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Very odd nannying experience + fired in week 1 - AIBU?

(49 Posts)
magd2579 Sat 13-Jul-13 23:04:47

Hello all, first post so sorry if it's a little long. I'm a 25 year old with a background as nanny/mothers help, including a longterm live out (but full-on) job with a lovely big American family in London which I loved and made me realise I wanted to continue as a nanny. I don't have formal qualifications but first aid certificate, CRB, and I have 2 degrees, with a background in tutoring kids for exams/UK curriculum. I'm also from a huge family myself and was always going to be a nanny or teacher, just love it really.

Anyway! After my lovely job finished a couple of months ago (they moved back home), I had 2 interviews for then got offered what seemed like a great job with a VERY high profile family (not something i had any experience of incidentally). Nanny to one little boy who seemed like a cherub on my trial (2 hours with the kid, mum was there for about 1/2 an hour). It was made clear in the interviews that mum was into a VERY "holistic" parenting style including a 'parenting mentor', following specific guidelines in a book etc, which nanny had to be sympathetic to. I stressed my lack of training in this area but it apparently wasn't a problem. I was to be paid £8net ph (in central London, live-out position) which was actually a sizeable pay-cut from my last role, but the family seemed like an interesting one to work for (needless to say they could MORE THAN afford to pay a higher rate! ).

Anyway it turned out to be a 10-hour-per-day role, and there was no handover or any guidelines provided whatsoever. Mum was barely around but I just assumed I had to hit the ground running. I was pretty shocked at the little boy's extraordinary attitude issues even at such a VERY young age. Very superior to the household staff who he described as 'servants', refused to walk even short distances eg. to the park down the road, taking the tube etc was out of the question - "I only take taxis"- (despite us being sent out on a lot of outings which required transport across London, I was never given any kitty money whatsoever for snacks, taxis, etc). He also screamed and cried whenever his friends wanted to play with his toys, and on my 5th morning on the job he greeted me at the door by throwing a dart directly at my eye (!!)- it missed by literally an inch. I was pretty shaken just out of the shock, and went to the bathroom as composed as possible to dry my eyes. By the time I came out he had worked himself into a frenzy, Mum magically materialized and called me into the next room, and proceeded to say she didn't think she felt I had been on top of things this first week. She didn't seem remotely worried about her little boy aiming darts at faces, which disturbed me a little. Anyway she had decided to let me go effective that evening (but could I still stay til late as normal, because she had an event that night and needed the little boy sorted....) Cheeky, I thought, but stayed til the bitter end. And then never looked back... until now really. My confidence got pretty knocked I guess, and I really did freak out after that horrible day wondering whether she was right about me. Thing is she was literally hardly there and I felt every day that I'd done a genuinely good job- healthy meals, lots of outings, making up millions of stories, doing about 3 huge Lego projects, playdates, a birthday party where he needed some handholding. There were some MUCH older adult siblings in the house who seemed to be living off mum and dad's largesse and would sit and watch me play with the little boy, which made me a bit uncomfortable. The whole parenting mentor/program thing actually never came up, which surprised me- the job seemed so much less structured than she described it, but i really did think I did OK. Certainly a 5 day trial seemed a little short without evidence of gross misconduct or something, which there clearly hadn't been.

And I guess I wonder if it sounds like she was being unreasonable. I really thought I could have a future in nannying even without getting formal qualifications. I had no experience of that celeb type "world" and still have no idea if her decision was a normal one. If I'm honest I really have lost confidence and not sure how to feel about starting nannying again. Argh! Any thoughts on the situation? Thankyou so much for any input!

eurycantha Fri 16-Aug-13 19:11:03

Don't worry .Just a bad experience you did everything right .don't give up wanting to be a nanny .Most employers are great.Only a few are absolute nutters!I bet we all have afew crazy employer stories.

SunnyIntervals Tue 13-Aug-13 19:26:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EasterHoliday Tue 13-Aug-13 16:52:57

oh god do be careful, there's almost certainly a confidentiality clause in your original contract and it will survivi termination of the contract, quite apart from which they may claim some of this is libellous. Not worth it.

Whitershadeofpale Sun 11-Aug-13 23:06:22

I doubt RW and DC too as Op says surname doesn't begin with W. also her DC is 7 and he only has one adult child. This is hard.

I think that it seemed like you did everything right Op and I'd just write it up to experience. It's hard for most of us go understand but some parents don't care that much and just want anything for an easy life, including allowing themselves to be used as target practise.

RW and DC? (Thats DPs guess btw.)

Whitershadeofpale Sun 11-Aug-13 21:00:52

I doubt HBC and TB, they have 2 DCs and no adult ones.

IrisWildthyme Sun 11-Aug-13 20:46:07

They sound like a terrible family to work for - YANBU - don't let it knock your confidence, just shake their dust off your feet and don't look back, you'll find a much more enjoyable position with less nutty people and be very glad you didn't get sucked into that awful lifestyle permanently.

Sleepyhead33 Sun 11-Aug-13 20:37:20

I hope not too-always been a fan of them both!

Anyway, I agree, you seriously wouldn't have wanted to work for them more than a week.It sounds as if you would have been out of pocket as well if you have to pay for snacks etc. Madness.

EugenesAxe Sun 11-Aug-13 20:15:27

With you Sleepy! But I hope not... I've always quite admired her.

EugenesAxe Sun 11-Aug-13 20:09:21

I'm not a nanny or anything but she sounds like a complete fuck up and to be honest, I think you're better off out of there.

You sound very kind and like you would do well by any child; I don't think you are the problem at all here. I expect she was trying you out because you were cheap and then fired you when it seemed her experiment hadn't worked. I think she was wrong to do this and would hope a normal family would be nurturing and work with you to get up any learning curve you might experience.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 11-Aug-13 20:02:32

Sorry you had such a crap time - it sounds like you are well rid!!

Don't let it knock your confidence! (and no, you don't need quals to nanny for a lovely family).

Sleepyhead33 Sun 11-Aug-13 19:50:59

Sorry, I am guessing HBC and TB???

Sleepyhead33 Sun 11-Aug-13 19:50:29

Guess HBC and TB

hettybetty123 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:46:16

Ooh, do the initials DH for the dad come in to this? I love mysteries!

Cathyrina Wed 17-Jul-13 15:12:24

Oh and about the whole not having a kitty for outings thing, if I was you I'd explain that if nobody covers your expenses to take him out to his activities you will just stay in and don't bring him anywhere - and will only be happy to do so once mum will cover the expenses. I was in a similar situation a while ago but this solved my problem rather quickly...

Strix Mon 15-Jul-13 13:44:02

The mum is a complete nutter.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 15-Jul-13 13:09:46

Bad experience. Every nanny gets at least one nutty family if not more

Things should have been discussed before you started

But it happened - so forget about it and move on

PErsonally I wouldn't want to work for a HP family

Just like nice normal families but who can afford me and not begrudge paying my salary each week

yamsareyammy Mon 15-Jul-13 11:59:27

Agree with Cathyrinas post.

From my experience, nannies should be "interviewing" prospective employers as well as the other way round. Especially for live in positions.
Amd think about working for an agency. Some of the things that happened to you would have then been avoided. and also, the family you nannied for would not have stayed long on the agency books, after you gave the agency feedback, I wouldnt have thought.

valiumredhead Mon 15-Jul-13 11:52:35

One bad family does not a summer makewink

Don't presume anything that happened was your fault or that you could've have done anything differently.

Deep breath and move onsmile

Wickedgirl Mon 15-Jul-13 11:46:33

I work for a HP family who pay me very well and treat me very well too. You have been really unlucky but at least you can learn from it and hopefully the next family you choose to work for will be lovely

Now I want to know who it is. I can assure you not all VIP's are like this. I know the nanny of a very famous singer and she has been with the family ever since the oldest child was born. I have met them and they are all very lovely.

NachoAddict Sun 14-Jul-13 22:13:27

I couldn't get it from tour post, I am rubbish at these crowns things though.

MaryKatharine Sun 14-Jul-13 22:11:02

I have reported my own post as I think I was a little too obvious and I wouldn't want to cause trouble for my friend's sister in her new job.

MaryKatharine Sun 14-Jul-13 21:48:36


magd2579 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:46:58

Marykatharine- is that "plowed the field" a clue at all?

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