Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Somewhere Along the East Coast
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I have had the same nanny for four years and she's about to leave (she's pregnant with her first child). Our new one has started and for the next month we are transitioning slowly since my nearly 4 year old is devastated she is leaving.
Nanny is a BROAD term. My nanny did the children's laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, and picked up the rooms where they played. She was always out at the park, the library, playdates, etc-and she always had her phone with her so we could check in, etc. Did she talk on the phone walking back from the library while my son slept in the stroller (of course-I would do the same)-AND don't flame me for using a stroller-I can't expect another woman to sling my 30lb toddler for a mile walk. I might do it, but she doesn't have to.
When my nanny told me she was leaving she broke down and CRIED and thanked me for treating her like a human being for the past four years. We had mutual respect-she did her job and I did mine (I work from home so I'm around). I gave her the space to do her job, didn't undermine while she was at work, and let her bond with and love my child. If I wanted a servant (which I don't) I would have hired one.
Fast forward: my new nanny is a young woman trying to pull herself up from a rough childhood. She LOVES children, is an amazingly talented artist, and adores my two boys. They love her back. I gave her a cell phone (she didn't have one) so that I would feel better knowing if anything happened (let's face it-boys fall down A LOT) then she could call me for help if she needed it. We did a trial period for about 2 weeks to see if she liked us and we liked her-when I asked her if she wanted to stay, she teared up too. She couldn't believe that she had found such a wonderful job.
I work 9-5 so she works 9-5. I occasionally travel so there are longer hours once in awhile. No weekends. I don't want her scrubbing anything-just leave the house the way you found it and maybe fold the laundry if the baby is napping and you're bored. I found when you GIVE people space, they want to do more. At least with these two women.
At her last job she was exploited. There isn't any other way to state. The parents were both doctors-they salaried her and she often worked 12-14 hour days. They required her to bring her own food. She worked weekends too-for even less per hour because there were two kids (she just had the baby during the week). These parents were NEVER home. She made so little she could afford to eat 1 meal a day when she got home. And they made her wear scrubs so she wouldn't "infect" the children with any germs she brought in from the outside.
That is APPALLING and is indecent behavior IMO. She thinks I'm a dream-but I treat her like I treat my children-WITH RESPECT.
Being a nanny is tough stuff. I shudder at thinking how most of them are treated. I just don't understand how people can treat other people so horribly...but I guess some people feel that's ok.