Quitting a nanny job

posted 1 month ago in Career
Post # 16
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

Hello! I worked as a nanny for many years before making a career change. I can understand how lovely it felt to have families that included you as family (3 of my previous families are actually invited to our wedding!)

If you feel like it’s a growth step for you to leave the position, I would phrase it as such. You understand the circumstances the family is in after you leave and to find someone to replace you, so it would be good to present it as soon as you feel comfortable with your next step. As you’ve said, they’ve maintained a bit of distance, so I don’t think you have to invest much worry beyond giving them enough heads-up.

Good luck!

Post # 18
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
bluejaybride :  Jeez!  I’m impressed that you stuck it out thus far.  The parents and the child both sound extremely difficult to deal with.  

Most new employers won’t allow you to delay a start date by more than one month, anyway, so planning to give 1 month is also reasonable from the perspective of starting off your new working situation well. 

You are not putting parents in a bad situation by ending an at-will work situation with a month of notice.  Do not feel guilty or bend over backwards for not delaying your future.  After all, the parents are free to stop working themselves to watch their own (sometimes abusive) kids.  Why should them going to their own workplaces be more important to you than you finding and starting your own employment?   If they wanted to fire you tomorrow, they could. If they gave you one month’s severance after working with them for 6 months, that would be considered extremely generous.  

Good luck with your next steps!

Post # 19
Member
699 posts
Busy bee

OP, I know you asked for the opinions of parents who employ nannies, but I think you should take their advice with a grain of salt. They are coming at this from the perspective of parents who need childcare looking out for their best interests, and while I do think it is good to be considerate of your employer and their needs, you need to focus on what is best for you. I have a friend that is a nanny and she has twice been dropped with a day of notice because of a change in the parents life (with one, grandma retired and wanted to watch the kids, with the other the mom sold her business and was able to be home). She was left scrambling and in a really bad position because these two families did what was best for them. You need to do what is best for you. I wouldn’t give them too much advance notice because, as someone said above, they may find someone quickly or decide it’s a good time to take some PTO while they search and you are out of a job weeks before you had planned on it. It’s really hard when you are in someone’s home and there is that extra level of familiarity, but trust me, there are plenty of ruthless parents/employers out there that wouldn’t give letting go of a nanny as much though as you are giving this.

 

Post # 20
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
bluejaybride :  My sister was a nanny for many years. I remember she was nervous about giving notice because she felt like she was putting the family in a tough spot by leaving. She was also nervous the family would try and talk her into staying by making her a great offer; however, after many years of nannying, she was simply burnt out on watching other peoples’ kids, so she knew she wanted a change; she too wanted to leave nannying for a regular 9-5. She missed the office environment. When she gave notice, it went better than she could have expected. Her family did try to keep her, but she was honest, and told them she was ready to re-enter the regular workforce, and needed more hours. The boy she watched was due to start preschool soon, so her hours would eventually be cut back. They were understanding, and only requested she sit in on a few interviews. The family found someone quickly, which gave my sister a little time to herself before starting her new job. 

Honestly, I have great respect for nannies. I couldn’t do what you and my sister did. She’s told me similar stories as yours above: bratty kids; she was always sick with what the kids brought home; underpaid. She had one family who used to call her in the middle of the night to come watch the kids because the mother was in and out of the ER with digestive issues. I don’t think nannies are paid well enough for the work they do. It takes a special person to take on the responsibility of helping to raise someone else’s kids. 

Post # 21
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
bear123 :  “They are coming at this from the perspective of parents who need childcare looking out for their best interests…”

Well-said! 

Post # 22
Member
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

Holy crap, that child sounds so difficult to deal with. It’s completely understandable that you want out as soon as possible, you’re not in a good situation as a childcare provider with a very difficult child and lack of parental support in managing him. There’s really nothing you can do as a nanny to a child like that if you have no support in correcting his behaviour. You also just sound burnt out from being a nanny in general, so of course you need to move on. 

If you haven’t found anything close to the end of the school year, are you open to retail/fast food? I don’t know how the pay compares to what you’re making now, and of course that kind of work sucks as well, but it sounds like it would be an improvement over your current situation, at least until you find something better. 

It’s also good to hear that you’re not planning to jeopardize your livelihood for the family’s convenience by letting them know you’re looking for a new job now. Some people don’t seem to realize just how devastating an unexpected employment gap can be, even if it’s only a couple of weeks. No employer is ever going to put your needs above their own, so it’s great that while you’re trying to be considerate, you’re also being careful not to put yourself in a bad position. 

Good luck with your job search. I hope you find a great opportunity very soon 

Post # 23
Member
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

It’s probably not a good idea before your last day, but if you can frankly tell the parents, “Dealing with Eldest’s clear and significant emotional-behavioral challenges that have so far gone untreated has made this situation untenable for me.  Your family needs professional help to develop his coping skills and for you to learn the strategies that will allow him to be successful,” I think they really need to hear it.  They obviously don’t want to though.  It sounds like they’ve been burying their heads in the sand.  Possibly you could provide the wake-up call that actually gets him the help he needs?  It might be best to do it in writing after you’re gone to protect yourself from their reaction. :/  They’re setting him on a scary path by not addressing this.

Post # 24
Member
1047 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I think you are over thinking this. You are an employee, and in the United States, employees change jobs fairly frequently to better their own circumstances. This is a job that doesn’t pay well or offer enough hours, in addition to the other problems you mentioned.

All you owe them is to give a reasonable notice and to give the job your all until your last day. Ultimately these children are not your long-term responsibility.

Do what’s best for you and don’t feel guilty about it.

Post # 25
Member
565 posts
Busy bee

You poor thing! I’m a parent and ex teacher and have dealt with plenty of difficult behaviour (my own kids as well as students), so really feel for you! It must be so tough on your own with no back-up and support. Honestly I don’t think you owe that family much at all (they haven’t gone out of their way for you) and would treat it like any other job. Your mental and physical health is more important and it’s great you are looking to change careers. Hope you find a new job soon, and just give the usual notice you would give any other job, you don’t owe them any explanation. I would just say that you want a change of careers and leave it at that. Good luck ❤️

Post # 26
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a parent so I get that perspective, but I still wouldn’t expect more than 2 weeks notice in this situation. Like if it works out that you’re able to give more notice, great, but absolutely don’t do it if it puts you in any kind of vulnerable position. You need to look out for your own interests, just as they will no doubt be looking after theirs. The fact that they may have trouble finding another nanny to work their unusual hours is irrelevant – if that’s such a concern then they should have drawn up a contract stipulating a certain period of notice or something.

I also don’t think you owe them a detailed explanation as to why you’re leaving. Just say you’ve accepted another position that’s a better fit with your career goals and leave it at that. And on your last day if there’s some type of post mortem I’d for sure mention your concerns about the oldest son as that sounds like a nightmare. Probably will fall on deaf ears though.

Post # 27
Member
237 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

My best friend used to Nanny and your latest update sounds JUST like the last Nanny job she had before quitting that career. It was 2 young kids home full time, a 6 month old baby girl and like a 3-4 year old boy. The boy was a lot like you described – didn’t listen, lashed out, hurt his sister a lot. My friend would go to the bathroom and come back and the brother would be pushing his sister, standing over her with a KNIFE, pushing her high-chair over, etc. It got so bad she had so much anxiety that she stopped going to the bathroom there, she was afraid he would kill his sister! She talked to the family multiple times and they always said things like “that’s just how he is.” I was scared for her, and was so worried I’d see the news “toddler kills baby sister in Nanny’s care”. Since she did bring it up to the parents more than once and they blew her off, she quit on the spot one day because her anxiety was just too bad to handle it anymore. 

I am a mother (but use daycare not a Nanny), so I understand being put in a bind if someone where to quit on the spot, but at this point, your mental health is more important! Do what you need to do to feel better and move on, the family will figure it out. 

Post # 29
Member
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

That’s awesome! Good luck with the new job, and with the conversation tomorrow. Try not to feel guilty. I know it’s not the amount of notice you wanted to give, but two weeks is enough. They’ll figure it out.

Post # 30
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
bluejaybride :  Good for you! I found leaving my last two jobs was a bit easier when I handed my bosses a resignation letter while announcing I was leaving. I don’t know why that piece of paper gave me a little more strength to utter the words, but it did. I too feel sick with worry any time I prepare to give notice! I guess I hate feeling like I’m dropping a bomb, but I always remind myself I’m moving onward and upward. Good luck, Bee! Please let us know how it goes. 

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