20+ Nannies Who Worked in Rich Families and Revealed What’s Going On Behind the Doors of Mansions
Traveling first class, vacations at a luxurious villa, top-notch restaurants, VIP access to museums and theaters, meeting celebrities in person... Children from rich families have all of this, and so do their nannies. From the outside, it might seem that this is a dream job, but there are quite a few drawbacks.
At Bright Side, we decided to figure out what nannies who work for rich families do, and we found picturesque and contradictory stories from their professional experience. In the bonus section, you’ll see a story from a dad who accidentally hired a vegan nanny.
1. A nanny can encounter weird things during their interview.
Usually, nannies are hired through an agency. Still, there are moms and dads who can’t find the right person even among 20 candidates — they have so many requirements. Some even hire many assistants so that they work in shifts. Anyway, a candidate can be asked tricky questions during an interview.
- A woman wrote to me regarding a vacancy. There was a 3-year-old boy, the only child in the family, the mom was divorced, they lived with a grandmother, the salary was quite high. Inspired, I went to the interview. Everything went well until they began to ask me weird questions, like, “How would you react if someone shouted at you?” “Would it be a dealbreaker, if you were called names?” “Are you stress-resistant, or do insults make you cry?” © Miss.Te*** / Рikabu
- I applied for a vacancy that was placed on a famous job website. I was looking for a nannying job. When they called me, I was prepared to talk about my age, my experience, etc. But I was asked a totally different question, “What’s your Zodiac sign?” When I said I was a Virgo, they said, “Sorry, we’re looking for a Capricorn or a Leo.” © Podslushano / VK
2. When hired by a wealthy family, the quality of life of many nannies increases significantly.
The ex-nanny of Mel B from Spice Girls was seen on a Californian beach.
Nannies working for wealthy families travel and are usually paid for it. They can visit many places they might otherwise not be able to afford. They accompany the family during their vacation because parents want to be alone while knowing that their children are safe, entertained, and cared for. In everyday life, nannies usually have access to all of the amenities of the house.
- I have a degree in psychology. I work 6 days a week from 7 a.m. till 8 p.m. (I have a break from 8:30 a.m. till 2 p.m. when the children are at school) and I earn really good money. Late hours and trips are paid double. My salary includes meals, living in a separate house, swimming pool usage, a gym, and maid services. They treat me with respect, I’m appreciated. © Podlushano / Ideer
- I work as a nanny for very rich people. In the summer, they live on a huge yacht. They provide meals from French cuisine. I work in shifts: 3 weeks in their house in the Seychelles, 3 weeks at home. In my home town, I get depressed. I want to get back to the turquoise sea as soon as possible, where the ceilings are higher than my house. Recently, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I’m living someone else’s life. I want to quit but I can’t — I’ve gotten addicted to this beautiful lifestyle. © Podslushano / VK
3. However, a nanny can hardly enjoy all the comforts of a rich life, and they have to forget about their own personal life.
Many nannies have to work until late at night regularly and can travel with the family for weeks. You can’t really call it a vacation, because they have to always be with kids. A nanny can’t turn off her phone, and there is nothing unusual about having a worried parent call her at 2 a.m.
- When I was working for the very wealthy, I worked as a live-in nanny. I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, start cleaning, be there for breakfast time and to get the kids ready for school, clean the house, tutor the kids, have dinner with them, and then go play with the kids and do bedtime routines. By that time, I was exhausted, so all of my free time was spent sleeping. Work 16 hours, sleep. I just didn’t have much of a personal life! They would dictate what I wore when at their house. They bought me 3 floral grandma blouses, 3 pairs of mom jeans, and 2 pairs of khaki capris to be worn at their home. They would eavesdrop on phone conversations I was having with my boyfriend, even going as far as following me out into the backyard when I tried to get some privacy. © strandedinalimo / Reddit
4. A nanny can experience different types of attitudes toward themselves and their work.
In the world of wealthy people, there is no price that is too high for something they want. Even the starting salary of a nanny who just graduated from college is much higher than the average salary on the market in the majority of cases. But sometimes, employers treat the staff in a condescending manner. For example, it happens quite often that the family will buy tickets in first-class for themselves, and an economy class ticket for the nanny. So, she has to run back and forth to check on the children. They can lecture her about turning on the heat, or ask her to buy her own food from a cheap supermarket.
- I have a degree in pedagogy, I studied ballet for 10 years, I finished music and art school. I currently work as a nanny. But I don’t just babysit, I raise and develop children. I do dancing and stretching with them, teach them drawing, develop their music taste, and teach them piano in line with my regular responsibilities, like checking their homework, etc. I have a day off once a week. My working day starts at 7 a.m. and finishes when the kids go to bed, usually at 9:30 p.m. It’s a hard job, but my services cost a lot. At the same time, my relatives and friends like to say, “Oh, you’re so lucky to have an easy job.” “Why do they pay you so much? Maybe, I should also become a nanny?” or “Can you stay with my child for a week? You’re a nanny. What difference does it make whether you sit with 2 or 3 children?” I love my work, but I hate this kind of attitude. © Podslushano / Ideer
- I was not treated with respect by any ultra-wealthy families. They live in their own bubbles and then have average people come and work for them. © strandedinalimo / Reddit
- I worked for an extremely wealthy family and when I was going to eat lunch with the kids, I was told that “the help” eats in the kitchen. I quit soon after that. © sydthesquid18 / Reddit
- Some people pay without counting their money just to show off in front of their friends. Like, look we can afford to have home personnel. In one of these houses, there was a really weird wife. Sometimes, when I came to work, she might say, “We don’t need you today. Here is $100 for you.” And once, my employer asked me to organize the toys. We entered a huge room on the third floor of their house, switched on the lights, and I saw that the entire room was filled with new, unpacked boxes with toys from the floor to the ceiling. We couldn’t even enter the room properly. And how was I supposed to organize them, if there was no place to move them? Just a warehouse full of toys. © Azumi / Yandex.Zen
5. A nanny is expected to be educated and always know what to say to the parents and the kids.
A nanny is expected to have a college or university degree. Some even have degrees from Oxford or Cambridge. They are also expected to have some extra skills, like pediatrics, speaking foreign languages, and potty training. Being competent in these areas can help in unusual situations and can save the nanny from arguing with the parents. But it’s not easy to be prepared for children’s questions.
- I remember monitoring kids by the pool one day — it was 2 of the boys and 2 or 3 of their classmates over for a playdate. They spent 20 minutes in the pool, despite my trying to change the subject, bragging to their friends about all the cars their family owned, their grandfather’s estate, their uncle’s private jet, the beach club they ran, and that sort of thing. The kids at the playdate asked to call their parents so they could leave early. Fast forward an hour or 2 later, one of the boys is upstairs crying because his friend has an elevator in their house and he doesn’t. In tears, he asks me if he’s a poor kid (as he sits in a multimillion-dollar house). These kids have no sense of a reasonable amount of money. © strandedinalimo / Reddit
- When I was a student, I worked as a nanny for a wealthy family for a few years. Once, I was picking up my second-grader from school. I could see that something was wrong. Eventually, he said, “Can you imagine? Peter from my class was never born. He was brought by a stork!” The child was shocked and couldn’t understand how parents could miss the moment when a bird grabbed their baby and took it somewhere! © Podslushano / VK
- I work as a nanny, looking after 2 boys (3 and 6 years old). Once, the older boy comes up to me and asks, “Is there the biggest number in the world?” I reply, “No, because there is always a number bigger by at least 1. That’s why they say, ’from 1 to infinity.’” Then the boy asks another question, “What is after infinity?” A bit stunned by this question from a 6-year-old, I say that I don’t know. He looks at me pondering and says, “I think there is another infinity after the first one, and then the third one, and so on until the infinite infinity...” Wow, I’m looking after the second Einstein. © pn6 / VK
6. A nanny is expected to know that there will probably be cameras watching her.
A nanny shouldn’t be surprised about the fact that cameras will be all over the house and the yard. Parents want to control the process and to have an opportunity to watch a recorded video if something goes wrong. It’s a normal practice for an employer to warn the nanny about cameras beforehand.
- Once, a chicken that I wanted to cook for dinner disappeared from our freezer. Only me, my husband, our 2-year-old daughter, and an elderly nanny in a difficult financial situation happened to be in our house. We began to suspect her. So, we installed cameras without warning anyone. The investigation showed that my mom would come to our house when the nanny and child were on a walk. She would unroll some toilet paper, check pockets for forgotten banknotes, take coins, pour out some detergent, and search through the fridge. I really can’t understand why. She’s never been in need. © Podslushano / Ideer
7. Hiring families have a different attitude toward money.
Some millionaires earned their wealth themselves, so they usually value money and know how to spend it. But there are people who were born rich and they can be very wasteful.
- My employers were wealthy because they knew how to budget. I always had to look for free activities to do with the kids and to keep an eye out for a discounted entry to different events and buy discounted goods. What surprised me most of all is how much they truly loved their kids. There were a few times I woke up to texts saying I had a paid day off because the weather was beautiful and they wanted to take their children to play at the lake. Or how they preferred to pick their kids up from school themselves so they could hear all about their day. I miss that family so much. © Alisha33 / Reddit
- I worked for a family who just threw money around. A $500 rocking chair is the wrong shade of orange? Just throw it in the garbage and go buy a new one. Daughters are fighting with each other over their Barbie dream houses? Calm them down by taking them to the American Girl store for new dolls and then get them a blowout afterward. © pinkpanda24 / Reddit
- A good friend of mine is a nanny for a very wealthy couple. They’re both lawyers. He is the source of the wealth, which is largely inherited. He has a job, but it’s the kind of job where he never has to show up or do much work at all and it pays him hundreds of thousands a year. Every day, the wife goes to her job. The husband goes to the floor of the house that nobody is allowed to bother him on. He spends the day lazing about. He doesn’t want his kids bothering him, so he locks himself away to pretend he’s still in college or something and pays my friend to raise his kids for him. They’re nice enough people. My friend likes her job. But I’ll never be able to have much respect for a dude who has all the time and money in the world and he uses it to sequester himself away from his own kids, and watch movies all day. © MidasVirago / Reddit
8. Parents can feel jealous toward a nanny.
Nowadays there is a great emphasis on the mother-infant bond. At the same time, society expects mothers to realize their career goals. So, moms and dads feel contradictory emotions sometimes, because they have to work for their family’s well-being while a nanny experiences all the positive moments with children. Modern parents just want to get the services they pay for without sharing emotions with their personnel. That’s why it’s become trendy to hire foreign nannies who can’t easily talk to a child and build a bond with them.
- I feel for parents who wish they could spend the time that their nanny does with their kids. It’s not the nanny’s fault, and any resentment toward the nanny is certainly misplaced. As long as the parents still treat the nanny with respect and don’t try to undermine the relationship with the kids, their sadness about the situation is not harming anyone. © Maryke S / Quora
- The child and the nanny usually grow to be very close. A mother or father can feel that that closeness means that they aren’t close enough to their kid. Jealousy and resentment can creep in. Parents want to be their child’s best friend and life guide. Of course, it’s hard to share your baby with another person, even when that person is a great addition to your child’s life. It’s tough. © Amie Morales / Quora
- I had a female friend like this: well-educated and highly responsible in her local community. Her husband was a real nice, intelligent, and well-paid guy. A dream couple with ambition. But once she saw her nanny having fun and eating ice cream with her kids: she started thinking and quit her job. Still a great person, but now taking care of her kids herself for the joy of being with her family. © Daniel Schryvers / Quora
9. A nanny has to learn to be invisible.
Singer Gwen Stefani is with her older children in the front, her ex-nanny Mindy Mann is with the baby in the back.
Nannies working for celebrities are like secret agents. You won’t find them in the official photos. You won’t be able to find any information about them. Celebrities want others to think that they take care of their children themselves. When a celebrity shows up with well-groomed and well-mannered children, you shouldn’t forget that “the creator” of this success is the nanny who is walking 20 steps behind, avoiding the paparazzi’s cameras.
Heidi Klum with her kids and nanny
10. A nanny is expected to keep secrets.
This nanny is carrying Uma Thurman’s child.
Some nannies feel lonely and isolated instead of feeling like a celebrity since they are bound by a strict confidentiality agreement with the family.
- Being a nanny for children of “high profile” parents is the same as being a regular nanny, with some key differences. The parents may require you to sign a non-disclosure agreement in addition to a standard employment contract. © Lisa Hanson / Quora
- I worked for a wealthy family, and everything was secretive with them. Like, I couldn’t take the kids to the park. I had to leave through the garage area, I couldn’t have my phone or laptop location on at the house as I had to sign a bunch of waivers before starting. They kept all the windows closed. I mean they meant well and paid well but it was a very stressful environment to be in. © Shook Taylor / Quora
11. There can be problems with payments too.
Usually, both parties agree on payment at the interview. The salary can be hourly or monthly. The parties should define their requirements, expectations, and responsibilities at the first meeting. But everything doesn’t always go as planned.
- While ordinary families have been more generous in terms of giving me a break, offering to take the kids for an hour so I can have some downtime, the wealthier families would complain at any “break” they thought they saw me taking. They were also very negative when it came to past house managers and nannies, claiming that their past workers “did nothing,” were “lazy,” and that they were paid too much for the work they did. © strandedinalimo / Reddit
- In terms of their attitude toward money, super-rich people were very selective about what they paid for. Drop a couple thousand on plane tickets to the Bahamas for themselves? Sure, no problem. However, when they went on those last-minute vacations (which was quite often), they would refuse to pay me those wages, insisting that I wasn’t worth it. In line with that, while the middle-class families have been eager to donate old toys and books, the wealthy families would literally have a dumpster brought to their driveway and would pile up toys/books/clothes for me to throw out. ©️ strandedinalimo / Reddit
- My sister worked as a nanny for a famous Hollywood actress. She was asked to babysit for 12-13 hours at a time (her contract was 8 hours per day). At the end of the month, she didn’t get paid for any overtime which would amount to over 50 hours. © Letusso / Reddit
12. Many nannies feel sorry for the children they take care of.
Some people say that a nanny’s job is to help parents forget that they have children. Despite all of the material benefits, the children of wealthy moms and dads often don’t get the attention they need. Parents delegate this responsibility to a nanny. That is why people who decide to work for wealthy families should consider nannying to be their professional career. Because a nanny sometimes becomes a parent’s substitute and makes important decisions in the children’s lives, like their health and education.
- I agreed to work for a young woman. I noticed that her son looked strange. He was skinny and afraid to make any noise. His mom didn’t even try to talk to him. She would take him on her lap, sit quietly for 5 minutes, and then ask me, “When do you think he’ll start talking?” I would get angry and reply, “Never! Because you never talk to him.” © Azumi / Yandex.Zen
- I nannied for a wealthy family. Basically, I would show up at 7 a.m. every day and leave when the parents got home at 10-11 p.m. I would wake the girls, feed them all their meals, take them to dance lessons, pick them up, bathe them, everything. The parents would even pay for my entertainment while the girls were at dance lessons. They would give me extra money to see a movie or get a manicure while waiting for the girls. I basically raised those kids for them. © Unknown author / Reddit
- There is a lack of connection in the child-parent relationship. It could be as simple as scheduling — for instance, the mom doesn’t know when ballet and tennis is, I do, or as intense as worries and fears. They confide in me and when I bring it up with the mom she’s surprised to learn they’re not just always happy because they have nice things. There’s definitely something missing there and it shows. The 3-year-old slips up and calls me “mama” constantly and it breaks my heart. © cnk93 / Reddit
- It is not a crime to be rich or to work hard, but when there is no place for your child in your life, it is a disaster. Why do you need them if you are not around? Children who are brought up only by nannies in 99.99% of cases face serious psychological problems. This child will grow up feeling unloved and have serious trust issues. They will think, “The nanny only cares about me because my parents, who don’t want to find a place for me in their schedule, are paying her.” © law05004 / Reddit
Bonus: “How we hired a vegan nanny accidentally...”
My brother hired a nanny for his daughter — he’s raising his child alone. They discussed in detail what she should cook and how to make lists for buying food. Then he noticed that the lists didn’t include meat for 2 weeks. He asked his daughter what they ate. She said cutlets and meatballs. He looked into the fridge and it turned out that all the meat they had was still there. It turned out that the nanny refused even to touch meat. She made cutlets from carrots. She didn’t eat milk and eggs, and she slowly began to switch the child to her own diet. She said, “If you want meat, cook it after work and feed her yourself.” My brother tried to talk to her, offered to pay her more to cook meat, she would agree, and then do nothing. Eventually, he asked her to quit, she was really indignant and left offended. © MORE.MORE / Pikabu
Have you ever used a nanny’s service? Tell us about this experience in the comments below.