Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nanny Confessions: It Hurts Not to Get a Raise or Bonus

Parents Should Be Sensitive to Their Employees Financial Struggles
By Stephanie Felzenberg, Nanny and Editor of Be the Best Nanny Newsletter

It is not a nanny’s business how much money their employers make or how they spend their money. But I confess, when parents buy their two-year-olds iPads, an infant a $300 dress, and spend a fortune impulsively on pricey material possessions, it tends to bother a nanny that is struggling to make ends meet. When a nanny feels she is underpaid, and has tried time and time again to unsuccessfully negotiate for another dollar an hour, while their employers can clearly afford it but simply choose not to, it hurts. It’s not politically correct to say, but an unfortunate result of feeling like you cannot earn a living wage, while your employer is a spendthrift, is frustration, resentment, and jealousy.

Nannies are not the only workers that may sometimes feel jealous over how much their employers have. Administrative assistants sit just a few feet from the executives they work for who may earn tens or even hundreds of thousands more than the assistant.

But nannies must keep their attitude and expectations in check. I urge nannies not to covet what their employers and their children have. The reality is that nannies won’t make the same amount of money as their employers and they should not ever expect to. It’s important for childcare providers to create a budget, live frugally, and live within their means.

My recommendation to parents is to be sensitive to the fact that your caregiver may be struggling financially. Don’t forget to pay your nanny on time, don’t skip holiday bonuses, or neglect giving them a cost of living wage raise annually, if you can afford it. Of course if you cannot afford to give your caregiver raises and bonuses simply have a conversation with your nanny to explain that. Your actions speak louder than words and your nanny will notice if you are spending a fortune on frivolous trinkets but unwilling to pay her fairly.

My recommendation to nannies is to live within your means. Create a budget. Create a plan to change your place of employ or train for a different career if you don't enjoy your current job. And don’t base your happiness just on what you can or cannot afford.

Stop by next Tuesday for more Nanny Confessions!