This post was last updated on May 22, 2023
Like any job, there are pros and cons. I’ve never tried to hide my career – I work full time as a nanny. And I love it. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about the pros of being a nanny. There are so many great things about being a nanny that whittling it down to just a few pros was hard, but it was really fun to write! And now it’s time for the cons of being a nanny.
I hate to be negative, but as with any job, there are definitely some cons to being a nanny. Not enough to make me not love my job, but enough where the occasional bad day does happen.
The Cons of being a nanny
- Disagreeing with the parents. I’m really lucky in my current jobs. The families I work with are incredible and I get along with them really well. Our parenting/nanny styles are very similar. But I have had other jobs where I completely disagree with how they parent, and it made it very hard to work those jobs. When working so closely with a family, you will have disagreements, it’s inevitable. It can be hard to realize that though you care so much for the kids, at the end of the day, you are still an employee.
- Certain “punishments”. I think having a nanny “punish” your child can be complex, and it really depends on what the parents want me to do, and how comfortable I feel with it. I don’t have punishments at either of my current jobs, but honestly, the kids are so good so I don’t need it. But I have had other jobs where they wanted me to punish the kids in ways that I disagreed with, and I couldn’t bring myself to do. So how, as a nanny, do I please the parents, but not disobey? It can be complicated, so now before starting a job I make sure to have the talk with the parents about how they would like me to handle certain situations. Making sure we agree on what can be done is so important. It makes the whole situation far less stressful, and it helps to know where you all stand. It’s also good for the kids to know what to expect and have all childminders on the same page.
- Being taken advantage of. I have had jobs where when I first started I was given certain tasks to complete each day. But once the parents get comfortable around me they start becoming more demanding, and expecting the nanny to do much more work with no extra pay. Not cool. People sometimes forget that being a nanny is a full time job, the same as being a retail worker, a nurse, a dentist, etc. Any other job. At other jobs if you do extra, you should receive extra pay. Being a nanny should be treated the same. It can be hard to say no to people in their own homes. Because you don’t have an HR representative you need to stand up for yourself, since you don’t have anyone to help you out that way. It can be tricky to stand up for yourself, especially if you’re a people pleaser (me!), but in the end you deserve to be fairly paid for your work.
- Long work hours. This isn’t a con for me personally, but I know a lot of nannies who complain about it. As a nanny you have to be at your job before the parents leave for work, and stay until they get home from work. This makes for long days. Personally though, I would much rather work four ten hour days than five eight hour days. I’d rather work an extra two hours each day and have an extra day off 🙂 However I do know some nannies who get very particular about having regular break times and not working any extra hours. Being a nanny does not offer regular break times. Maybe the child will be sick, or won’t nap. Then you work all day with no break, and that’s just what happens sometimes.
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- When you are no longer needed. This is the hardest part for me personally. Kids grow up. They go to school. The time will come when you are no longer needed and it is always so sad. I do my best to keep in contact with families after I leave, since I know my leaving is hard for the kids as well. But one day, the kids you have that bond with will grow up, stop needing you, and maybe even forget you one day, depending on how old they are when you leave. My advice for this is to remember how much those kids loved and needed you at one point, and how much you helped them grow into the person they’ve become. Remembering the strong impact you have had on their lives brings a happiness only a parent or caregiver can really understand.
Like I said before, every job has its pros and cons. It’s the same for my job as a nanny. But personally, the pros by FAR outweigh the cons of being a nanny, and I hope to be doing what I do for a long, long time.
By the way, is you’re interested in childcare then maybe becoming an au pair would be a good fit for you. If you’re wondering whether or not becoming an au pair would be suitable for you, you should check out this post!