No way to treat the nanny

A letter writer is confused about how her employer is treating her.

Get the hell out of there, says our elder.

Dear EWC

I am live-in nanny. I have been in the childcare business for seven years. Currently I have been at this position for ten months. The family was originally really sweet and loving, all of my expectations were clearly defined. Six months ago, the lines were blurred; although they said they considered me as part of the family, the mother continually talks poorly of me in front of her son and friends. She belittles me in public and then hands me a handsome check or treats me with overly kind attention. I am paid $5 an hour which is okay for a live-in and I don’t want to be a quitter, but should I stay if she pays me little, verbally abuses me, and changes expectations at the drop of a hat? I don’t want to give up or deny her generosity… what do I do?

Lawry replies

I would be happy to answer your letter. I know exactly what you are talking about. Some years ago, I was a live-in nanny one summer for three children and a second summer for one child. The first summer was wonderful. Everything worked out great and I was treated very well. The second summer was the opposite. I was taken advantage of and when I did some extra things around the house it was never commented on. The mother, in particular, was not a nice woman. I don’t think she liked being a mother and she was looking for someone to dump her child on for the summer. I finally decided I’d had enough and I left before the summer was over.

What you are describing is truly abuse. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. I would encourage you to move on. I wouldn’t call it giving up, but rather doing what is right for you as an individual. It’s hard to believe there are people out there like you describe, but I know there are. This mother is the one with the problem, not you. So, again, I would encourage you to leave. There isn’t any amount of money that should keep you in that environment. You deserve better! The fact that you wrote this letter asking for advice, tells me that you know in your heart that leaving is the right thing to do.

I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you a great deal of luck as you move on with your life. Think positive. I am a great believer in that.

I would love to hear how things work out for you. I’ll be thinking of you.

Letter #: 431198
Category: Career

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