2015 Discussions Nanny Cameras

     "I wanted to post a question and see what kind of feedback I can get back. I was wondering, what is everyone's views on nanny cams? I'm sure this has been brought up in the past, but technology is so prevalent nowadays that I wonder if any views have changed. I am interested in hearing from both nannies and employers. Thanks!"

     "I interviewed a professional nanny candidate and she asked me if we used nanny cameras. I said no. We don't. But I though that an odd question, and it really made me want to use one."

      "My employer and I had a falling out. We were very close for two years. When I spoke to her last week, I asked her to pay me the back vacation pay she owed me or I would take her to small claims court. She told me, 'you do that and I've got some nanny camera footage that will break youtube'." ?

     "My employer has a home camera system that records picture and audio. This is part of his security system, but I have been told it is illegal to record sound on nannies."

Do you have a discussion you'd like to see on ISYN? Email

Terminated on a Lie

     I wanted your thoughts on this. Four years ago, my oldest was 7. We hired a new nanny and fired her within one month. We paid her what we owed her, no severance.

     I'll abbreviate the story, but at the core of him, my son came home and told me that the nanny while driving our car, the nanny vehicle, swerved to hit a squirrel and said "Two points". She continued the conversation by telling him that possums are the best thing to hit because they make a nice squishy sound and that even skunks are great because they won't smell until the next person. Of course, this was concerning, in addition to our son telling us that when they were out in the backyard the day before, the neighbor's cat had come over and she had told him that cats can land on their feet from great distances and threw the cat in the air a number of times to demonstrate that philosophy. Alarming. Right? When we terminated the nanny, we did not want a he said/she said, we simply said it wasn't working out and we were going to try another candidate.
Victor Tkachenko

    Yesterday, I walked in my local bank for the first time in awhile and she was there, working as a teller. I waited in line and fortunately the line worked out that I was directed to another teller. She looked at me with the strangest look. I looked away from her.

    Here's the deal, about two years ago, we started our son in therapy. A lot of behaviors he's had over the years were called in to question. The first alarming behavior was making things up and lying about others. The incident with the nanny was the beginning of a pattern we did not recognize at the time. When we terminated the nanny, I will be honest, I believed my son 100%. I thought she was a vile person. I disliked her for misrepresenting herself and causing this chaos in our house (nanny turnover, loss of work days).  I wasn't unkind when I let her go, but I wasn't nice.

    I feel like I owe her an explanation and apology. What do you think? And how would I go about that? I was thinking if I asked her to call me, she would probably not. But, I don't want a prolonged conversation at her place of business that talks about firing and mental health. Any suggestions?

Email with your stories, submissions and experiences.


The New Nanny & The Very Big Trip

Mike Savlen
 Hi everyone. I have a bit of a different situation. I work for a very well off family. The mother is a SAHM and I work about 42 hours per week. I enjoy my job, the work is harder than most people would think and most importantly, I am not the same caliber nanny they previously had. I'm an American and they are used to schooled British nannies. Having said that, I have been here four months and I 99% sure they are thrilled with me.
My first time to travel with the family is coming up when the kids get out of school in June. They have a 2 year old and an 8 year old. I have traveled with families before, but this is a bit different. Their travel intentions are to sail from MASS to St. Kitts with several stops along the way. The entire trip is going to take about 20 days.  My boss is giving me two and a half days off before the trip and two and a half days off after the trip. (I couldn't imagine it any other way).
    I am not worried about the pay because I am well paid and have been appropriately compensated for extra childcare previously.
    My question to you, has anyone ever done this kind of trip? I am told I will have a very small but private room with a twin bed. I have seen pictures of it but there are no specific pictures. It looks very nice, but at the same time, I have only been with them four months and we will literally be stuck together. 
    Here are some questions:
    1) My boss says she will make sure I have a break at all stops to get a break from them. (Her words).  Beaufort, US Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Saba, West Palm Beach are they actual spots where they plan to stop. In Barbuda, we will stay in a hotel for three days and WPB two days. What do I do for my breaks at the other places where there is not a hotel option? I'm nervous about feeling safe but realize breaks from each other will be good.
    2) My boss has told me that they have no specific crew, but a "first mate" who has accommodations away from the family. I will be preparing the children light meals while we are on the boat, this doesn't seem a problem. She also told me in her words, "it's not a rigorous schedule. It/s very relaxed, you can read and lay in the sun. The kids have movies to watch, but what nannies in the past did is to do activities with them daily like coloring, crafts and reading to make the days more fun. With this information, I am worried that I will not do enough? Or too much? She told me that I could take the credit card and go to the art supply store and get some sketch books, etc. Any other great ideas anyone has that can help me feel like I am earning my keep?
    3) The older child is a boy and his mom says he likes to "help" on the boat with "guy stuff. I don't really have any fear of him getting in trouble, but I feel like the two year old will have to be tethered to an adult at all times? Anyone???? It makes me nervous just thinking about it. 
     I am equal parts excited for this opportunity and anxious. I want to of course feel safe, but I also think this is a job I would like to have for a while. :) Any help would be appreciated.

2015 Day in the Life, #15 The Nursery School Teacher

I figured this would be fun to post as part of the day in the life series and see which job is more exhausting: being a nanny or teaching 2-3 year B is 3, E1 is 3, A is almost 3, W and G are both 3 in July, V is 3 in September, A2 is 3 in November, N1 is three in December, and E2, S, I, and the twins E and N, turned 2 in April.
Nursery school by Herrii Jules Jean Geoffroy
650-655: Arrive to work, put my things away. Tidy up classroom from the night before and look for any notes from staff or parents.
700: Punch in, and get children from opening classroom (usually the infant rooms)depending on the day and who is here that early. This group is my own class of 2-3 year olds, plus children from the 1 year old classroom.
701-730: Greet parents and children. Chat with parents in my room about their child's evening and morning thus far. Give lots of snuggles with rough drop offs. I could end up with 8 kids by 720 depending on who is here, as we have some children in both my room and the 1 year old room on rotating schedules. Keep track of how many I have, as having that mixed age would drop me from a 1:7 to a 1:4 with under age 2. During this time, I quickly do a little cleaning, put away dishes and prep the room if it's my teaching week. I also make a mental list of any projects that need to be done, like deep cleaning, etc.
730: One year old teacher arrives, so it's me and my crew of twos.
730-800: Play with the children at the table, who are playing with table toys. Continue to greet parents as they drop off their children. I have W go potty, as he is wearing underwear, while reminding the twins and S they need to sit in their chairs safely. At 745, my co-teacher arrives. Depending on how many children we have at that time, we may take a few children with us to get milk from the kitchen, supplies from the closet or paint and paper for art. We rotate teaching weeks.
800-830: Breakfast. Most of them do a pretty good job using utensils, however, the twins are still working on this, as their former nanny (my former co-worker) didn't work with them on anything during the six months she worked for the family before walking out on them.
830-900: Dancing, books on the carpet, diapers and group time. B,W and G, plus V and the twins can engage in rough and tumble play, so someone has to be there on the carpet, as G is working through a hitting issue due to spatial and verbal issues, plus Mom is having a baby. Whoever has the lead teaching week is the leader of group time.
900-915: Fine motor skill practice: coloring, using playdough, stringing beads, using scissors, and letter tracing, both with finger and crayons.
915-930: Clean up previous activitiy, prepare for outside. Have A, W and B go potty.
930-1000: Outside time.
1000-1050: Learning centers, art and diapers.
1050-1100: Story or small group activity
1100-1130: Lunch
1130-1145: Nap prep. I have A, W and B go potty before nap.
1145-215: Nap time.
215-230: Diapers and snack prep
230-300: Snack and clean up.
300-315: Story time, review of day
315-330: Prepare for outside. Have A, W and B go potty.
330-400: Outside
400: I'm done
Sometimes I stay after to work on things, other times I leave right away. It's my job, I love it and yes, I am tired!
I work in large preschool in WI, where I have been working for seven years. I love the kids in my class and their parents too.

When "I love You" Makes you cringe

Pierre August Renoire - Child with Toys
Hi.Quick poll.question. I am on my third nanny and my children are now 3 & 4. I find it weird and it makes me cringe when she says "I love you" to them. Does anyone else feel this way? She lives out, works 30-35 hours a week. She's only been with us 7 months.

Bad Nanny Sighting in Lower Manhattan

Where: Lower Manhattan walking down Water Street near Wall Street
When: Weds. 5/20 around 5:45 p.m.
Description: See photo
Incident: I couldn't believe what I just saw. A nanny pushing three kids in a stroller meant for two, with one sitting on top.  If this were my nanny, I'd be livid.

Send Nanny Sightings to


CDO Riverfront Park in Tucson, Arizona

Where: CDO Riverfront Park in Tucson, Arizona
When: 5/19 3:50 PM
Description of the Nanny: Hispanic, pitted complexion, chubby, bushy eyebrows and hair, Mickey Mouse long shirt (like a nightgown?) and short leggings in grey.
Description of the Child: Caucasian boy with very blonde hair and pale skin, wearing pastel plaid shorts and a very dirty t-shirt with superheroes on it. Probably 4-5 years old.
Incident: Nanny or babysitter was on her phone the entire time. Not such a big deal except she was absolutely clueless about where the kid was and what he was doing. They have some springy animals and vehicles on coils. He was climbing underneath them, sneaking up on other kids. This would have been fun, if it weren't so dangerous. He snuck underneath a pink car that another boy was on riding really enthusiastically. So the kid crashes into his car. He laid there crying underneath the thing and didn't move so he got popped like four more times. I looked around and didn't see who was watching him. I had to pull him out from under there. When I pulled him out, I asked where his Mom was but he took off running after kicking woodchips toward me. I had to go back to my own THREE children, so I wasn't watching him. I was waiting for my daughter to come down the long slide. I just had directed her old brother to walk her up there and stand with her. the little cretonne comes next to them and jumps in front of my daughter and slides down towards me. He was kicking his feet like he was swimming- I think in hopes to hit me. I stood back as he flew by and told my daughter to wait. When the kid passed me, I got a whiff of purr unadulterated shit. The kid had just shit his pants. It was too late to stop my daughter who slid down right after him, Lord only knows what feces drippings she mopped up with her sundress. So the kid starts picking up woodchip and throwing it at an adult and a child.The adult says to me, "can you make him stop" I look at her and say, "He's not mine!". She looks confused, stands up and looks around. We see sitting with her ass on a table, under a Ramada the above mentioned Hispanic. She's calm as a cucumber, twirling her hair. The woman asks him, "Is that your Mom?" He says, "That's my babysitter". The woman looked at me and I said, I'll walk him over there, just keep mine here. And I walked towards her. You would think she would have walked towards me since I am walking with her child. What if I was going to bolt to the parking lot? When I reacher her, she looked dramatically up from her phone and said, "yessss?". I asked, "Are you supposed to be watching him". She says into the phone, "I have to go now and deal with this lady" and then to me she says, "I am having a private adult phone call. I can see him fine, I just didn't want to have a conversation that kids could hear." I don't even know what that meant. I felt really bad for him then and I said, "I think he needs you, He may need to use the bathroom. have a good day" and walked away. He started screaming to go back to the playground. She caught the smell and said, "Oh no, Billy, did you do a poopie??" Well she wasn't mean about it. What she did is lickity split pulled off his pants, pulled out the underwear, flung the big, flat turd over her head (ie towards the picnic tables) and then put his shorts back on. She shoved the underwear in her striped, canvass bag, from which she then pulled out a bag of green grapes and walked towards the playground with him where she let him play more. I gathered my kids and got the hell out of dodge.

..I feel completely invaded...

Stayte of The Art
      I found a spyware program on my Iphone called "spyera" on my Iphone. I was going through my phone deleting files to free up space. I found it and researched it and it is a paid application. The only people I know who have money to pay for an app like that or a reason are my employers. I showed my friend and she agreed it was definitely intentional. We also discovered a second piece of spyware on my phone called Family Locator. This would allow real time tracking of my location 24/7. In combination with the other spyware option, I feel completely invaded. I am writing to know if anyone knows of any lawyers or people I could contact regarding this. I haven't changed anything as to not tip anyone off, but I am definitely not texting the same way I did before. I would really like to trace the software and sue the pants off my employer. I live in the South Jersey area. I can understand why someone would want to track the nanny, but I think they should ask. As far as the spyware- No way. My texts and emails and social media is my business. I have been with this family 14 weeks and I came with this phone. It is in my name and I pay the bill.

The Dreaded Tax Issue

      Taxes can be an issue for both nannies and employers, as many employers do not understand the legalities and realities of paying taxes while employing a nanny. Families see us as independent contractors, not realizing we are their employee. Should we, as nannies apply for a loan or line of credit, how does a lender or credit underwriter verify income if taxes aren't deducted from a paycheck? In other words, if a family has a full time nanny and taxes aren't paid in, how does that nanny obtain a loan without her income being verified? It all starts with a social security number, as a nanny agency explained to me. I read somewhere that if a nanny makes over $3K a year, the family is responsible for deducting all federal and state withholdings, and that Breedlove is an excellent resource to make it happen. Do any nannies out there have experience with new jobs and explaining to the employer it is a legal responsibility to withhold all taxes? Anyone employed by a family who uses or has used Breedlove in the past? This position by my calculations (mind you I am signing my work agreement this weekend) would pay $660-710 per month (it's part time), and over the course of a year would be $7900-8450/year. As a nanny, I know they have to pay taxes, and I am unsure how to bring this up to M and DB.

PS: I was the OP of the submission that appeared a few weeks concerning being intimidating to prospective families. Many of you responded with helpful advice, and I appreciate the constructive criticism. A lot of you said relax, speak from the heart and do not bring up other nannies. I relaxed and spoke from the heart. MB mentioned she had other interviews before she left, and later that evening, I got the email asking me a few more questions, along with the fact that she was very much interested. The next evening, I got the job offer. Thank you everyone for the suggestions and help! All of you are loved on the ISYN board

 Questions? Comments? Sightings? Complaints? email


2015 Day in the Life, #14

In the beginning of February, I took a job for a stay at home mother of three. One of the children is in school all day, one child is in school half day, three days a week and one child is not in school. This is my day. It was annoying to right as it is to live. I have included the SAHM I work for in this rundown because after all, she hired me as her "partner".

6:00  Mother Wake up, make husband coffee. See husband off to train station/work.
6:10 Mother Slides in to preset out run outfit. Take pictures of "flat run outfit" Post to Pinterest with catchy hashtags like #runningformychildren #orrunningfrommychildren.
6:20-7:00 Gone on run. I assume. I mean somedays she comes back looking just as she left.
Before 7:00: The youngest child wakes up. His mom is a stay at home Mom. He comes to my nanny closet/room which is exactly the same size and not quite as fancy as the laundry room. "I want mommy," he says.  I put the TV on in my room for him and quickly dress in sports attire. I do not snap a picture for pinterest. There are no hashtags.
6:50 ish, I am usually in the kitchen getting the youngest set for breakfast because he wakes up wanting his mom and wanting toaster struedel. In case you're wondering, my day officially starts at 7.
7:00 Mom returns home from "run". Sighs multiple times, does some lunges, hugs her son and talks about needing a shower. At the same time as she heads to the shower, she sends the other two children out to me for breakfast.
7:50 The oldest child leaves for school at this time, so 1/2 the time, Mom appears ready to take him to the school on the corner.
8:00 Housekeeper arrives
8:01 If mom isn't out, as soon as housekeeper arrives, I take oldest to school. He's usually five minutes after the bell.
8:10 I walk in the door, the housekeeper hands me middle child's backpack. Middle child is ready, I walk middle child to her school.
8:30 I am back. Mom is now sitting at the breakfast table on her IPAD. She makes herself omelettes everyday with porcini mushrooms, feta, cilantro and turkey bacon. She makes one for little child too, even though he never eats it and has already eaten.  This is okay because when mom sees me arrive, she makes an excuse to leave the table. She has to call the school, the travel agent, make some calls, she owes someone an email, she's looking for an invoice,etc. This leaves me at the table with a semi warm omelette made from quality ingredients. I drop two slices of sour dough in the toaster and devour it with two cups of coffee, while simutaneously playing hotwheels with little child. I clear all of the dishes, including Mom's coffee cup, plate and fork. I load the dishwasher and wipe the table down. No one told me I had to, but the housekeeper gets it, so I make sure to do my share.
Up until 10:30, we usually play inside. Sometimes we'll walk to the playground.
10:30 is Mommy and Me Gym class.
10:20 Me and the youngest Leave for Mommy and me Gym class.
11:15 Mommy and me class is over.
11:20 I would have used my detective skills to assess whether mom was home or not now. If she is home (likely), I will go to Starbucks, the Gap, a playground, a museum and stay out until 1:05 when I pick middle child up from her 1/2 day program. On nice days, my and the little boy usually have lunch in the park. I am always prepared for a pop up picnic.
1:20 Arrive home with both children. I cannot immediately tell if Mom is home or not. The housekeeper makes a face indicating that the Mom is either passed our or napping. (We still haven't figured out this napping schedule).
1:30 I say goodbye to the housekeeper and I put the littles boy down for his nap in his big boy bed.
1:40 The middle child and I are building a doll house together with materials we got from Michaels last weekend. I'd love to post a picture because it is spectacular. We are only on the second floor of what we hope to be five stories.
2:45 Mom appears in doorway, "Where is 'little child?' 'Little child' isn't still sleeping is he?"
        I get up from the floor and let her know I was just about to get him. We just wanted to finish the wallpaper, did she want to see? She looks at me like I am speaking Japanes, then rolls her eyes, "Oh, I'll get him. I don't need him sleeping all day".
2:50: I try not to react to the mom's idiotic/hypocritical behavior. I carefully put away our supplies in the plastic seperated compartments so we can return to work tomorrow.  I hear the Mom yell, "Melissssssssssa" I smile at middle child, get up and head down to where the Mom is.  "Look at this, he has totally trashed his room. This is not okay. Not okay. Maybe he's outgrown napping". I look around the room, there is a pile of stuffed animals by the closet, blankets on the floor and two puzzles on the floor. I count backwards in my head from 10. It takes me seven seconds to pick up everything.
At 3:00: I find the mom in the kitchen. I ask her, do you want me to take both with me to pick up "oldest child". She looks at me and says, "You better. I have no idea what I'm doing for dinner". Thank goodness, the weather is warmer. It's so much easier to go and retrieve a child.
3:20-4:00 I let the children play on the playground after we pick up oldest.
4:10: We are back in the apartment. "That was quick, I thought you were going to let the kids play for a bit," she calls out. "Yes, I said, we did". Again she looks at me like I am speaking another language, lying or a squirrel in her kitchen.
4:15 The children sit down to have a semi healthy snack.
4:16 The mom rushes in to the kitchen. "What are you doing Oldest Child?, I told you we had to go and get new shoes today". The child shoves a strawberry in her mouth and picks up two oreos and begrudgingly gets up. (FYI, no she didn't mention getting new shoes today).
4:17-5:10 Mom and oldest are gone. They return with three boxes of shoes. The mother starts walking around in a panic. "I can't believe it's almost six. Where did the day go? Do you have plans tonight"? She asks me. I tell her that I have plans to meet a friend for a 730 show, so I need to leave right at 7. She asks me to call X and see if she can come sit  from 7-10ish. She tells me, "I think husband and I are just going to dine out tonight. Order pizza or Chinese for the kids". With that she disappears up to her room. I book the babysitter, place the food order. I help one child with homework. I give a bath to the youngest before the food comes.  I set out pajamas for the two oldest for after dinner. I set out outfits for all three for morning. I premake the coffee. I slice strawberries and kiwi to go with dinner or for desert. I assemble the oldest child's backpacks. I take the new shoes out of boxes, arrange them in the shoe closet and put all of the other materials in the recyclable box.
6:25 Pizza arrives
6:30 Mother kisses each child on the top of their heads and tells them to behave for "Sitter". She then asks me, "you okay here until X arrives?". I smile and say yes.
6:32 When she is out the door I pull out paper plates and sit down with the kids and have pizza and berries. The sitter arrives at five until 7. I run through the basics of what needs to be done for bed and I am out the door. Only to do it all over again tomorrow.

I am a live in in NYC and work from 7-7, M-F and make $800 per week cash. If I babysit at night, they pay me $10 an hr. If I work from 8-1 on Saturday or Sunday, they will pay me $150 for each day.  
What's your day like? Email

"Sweat Stain"

Carolee Clark
     We bought our nanny a bicycle in February for her birthday. She would occasionally ride it to work. Recently, she has been riding to work every day. It is getting warmer out, so she arrives, literally dripping in sweat.
      I work from my apartment so I am around most of the time and the smell is really bad. I also noticed that when she sits on vinyl or leather, she leaves a sweat stain where her vulva was resting.
     While I am glad she is getting enjoyment out of the bike, I would like to suggest that she shower upon arrival, and that to do so, she would need to arrive early enough to accommodate the length of shower she would like to take.
     I thought about an assortment of shower gels and a towel set, specifically picked out for her. The last thing I want to do is offend her, but I really don't think this can work unless a pre work shower starts to happen.
    Do you have any suggestions?

The Not So Wicked Stepmother

This is part information, part rant. I have worked for a family for three years. It wasn't until we got into the second year that I started meeting the (divorced) father's girlfriend.  He only introduced her to the children because they were serious and they have now been married for five months. The biological mother and father rotate custody of the children, one week here, one week there.

If you think you have it tough being taken seriously as the nanny, try being the stepmother. Let me paint a picture, tall, beautiful, great body and 28 years old where most moms are in their 40's and beyond. Trust me, I wanted t hate her when I met her. I wanted to believe she was dull, dumb, vain, in it for the money, hated children, etc. None of this is true.

The biological mother and she do not get along, but I expect over time that will change. I just feel so bad for this woman. People ask her if she's the nanny. When she says no, they say "au pair" and "oh housekeeper?" It doesn't seem accidental. It seems intentional. The teachers and activity directors and bitchy UWS moms are nicer to the me than they are her. They simply won't give her a shot.

She's taken over packing the children's lunches. A domestic chore, I used to do. She leaves funny notes or drawings in their bag.  She doesn't have to but tries to get out of work by 4 on the weeks that the children are here so she can be present. She helps with homework. She has more patience than I do, and I'm patient. She prepares healthy snacks. If a child asks to go the park, she asks the child if she can take them. I could be concerned that she was stealing my job, but she's only making my job easier for me.

Last week, one of the classroom moms and she had a confrontation. The stepmother stated that she had offered multiple times to help with a booth and no one had gotten back to her. The classroom mom said, "You don't expect us to take you seriously". I was right there. I heard it. It was humiliating.

So, if you're a mom or classmom or teacher or soccer coach and Dad has a new, younger wife. Don't assume that she's a non involved ditz. This woman is trying and the mixed signals the kids receive from teachers and people of power are making things very hard on her. I've seen her in tears. Don't be so judgmental. Be kind. Take time to get to know someone, whether it's a stepmom or a nanny.

Something on your mind? Email

The Vengeful Nanny 2015, #1

Mathilde Aubier
We fired our nanny in February for non compatibility issues. She returned to work in a building literally diagonally across from our building. She has brought our doorman gifts, I even ran into them chatting together. I am concerned that she has told people my husband and I are first cousins and that I am addicted to pornography. I have heard that she is carrying around a pay per view bill that shows two movies were ordered on a specific date from our account. No proof it was me. How do we handle malicious nannies? I'm literally looking on Amazon for books on the subject.



Meyer von Bremen
I have three children, the youngest is 15 months. I have been a working mother always, taking between 5-9 weeks off for maternity for each child. I have always used nannies. Our current nanny came to use when my youngest was just four months. My youngest has started calling her Mama. I understand the confusion, and it would normally only induce the appropriate mom guilt. The nanny doesn't correct the child and in fact seems to enjoy this confusion. This has me seething. Am I totally wrong? If someone else's child called me mom, I would gently correct them by stating my name. I don't see how that would be harmful. When I brought this to Nanny's attention, the nanny said, "His needs are being met by me, it's normal". I feel that was a slap in the face and a dig and still didn't address what I think is basic nanny/child minder etiquette and that is to help the child learn your name.  I don't think she understood my offense to it, because she even joked, "if I start to answer to it, than you should be worried". This is my third child. I've had nannies before. I don't think I am too sensitive. I think she is so inappropriate that I am beginning to question her judgement. And that is the question I put to you all? Your thoughts?

Nanny V. Housekeeper 2015, #3

The nanny packed up all of our winter coats from the mud room because most of these were children's coats. The housekeeper moved all of our heavy winter coats from the hall closet to the attic closet. My husband believes he went to the ATM and withdrew $500 cash last week and shoved it in his NY Giants Jacket. I've asked "who packed up the Giants jacket" and no one claims to know. Meanwhile my husband is missing $480. (-$20 for Taxi). I know we can't get that money back, but it makes me wonder what else we are missing, will stand to lose if we don't figure this out.
Kevin Hughes

23 Year Old Reflects on Her Perfect Nanny

When I was about 8 years old, my mom hired a nanny for myself and my brother. We were both in school. Her job was to work in the morning and get us off to school and then get us from school and drive us to horseback riding, activities, etc.  She lived in and was with us for about six months in 1999.  My mom and brother thought she was perfect.

I've never understood the way she treated me. I used to want to track her down and let her know I remember what she did. She was nice to my brother. In fact, I remember him and his pals all had  a crush on her. I was a kid with issues and one of the appointments she took me to was a weekly therapy appointment. I'll never understand why I didn't tell the therapist how she treated me. Maybe it was because she was so savvy and together and everyone seemed to like her.

The things she did to me. Other people I know have had it worse. She made me a vanilla milkshake and put horseradish in it. Then she made me drink it. When I wet the bed, she made me wear my underwear on my head and strip and wash the bedding myself, all the while calling me disgusting and telling me "no wonder no one likes you". I was 8 years old.

Katie Jeanne Wood
One time she asked me to help her find her earring. I was so eager to please, I was helping her. She pushed me in the trunk and slammed the hood. I don't know how long she left me there. It wasn't that long, but it was terrifying. On nights my brother had soccer practice, she would take me to the park next to his, just out of sight and make me run. Run against a stop watch and run to the point of vomiting.

She did strange things like stole homework I know I did from my backpack, slipped a crudely drawn (imitating an 8 year old) penis in  with a book report, ripped library books, and literally dumped a can of coke in my back pack once and just smiled at me daring to say something. When I had friends over, she was so nice to me. She would sing, dance, buy us treats with her own money (ice cream store). After we dropped off a friend, her and I, if alone, would drive back to my house and she would drive and make reckless turns to scare me. She would scream "I HATE YOUR FRIENDS, DO YOU THINK I GET PAID TO TAKE CARE OF ADDITIONAL SHITHEADS?"

I am writing this now, not because I still want to contact her and ask her why she did what she did. I have made peace with my childhood now. I am writing this because I was a regular kid. At the time, I imagined I was somehow deserving of this treatment, but the truth is the only thing odd about me is that she caught me as my parents were going through a divorce and I was emotionally struggling. In pictures, I was an attractive child who always had a smile on her face. She made me feel so ugly and worthless. I no longer care why she did what she did. I care that people like her out there. People who smile and joke with parents and even treat one or more children with kindness and regard while systematically destroying the child. I didn't tell my Dad until years later. The fact that I had waited so long and never told anyone made him think it wasn't that big deal, maybe I remembered it wrong. You know kids...they have imaginations. I was a mommy's girl, I just missed my mom.

Wrong. This all happened.  I don't know if a site like this will help you find a nanny like mine. In public, she was usually quite nice. If we went to the mall, she was nice to me. She glared, she cursed under her breath. Once, when I got in the car, she hit me with her flip flop in the head, hard atleast ten times while screaming so loud, calling me a retard and telling me I was going to end up in jail. I remember sitting in the backseat of our family's SUV and her so out of control, the SUV was shaking. Why? I never did anything. I really wanted her to like me, like she liked my brother.

If I were to see a nanny like mine in public, I would recognize her. I'm just writing to ask all of you to look out for the kids around you, children in daycare, children with nannies, children with au pairs, children with stay at home Moms. Some people will tell you to mind your business.  Watch for the nanny who seeks to much control over her charge, he seems miffed when the child steps out of the control zone. One thing I remember is my nanny loved Subway, but I like most kids loved Burger King. Since my mom paid for our food out, she needed me to like subway. I once voiced that in front of my Aunt. My Aunt agreed with the nanny and said, "Oh I hear you, I hate fast food, just take her to Burger King and go to Subway for yourself." A simple solution. Right?  After a dentist appointment where I couldn't eat for a half hour, she drove to burger kind and got me the kids meal I wanted. Then she said, "Oh no, we should have went to Subway first, this is just going to get cold". So she set it on the seat and made me go in Subway while she ordered and ate, a foot long subway, a huge drink, chips and a cookie. I was starving. My dentist appointment was right after school. As she was finishing up, she smiled and said, "yay, your time is up, you can eat now". We went out to the car. She picked up my drink and handed it to me, but it had just a sip of soda in it and ice, I guess she laid it on it's side. I pretended not to see her pick up a gallon of water and drop it on my Burger King bag five times. She passed it back to me and said nothing. I said nothing either as I ate, cold mushed fries and a flattened soggy burger.

Other kids have it rougher. I get that. But this sort of person shouldn't be working with children. So, keep your eyes open, get in someone's business. Start conversations with nannies. They don't have to be accusatory. Listen.


Jersey plus Two

So I need some advice from some fellow Nannies here's my issue.

I've been with this family for 3.5 years now and its been for one little boy. Now it gets a little complicated mom is having twins and moving to a suburban Neighborhood in NJ. I live in queens and had mentioned that if financially they can meet my needs I will be willing to move out there and rent my own place. I would be two hours away from friends and family and my hometown. Now how much would ask for the twins and the additional toddler.

I think $20/hr for twins and and $25/for all three children are fair numbers but they seem to think that is way to much. I'm currently making $16/ hr for one kid. What do you think am I asking for to much? Keep in mind I'm making this move to keep them satisfied and happy and basically doing them a favor by moving my whole life to the suburbs of Jersey!

Doing A Great Job for 2.5 Years with No Raise

Hi Everyone!

I have been with a family for 2 and a half years starting when the kids were really young. It has always been part time, and often times I babysit for date nights. The mom and I are close and she has expressed how awesome she thinks I am and what a great job I have done in helping to raise them. My question is this-- I have never gotten a raise and I am wondering how to go about asking for one. I have gained extensive experience through other jobs, in addition to going to a credited university for child psychology. Also during this time the family had another baby. She recently asked me to work more which I would love because I care for them, but it makes me a little hesitant to be making so much less than I would if I took on other jobs (added experience + added education =more $). Can you please give me some advice as to 1) how to go about asking for a raise and 2) how much? I don't do any household cleaning other than normal/expected duties such as cleaning up after our toys, plates, crafts, etc. My expectations have remained the same, it's just that I have been with them much longer now and there is another child in the mix. I want to stay with them but this is also a job and I don't want to lose out on money from other potential families by staying at this lower rate. Any/all suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated. Please help!

Questions about salary and pay? Email

The Scathing Online Sitter Review

      I'm concerned about a rather harsh and blatantly damaging review posted on an online nanny-babysitter site. I babysat for the family once during late summer-early fall, and thought things went well. It was a last minute job with rather long hours, as I worked all day then arrived at the family home. Family seemed nice, the kids were cute and the night began. The kids were given a choice between playing or watching the movie that DB put on before they (DB and MB) left. They chose the movie. The kids wanted snacks, and the three of us went into the kitchen, where they each chose a snack and drink, even showing me where everything was. They went potty, we went back to the movie. It was about an hour before bedtime, and I explained to them that I was setting my phone and when my phone went off, we were going to clean up and start settling down. At this point they wanted to play while the movie was on, and I was fine with that. About five minutes before the alarm went off, one of the kids tried getting more toys from their room. I explained that the alarm would sound soon and we would need to clean up. The alarm rings and we had a blankie-lovey-stuffed animal party on the couch. Bedtime. We went potty again, brushed teeth, read books and lights out. I had the rest of the night to Netflix, and no matter how much caffeine I had, I kept dozing off. I knew D and MB wouldn't be back for awhile, so I set the alarm on my phone and took a nap. DB came home before MB, paid me and I went home. A few days later, I sent a thank you note, thanking them for the opportunity to babysit.

      Four months later, I am notified by the site that this family left a review. Excited that I got feedback, my mood soured as I read the review, which was posted at the end of January, four months after I babysat for them. The review started with the fact that they thought I was fine. They then described me as someone who "severely traumatized their kids", stating that I didn't or allow the kids to leave the couch for anything, and that I yelled at the kids. They also claimed they "can't get another sitter without the looks of terror on the kids faces". I read, reread and reread the review again, and responded to them in a polite, respectful manner. I showed family and friends the review, who agree that this family is wrong about me and downright rude.

     The funny part? I knew something was off about the review. Something told me to check online court records for our county and state. I did that and found out something interesting: DB filed for divorce from MB, dated 6 weeks after I babysat. That tells me there was family issues going on, and that the review, posted by DB, was posted under stress. The divorce proceedings were occurring when the review was written.

     I have two glowing reviews and this sham on my profile: out of all the jobs I have applied for, only one family hired me, and they really like me. The other families have blown me off, and I think it's the review. Do I offer to explain my side of the review without being asked or wait until prospective families ask? The thing that gets me is that my reputation is on the line, as I opened a nanny agency, and I don't need this review out there. In all honesty, I feel like contacting DB and letting him know I apologize for the divorce, and that there is no reason to talk bad about someone no matter what is going on their personal lives.
Email with your experience.