Hi everyone. I am a former nanny/current au pair and have joined because I can't really find support for au pairs anywhere on the web. I am having some issues with the family I am newly living with, and I'm not sure what to do.
I care for a 3 and 5 year old. Because the family is new to the area, the kids are only just now entering school. I work 10 hour days, and right now the mother and the older child are pushing my patience. The things that bother me are things I feel I cannot complain about or scold the child for, but they are making me question whether or not I can stand this living situation.
My mom texts me all day long. If she's at work, if she's in the house, if it's 1am and I am trying to sleep. Hints, reminders, suggestions, photos. Even in my off time, it is as though these two kids are my kids. The younger of the two kids is very sweet and cooperative, but the older child and the mother inspire bad behavior and make my job very difficult. The older kid is needy, tattles every five minutes, eats 6 meals a day, and makes passive aggressive comments about me which are later mirrored by the mother (all variations of "why don't you do this for me?", "why do you get to eat dinner?", or simply pestering). I literally just finished feeding her, and she just "instructed" me to fetch her from her 5th floor room when her second dinner is ready (the dinner I had to beg her to eat). It seems that in the few moments I do manage to achieve silence, the mother will come in and rile everyone up again-- feeding when I've just fed, suggesting messy activities when I've just cleaned, encouraging the kids to run and scream. They will be fine all day, but the minute she exits, they are both crying for mommy and refusing to listen.
The older kid and the work hours are what are making me angry. Because au pairing is viewed as an exchange, I feel uncomfortable asking for more money or fewer hours. This week, the mom asked me to watch the kids on a weekend day, for her anniversary. I already work 50 hours a week. I already forfeited a personal appointment because her schedule changed. She hasn't mentioned extra pay, and I doubt she will. She is barely older than I am (I'm older for an au pair), and I think she just assumes that it's "no big deal" to me. I feel like I will be judged for having a personal life, but the fact is that I do, and I only get those two days to enjoy it. I am flexible and willing to work, but the resentment is starting to build over little things, and I am not sure how or where to draw the line. I've been a nanny before, but never live-in, and I am very anxious about how to handle issues like these, given that I am a guest in their home. Our contract is vague. It only states that I watch the kids from the time the parents leave in the morning to the time they return, with weekends off and two weeks vacation. I am supposed to have off time during the day, while the kids are in school, but I have yet to have that.