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Last night after 10 an agent called me.

I had to pinch myself. Was I dreaming?

“So what makes your book so different?”

It’s probably the first time in my life I didn’t think. I heard myself talking:

“My book consolidates every aspect of outsourced childcare. Yes –

Occupy the Middle Classes/$500 a week (authored by Nanny X)

Occupy the Middle Classes/$500 a week (authored by Nanny X)

=&0=& Live out position, 8am-6pm 5 days a week,  duties childcare, cooking meals, cleaning children’s rooms,  doing laundry. Compensation $500 a week. Could you survive on $500 a week? How would you do it while living and travelling in NYC? It would help not to pay tax. It would help to sleep in a room with others and split the rent. To only take public transport even on late nights. It would help to have friends and family sharing meals. It would also help to eat on the job and shop in thrift stores. But $500 doesn’t go a long way if you’re a documented US worker. It won’t help if you are indebted to a human trafficker or an apartment subletter. $500 a week is a wage not conducive to hiring immigration lawyers, or buying health insurance, nor does it give you an ability to save or travel to your home country to bury your parents or watch your daughter get married. $500 a week doesn’t help when you have to send 50% of your money home literally so your parents won’t starve.  Why would you offer $500 a week for childcare? You offer it because you have no other choice. If you paid more for a Nanny you’d have nothing left for yourself and your family each week. You have to work because your job pays for your family’s health insurance but it means you essentially work for $200 a week. That’s what you earn after everything goes out. If that is not your situation, ask yourself – how can I justify this wage to another human being, and one that I entrust my children to? Do you think about your Nanny’s health when she’s sick? Of course you do. Do you suspect she’s undocumented? Would you rather employ an American? Yes! You’d jump at the chance but given the credit crunch, you know you couldn’t afford to pay her tax or a decent wage. Neither do you have the time or energy to make it work. So you do what you can. You help your Nanny as and when you can. You know in a year or two, you won’t need her. You wonder what will happen to her. Given all the tax Middle Class Americans pay out, and given the recent bailouts to banks and financial institutions, isn’t it about time the government helped American families with childcare costs? Given the immigration crisis in this country, isn’t it about time the federal government offered Nannies and domestic workers, temporary work visa’s, options for healthcare and a minimum wage? What is our social responsibility to the millions of hardworking people without papers?  Meanwhile corporate greed continues unabated. Every corner of Manhattan now has a bank parked. Small local businesses are being evicted by greedy landlords. Just look where the money goes. Banks are reporting record breaking profits from late fees and finance charges on credit cards.BANK OF AMERICA shame on you. How many G-anksters could live on $500 a week? Isn’t it time we added our voices, as domestic workers, as Nannies, as middle class families, to the folks on Occupy Wall St and similar movements? 

… Agents

Today I am very happy to be a Nanny.

A day ago (as a Nanny) I was able to fully assist another human being in one of the most fundamental ways. For reasons of confidentiality I cannot elaborate. But for the privilege of doing so I am truly grateful.

For those who don’t know, I have been writing