Here is the deal. I have not worked since my 6 year old daughter was born. She started 1st grade this year in a private school (we homeschooled last year), and I also have a 19 year old that still lives with us. I started thinking that I should probably find a part time job because we need the extra money, but I didn't want to have to put my daughter in after school care. So a friend of mine told me she knew a lady looking for a part time nanny. It got me to thinking about nannying. I thought it would be the perfect fit because I like being around kids, the pay is good and if I needed to bring my daughter on her days off from school and in the summer I could. I ended up getting the job. I have been doing now for 5 months. It is only on Fridays and it's for two boys, ages 2 and 4, and it's from 8 to 5:30. Yes, it pays well ($13/hr), I can bring my daughter if I need to so I don't have to pay for daycare, it's only one day a week and it only involves very light housework. I put away 2 loads of already washed and dried laundry and then make sure to clean up after any messes the boys may make. So why do I dread it so much??? I thought it would be fun because I really like being around kids, but this is WORK. It's not enjoyable to me. Maybe it's because I'm older now (40) and because it's not my own kids, but I find it harder than I expected. I took them to story time at the library this morning. I thought it would be a good way to get out of the house and the boys would find it fun. First off, it was a total chore to get them dressed and ready to go. The 4 year old complained about not wanting to go and the 2 year old, well, he was being 2. They don't listen well at all. They tune me out half the time and I have to repeat myself numerous times to get them to do what I need them to do. Anyway, we get to the library and it was great...for about 20 minutes. Then they both started getting squirmy and rambunctious. The 2 year old fell out on the floor and threw a fit because I wanted him to stay by me instead of running all around the library. It's frustrating because neither one of my kids acted like this, and I want to make sure I don't discipline too harshly because they are not my own. I also dread having to change the 2 year old's poopy diapers and wipe the 4 year old's poopy butt after using the bathroom. There is just something about changing other kids' bottoms.
Fridays roll around and I find myself hating to have to go nanny. I have thought about just getting a different part time job, but where the heck am I going to find something that pays this well with this much flexibility? And I really don't want to put this family in a bind by leaving. They were hoping for a 2 year commitment from me; although, they have the option of sending the boys to the mom's job's onsite daycare, which is where they go the other days of the week. She just likes to give them a day at home. But I also think I would be happier working with other people/adults. I am just wondering if I am in a season of my life where I am needing to do something for myself that doesn't involve taking care of kids since my kids are not that little anymore. I just feel so guilty feeling like this. I feel like such a a failure/wimp that I can't handle ONE day a week with these boys. Again, I love kids. So what the heck is wrong with me? Should I just suck it up? And for the record, so nobody wonders this, I am very good to these boys. I am in no way mean or intolerant with them because of me not wanting to do this job. I love children and feel they are precious. I bake for them, do crafts with them, go for walks, etc. because I am really trying to do a good job since this is my job. I also try and think if I had a nanny how would I want her to be.
So...thoughts, suggestions, encouragement? Help!
Oh, and one more thing. The 2 year old is constantly sick with thick, very green, goopy gunk in his nose. It has been like this since I started. I don't like it when my daughter has to come with me and is around his sickness.
Well, as my mother would say: "If it wasn't work, they wouldn't pay you for it."
I think the question is, is the level of effort worth the $450 a month that it looks like they're paying you. Caring for kids is hard work. And the kids are at somewhat hard ages, which you've already passed with your daughter, and so it's harder to deal with in other people's kids.
I don't know how long you've been doing this, but remember that even if you've been doing it for a month, they boys have only seen you 4 times. That may actually be part of the problem -- you're really still getting to know one another, and it's going to be very slow going if you're only there 1 day a week. And 2 year olds who are in daycare do tend to be sick more often. The good news is that they build up their immunity and by the time summer rolls around, I suspect he'll be through the worst of it, and it won't be so bad next year. As I'm sure you know, their behavior at library story time sounds perfectly age appropriate, even if your daughter never did that. So what it suggests is that maybe you need a different kind of outing. How about a simple trip to the park?
Question: What else can you do for the same money that wouldn't involve putting your daughter in after care. Can you get a job working a few evenings/weekends?
Another question: In your fantasy life, what do you see yourself doing as a job you love? What steps can you take to make it there? If caring for small children isn't part of your desires, can you stick it out 2 years as a step to something else? If you can't, I think you'd be better off giving notice sooner rather than later. It's OK to say, "I thought I could do this job, but I've found out that I don't work well in this kind of environment."
Well it sounds like it isn't the job you thought it would be, maybe because you weren't really thinking of it as a job but as play.
Work doesn't have fun. The kids sound normal and the situation sounds ideal. I'd accept that you don't love it but that they situation is a good one for you right now. And maybe reduce your expectations of what you need from the job and focus on the positives. A schedule is probably a good thing and that age, sometimes less might be more.
I'd also say that part of the problem is that it is only one day a week. It is hard to have a good relationship at that age with once a week care.
Do you have a bill that cost $400.00 a month? Or 4 bills that are $100.00 a month?
I know its easier for me to work (outside the home, where I can take DD, about 10 house a week) knowing that Im paying for something that we need. For example, can you think to yourself, "well, this sucks, but I paid the water bill with just one days work!" or "this day has paid for half of our insurance." I dont know, thats the thinking that keeps me moving :)
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)