Open Letter To Parents Seeking Nannies

I am sure your children are lovely. Nevertheless, I’m going to have to say “thanks but no thanks” to the nanny thing. I am looking for a career. I am trying to be a grown-up, get dolla’ bills, and put my as-yet-unpaid-for education to good use. Frankly, parents, your rampant Nanny Wanted ads are getting in the way of my success.

First of all, you don’t have to put every possible keyword under the sun into your post when you write it. I could enter “Molecular biologist jobs” into a search and come up with one molecular biology position, seven hundred administrative assistant jobs, and a million nanny listings. They are scientists, people. SCIENTISTS. Have some respect.

Oh yes, it’s also very cute how you wrote the job post as if your newborn and his two-year-old brother composed it together. That was not lost on this lowly job seeker! I’m sure two babies are really into their nanny having “reliable transportation.” They probably sat down in the office together after dumping in their own drawers, rolled up the sleeves of their onesies, put their soft heads together and came up with a working draft. I can just imagine it. You read it and were all like, “Madison, Kennedy, this is perfectly written. Exactly what I was thinking, too! Quickly, lets post this to the World Wide Web and then have a light snack of kale chips and organic carrot juice!”

Then you remember that infants aren’t supposed to eat kale chips and call for Carmella, your wet nurse.

Am I really supposed to regularly take your kids to museums and zoos and art galleries? I don’t even get to go to those places and I can read and go to the bathroom by myself. Going with your hell spawn does not count as a perk, so don’t even try to argue that angle. I’ll be too busy yelling at them not to touch stuff, wiping their boogers, and trying in vain to instill within their souls a life-long love for art and culture to enjoy anything. Jerks.

And about this desiring a caretaker who “creates whimsy” thing. Can one be certified in Whimsy-Making? You have seen Mary Poppins one too many times. Your children are five. Everything is whimsical. A pile of white, dried out dog poop can be whimsical to a kid if you tell them its wizard dust. When I was growing up, my parents straight up forgot to be the tooth fairy once and refused have Santa give me a Stretch Armstrong for Christmas. And look at me, I turned out just fine and absolutely not bitter about it whatsoever.

I don’t even want to touch the subject of those of you who need a  “housekeeper,” but I’m going to anyway. So, in addition to taking care of your children, I get the joy of taking care of your entire household too — the dog, the cleaning, the phone answering, the grocery shopping, the laundry, etc. etc. — before shuffling home to my own squalor? Or, if I’m even luckier, I can have the privilege of being all up in your sh-t constantly and live in the “shabby-chic” room you jury-rigged in the attic of your brownstone? Hot diggity dog, sign me up!

How is this all still a thing? It is 2012. In three years we were supposed to have flying cars. We already have robot vacuums. If you can’t do the keeping of your own house, for the love of other people’s dignity, maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t have one.

I know, I know. You are busy, and you and your partner both work so much that it is simply impossible to find the time to fit in the gym and Whole Foods and rearing your children. It is a predicament. Don’t get me wrong; I do think it is important for people to have jobs, if only for the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that some weirdos get from employment. I wouldn’t ask you to give that up and stay home with the kids if it keeps you from going crazy. Plus, I’m sure there are people out there who genuinely enjoy taking care of your small ones.

But that person is not me. Sometimes, kids are gross. Sometimes they say mean things because they have no filters. Sometimes they bust out in full-on stiff as a board on the floor temper tantrums in the check out line. And no matter what, nobody is going to love your kids and all their foibles and sticky hands as much as you do. Just remember this.

And stay out of my job search. TC Mark

image – Mary Poppins


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  • Lisa

    you’re a brat.

  • exploredreamdiscover

    it’s okay if you feel that way, but this is rude and makes you seem like a petulant brat. why would you post this to the internet?

    • Rachel Ramirez

      Because the Internet is for everything and everyone? Also, it’s in the humor section for a reason…

      But in all seriousness, is it really that rude? Are we not supposed to make fun of anything anymore? I’m curious about what struck you as so awful.

      • D

        This is the part that sounds bratty, and entitled:

        “Nevertheless, I’m going to have to say “thanks but no thanks” to the nanny thing. I am looking for a career. I am trying to be a grown-up, get dolla’ bills, and put my as-yet-unpaid-for education to good use.”

        For many, many people, nannying is the “career.” It is how many people “get dolla’ bills” and support themselves and their families, and yes, even pay off their education.

      • Sylvia

        it’s not the way that people with a degree should be doing…if youve gone to school and gotten a degree in something other than ECE then nannying isn’t really a career for you

  • FrostBiteMe


    Newly living in NY, I am in total awe of the number of nannies running around and I feel sorry for all of them.

  • Sydney

    Regardless of bratty sentiment, I found this hilarious. I am a nanny with a college education myself, in fact I’m at “work” right now, but this article didn’t really make me feel bad about my decision. It kind of made me feel bad for you, but I mostly laughed.

  • Rachel Ramirez

    D: I’m not entitled. I’ve cleaned bathrooms, made beds, cashiered at Wal-Mart for a living. I don’t want to be a nanny because I’d probably be bad at it. Plus, I’m making fun of a particular brand of nanny want-ads more than the profession itself. Maybe you didn’t read the whole article?

  • Nicky

    As someone who gets constantly bombarded with Admin Assistant, AFLAC and Nanny jobs listings when I’m trying to search for Library Technician or Archives Assistant positions, I agree wholeheartedly. What about my Masters in Library Science made you think I would be interested in changing your child’s diapers? I worked with developmentally disabled kids as a therapist for years; been there, done that, not searching for it now. There’s nothing wrong with posting a listing for nanny services, but at least tag it under the appropriate keywords, like I don’t know… child care? Nanny? People who post their job opening under any and every entirely unrelated keyword search drive me completely bonkers and waste copious amounts of every job-seekers time.

    • Rachel Ramirez

      We are in really similar lines of work. How ya holding up with the job search?

      • Nicky

        Working as a paid intern for the state archives right now. The pay isn’t too great but it’s in the right field and looks good on a resume. Unfortunately, with the state hiring freeze, there’s no room for promotion in the near future. The choice seems to be to stay where I am, hourly and with no benefits, or take an unpaid intern/volunteer position somewhere else that might have the possibility of full time status in the future. Rock vs. hard place, as it were.

  • Lisa

    That’s kind of a bummer for you because my college educated self was a nanny for 6 years. Let’s see, $50,000+ a year, car, health/dental benefits, house credit card for any use OH and I spent 2 months traveling to places like Paris, Africa and Alaska that I never would have been able to see without. To each their own but why don’t you not write an article on a subject you pretend to know anything about. Being a nanny is often a career and a very lucrative one at that.

  • Berenice

    I loved this article and it made me laugh! You didn’t come across as bratty or entitled; if anything you captured all of the nonsense nannies (who more than not are underpaid, overworked fresh out of college kids) have to put up with from parents that believe they are making perfectly reasonable demands. Keep on writing!

  • Errka

    Sounds like you’re great with kids- no wonder parents are clamoring for your child care skills. Seems you have some fantastic unsolicited advice for them too. Alot of people are unemployed right now and would love the job you just spent an essay turning your nose up at. Still not understanding whose been pestering you to be their nanny so much so that you had to turn out this little hot turd of a diatribe.

    • Rachel Ramirez

      Haha, Yikes!

      • Errka

        Yikes is right- it’s hard to see where the “humor” is in this piece. Is it satire? Because if so you’re a genius. Othwerwise all I hear is” “Eww kids and menial tasks- soo below me now that I have some college under my belt”. The current economic climate would beg to differ.

      • Rachel Ramirez

        Errka, I’m sorry that you think my article is poop. And I’m actually okay with kids, albeit kind of afraid of them. I never said I was great with children, though!

        I absolutely see the point that you and others have made– going to school does not make you better or worse than anybody else. I really wasn’t trying to say that in this article.

        As somebody who is currently unemployed and looking for jobs in a somewhat specific line of work (that is, actually, sometimes dirty or menial and does not pay well) it can be frustrating to have to dig through cutesy or sometimes downright delusional posts for things like nannies and salesmen and what-have-you.

        That frustration manifested itself in this article. But much of it is said in jest. I bet you all who are looking for nanny jobs also have that one kind of job ad that pop ups and bug the crap out of you, too.

      • Errka

        That’s a commendable response below Rachel. I have a job but I know people who look for work and get a similar run around as you do- it’s the same all over no matter your education level. Employers have the upper hand in a job market like this I think they take advantage, nanny seekers included

  • Nicodemus

    Haha, a great article. Perhaps too whimsical for some? Beware the wrath of breeders!

    • Errka

      No kids here and a healthy appreciation for the availability of abortion especially if it means less essays out there like this in 20 years. Circle of Life the snot nose kids she references above do grow up and they go to Thought Catalogue to pen open letters apparently.

  • Tessa H.

    OMG it was a joke! Everyone who is angered by this article needs to read it more closely.
    I wholeheartedly agree with everything Rachel wrote! It’s exactly the same as when I’m looking for a “used green sofa” on craigslist and it seems like every single person selling something on craigslist has listed the words “used green sofa” in their descriptions of anything from a pair of hot pink candlesticks to a vintage toilet plunger. It’s not that I think I’m too good for a pair of hot pink candlesticks, or too over educated to enjoy them… it’s just that all I want is a used green sofa!! Stop messing up my craigslist search greedy posters!!

  • H.D.

    I’m surprised by the backlash. As someone who just recently found a job after 6 months of unemployment I UNDERSTAND. Try searching for something for a psych degree and these nanny posts are everywhere. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s obnoxious. If I want to be a nanny I will search ‘nanny positions’. Makes sense right? Not everyone is on the same page so it’s annoying to have to sift through a bunch of positions THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR SEARCH just bc the person who posts it wants someone to have a masters in psychology and fluent in mandarin (these nanny credentials are actually out of my league and I know I could barely land a job as one haha so no shade here, its just not for me!) So everyone who is offended just let it roll off of you, she’s not trying to offend nannies, more annoyed with the people getting in the way of her finding a new job which we all know is super difficult these days.

  • Delaney

    this is hilarious and so so true. Thanks for saying what so many of us are thinking!

  • JO

    This is great. Relax people, this article is totally poking fun at those monster parents who want kids without having to do any of the work and expect the nanny to fill in all the parent gaps… Come on, you know the type – the ones where the baby has a more expensive t-shirt than you but the parent has never changed a diaper? Very funny, looking forwards to more of your articles Rachel!

  • Jeremy

    Sorry, but nannying is not a career. A career implies job growth/potential promotion, a trade skill or intellectual ability needed for the job, and some kind of education or training. Nannying is a job–one generally reserved for uneducated immigrants or European teenagers, i.e. au pairs.

    That new parents expect someone with a master’s degree to care for their children says something pretty frightening about our society. You don’t need 20 years of education to change diapers and spoon feed bananas, and certainly no one gets a master’s degree so they can be a nanny. People have been raising children since the stone age after all; it’s not rocket science.

    • FrostBiteMe


    • Yes

      I left my job as a magazine editor and became a nanny. This type of work feeds my soul in a way my salaried desk-job did not. Nannying is my career, and I’m proud of it.

    • Ella Ceron

      It might not be rocket science, but it’s a hell of a lot harder than you would assume it to be. I worked really hard for my English degree, and in order to make a living, I work as a nanny. Was it my first choice in a job? No, but I’ve grown to really love it, and to love the little boy I watch. Anyone who thinks it’s simple and “stone age” to put yourself second to another human being and take care of their needs first for fourteen straight hours a day, five days a week, is more than welcome to try it.

    • Emily

      So your argument is that a nanny is not a career because
      1.) It doesn’t have any growth potential
      2.) It doesn’t use intellectual ability
      3.) It doesn’t require education/training
      4.) we’ve been doing it forever

      If I’ve understood that correctly, I want to hopefully politely point out a few things.
      1.) Growth potential doesn’t equal a career. You can go from a crew position to a floor supervisor at McDonald’s, but many people would still think of it as a job. To me the difference between a career and a job is how you feel about it. If you’re just in it for money, it’s a job, if it’s something you love and want to be better at, it’s more along the lines of a career.
      2.) Let’s hope that the people looking after children have some intellectual ability! As a nanny you have many responsibilities that may cover academic intelligence (helping kids with homework, or tutoring them in a foreign language), emotional intelligence (creating bonds with children, building their social skills). You need to be able to think quickly and multitask. It may not take the same type of intelligence it takes to do well on a college exam, but then again, many other careers don’t either, but it still takes an intelligent person to do the job *well*.
      3.) Many times it does require education/training. Beyond basic requirements of first aid/CPR, many nanny jobs are looking for someone with a degree in child development or a related field, and these families will pay well for the comfort of knowing that their child is in the hands of someone who has training. Of course everyone can be a parent, but you will be a better parent, or a better caregiver if you have at least a basic understanding of child development. Do you know when a baby can see as well as an adult? Or when you should begin to seek help if they’re not talking? Or what positive discipline for a 2 year old vs a 4 year old looks like? The pros and cons of a montessori school vs a waldorf school.
      4.) Yes. People have been raising children for centuries. We’ve also been cooking food for centuries. Should we not call being a chef a career?

      Sorry this post has gotten so long. It’s just frustrating to see people have no respect for nannies. Or think that all they do is put on a movie for the kids. Yes, there are some shitty nannies who do this. There are also lazy people who work in offices and spend half the day procrastinating online. But there are also people who have realized that being a nanny is their calling in life, and they work extremely hard and are amazing at it and should not be discredited.

  • Erin

    Loved this article. I always wonder, why the hell can’t parents take care of their own kids? If you don’t have time for them and want to hand them off to some 20 something, don’t have them in the first place. You should have a mother, not a nanny.

    • Emily

      Sadly there are many people who should not have become parents in the first place, however that’s not always the case with everyone seeking a nanny. There are very few people who can get by with absolutely no outside help, some need more than others depending on their job and individual situation. It’s not always possible to live off of one income (assuming there are two parents), and if your child is under 5 then that means a nanny or some type of preschool/day care. If the mother makes more going to her job then she needs to pay for help, many prefer having the individual care of a nanny. Not all nannies are 20 something, and many are well trained and educated. For example, I worked for a single mom who had to work, but luckily made enough to pay me well. It was a much better alternative than having her child in a daycare. Other people get nannies when they are going on vacation to help with the stress of traveling with young children, or for their kids over summer. And while i believe that mothers should try to take time off work to be with their children the first couple of years, many enjoy working and don’t want to be a stay at home mom.

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    Open Letter To Parents Seeking Nannies | Thought Catalog

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