What is considered to be a nanny perk? Is it that hug and “I love you” from your charge, or how sometimes you can read and relax at nap time?
However there is this world where apparently being a nanny means you earn six figures, you go on crazy trips and enjoy life like you are a celebrity. World everyone talks about and dreams about.
How does it sound to have 20K bonus every six months? Weeks or months of nannying in Paris, or having personal chef cooking for you while you work? Not bad, I would say. Every time I get tiny bit upset with my employers, or when I need to save to buy something little nicer, I think to myself how I deserve more. I can work for someone wealthy and have a high life.
Except it’s not a high life. That seems to be something we often overlook. Those childcare providers sharing their stories and rubbing it in our noses don’t share the whole story, just the part that will make us envious.
Recently DailyMail posted an article about pampered lives of nannies working for wealthy families. Everything they wrote seems like a dream. Trips, pay rate, perks, adventures and you might read it, cry and google what it takes to be one of those nannies. It seems glamorous and fun, and here you are working for less than 13$ per hour. Truth is, anyone who ever worked as a nanny, au pair or even a babysitter knows what a nanny life is. We joke, make memes, laugh it off, but we work hard. We love kids and we love our jobs, but it is hard. That’s why when someone mocks us or share wrong information we feel insulted.
I love honesty. I love facts. When I ask a question, I expect elaborate answer, and that’s why reading that article from DailyMail was insulting. Those childcare providers are not doing us any favors by sharing how amazing it is to live that kind of life.
We need to tell others and to each other what it takes to be “one of them”. We need to be aware that everything has good and bad side and it’s our duty to educate others and ourselves.
As a response to DailyMail’s article, I will share something different. Truth.
What is it really like to work for someone who is willing to pay 6 figures for a nanny
My name is Shannon Albrecht and I am a Specialty Career Super Nanny….but you are all welcomed to call me “Nano”.
I’ve worked as a High Profile Nanny for 21 years. I’ve worked for the average family, for high profile families, and for celebrities. Some that stand out are business billionaires in Northern California, Country Music Stars in Nashville, TN, & Sport Stars and Rock Stars Nationwide.
Even though I make a six figure income now, I did not always make this income. I had to work very hard to get here. This is one of my pet peeves in regards to younger Nannies who almost expect to get this pay with their minimal backgrounds and short term experience. I’ve worked very hard for this pay. I personally believe that I am paid highly for several reasons: not only have I been a full time Nanny for over 20 years, I also have a background as a Child Swim Instructor, an ABA Therapist for Autistic Children, I’m a Child Behavioral Specialist, a Preschool Teacher, a House Manager, a Personal Assistant, I have a Pilot’s License, two Black Belts, and I worked as a Professional Clown in a working Circus! So I wear many hats in a home.
I never have set hours– I work 24/7 if needed–and I have very, very little demands. The past three years alone, I worked every single Holiday, including Christmas Day. I always have a “to go” bag packed for on-the-go demands. This is a carry-on size suitcase that houses two weeks worth of belongings. So when a client calls me at 3am to tell me we are getting on a private jet by 6am, I am immediately already ready to go. I work and travel in any city or country around the world. I recently worked in Canada, California, and Russia for the same family that owned three homes in all three countries.
To earn a six figure income as a Nanny you cannot expect to have time off, you don’t always get a lunch break, you often don’t even sleep 7 nights a week….you most definitely don’t get many holidays off, you can absolutely expect to work overtime (I average 100 hours a week), and you can kiss your social life goodbye. There have been weeks that I didn’t even shower due to pure exhaustion.
What is required from me is EVERYTHING.
Everything safe and legal that is, but pretty much everything. As stated above, I wear many hats in a home so if I need to cook, I cook. If I’m needed to wash the dog, I wash the dog. If they want me to garden, I garden. Another frustration I have amongst other Nannies (ones that expect this pay that is) is they get bent out of shape if they are ever asked to do ANYthing beyond watching the children. I’ll read message boards that say things like “The nerve! They asked me to do LAUNDRY today! Can you believe that!?! I’m not the Housekeeper lady, I’m the Nanny!” This statement will be from a Nanny who is simultaneously looking for a position that pays $150k/year.
For $150k/year you better be prepared to not only do their laundry honey, but also their dry cleaning, ironing, folding, steaming, putting laundry away, and acting as their packer and personal stylist. Don’t have time to do it in the day because you work 60-70 waking hours? Then you skip two nights a week of sleep and do it through the night. Period. I do not have limits on what I offer a family when I work for ones of this caliber.
If I was looking for an average 9-5 Nanny position, then yes, I would have limitations. But I would also be paid $16/hour for my 45 hour work week and I would know what people mean when they post “TGIF” on Facebook….ironically always on Fridays for some reason…hmmmmm?
Another way I keep my clients satisfied is I’m always one step ahead of them. Since I often also act as a Personal Assistant, I am continuing to help parents with their schedules, reminders of appointment, and keeping them on top of their day. If I’m not acting as their Personal Assistant or The Family Assistant (a term given to a Nanny who is also a PA for the whole family, including the children), I’m often the House or Estate Manager making sure the home is operating smoothly and the people that come and go are readily taken care of.
As stated a few times above, I have many pet peeves when it comes to younger Nannies. I’m in the process of opening my own Nanny Agency and in doing so I’m screening hundreds of Nannies. At least 70% of them THINK they are far more qualified than they are. Therefore I’m trying to spread the word and help educate all Nannies on how to obtain these high end positions and what it really takes to hold a six figure position down.
First off, do not count any “Nanny work” when you were under 18 years old. You were not a full time Nanny at 14. Therefore, if you are 20 years old, stop advertising that you have “10 years of Nanny experience”. Secondly, homes that are looking for a Professional Nanny or a Career Nanny that are willing to pay a six figure income (I personally have made $200k/year and have seen high end Nanny positions that pay $300k), are not looking to put you on an hourly schedule. They will likely need you around the clock, whenever they please and often on call when you are supposedly “off”. You are not allowed to have any demands (like wanting a lunch break, or overtime, or paid time off, or weekends off, etc), if you are applying for these type of positions, so don’t even ask.
Also if you plan to apply for a mega Nanny job, you should have more experience under your belt beyond three years of Nannying and two Summers as a Camp Counselor. These families want a Nanny with 10-20 years of full time Nanny work, likely a college degree or Masters Degree, high profile experience, work with fully staffed homes, that you speak multiple languages, Teaching experience, traveling experience, certified in multiple things like CPR/First Aid, and much, much more. If you are even thinking of applying to a job that pays $100k/year you should likely have at least 90% of the above under your belt.
Lastly, if you have babysitting experience, do not add that to your Nanny experience. Babysitters are great! They are very valuable to families and being a babysitter is something to add to your resume and to most definitely acknowledge, but babysitter work is FAR from Nanny work. So again, if you started Babysitting at 13 years old, and you are now 20, you do NOT have “7 years of Nanny experience”.
In summary, being a Career Nanny is hard….VERY hard. It’s tiring, it’s exhausting, it can be sad and frustrating and stressful; it is lonely and demanding and can push you to limits you didn’t know you had…..but it is also THE best job in the world! I will never be out of a job! There will always be the need for a Nanny. I get to change and mold the minds of our future generations. I get to meet and interact with celebrities and high profile families. I get to travel the world and meet new people every day. And because I’ve worked so hard for 20 years, I will easily retire before I see 50 years old.
It takes a very unique person to do what I do.
You must have confidence, patience, an easy going personality;
you must be patient, understanding, and have very little needs/demands;
you must have a tough skin and not take things personally;
you must be able to separate your emotions with your work and remain professional at all times while still loving the children you’re caring for as though they were your own;
and lastly you must have an unconditional and undying love for children…not just the cute and best behaved ones, but ALL children: the good & the bad!
If there is a Nanny out there reading this that believes they too have all of these qualities, I challenge them to truly find out if they do. If you have the experience and background warranted for these high end positions and you can last several years in them, then you too are a Super Nanny! There are few of us, but we do exist!
Do you have what it takes to be high end nanny for wealthy family?
Share your opinion with us and subscribe to stay connected!
*this post might contain affiliate links*