Nanny Problem: Two rules, one for them, one for me
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Dear Nanny X,
I work with parents that seem intent upon making me the bad guy. I know many nannies feel this way because they are on the meter and parents like to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth – but I’m tired of the double standards. Example:
No TV when I’m around under no circumstances
No Video Games when I’m around under no circumstances
No junk food or fast food or fun food like healthy pizza when I’m around under no circumstances
No sugar when I’m around under no circumstances
Rigorously set bedtimes and nap-times when I’m around
Okay, I understand why. But as soon as the parents come home these ‘rules’ fly out of the window. To the point where the kids virtually push me out of the door, and to the point where they look at me 10 minutes before I leave and brag “wait til mom gets home.”
I even had the mom change the rules on me in front of the kids, like, “oh go on then put the TV on, it’s okay.”
Why do I get all the hard stuff while they – the rule-makers – get the fun stuff? I feel under-mined constantly.
Dear Nanny Jill,
I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your employers understand that their crazy-making decisions only negatively affect their children, but as my previous article demonstrated: ‘Is this nanny behaving badly’, it is universally accepted that there is one rule for parents and one rule for nannies.
Yes – on their dime and time you need to follow their instructions. You could ask to sit down with them to discuss the schizophrenic nature of the household rules but this would probably not change anything and worse still, it would add to your frustration and resentment.
This is one of those ‘aspects of the job’ nannies either deal with or move on from. If you feel that the parents are sabotaging your authority in the house, look for something else. The power that you have is the power to leave.