Inconsiderate/Paranoid Parents HELP PLEASE!

Background: This was my first "professional" babysitting job, met them through sittercity. Parents are both surgeons. Live in a huge mansion with cameras surrounding the house, the house security system as well as doorbell is connected to parents phone. They can see whenever someone's rings doorbell or whenever doors open and close in home. Average pay in my city is $12 per hour for one child and $15 for 2 children. Parents said they were only willing to pay me $11 for their 2 children. I agreed. No contract or conversation about expectations was established at the beginning (HUGE mistake). As time went on, my responsibilities changed and slowly began to pile up and their trust issues began to show SEVERELY. I put SOME of the things that have been happening often and really bothering me below. It's gotten to the point where I feel like I'm not trusted whatsoever and feel very uneasy being in their home. I don't have much experience so what do you guys recommend I do in this situation? Should I speak with them? If so what do I say? Or should I just quit without explanation? I know it's long but I REALLY need help so please read and help me as much as you can! Thank you!!

Examples of recent incidents:
1. Children I babysit are 7 and 11 yrs old. 11 yr. old is the one who has the house key, knows the security system code, and garage code. Im not allowed to know any of this information so if I need to take the children to activities, I have to ask oldest child to disarm the security system and open/close garage door for me.
2. On one occasion I had to run outside to my car to get my school bag, I noticed I had left my laptop outside so I went back to get it and then came back in. Notification went to moms phone saying that one of the doors had been opened twice in less than 10 minutes and I got a call from her shortly after questioning me.
3. I was working a 12 hour shift for them and decided to order some pizza for myself. Once the pizza was delivered. I got a call shortly after from mom saying saying that she saw through the security camera that I was having food delivered to the house and that she wasn't ok with that. If I need to order food I have to go pick it up from store and take the kids with me.
4. They NOW expect me to unload/load dishwasher once I arrive. Sweep kitchen floor, wash surfaces, and take out trash after finished using the kitchen. And also wash all dishes from dinner the night before (kitchen always a mess when I arrive). Do kids laundry, check kids homework from the WEEK before or 2 weeks depending on how behind the kids are in school.
5. Let's say I'm scheduled to work 7am-7pm. If father gets home at 6:30 or 6:40 pm, he only pays me from 7-6pm. He rounds down.. but expects me to not leave until mess (from kids) is clean. Keep in mind I also commute an hour to and from their house... the least he can do is round up when paying me.
6. They come home late many times (normally 2 or3 hours late)without warning me first. They expect me to just stay until they arrive. Same goes for my work schedule. For example, she had scheduled me for a 6am-6pm last Friday. I called on Thursday to confirm and she switched everything up and said she needs me from 3:00pm- 10 pm instead... she did this without asking me about my availability or letting me know of time change ahead of time. This scenario has happened MANY times..
7. I'm never paid for gas... I always have to take kids to their activities/appointments every time I babysit... sometimes it's only a 20 minute drive other times it's a 45 minute drive.. either way I'm never paid for gas and on top of all that I'm getting paid way below average pay for 2 children...

Some of theses scenarios seem small but have happened SOOO many times that are now really bothering me and making a huge problem... what do you guys suggest I do?? Am I overreacting? Thank you again!!

Comments

I'd have a sit down with them ASAP and discuss these issues because they are indeed issues that either need to be addressed and fixed or you're well within your rights to just leave. First of all your pay is ridiculous for all you do, clearly you are doing far beyond supervising older children and must be compensated for that! Cleaning beyond what you do with the children is generally not something nannies do and you either should be paid more for that or be able to refuse the extra work when they're unwilling to compensate you further.

As for your hours I'd tell them you're unhappy with how frequently things change last minute, ask for 24hrs notice of schedule changes (I ask for a week for my own sanity), demand (yes demand) to be paid in full when your DB arrived home early. It makes a little more work but divide the hour into quarters, so if you work until 6:45 and are able to leave right then, then you're paid for 3/4 of the hour. Or they could be actually good employers and pay you for your entire scheduled shift because that's really the proper thing to do.

As for food being delivered that is very very odd of them, and I'd feel the need for an explanation for that and for why they're so paranoid. I'd approach it like "I've noticed you're very concerned with home security, to the point that I can't open a door without being questioned and am not allowed to have food delivered for myself on long days. Did something happen that I should be aware of, or a safety concern you haven't shared?" this gives them a chance to try to explain why all these rules are in place and may give you insight into whether their trust can be earned in time or not. Not being able to have food delivered is pretty overreaching and silly, I get food delivered often when I stay overnight because it's easier than bringing three days of groceries over. So that one I have a hard time understanding even from a safety perspective. I usually try to see the parents side but that one makes little sense to me.

So to wrap up I'd have a meeting with them and discuss how the job duties are more than originally discusses and suggest a contract be drafted that includes your pay and duties that you agree to, if you guys can't come to an agreement that truly works for you then I'd absolutely move on. I'd ask about what happened to cause this level of security, if nothing did then it's paranoia and probably won't change at all so you decide if that's a condition youre okay working under.

Yes talk to them but don't stay on if they're unwilling to compromise. Write out all that you want to say beforehand and it will go more smoothly :) I am always nervous to have discussions like this but they're really important.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I was beginning to wonder if all families were like this but I'm happy to know that this isn't normal! Will definetly be talking to them sometime soon to see if an agreement can be made!

No problem, I'm just glad the site is posting comments quickly now!

Being cautious is one thing, but their level of paranoia is definitely odd and would have me concerned something has happened or they have actual enemies or something.

My DB is pretty cautious, cameras every where, alarms on every door, security system in place, a ring doorbell with video etc, but I'm able to come and go as we please, I have the codes for the system, etc. A basic level of trust is really necessary to feel secure yourself.

The food delivery one still is bugging me because delivery people have background checks for their jobs and there would be a paper trail so most of them aren't going to go trying anything bad... Just doesn't compute! I hope they're amenable to some changes so you can do your job AND be a happy fulfilled person.

These people trust you with their children but not the security password to their home?? I'd say that's pretty backward. I have had the whole adding chores on without extra pay happen to me... so I asked for a raise and let them know that if I didn't get one I wouldn't be doing this that and the other. Only the bare minimum.

None of these seem email to me. I would have left long ago. The true issue alone is enough reason to leave. I don't care if parents run a background. In fact, I encourage it. But once it's done and they feel comfortable, I need a key and or a garage door opener. I don't care about cameras as they are everywhere you go these days. And they protect me from unwanted accusations but telling me I can not have food delivered is ludicrous

And paying for mileage is a federal mandate. It's not up to them. Along with the low pay and job creep, I'd say this job is over! They sound horrible. I'm sorry to hear about your poor experience with this nf

None of these seem email to me. I would have left long ago. The true issue alone is enough reason to leave. I don't care if parents run a background. In fact, I encourage it. But once it's done and they feel comfortable, I need a key and or a garage door opener. I don't care about cameras as they are everywhere you go these days. And they protect me from unwanted accusations but telling me I can not have food delivered is ludicrous

And paying for mileage is a federal mandate. It's not up to them. Along with the low pay and job creep, I'd say this job is over! They sound horrible. I'm sorry to hear about your poor experience with this nf

Bks2016 said it all very well! Great advice and I agree and want to say you are way underpaid! Also kids this age should be helping with some of these household chores. I have worked with paranoid parents but I could never handle this level of crazy. If you don't trust me with your kids then you better find someone else!! They will make you insane!!
Good luck!!

These people sound thoughtless, rude, and condescending. They trust you to watch and drive their children but don't allow you to order FOOD for yourself?! What if there was an emergency and you had to get in the house yourself?! You have no contract... in this case, that is good. You have nothing holding you there and you need to get out of there. Tell them right after they pay you for the week. Don't give two weeks' notice (normally I would never say that but it sounds like they would retaliate and hold back your pay). You don't even have to put them down as a reference... however, if you wanted to, you could make something up. Say your schedule changed or you have severe back issues or something... anything to protect your reputation. I wouldn't trust them not to retaliate. There are better jobs out there, and you deserve one.

I have quit nanny families for far less. If they are doctors and live in a mansion, they can afford more for their nanny. I would charge $15-18 per hour for two kids. Remember, school will be out in June and these kids will not be happy stuck in a locked house with a camera recording their every move nor will you. Parents leaving their dirty kitchen mess for you to clean up is a Definite Deal Breaker for me. No way will I clean up after lazy parents. Nannies clean up after kids, do kids laundry, change sheets and make beds, but at their age tell them to put Their dishes in the dishwasher not leave them in the sink. This family needs a live-in housekeeper plus nanny. Parents are totally taking advantage of you by changing your hours, not paying for the full shift you worked, keeping you prisoner by not letting you go outside? to your car? I had a family whose mother had the house and front door on a camera and did not tell me this when she hired me. I would take the baby for a walk and she would call me to see where we were, or the neighbors called to say someone was at the front door, or why is the baby cranky? I got tired of the constant surveillance And she did not tell me all doors and rooms were on a camera When She Hired Me. When your boss came home late and did not tell you in advance, then refused to pay me, I then would have quit right then.
If I were you, summer is coming, there will be a lot of families needing help and great nannies like you, so start looking for a new job. If you want to talk to your boss, have a list of what duties you will not do and you need 24 hour notice if they change the hours or your shift. All nannies are given money for kids activities and lunches out. Tell them you need gas money since they are not paying for your gas, to run their kids around. With what you have said, I just have a bad feeling about this couple and I would look for another job for the summer. Good luck and keep us posted. miss pat

I have quit nanny families for far less. If they are doctors and live in a mansion, they can afford more for their nanny. I would charge $15-18 per hour for two kids. Remember, school will be out in June and these kids will not be happy stuck in a locked house with a camera recording their every move nor will you. Parents leaving their dirty kitchen mess for you to clean up is a Definite Deal Breaker for me. No way will I clean up after lazy parents. Nannies clean up after kids, do kids laundry, change sheets and make beds, but at their age tell them to put Their dishes in the dishwasher not leave them in the sink. This family needs a live-in housekeeper plus nanny. Parents are totally taking advantage of you by changing your hours, not paying for the full shift you worked, keeping you prisoner by not letting you go outside? to your car? I had a family whose mother had the house and front door on a camera and did not tell me this when she hired me. I would take the baby for a walk and she would call me to see where we were, or the neighbors called to say someone was at the front door, or why is the baby cranky? I got tired of the constant surveillance And she did not tell me all doors and rooms were on a camera When She Hired Me. When your boss came home late and did not tell you in advance, then refused to pay me, I then would have quit right then.
If I were you, summer is coming, there will be a lot of families needing help and great nannies like you, so start looking for a new job. If you want to talk to your boss, have a list of what duties you will not do and you need 24 hour notice if they change the hours or your shift. All nannies are given money for kids activities and lunches out. Tell them you need gas money since they are not paying for your gas, to run their kids around. With what you have said, I just have a bad feeling about this couple and I would look for another job for the summer. Good luck and keep us posted. miss pat