THINGS YOUR NANNY WANTS TO TELL YOU (but she never will)

Nanny Problems
if you just can't keep a nanny and you wonder what is the problem..Check out what this nanny has to say about it

As I am thinking about this topic and ways to phrase all my frustrations, in the back of my mind is end of The Nanny Diaries movie. If you haven’t watched it, you should.

I am one of those nannies that sometimes slack. I admit it.

There are days, even weeks in a row that I don’t like my job, I don’t like seeing where my life goes and I don’t like repeating one and the same thing over and over again.

On occasion I have to remind myself to push harder, to browse on Pinterest ideas how to entertain child and make better meals. Sometimes I take a nap when kid does too, and I don’t take her to park when I know I should because that day I really, really, really don’t feel like it.

But also I am one of those nannies that care deeply. Doesn’t matter what happens and what my day is like I love the child I take care of and I make sure all of her needs are met. I want the best for her and I am doing the right thing and raising her in a good way. I just feel, for being a nanny, I lack the privilege to be tired, grumpy, sad, sick or just have lazy days, or days dedicated to only chores – my chores.

In my years of being childcare provider, there is one thing that I learned and I try to remind myself constantly.

It is not child’s fault. When I hate my job, when I want to quit, when I spend all day on couch pouting and texting, I am not angry at kid, I am angry at the parent.

And again, I feel I don’t have privilege to be angry at the parent because it is such a personal connection. It’s not company, it is not franchise. It’s another human being that I disagree with, and there is nothing I can do to fix it, but to remind myself – it is not child’s fault. She doesn’t need to feel the consequences of their parents treating me as a maid or not giving me sick days.

In order not to take it on a kid, I will write it here. A list of things that I wish I could tell my employers. Things that would not just make my life better, but maybe even theirs, and definitely their kid’s.

YOUR CHILD IS NOT A PET

I agree fully that getting a pet is a preparation for children and it teaches you in many ways how hard it will be. However, having a child is not like having a pet. I can’t have my days planned around her 2x/day walks.

YOUR KID IS ONLY TWO, LET HER BE TWO

I understand that being part of the higher class and living in part of the city where you can’t see house worth less than a million, you have certain reputation to maintain, but she is only two. I can’t teach her how to read, her manners can’t be perfect. You can’t get upset and give me new ways of handling her every time she misbehaves. I am expected to make her perfect robot kid, and you can’t handle 5 minutes with her without being done?

She is amazing. She is smart, cute and since I became her nanny, her manners and behavior are absolutely awesome, so why don’t you see that and why do you keep asking for things that can’t be reached yet? We are getting there, but forbidding her to read books that are “not good enough for her” will not make her better. She will become obnoxious snob without imagination and sense of humor. She will not know how to have fun and enjoy simple things.

Let her be two, please. She is amazing.  Why can’t you see that? Why is that not enough?

YOUR NANNY IS NOT YOUR MAID

I know every nanny complains about this, but let me explain.

If I, out of respect to you as individual that works so much, on occasion do your dishes or pick up your mail, that doesn’t mean that I don’t notice how little by little you leave every chore to me? Basically, in last 3 months your bi-weekly maid and I are doing everything in the household.

You can run your own dishwasher 3x a week and put it away, and I don’t see how it  is my job to vacuum living area on Monday morning after you had guests over weekend.

I don’t need to be paid extra, and I don’t need your thank you, but it’s not ok for you not to clean her peed-on clothes over weekend and leave it for me. It is not ok when after your day off “you didn’t have time” and you made me chore list that has nothing to do with childcare. You can’t expect me to be ok with that and stay as motivated childcare provider for your child.

My goal was and still is to make your life better, easier. Don’t make me resent you over silly things.

RESPECT ME IF YOU WANT ME TO RESPECT YOU

It is funny to me how you try to cut my paid hours for at least 30 minutes every single week. If my 12$ will make a change in your budget, then you can have it, but don’t think of me as stupid for not mentioning it. It is just ridiculous to me. I am an adult with my own family and plans, you can’t ask me to work 13h day and then not pay overtime, or even better – give me only 10 days of vacation that you pay me less than promised and you tell me when am I allowed to take it. Also, when I come 5 minutes early so we can discuss day and talk little bit so you don’t have to be late for work, and two of you leave to garage to maintain conversation for 20 minutes with barely saying hi to me- not okay!

THERE IS NO NEED FOR NANNY CAM IN THE BATHROOM

Nothing left to say. If you hired me, checked my references, if you believed I was capable enough to take care of your child, then why need for cameras? I can’t relax in your house and I spend every single moment hiding in a corner that camera doesn’t reach.

Check my post on this topic here

COMMUNICATE

I know you like your privacy and you made it very clear there are boundaries, but when you don’t tell me when kid’s birthday is – that is messed up!

I don’t need to know about you, and your plans, your life, but I spend 10 hours a day in your home with your child. If you don’t remember to send me text on Christmas Day or tell me how was her sleeping schedule over weekend, so I can prepare, how can you expect me to enjoy my job and do it properly?

Or you don’t care do I like it, as long as I am never late? Which btw that one and only time I was late for 5 minutes, is nothing comparing to your every single day coming later than what I’ve been told.

DON’T HAVE DOUBLE STANDARDS FOR CHILD’S DAILY ROUTINE

I have so many problems with this. If you force me to potty train her (read my experience on this link)  when she is not ready, and I manage to do it, why don’t you follow up? Why is she in diaper as soon as I leave the house, but every morning you tell me again to reinforce it?

If I need to force her to take a nap every day, why do you give in on her crying and don’t even try? That is the reason why she is that way with you, because she can. If I am not allowed to have TV time with her, how come you give her movies every weekend? I would be ok with all the rules if you followed too, or I would be ok with this if you didn’t have chore list for me to obey to. The way you treat me when I try to share my tips and ways how I get her to do things, makes me feel humiliated. Saying you don’t need my advice, you just need me to what you told me to, is not ok.

YOUR KID IS NOT INCONVENIENCE

This adds up to several previous issues. Taking several vacations in a year and not bringing her with on any of them, waking her up at 6 am because you wanted to go to Farmers Market first thing in the morning and many other ways you expressed and showed that it is pain in the ass to have her with, makes me really sad.

Makes me sad for you and for her. I feel you have her to show her around when necessary and then shove her to me or your mother when you are done. You already work 50-60 hours a week and never see her, you never play with her. Why do you need additional time away from her, and even better, why did you have her if you were not aware of commitment it would demand?

DON’T MICROMANAGE ME

I can not express how much I dislike this part. I don’t need daily chart of chores, I don’t want you to tell me what I need to give her to eat for every meal. I don’t want to text you every AM what are we doing and where are we going, and if nowhere, why do I think it is a good decision. I don’t like the lack of trust in every aspect of my job.

I am capable, I am doing this job for years, and even in the time with you I showed you I am dependable and capable, so why don’t you let me show you how much better I can be if you leave me alone?

I am required to have monthly, unpaid, meetings with you about our progress and situations we are dealing with. I am constantly being observed and it bugs me a lot. I know you are a parent, I respect that and I want you to be included in every way, but I need some freedom. I am not 12-year old next door girly babysitting for you. I can do this. Just trust me.

One of the reasons why I feel frustrated is because I know if my employers were not satisfied with me, they would fire me, they would tell me, they would make me go over contract again. If I was the bad one, they would not hesitate to fix the problem, so every single day I ask myself – Why am I not doing the same?

job appreciate quote

Why do I respect them? I saw the way they treated former nanny, I know I am not a family, I know as soon as I leave, I am forgotten, so why do I still try to make their life better?

Is that making me good nanny, or just naïve one?

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    A.
    April 14, 2015 at 1:10 am

    I agree with all of it, worked twice i  family like that, didn’t stay more then 4 weeks, i hate that feeling that i care about kids more than their mother. I would add more and more to this list, don’t have time now, but will pm you soon. My fav lately is ‘im so poor, i don’t have money’ earning 7k a month plus a husband earning double than that. If they would know that i live for 300£ per week spending all for living, not being able to save or buy house, they would probably get shocked. They really don’t understand that 10-20£ more for us its a lot, so paying for venues to entertain kids from our money is not ok. Ehh could write for hours.  Cheers for all dedicated nannies:)

    • Reply
      Funny Nanny
      April 15, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you A, for sharing. I am looking forward to hear from you. 🙂

    • Reply
      Thelma
      February 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      As a working mum I will say that I agree on some of the points, others not so much…
      Your nanny is not your maid. I understand expecting the nanny to wash the children’s clothes/ dishes or anything they’ve used around the house but a list of household chores, not okay. I’m also against unexplained docking of pay and not giving sick days. I want the person watching my child not to take out their frustrations on my child.

      I will say however that this is a JOB. Like any other job… yes it’s more sensitive in nature and relies on a lot more judgement calls but the parents don’t have to chat with you before work and can ask that you do whatever they want with their kids. It’s none of your business what they do when you leave. You are paid to do a job and the reason they might be so short with you is because they are tired of hearing your opinions, suggestions and tones of judgement.

      Her kid might be an inconvenience to her and that’s why she pays for a nanny. Not everyone can afford a nanny over daycare. I don’t understand how one can feel used when they are being paid for a service. I don’t care whether my boss appreciates me or not, I do my job to the best of my ability in hopes of not getting fired. If you feel this deeply, please just quit. They will find someone who will do all of the things you hate for the right price.

      • Reply
        Funny Nanny
        February 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm

        Thank you Thelma, this post was written by the previous Funny Nanny and I like you agree that there are certain things that are not in line with what a Nanny should be doing. Thank you for sharing your opinion on this matter.

      • Reply
        Bam Kablam
        March 27, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        The funny nanny was making her point about toilet trainings and nap times not being reinforced on her days off. Sorry Thelma but you don’t deserve a good nanny with that myopic imperious self absorbed attitude.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      November 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      If you ever get a job in Corporate America, keep in mind that you will be treated worse. Every time you try to take a day off, you’ll get attitude. Some employers want you to take 2 weeks back to back while others do not let you take more than 1 week at a time. If you need sick days, toughen up unless you are in the hospital. It’s very likely you’ll have to wait a year before you get any vacation/sick days/personal days anyway. Also, you’ll get free coffee when you are tired, not a nap unless you work for some ultra-progressive companies. Not doing something you are supposed to because you don’t feel like it will not work in Corporate America. As far as people are concerned, you will have a problem with many people’s behavior and the kid’s mom will appear to be an angel sent from God as a blessing in comparison with some of your coworkers and bosses.

  • Reply
    Daniella S.
    April 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    everything written in this article is very true ,and i really wish parents in this group to hive some answers .

     i just feel that most parents ,not all of them but most of them dont really want a nanny ..they want a girl good at everything ,they want cleaner ,nanny ,babysitter ,dog walker ..all in one without paying extra ..when comes to money no one wants to pay …why dear parents ?…and i would add one extra thing that bugs me and was not mentioned in the article …our job involves to be profesional and to give love to the children ,we are taking care of someone very precious for you ..but still no appreciation ,many times no thank you ,no nothing …thats frustrating ,just makes one feel used .

  • Reply
    RL
    April 15, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I once got told by the child’s mother that she was not maternal and that is why she hired me! Very sad indeed.

    • Reply
      Perin Hankins
      January 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Wow that IS sad!

  • Reply
    Alena
    April 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    100% on point.

  • Reply
    ana dedic
    April 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    With my hf i have experienced every single one of this things and i still do except i dont have a plan or a list for things to do aka my schedule or however you write it and i am expected to know that i have to do all those things that have nothing to do with childcare

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 16, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    This is amazing! Sometimes you don’t share how you feel with other nannies etc and feel like you are the only one who feels like this but when you read this it makes you feel better in a way. Xx

  • Reply
    Sasi
    November 11, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Oh how I love to read your posts, you always have the guts to write it how it is. I think we have a big problem in our line of work as we seem to be affraid to speak our mind especially if we are treather badly. We seem to protect a plastic idea of a Nanny, as we are expected to be a certain way and should make no mistakes. Being in exactly same situation at the moment I can’t express enought how true everything is-to the last word. Keep up the great writing and interesting topics xx

  • Reply
    Dan
    July 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    You should not be a nanny if thisnis how you feel.

  • Reply
    Perin Hankins
    January 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Get a contract written up about your pay and your duties before you go to work for anyone and both of you sign it. That way there are no misunderstandings about pay, overtime pay, PTO, your duties, etc.

  • Reply
    Joan
    March 7, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Wow. This post is very negative. As a mom who has hired a few nannies over the years (and who is actually still close friends years later with one former nanny), I agree that pay & sick time & ways of showing appreciation & being open for communication are all necessary elements of the parent/nanny equation. And I understand that nannies are professionals, and they care deeply for the children. HOWEVER. The nanny is not the parent, and the parents are the ones paying the nanny to do what they ask. If parents ask a nanny to read certain books or take walks with their child WHY is that so hard for a nanny to do?? You are not the parent, so you can disagree with choices but you don’t need to judge or think you know better. If a nanny doesn’t want to do certain household tasks, that should have been clearly outlined in his or her contract and s/he should bring it up during these monthly conferences (which, by the way, SHOULD be paid for- any nanny who doesn’t ask for this is just allowing him or herself to be walked over). I find this post incredibly disturbing in that a nanny would even MENTION the POSSIBILITY of taking her anger (and as far as I can see, she is angry about most everything in this dynamic) on a child! Maaaaaybe this is the reason for the nanny cam?- this nanny is scary, every parent’s nightmare when leaving their child with someone else! This nanny comes off as extremely judgemental (judge not lest he be judged, frankly! you are not there 24/7 to have figured it all out, anyway), sanctimonious and bitter. If a job is really making a nanny feel so extremely put-out, and parental requests and attitudes and philosophies are so mismatched with those of the nanny, he or she needs to leave ASAP so both parties can end the toxic relationship.

    • Reply
      Bam Kablam
      March 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Wow… As if any toxicity in any nanny equation is the absolute fault of the nanny. She is NOT saying that she would take the anger out on a child.. She is saying she would never do that. You are just seeing what you want to see and trying to make yourself feel superior because you are the one hiring the nanny. Here’s a newsflash for you Joan: Chances are, that after a very short time, that nanny knows considerably more about your dynamically changing child than you do because you have made the decision to spend your days in pursuit of material gain instead of to be at home taking care of your child…. Something to think about….

      • Reply
        Monique
        June 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm

        Judgmental much? So women who work have chosen material gain over motherhood?
        I would be offended if that weren’t so ridiculous.

        I’m a lawyer and like a nanny, I’m privy to the most intimate parts of a person’s life. It’s an honor and a privilege that I don’t take lightly. It is not my place (nor a nannies) to pass judgment on their life choices.

    • Reply
      Jil
      July 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      I agree with you Joan, this individual here sounds very angry and unhappy with her career choices.

    • Reply
      Paige Hamilton
      September 16, 2017 at 6:46 am

      You have it completely wrong Joan. You go into a nanny job after having discussed expectations and such, but as I discuss with parents at every interview, the moment you see how HELPFUL it is to have another pair of hands around the house… suddenly more tasks get added on. Tasks that don’t childcare and are house care. One day it might be “hey would you mind doing the dishes I got so preoccupied last night” and me being the accommodating nanny understanding that life can be hectic, especially with children will oblige. Then the next day it might be “could you sweep the floor, I meant to before work but completely forgot” then so on before suddenly you have a chore list. And when you try to talk to the parent about it, MOST parents don’t understand a nannies job and what a nanny does, and think that it’s just part of the job. I can’t tell you how many parents have abused this and even after talking with them nicely about it explaining it’s a lot they are asking and when we held the initial interview none of this was discussed, it’s “you’re making this into a big deal it’s just a few extra chores” or ” all you do is watch the children all day, you have time to do this stuff” or better yet” or sorry we will try better” and then they don’t. Often times it comes down to having to quit the job or stay and put up with it. There are NO nanny rights when it comes to this line of work. I can’t go complain to HR that my boss is now asking to be a nanny AND house manager and still only pay me for a nanny (because most parents think the 2 are the same and so will pay the same) That is where that frustration comes from. Not to mention how many times I’ve worked full weeks to not receive pay? That is very frustrating. However I am a nanny in a low class area and often drive 45 min to the mid area to be able to get a decent job. Let me tell you about one job I had working for 2 incredibly successful doctors. I was supposed to work mon-thurs 7-6 and fri 7-5. They also had a weekend nanny so that on their off days they could go out without the kids (this is why someone would say all they care about is material gain and see their children as inconveniences, out of a 7 day week they maybe see their kids for a total of 5 hours. Not because of work, but because of their social life) Eventually the weekend nanny quit as the expectations were for the house to be incredibly immaculate when the parents got home, no sign of children allowed in the house. So I then had to take on the weekends until they found a replacement.We had a bad winter storm one Saturday. My car SLID down the block. I could not drive it at all, my neighborhood was covered in ice. I made the phone call to the mom and her response was ” Insert father name was expecting to go hang with his friends now what is he supposed to do all day with the kids!?” No concern at all for my safety. Eventually she had me stay till 9 and started adding more chores and errands to run. Being drs I was making fantastic money but I was stuck in a hard place. It was WAY more work than discussed at the interview, discussions about it were completely ignored and I was told I looked like death from my friends and family from having to do everything required of me. They never increased the pay with the workload and I definitely should have been making at least 5 more an hour with all the add ons. But now, this is the part where as a nanny we HATE double standards. I’m with the kids from the moment they wake up till they go to sleep. When we get asked to potty train and we’re making incredible process only for the weekend to happen, parents don’t follow through with their own request and I have to start ALL over the next week. Not only is it damaging to a child’s psyche its mentally frustrating to a nanny. Why do you think teachers get the summer off or parents hire nannies? Child are mentally tiring! Doesn’t mean we think of them any less, but it takes a lot to deal with children with the hours we nannies work and to come to work to discover all our progress is gone. It would be like you going to work having spent the whole week working on a report that completely exhausted you only to find your coworker erased it because he needed to use the computer but was too lazy to save it… can you imagine how frustrating that would be. All the hard work you did only for someone else to ruin it. And what’s more difficult is they ARE the parents so it’s not like I can say listen you guys need to get on board if you want your child potty trained this isn’t acceptable and they aren’t going to learn this way. I’ve potty trained tons of toddlers, where the parents literally only had them on the weekend, and come Monday all potty training has gone out the window because the parent said they didn’t want to deal with it. It’s frustrating to me yes, but it’s even more frustrating because now I have a child who with mommy and daddy is told one thing and with me is told another. It’s confusing to the child, it undermines my authority over the child as their caretaker because “if mommy and daddy don’t make me do it then I don’t have to listen when you tell me to”. It’s more than just the parent not following through, it creates a snow ball affect. Now for nannies who work part time, yes this is way different because they really aren’t their for the majority of the child’s upbringing. But as full time nannies who spend more time with the children than the parents, yes it’s frustrating to see the child struggling to make sense of everything. And not to mention a nanny who spends more time with the child than the parent WOULD know the child better than the parent and that’s were conflicting opinions and ideas would come in. The dr family I nannied for had a 7 year old boy with above intelligence. I understood that even though us level of intelligence was equivalent to a middle schoolers his maturity wasn’t. His parents did not, so with his angry outburst they would immediately jump upon him yelling at him about how inappropriate his behavior was. Since I spent more time with him than them I recognized it as him being overwhelmed and not knowing how to process it. I would tell him he had 5 minutes to be angry and to let it all out, then we would sit down and discuss how we can better handle those moments so he doesn’t get so frustrated. I’m sorry, but in this moment, yelling like the parents did was not the right thing. That is what us nannies are saying when it comes to disagreeing with a parenting style. This is where frustration as a nanny comes in. It’s not about how difficult our job becomes, but how it affects the child. And unfortunately most nanny jobs are like this… at least in my area. I’ve worked with few families who truly respected their nanny. Nannies are like teachers in the US…. completely I under appreciated.

  • Reply
    Funny Nanny
    March 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Dear Joan, thank you for your comment, I really do appreciate it. This post was written by the previous owner of the blog and does not represent the views of the current owner, me.

  • Reply
    Shelly
    March 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    WOW! This article was on point! I think that all nannies have been here at some point. I just quit a very toxic nanny position which the article highlighted many atrocities that I put up with. I think we as nannies want to feel like we are apart of a collaborative effort and not some expendable house slave. It’s good to know that I am not alone.

  • Reply
    empathicshifter
    July 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Sorry you all had such a poor experience! The families I’ve worked for have all been wonderful. Or at least, were casual and not uptight about how things should be. I guess I’m fortunate!

  • Reply
    Treens
    August 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    As a mother who has had 2 nannies and a childminder quit on her after only a few weeks, I can’t understand why you don’t just bring these points up with the parents? I invest a great deal of time, effort and money into finding the right nanny for my children because yes, it is scary to leave them alone with someone you don’t know (regardless of references), only for them to quit after a few weeks disappointing the children and throwing our family into disarray. None of the points in this article seemed unreasonable (except for the angry texting on the couch bit – in what paid job is that ok?), so why can’t nannies just tell me what’s bothering them so we can work it out instead of stewing about it?

    • Reply
      Paige hamilton
      September 16, 2017 at 6:57 am

      I worked for a family for only a few weeks before. Their expectations on the job were incredibly high. Educate and watch children but also make sure the house is clean BUT the children come first so if they ask to play you go play. However that meant not all the chores would get done… which the family were not happy about. They expected all the chores to be done and the children to be given complete undivided attention to… which even as parents that’s impossible. They were asking for 2 jobs but paying for only 1. They said one thing at the interview and in the contract, but in person was the complete opposite. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be a good fit. I tried explaining to them, but the didn’t see how difficult it was to follow through with. This was quite a few months ago and they are still having issues finding a nanny. So my suggestion to look at what you’re asking and what your pay is. Nannying includes taking care of the child and any chores that involve the child ( toys being picked up, dishes used being clean, their laundry) that’s a certain pay. Now if you’re asking more: errands to be ran, household chores and such, that would increase how much you are paying. Let’s saying you are paying a nanny 10/hr but you now also want her to do grocery shopping for you, manage all house hold chores and run errands… the hourly rate just went to 15/hr.

      My only other assumption would be the children. Unfortunately I’ve nannied for families where the children have NO rules and absolutely refuse to listen and honestly are just mean. Sorry but it’s just not worth the pay if the parents aren’t willing to back me up or see that there’s an issue.

      So I would see if maybe one of those are the issues. If not then I can’t see why this would be happening and I’m really sorry! I know how frustrating and inconvenient it can be to hire someone and a few weeks later have to restart the whole process again. Maybe try at interviews having the nanny candidate explain what they think you’re saying the job will entail. That way you can see if both of you are on the same page 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly
    September 6, 2017 at 8:39 am

    It’s funny because I struggle a lot with the family I work for and every time it comes to money, it’s so hard for them to talk about it. My one year anniversary came up and I got nothing, NOTHING. Not even a big thank you for being a nanny even though I went through emotions, stress, and anxiety with the way this family is. Let me tell you, if the marriage is effed up and the kids are raised differently every time you’re gone, RUN. You will just hate your job and it’s not worth being mad at the kid(s) when it’s the parents fault. Kids grow up to be just like their parents so the same attitude the parents have, I noticed the kids act the same way and it’s horrifying.

  • Reply
    Anne-Adelia Walscotte
    September 30, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The original blog is more of a “vent” that needs to be aired. If it hits a nerve with certain parents, then maybe that’s a nerve that needs awakening. The sorry truth is that many parents have idealistic expectations of “nanny;” they envision someone who can keep the house spotless while preparing the family’s dinner in between feeding the pets while reading a Caldecott-medal winning storybook to the twin toddlers dandling on her knees. (I’ve used “she” to refer to the nanny for the purpose of simplicity).

    I think the appellation, “Nanny,” needs reevaluation. A nanny’s job, whether she lives in or out, relates, for the most part, to child care. Common sense defines a housekeeper as one who tends to household-related chores. A cook is a cook, and so on. The person who runs the errands for the family could be any one of the three aforementioned workers, or all three, depending on the errand and how it relates to the household.

    Taking care of children is a very demanding job with a paucity of “down time.” How can parents expect the nanny to perform in a stellar manner with their children if she is emptying the dishwasher, making dinner for the FAMILY, sorting laundry, making the beds, and collecting dog poo from the backyard? To demand duties that extend beyond the children’s care will result in diminished returns, with the children as losers. Some families have the temerity to request a nanny who will, in essence, “entertain the children at all times” in tandem with managing all household tasks. Some parents demand the nanny engage herself with housework while the children nap. Maybe this requirement falls within the parents/employers’ definition of “getting their money’s worth.”

    It could be a temptation in the present economy to want to tack on non-child-related duties for the nanny, but if parents make enough money to travel, live in nice homes in exclusive neighborhoods, and enjoy active social lives, they can afford to hire the appropriate persons for the pertinent jobs.

    They can also afford to reimburse the nanny for services performed in excess of her usual hours and to ensure compensation for gasoline when the nanny uses her own vehicle or money for transporting children. If parents find themselves trying to score a three-in-one by expecting the nanny to do everything, perhaps they shouldn’t have a nanny at all. Or, if they insist on that one-nanny-fits-all arrangement, they should be prepared to make the necessary adjustments — an increase in the typical salary given to the typical nanny performing only child-care tasks, and a possible decrease in the quality of care given to the children.

    An article (2009) from the LA Times addresses this topic, “Nannies take on extra duties as households economize:” http://www.latimes.com/style/la-hm-nanny21-2009mar21-story.html. If anything, the subject is more relatable now than it was then. Parents should read and take heed; nannies who find themselves the victims of “job creep” (nannies use this term to describe the adding-on by their employers of tasks unrelated to child care) might do themselves a favor by reading it as well.

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