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to ask for your positive stories on being a Nanny/having a Nanny?

(17 Posts)
NotAnotherNameChangeAgain Mon 02-May-16 15:41:24

I've been a Nanny for almost 7 years now, I've worked a handful of "permanent" jobs and a lot more temporary jobs.
In this time (and amongst 25+ roles) I have only had a couple of genuinely positive experiences.
I am qualified, experienced in all age groups, have a degree, several CPD qualifications (eg. Makaton Practitioner) and genuinely believe that I'm good at my job (despite being naturally self-deprecating) - at least I've always been loved by the kids and other staff members.

Despite this, I've been fired for no reason* with no notice (notable examples being a 5 year old having a tantrum and demanding a new nanny - I was his 19th nanny)
I've been screamed at by parents, belittled, insulted and treated like a servant.
I've been physically attacked by children who's parents have witnessed it and allowed it.

In the last 18 months, I've left a permanent job because the father was abusive to staff and I then witnessed him beating one of his sons with a weapon (aged 4 - I reported him to the police and obviously left the role). I have also left a permanent job because one Mum would not allow me to leave the house and forced me to work 3-4 hours extra a day, plus Saturdays and/or Sundays for no additional pay.
After 7 months, I finally left my latest permanent upon the advice of dozens of MNettters over on the Childcare board as the Mother was exceptionally controlling and possibly slightly mad.

I have many, many, many horror stories but I don't want this to be scary long.

I've taken a break from nannying for now, I run a side business which I've been relying on and have taken an extended sunny holiday but at some point soon I'm going to have to start job-hunting again.
The thing is that I'm now exceptionally anxious about returning to work.
I'm not really trained in anything else so from a practical point of view nannying is my best financial option but despite everything, I love my job - or at least want to.
I miss the children from my longer term positions desperately and absolutely love being a carer and an educator.

Does anyone have any stories about being a Nanny (or how much they love their Nanny) so that I can be less terrified of returning to work?

Thanks so much in advance and sorry for this being so LONG!

*the agencies have always said after the placement that the families go through Nannies like tissues - never has an agency raised any genuine issues with me.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Mon 02-May-16 16:25:30

I was a nanny once, pretty much by accident as I don't have any formal qualifications, I was between jobs at the time. Their previous nanny had been sacked and she was desperate for some help. Two years and I loved it. One of the parents was a bit "challenging" and so was one of the children at first but it turned out fine in the end.

I never understood why a woman who didn't work actually needed a full-time nanny. She was almost always in the house but not available to the three children, only one which was in primary school. The other two littlies were at home all day. This was never part of my upbringing, so I couldn't understand it. Still don't.

I think what she really needed was a housekeeper plus some company. I was officially called their nanny but also did all of the to-and-from nursery, shopping, meals, laundry and toy-tidying, so was a virtual housekeeper

OP if you've had too many unhappy placements I think you should treat your interview as you interviewing them, not the other way round. Get the agency to show you their references before you meet the family.

Good nannies are as rare as rocking-horse shit, so you should be able to be very, very picky. I met a lot of nannies in my two years and some of them I wouldn't put in charge of a ruddy dog, never mind little pre-school age children.

Gatehouse77 Mon 02-May-16 16:26:55

I got most of my jobs through The Lady magazine - don't know if it's still used by employers?

My best jobs were with the least wealthy but, obviously, affluent. Their expectations were much more in line with mine. They were just more down to earth. Did I earn megabucks? No. Were there lots of 'perks' to the job? No. But I was happy with the give and take. I was never hounded when off sick as I know other nannies were. I agreed to one night a week babysitting and any extra was at an agreed rate. However, if they were caught in traffic, stuffed by public transport and a bit late I didn't charge them.

Any ways, being like minded was the key aspect for me. I turned down jobs where I knew I wouldn't fit in with their expectations. Likewise those that offered extras above and beyond the norm - to me, it smacked of desperation and a likelihood of going through many nannies.

Be confident that your skills are worth it and wait for the right job. Don't be swayed by cute kid! Also, it's worth asking if you can spend a morning/afternoon with the family (not current nanny) to observe how they function as a family. That may decide for you.

tangerino Mon 02-May-16 16:30:33

I had a nanny when I was FT at work and it was brilliant, as was she- I wouldn't have dreamt of shouting and screaming at her, how dreadful.

OTOH she was a great source of gossip about which parents were like this, as she would often arrange playdates with other nannies and experience how rude other parents were to their nannies. Quite an eye opener to discover that certain mums at school who are lovely at the school gates are complete nightmares behind closed doors!

Do you have any nanny friends, or friends who might want to employ you as a nanny? Word of mouth recommendations might help you avoid some of the more awful employers.

ErNope Mon 02-May-16 16:35:25

I was a nanny for a year and never again. I love kids, don't have any yet but love them. I won't go into it as you asked for positive stories but my sister (who's been a nanny for 14yrs) has had some horrendous experiences but overall about 80 percent have been positive. she's been with the same family now for nearly 3 years and never wants to leave.

jkdnanny Mon 02-May-16 16:36:24

You had over 25 roles in 7yrs? Could it be that some of the roles didn't last long enough for you to really get comfortable or make the job your own? I've been a nanny for 14yrs now and on the whole have had good experiences. The main thing is to know what you're looking for and not settle.

I have a nanny. She's amazing. I thank my lucky stars that she came into our lives Every Single Day. She's going on maternity leave soon and I have no idea what we'll do without her.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 02-May-16 16:45:26

I'm a nanny, my first long term job was for a family that treated me quite badly but I loved the kids and wanted a long term job on my cv so I stayed for 2 long years.

My next job was for a single mum and 3 children and I loved it, I was treated like family and I still see them all regularly, I worked with them for 3 years and was made redundant because mum had to give up work due to Ill health.

The next job I was there for 7 years and was treated well, loved the children and only left last year when my own son was born as their childcare needs changed and didn't work for a nwoc, I still see them regularly.

My current job is amazing, my boss is lovely, my charge is incredibly sweet and my son is treated like family.

There are some really lovely families out there OP I think you've just been very unlucky

SewButtons Mon 02-May-16 16:45:54

I am a nanny currently and I love it, I work for three families (nanny share most of the week and one day with one family). All three families are great and I love the kids. The thought of leaving my current families makes me feel tearful even though I know I've got at least 4 more years there.

My last job was not great, mb made life very difficult and so when looking for a new job I was very aware that getting on with the parents was more important than anything else. I can love any child but if the parents don't provide a good work environment then the job is never going to work out.

If you've had that many bad experiences then my advice would be to remember in interviews that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. If they have had nannies previously you would be perfectly reasonable to ask for a reference from them.
I've also never gone through agencies for any of my jobs, I use childcare or word of mouth. In my experience (possibly due to location) the parents who are willing to pay out huge agency fees are usually the ones who have had trouble finding a nanny and there is usually a reason why. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone but it's worth bearing in mind,.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 02-May-16 17:00:34

I am a nanny and have been for almost 9 years now!

It can be a great career. I love forming a bond with the children [currently looking after 2 children I've had from birth] and seeing them grow up/develop, reach milestones. Everyday is different and I enjoy the variety my week provides me.

I have had 2 long term positions in the 9 years [1 almost 5 years and the other (my current position) 2] In the first position my boss and I had a good relationship, however as time went on, I was willing to put up with stuff because I loved the little one; however this wasn't good for me. In my current position I knew more about what I would/wouldn't put up with and made sure to interview the parents as much as they interviewed me. I made a great decision choosing this job; we work well together [96% of the time] and I love going to work. They are interested in me as a person and want us to have a positive relationship as they see me as part of the family but we ensure that things are dealt with professionally - we have monthly meetings, we email each other to raise any issues [children's behaviour heads up - sometime easier for us to communicate like this instead of infront of preschoolers, little moans, information that we need to know re preschool/family visits/holidays]

NotAnotherNameChangeAgain Mon 02-May-16 17:15:01

You had over 25 roles in 7yrs?

I think 25 may be an overestimate if I sit down and think about it, though the majority of the those were temp jobs (1-4 weeks each) and 4 are babysitting roles.

NotAnotherNameChangeAgain Mon 02-May-16 17:17:37

Thank you all, I'm definitely going to be very picky at interview.
The last job, however, was WONDERFUL at interview (and actually for the 1st few weeks) so I'm somewhat nervous of that

FanDabbyFloozy Mon 02-May-16 17:18:49

I've often been shocked with the way people treat their nannies, never in front of others but behind closed doors. My current Nanny (wonderful) tells me that the best jobs are those with two professional people who work hard, who are affluent but not super rich, who spend their weekends with their kids and are not looking for excuses to be out of town/whatever without them. I thought that was pretty much all parents but I have had my eyes opened with stories from her Nanny friends, including one with a family I had recommended on the basis of how lovely they are!

mmgirish Mon 02-May-16 17:45:58

I have a nanny. I love her. She has a close bond with my children especially the wee one. My oldest is four and has always had a nanny. He thinks every child has one.

Have you thought about doing something else with children? Retraining as a teacher maybe?

fiorentina Mon 02-May-16 18:01:23

I'm very happy with our nanny. I like to think we are fair employers. She is after all looking after our children so why would I want her to dislike us? I try and be fair with money, time off, be flexible where we can and ensure the children are flexible. She's free to organise activities she is happy to do with them apart from the odd play date where I've prearranged with her. I hope she enjoys working with my children, I enforce respect for everyone and would back her up on discipline. I know some people who don't treat Their nanny particularly nicely and I don't understand it. I like to be a professional manager as with my team at work? Hope you find a good role.

NotAnotherNameChangeAgain Mon 02-May-16 18:53:06

I will no longer look at jobs that aren't sole charge; some of my worst jobs have been with mothers who don't work and employ a Nanny to look after the children whilst they socialise etc.
Shared care takes a particular type of person and I don't think I'm the right fit for that.

bigbluebus Tue 03-May-16 19:48:36

I had a nanny when my children were small. She worked 2 days a week - as did I - and initially looked after my daughter who is disabled. She then had her workload doubled when DS arrived. She was only 19 when we took her on but she was the best person we ever could have hoped to find to care for our DD. Nothing phased her - even when DD developed severe uncontrolled epilepsy. She had a number of other jobs to fill the other working days and I lived in fear of her not being able to get something else to fit in with our job and that she would find something full time and leave us - but that didn't happen so I clearly wasn't too bad an employer!

I only ever remember her having 1 day off sick on the 4 1/2 years she worked for us - as that was when she had a bug she caught from my DCs. She even stuck that out until 3pm when she rang me at work and said she really couldn't face preparing any food for their tea as she was throwing up!

I cannot understand why people treat their nannies so badly. Surely you want to get along and keep a good employee so that your children have continuity and stability in their lives. But then I'm the sort of person who wouldn't ask someone to do something I wouldn't do and certainly wouldn't treat them as subservient. Only yesterday, when DH took his car to the hand car wash to be washed by Eastern Europeans whilst I was in the car did I tell DH that I felt uncomfortable with the whole idea of just sitting there whilst they worked around me for next to no money!

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