Is this Normal?? Need advice please!!

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



Ignoring That Instinct

I consider myself a helpful person, and I love my job working with children and families. I also have bills to pay, and when I saw a family hiring for a sitter after school two evenings per week, I jumped on that and contacted the family. She had heard of me through word of mouth, and we met for an interview. We decided to do a trial run for two weeks to see if everything worked out.

And something told me it wasn't the right situation for me. But I ignored my instinct and greed took over. I just had to be their sitter. I had to do it. I had to. I had to. I had to do it.

But it was a mistake. And what happened sounds gross, but it taught me a lesson.

While babysitting for this family one evening, their son wanted to play with the neighbor kid. Being the person that I am, I won't let a child I am caring for play with a child without meeting the parents first. Call me crazy or paranoid, but that's me. So I went over and introduced myself to the family. The mother wasn't really friendly, and the father was surprised that I took the time to meet with him. As I was talking with the parent, I picked up and played with their puppy who was rolling around in the grass. About a week or so later, I started noticing black dander in my cat's fur (I have four cats) that was similar to coffee grounds. Thinking nothing of it, I kept brushing her to see if things changed. I dismissed it as something different, until last week when I found something I didn't want to see.

My cat had a flea on her. A live flea. I was so grossed out that I almost threw up twice in Walmart when I went to get flea spray and garbage bags. I had a case of anxiety so bad that I had a horrible stomachache, called into to work the next day and thought I was going to throw up. How could I let this happen? The last time I dealt with this issue was back in 1994, when I was a young adult and got a cat that had fleas. Here we are twenty-two years and cats later. Never gave my cats flea preventive. Yeah, I know, bad cat mom. I never let my cats outside and never came into contact with anyone with fleas. When I found out about this, I bagged every single stuffed animal, every pillow on my bed, and threw out clothing that was on my floor, along with old clothing and items that the cats (I have four, but only three would be in my room sleeping, etc) came into contact with. Everything was washed, including curtains, big blankets, etc. per the vet. and all four cats, including my sick 12 year old with a tumor in her eye got flea treatment. I had watched my girls itch and groom themselves, which indicated I had a problem.

Not sure how I got them, but the vet did say fleas can travel with people. The only animals I have been around recently are the new kitten (I checked her before she came home and didn't find anything) my cousin's dogs who go to the dog park several times per week, her cats which are outside cats.

And this family's neighbors.

I broke down into tears in front of my boss, and told her why I called in. She was very understanding about the anxiety thing and stomachache. As I sprayed furniture and curtains, and combed through the cats fur to check for flea dirt, eggs and fleas, I began to realize something.

I honestly believe had I not babysat for this family, I wouldn't have had contact with the neighbors. No contact with neighbors, no contact with dog.

No fleas.

As a result of this issue with fleas, I am panicking that there are more fleas in this house, and we haven't gotten rid of them yet, despite cleaning. I do not allow the cats in my room or to cuddle with me. They just exist-I feed them and acknowledge them. but that's it. It's like I have OCD and anxiety. As if anything on the carpet or floor will come into contact with fleas. When the cats itch, I panic. Sitting on the couch or chair (the cats sleep here. as it's a cat thing) will bring more fleas that have yet to go through the cycle, even though I sprayed.

I feel dirty. Gross. Contaminated. I also feel like a bad person, because I had to babysit for this family. I felt like it wasn't right for me, and but being the person I am, I wanted to help them because I love what I do. Had I not babysat for this family, I wouldn't have gotten fleas.

Through this experience, I've learned it's ok to be helpful, but you can't help everyone. If something feels like the wrong fit, it's fine. The wrong fit for me is the right fit for someone else.

Fast Exit Interview Etiquette

You search for a nanny job, find a position or two that may interest you, send your resume and/or credentials. The family sets up a phone chat and/or interview, and you are interested in the position. That is, until something tells you it's just not the right fit.

Sometimes it happens during the phone interview. Other times it happens during the interview. And sometimes, it happens within a few minutes of chatting with a family on the phone or meeting with them in person. They may appear not so friendly in person, oblivious to the hiring process or you can tell they are just plain rude. Whatever the case may be, you can feel they aren't the right fit for you.

I had this happen twice: once during the middle of the interview. It was things the parent said that made me want to leave right there. He couldn't believe that someone with my experience, degree and credentials was applying for their nanny job, and insisted I was taking a step backward. After looking at my resume, he didn't even ask me any questions. He kept commenting on the fact that I was overqualified and too experienced to be their nanny.

The second time it happened was a few months ago. This family was hiring their first nanny and the father stated things like they are " 'new to this....not sure what they are doing, do not have a start date yet...not sure who they are looking for in a nanny...exploring options and taking information from candidates for now and getting back to people once they start moving forward...' " As I was sitting there listening to them speak, I was trying to figure out what was going on. I listened to them, answered their questions with a smile, and thought I did very well. I never heard back from them, and when I saw the position was open again, I contacted the family expressing my interest. I got a message from the family stating they didn't feel I was the right fit....Wait. You weren't sure what you were doing, didn't know what you were looking for in a nanny, etc but you knew I'm not the right fit?

As I look back on that experience, something told me to get up and leave within a few minutes of this interview. Of course I ignored that voice.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Have you ever chatted with a family on the phone or met a family in person and figured out within a few minutes they weren't the right fit for you? If so, what did you say to the family to end the interview right there? Is there a way to end an interview politely without being offensive when something like this happens?

I also own a placement agency, so I need to be extra careful.


Helping Parents Help Their Child

I have a child in my class that I am concerned about in a developmental issue. From what I observe and have heard from his sister's teacher from last year, EVERYTHING is done for him and I believe he is developmentally behind.

No interaction with other kids. He plays by himself. I have a child in class who takes things and displays aggressive behaviors to specific children because he knows he can, and this child is a target. The other day, this other child took something from him, and I encouraged the child to say "stop, that's mine." He didn't say anything. Doesn't speak at all. When he does speak, it's "A Mama", and that's it. It's like he has one emotion, and he always looks like he could burst into tears at the snap of a finger.

If we say " ' go to _____and _____' ", he stands there, waiting for someone to do it for him. He cannot wash his hands or turn on the water. A few weeks ago he stood in the bathroom crying because someone wouldn't turn on the water for him. He has no interest in an open cup, and cannot drink from one without spilling it on himself-he needs to be fed the cup, similar to feeding a baby their bottle. If he is not fed his cup, he doesn't drink anything the entire day.

M stays home and D works from home. My guess is that everything is done for him. I have spoken to M about this, who said she is trying to work with him at home, but then she seems like she is something which I cannot figure out.

He turns three at the end of January, and I want to help him, only I'm not sure what to say to M about his lack of social skills and communication, along with self help skills. I know that she did say when she enrolled that she enrolled him because she noticed the lack of self help and communication skills.

Then there is the other child. I wrote about this child a month or so ago, because curiosity makes me wonder what the nanny actually teaches him. He too cannot use an open cup, and has no interest in doing so. We noticed he was unable to drink from an open cup, mentioned something to the nanny when she came to pick him up. We stated in a positive manner, "hey, we noticed he isn't using an open cup and doesn't drink anything all day when he is here. Does he use an open cup at home for you?" She didn't answer the question and blew us off with an attitude.

The nanny is there full time, and he is with us part time, two days per week. I feel like if we see something at school, we should be able to ask the nanny if she sees the same behavior at home, and vice versa. I feel as though it should be a team effort between all of us (myself, co teacher, the nanny) and the parents.

Mom is aware he is not using an open cup, and said he prefers bottles to drink milk. There is a younger sibling at home (just turned a year) and most likely still gets bottles, which is understandable if the sibling wasn't introduced to a cup. This child needs to be fed an open cup, or he won't drink anything during the day. Most of my class is 2, and they are able to use open cups. Even the two youngest who just got into the classroom two weeks ago having just turned two are able to use open cups.

I realize each child develops at their own pace. But parents and those who care for the child like the child's nanny are partly responsible for teaching self help skills. I can only teach so much for so long, and it's a team effort. I feel like neither of these parents nor the nanny get that.


Resigning from nanny job

I am considering resigning from a nanny position that I've been in for about 6 months. The kids & I have a good bond but I have to use my personal car for work. At first I thought I wouldn't mind. But I literally have to take them somewhere everyday & run errands for the parents in between. I am only paid $20 a month for this. Yes a month. The mom thinks that is fair compensation. I don't because I am adding extra miles to a car that I have to keep for the next three years, & paying for extra cleanings, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. Is this fair? I am not sure if I am overreacting. Or should I look for something else? I would feel horrible to leave but it stresses me out so much.


what is a reasonable wage?

I recently (about 2 months ago) started nannying for a family with two children ages 3 and 4. I was background checked, cpr certified and the whole 9 yards. I have about 4 years of experience and have wonderful relationships with the previous families I have nannied for. I was hired for a nanny/assistant position. I took the job with the pay of 15/hr. During the day while the kids are at school for a couple hours, I do all the laundry, (not just the kids, the mother and fathers too) make all the beds, do all the dishes, run any errands the mother leaves on the daily list for me, some of these errands usually include taking the dog to the groomers, dry cleaning pick up and drop off, preparing dinner so the mom literally just has to put it in the oven when she gets home (which most of the time I end up doing anyway), I mail letters for them, I ship things at ups for them, shop for them, grocery shop for them, pick up fresh flowers for their home for them,bathe their kids and get them in their pajamas/ready for bed by the time the parents come home most nights, I do a lot of driving for errands and activities for the children and put about 200+ miles a week on my car for them. I'm not compensated for mileage although I get about $20 a week for gas, which isn't enough seeing as how my car runs on miles and is a lease. When I talked to the mom about mileage she said the government rate of .55 a mile added up to quick and she would rather just give me $20 a week for gas. I went with it. This family is very well off. They live on the water, have a Lamborghini, Maserati and bmw, a yacht, condos in different location across the world, THEY ARE VERY WEALTHY. I stay everyday hours later than I am supposed to (which I get the same hourly rate for) without them asking me if I have to leave, if I have plans, nothing. They just expect my schedule is free to stay and help them all night. I just feel that I make life very easy for them and do almost everything for them. They ask me to do something- I do it without question and with a smile. I feel really taken advantage of a lot of the time. I have so many bills to pay and barely make it with the 15/hr I am currently getting. I think it would be reasonable to be paid the 15/hr during the hours I have both kids but during the day when I do everything and anything for them I feel it should be more. I don't even get a chance to go to the bathroom or have a sip of water during the day because of the list the mother leaves me. I am not a confrontational person and I am wondering how to propose a possible raise to the mother. Also, I was wondering what you guys think the reasonable wage I should get is?

Update on Scam originating on

I wanted to share the "check" my daughter received via priority mail and I also wanted to share what had to say about scams...

Since I last posted about this, we have not heard anything further from this man (except receiving this check)

This is taken from in reference to scams...

There are two main types of scams that are prevalent on the Internet: the “overpayment scam” and the “pay in advance scam.” They're very similar and usually go something like this...

A scammer poses as an employer and attempts to trick you into sending money. Typically, the employer reaches out via text message with a job offer that seems too good to be true.

Once you reply, the scammer may ask you to buy a needed item (like a toy or wheelchair) or claim they're relocating and want to pay you in advance.

After you share your full name and address, the scammer sends you a check (often for a large sum of money) and requests that you cash it and wire a portion of the money back to them. They may tell you to keep the rest.

But here's where the scam comes in: the check is fake. Unfortunately, you often don't learn that until it’s too late -- after you've already sent a portion of the money back to the scammer, which you're then responsible for repaying to the bank, as well as additional fees associated with this type of fraud. In some cases this can amount to thousands of dollars of lost funds. and scams