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How do you do it?

(22 Posts)
Loupee Sat 01-Aug-09 18:26:06

Hi,
I've kinda become a nanny by accident, and have no idea how anybody can do it! I'll try and keep it short. My employer are a couple and run their own wedding planning business, I worked for them in the office as well as at events and thouroughly loved it. I have no formal qualification, and they just rewarded my hard work with more responsibility. (I started as a casual waitress)
Their nanny text them about 2 weeks a go saying she wasn't coming in as of the next day. Obviously in the height of the wedding season when they are incredibly busy. I said I could help out on occasion, but have pretty much been living here for the past 2 weeks. The 2 girls are great, but I am completely fed up, bored and rather lonely. Also my BF is leaving on 23rd to start training for the army, and I'd rather spend the time with him.
I want to help them out, because I know it wont be like this for much longer, but I feel almost trapped.
The girls are nearly 5 and 2and a half. I dont drive, the closest bus stop is 20mins away (without buggy!) and they take so long to do anything it really frustrates me! and hour and a half to eat a meal, another hour to get dressed, walking takes an age as well. There are also certain things about their upbringing I disagree with, but not having kids myself I cant really say/do anything. The older one is unbelieveably selfish, they both still sleep in their mums bed, so wont go to bed til their mum gets home, so they end up crashing on the couch and I have to carry them up to bed. Some times they dont get home til 4 in the morning. They usually sit up til about 11pm, I have zero time to myself! Also if they wake up and no one is there the will start screaming so I'm supposed to get in bed with them - which I dont like. They both still drink out of bottles. The younger one puts up a fight when it comes to eating, sometimes I just give up! Their mum asked that I feed them 4 meals a day plus regular snacks! And to also do educational activities with them. But I think she's lucky that their fed, clean, warm and safe!
Sorry for rambling, but I'm missing all my friends at the moment.

dizzydixies Sat 01-Aug-09 18:30:10

eh, you're NOT a nanny then - you need to tell them that this is above and beyond helping out on occassion and to sort something NOW - nursery/child minding or another nanny

they're taking the mickey out of your good nature

K999 Sat 01-Aug-09 18:32:22

Agree with Dizzy! smile

dizzydixies Sat 01-Aug-09 18:33:38

Lordy K999 - how on earth are you?!?

thanks for agreeing grin

K999 Sat 01-Aug-09 18:36:02

I'm good - how are you?? Have been on MN for the past few days - am getting addicted again!! This is the first time I've seen you...was actually wondering if you were still around!! smile

danthe4th Sat 01-Aug-09 18:37:02

Flipping eck!!! they are taking the mick. It wouldn't be quite so bad if they were brought up in a routine b.ut i'm not surprised the nanny left. Time to set some ground rules with them and I hope you are VERY well paid

dizzydixies Sat 01-Aug-09 18:40:27

K999 - am on and off, DD3 turned 1 yesterday so kept on my toes and starting back to work on the 20th <<meep>>

have to post and go do bedtime feed but will be back later if you're about if not emaile me and we'll hook up on FB or something - dizzydixies@yahoo.co.uk

sorry for hi-jack Loupee

Loupee Sat 01-Aug-09 18:44:03

I am being paid well, which is one of reason why I'm doing it, also I know if I was to let them down I could risk losing my job at the office. I was on JSA before I startedd working with them in March and sont want to go back down that route!
I think I'm just feeling sorry for myself cos its my birthday tomorrow and I'm spending it with these 2!
Ah well... such is life

K999 Sat 01-Aug-09 18:46:44

Have e-mailed you!

K999 Sat 01-Aug-09 18:47:29

Hopefull it wont be for too much longer! smile

nannynick Sat 01-Aug-09 19:10:51

Personally I avoid live-in nannying, as it is all too easy for an employer to take advantage. Working late into the evening seems like a bit of a pain as it means you get little time to yourself, especially if you also have an early start. Are the hours you are working what you discussed with them (so in relation to your pay) or were you not made aware of the working hours before taking on this extra responsibility?
Not that surprised that the children want to sleep in mums bed... if mum rarely sees them. From how you are describing it, I feel sorry for you and the children as they can't see much of their parents.

Ripeberry Sat 01-Aug-09 19:18:58

No wonder the Nanny left! That familly need Supernanny. First of all to sort out those girls sleeping habits as they are going to be wrecked when they start school.
Have a look on www.chilcare.co.uk there should be loads of nannies on it.
You need to get out as its NOT fair on you and they seem to think more of their business than their familly sad

Loupee Sat 01-Aug-09 19:22:51

The hours don't annoy me so much, If I was working at the events I'd be doing simmilar hours anyway, at least now I don't have to wear a suit! And I know the hours they work, so knew what hours would be expected. Just missing out on adult company more than anything I guess.
Don't get me wrong they are good loving parents, and these few weeks in particular are not typical, the rest of the year they work fairly 'normal' hours and usually only one of them has to work lates. But just now there can be 2 or 3 weddings on the same day.

Oligo Sat 01-Aug-09 19:38:14

The fact that you clearly aren't that much interested in the job indicates you really need to leave.

Explain that you have other things going on in your life that you need your attention- unless you agreed to the hours you do.

Why will it not be for much longer- what will change? Sounds like there's good reason why they don't have a nanny.

In these circumstances the parents can only realistically hope for minimum childcare/babysitting input from you.

These employers seem to want to use you as a nanny while exploiting the fact you aren't one; that is by making it impossible for you to stick up for yourself or for the children without seeming to interfere with their family because you lack experience/training/qualifcations to support your POV.

I assume you also have no insurance and the parents no doubt would hold you personally resppnsible if anything went wrong.

You need to sort this out asap.

limonchik Sat 01-Aug-09 20:53:07

You're a babysitter helping them out in an emergency basically, not a nanny - so I totally agree with you that you should be making sure they're fed, clean, warm and safe and definitely not worrying about educational activities!

If it's just short term til they find a new nanny I would stick with it. I think in your situation though I would pick a couple of things that are bothering you most, and talk to the parents about it. Request a short meeting with them, tell them
*how much you like the children
*how happy you are to be a temp nanny til they find someone else
BUT
(these are the two things I'd most want changed, depends on what you feel are the biggest problems!)
*you need to get out of the house more - you have seen a pushchair in Argos please can they order it for you/give you some cash and you will order it
*you need a 9.30pm bedtime (will they play together nicely? At this age tbh I would just insist they go to their bedroom and stay there from 9.30, they can play, read, sleep whatever).

Nannying can be really lonely and emotionally/physically draining sometimes. I make sure I always go out for a long walk/play in the park every day so they can run off some energy, and also spend time with other nannies - maybe go to the nannyjob forum and see if you can meet other nannies in your area?

Also - find your local softplay place! You can go in all weathers, the children can run off all that energy in a safe place, and you can get a few minutes to sit down with a cup of coffee and zone out.

daisymaybe Sat 01-Aug-09 21:40:53

could you ask the parents if it would be okay to get in touch with some of the girls' friends and organise a play date? you'd need to reciprocate at some point, but it can help to get a grip on things if you have an afternoon with just one of the kids - get to bond a bit etc. hopefully you'd meet other grown-ups that way too, maybe take the kids out together.

the whole lack of routine thing sucks, i do think the idea of putting them in bed, tucking them in, reading a couple of stories and then just leaving them to it is a good one though. i understand if you don't feel like you want to put in that supernanny-esq effort since it won't affect you long term though.

if they leave you in this position after the summer season then they are completely out of order and taking advantage, since they must understand that you're only doing it for your long term career in the events industry. do they know that your boyfriend is leaving soon?

Loupee Sat 01-Aug-09 21:48:50

Thanks for the advice
Oligo - They are wedding planners/event managers and this is the peak season. They work lots just now to make up for the quieter months. Also I'll def have to look into/enquire about the insurance, thanks

Limonchik - Thanks for your supportive words, makes a lot of sense. I think I will tell them I'll be sticking to babysitting duties. RE the buggy, they do have one, but its one of those crap fold up easily for your car type, and is a pain for pushing long distances! Also the bedtime - no chance, I have tried, they cant play together at all, the older one is far too selfish! And if i leave them in their room they just screaming and screaming...so I give in and stick a DVD on downstairs.
I found the softplay already but had a screaaming match trying to get them out, don't fancy doing it again soon sad

The irony is that when I was younger I wanted to be a nanny.

limonchik Sat 01-Aug-09 22:16:33

I would persevere with the buggy, even if it's crap. Being outside is better than being inside.

Don't worry too much about bedtime then - stick on a DVD. Go with the path of least resistance. Do you have a laptop? At least you could sit on the same room on the internet while they watch a DVD, that almost counts as time to yourself.

Oligo Sun 02-Aug-09 21:10:57

But do you know when you won't be needed anymore? and is it then the parents that will take over rather than another nanny?

Loupee Sun 02-Aug-09 21:18:59

The plan is after this week I'll be doing 3 days in the office and 2 days babysitting, while the mum is in the office until a new nanny starts. They have started advertising but plan to arrange interviews the week after next.
Just totally drained at the moment!

Oligo Mon 03-Aug-09 20:21:40

Understandably drained. Well at least things are getting back to normal.

Just try to enjoy the children; often when you are calm and having fun the children absorb the atmosphere and things tick along more easily. Explain that you are a different person to their other carers and so things (behaviour expectations/routines) might seem a bit different too but thats how it is sometimes.

It is not your ideal situation so don't let the situation drag on else you could still be there next year. And make sure you get enough time to sleep! Hope it works out for you.

Loupee Tue 04-Aug-09 16:46:36

Thanks for that.
Well i'm here again this week, but will only be staying over on Sunday night, and next week will just be 2 days
Anyone got any yip on how to feed a 2 1/2 year old, I literally cant get her to eat anything, she will eat 2 spoonfuls of brekkie/lunch/dinner then be 'too tired' for any more!

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