Burn out and how to ask for what I need from family

Hi there. I'm currently nannying for a 20 month old boy 50 hours a week (M-F 10 hour days) and have officially reached burnout.
I have been nannying for 7 years so I've seen and done it all. Most recently my main 2 yr old girl is transitioning into daycare so I took on this family to supplement. There are days where I have both children for 10 hours. I am also a childbirth doula (goal being this as full time career and parents are aware of this and supportive) but this new schedule has not allowed me the time I need to take new births. Both mothers I work for are midwives so it's a unique situation in that we all run in the same circle, our line of friends/employer is blurred, but on the positive side they are very supportive of my doula career and I can't see how they wouldn't be receptive to my needs right now.

I guess I'm just asking for help in how to bring it up. She is a single mother working full time and I enjoy them so much, but my self care is nonexistent right now and I'm so depleted I know I'm not good for anyone else this way. I think cutting down to 3 days a week (30 hours) is ideal for my sanity, but what do I do about the pay at that point?? She'll have to be paying another nanny too...I know this is all just my own thing needing to "suck it up" and keep the emotions out of it, but I'm hoping to get some advice from fellow nannies or mothers who understand how hard the emotional ties make this!! Thanks in advance!!


Hello Burnout,

I would just send a text,or in person just say' I need some advice, 'You know how we are all in this baby business, together ?and that is indeed a unique bond we all share..Well recently one of my babies is really needing some extra TLC..and that baby is ME..'and then laugh about it..keeping things light always makes it easier to win over,otherwise stressful news..then lay out your requests in that way,including pay..I'll bet your stress level will go way down after sharing your heart,and speaking up for yourself..I mean who wouldn't understand?!!

First figure out if you can afford to live in 40 hours a week because yes she will have to pay someone for the other 20 - that's a big pay cut. And then just talk to her.

I'm struggling too, my boss just added a new puppy last week, which he had mentioned but we had not discussed the logistics or my pay for the dog. So cute puppy is in my lap as he says $50 extra a week, so I say yes it being day one and just cute and fun.... Now it's 3 days in to 16 month old twins and a new puppy and I'm so pent up. He's asked me to stay late every day this week and I feel SO BAD for him because he's a single parent as well. He has family nearby but they have 3 kids all in different age groups and activities so they're busy most evenings. He just has no one else. He used to be okay having Temps in and out when they were small but now that they know when it's someone new things are more challenging.

As I read your post I kind of reflected on my own issue, and decided nothing changes unless we speak up. So do your best to map out exactly what you want to say. For me this means writing it out, even if you decide to speak in person it helps to outline and then details exactly your feelings on your own time so you can analyze exactly what's important to you and what you want to suggest as a solution. If you do have friendly contact you can try to have a time to get coffee together and tell her you need to chat, outside the home so no one is distracted by kids. I'd tell her you're feeling over extended and something has to give. You can have her make suggestions, perhaps she already has an idea that works for you and her. But in the end these are our jobs, and we have to always be taking care of ourselves.

With my long and stressful days I've been staying up way too late to get to a relaxed point and to spend enough time with my husband, I've been exhausted and for the first time in YEARS I slept through my alarm this morning. I've been "craving" alcohol as a way to cope and that's also not okay. I don't have it, but the desire is there and it makes me worry about my self which isn't okay. My boss brought up a raise weeks ago but hasn't followed through and his job is up in the air (company being taken over and I believe he's getting a job with the new Co because he was a huge asset at the old, but he's stressed and so am I) So while I feel for his situation I also can't keep being this level of stressed. I haven't decided if more money would make the juggling of twin toddlers and baby puppy worth it, or if I simply need the puppy to be upstairs with boss. There is a crate up there but he whines incessantly in there, understandably so... Hes new and doesn't like to be alone. But I will not stay sane listening to him whine and howl across the hall from where the kids and I spend the day. I know it will pass as he ages but I've never been one to count down days to the weekend until now. Self care is absolutely gone and replaced with survival mode and I hate that feeling. It's tough indeed but we will both feel better if we talk to our bosses and try to find a solution.