So I had just finished a summer live in job which was mostly a good experience. I am beginning to see no matter who I nanny for there will be at least a few things I find less than convenient, but that's a given. I quickly found another family needing a live in with 3 school aged children, one being special needs. We discussed the job over the phone, and had a face to face interview. I wanted to be paid by the hour, however we agreed to 25 -30 hours/wk, $250/wk, and a contract. I mentioned I was a little burned by the last family throwing extra hours on me without warning or getting paid so she agreed any extra time would be properly compensated. She was very friendly and reassuring that I would not be taken advantage of. The whole process went very quickly, I was hired on the spot (I usually am, I AM great with kids) and I was to start the following week. I moved in with a good feeling, the kids were fun and loving, my room very spacious and away from the childrens playing area....Or so I thought...I woke up to kids banging on drums above my room...Okay okay, I can take that, it IS an improvement from being woken at 6am every morning to children yelling outside my door at the last job...I can take 7am. What I can't take, however, is how I'm suddenly told I am only being paid 200/wk, I am expected to do household chores on my free time, and my hours are never really set. Oh and the contract? What contract....The children are not disciplined, they hit, yell, call names, and tell me no 48603596809475 times a day. I mentioned having a difficult time keeping up with getting the special needs child ready for school as we were running late and he was not cooperating. (I have to get very creative and make a game out of everything) I was told basically to get out of his face, as if it's all my fault.....I WAS only asking for help.
An average work day:
*Starting at 7:30 - assist with children getting off to school
*Bedroom - Clean, make beds, open blinds, turn off night lights and fan... (why half of this isn't done when they wake up is beyond me)
*Check laundry - fold and put away anything in dryer, switch over clothes from washer... tend to laundry throughout day
*Clean kitchen - wash down all counter tops, load dishwasher and hand wash any pots/pans or large knives/utensils
*Make a walk through of house to make sure nothing is out of place
*Off until sometime in afternoon when children return home (varies)
*Find additional chores on note when getting lunch
*Unpack backpacks, wash containers from school lunches while...
*Making snack for each child as they arrive home
*Children engage in videos/ipad/wii... and I take that opportunity to get things organized
*By now it's 4, time to play outside! No, wait, I'm supposed to get them to their homework! Wait wait! They scream if they cant have their veg out time, mom is okay with that! AHHHHHHH.
*Dinner - Sometimes I fix it, sometimes I don't....
*Bathe children, brush teeth, read "adventure story" (I make them up, use their names as the the characters) SLEEPY TIME. (I put them to bed most nights)
*Clean kitchen **See above + sweep floors
*Assist oldest child with homework that didn't get done earlier
*Read with oldest child, usually make snack
*Finally finished 9 - 9:30
Everything is subject to change, including work schedule. Out of the 6 weeks I have been here only 2 of them were within the agreed hours (29.5hrs) and I was only paid extra (at same rate) once in the beginning. Sunday is my only full day off.
Oh yeah, btw mom and dad is around half the time, so I always have them hanging over me. A lot of times I stand around feeling stupid because they take over but I'm still supposed to be there. On top of that they are so particular about things it drives me nuts. I could go on and on but I think you have a good idea about how this job is going for me. I found out shortly after starting the last nanny left after a month, now I know why!! I feel like I have no time to myself because of my hours, I miss my boyfriend, I'm tired and disheartened. Don't get me wrong, I love the kids, and dont even mind a challenge. I just feel like I can't do anything right, and this whole job is so so wrong...There is way too much expected of me and I am not at all happy doing it with how little I am paid.
In your honest opinion....
Am I over worked?
Am I underpaid/what SHOULD I be paid?
Would discussing the problems I have with them help? (I don't actually feel comfortable doing so)
Would it be immoral of me to up and leave without warning, considering the circumstances?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
Also one last Q... where did you find your job? Can you refer some good places? I have used mainly Craigslist. (I also use Care and Sittercity)
Thanks for reading...