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Here Are Five Nannies Who Make Over $100,000 a Year

Career

When you think of careers that yield six-figure salaries accompanied by enviable, jaw-dropping perks, being a nanny probably doesn't come to mind. We know what you're thinking: Is a $100,000 salary the norm? Nope, but it's absolutely doable. In fact, when we began researching this story, we quickly discovered that we had more highly paid nannies to interview than what we had room to include.


Here's the thing, though: Being a six-figure nanny requires a certain kind of person, and the skill set is more inherent than it is learned. They must be incomprehensibly patient, incredibly flexible, able to work 70+ hours a week with a perma-smile, and someone who will completely sacrifice her life for the family she's working with.

Let's say you're a six-figure nanny with hot date on Saturday night, but your family calls you in that morning for a spontaneous jet-away across the country. That date is to be continued, and you're officially on the clock. And though you may have been swept away via a private plane and ushered to the most lavish five-star hotel, that doesn't equate to champagne selfies and sight-seeing. It equates to preparing a schedule for the child and taking care of the family's every need so their vacation goes off without a hitch.

“These families have the luxury of being really spontaneous – to a degree that most of us can't even imagine," says Katie Provinziano, managing director at Westside Nannies, a California-based agency that pairs families with the perfect nanny. “A lot of nannies really like structure, and they feel like their role is to create structure for the children and their parents. So they're tasked with the difficult job of creating structure within what can be a completely unstructured setting."

We spoke to three of these highly-paid nannies to further gain insight into their lives. Some names have been changed to protect their – and their families' – identities.

Catherine, 29: Bedford, NY

Salary: $140,000

How long have you been a nanny?

I've been a nanny since I was in college, and I have about six years of full-time, professional experience. I went to college to study elementary education, and sort of fell into nannying during the summers. I discovered that I loved it, and when I graduated, instead of looking for teaching jobs I applied to my first nanny agency.

Tell us about the families you've worked with.

I've worked with children ages fourteen to two days old, but my current kids are two and four. The parents are great and very involved. All of the families I've worked with have been different. In some cases, the parents are rarely around, and in others they're involved in every aspect. I've worked around the country and the world, and I've lived and worked on a horse farm, on a yacht, in villas, and in "normal" homes. That's what's great about being a nanny – it's the same profession, but every position is like a completely different job with different skills required and people to figure out.

What are some perks associated with your job?

Private travel is pretty great. It's hard to go back to flying commercial when you're used to having a jet all to yourself. I've seen more places than I ever would have been able to on my own, and in the most amazing ways. Also, getting to eat meals prepared by the amazing household chefs is a huge perk! Each job has had its own special things. I've gotten generous bonuses, had apartments provided, and have been given lovely gifts.

What's the most challenging part of the job?

It can be a challenge to come into someone else's home and fit in seamlessly. That's part of what's expected of nannies who work in these types of positions. Each family has a different idea about what role they want their nanny to fill, and you need to figure that out quickly. In all cases, the idea is to anticipate and fix every problem before the parents know that it's a problem. It can be a lot of pressure, but I think it's a good and exciting challenge. I would say that nannies who are paid these large salaries are ones who are comfortable and willing to wear many hats. Every day can be different, and learning to go with the flow and keep order amidst chaos is such a necessary skill. It's an exciting career for sure!

Sasha, 28: Nashville, Tenn.

Salary: $150,000

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been a nanny for 10 years. I started babysitting at the ripe age of 11, and those jobs turned into summer gigs, which evolved into part-time nanny positions while I was in college. I ended up taking about six months off from undergrad to take on a tour nanny position, and then once I graduated, I continued to nanny as my career. And here I am today! In addition to a college degree, I have a teaching credential, and have multiple child-related certifications, as well.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I typically work Monday through Friday about 50 to 55 hours a week, but there have been weeks that have topped 80 hours, not counting the overnights. This usually happens when we are traveling! I give my bosses my full availability from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Friday, but there are times when I must be flexible to travel or work weekends. I generally get to work around 9 a.m. and stay until bedtime, but at least stay until after dinner. I'm really lucky with this family because they will let me hire back-up sitters if I have made plans for an evening and they need someone last minute. A lot of jobs that pay at this level don't have this sort of flexibility built in.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your career?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is how much of a difference I can make in a child's life. I love connecting with my charges and seeing their faces light up when I show up for the day. I love being able to soothe them when they scrape a knee or teach them to ride a bike. I truly have fun every single day at work and no two days are the same.

Christine, 33: Ireland

Salary: $100,000

Tell us about the families you've worked with.

I have been both a live-in and a live-out nanny. I don't really prefer one or the other, as they are both great in their own way. Most families I have worked with have two or three kids ranging in ages from newborn to 12. Sometimes you have nurses working with you and you have to manage staff, or as I was lucky enough to have on several travel trips, a co-nanny to help care for the children. It's always great working in an environment with other nannies so you can bounce ideas off each other or build each other up when the energy might be lagging after a long day. With other jobs, you might be the sole nanny in charge of one child, or even three children and maintain the household for the parents. I consider myself fortunate to have had great relationships with all of the parents I have worked for.

What are perks associated with your job?

It varies from family to family. With live-in positions, your living expenses are paid for, including food, Internet, and that sort of thing. With overseas positions, you have medical insurance, plane tickets to and from your home country, and visas are organized and paid for. When you travel with a family, all your expenses are covered, including flights, accommodation and food. You are also often given gifts and bonuses, but it all depends on the family, the position and sometimes the culture that you are working in at any given time. Families are really generous and thoughtful with their nannies.

What are some of the more challenging aspects?

The most challenging aspect of the job for me doesn't come from the job itself, but from the perception of the job. The concept of “nanny" being a career path is not always seen as a serious or important job. The professionals in the industry have worked hard over the years to dispel the myth of a nanny just being an over-paid babysitter, or that is somehow an “easy" way to make money. In reality, it is a professional industry full of hard working women and men who are qualified and experienced and with a passion for what they do. The job has a really serious element to it that can often be glossed over. I have spent many hours with children in doctor's offices, hospitals, with anything from minor illnesses to serious breathing problems. You need to be prepared, be calm, and act quickly in an emergency. We aren't just there to play games all day; we are there to ensure the children's safety and wellbeing.

Sarah, 30: Sydney, Australia

Salary: $100,000

How long have you been a nanny?

A family friend once asked if I could look after her baby for an hour while she went to a meeting. That hour turned into a full-time job and now, 13 years later, I cannot imagine working in a different field. Nannying can be hard to define, but if you think of any quote you've ever heard about finding fulfillment in your work, that's where I am.

Tell us about the families you've worked with.

I love teaming up with new parents who are figuring out how to juggle crucial times in their career, along with raising young children and carving out time to keep hold of what makes them feel like them. This is what nannying offers: quality childcare that really meets a family's needs, rather than expecting a family to work around what the childcare centre needs. My clients include CEOs and Middle Eastern royalty, and my work has brought me two degrees of separation (or less) away from the US President, Beyoncé, Mark Zuckerberg, sporting stars, celebrities, and authors. It certainly gives me a unique perspective on how we all rely on each other to keep the world running.

What are some perks associated with your job?

From envelopes that are full of Euros to Apple products to unicorn socks, the real value of a gift is the acknowledgement and recognition of the investment you are making in a family's life. Of course, my favorite perk is all-expenses paid travel and staying in obscenely lavish hotels in cities I'd previously only seen in photos and movies, eating at restaurants where the bill could cause me to lose my lunch if I were paying, and exploring our incredible world through a child's eyes.

What's the most challenging aspect of your job?

For me, it's not being woken in the night, or the inevitable heartbreaking goodbyes. It's working in an unregulated industry. The women in my nanny community constantly face an uphill struggle to secure an on-the-books job that pays above minimum wage and includes benefits. Many feel forced to settle for one out of three. Unfortunately, this is a complex web to rid ourselves of. Two imposing factors being the gender pay gap and the traditional view that if a woman works, childcare should be paid out of her income.

Idaso, 31: Calabasas, Calif.

Salary: $100,000

Tell us about the families you've worked with.

I am currently working for a celebrity, and they have two children who are four and two and a half. The parents are young, very humble, nice, and value me a lot.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I am a live-in nanny, so I work 24/7. I usually get the kids ready for school in the morning, prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch for school, drop them at school, run errands, cook a healthy dinner, take the kids to different activities such as gymnastics, ballet, soccer, library, museums, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, or the zoo. I also teach French to the kids and am always on the floor playing with the kids, singing, reading stories, playing games, teaching them the good manners, and a lot more. I usually run most of the errands for the kids, organize their room, do their laundry, maintain their closet unit, clean, give them a bath at night, and put them to bed, as well.

What's the most challenging part of what you do?

I absolutely love what I do, and of course encounter a lot of challenges that help me to improve myself in a good way. I appreciate that there is always room for improvement, and I love moment when you can improve on something. What I found hard sometimes is the last-minute change.

8 Min Read
Health

Why Weight Loss Compliments Do More Harm Than Good

Disclaimer: I am writing this piece as someone who has thin privilege. I do not experience weight-based discrimination like those who live in larger bodies. In naming my privilege, I hope to highlight the fact that my experience of this topic is limited to what I have learned from the courageous work of body positivity and fat activists, colleagues, and clients of mine who live in larger bodies.

A note on "fat": Many fat activists and people in larger bodies have made the decision to reclaim the word "fat" as a neutral descriptor. The decision to do so is highly personal for individuals living in larger bodies, as many have experienced the word "fat" being weaponized against them. For the purposes of this article, I stick to the wording of "people in larger bodies" or "people in higher-weight bodies" to respect the journeys of those trying to decide what descriptor best matches their lived experience.

Michelle was a three-sport athlete in high school. While there was a part of her that enjoyed the camaraderie with her teammates, the sense of accomplishment she felt when setting new records — there was another part of her that participated in the hopes of shrinking her body. Michelle, who is now studying to be a therapist, didn't know about eating disorders when she was younger. She reflects, "I had this idea that I wanted to become a professional swimmer so that I would be able to exercise even more. I would get many compliments on my body during swim season, even though that was when I hated my body the most."

The comments Michelle received on her weight and body when she was restricting and compensating fueled her eating disorder. "There was an underlying message" she adds, "that my body wasn't good enough before I lost the weight."

"There was an underlying message" she adds, "that my body wasn't good enough before I lost the weight."

As an eating disorders treatment professional, I, unfortunately, hear accounts like Michelle's on a daily basis — a person loses weight due to an increasingly problematic relationship food — that weight loss is complimented, and the person continues engaging in behaviors that are extremely harmful. I've also heard countless stories from friends, family, colleagues, and complete strangers sharing that they have received weight-loss compliments when they were experiencing immense pain and suffering — dying from cancer, grieving the loss of a spouse, or suffering from another debilitating illness.

With at least 20 million women and 10 million women in America alone suffering from an eating disorder at some point in their lives and countless others suffering from any number of physical or mental illnesses that might contribute to weight fluctuations, one would think that it would be common sense not to comment on a person's weight. Why are weight loss compliments such a common social gesture, despite their glaringly inappropriate and problematic connotations?

Why are weight loss compliments such a common social gesture, despite their glaringly inappropriate and problematic connotations?

It's a complex issue — while some people equate weight loss to desirability, others associate it with health and longevity (and many believe the two go hand-in-hand). But why? Why are these beliefs so deeply ingrained? One answer is fatphobia.

What is fatphobia?

Fatphobia is the fear of being fat or becoming fat, which results in the stigmatization of individuals that live in fat bodies. Fatphobia, which has both racist and classist origins, is at the root of our cultural obsession with thinness and diet culture.

Author of Fearing the Black Body, Sabrina Strings explains in her interview with NPR that 19th-century magazines, such as Harper's Bazaar, warned their white, middle and upper-class women audience that they must start to "watch what they ate" as a mechanism for differentiating themselves from slaves, creating a new aspect of racial identity (if you're interested in learning more about the racial origins and history of fatphobia check out the resources I've outlined at the end of this piece).

Fast forward 100 or so years, and our culture's fear of fatness shows up regularly on an individual, institutional, and systemic level (much like racism).

From a young age, we receive messages that being smaller is better — from thin barbie dolls with tight skin, thigh gaps, and virtually zero body fat to Disney princesses that are all more or less the same (thin) size. We see fatphobia on TV shows and movies both in casting (most people who land major roles live in thin bodies) and in the actual scripts (fat jokes). Not to mention that airlines don't make seats suitable for people in larger bodies, or that the fashion industry is particularly exclusive in its sizing and clothing lines.

From a young age, we receive messages that being smaller is better — from thin barbie dolls with tight skin, thigh gaps, and virtually zero body fat to Disney princesses that are all more or less the same (thin) size.

Weight stigma also impacts a person's chances of getting hired and the quality of health care they receive. Research shows that individuals who fall into higher weight categories are less likely to be hired than their thin counterparts. Additionally, weight-stigma in the health care system runs so rampantly that many individuals in higher weight bodies avoid the doctor's office for fear of being shamed or embarrassed. It's not uncommon, for instance, for someone who is "overweight" or "obese" to go to the doctor's office for a sinus infection and leave with a recommendation for weight loss.

Perhaps one of the most heartbreaking aspects of fatphobia is that individuals in larger bodies often internalize these attitudes, which leads to greater body image concern, anti-fat attitudes, depressive symptoms, stress, and reduced self-esteem.

Our collective fear of fatness is directly linked to the fact that it's extremely burdensome for people in higher-weight bodies to exist in this world.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Our collective fear of fatness is directly linked to the fact that it's extremely burdensome for people in higher-weight bodies to exist in this world. Instead of identifying this as a social justice issue, the majority of us have bought into the narrative that fat is bad and weight is always a matter of personal responsibility (spoiler: it's not).

Do individual choices impact a person's weight and health? Of course.

However, it would be irresponsible to not acknowledge that there are a number of factors that impact a person's weight even more so, than certain individual elements. These influences include but are not limited to: family history and genetics, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, sex, dieting history, exposure to trauma, chronic stress, racism, and/or discrimination, food insecurity, family habits and culture, sleeping habits, medical conditions, medications, and eating disorders.

Simply put, weight is far more complicated than most of us are willing to admit.

But what about health? What if a person has or desires to lose weight for "health reasons"?

Good question, to which I would say this:

  • This question assumes that in order for a person to "be healthy" they have to pursue weight loss (they don't). In fact, putting weight loss on the back burner and focusing on healthy behaviors, rather than weight has been shown to improve clinically relevant in various health and physiological markers, including blood pressure, blood lipids, eating and activity habits, self-esteem, and body image.
  • Assuming that everyone should be able to fit into our culture's irrational thin ideal and obtain a perfect picture of health while doing so is ill-informed.
  • If diets actually did what they promised they would do, the $70 billion dollar diet industry would be null and void. What most people don't know is that the diet industry — fueled by fatphobia — actually sets its consumers up to fail (and keep coming back for more). There is a large body of research that actually shows that dieting usually results in initial weight loss followed by weight gain. While there's nothing wrong with weight gain, most people don't set out to diet thinking they will gain weight. The human body is incredibly adaptive, and often, weight gain after dieting is a result of a person's body trying to protect them from starvation.
  • The people who lose weight and keep it off generally fall into a few camps:

1) They follow meticulous diet and exercise regimens in order to maintain the weight loss (one might call this disordered eating).

2) They are suffering from a serious mental or medical illness that results in suppressed weight.

3) Their survival genetics aren't quite as strong as the majority of the population, and for whatever reason, their body was okay with losing the weight and keeping it off (while there are some individuals who do fall into this camp, this certainly isn't the majority).

This brings me back to my main point: Weight loss compliments do more harm than good because we don't ever really know how the person lost the weight and there is a high likelihood that they will gain at least some of it back. Although they may be well-intended in the moment, weight loss compliments say nothing more than "Congrats, you're closer to matching our society's incredibly narrow beauty standards…"

So what do we do with this information? How do we move forward? Here are a few practical tips:

1. Continue to educate yourself about fatphobia, diet culture, and weight-inclusive principles. At the end of this article I, with the help of my colleagues, have provided a list of resources to help you get you started. Once you learn more, speak out about these issues, and seek out initiatives and policies that are more inclusive for all bodies.

2. Make an unapologetic commitment to refrain from weight loss compliments. Just. don't. do it. As I previously mentioned in an Instagram post above, it can feel pretty uncomfortable to not offer praise to someone who is subtly or not-so-subtly asking for it, especially if you love them. And yet, how powerful is it to say to someone "I love you for who you are, not what you look like."

3. Consider these alternatives to weight loss compliments:

4. Say nothing. Literally. Close your Mouth. Don't comment.

- "I'm so happy to see you"
- "I love you so much"
- "How are you doing?"
- "What's new?"
- "I so enjoy spending time with you!"
- "I'm glad you're feeling good" — only use this one when you know, for a fact, that the person is actually feeling good.

In summary, there just really isn't an appropriate reason to comment on another person's weight. Weight loss compliments do more harm than good by upholding oppressive systems, perpetuating excluding beauty ideals, and often inaccurately equating thinness to health. On an individual level, you never really know how or why a person loses weight or if they will gain any of it back. So, in the spirit of being kind, sensitive, and decent human beings, let's lay off the weight loss "compliments" for good.

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