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beware 3
I just wanted to share a terrible experience we had with a Filipino nanny who used us to get out of the Philippines, took our money, lied, and ran away a month and a half after she started her contract.

Her name is Malouchie (last name withheld) and goes by the name Malou. She was born on 31 Aug 1977 and her passport number is (withheld). I am attaching a picture and a passport copy of her. We live in Cyprus at the moment. I am from Cyprus and my husband is American. We have a 7-month old baby boy. Since I work in the medical field, I didn’t have the chance to take a year or two from work to stay home and raise my child. In my profession the field advances so quickly that taking time off would most likely be the end of your career. Since I have invested so much in my education and career, I didn’t want to do that. In Cyprus, unlike other western countries, there are no reliable nanny agencies where you can see the references of the person you want to work with before you hire them. There are people who find nannies but your chance of finding someone good is 50/50.

So, when a government employee who works for the local work permit office told me that he knew a Filipino who wanted to come to Cyprus and work, and that she had childcare experience, I was excited. I had been looking for somebody locally for the last 3 months and I had been disappointed over and over again, so I was intrigued. I got in touch with this person via Skype. She gave me all the answers that I wanted to hear. She said she took care of a boy from 3-months to 3 years in Ankara, Turkey for a French family. She had a son herself and loved boys. She had worked in a Spa for her last job (with her mom who is a reputable masseuse) but didn’t like it since men who had interests other than “just a massage” came to the Spa and she didn’t work in that area. When I told her we had a dog that is a big part of our family, she said “I will have two babies then”. I thought that we finally hit jackpot.

I spent a couple of months getting all the paperwork ready in order to bring her to Cyprus. A big part of that was to get a transit visa to Turkey for her since she would have had to fly to Cyprus from there. In Turkey, they are supposedly very strict with issuing transit visas to Filipinos since they lie to enter Turkey and then work there illegally. So they asked for a contract, which we prepared and sent to her, to read it over and agree to it. She agreed to everything. Meanwhile, I asked her to get her medical tests done since HIV, Hepatitis and some other tests are required in order to have a work permit issued here. She asked for money to get her tests done, for traveling to the Capital and for her POEA papers there-in total $600. I gave them to her without questioning her, she said we could deduct it from her paycheck when she gets here. I had also told her we would pay for her plane ticket to come here, we just wanted her to fulfill her 2-year contract.

Long story short, she finally made it to Cyprus. While she was here working for us, we paid for her everything-from her toothbrush to her cellphone. She had her own room with cable and DVD player and her own bathroom in our house. We just wanted her to be good to our son, and not much else. We have a housekeeper that cleans our place once a week, so I didn’t expect her to do much cleaning (which most live-in nannies do in Cyprus). She was very good with our son. We were very pleased with that and were willing to do anything to keep her happy. We order take out often from expensive restaurants and we always asked her what she wanted and got her anything she asked for. I always asked if she wanted something from supermarket and went out of my way to get them. When we went out to eat as a family, we always took her along. We treated her as part of our family. She never ever said thank you and always acted as if it was our duty to get her whatever she wanted. We so desperately wanted a good nanny for our son that we overlooked all her flaws.

After a month and a half of working for us, she made up a lie that she was drunk and couldn’t come home (!) on her off day. We realized a day later that was a plot she made up in order to distract us from the fact that she was actually on a flight to Turkey. She escaped leaving most of her belongings in our house. She took some of her things and made up a lie as to why she was taking them. It looks like she wanted to work in Turkey, I am guessing not as a nanny, and she used us to get out of the Philipines (since Filipinos cannot leave their country now without a valid contract etc). She took our money. She had us pay for her ticket. She took advantage of us. I am just glad we only spent one and a half months with such an evil person living with us and not a year or two.

She is now living in Turkey illegally. I am writing this so that a manipulative liar like this will not be able to take advantage of innocent families like us. One may come from a poor country but that shouldn’t prevent her from making an honest living.

Stop the Insanity!

opinion 1
I have been a mothers helper for 3 (now 3, 5, 7) children in a little ritchie town in Essex County NJ. The mother is a stay at home mom and the father is always gone for buisness trips so far no big deal. I have been their help since March. They have 2 sitters a morning sitter and me (the afterschool/ night time sitter) The morning sitter for 6 years broke her hip in the summer so for 2 weeks I took on all the hours from the moment all three children woke up to when they go to bed (which killed me to be quiet honost cause it was from 7am-10PM) They have a cleaning service come every friday! Now before sitter AM broke her hip my job was to straighten up (dishes and laundry and sweep the kitchen floor) Now that the new morning sitter is back (she was once the PM sitter but she had a son) shes like a clean-a-holic so when I get there every day the house is spotless which we never signed a contract for but I feel like its a constant battle between us like shes always outdoing me. Granted I had a better relationship with the morning sitter when I first started working she was older and close to retirement though.

This is my first "full time" nanny position so granted I am stupid for not having a real contract with everything laid out. However my hours in the beginning were only suppose to be 245-9:00/9:30 (pick up the oldest from school and stay with all 3 until they all go to bed) and 7am on Sat to about 4pm. Since I had a great relationship with the morning sitter I am trying now to have a good relationship with MB after all she is a stay at home mom. However these last 2 weeks as i'm trying to develope a relationship hasnt been going to well. MB broke her arm so she has been on percasets and a royle bitch. I try filling her in on the little things in my life and shes now attempting to be a mother to me for example I mentioned to her I am going back to college (during the morning- it won't affect my schedual with her in any way) and she is trying to tell me what to take etc etc. To find out small things like confirming what to make the kids for dinner she doesnt pick up her phone i send her a text and she bitches at me IN TEXT cause her arm hurts. Her car is in the shop and she can't drive so she begged me to come early to drive her around and she frowned upon my car because its not as nice as hers and told me to get a nicer car or "safer" car for when I need to drive her kids in it! Thank god my fiance is being generous enough to allow me to take his for the past 2 weeks.

Another thing that has bothered me is the fact Ok her arm is fractured not technically broken but she had me stay til 7pm on Sat to wrap all of her xmas presents and yelled at me because they weren't too her liking the way I wrapped them and she couldn't keep up with which presents were from who and got stressed out and freaked on me. Thats another thing I went to starbucks because she wanted me to come in at 12 on my day off (and of course I will I need the money) and I offered to buy her an ice coffee (sent her a text- she didn't respond and didnt answer her phone) so i assumed she was busy or didn't want one. I brought mine inside and she yelled at me saying that shes generous and how DARE I bring my coffee in Her house!

Long story short I love the kids to death! S just learned to be potty trained A is learning how to read and L is a little dancer theater girl who is going to a french school they are all bright.

Mommy has the children wear pull ups to bed and other things that makes me question her way but same point i have to do her way or else i am out of a job. Most of the time she is out running errands or taking this one to one class and the other to another class. She pays 15 an hour cash and I do work between 30-40 hours a week making 500+ so it is VERY Awsome money in this economy. From another view is this too much insanity for being a nanny? I am new at this and I am curious as to weather or not this is normal?

Nanny Wants to go the Extra Mile

opinion 1
I am a well-educated nanny who recently starting working for a wonderful family (week before Halloween). I have a wonderful relationship with the parents and kids. It is a dream job and I couldn’t be happier.

A few days into the start of the job, I was introduced to the MB’s best friend (also the across street neighbor), N. Now, one time in the last few weeks, N came over and started telling me a lot of MB. Nothing bad, but obviously things that MB had told her in confidence. I knew she wasn’t suppose to tell me. About my charges, MB’s job, and so forth. N then confronted MB and told her what she had done. She told her everything that she had told me - all but one thing. MB was not happy and couldn’t speak to this friend for several days.

Now I know of a few medical issues that my 2 year old charge has - but not the diagnosis. N told me that my two year old charge may have the same thing his mom has. MB is very sensitive about her condition - if she has one. N told me this.

My question is - should I ask her about it? If my charge does have this condition I would be able to do research. I would be able to help him with skills, learning, and communication in more effective ways. Or should I just leave it and let MB come to me? Should I tell MB what else N had told me about my 2 year old charge? I know I should just leave it alone but I want to help this child more effectively. But I also don’t want to add fuel to the fire. Thank you.

E-mail Etiquette

opinion 1
I have a part time nanny job, have had it for almost a year now. The family left for vacation yesterday, therefore I am currently on vacation as well. Today I was offered a full time job (not child care related), which begins next week, and I want to take it. Is it extremely wrong to quit over email ASAP? This would give the family exactly two weeks to find someone. I hate that they are on vacation, and it's the holidays, but I don't have much choice. Despite it being a decent job, with a lot of respect, I didn't really click with the children (three of them), and while I think they have no problem with me, I am also not going to be remembered as a favorite nanny. Is an email acceptable in this case? I feel terrible, but I am also not looking to be a career nanny, and want to take this new job.

No Thanks, I'm Taken!

opinion 1
I applied to over 100 nannying jobs on craigslist with the idea that a lot of them wouldn't get back to me. For the first week, I got about 10 responses and I'm seriously considering a couple of them. However, there's been a steadier flow of interest and if I'm on the verge of taking a job, how do I turn down people who call or email me? I feel bad disappointing them, but I'm taken!

Tips and Tricks

opinion 1
I am new to being a nanny and I was wondering if you all could offer some tips on setting up a portfolio, resume, and contract for interviews. I've been in childcare for 4 years (3 in daycare and just this last year as a nanny/sitter with temp jobs) and I've always let the family decide pay and duties. I know with my next job I'll need something more consistent as far as salary goes. Is it out of bounds to have a weekly minimum salary and they pay me even if they decide to take a day off? Something like $13.50/hr for 40 hrs a week, so $540 gross between set hours.


Going Down?

opinion dec
While in a busy Wal-Mart my charge decided she wanted to use the elevator to go to the lower level. I noticed a mother and baby were already in the elevator and the door was closing.. I waited for 30 seconds, the door closed fully, and I felt it was safe to allow my charge to press the button to make the elevator come back up. She pressed it! To my surprise the elevator opened up and it was clear we had delayed the mother/baby from doing down. We quickly hopped in the elevator and apologized; briefly explaining that I had thought they had went down already. My charge, 3 years old, is a huge fan of babies! She went over to the lady's baby, and as I have taught her, asked before making moves on anything or anyone said "may I touch your baby" by this she meant "shake her hand, a pat or something very gentle and innocent" the baby had her hand outreached in my charges direction... and the LADY FREAKED OUT! and began talking sternly in my charge's face.... "DONT TOUCH MY BABY, DON"T LOOK AT MY BABY. YOU CANT JUST GO AROUND TOUCHING PEOPLE AND THINGS!!!"

My charge was shocked, looked up at me with tears in her eyes. I was horrifed by how the lady was speaking to her. The elevator had finally closed and lowered. The door opened, and the lady stepped out. My charge was off in dreamland, probably trying to figure everything out, and I questioned the lady asking her "What is up her ass?" She replied, "You could have used the escalator" ...and stormed off. I called her ridiculous and walked away. I used this situation as a lesson for my charge, and explained to her that not all strangers are nice... and this is exactly why we don't talk to strangers, that if I or an adult says its okay then proceed, but please don't talk to any and everyone [which is a hard request for a female 3 year old]. I also apologized for that happening to her, she looked at me and deemed that the lady was 'crazy'. LOL, and we went about our Santa Photo's. But still, it took a lot of self control not to loose it on that lady!

Have you ever been in a situation where a perfect stranger is beyond rude to your charge? What did you do? What would you have done if you were me in the elevator yesterday?

Prized Nanny Surprised Housekeeper Cleaned Up with Xmas Bonus

opinion dec
Okay...maybe I am being petty, but am I allowed to be a little confused/insulted that my MB and DB give the housekeeper a holiday bonus, but not me, their nanny? I am always told I do a wonderful job and we have a great relationship so I just was a little surprised. It really isn't a huge deal and I don't want to sound like I am just in this for the money... absolutely not the case, but I did just want to throw this out there and see what y'all think!

"Just a Nanny" Knows What Works...

rant 1
I've been a nanny for years now and time and time again I see the same thing: people discrediting me simply because I'm "just a nanny". Everyone nanny knows that her job with the various families she cares for allow her to put a variety of parenting styles that most people only read about into actual practice. We see a lot. I saw a five year old who didn't know how to feed herself ( cultural...) and dealt with severe childhood anger disorders. We learn what works and what doesn't. We know every trick to get a child to eat and have potty trained dozens. So why doesn't our opinion matter? If we had our own children you can be sure it would.

When my husbands cousin got a girl pregnant who just couldn't seem to lay off the cigarettes or weed, I became the bad guy. Why? Because I was quick to point out that it wasn't a good thing. Public knowledge! But of course she told me I was " just a nanny". The child is three now and extremely ill mannered... but being just a nanny I keep my mouth shut.

At family functions when all of my cousins gather around and talk kids, I offer my input to a group of rolled eyes and "oh you are still doing the nanny thing?". I can't even share a funny story or recommend a children's museum without being completely ignored. And we nannies know how it is at playgroups or libraries... once they find out you are the nanny... prepare to be shunned.

Does anyone realize I have parented a total of 12 kids... from newborn to teen. How many women in their twenties can say that? My own father tells me I should get a real job. And my mother frets over if I will ever have kids of my own. Being a nanny is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And by the time I have kids... I will know every trick. But I can tell you right now... I have no desire to join mommy cliques or parent forums. You have treated me like dirt for doing the same thing you do... parent and love your kids.

Penny For Your Thoughts?

opinion dec
I'm not sure where/if this is something I can post on I Saw Your Nanny. I'm just now getting into the blog, and I very much love it! I think it is a great tool to help nannies and parents alike! I hope it keeps gaining popularity!

I moved from Idaho to Syracuse with my fiance for his graduate school in August and began working for this family right after - a little over 4 months now. The family and I began talking last March (she found me on as it was planned MB would go back to work from maternity leave in August. Our dates matched up, the only issue was because I was living in Idaho I wasn't able to do a face to face interview. We skyped a few times. Anyway, she basically 'hired' me online (my references are amazing, which is why she didn't just find someone local, and I was VERY persistent) but made it clear we wouldn't sign the contract until actually meeting incase either of us felt uncomfortable with the other. What I'm trying to mainly get at is that we have been talking/getting to know each other since March. I have worked for her for only 4 months but because of the extended pre hiring process I feel much closer to her than I would someone who I had only known four months. The job is wonderful and I couldn't have gotten any luckier. The 1 year old baby is amazing and perfect in every way. He makes me excited to go to work every day. I just wanted to give you a little preview of my situation before I ask my question.

Should I get my employers a Christmas gift?! I didn't with my past employers, but we didn't have as close of a relationship. I got my past charges presents, but would have felt awkward giving ones to MB and DB. The toddler (so sad he can be called a toddler now!!) and I are making a hand print picture frame and I'm putting an adorable 5X7 photo of him in it for a present from him to MB and DB, and I got baby some skill building toys. I'm a sucker for any toy that can also help learn! But should I also get Parents something?? MB LOVES my wallet, I was thinking about getting a similar one for her?? Opinion from nannies or parents desperately welcomed!! Thanks!

New Year Benefits?

rant 1
Hi, I guess I basically need to vent. I made a year earlier in the week and with every family I have been with and every nanny I know, benefits (sick days, vacation days, etc) start all over the day we began. However, with this particular family (who have a lack of communication) just informed me today that my benefits do not begin again until January 1st.

I took yesterday off because of an eye infection to go to the doctor. So, DB tells me about the benefits and I let him know that I started a year ago Tuesday and that I thought that is when my benefits started all over. He said he was annoyed at MB because now he is in the middle of this. THE MIDDLE OF WHAT? MB and I never discussed this. He then states that he understands what I am talking about because that is how it normally works (benefits begin again the day you started) and that he will talk to MB it.

My question is does everyones benefits start January 1st no matter what date you started or do your benefits start over the day you started? Also, my benefits began the day I started, I did not have to accrue anything.

L.A. Nanny

opinion dec
I am a 26 year old former nanny. I have my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and over 14 years of childcare experience and was a stellar nanny. I worked with one family as a full time nanny from 12/08-6/10 and another from 8/10-5/11. I left the first family because both kiddies were starting school full time. The second family I had to leave because I was working for them part time and was offered a full time promotion with benefits (I had an additional part time job at night.) I can honestly say that I had fabulous experiences with both families and continue to see them regularly as I love them to pieces. Currently, I still work full time in Philadelphia but recently decided to relocate to LA with my long-term boyfriend some time in May. At that point, I have decided to start nannying again. I need to find a well paying job, especially since I will need to pay for my own medical insurance along with my share of more expensive rent and all the other expenses coming our way. I am psyched about getting back to nannying, I genuinely miss it.

My question is this: I am terrified to move to LA without a job lined up. Is there any good way to go about this? I have started contacting families through all the typical nanny websites, and while I never had any trouble finding work in the past it seems next to impossible to find a position in advance from across the country. I am planning to make a trip out to LA some time in February or March to look for housing and was hoping to have some interviews lined up, but so far no real bites. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Remote 10-Day Vacay

opinion dec
Question in regards to traveling with family...I'm wondering if anyone has traveled with their family and stayed in a big house that doesn't have much access to anything else outside the house. We're going to a tropical location and they've rented a house with friends and their nanny but we just found out that the house is in a somewhat remote location. Yikes! I'm just looking for pointers so that I can stay sane for our 10 day vacay. I've traveled with them before but we've always stayed in hotels and I feel like there are more boundaries that way. Any advice is appreciated :) Thanks!


opinion dec
How did you all find your current position? I an currently a live-in nanny in North Carolina, and I found my position on was just one of the handful of nanny websites I was a member of during my job search. I'm just curious as to where/how you all found your current positions...were you on similar sites to gonannies or nannies4hire, or did you go through an agency? Those who went through an agency: would you recommend doing so?


DB Violates Nanny's Privacy

opinion dec
Sorry if this post is not well organized, but I am in complete shock and need some advice. I started a new job a few months ago, and it's been just fine. The parents are fine, the children (from here on out, the older is B and the younger is C) are fine, I'm not in love with this job, but up until right now, there was nothing not to like. Since I'm still new-ish, the parents stop home unannounced from time to time. I would do the same thing in their shoes. Today, B was at school and C was napping. C has been a little under the weather, and was waking up a lot to cough. I was going upstairs to administer some cough syrup, and saw DB walk in the door. I said hello, told him what was going on, and continued upstairs. I heard him move around a bit and then leave -- nothing out of the ordinary -- but when I went downstairs, I noticed my purse was about a foot away from where I had left it, wide open, and my wallet was halfway out. Nothing was missing, but he clearly went through it. I feel violated. What do I do now?

Lazy MB Leaves Nanny Feeling Lethargic

opinion dec
I am a nanny with 15 months of childcare experience. I am trying to go to college part time as well. I have worked for a family for 11 months now and have been having some issues. I am a live in nanny and get paid $200 a week. I signed a year contract and it is up next month. I watch eight year old triplets, 2 boys and a girl. Both boys are autistic. One can talk and one can’t, and the one that can talk is in pull-ups still. I originally only had to watch the children, clean up after them, make sure they do their homework, give them baths, and do their laundry.

I know it is hard to work with autistic children and didn’t expect anything different, but I was told they were well behaved but sometimes they would have crying fits if they got mad or if they got hurt. I have been hit several times, my hair has been pulled, I have been kicked on many occasions, and my chest has been grabbed multiple times. I try to explain to the boys that it is not good behavior and it isn’t nice to do those things to people, then I send them to time out for eight minutes. The mother has seen this happen several times and has done nothing to discipline or explain to them that it’s not good behavior.

I have 6 hours a day during the week without the children during the school year. But during that time I am cleaning up the kitchen, doing the children’s laundry, family sheets and towels, and grocery shopping. The children’s jeans and shirts have to be ironed every time I do the laundry. I can’t be far from the house during school hours because at least twice a week I have to go to the school and drop of a change of clothes, medicine, snacks, or pick up a sick child. I also have to clean the children’s bathroom weekly and make sure their rooms are clean. I have no vacation time but I have every other major Holiday off. I did not get paid more during the summer for watching the children all day or a bonus for working a Holiday. I only have every other weekend off as well. When I do get a Holiday off I get the day of the Holiday off nothing else. For Thanksgiving I had to work on my weekend off to get Thanksgiving off (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) so I could visit family out of state. The mother told me I now owe her a day for getting that Friday off. The mother is also never really around... she goes out shopping, has bible class, visits friends, and gets her nails done weekly. I make breakfast, lunch, and heat up what the mother makes for dinner for the week, I put the children to bed and if they wake up in the middle of the night I am up with them.

When the mother is home she talks about how tired she is and then just stays in her room or on the phone until after the kids are in bed. On the weekends I work sometimes, the boys will wake her up to play or eat breakfast and she tells them to get me because she is tired. All they want is to spend time with her and I have told her this but she says she is busy. After I get back from my weekends off I find that the kitchen is a mess, the dishes are only half done. If I get back before the kids are in bed then I am taking care of them until bed and during the night.

I want to talk to the mother when my contract is up about having every weekend off, and getting at least a $200 weekly raise. So I would make $400 or more a week instead of $200. I also want to have every major Holiday off and the days that she has off work for a Holiday off I get off. I love the kids when they are not having fits or hitting, kicking, and grabbing. I like to help them with homework, and teach the one that can’t talk how to talk. I like doing science projects and playing dolls and house with the girl. I also like to take the kids outside and go on walks with them. I just don’t know how to go about talking to their mother about these things without her getting defensive. I am also not sure what amount I can ask for without being unreasonable.

What are your Limits?

opinion dec
How Much Are You Spending On your Charge’s Christmas?

In recent years, I’ve sort of set a $50 - $75 limit on what I spend for my charge’s presents, although I admit it’s not written in stone. I have spent as much as $150 for an only-child. I send past charges $25 gift certificates on their birthdays and at Christmas time as well. This is usually what happens to my Christmas bonus. Consequently, what I value more than bonuses is simply being left alone (childless) during holidays.

This year I’m doing something different. My two oldest charges (both girls, ages 3 and 5) share a bedroom and have stated numerous times that they wish it was pink. Their mother purchased new curtains and linens in an attempt to pacify her daughters’ request, but to little avail, because the older child insists on having pink walls too. I figured that since the girls were visiting relatives 3 days prior to Christmas, a room makeover might be in order. I asked the children’s mother if it could be my present to them since they already have so much stuff that buying toys seems more out of obligation than genuine sentiment. Mom agreed. I have a friend who owns a paint store, so the supplies are cheap enough. I expect to spend less than an additional $100 on bric-a-brac. Total cost: $200 plus a day’s labor. In all honesty, the day’s labor really shouldn’t be a factor because I still receive salary whenever the girls are away, so in essence, what I’m actually out of pocket is a day off. I personally don’t consider this too much in light of how well the family provides for me above and beyond what is expected. I might also add that I have considerable experience in building and design. Painting 4 walls and a ceiling is a walk in the park.

Do you have limits on how much to spend on your charge’s Christmas presents?

Picking Battles is Causing a War for this Nanny

opinion dec
Hi, I'm a nanny and would like you to post this on the website so that I can get some opinions/advice. I've not written to you before so I'm not sure if this is how I go about it!

I am a nanny for an American family, in England. This is my first nanny job, but not my first childcare job. I look after a girl, 5 and a boy, 4. The girl is at school all day and the boy is home with me. I'll call the girl S. I have been working with this family for nearly 4 months now. Everything was perfect.. Until last week. S is a difficult child and will throw big tantrums when she doesn't get her own way, but I was still really enjoying the job. I picked S up from school and brought her home, mum was working from home, which she occasionally does but its very rare. Mum asked me to help S get changed so that they can go out for dinner. While getting her changed S notices her favourite dress is missing, I tell her that mum took it because it was too small, S gets angry at this. I try to help S take off her cardigan and S screams "IM NOT A BABY DONT HELP ME" -- maybe the way I replied to this was wrong, but I said "well if you're going to act like a baby I'm going to treat you like a baby" mum then walks into the room and says to me "you can't get down to her level and bicker with her like that!" S then goes on to tell mum that she said "please don't help me get changed I want to do it myself" this is the first time I have heard S lie to her mum, and I didn't want to be petty and call her out on it. Mum goes on to explain to S that she needs to be respectful of me and that even though she is in the house, I am still in charge.

So that settles down and we get to yesterday. S was an angel all day which was a lovely change. Mum gets home from work and says that she and dad want to speak to me and could I wait around. We sit down to chat and they say "we were putting the children to bed last night and S said that you pushed her at the train station, and J (brother,4) said that you did too" Let me just start by saying that I have never pushed a child, and never would. I knew the situation that the children were talking about, we had gotten of off the train and S was trying to turn around to wave to her friends still on the train, but we were on a train platform full of people and where S kept stopping to wave, people were walking into her and getting frustrated. I put my hand on S back, and guided her along the platform. S said to me "don't push me! I'm telling mum" I said to S "I'm not pushing you I'm guiding you" and nothing more was said from either of us. Mum and Dad said that they believe that I didn't push her, and in the future if they say anything like that then to just text mum and tell her.

Well today on the school run, we get off of the train and I ask S to hold my hand, the response I get is "whyyyy do I have to hold your hand, I don't want to hold your hand, etc etc" by this time I've already had a bad morning with her, and I say in a stern voice "because I said you do" I am then told "You shouted in my face! I'm telling mummy" J then says "you're being mean to us I'm telling mummy" -- J is usually a little angel with me, practically perfect, but when he is with his sister he copies everything she does. So now I've texted mum and told her, as I was told to, but I feel like if I'm to text mum every time I get a "I'm telling mummy" then I'm going to be texting mum an awful lot!

Also, it is my job to do the childrens laundry, and I'm pretty good with it and do a wash at least everyday. Last week I put some trousers on J that were too small. Mum says he can't go out wearing them and that "we" need to keep on top of the washing so that there are always trousers that fit. This was a monday, I don't work weekends and had done a wash on friday, so how was this me not keeping on top of the washing! Little things like this bug me, and I just needed somewhere to vent for this one.

Mum has told me to "pick my battles" with S, but the way she is I feel like every time she misbehaves I should pull her up on it. I understand that S is a child and probably misbehaves because she wants her mum, but this morning she actually brought me to tears, and its made me for the first time, think that I don't like this job.


Monday, December 5, 2011
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 message using MEEBO. 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.

Please Include:
* Bonus this year (2011):
* Your weekly salary:
* Any supplementary gifts aside from the Bonus:
* Length of time you have worked for the Family:
* City, State and Country where you live:
* Additional comments:

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
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2010 - Part I December 2010
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2010 - Part II December 2010
Nanny Sightings Needed
* Physical description of caregiver
* Physical description of involved child/children
* Address or venue of observed incident
* Date and time of incident
* Detailed description of what you witnessed
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* You may also send in Questions, Nanny/Employer Horror Stories, Rants/Raves, A Day in the Life...

Former Employer's Idle Mind Causing Mayhem

opinion dec
I nannied for a family last year for almost a year. I was nothing but professional, and loving to their child. I did not sign a confidentiality agreement so ultimately everything that happened, and the way they treated me is fair game in terms of disclosure. I did ended up quitting (there was no contract), because I reached my limit with the way the mother condescended me, and put me down constantly. However the care I provided for their child never failed, and I always loved/treated him as if he was my own. As a result of her own personal issues she has taken it upon herself to keep me from getting a job, or at least attempt. I am not interested in suing, because I have a high standard of morals, but I am honestly growing tired of her scandals.

What can I do from here? I have already been hired by a new loving family, but I am growing concerned she'll stop at nothing to tarnish my name to fulfill her time. She has a new full-time nanny, but does not work, or go to school, volunteer, or really much of any thing, and I am concerned that her idle mind is contributing to her obscene behavior. Please advise...

Selfless Nanny Wants Raise From Money Conscious Family

opinion dec
I need some advice! I’ve been working as a full-time nanny for a family for the past eight months. I love them, they are wonderful, and we have become like family. I signed my contract at $12/hour, which I knew was a little low but I really wanted the job and I figured I would just ask for a raise later on. My fiancee has been nagging me a lot for the past few months because I work too hard and don’t get paid enough. Essentially, I am also their maid – I clean the entire house, laundry, dinner prep, have to clean up after them in the kitchen each morning, etc. I would like to ask for a raise to $15/hour, which I believe is fair and is what I deserve for the amount of work I’m doing. The family is very money conscious, so I’m a bit nervous about this.

Here’s the other thing – I work 55 hours per week. With what I’m making now, I could be working a minimum wage job and be making the same exact amount of money with the same hours. Do you think it’s too much for me to ask for a raise of $15/hour PLUS overtime? I commute a half our each way to work. I have to get up at 4:15am if I want to go to the gym. I literally have 2-3 waking hours each day where I’m not at work. I don’t have time for a life outside of their life. I think I should put a price on the amount of personal time I sacrifice. For example – all of my own errands, laundry, cleaning, etc. has to be done during the weekend because I don’t have time during the week – so even my days off are catch-up days for myself. I know I might be essentially quitting with asking for such an increase in pay, but I really think I deserve it. I’m going to honor my contract either way for the next few months (it’s a year-long contract).

Should I wait until the contract is up or tell them I’d like to talk about it in the next few weeks? I just don’t want to wait until the last minute and then they only have two weeks to find a new nanny. It would also give me more time to find a new job if we were to sit down earlier. And even if they say no, I’m still going to honor my contract. I need some advice from more experienced nannies! I feel torn because I love this family but I can’t let my attachment to them negatively impact my financial situation – it would be selfish!

MB Maternity Pay for Nanny...

opinion dec
I have been a nanny for a little boy since he was 2 months old. He is now almost two and a half. I love the family I nanny for. They give me lots of paid days off. They are just amazing. The question is, they are due with their 2nd kid in the beginning of February. How do you handle maternity leave? It has kind of been brought up a couple of times, and we are thinking I will go spend time with the boy a couple times a week, but how should pay work and everything like that? Does anyone have any suggestions?


Screamin' Demons

opinion dec
!! I need advice!! I just finished high school and i took a year off, so i decided i wanted to babysit overseas. So my aunt told me if i wanted to come to Switzerland to babysit my two cousins and take German lessons, of course i said yes!! So I traveled all the way to Switzerland thinking it was going to be great, but then i arrived and discovered that two little demons replaced my two lovable cousins. Literally they bring out the worst of me!! The 5 year old talks back, she is rude and i simply can't stand her sometimes, and the 3 year old just wants his mom, like i can't do anything with and for him cause he turns crazy!! And of course i cant deal with him and when something isn't done my aunt says it's my fault. Really i'm fed up with this!! And when she talked me into this, she told me that my job would be taking care of the kids, and doing all the house activities that involved them, such as keeping their room clean, making their beds, picking up after them and doing their laundry, but then i arrived and she has me doing all the family's laundry, vacuuming, making dinner, cleaning the cats sandbox (she didn't tell me they had 2 cats), cleaning the dishes, making me work extra hours without payment, cleaning the kitchen, even wrapping my cousins' friends birthday presents!! I'm tired as hell!! I mean, i could carry baby Kangaroos with the bags and dark circles under my eyes!! I feel like they're taking advantage of me, but i don't know if telling them how I feel is the right thing to do cause I live in their house and eat their food after all... and i don't have any full-time babysitter friend to ask what the normal activities are... WHAT SHOULD I DO!!????? I'M DESPERATE!!!!

Pass the Word...

opinion dec
Hello. Is this at all possible? Have had a major issue with a nanny a few moms in my state have hired without knowing she has been on this site before for bad nanny mentions and the local nanny agencies have been warned. How do you keep tragedy from happening to another family or at least make it known before another family hires again? Thanks! Love this website.

Nanny is in a Financial Dilemma

opinion dec
I am new here and have found the posts to be very helpful, and entertaining at times. :) Here is my dilemma that I am finally getting up the courage to post here. I am a nanny with 10+ years of experience, and I recently just started my own nanny placement agency, which is actually doing better than I could have hoped. I have been with the family I work for for a year, and I love them dearly. We have all become very close, and I care about them and their little guy (my charge) very much.

When I began working with them, we agreed upon an hourly rate of $12.50. I was originally to be in a nanny share with them and another family. I worked with each family on alternating days. About 3 months into my position, the family I currently work for had a devastating house fire and pretty much lost everything in the middle of the night. They were lucky enough to have a house that their parents rent out as a small vacation home nearby that they could stay at as they battled their insurance company. At that same time, the other family backed out of the nanny share agreement, leaving me and my current family high and dry. My current family really stepped it up for the summer and took me on for the full 5 days and paid me accordingly. For Christmas last year, they gave me a gift certificate to a spa for a massage, and for my birthday, they took my partner and I out for a lavish dinner. They tell me constantly that they love me and couldn't do without me.

So, here is why I am posting. Lately, they have seemed extra busy with their jobs, battling insurance (STILL, UGH) and beginning to rebuild their house. They have asked me if I could help out a little more around the house (ie: do their laundry as well, grocery shop for them. Also, they lost their once a month housekeeper so they asked if I would do the deep cleaning she used to do and they will pay me an extra $20/week which would equal what they paid her -$80/month). I agreed, and have since found it very exhausting to try to get all of the deep cleaning done in the time the 18 month old takes his 2 hour nap, as well as all of their laundry, etc. On occasion, I feel like I want to help them out so much that I have found myself scrubbing a bathtub while my charge is awake even. I feel like I'm trying to do it all, and I am slowly wearing down. I just don't know how to approach them about how I am feeling. Also, since it is my one year anniversary with them, I would really like to ask for a raise. Good nannies in our area make a minimum of $15/hour, and I make $12.50. I don't want to stress them out more though. And my last concern is that whenever they go on vacation, (which has been more frequently lately, I am picking them up from the airport in the morning after a 2 week stay in Hawaii) they do not pay me anything. Is it fair for me to ask them for some sort of stipend while they are away? It has really killed me financially this month to miss out on two weeks of pay, and especially so close to Christmas. I'm sorry this is so long, I am just beginning to feel a little resentful of the situation, and I don't want to feel that way, as I truly love this family as if they were my own, and don't want to risk rocking the boat and losing my little guy whom I've created such a bond with. Thank you so much for any feedback.

The Autobiography of a Former Nanny

a day in the life 2012
I have been really inspired by a few recent autobiographical posts so I decided to write my own! I probably have one of the shortest-lived nanny careers out there but I wouldn't take back my nanny experience for the world. I prefaced my nanny career by starting to babysit at the young age of about 13. I mostly babysat for my cousins (I have a lot of them!). I usually didn't get paid because my aunt and uncle would pay me in vacations and gas (they own a gas station) and I definitely didn't complain. I know that babysitting for family members is a whole different situation but children are children nonetheless and I learned a lot; mostly how to get children to trust you and also how to trust yourself with children. I have babysat for them since then but sadly they are now 15 and 8 so they don't need me as much.

I also began babysitting for other families, who I met through online nanny searches. I was really nervous to do this but have had nothing but success with it. About 3 and a half years ago when I returned for summer break from my out-of-state college, I was in search of a short-term babysitting job before I left to work at an out-of-state sleepaway girls camp (I just can't seem to get away from kids!). I found a family online who lived in a neighboring town to mine. I LOVE this family. They have two boys who were 3 and 5 and the most rough and tumble boys you'll ever meet. The parents also loved me and used me whenever they could, mostly just a few hours per week. It worked out perfectly because the same week I was leaving the state for camp, the family was going to live at their summer house for the remainder of the summer. I have continued to babysit for this summer since meeting them (mostly on my breaks since I went to college out-of-state) but I kept in contact and would send them mail, which they loved!

The following summer is when I decided I wanted to be a full time nanny while home on summer break. I had from May until the end of August so it was a good chunk of time to fill. I was new to nannying and didn't really know what to look for. I settled on a family that was about 30 minutes away from me, they had one boy who was 6 years old. He was actually a gifted child, meaning he was very bright and intellectual, reading at an 8th grade level while in the first grade. As you can imagine, this was quite challenging because he was really smart but his behavior was right on target for his age. We often went to his town pool, went to museums and aquariums, and had playdates. Overall it wasn't too bad but his mother gave me a run for my money. She was easygoing but so scatterbrained that I couldn't keep up. They had rules like one hour of screen time per day, one dessert per day, etc, which I liked because it gave him boundaries. Their house was always a mess and she was always last minute with my hours. I didn't know any better and was naive so I just let a lot of things go. I was satisfied with the money, though, so that's one good thing. The thing I hated the most was that she was often home during the day because she could work from home, and I didn't like that at all. It's not that I am doing anything wrong but it just feels weird having a parent home. Also, the mother had a health issue that often landed her in the hospital unexpectedly. At first I didn't mind the extra hours because I knew they didn't have local family to step in and help. It was actually kind of nice to be needed, but then it started to get stressful. I would be stuck at their house for really long hours and I just didn't feel comfortable. I swore to myself that I would not return to that job the next summer. But guess what... I returned the following summer! How does that happen?! I think I was just lazy and didn't want to have to look for a new job so I agreed to work for them again. It was basically the same as the previous summer; same struggles and annoyances. I finished out the summer but have not spoken to the family since. The mom was just too pushy and wouldn't leave me alone. She wanted to know everything about my life and I am just more of a private person. Often I do miss the child and think about him and what he is up to. It is a shame that sometimes the parents can ruin it for a child.

This past May I graduated from college and returned back home. I began looking for a full time job in my field. I went on a few interviews and got discouraged because most places were telling me I didn't have enough experience. I decided to "settle" with what I knew and go back to nannying because I only had about a year before I would be going back to school for my masters degree. I use the term "settle" not to belittle nannies or nannying in general, I mean it was sort of a safe decision for me, not pushing me to grow and be out of my comfort zone. I eventually found a family with a newborn and started with them in August while the mother was on maternity leave, planning to switch to full time in October when she went back to working full time. Everything was great, I loved the child and the family but then I became unhappy with the situation. I had underestimated the commute and it would often take me an hour and a half to get there each morning! It was exhausting and I was already so tired by the time I got to their house at 8am. I had considered finding an apartment closer to their house but it was just not a good decision financially. I decided that I needed to quit the job. We didn't have a contract (yes I know, big mistake) so I gave them a two week notice and told them I had unexpectedly gotten a job offer in my field that I couldn't pass up. I felt terrible lying to them but I felt really bad that I had wasted so much time when they could have found a nanny who lived closer. They were sad to see me go and I was also sad because I loved the baby.

That was almost two months ago and I have since found a job in my field, outside of being a nanny. As I said before, my nanny career was very short-lived but worth every second. I do work with kids now, and probably will for the rest of my life, so my babysitting and nannying have benefitted me so much! As much as I loved it, I do not miss being a nanny one bit! I still babysit here and there but being a nanny is a whole different thing. I am not a fan of the seclusion, having to deal with parents, feeling like a stranger in a house you are in more than your own, and always being compelled to say "yes" when I want to say "no". So, I give all you nannies out there a big round of applause because I just wasn't cut out to stick around and make it my career.

If you have made it this far (sorry this is so long!) I have a question for allyou retired nannies out there who went on to find jobs outside of nannying. I was wondering what careers you have now? Like I said, since I stopped being a nanny, I have found a job in my career path, and that is being an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist for children with Autism. I do home-based
services in and around my town for children in Early Intervention. Thank you for reading and I hope to hear back from other nannies out there. Happy holidays!


Ill-mannered Mom Illuminates Nanny

opinion dec
Am I wrong? I got an email from a babysitting site from a mother interested in my services. She wanted to know if my price was set in stone. I charge $15 an hour. She wanted to know if I would come down some since it was only for one 5 month old and I'd only be expected to take her to story and music a couple of times a week. She also wanted to know if I'd do household chores such as sweeping, family laundry, dusting, and dishes. I wrote back and politely told her my rate was firm and included caring for the baby, washing her dishes/bottles, doing her laundry, keeping her room clean, and picking up after her toys. Additional duties could be discussed for an additional rate. She wrote back calling me a greedy couch potato, saying I was only in it for the money, and that many families are on a budget and I should be mindful of that in my fee. I have not responded yet. I don't think I should dignify her with a response.


2 Bad Nannies: Chase Park and Lapsit Story Time at Bezazian Library, Chicago

BAD nanny sighting 2012
Hello, I've been reading this site for a month now, and I love it! I am currently a nanny for a wonderful, beautiful 11 month old boy in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. My charge and I like to go on walks and to the park frequently, so we see many things.

1st Incident: We are at Chase park often, and on Monday 11/21, we saw something awful. My charge was in a baby swing having the time of his life when a nanny walked in, talking on her cell phone. The whole 40 minutes we were there, it never left her ear. I believe the nanny was polish, because I live in a polish neighborhood and recognized a few words. One child was a few years old, maybe three. She had pink pants on and a pink puffy coat. There was also a baby, maybe six months old, in a Maclaren stroller. She had an adorable green full-body coat and a pink hat. I thought the nanny's phone was a problem until I saw the events that unfolded next. The nanny had been walking aimlessly with the stroller until she spotted the older girl by one of the shorter slides. She yelled at her with a very harsh tone. She said "I told you to stay off the equipment!" It's my feeling that she just didn't want to watch the child. I felt terrible. At that point, I sat with my charge on an adult swing. The nanny pushed the stroller over to the swings and told the older girl to get on and told her to stay there. She then walked all the way over to the picnic tables by the entrance and parked herself and her phone down. While the infant was still by the swings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a nanny's job to engage children in play, and watch them at all times?

2nd Incident: My charge and I also love going to Lapsit Story Time on Thursdays at Bezazian Library. The first time we were there, we encountered a nanny, whom I do not know the name of. She sat next to me, with her charge, Jasper. Jasper is just adorable. My charge crawled right up to his stroller and would not stop smiling at him. After the Story Time, Jasper's nanny turned to me and made small talk. Then she asked me "Do you like his (meaning my charge's) parents?" I told her yes, I love them. (They really are amazing. We have so much in common and they're the sweetest, most thoughtful people). She seemed a little disappointed at my response, but went on to complain about her family. She complained to me for 10 minutes while I was trying to tend to my charge. (He had now begun stealing puppets from children). What really got me angry however, was the end of this one way conversation. She began making remarks about her charge's weight. Saying his parents feed him too much and she said he's not cute. (He's actually adorable). She began making jokes about his weight. Soon, Jasper began crying. She threw him in the stroller. She was so rough. He cried even harder. If my charge was crying, I would be there to comfort him. This incident happened the Thursday before Halloween, on 10/27. I know I'm late with this, but I've been debating whether or not to send it in. I decided I should last Thursday, when she had found another nanny to complain to.

Update: Catty Cop

This is the OP from the post listed here:

I just wanted to update everyone on the situation. I sent numerous texts (all saved/screenshot) to my former boss (FB from this point on, just to save time) and did not receive responses. Because my actual payday would have been October 1st, I decided to give her until October 5th to send a check. I told her all of this in texts/voicemails during the first week of October. On the 5th, I took my information to the local court and filed a small claim against her for the $220 I'm owed. Afterward, I sent her one last text that said, "I waited until the 5th and had to assume you were not going to pay me. I have filed a claim and will talk to you about the issue in court." That night, she left me a voicemail (my phone never rang, though, because I was out of range when she called - I would've answered otherwise,) saying that since I "didn't come to pick up my check on the 1st", she had sent it out that day and I would receive it shortly.

I waited a few days and even called the court to see what I should do if I receive this payment, but on the 10th I received a certified check for HALF the amount she owed me, with a handwritten note on it that said "PAID IN FULL". Obviously I did not cash this check. I tucked it away with all my other "evidence", because I know if I cash that check she'll hold it against me that I was "paid" and cannot harass her anymore. My original court date was set for November 21st, but that was pushed back because she refused to sign my certified letter (serving her) and then when I tried to serve her myself (with a friend) I couldn't seem to catch her at the house. Now the date is pushed back to December 12th. I'm going to have to spend more money paying a service to come serve her because she has managed to elude me this entire time.

Things are getting annoying, but I'm determined to keep the court date and really fight for this money. I did find a new job (not as a nanny, for the first time in almost a decade) and am very happy with my life, but this one thing is really bothering me because I was flat out taken advantage of and treated like garbage. I'm hoping she shows up for court and I can look her in the eye as the judge reads her texts aloud, the ones where she acknowledges how much she owes me. I'm livid with the situation, but I've got a good feeling about mid-December. Nannies need to stand up for themselves and I'm doing my part in that.

Just wanted to keep you guys all updated! I'll let you know how court goes/cross your fingers for me!

Melodramatic MB is Making Nanny Miserable

opinion dec
Let me preface this by saying that I have over 10 years of childcare experience, both paid and volunteer. I was a camp counselor throughout college and, over the past 5 years, worked as a nanny for 4 different families. All of my previous positions only ended because either I or the family moved out of state. I have never had to quit a job in my life other than for the reason that I was moving. Nor have I ever been fired or let go. I have my bachelor's degree, a spotless record, First Aid/CPR certified, etc. and, if I do say so myself, I am a DAMN good nanny/childcare provider! I've maintained great relationships with all of my previous employers and have helped a lot of children reach big milestones in their lives (walking, talking, potty training, learning to tie their shoes, etc.).

I have worked for my current family since June. I took the job because there was virtually no commute (they live the next neighborhood over), it was part-time, and for just one child. The pay was less than what I was used to, $6.25/hour, but I figured…eh, it's one easy baby and only part-time, I can deal. In the interview, I was told that the husband's 2 children from a previous relationship would be there for the first month I was there, but that the Dad would be off work and home for that month and would tend to the older children (4 of them in all, including the older 2 siblings of the little girl I was responsible for). One Monday, a week or two in to my job, the dad left for work! I was left with 5 children, 3 of them with ADHD, including a baby. I thought maybe it was just a random work emergency that he had to tend to, but after 4 or 5 days of caring for all 5 children, I asked if I would be getting paid extra for the extra kids. I then got this in reply, "In the interview, we agreed that we would pay you for the 2 weeks we are gone on vacation". Um? And this makes up for me watching 5 children for $6.25/hour? We settled on an extra $75 for each week I watched them all…which ended up being about 3 weeks until the 2 extra kids went back home. Strike #1.

I then figured that while they were away on vacation, I would seize the opportunity to go visit my family back home. When the mother found out I was doing this she said "Oh, so this will count as your 2-weeks vacation then?" I felt trapped. Strike #2.

Soon enough, the position turned in to full-time. The increase in pay went from $750/month for 30 hours/wk, to $1100/month for 47.5 hours/wk. Yes, my money went up, but in reality, my pay went down to $5.80/hour!!!!! Now I was working well below minimum wage for MORE than full-time work. If I'm being totally honest, I didn't even compute this until a couple months in, because the money didn't bother me that much. But then I noticed my list of duties increased: driving the children to/from school (I am not being reimbursed for gas, but am expected to bring the little one on various outings throughout the week), household chores (I fold the entire family's laundry and do not get so much as a 'thanks'), the kitchen is a sty when I show up in the morning and if I didn't clean it I would have trouble preparing the child's food throughout the day. It's just gross. There are other little things that I'm dealing with on a daily basis, but I don't want this to get longer than it is. Strike #345678910...

I gave my notice last week and didn't expect this much drama. It is amazing how you think you know somebody and then they can do a complete 180 on you.

I told the mom that I was offered a job in my field and it's a job where I will finally be using my college degree. My income will also triple with this job, among other amazing things (I didn't tell her that). I am giving them their 30-days notice that was in our nanny agreement, even though my new job would prefer I start on December 9th. At first, she said she understood wanting a job in my field, but soon she burst into tears, said she can't believe she has to search for a nanny again and telling me she hired me because she thought I would be devoted to her children and how is she supposed to hire a stranger when I know the ins and outs of this family (but, wasn't I a stranger just 5 months ago?). She told me it took them a year to find me (this is untrue, her
sister-in-law lived with them and took care of the kids, and if it truly took them a year to find a nanny, then they are entirely too picky). She also got very melodramatic and said she will have to quit her job if she can't find childcare. She was just plain RUDE that entire day and I am dreading work on Monday. I am dreading the next month.

I am doing all I can to help them...researching new nannies and daycares, giving them more than enough time to find another nanny. I wished them all a happy thanksgiving as I left on Wednesday and got nothing in reply. I understand being upset and stressed, but I do NOT need to be treated like crap. I am taking care of your CHILDREN! For less than minimum wage no less.

I am sorry this is long, I got to venting. I am so sick over this situation. How do you deal with the transition period after giving your notice? Has a family treated you poorly once you gave your notice? Maybe it's the initial shock and it will wear off, but based on a conversation from earlier with the mom, I doubt it. I am way too sensitive and letting this get to me more than it should, but she is not helping. I just need a little pep talk...

The Autobiography of DC Nanny

a day in the life 2012
I’m not retiring or anything, but I thought it might be fun to tell my stories. I hope you all agree! If you’re an avid reader of this blog you might recognize my past questions. In the past, I have asked at least one question about each of my positions.

I started nannying during college. It just sort of fell in my lap. I had been babysitting for a family with 4 little girls pretty regularly during the school year. At the time they were 6, 4, 2, and 9 months. I was looking for a summer job, and they were looking for a summer nanny, so it worked out perfectly. I didn’t really have any idea what to expect in this job, and they had never hired a nanny before, so they didn’t either. I moved into their basement bedroom suite and basically became a live-in, full-time nanny. Oddly enough, I didn’t even really have hours that summer. I was sort of on all the time, but I was allowed to go off and do other things if I wanted to. The mom was a SAHM so she was usually there unless she was off getting her nails done or something like that.

Since I was on site and I didn’t have hours, there weren’t really any rules set for when the kids could come get me. There were mornings that the dad sent 3 year old L down to tell me she was hungry at 5 am. Not to be outdone, I sent her right back up to him. This family only paid me $250 a week. Considering I was on almost all of the time this was a pretty low salary, which on some level I knew, but it was a job and I loved the kids. I was pretty much considered family. The mom took me shopping with her and her friends, and my friends were welcome over at the house anytime. I actually had other people sleep over at their house while I was in charge of the kids. I was always a pretty responsible person, so nobody minded, least of all my charges, who LOVED my friends and couldn’t wait for them to come over to play. I went on vacation with them to Florida, and spent weekends with them on their houseboat. The parents actually found a different sitter for the night of the father’s 35th birthday party so that I could attend. When my car was totaled I was given use of one of theirs, and in order for me to still be able to go on a camping trip I had planned, the MB's brother let me drive his truck several states away. On the other hand, the kids were sent to my room at all hours and I was paid under my value. I felt taken advantage of when friends would come over and pile their children on me as well, not paying me anything extra. The line between family and employee was very blurry. It sort of worked for me at the time, but I learned a valuable lesson about keeping a professional relationship that I won’t soon forget. In this family discipline was a problem, and as you can imagine with 4 little girls, it became a BIG problem. While I was living there I had more control and influence over them than their own parents. When I had all 4 of them for several days at a time, I would take them on all sorts of outings. The mother was completely flabbergasted that I was able to manage that; she considered it too taxing to even take them all to the grocery store with her. This position lasted about a year. I moved back home, which was 5 states away, for a year, so they found someone else. The parents had built an apartment over the garage to house me- I lived in it for a year (paying rent), and a friend of mine lived in it for two years after that. I still love the kids and keep in contact with the parents over Facebook, but for the good of our relationship, I don’t babysit them anymore. During the time I was gone they evolved from difficult, to holy terrors, and after trying to deal with them for a weekend, I had to tell their mother that I would not be able to do so again. So I love them from a distance and in small doses, and that is working out just fine.

My next full time job came years later. I was tired of working at summer camp and wanted to find another summer nanny job. When I was called by a friend of mine who had given my name to a guy who was inquiring, I thought it was fate. In case anyone remembers, this was the question about the sole-caretaker for the summer. Yup, that was me. For those of you who don’t remember, I was hired by a single father to watch his 8 year old son while he was away for 3 months on business. That translates out to a 24/7 job. I made some major mistakes going into this job as well. I accepted a rate that I, and everyone else, knew was much too small for the hours worked. I ended up being paid $500 a week. In his defense, I know that it was all he could afford. The family was not well-off and simply hired a nanny out of necessity, not luxury. I really should have wondered more why the child wasn’t just taken care of by his relatives. I learned quickly that it was because none of them would do it anymore. He had basically been passed back and forth between relatives his entire life, and when his father finally reappeared back on the scene, he hired a nanny to take care of him. Needless to say, this child had some major issues. I was told on a regular basis that I was a horrible nanny, that he hated me, and I did everything wrong. Absolutely everything turned into a battle- I couldn’t even walk into a room without him saying something nasty to me. I tried very hard to make a connection with him. I signed him up for summer camps, took him and his friend to the pool at my subdivision, and spent time doing all of his favorite things. To work out some of his discipline problems I tried to improve his diet, set up a consequence/reward system, and made new rules for television (turn it off at 11 instead of watching it all night long). Perhaps I made too many changes. His father was on board with them and his teachers were thrilled, but maybe I alienated him by being too “different”. Whatever the case, it was an awful job. If it weren’t for my dog (who was allowed to live with me) and meeting another girl in the same apartment complex who became a close friend, I would never have lasted the 3 months. When my time was up I dropped the child off at his aunt’s house like I had been asked to do. I left a very straightforward note when I moved out, letting the father know that his child had told me he hated me so many times that I was sure he was telling the truth. The father called me twice later that school year to ask me to come back and work part-time, but I declined. I still shudder when I think about it.

My next job was a part-time position where I was in charge of one 2-month-old girl. This job was all in all pretty good. I had asked for, and received, a fair wage, and I really liked the parents. My past experiences had helped me to come up with a good working agreement, so I didn’t feel as though I was being taken advantage of. The major issue in this job was typically something I hadn’t experienced much of: travel. I asked a question about this as well, so you may remember reading it. I was asked to travel with the family to Las Vegas, where they would be working at a conference. They paid very fairly, but my accommodations were less than stellar. I ended up sleeping on a cot in the “living room” of the suite, which was just the area right by the door where the TV was. I had no set hours. I wasn’t sure when I would be given free time, and even though I was, it was scattered and I felt like I couldn’t relax since I never knew when it would end. After this experience I have a new mentality about travel. If a family can afford to take a nanny on vacation,they can afford to pay for her own room.

The following job I took is my current one. I did a working interview with this family at their vacation home over the summer, and started at the beginning of September. I had asked a question on this blog about working with another nanny. That part of the job has worked out wonderfully. The other nanny and I are extremely close and really help support each other. Actually, we just recently got another nanny! Three may seem excessive, but there’s still plenty for each of us to do! This family is like something out of a movie. Seven full-time staff, a private jet, vacation homes, and more money than they know what to do with. My role has shifted from simple nanny, to more of an assistant to the kids. I do all of the scheduling while the kids are in school, and then am the one mainly in charge of C, who is 5years old and the love of my life. My employers have actually allowed me to bring my dog to live in their house, which has been lifesaving. Honestly, I don’t think I could live here without her. It’s an extremely stressful position (I have cried on many occasions) but having her with me makes it easier. They know that, and have called her a welcome addition to the house. I could really write a whole book just about this family. It’s surreal. Here’s just one story as an example:

Last month they scheduled a trip to New York. I was on to go with them. The other nanny and I packed the kids bags and got all ready. Two days before we were supposed to leave, the trip was cancelled, so we unpacked those same bags, and I cancelled my dog’s reservation at the doggie-daycare. That Saturday, as I was playing with C, MB casually walked in and informed me that I had 45 minutes to get the kids and myself packed, because we were in fact, going, and we had to be in the car in 45 minutes. After my near heart attack, I ran around frantically packing as quickly as I could, and the housekeeper agreed to take my dog for the 2 days that we would be gone. I did manage to get it all packed and in the car, because I had to. When we arrived at the train station, just in time to make it to the train at a run, MB found out that I had neglected to pack a deck of cards. (In actuality, I had packed the cards in the oldest child’s carry-on. He’s 13. He forgot to bring his carry-on. This became my fault.) I was then told to find cards. In the train station. With two rolling suitcases and a shoulder bag, and literally no time to do so. Of course, I did, because I had to. I could go on, but I won't. This job is insane, and let’s just leave it at that.
The pros do outweigh the cons though. I work with amazing people who I can talk to and vent with. I get paid well ($900 per week as a live-in), I’m allowed to bring my dog, I love the kids, and I have a positive working relationship with the parents. It’s definitely completely different than any other job I’ve had, but I think that’s a good thing. I could never have survived a week in this job, never mind the negotiation it took to get here, without all of the experiences in my past. So good or bad, I don’t regret any of them. (Except maybe the sole caretaker job. I could have done without that haha) -DC nanny

Contract Conversation

opinion dec
I have been working for a really great family for the last two months. I enjoy the children and the parents quite well. I only have two issues at current. 1) It was stated in my contract that each month I am given one full weekend off. I have not had this in the two months I have been here and was basically told I won't receive any time off until the new year. I have time off during the day, yes. But never have I had a full day or enough time to even leave the city I am in. 2) I planned to stay for a year (pretty certain it is not a contract situation) but things have come up that require me to leave two months early. To sum it up, I have a hard time actually talking to MB/DB. They are almost never around and when they are there is never room for conversation. Sometimes they get upset over small things so I feel as though they may get upset over me requesting time off or discussing the possibility of me leaving early. How can I go about this the right way?

Nanny Poaching

opinion dec
Nannies, have you ever had another mom try and steal you away from your current family? How did you handle that?


a day in the life 2012... of a Retiring Nanny
I found this site a few days ago, and I’m so disappointed I hadn’t seen it sooner. My first thought was, “Where have you been all my life?!?” Or at least, why couldn’t I have found you five years ago? I’ve been reading through the posts and debating whether or not to write one myself, for fear of being flamed by other members. For my own sanity, however, I’ve decided to get my story off my chest.

I have been working in the childcare industry for five years now, as you may have gathered from the previous paragraph. In general, I have not been very lucky when it comes to finding good jobs. I know this is mostly my fault, and I attribute that to the fact that I am young, a bit na├»ve (although that had drastically changed), a chronic over-thinker,­ and I just recently grew a backbone.

I have always liked children, and I’m very good with them. In high school, I took every child development class I could, read many informative books, and when I felt confident in my knowledge and skills, applied for a job as a daycare assistant. The job was wonderful. It was a small after-school daycare chain (I believe there were five or six different centers, spread over two counties). I worked there during my senior year of high school, and they were wonderfully flexible, understanding, and really helpful. When the director felt that there was something I needed to work on, she sat down with me and spoke to me like a peer, rather than a child. To add a little more “awesomeness” to the job, they also hired my best friend of over 10 years. I barely made more than minimum wage, which was fine with me, since I mostly wanted the job to get some childcare experience.

I worked at the daycare from August until May—nearly the entire school year. I had to leave this job because the father of one of the little girls began stalking me. It started with simple, inappropriate comments, such as complimenting my looks in a creepy way, and gradually progressed to him asking me to attend functions with him. Mind you, I was 17, he was 44, and I was completely grossed out. I did report this behavior, and nothing was done about it. One day, this father showed up at MY school, blocking in MY car, and waiting for ME. I was terrified. He saw me and began speaking to me, asking me to the dance at his daughter’s school, since he was a chaperone and “needed” a date. He wouldn’t move his car unless I said yes. I ran away, called my mother, and burst into tears. My mother absolutely went insane on the school and had a serious conversation with my place of employment for allowing this man to behave this way after I had reported him. Police were involved, and it was a nightmare. When I put in my notice in shortly after, they were very understanding.

My next job was my first nanny job. The mother was a friend of the family, and she was (and is) AMAZING! I watched her twin 11-year-old daughters full-time for two summers, and often during the school year in between. It was perfect, because I was in my first year of college and needed the extra money, but didn’t have enough time for a regularly scheduled job. When my days with them would end, I would often end up staying for another hour or more just talking and laughing with the whole family. They would have my boyfriend and I over, and actually asked him to help their girls when they started Lacrosse (something with which I would have been useless). My job ended for them at 19, when my parents divorced, causing my mother and I to be kicked out with an hours’ notice. I was also informed by my father that college would no longer be an option for me if I was requiring his financial help. That night I moved about 2 hours away, where my boyfriend was attending college. I should add that I was not currently employed full-time by them. The girls were in summer camp, and after that week would be immediately starting school again (sorry, I know I made that a bit confusing).

Here is where it starts to get really fun! When I moved near my boyfriend, I didn’t have a lot of options as far as employment. I was stupid and didn’t really save my money, but I did have enough for a security deposit and first month’s rent. I found a roommate, who was my age with a toddler, on craigslist (Do. Not. Do. This. EVER. I just did what I had to do to survive and keep a roof over my head). She was also a nanny, and we got along very well. She was the only other nanny I had ever met, as my hometown is not a place where anybody really has a nanny. I know now that I was stunningly misinformed when it comes to the nanny career. I did not know about contracts or anything of the sort, and it just never occurred to me how evil some people could be to their employees.

I took the first job that came my way. I received a frantic call one night from a mother, claiming that their nanny had left on short notice, and they desperately needed someone for the next day. Well, what a coincidence, I am also desperate! I’ll be over in the morning. Neither of us checked any references or used any kind of safety precautions. I am absolutely horrified now that I ever did something so stupid.

I arrived at my new place of employment the next day with a big, bright smile on my face. The mother was beautiful and kind. She showed me around the house, explained which light chores I would be doing, and introduced me to the children, a 12-year old boy and 10-year-old girl. She made a point of telling both of them, in front of me, that I am in charge, she expects them to listen to me, and anything less than good behavior was unacceptable. She said this in a way that was not mean or intimidating, simply an expectation. She said it perfectly, and I was in awe of her. She then mentions that, oh, by the way, my son is a spectrum child, no one can control him, and only a few months ago had returned from a 10-month program at a school in Arizona for children with similar problems. Have a nice day!

For several months, I dealt with the most unbelievably disturbed child I have ever come across. He would cuss his parents and me out, he would kick and hit us, threaten us, and do anything he could to get his way. He was a big kid, too. He was about 5’ 10” and 150 lbs or more. I, on the other hand, am 5’ 6” and 115 lbs. Guess who was stronger? I kept the job for as long as I did because I cared for the family and desperately needed the money. On my last day (granted, I didn’t know it would be my last day), a behavior specialist came to the house to help get him a bit more settled. Upon trying to get the boy to do his homework, he threatened both of our lives. The specialist told me that it was no longer safe for me to work in this environment, and she insisted I call his family and leave this job immediately. She stayed until his parents got home and told them what had happened. The parents asked if I could stay a little longer, until they found someone else, but the specialist told them it was unacceptable and it was putting my life in danger. We all cried.

My next job was working for an acquaintance of my upstairs neighbors’. She was a single mother with a 4-year-old daughter. Again, no contract. Coincidentally, I also knew their last nanny through my roommate. She had warned me that this woman was a terrible employer who makes many amazing promises, but keeps none of them. I didn’t believe this nanny, though, because I knew she was lazy at her job. I began the job and it seemed amazing. It was winter, freezing cold, and I was dirt-poor without anything more than one sweatshirt to keep me warm. My employer noticed this, and gave me a coat that no longer fit her. It was the nicest thing anyone had done for me in a while, and I was so excited to make her happy. My first day on the job was a 24-hour shift, and she even offered to let my boyfriend stay over also, so I would be comfortable. I told her I appreciated the offer, but wouldn’t be taking her up on it. I didn’t feel it was appropriate, especially on my first day. That winter happened to be a particularly bad one, accumulating over 60”, I believe. As any nanny and/or parent knows, this weather makes for prime snow play, hot chocolate, chicken noodle soup, and fuzzy blankets. We went outside every single day and played in that snow, since my RWD sedan was not safe to drive in that weather. To be honest, it was not safe to drive ME in that weather, but I had already been warned that calling out of work was unacceptable and would almost definitely result in termination. One morning, I went outside to find my car covered in another foot of snow, and my only way of getting to work was in my boyfriend’s SUV. I thought for sure that this was creative problem solving that she would appreciate. Nope! She called me that weekend, screaming at me for not bringing my car to work, not driving her daughter anywhere in a week, and bringing my boyfriend to her house (even though he was outside, in his car, in the parking lot). She then went on to say that because I hadn’t taken her daughter anywhere, she was getting fat. First of all, who would EVER call their beautiful 4-year-old fat, especially when she was nowhere near. Again, when I say I didn’t take her anywhere, I mean we didn’t drive anywhere during the blizzard. We went outside more than once every day. There was also the issue that I was not allowed to address the little girl when the mother was around, because “it will confuse her as to who her mommy is.” I was also not allowed to sit on their couch, as “that is for family and guests.” She fired me because I asked if she had plans to send her daughter to pre-school. I asked out of simple curiosity (and maybe a little to see if I was going to be out of a job soon), but a few days later, she called and asked what kind of horrible, uneducated idiot would say such terrible things about her daughter. I asked her what she meant, and she shouted that her daughter didn’t need any kind of schooling before kindergarten, and how dare I take it upon myself to teach her daughter things like letters and numbers without her consent. I was fired for being a good nanny. On top of that, she showed up at my house a few days later to get her coat back. According to her ex-husband, she goes through nannies like tissues. I feel so bad for that little girl.

After my CL roommate stopped paying rent, moved out, and I lost my job, my mom decided it was time to move in with her. By this point, she had bought a house, and would just need me to pay a little rent. My boyfriend was already planning to transfer to a school not far from her house anyway, so it all worked out. I got a new job with a family with a 3 year old girl and a 15 month old boy. I stayed there for a year and a half. The children looked like they could have been mine, especially the daughter. Of course, I always corrected people that thought they were mine. I think credit should be given where it’s due, and I can’t take any credit for how adorable those two are. That being said, the little boy was a holy terror. There was little-to-no discipline in the house, because the daughter rarely ever needed to be told no, but her brother was born the polar opposite. I did everything I could, used every method in the book, and then many, many, many other books, all to no avail. Unfortunately, if you’re the only one participating in the discipline, it usually doesn’t work out very well. My pleas for discipline consistency fell on deaf ears, and he just beat me down. I would often come home from work in tears from the stress of the job, not to mention the utter filth that I worked in (I did clean, although it was not asked of me. I just couldn’t stand the mess). I cared deeply for the family, and was easily encouraged by the promise of a raise, or simply acknowledgement that I existed in their eyes. They knew this and took advantage. This job ended recently when the mother’s job situation changed, making them unable to keep me employed. They gave me a weeks’ notice, no severance pay, bonus, or ever even a raise the entire time I was there. I never got a sick day or vacation day. Yet again, no contract. Despite the poor behavior of the little boy, I adore those kids and am not over leaving that job.

I found my current job pretty quickly after receiving notice for my last family. This time, I really researched what a nanny job should be, and made sure that I have a contract in place. I did not let the parents just name my salary without my input, and they will not be using me as a doormat. I have trained my mouth to form the word, “no,” and I have come up with a few standard responses to requests not outlined in my contract. I can finally pick and choose what, if any extra responsibilities, I want to take on. Yes, I will feed your cats for you while you’re away! No, I will not organize your garage! See how awesome that is??

This current family seems very nice so far, but I’m having a lot of trouble connecting with their child. There are no behavior problems or anything to speak of—just no real connection. In late summer, I am officially retiring from nannyhood and going back to college full-time to be a Nurse, which I am so excited about. I’m a bit conflicted because of my current job, though. I am an excellent nanny (if I do say so myself), and will have absolutely no problem keeping my desire to move on to myself. Of course, if I ever feel that it is getting in the way of my job, I will give notice and help them find someone else who is perfect for the job.

If you pulled through to the end of my way-too-long story, you are a real trooper. Just putting this in writing, even though I haven’t covered half of the things that happened in my “away from home” jobs, I still feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Please, no comments that are mean just for the sake of being mean. It’s not constructive, and I would never do it to you!

Parents- you’re wonderful! But please be sure to treat your nannies with respect. Remember that they are people trying to make a living, just like you!

Nannies- you are strong and amazing! Protect yourselves. Don’t meet a new family without an escort or some safety measure. Do your research, and get a contract. Treat your charges well, no matter what the parents do, and keep your chin up when the job gets tough!