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I have used two other agencies, both were difficult to work with and did not live up to their promises and Morningside Nannies did.
Dr. Susan Streusand

How to NOT Get Taken Advantage of

Nannies are, by definition, caregivers. But too often, because of that nature and commitment to caring for others she can find herself in the position of giving too much or being taken advantage of. If you’re finding yourself in a position where you feel you may be giving more than you are getting, consider this action plan.

Update your written work agreement.

Having a written work agreement outlines the terms of the employment relationship and ensures that both nanny and parents have a mutual understanding of job-related duties, responsibilities and expectations. Putting the effort in upfront to clarify what the nanny’s role is can help to establish a parameter that can be enforced and gives the nanny something tangible to refer to if the boundaries start getting blurred.

Address job creep when it happens.

While most nannies are happy to pitch in and lend a hand with whatever a family needs, the adage that today’s favor is tomorrow’s chore tends to be true. As soon as a favor turns into a regular expectation, it’s time to speak up. Something like “I am happy to assist with the family dishes first thing in the morning, but if you’ like to add that to my job duties we’ll need to adjust my start day to 15 minutes earlier, and my pay to reflect that so that I can be ready to engage the children once they come down stairs,” can communicate to the family that you’re happy to go above and beyond, but you’ll need to be compensated appropriately for doing so.

Set boundaries.

As a nanny, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries can be a challenge. Setting boundaries is an important step in fostering a healthy nanny/family relationship. If the parents consistently come home late, if it’s a win for you, agree to offer that flexibility – but on your terms and with proper accommodation. If you can’t offer that flexibility be clear about that, too. If your work family regularly asks you to babysit on the weekend, but you really don’t want to, don’t be afraid to say so — and perhaps offer to refer them to another nanny you know who would love to pick up some extra hours on the weekend.

Practice self-care.

It’s easy to feel taken advantage of if you aren’t caring for yourself. Caring for children can be draining; working with the parents sometimes even more so. Ensuring that you are at your best physically and emotionally will ensure you have the reserves needed to set and maintain boundaries, and to recognize when you are being taking advantage of – and ready to implement the corrective measures necessary.

Michelle LaRowe is the executive director of Morningside Nannies, Houston’s award-winning nanny agency, 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year and the lead educator at NannyTraining.com.

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