Symphony Space, Upper West Side 97th & Broadway - NY

* Physical description of nanny/caregiver: African American, tall, large build.
* Physical description of involved child/children: about 12-15 month old, white, boy named Will.
* Address or venue of observed incident: Symphony Space, Upper West Side 97th and Broadway.
* Date and time of incident: 9:30 Music class.
* Description of what you witnessed: In class, a little girl was touching the boy's face as she did with other kids in the class. It was not hitting or was the boy crying. The nanny grabbed the little girl's hand and pointed in her face saying, "You don't do that!" The mother of the girl came and told the nanny that if she had something to say she should say it to her, not yell at her daughter. Keep in mind these children are only 1 year old. Then the mother took her daughter back to their spot (across the room from the nanny and boy). The nanny continued to shout over the music teacher saying the mother should teach her daughter better and no one will take advantage of the boy. Then the music teacher jumped in saying that she would not allow her to continue shouting across the room and to think about all the children listening. Nanny talked back to the teacher saying something along the line of "well, her daughter this and that...." Anyway, class ended and outside the classroom the nanny continued to bash the mother. This was inappropriate.
* Description of vehicle, bag, or stroller that may aid in identifying caregiver: blue stroller.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior is a No-Brainer

Hello, I am writing because my family is considering firing our current nanny and I am looking for insight into the situation. As background information, our family has older children who the nanny does not have any responsibility for (due to after school activities and the time we need coverage, there is very little interaction between our caregiver and older children) and a 5 year old who our nanny watches 5 days a week from 3:00 PM - 5:30/6:00 PM. We do not need a nanny over the summer due to camps. I have employed 3 nannies for various lengths of time during my daughter's life and have had good working relationships with all of my caregivers. They all left on good terms for a variety of reasons (position went part-time, school obligations, etc.) and we stay in touch with all of them.

This spring, I hired a part-time teacher's aide for the hours and days described above. She was with us for a few months and took another job for the summer before resuming with us at the beginning of the school year. While she started off last spring very strong, ever since September things have seemed different with her. M is frequently in a bad mood, is less engaging with my child, and seems to be less satisfied with the position then when she started at the end of last school year. In early October, I sat her down to discuss my concerns after a month of things being "off" and she shared with me that over the summer she felt her job was easier and she was paid a higher hourly rate. I told her I understood her frustrations but that we were not in a position to make the job "easier" (over the summer, she got paid for full time work while her charges were in camp and had no household responsibilities; the hours she is with us, M is full charge with my daughter and she helps flip the laundry, tidy toys, etc.) as the job responsibilities had been negotiated in the spring and had not changed. Furthermore, we were not in a position to pay a higher hourly rate at this time (we pay her $16/hour for 15 hours a week; she frequently leaves earlier if we come home earlier and she is paid every week during the school year, even if we do not need her at all). I told her if she wanted to search for another job just to provide adequate notice and that we would not have any hard feelings.

Fast forward to last weekend (Thanksgiving weekend). My husband had a business dinner that took him out of town on Saturday night and he invited me to join him for the dinner and an overnight. I asked M if she would like to watch our daughter for the night (the teenagers were either with other parents or had sleepover plans), roughly 1 PM Saturday to 12:00 PM Sunday. I offered her $20 hourly for every hour plus an extra $100 overnight fee, considering that it was a holiday weekend and she accepted. She was given this date and made the commitment at the beginning of November. When my husband and I left Saturday, we left her with a clean house, petty cash, and use of our vehicle. I spoke to her Saturday evening and she assured me all was well and sounded happy, as did our little girl. When we arrived home on Sunday (approximately 11:45 AM) I was stunned to find the house absolutely trashed. Not I hosted a keg party trashed but sink full of dishes (they made cookies), toys strewn throughout the house, playroom wrecked, garbage overflowing. When I commented, M told me she and my daughter had done a lot of baking and arts and crafts and "housekeeping was not in her contract." I replied that while housekeeping was absolutely not in her contract, it was her responsibility to maintain order in the household and to clean up messes that occurred under her watch. She ended up leaving in a huff.

Based off of all of her recent behavior, I have reason to believe she is so unhappy in the job that she is behaving passive aggressively towards my husband and me, and I am concerned that could trickle down to our child. It seems like a no-brainer for me to let her go effective immediately (we were in a childcare pinch this week and needed coverage) by firing her tomorrow and offering her 2 weeks severance in lieu of notice. My husband thinks I'm over-reacting but I am genuinely concerned by her recent behavior and would rather deal with the hiring process over the holidays (ugh!) then jeopardize the safety of my child. Are there any moms/nannies who might have insight into the decision? Tomorrow is Friday and I keep going back and forth in my head. Help! - Anonymous

Coming Out

Hi, I've been a part-time nanny for the last 6 years, and am now transitioning into my first full-time (live-out) position. I am gay, and I live with my girlfriend. I've just started, so I don't know the family very well, although we definitely clicked during the interview process, and the first two weeks have been great. Very little about my personal life has come up, though, so my new employers don't know about my orientation, and I know very little about their political/religious leanings. My first job came through a personal connection, and subsequent jobs were all by recommendation/word-of-mouth, so I've never been in a position like this before. If I had thought about it sooner, I probably would've just discussed it in the initial interview and moved on if the family reacted badly.

Since I've already been hired and started working, though, I'd love to hear what other nannies think is appropriate. Should I "come out" to MB/DB? Should I avoid all references to my girlfriend, etc? Should I just let that information come out naturally at some point and treat it like it's not a big deal? Personally, I think it shouldn't make a difference, but I know there are families who would definitely care. Is sexual orientation something an employer should reasonably expect to be informed about ahead of time? Are there any other gay nannies who can weigh in with their experience? Thanks! - Anonymous

Custody Battle

Have any of you ever worked for a couple involved in a custody battle? How did you handle things with the kids? Parents? What did you do? How did you cope? - Anonymous

Date Night Dilemma

How much would you charge monthly for a regularly scheduled date night? A family is interested in hiring me to take care of their infant twins one Saturday night a month it may not be the same Saturday night every month. It's basically so they can guarantee themselves a monthly date. They want to know what my monthly fee would be. How much would you charge? Do you think I should try and pin them down to a particular Saturday ? Like every 3rd Saturday? - Anonymous

Brand Decision

Expecting mommy here... Can you nannies (or parents) suggest a cloth diaper brand? - Anonymous


The Wicked MB

Hello, this is my first time posting here. I am a 25 year old female. I have my full ECE (early childhood education) diploma, and I am registered with the college of ECE's. All of these are desirable assets in this field.

I had been working for a family for 2 years. They have 3 children: a 4 year old girl and twin 3 year old boys. All three of the children have severe speech delays and the twins have possible autism (not that mom will look into it). The family had been treating me horribly for a while now. They talk down to me all the time and about my profession in general, calling us babysitters, or helpers, saying not to leave the 4 year old with the ECE in her class alone. They also expected me to drive the boys 4 times a week for free. And refused to buy the boys the things they needed, I had to buy them winter hats this year because mom refused. They spoil the 4 year old girl and leave the poor boys without.

For example, the 4 year old got spoiled rotten at her birthday with all kinds of toys, games, and clothes, and the boys got nothing for their birthday. I had to make them their birthday cake. The mom has taken the 4 year old to build a bear *11* times, and the boys have never gone. She went and got the 4 year old brand new winter boots, mitts and hat, and said the boys could use their old (too small) boots from last year and could go without hats until Christmas. (We live in Canada, it's already -10 some days) she also ignores any advice or comments I make regarding her children. She refuses to get the boys help for their speech issues and they can say less then 10 words consistently. The 4 year old has lots of speech but even mom can't understand her. So mom went and paid for private speech for the four year old because the "real" teacher said so, but completely ignores my concerns about the boys:(

On top of all this, for the first year I worked there they paid me only minimum wage, and after I quit for about a month they offered me .50 more. (The only reason I said yes is because the daycare job I had was even worse!) so I went back and all of these things started happening. I recently asked for a 1.00 raise since it had been a year since I came back. They deliberated for over a month and then came back saying they would give it to me but would have to fire the maid (trying to make me feel bad) and so I would have to do her jobs, too. That was my last straw, and I did the wrong thing, I quit without notice. I feel bad, but she refused to give me a reference anyways, even for volunteer work. So now I'm worried I won't be able to get another job.... - Anonymous

No Pay for Travel Day

Hi, I'm on my last night in Cancun with a family that my friend babysits for. I'm a grown woman and an experienced nanny who has 3 month old twin charges that I care for 40 hours a week back in Chicago. We were hired to take care of three young children each. I spoke to the grandmother of the family about my expectations early on in July. I asked the family to outline some kind of itinerary and let us know a day in advance of what the schedule would be.

What developed was that we would be up with the families and go to breakfast at random times. Sometimes we went with them at 7 or 8. Then we were by the pool or beach with them until 1 or 2 and then asked to come back at 5, 6 or 7 every night until anywhere between 10-1. We had one evening off and that was Thanksgiving. We got to order room service, while we were watching the kids and were included in some good meals, we didn't really have time to ourselves. The siesta during the day, while it was a chunk of hours, we usually used it to shower and nap from the exhaustion of running after all the little kids or holding and feeding the baby.

In the end, we got paid for seven days and are not being paid for the 12 hour travel day on the last day. The family is not traveling with us on that day because, as they informed us, buying direct tickets for us to travel back with them would cost and extra $400 a piece. We were paid $150 a day. I feel that this is unfair. I thought that this would happen, though. As the week unfolded, it was obvious that the family my friend has been babysitting for 6 years was pushing back on her. The mother was getting passive-aggressive and so was the father. My friend is hurt because she has been loyal and devoted to this family for years and when she asked to be paid for the travel day, she was told that he doesn't get paid for travel in his consulting job. Apples and oranges, I think. But, what do you all think? - Kate

The Perfect Gift

I need 1st birthday ideas for a little boy. I have never gone to a baby's birthday party before. I am the youngest in my family, my friends and I are all young and don't have kids, and I am a new nanny and this is my first invite to a party. What would make a good gift? I want to give something nice, but not over step my bounds as a nanny. - Anonymous


Black Friday

It's almost that time of year again for everyone's favorite Feature: The Nanny Holiday Bonus Survey! I will include the links below to past Survey's to get you in the mood... let's make this year the best ever!  

* Leave an ANONYMOUS comment on this post
* Leave an ANONYMOUS comment here
* (Your identity will be respected and withheld)

* Physical description of nanny/caregiver
* Physical description of involved child/children
* Address or venue of observed incident
* Date and time of incident
* Description of what you witnessed
* Description of vehicle, bag, or stroller that may aid in identifying caregiver

* Bonus this year (2012):
* 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
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2011 - Part I December 2011
Holiday Bonus Feature, 2011 - Part II December 2011

My 6 Weeks in Hell House

New York - This was one brutal baby-sitting job, according to a new lawsuit. A live-in nanny who watched over the daughter of a Park Avenue socialite and a celebrity surgeon claims she was scalded with boiling water, plied with drugs to increase her productivity, forced to wear sexy outfits, and pushed to attend Kabbalah classes and date her boss’ friends. Andrea Duncan, 31, says she was turned into a "virtual slave" in the $8 million Carnegie Hill apartment, all for $250 a week, plus room and board, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by her high-profile attorney Rosemary Arnold.

Working for these people was awful, Duncan said. They treated me worse than Cinderella. Duncan claims that Suzanne O’Leary, her 20-something ward, flew into an unprovoked, screaming rage in August and tossed a pot of boiling water at her, burning her abdomen, according to court papers. But socialite mom Susan O’Leary forbade the nanny from seeking medical treatment, the suit alleges. Instead she offered this advice: "Take more Adderall, drink wine and apply aloe." Susan O’Leary threatened to fire her if she didn’t keep her mouth shut about the injuries, the suit alleges. The untreated burn permanently disfigured Duncan, the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit says.

Suzanne O’Leary had been hospitalized for "severe emotional disorders" and had just been released from inpatient treatment when Duncan was hired, the lawsuit alleges. But Susan O’Leary never told [Duncan] that, Arnold said.

Susan O’Leary ordered the nanny to go on dates with her personal trainer and broker and to be "nice and accommodating to them" or be fired, according to the suit.

After Susan O’Leary fired her cleaning lady, she insisted Duncan pick up the slack with no extra pay for tidying the 12-room apartment, the suit says. And when O’Leary hosted cocktail parties, she wanted Duncan scantily clad in a short white shirt and black tights. She also wanted Duncan to attend Kabbalah classes with her, but the nanny, a practicing Buddhist, said no.

O’Leary eventually did fire Duncan after six weeks, and the stated reason was Duncan "exposing" herself outside the apartment, according to Arnold. But Duncan, who has since returned to Ohio, was simply wearing a loose dress so that her stomach burns did not become irritated by the fabric, the lawyer said.
Special Thanks to Ericsmom for this Submission. If you have a Nanny Horror Story you would like to share please send it in!

Hero Dog Saves Baby from Kidnapping

Indianapolis - A kidnapping attempt was thwarted in Indianapolis on Tuesday when a family's dog stopped an armed would-be kidnapper from leaving the family's home. Police say a man and a woman broke into the home of Nayeli Garzon-Jimenez through the back door while her husband was at work. Garzon-Jimenez was on the phone with her husband, Adolfo Angeles-Morales, at the time of the break-in.

"She started screaming and crying, and said, 'Someone just stuck their hand in the door," Angeles-Morales told WISH-TV.

"The guy said, 'Give me the money or we take the baby.'" "The man said, 'Money, money,'" Garzon-Jimenez said. "I said, 'I don't have any.'"

The woman then grabbed her 3-month-old girl and attempted to flee through the back door. "But there was something else waiting for her at the back door," WISH-TV reported. "One of the doggies," a pit bull mix, "didn't let her go through the back door," Angeles-Morales explained. The woman turned around, "threw the baby back" at Garzon-Jimenez and the perpetrators fled the scene.

The mother, who was hit in the head with a gun during the melee, was treated for cuts and bruises at a local hospital, and was released. The baby was unharmed. Indianapolis police are now searching for the suspects: "a black man around 35 years old, 6-foot-2, heavy set with light skin, a close-cut beard and acne scars" and "a black woman in her mid-20s about 5-foot-10, heavy build with braided hair pulled back in a ponytail" and "two lip piercings and an eyebrow piercing." They were driving "a 2002-2007 chocolate-brown van with tinted windows and windows that extend down the passenger side." There might be a dent in the passenger-side door, police added.
Special Thanks to Jenya Alexandrovna for this Submission.


Happy Thanksgiving - Little Girl Pictures, Images and Photos ___________________________________________________
I have many things to be thankful for... one of them being the support from ISYN readers. I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday. Many blessings to you! ~ MPP

Negative Connection Needs Positive Outcome

I have been with this family for about a year and have actually just renewed my contract. My charges are 3 and 14 months. I love MB and DB although I secretly don't agree with all of their philosophy on parenting (I know I can't be the only nanny who says that). I'm content with the schedule, the requirements, the pay and have an honest, trusting relationship with this family, including aunts, uncles and grandparents. I adore the 14 month old and she's so easy going.

So what's the deal? The 3 year old, my oh my! I don't know what it is and for the past 10 months I've exhausted myself trying to resolve this but I don't like him. I can't say it any more plainly than that. There is something about him and maybe we just don't click but everything about this child annoys the life out of me. Now I've worked with children for several years now, taught preschool and Sunday School. I think any professional in our field would be lying if they said they have never encountered a child they didn't care for or didn't click with. This is different. From how he plays with others, to how he speaks, his attitude, his lack of respect for others around him, his loud outbursts and his obsessive need to be the center of the universe. Even when he's not being loud or rude he never stops talking, it's all day. He just talks so someone, anyone, will listen. I have stopped taking them out a lot in public places because I'm embarrassed by his behavior. Sounds ridiculous but any type of method used to encourage a smooth outing does not work anymore.

He's a very cute and intelligent child but he is just off the wall. He's not physically aggressive with me but by lunchtime, I want to pull my hair out. Every. Last. Strand. Now before anyone thinks I'm an awful person who secretly hates children, let me clarify that I love children, all of them. In fact, when I taught preschool, the children who were the most challenging were usually the ones I held dear. I have talked with others in our field, I've read as much as I can, I've prayed about it.... and I can't change how I feel about this kid. There are moments, rare moments when I think I just adore him.... but then he does something so insane that I just forget the good. I continuously look for the good, praise him for the good. I've tried every tactic for changing and guiding his behavior (outbursts, Mr. Universe attitude, talking back) but nothing works. It does not help that his parents are extremely passive with discipline.

I have moments throughout the week where I don't even want to look at him and I drive home in tears sometimes feeling awful. Regardless of how frustrating my charge is, I am fair and I give hugs and praise and am attentive to him. I have never treated him badly. I don't know if this is just not a good connection or chemistry... Right now the only thing I have been doing that seems to work is to completely ignore the unwanted behavior. Every screech, outburst, disrespectful answer. It tries my patience but when I ignore the behavior, he's lost his audience to perform for. He's well aware of what he's doing. *Note: I am ignoring the bad behavior, not the child. I've tried talking to MB but everything to her seems to be a "phase" a "bad day" or he didn't sleep well, eat well the night before, family was over... there is always an illogical excuse for his repulsive behavior. It is also ten times worse when the parents are around. I honestly don't know how they do it by themselves. They treat his behavior as typical and I have had enough experience and have worked with enough children to know that it is not.

I love MB and DB but I'm at the point where I just say he's had a great day and leave it at that. There's no getting through or coming to an agreement on how to resolve the behavior. An easy way out would be to get another job. The thing is, I'm happy with everything else about this job and the family and in the meantime, it's paying my bills. So my question is, how do I deal? While I'm comfortable here, I am looking to get into the field that my degree dictates once I graduate. My plan is to stay until at least September(ish). How do get though the next 10 to 12 months without losing my sanity and how can I help this child? - Anonymous

The Tactical Nanny

Hi, I have been a nanny for awhile now, on my 3rd family, plus have years of other experience with children of all ages including short term nannying (e.g. when the parents are away for a wedding/business trip/romantic getaway). In my current family, where I have been for 5 months now, as a live in, are 2 boys aged 9 and 7. The first 2 months were hard - the family had just moved to a foreign country and were still living temporarily while they waited for their house to be ready but after a month or so I felt like there was starting to be a bond between the kids and I. Things really improved when we moved into the house and everyone had a bit more space, the boys were settled in school and everything was more comfortable for everyone.

However, the last few weeks the 9 year old has been becoming steadily more disrespectful and downright rude towards me. He regularly criticizes my language skills in front of his native speaking friends (although I'm a certified speaker and 99% of native speakers don't even pick up that I'm not from here) and anything of mine he sees around the house - always little things when his mother is there, so she won't notice but as soon as she's gone it gets much worse. The last few days he won't even look me in the eyes and only speaks to me when his mother forces him to. There have not been any out of the ordinary incidents and I'm not sure what has brought on this behaviour but it's really taking its toll.

I've tried several different tactics - ignoring bad behaviour and rewarding good, being nice, discussing his behaviour, time outs, removal of privileges, but nothing seems to work. I know his parents have spoken to him several times about it but that has also done nothing. I was thinking maybe he's hitting puberty and starting to think he's too old/cool for a nanny and I tried to be more like a friend from the start than another parent type figure, because that's what the mother said he'd respond to best but that didn't work either. I really am wondering if it's even worth keeping this job. I would love any kind of advice because I'm really at the end of my nerves with this. - Anonymous

Under the Table

Hi :) I have a question for the nannies on your blog. Why are so many nannies willing to work "under the table" or off the books? Thanks! - Anonymous


Chase Park - Chicago, Illinois

Where: I Saw Your Nanny at Chase Park - Chicago, Illinois.
When: Every Tuesday and Thursday during playgroup.
Your son: Jimmy, around age 3
Your nanny: Blonde, long hair, heavy set, wears a lot of plaid.
What happens: The nanny sits in the bleachers the entire time on her phone. She looks up once every 10 minutes or so. She has long, loud conversations lasting about 20 minutes. The rest of the time, she is texting/browsing the internet. Your son gets hurt quite a bit, and when she hears him, she just yells at him (that's how I know his name). He also hits other kids and takes their toys away. However, it's not his fault. If his nanny would correct him, he would be fine. When I see them on the playground, she is sitting on a bench using her phone and he is off somewhere, usually trying to escape the park. Other nannies/parents are always getting him to come back in while your nanny is completely oblivious.
Chase Park in Chicago, Il
Send your nanny sighting to Confidentiality Guaranteed.
#nannysighting #isyn #isynblog #isawyournanny


Severance Pay Would Help Nanny's Holiday

I have been with my current family for just about six months now. When I started this was a 1 year full time temporary position. Back in October Mom was laid off but switched into another department and I was told my job was safe. Well last week Tuesday evening I was told that the new position was not working out and that I in turn had four weeks which really was more of 3 weeks left in position because she would no longer be working, which meant the family could not afford to pay me! SUCKS right before the Holiday! At the sit down a severance was not mentioned... but as time is going I am having a difficult time with even getting an interview... as in my area there are really no open positions. Should I ask for a severance pay although it was not bought up and if yes how do I ask??? - Anonymous


Nanny Knows Best

I have been working for a wonderful family for about 3 months now, and MB just had a new baby a week ago. They have never complained about my performance, have done on-paper performance reviews, and have been references for other jobs I take on outside of my work for their family. They are an absolute dream to work for. One problem, however, is beginning to irk me, and I'm not sure how to address the issue with MB.

Their first child is two and a half years old, and still sleeps with a pacifier. While they have indicated they are "weaning her off", they are not following through with their word, and it is making for a strained relationship between myself and my charge (I am the "bad guy" because I actually follow through). I indicated over a month ago that I would try having her not sleep with the pacifier during naptime (they agreed to this, but I knew they were probably still giving her the pacifier during her weekend naps); initially (for 2 days) she asked for the pacifier, but after she figured out that I wouldn't give it to her, she fell asleep (albeit less quickly, but I have been rubbing her back to help her learn to self-soothe without her beloved pacifier).

Now that MB is on maternity leave, she puts her daughter down for naps and, yep, you guessed it, pops that pacifier in her mouth every time, without fail. I addressed it passively with her while we were all at the park and she said the goal for the pacifier is now to have it gone by the time she is 3 years old. This has also been the same process for potty training, by the way. When I put my charge down for a nap that day, she asked for her pacifier and I refused to give it to her. Her mother then said over the camera monitor (it's only on during naptime and is NOT a nanny cam!) to give it to her because "she sleeps longer for her". At that point I gave her the pacifier, rubbed her back to calm her down (she had been crying furiously because she didn't want to sleep without the pacifier so mom would hear and intervene, which she did), and left the room.

I have tried to give up and "not care" about the issue, but I just can't put it to rest in my head and I am internally furious every time I have to hand over that pacifier. This is not helpful or healthy for ANYONE! I am seriously concerned about the oral care of the child, as well as her ability to manipulate her mother (she doesn't behave the same way with DB or me because we say what we mean and follow through). Clearly, these are none of my business, as I am just "the help", but I feel like they are giving her the pacifier for their own motivations, and are hindering her health and her emotional growth in the process. Now that she has to share her mother with a newborn baby, she cries and whines at the drop of a hat, screams, etc. to get what she wants with mom (and it usually either works or results in a bribe, which also bothers me). I know toilet training can be a slow process (and she is showing progress in that area) so I am less worried about that aspect. Am I overreacting? Do I address the issue more assertively with MB and DB, if at all? I am tired of being the mean nanny. - Anonymous

Full Moon

I feel very ashamed for even typing this message but first I will start out with some background info... I LOVE MY JOB! I love the kids, I love the parents, I love the atmosphere, I love love it! I also LOVE the pay. But like many of us, I want more. I have some big dreams and hope to make this my last nanny job before I can pursue those dreams full time. That being said, I have started moonlighting.

On weekends, I work for a (for lack of a better term) phone sex business. Its a very reputable company and its a surprisingly technical business. I decided to do it after I read about SAHM's doing it. I make my schedule and I'm actually pretty good at it. I never really thought of myself as a super sexual person and a good amount of the calls are not overly sexual. The money is good and confidentiality is assured. A lot of the guys are just lonely. I would NEVER do this at work. I have a boyfriend and he knows about it. I know I could easily find work doing a less taboo thing as a second job but being a nanny means I have a crazy unpredictable schedule with some overnights. I've tried moonlighting at different jobs but the unpredictability of being a nanny makes it hard.

So is this bad? I mean obviously I won't go around bragging about it but should I feel guilty? I guess its like "should I feel guilty for having sex?" Is this something I could defend by saying "its private" like my sex life? - Anonymous

Suggestions that Suck

How would you explain to mom the difference between a baby that wants to eat and a baby that just wants to suck and be comforted? Would you suggest she use a pacifier? - Anonymous


FOUND SAFE! Alexis Carwile - Halifax, Virginia

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Alexis Carwile (1yo)
Vehicle: 1985 Brown Nissan Station Wagon - Virginia license plate #XNJ9177

The child was abducted by the suspects pictured below (Eric Eugene Black and Jennifer Dawn Carwile) and is believed to be in extreme danger. They may be traveling in the listed vehicle and heading North. If you have information, please contact Halifax County Sheriff's Office: 434-476-3334

Missing child Alexis Rose Carwile:
Age now: 1
Sex: Female
Skin: Black
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Height: 2'6
Weight: 20lbs
Description: Uncombed hair, last seen wearing an orange shirt, blue jean pants, black/white/pink tennis shoes and a pink jacket. Photobucket

Eric_Black Jennifer_Carwile

Nanny's Health in Question

By accident I found out our nanny of 5 months takes antidepressant medication. I have two children she cares for on a fulltime basis and she hasn't shown any ups or downs or erratic behavior but now I'm obviously concerned. I feel like this is something she should've revealed to us at interview. I'm aware there are very different levels of depression but worry it could be something more serious. We like her very much and she's great with the kids but what if she goes off her meds? Do I have a right to ask her about this? Should I or can I let her go? Please advise! - Anonymous

Day in the Life Schedule Needed

Need ideas for a schedule for a 4 month old. Baby eats every 4 hours and starts the day at 7. Mom would like time in the schedule for outings. - Anonymous


Significant Secret

Hi, I'm a long time fan of your blog, but never had a reason before to write in, until now. I made a stupid decision, and I don't know where to go from here. I'm a 19-year-old nanny working for a family with 3 kids. I am only responsible for the younger children, as the oldest is my age. I've worked for this family for over a year and I love them. We like and respect each other and I don't want to lose this job.

I was out with friends one Saturday night and my group of friends ran into the oldest sons group of friends (the one that's my age). We've always been kind of flirty I guess, but never inappropriate, at least until that night. One thing lead to another and we slept together. It has happened a few more times since then, over the last 2 months. For those who haven't guessed, I found out that I'm pregnant. I know for a fact that I'm pregnant because I've been to the doctor, and I know 100% that he's the father. I also know I'm keeping it. Obviously I need to tell him first, but what about the family? Help! - Anonymous

London to New York

Hi there, I have just moved from London to New York and now need to find a job. A nanny job (in case that wasn't obvious posting on a website all about nannies). I live in Manhattan so would like to work in Manhattan too. Please could you tell me the best way to find a job/best agencies to go to in Manhattan? I am 28. Studied Psychology and communications at university and have 6 years childcare experience. Looking for a live out position for a professional/formal family. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kinds Regards, Nicole


Jaray Wilson - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Gift Giving Guidance

Here we have another holiday season. I want to offer a bit of advice as a professional nanny and pet-sitter regarding gifts for us at this time of year. I like to think that most people want to give a gift because they want to, not because they feel they have to. They say it's the thought that counts so please, put some thought into the gift you give us.

Please don't give us the free gift you got along with your cosmetics purchase. They have been advertising it for weeks and we can spot it a mile away. Often, it is not what we use or want. Please don't re-gift that cash card you found lying in the drawer a month ago. In my case, the one I got had been used and obviously, the woman had forgotten. Another one I got had expired and a third had an activation fee and use fee and was worth much less than the face value. Unless you are 100 percent sure we will use it, please don't give us store or restaurant gift cards. Likewise, unless you know we love sweets, liquor and certain foods, keep the chocolates and Hickory Farm cheese boards. Please don't give us mugs, knick-knacks, pins, scarves or candles -again- unless you know we really want them. Ask yourself, would you want this mug or candle or scarf? If you know how long we have been in this profession, you can bet that we have these items stock-piled and if there is ever a post-apocalyptic world where mugs, knick-knacks, candles, pins and scarves are currency, we will be rich!

If you know we have our own children, please remember them. I would rather receive a gift for my child from my employer then for myself. I know it's hard to buy for the nanny so don't sweat it! We can always use cash. I don't know any nannies who are so wealthy they couldn't use the extra help, especially around the holidays! A bonus is the best bet. No really, it is. Every year, my latest employer gives me a generous bonus and a card with a heartfelt note about what my involvement in her and her children's lives mean to me. It is the best gift in the world. Want to give something else instead of just the bonus? How about a paid afternoon or day off in addition to the bonus. Do it a few weeks before the holidays, so your sitter can do her shopping. That would be so much more appreciated then a bottle of perfume or a scented candle set. Thanks for reading and wishing everyone peace this holiday season! Happy Holidays - Chris

Infant Blueprint

I need ideas for a schedule for a four month old, partially breastfed baby. By partially I mean mom nurses him when she is home. When I work I give him pumped milk, if there is enough, or formula if there isn't. He eats every 3 to 4 hours when I have him. Every hour or two with mom. I also need help with sleeping... he fights himself awake and will scream for two hours and nothing will settle him down. I'm trying to break his habit of sleeping in my arms. The day usually goes like this: baby wakes at 7am and breastfeeds, 8 great feeds, 8:30 short nap, 9 breastfeeds, 10 sometimes breastfeeds, 11 eats again, 12 sleeps usually for 15 to 20 minutes, wakes himself up, fights sleeping for 2 hours, screams until about 3, eats again and will sleep for 3 hours if being held, if not, repeat of the morning. I suspect he is not hungry all the time, he is nursing in the morning and would be OK with a pacifier, but I don't think I can convince mom of this. I also think he can be left to cry a little bit but I don't think mom will go for this. Ideas please? - Anonymous

Is on-the-job Reading Fundamental?

Question for nannies and parents, from a parent. What do you think about nannies bringing a book to read while taking care of a child? I am not talking about during naptime, or about occasional short term babysitting jobs. I am asking about a full-time nanny who brings books to work every day for personal leisure reading while the kids are awake. Are there situations where this would be more/less appropriate? Does pay scale make a difference here? I mean, is the expectation different for nannies who ask for below-market vs. above-market rates? Is the answer any different if instead of doing leisure reading, it is doing leisure activities on a smartphone? Thanks for input. - Anonymous

Fair Rate on Four?

Hi everyone! I have a question for all of you because I want to make sure that I am charging a fair rate. I'm a nanny and house manager for four children, full time (ages 14, 11, 8, and 4) and my normal rate is 25/hour. The parents were going out of town for a wedding so I had them Friday my regular shift, plus overnight, then Saturday and Sunday. Sunday night they called and asked me if I could stay all the way through Thursday so they could make it a much extended trip. I agreed. One child will be gone at their mom's house, and one may or may not go as well. So that means I will have had all four children for three days, and two children (possibly all four) for an additional 4. What do YOU think a reasonable rate is for that? Thanks! - CleaverJune


Nanny not Bonding with Baby

I just started a job, it's been a week caring for an infant and I am not bonding with the baby. This is the most difficult baby I have ever cared for. Cries all day, refuses to sleep no matter what is tried. On top of that I miss my previous charges. I did not want to leave that job. I know it's early in the job, but I'm positive I will not bond with this child, at least not the way I did with previous charges. Am I a bad nanny? Would it be wrong of me to quit? - Anonymous

What Works Best?

Just a bit of background on me... I have been a professional nanny and house manager for WELL over ten years. I have numerous college degrees, am a first responder (same first aid and CPR training as a fireman) I also have experience with multiples, special needs children. You name it, and I have likely have experience and/or meet the qualification. Over the years I have found positions independently, through an agency, and even on sites like or I have found some places are far superior in finding quality families that are willing to pay the going rates, want to pay on the books, have contracts, treat the employee like a person rather than indentured servant... Etc.

What I am wanting to know are the opinions of other readers here on ISYN. Where do YOU find the best jobs? Why? Is it just me, or does anyone else find that the sites like Care and to consistently be full of parents; who aren't interested in paying the actual going rate for a nanny, but want to pay nannies with qualifications out the wazoo the same thing that high school babysitters make? Does anyone else find it better to look for your own positions independently, without an agency or nanny website like I do? What works best for everyone here? - Anonymous

Sleep Training an AP Child

My bosses and I are about to work on putting the little one down without rocking her. But we are a no CIO child rearing. The little one is rocked to sleep and then laid down but if she wakes up, and if she's crying - which is a no no, we rock her to sleep again if she isn't crying. Even rocked to sleep if she's crying then no of course. She has a lovey and paci she uses to be rocked. Those also go with her when she's laid down. She cannot be laid down to sleep in her crib unless she is fully asleep otherwise she freaks and cries. She has the lung capacity of an opera singer, so how do we sleep train an AP child without CIO? I LOVE rocking her to sleep but she's getting older and we are moving to a new phase so we'd like to try encouraging her to go to her crib and fall asleep there without getting upset. Any suggestions? :) - Anonymous


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Gaining Control and Drawing the Line

I'm hoping some nannies, and possibly mothers, can help me sort out some feelings about the family I care for. I've been caring for two kids, A age 8 and T age 6, off and on for 4.5 years. I know this family through my mother and their mother, K, who work together. I assumed full care for them last February. I have them before and after school (with drop off and pick up), holidays, breaks, etc. Our families are pretty close, and much to my objection they've now started sharing all birthdays, holidays and family get togethers with my family.

My problem lies in the fact that I think the mother is a "lazy" parent. K and her ex haven't been together for about 5 years, and this guy put them through all sorts of hell, mostly mental and emotional. I think K feels the need to be the extreme opposite of the spectrum; she is very passive and let's her kids get away with murder. However, I do have to say the kids are mostly well behaved with me and I've never had many issues with them. I'm starting to resent the mother. The kids show up every morning with clothes that are way too small, A usually in high waters and T in skirts that are way too short. This is a HUGE pet peeve for me. I've tried to subtly ask K what's going on by asking if I could assist in getting them better fitting clothes. I always try to press upon the kids that they need to wear clothes that are properly fitted and that are comfortable.

This morning T showed up with her wet hair in a lumpy uncombed pony tail on the top of her head; she has just gotten over being sick. T is showing huge red flags of misbehaving in class, not turning in her work, talking back, etc. When asked if mommy ever talks to her about her behavior T said no. Also, their eating habits drive me up the wall. I have struggled with my weight since high school and recently got the gastric sleeve. K has mentioned numerous times that she was very overweight as a child, but is now a normal weight. Unfortunately, she lets the kids eat anything and everything they want. They will have a sandwich, cookies, chips, a fruit snack and juice for lunch...sugar sugar sugar. At get togethers all they want are chips, cake and ice cream and mom sees no problem with it.

K pays me once a month on the 1st. When I first started watching the kids K was in a much lower position at work and to help her out I took a very low wage ($500/mth). Now that she's moved to management and making 2k more a month, without talking about it with me, she started paying me $300 more a month (for approx the last 6 months)... mind you, this is still far less than what a daycare or other nanny would charge for 2 kids. But this month she paid me my original wage which put me way behind on bills. I know I shouldn't EXPECT the higher pay, but because it's been months so I figured this was the new norm. I'm still angry over this, and I still feel $800 is more of a fair wage. Am I wrong in thinking this? I just have so many resentful feelings towards K in that I feel I'm making better common sense decisions about her kids than she is. There's more, but this is already way too long. My family tells me I need to let this go and stop putting so many feelings into it, that they're not my children. However, they're with me day in and day out, I've become like a second parent. I don't know how to draw that line that I'm not technically their parent and to stop caring how she parents them. Help! - Anonymous

Sandman isn't Welcome During Naptime

I really need help! I just started a nanny job and the baby is 13 months old. She is so adorable and sweet and very curious about everything. She is very smart already walking around and understands alot, she is saying alot of words also. But she doesn't want to nap, it is tiring when trying! The past nanny seemed to not have a problem with it. So I don't know if I am doing something wrong.

Here is what happens: around 9:30am I see the baby yawning so I heat a bottle. I put on relaxing music and close the window shades. We read books while the bottle is warming, then I take her to her room where there's a rocking chair and try to give her the bottle there. She immediately wants to get out of my arms. She may drink for a minute then stops and gets very fussy flaring her arms and manages to get out of my arms. So again I pick her up and sing a song and try with the bottle or pacifier. Even her eyes will start to close but she wakes herself up and struggles to get loose. It goes on like this for 30 minutes and then I give up.

When she struggles so much in my arms it is hard to hold her and I don't want to hurt her by holding firmly, she is quite strong. So I think well maybe she doesn't need a nap. So I let her play and then we have a snack at 11am. Well while she is eating she falls asleep in the highchair and sleeps for about 40 min! Then the whole schedule is off because she fell asleep late. Then she won't take her afternoon nap either and she is cranky when parents get home. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I really need help with this one because it is so frustrating trying to get her to nap and leaves me exhausted needing a nap! - Dana


All-Inclusive Contract

How should I set up this nanny share: I will be working for two families caring for two infants, the babies are 3 months apart in age. The plan is I will start with family G in December, caring for their daughter in their home, Mondays 10am to 8pm Tuesdays 10am to 6pm Wednesdays 7am to 6pm Thursdays 7am to 6pm and Fridays off. I will start with family T in February, caring for their daughter, Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm. The plan right now is that Family G will host and Family T will bring their baby over or I will bring the baby to their home on overlap days. They live in the same city so it won't be much driving. I have a contract with family G. They also pay me $18/hr. Should I write a separate contract for family T? Should I write up a new contract for both families? How much should I charge each family? Please include everything I will need in this contract, I want to cover all my bases. Thank you all so much! - Anonymous

Car Seats and Strollers and Cars, oh my!

QUESTION A: Just started reading the blog and I'm looking for advice on strollers and cars for our nanny. I have shared a wonderful nanny for nearly 2 years. She does a great job caring for my son and my friend's daughter that are both 18 months old and 15 months old. In January when we return to work she will also be caring for my son and my friends son who will be 3 months old at the time. I'm looking for suggestions on a 4 passenger stroller as well as an SUV or minivan that will hold 4 carseats. - Anonymous
QUESTION B: This is a question for both myself and my MB. What's your favorite lightweight easy fold stroller, needed for twins, and needs to fit in the back of Honda CRV? - Anonymous

Contract Needs More than Basic Neccessities

I want to upgrade my contract for any future jobs, and I feel like my current one is too basic. Do you think it's ok for a nanny to have her own standard contract? How long should a contract be? What sort of things do you cover in your contracts? - Anonymous

7 Reasons to Smile

Dear MB, you may not know this yet but today is my last day. I'm so tired of going above and beyond my duties as your nanny. I love your kids - it's YOU I can't stand! When I started 2 years ago it was barely at the going rate for this area but you promised me regular reviews and raises. I've had 2, but I'm still not making the amount I'm worth or for what you ask me to do. You said my foods would be included since my hours are so long but you hardly have enough to eat around here for the kids so I bring my own. Let's not even get into the fact that you never reimburse me when I do go to the store. It didn't used to be this bad so what the hell happened around here?

You leave your clothes scattered all over the house. As soon as you come in from work you toss your shoes into the foyer, leaving a trail of everything you're wearing until your down to your slip when you hit the couch. I feel like a peasant having to pick up after you. You keep tacking on household chores and that's not my job! Does "child-related, light-housekeeping" ring a bell? And by the time I leave, you're on your 3rd glass of wine. Thankfully the kids have had their baths and are in bed by then. You're probably grateful for that though.

By the way, I've heard your husband mumble here and there about you. I wonder how long before you lose him as well? You take him for granted. He is such a great guy but I think he stays out of your way on purpose. Do you know what a cuckold is? I think he does so you better start being more careful. I won't say anything else about that because I'm sure you get my drift.

I feel sorry for the next nanny you hire. I wish there was a way I could warn her about you. Yes, I will miss the kids. They've come to mean a lot to me but it's just not worth it anymore with the way you treat me now. I feel so much better having made this decision that you might actually see me smile when I leave today. - Anonymous


Confirmation may Lead to Confrontation

Hello moms and fellow nannies! I hope all is well. I would like some advice on a decision that I pretty much just made about 3 hours ago. Background: Until September 2012 I was working with a family that I had been with since February 2012. The mom decided to stay home sometime in August and I didn't find out about it until September. I got one weeks notice and two weeks severance. Was I sad? Not really. They were very awkward, condescending, slow to thank me, even when I went above and beyond what was agreed to in the initial interview. They were however, quick to pick at me for anything that they saw as a problem. They would comment on how I didn't do the laundry even when the baby had been needy/fussy all day. How I cut "R's" nails too short even when the mom approved of them the day before. They would drop hints about how babies in his library group could point to colors or shapes - the other kids were 14 months to 2 years old and their baby was just 9 months old at the time.

I was very limited in the activities I could do with him and was never allowed to take him anywhere. There were days after books, bubbles, crafts, walking outside, playing with gooey stuff in his highchair, that he was literally, no lie, bored to tears. I was beginning to crack... In July some family friends, whom have both known me since I was a teenager, had a baby. I immediately accepted when they asked me to be their nanny. The mom was going back to school and the dad is a teacher. After the baby came they told me what they had in mind for me to do, discussed pay/hours, and start date, which is January 2nd. Everything seemed great. I was going to let the family I was currently working for know that I was leaving in mid November which would have been this month. I was pushing for January until I was let go in September. I "'d" for 2 weeks with no success... so many low ballers. I was referred to a ton of people but they only needed a day or two a week for 4-5 hours.

*Deep breath* On to the current issue: The family friends that I was going to be starting with in January referred me to a family they knew of with a 4 month old boy, J. The mom had worked with my mother at a high school and without an interview I was hired for the temporary position. Unexpectedly, J and I have the greatest time together. I unloaded everything I have always wanted to do with R onto J and it's just as fun as I imagined. We go to parks, story time at the library, we are starting a baby gym next week, and we go to the store. I try to take him to at least 2 places every day even if it's to a Sam's Club to see the Christmas lights and sparkly ornaments. He smiles a huge smile and pretty much jumps out of his mom's arms when I arrive. I have become very attached to him and everyday that I care for him it's getting more and more difficult to see myself leaving him in December. The mom hasn't been pressuring me to stay with them. She understands this was supposed to only be a temporary thing but I made the decision today to stay with J and not work for the other family in January.

I see nothing but benefits when I really compare the two families. I LOVE J's mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, everyone is just wonderful. J is also a rather particular baby. He has severe acid reflux, the kind that he may not grow out of. He has to be held this way, put down this other way, you have to feed him like this, burp him this way, give him this amount of medicine twice daily... I learned all that in 3 days before the mom went out of town. It would be really hard for him and his family to get a new nanny and it would just be a very hard transition for him and frankly I really don't want anyone else caring for him but me. The other family is very out in the boonies and away from any sort of civilization. There are no parks, baby classes, or libraries. I would pretty much be reduced to the same situation as before, only without all the bitching from the parents. (Pardon my french but that's really all it was). I would almost rather have the nit picking if I could at least take the child places but that's not the situation dealing at hand.

I have to talk to the previous family this week since I have made and confirmed my decision. I just don't know what to say or how to form the conversation. I kind of have an idea of what I would need to say but they may try to offer me more an hour than the other family, or guilt trip me. I am pretty much giving them two months notice but I know they will find someone soon. They have access to a bunch of nannies since the mom is a member of a mom group on FB for our area and she used to be a nanny as well so she knows the circuit pretty well. I have made my decision and am sticking with it and am very happy when I think about it but I know this is my situation so I don't expect a beginning to end script... but ideas, experiences, opinions and helpful or encouraging thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Looking forward to hearing from all of you moms and my fellow nannies! PS: Sorry that this is so long. I do frequent the site often so if you have any questions I'll be sure to answer quickly as I need the pointers! Thanks! - Anonymous

Defusing an Abusing Situation

So I'm a nanny of two boys; 2 and 4. In the interview I was told they were very active, rambunctious boys. I could go on and on about what the real issues may be, but what I'm more concerned about is what to do when the nanny is being physically and verbally abused all day, 50 hours a week. These boys constantly hit, kick, bite, head butt, and throw things at me. I've tried googling information on the topic and all that comes up is nannies abusing children. It takes everything I have in me to make it through the day with (mostly) a smile on my face.

The parents understand that this is an issue and the children are both in different therapies, however they are not diagnosed with anything and no treatment has been successful thus far. The majority of people that surround me and the children (teachers, therapists) tell me it is not ok for me to be hit, kicked, etc. and encourage me to quit, but the parents don't seem to be that affected by their behavior and accept it as "normal". I understand it is not my responsibility, but I do not want another person getting sucked into this job if and when I leave. I also take my job as a nanny very seriously and don't want to bail out on these kids who are so clearly in need of help. Any advice is appreciated! - Anonymous


Complicated Predicament

My husband and I had hired a nanny for our 2 children, ages 1 and 4, in August to begin in September. She seemed like a lovely girl when we hired her, but after 2 weeks, she began demanding higher pay, fewer hours (we pay 16/hr for 32 hours, above the going rate for where we live, no housework aside from cleaning up any mess they had made while she was there, all of which was agreed upon and written in the contract), and she wanted us to potty train our 1-year-old, who just turned 1 last month, because she doesn't want to change diapers.

We were also concerned about the amount of television the children were watching. Our 4-year-old would talk about so many television shows when I would come home, he must have been watching the majority of the day. These were not children's shows either, she had things like Maury, Jerry Springer, and Court TV on all day (we also found a few of those shows on the DVR that she had forgotten to erase, I suppose). When I mentioned to her that I prefer the children not watch more than an hour and a half of tv per day, she accused me of spying on her via nannycam, which was not true. I fired her on the spot when I came home about 30 mins early one day and found her hovering my terrified, screaming 1-year-old over the toilet telling him to go potty, and my 4-year-old watching a very graphic movie on one of the movie channels.

We decided to enroll the children in the preschool where my sister sends her children, and we absolutely loved it, up until the beginning of the week. I brought my kids to their drop-off room to discover their newest employee -- our ex-nanny. I am absolutely devastated and don't know what to do. I don't want to remove our children from the school because they love it, they've seen too many changes, and not to mention we prepaid a few months already. - Anonymous

Nanny Hoping to Learn Skills on Coping

Hi, somewhat unusual question here. I'm a nanny of 30 years (employment, not age, don't ask THAT one! ) been with current fam for 11 years, prior, 13 years. Last year I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which for me means no long walks, no highway driving, no floor play (don't think that's ms, just age) and clinging on for dear life to stair rails. No meds, just a lovely hubby to rub my spastic legs. So, my question is, does anybody have any advice for going into a new job, not about the job search, but about working with, and coping skills in child care with this idiotic disease? Do any of the ISYN readers work with ms or know of anyone with it? Been reading for years and know how the ISYN community comes up with advice when needed. Thanks! - Anonymous