13 Things Your Child’s Nanny Isn’t Saying

Nannies and former nannies in Boston, New York, Seattle, Pennsylvania, and Los Angeles reveal what it's like to take care of your kids, plus what you do to make their jobs harder.

By Jennifer Steil

Being a nanny is a profession.

Please treat me as you would other professionals.

Don’t tell me that I am part of your family and then ask me to work overtime.

Just because I work in your home doesn’t make me part of the family. I deserve basic rights, such as sick time, holidays, and at least a day off a week.

Live-in nannies need a room of their own.

Some couples actually expect me to share a room with their baby—or worse, to share a bedroom with their child.

I'm a nanny, not a housekeeper.

Sometimes I clean parts of your home because I simply cannot stand the filth.

If your child bites me, don’t reward her.

One parent actually said “Oh honey, are you hungry?” to her child while ignoring my bleeding face.

I have my own family.

Many of us have kids in other countries. We’d like to see them, but we need vacation time.

It's appalling how much junk you feed your kids.

Seriously—give them veggies once in awhile! If you don’t keep junk food in your house, your kids can’t eat it. You can give them choices without destroying their health.

Don’t come home drunk or on drugs in the middle of the night...

... Wake up your children to play with them, and then wake me up to put them back to bed. Don’t do drugs if you’re going to be around kids, period. And don’t wake me up in the middle of the night just because you’ve partied too hard to care for your own children.

Nannies from other cultures need orientation.

Tell me which foods are fancy gourmet foods to be used sparingly and which are everyday foods. I kept eating up the best caviar and spitting it out in the trash, thinking it had gone bad.

I'm not paid well enough to be a substitute parent for your child all the time.

If you do not have the time or patience to raise a child, don’t have one.

Pay us well.

Value your child a little more and cut corners elsewhere.

Don't misrepresent yourself to an agency.

If you don’t have an extra room for the nanny, say so. Don’t claim to have a bedroom and bathroom for her, and then ask her to sleep with your child.

Treat your nanny with respect and as an equal, and you will have a loyal friend for life.

Most of us become lifelong friends of the babies we helped raise, as well as their parents.

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