Things I Learned, Part Two

Last time, we learned that to have a successful summer nanny job (or any nanny job, for that matter), you should always (ALWAYS) have a contract, trust your gut feelings, learn to see past the skinny, tan, blonde outside, maintain a proper work realtionship, and beware of information from the mouths of the children.  Today, we’ll go over a few more ground rules to save you from being homeless.  I give you:

Things I Learned From Being a Summer Nanny (A.K.A. Being Homeles Sucks…But Being Stuck in a House With a Horrid Boss is Even Worse).

Part Two:

6. Leave texting your problems to 12 year olds.  Try to keep your problems in a face to face form of discussion.  It helps to have regular weekly meetings to discuss what you’re doing right, the things you’re doing wrong, and what you can do to make the working environment (and living environment if you’re a live-in) better for everyone involved.  If they inform you of problems through text, they aren’t worth the brain cells you devote to reading said text.  Girls in Junior High use texting to confront someone…Not 40 year old mothers.  Learn the difference between the two.  (You may be working for someone stuck in that frame of mind.)

7.  Think about leaving.  Does it make you sad, or do you feel giddy?  If you’re excited to leave, that’s a sign that things are not going the way they should.  A live-in position requires work on both ends, and if only one end is trying, this relationship won’t work.  Speaking of relationships…

8.  Look at theirs.  If they have trouble keeping a guy in the picture (and they ALWAYS blame it on the guy), there’s a good chance they’ll blame all the problems of the job on you.  After awhile, when they get comfortable around you, you’ll see why they were divorced in the first place…and still single.

9. Stand up for yourself.  Don’t let them treat you like a slave.  You may be working for them, but you don’t deserve their attitude.  Don’t be afraid to argue your side if you feel wronged.  They may be your boss, but they shouldn’t be able to control your life completely.  You are doing them a favor by working for them, so don’t forget it.  The moment they step into your private life and private choices (feel free to cut/color your hair whenever you wish), you should be stepping out the door.

10. Have a back-up.  When you’re dealing with an un-contracted 12 year old stuck in the 40 year old body of a princess, you could be tossed out on your ass at any moment.  Be prepared for it (by keeping your phone handy…that text could come any moment), and be prepared to get out of there fast.  If you’ve moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone, make sure you have some sort of contact that will help you out in a bind.  There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a new town with no one around to help you.

I hope these tips will help all of you out there considering being a nanny (summer or not), and I hope you don’t go into a job thinking that you’ll get everything you were promised.  I don’t mean to plant seeds of doubt, but I could have used those seeds to secure a healthy working relationship/environment, and I hope that you learn from my mistakes.

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