I need Advice- taken advantage??

I am desperately seeking advice. I can't tell if I'm just getting burnt out or I'm legitimately being taken advantage of. A quick background; I've been with this family for 3 years and along the way had my own baby and bring her with me. The kids are 9, 7, and 3. Then my child who just turned one. The kids adore my baby and my daughter loves them. The parents have always treated me well and I've felt blessed to have them as my NF. They are great people. However in recent months, I'm starting to think we've just developed this "too comfortable" of a relationship. I'm very laid back and the mom who handles anything to do with me is very scatter brained and very busy. I truly don't think anything is done on purpose.

So, they've on and off been talking about a dog. But have always said they'd wait until the 3 year old is potty trained (which they haven't even attempted, started, or ever talked to me about when we'll be starting) so the dog thing; although talked about; was never seriously discussed. Then last weekend I received a random text that said "how would you feel if we bought a puppy something this year" I responded with "oh puppy!" I didn't want to say yes or no via text, and that text message indicated to me we'd talk about it as the time approached "sometime this year". Well I arrive to work the one day later (Monday) to the dad telling me that they already got the puppy and are picking the puppy up this weekend!!! They are taking ZERO time off to get the dog accustomed or introduce potty training. They are getting the puppy on Saturday and going back to their normal work schedules the following Monday... she plans on coming home "early" next week to help with the puppy. Then they have a friend coming over the following week to sit with me and help out?! I'm very mad. I feel like they just doubled my work load, with no warning, and no help on how to go about my day with this puppy. When I expressed that to them she gave me a game plan which was honestly so.. unrealistic. They have no idea what work a puppy is. Telling me I can leave the puppy in the crate All day while we are at the house? As for potty training and taking the dog (out in the middle of winter) I can just leave the three and one year old inside while I take the dog out?!?! What?? I wouldn't never leave a 3 and 1 year old alone.. especially when I'm not even in the house! She said she feels comfortable leave them ALONE and that's what she would do! No. I would never do that. Which means o have to potty train this dog. By bundeling up a toddler and a baby in slush and snow to stand outside until the dog goes the bathroom. I feel like them doing this is so selfish and totally taking advantage of me. Since they already bought the dog... what can I do? They handled this so poorly and so shelfishly.

Another thing that's starting to get old; is they take time off with out much notice and then don't pay me for it. But they forget to not pay me at the proper pay check and then randomly with hold my check with zero notice. It happened this week.. from time they last min took off in October and then did it again the Friday before Christmas from days THEY took off over the summer!!!

I need some guidance on how to deal with all this. My frustration is through the roof right now. But I'm so afraid to ruin what I have because I get to be with my daughter all day and We can't afford to go down to just my husbands Income.

Thanks so much!!


Ugh that does sound frustrating! First of all, it does sound like they have got so accustomed to your help that they forgot that you are their employee, not a family member or friend. The professional/personal boundary line has been blurred no doubt about that. Let me just address that it is illegal for them to withhold your paycheck. It doesn't matter if they "forgot" they need to follow the law. Hopefully you get paid on the books. That alone would have me looking for other jobs asap. You also need to get a raise for the puppy or they need to hire a dog walker. Simple as that. While I do think better communication should have taken place, they got the dog and that isn't really something you can control. However, it is up to them (NOT you) to make the proper arrangements so the dog is cared for properly. Here is my suggestion, ask them for a raise (if you think you can handle a puppy) and make sure the extra $$ is worth it or tell them that you are not caring for the dog and ask them to hire a dog walker/dog trainer. Nannies are not personal assistants and that is how it sounds like you are being treated.

It's time to go. First of all, I would never agree to care for the puppy in the first place. So my response would be "congrats on the dog. Let me know if I can help coordinate with your dog walker. I'd never assume that my nanny also wanted to care for a dog. Otherwise, if you're ok walking him, tell them you charge whatever dog walkers charge in your area.

I do think the time is up for this family. You need a family who respects you. And treats you well. So next time get it in writing that you want guaranteed pay. So if they cancel or don't need you for whatever reason they still pay

I would ask them what they expect of me in regards to the dog. You could even play a bit dumb and say you don’t have much experience in training dogs and wouldn’t know what to do. Ask if it would interfere with your work with the children.

In regards to taking time off without much notice, I have been through this with my first family a few years ago. It’s not fair, and it comes down to them wanting to save a buck. It’s ridiculous. People want their nannies at their beck and call but don’t want to be fair and fork over what is owed to them. It happened to me too many times. They were always taking a Friday off here or there to go to the cottage, and I would be told the day before and not get paid for it. I eventually said that if they are going away, I will require 3 days notice to find other work for that day (luckily I had other part time families that were interested in help) otherwise I feel it’s fair that I’m paid for it.

It’s hard to have these tough conversations, and even harder to quit, trust me I understand. Send them an email if it makes it easier, that’s what I did. Then you can get everything out and word it perfectly.

Hope this helps.

The same thing happened with me. But as nannies we are employed to look after there human babies not fur-babies. I agree with the poster above tell the parents that you want a raise or tell them to hire a dog walker. And with the "forgetting payment" ask the parents to set up an automatic deposit that way they can't forget. (And you could end up being paid when your not working to, because they forget that they set it up) :-)