. One recent evening, just after the time change, I left the front door un-hooked after a late delivery from UPS. I was clearing the dishes from dinner when I suddenly noticed that the three year old had slipped out. I ran to the front door. It was hanging open. I ran out into the street and found the boy en route across the cul-de-sac, in the dark.

“Where do you think you’re going?” I asked him.

“I want to visit the neighbors.” He said.

“Three year olds are not allowed to leave the house by themselves.” I reprimanded.

“I’m three and three quarters!” He argued.

It could be worse. One of my favorite websites is called Shit My Kid Ruined, which is completely devoted to posting pictures of things children have destroyed the moment the parent’s back is turned. For now, I have been holding my charge back on his destructive and wandering ways by threatening the consequence of losing his trains for 24 hours for any further infractions. If that should fail, I am going to call back Home Safety Services and see if there is some sort of GPS chip they could put in his neck that I might monitor from my cell phone. ________________________________________________
Rebecca Nelson Lubin is a writer and Nanny who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. You may read more of her articles at

Going Above the Call of Duty and Feeling Under Appreciated

Received Friday, December 3, 2010
Opinion 4 This is a question to all of the nannies that follow this blog, but if you are a parent with a nanny please feel free to leave your opinion as well. I have been a professional nanny for over 9 years and I absolutely love my career. I have been working at my current position since August of 2010, and at first everything was going great. I made sure to sign a family/nanny agreement laying out what my responsibilities would be and what my employers expectations of me would be as well. From day one I always have gone above and beyond what MB's expectations of me are. Just a few examples: She will leave her mounds of dirty dishes in the sink from the night before, as well as a pile of bottles that have not yet been washed. I feel like I have no other choice but to wash everything, because if I don't I wont have enough room to wash the babies bottles through out the day. So, because of this, I go ahead and do it. I also make sure to pick up all of the baby related items that are frequently left out around the house and put them away, but the next day, everything is a huge mess again. On more than a few occasions MB has left her dirty clothes in the washing machine, so I have washed them, put them in the dryer, and folded and put them away for her. (Mind you, it was agreed upon that I would do the babies laundry, but not hers) I do not mind doing these things from time to time, however she has not once thanked me for doing them. I am starting to feel very under appreciated, and was wondering if any of you other nannies out there have had this happen with your jobs, and if so, how you have handled it. I know it sounds like it is not a big deal, but I do a lot more than I mentioned above, and a thank you would really go a long way.

Lastly, I was wondering what you nannies out there typically expect for a holiday bonus if anything, and also what you parents out there have given your nanny in the past. I don't necessarily expect anything, but it would be a nice gift to receive as a thank you for all of the hard work I have done. Thanks so much in advance!