Does Your Nanny Hate You?

You think she loves your kids as if they were her own. But does she? Before you answer think about all the extra chores you make her do, the unpaid overtime she puts in, the way you undermine her authority over the kids (even though she spends more time raising them than you do) and the yucky, dirty out-of-style clothes you give her instead of just, y’know, throwing out.

Kate Fillion’s got a great piece in the current April 2008 issue of Canadian Family magazine called “What your nanny REALLY thinks of you,” which touches on all these points.

The issue is moot in our household because as much as I’d love to hire a nanny, we can’t afford a full-time live-out nanny ($12 to $15 per hour). And while for $1,200 to $1,500 per month, hiring a live-in caregiver seems like a great value, our house’s configuration isn’t ideal. We’ve got the space, but not in the right places, with plenty of bedrooms, but only one full bath upstairs and then one full bath bath, maddeningly, in the unfinished basement. Not that that would stop some people: according to Fillion’s article, one nanny had to sleep in the basement with the family’s dogs, who would pee on her stuff. Nice.

In any case, with hiring a nanny becoming more and more the provenance of middle class, dual-income families and not just the rich, the story is timely and actually sort of gossipalicious. I mean, when you think about it, you probably know more than a couple families who’ve hired a nanny at one point or another, and it is interesting to try to guess if that cheery water cooler confrere you chat with in the morning is actually a bastard/bitch from hell when it comes to dealing with his/her family’s “hired help.” (After all, you can tell a lot about someone’s real personality by how they treat people who work for them, and by how they treat sales clerks and restaurant servers, as we all know. All too well, if you used to work in one of those fields.)

Anyway, check out the article. Canadian Family-where I used to work as an editor last year before quitting to write freelance from my new home in The Hammer-is a fantastic magazine. You can find it at Indigo, Chapters and I think Shopper’s. Embarrassingly, the magazine has vastly improved since I (and others) left, and it has been run under an almost entirely new creative team, but I’m pleased to be a regular contributor. The mag covers a great many topical parenting issues, minus the mawkishness and earnest boring blah-ness that characterize this medium in Canada. This issue, there’s a supercute guide to throwing an eco-friendly birthday party, too.

Author by Yuki Hayashi

A Quick Review:

First off, qualified Nannies would not accept some of the conditions described. They are not your slave and as I have observed many “Nannies” are not trained in the art of looking after children. Parents, do not expect quality care if you have not checked out references and expect to pay a sum and work conditions that you would want if you were to apply for the job.