People Who Nannied For Ultra-Rich Families Are Getting Candid About Their Experiences, And Wowzaaaa

People Who Nannied For Ultra-Rich Families Are Getting Candid About Their Experiences, And Wowzaaaa

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who have ever babysat or nannied for mega-rich families to tell us about their experiences. We also consulted a Reddit thread started by u/Noonin on the same topic. Here are the stories people shared:

1.“I nannied full-time for a billionaire family. The children did not have a maid and treated me like I was one. One night, the youngest child ordered me upstairs to her bedroom. She demanded I sort her dolls by height, tallest to shortest. Mind you, there were 27 dolls to sort. When I finished about 30 minutes later, the little girl started screaming, saying that she didn’t like it, and yelled at me to get out. When I left her room, the oldest child walked out of his room and said that his TV was dusty, and I handed him a feather duster. Long story short: That TV is still dusty, and I have not seen that family since.”

bougierockstar31

2.“I work at a private school and get many nannying/babysitting jobs through my job. Most families I work for try to teach their children to appreciate what they have. Still, the most striking thing I’ve witnessed in some families is such a short-lived excitement that the kids get from receiving gifts, gadgets, outings, or money, and it is because they get these things EVERY DAY! To them, it’s normal and expected. It’s hard to reward these kids for good behavior when the rewards aren’t rewarding!”

u/blinkiwi

People Who Nannied For Ultra-Rich Families Are Getting Candid About Their Experiences, And WowzaaaaPeople Who Nannied For Ultra-Rich Families Are Getting Candid About Their Experiences, And Wowzaaaa

Alina555 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3.“In 1991, I worked for a family in New York that owned a major newspaper. The dad was very nice, and I loved the kids, but the mother was not a joy to work for. She once led me to one of the kid’s rooms and pointed out that several leaves had fallen off a plant onto the windowsill. She said it was my job to keep the home looking perfect at all times, and I clearly hadn’t wiped down the windowsill that day. I had to change all the beds daily, including the parents’ bed, and I was taught for an entire week exactly how to lay the decorative throw on the bed so it ‘had the right movement.’ I lasted around six months between things like that and the briefings on what to do if the kids were kidnapped. Money makes people insufferable.”

wendywise

4.“The father would give me unbelievable amounts of money for basic things and refuse to take change back. Need to renew the kids’ library cards? Take a $100 bill. I felt so bad for the librarian who had to get bills to break that. There was $85 leftover that he wouldn’t take back.”

—Anonymous

A hand holding a tightly bunched stack of U.S. dollar billsA hand holding a tightly bunched stack of U.S. dollar bills

Donnichols / Getty Images

5.“The family I nannied for weren’t billionaires (pretty sure), but they were able to buy a house in San Francisco, have two nannies, send their kids to a private school, have multiple luxury cars, and only one parent worked, SO they were better off than me — that’s for sure. The mom would get package after package from Neiman Marcus, Saks, and other high-end stores DAILY. The baby had a Burberry swimsuit. The older kids basically only had ‘hip’ designer clothes.”

“It was insufferable work knowing I was doing everything the parents could do but just chose not to. The dad worked most of the day, but the mom spent time in her room or at coffee shops. It never sat right with me. It didn’t help that the kids were total spoiled brats. One time, I took the baby for a walk in their stroller, and five crisp hundred-dollar bills were wadded in a zipped compartment, not being missed. I am 100% sure they never looked, or cared to look, for that money since it was chump change. I quit very soon after that.”

—Anonymous

6.“The kids all had several maids waiting on them hand and foot. I was instructed by the parents to just ‘monitor them’ for safety, as the maids and chef would satisfy all of their needs.”

—Anonymous

A gloved hand in a formal suit holds up an empty silver serving tray against a plain backgroundA gloved hand in a formal suit holds up an empty silver serving tray against a plain background

Andyl / Getty Images

7.“I had an interview with a family who had a 1-year-old and was expecting their second child in the next month or so. The mom was a stay-at-home mom, but they knew their second daughter was going to have Down syndrome, and they told me they wanted to be prepared just in case she needed a lot of extra care. As it turned out, the little girl hit almost all of her developmental milestones slightly delayed. I took care of everything. I cleaned, made their bed in the morning, did the whole family’s laundry, AND provided the vast majority of childcare for both children. The mom did next to nothing. The dad woke up with the girls in the morning and handed them over to me. Most days, the mom didn’t even leave bed until after 9:00 a.m.”

“The mom was pretty odd and believed heavily in various QAnon conspiracies. At one point, she got electrolysis hair removal on her privates and had me help her Saran Wrap her crotch with numbing gel before going in. I probably could have sued them for sexual harassment, but nudity and bodies don’t really bother me. This experience also helped me win concert tickets from a radio station for the best answer to, ‘What’s the worst thing your boss ever asked you to do?’ so there’s that.”

—Anonymous

8.“I nannied for this family during the last summer before I graduated college. They were clearly in a completely different tax bracket than me and most of the people I interacted with. I would come to pick them up, and they would have an array of activities, including horseback riding, tennis, golf, tutoring, and swimming. We ran around town all day, going from their activities to their friends’ houses, and we’d always end up back at their country club pool. However, the most unbelievable thing was the nanny credit card I was given. The kids would rack up a huge bill every week on this thing. In one of my first weeks with them, we spent over $1,000 in one day at a Dave and Buster’s type place.”

“I called the mom each time before reloading more money on their cards ($50), and the last time I called her, she said to put $600 on the card and tell the kids that once it ran out, we would leave. This would be a weekly/biweekly occurrence. I also had the credit card for two months after the kids and I went back to school. The mom kept canceling plans for me to return it to her in person. I came to babysit one Saturday night and gave her the credit card. The dad was shocked that I still had it, and he quietly asked the mom if it was still being paid off (he definitely thought I was using it). She just shrugged her shoulders and said that it was set to do automatic payments. She then told me to keep it for the night and leave it in the kitchen when I left. I worked 12 hours days regularly for the family, but it was so worth it because they paid well and they were a really nice family with good kids. Plus, I spent much of my time sitting by a country club pool while they were doing their activities.”

—Anonymous

A hand holding a green credit card with the text "PREMIUM" visible, background shows blurred indoor plant and windowA hand holding a green credit card with the text "PREMIUM" visible, background shows blurred indoor plant and window

Ekaterina Demidova / Getty Images

9.“My younger sister nannies for a wealthy couple, and she’s mentioned a few things that really threw her off at first. The biggest thing was how uninvolved they were with their daughter’s life. She was born early in October, and by the end of the month, my sister was already spending 80+ hours a week with her. The husband has only been home one day since she started working for them, and the wife is gone from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day. Then, it was how casual they were with money. They’ve offered to pay for work on her car countless times, and the wife gave my sister all of her Christmas decorations from last year. Most of them still had their tags on them. She spent $20 an ornament and didn’t even use them.”

u/IslandoftheMoths

10.“I used to nanny for a family where the dad was a well-known screenwriter, and the mom was a lawyer for a high-power law firm in the city. They had one daughter, who was 10 when I first started nannying for them. The strangest thing was that they expected me to be their daughter’s parental role model. As they were gone for work all day, they didn’t have much time to discipline or instill good morals in her, so all that fell to me. I just found that extremely strange, probably because my childhood was full of my parents teaching me how to behave, etc.”

“Also, they had no regard for throwing around money like it was no big deal. When I moved to a new apartment and mentioned that I needed to buy a new bed, they just bought me a new bed frame and mattress from Ikea, no questions asked. It was the same thing when my car got dented. I was just in awe of how someone could spend so much money without worrying about paying the bills or getting food on the table.”

u/lansters

A young girl with a backpack, smiling, walks hand-in-hand with an adult in a casual yellow shirt. They appear to be heading to or from schoolA young girl with a backpack, smiling, walks hand-in-hand with an adult in a casual yellow shirt. They appear to be heading to or from school

Damircudic / Getty Images

11.“The drama is just like on TV. The dad in the family I nannied for had a secret daughter and another family for five years. Also, money was just thrown 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. And yet, despite this, they forgot to pay their bills for three months and got the gas turned off in their house.”

u/pinkpanda24

12.“A good friend of mine is a nanny for a very wealthy couple. They own and live in an entire brownstone-type building. I think 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 his floor of the house, which nobody is allowed to bother him on. He spends the day smoking pot and lazing about like he’s Jeff Lebowski. That’s it. That’s all he does. But 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 kid 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, get high, and watch movies all day.”

u/MidasVirago

Two brownstone stoop entrances side by side, each with steps leading up to a front door, surrounded by trees and railingsTwo brownstone stoop entrances side by side, each with steps leading up to a front door, surrounded by trees and railings

Orbon Alija / Getty Images

13.“Not me, but a cousin. She worked for a family with a 4-year-old and a 6-month-old. It wasn’t live-in, but it was 12 hours a day, six days a week. Both parents were very high-up executives and multi-millionaires many times over. She never once spoke to or even saw the dad, and the only time she spoke to and saw the mom was during the interview, where the mom’s assistant was pretty much doing all the talking by herself. After that, she was not supposed to look at or speak to the parents, only the assistant. She was to arrive at 6:00 a.m. on the dot and wait in the living room. The assistant would call her and tell her that the parents were out of the house and to start working with the children.”

“She made meals, taught, took them to the park and museums, and had a huge, generous budget for that on top of her pay. At around 5:45 p.m., the assistant would call her and tell her to gather her things, and she would leave through another entrance when she heard the main door. So, while the parents were cold and distant, she said the 4-year-old was absolutely lovely and sweet, and she had a lot of fun with them in the two years she was with them. She also made BANK; the parents and assistant ensured she was paid $2,000 weekly, with bonuses throughout the year. Because of them, she could pay off her car and student loans. They moved internationally, gave her a $5,000 goodbye bonus gift, and she never saw them again.”

morgan_le_slay

14.“I was the nanny for a couple with two children. At the time, they were around 9 and 6. The mom gave me her credit card and asked that I take them school shopping. Clothes, school supplies, etc. I took them to Target. Before I left, the mom said, ‘If they want something, get it.’ It was awful. The kids were spoiled rotten. WHATEVER they wanted, they got. No food was ever made at home. They always had microwave meals. I made a meal for them once, but the kids didn’t want it because it wasn’t from the microwave. NEVER AGAIN.”

—Anonymous

Person holding several shopping bags while standing in a storePerson holding several shopping bags while standing in a store

Sakchai Vongsasiripat / Getty Images

15.“I used to be an au pair for a super rich family in China. The funny thing was that they already had a nanny. She was extremely poor and had to give a bratty kid everything she couldn’t afford for her own kids. The kid even kicked her, and she simply tolerated it. The weirdest thing was that whenever we went somewhere as a family, she cared for the child while the mother talked to others. She even slept in the kid’s room while his mom had her own bedroom. Personally, I just couldn’t deal with how spoiled and entitled the child was. They literally told me it didn’t matter if he respected me; he just had to like me.”

u/Njoerun

16.“I tutor for a wealthy family, and even though they seem to have come from fairly average backgrounds, they really have no concept of how normal people think of money. I talked about visiting the library after a session, and they were confused that I didn’t buy all the books I wanted to read. They also pay me every six months or so and seem confused that I want the money so often. They’re good for it, after all. They fly their kids home from their high school sports tours (they play in tournaments all over the continent) to take a driving test and think nothing of it. They’re good people but weird.”

u/Alsadius

Private jet on a runway with a sunset in the background, illustrating luxury travel in a Work & Money articlePrivate jet on a runway with a sunset in the background, illustrating luxury travel in a Work & Money article

Halbergman / Getty Images

17.“I once nannied for a family who had a small room with board games/tabletop games lining the walls (as an indication of wealth). I was called in on weekends to spend time with the 6-year-old and play games with him. Most of the time, the mom and grandma were home and in their own rooms. Once, the mom and dad were home and napping. I was basically being paid good money to play with the kid. Of course, the kid was incredibly bossy and fussy when he didn’t get his own way. After my first few sessions, I received a text saying I could bring my own lunch and use their fridge. ‘Don’t worry, no one has any allergies.'”

u/nerdcamper

18.“The family I work for right now is very wealthy. They live on Fifth Avenue, right across from Central Park. Three things. The first is the clothes. The girls have numerous name-brand clothing items: Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, etc. The 6-year-old’s backpack was $85. I get wanting your kids to have nice things to wear, but they’re growing fast, and that stuff is expensive. The 3-year-old outgrew her wardrobe last year; it was all replaced with the same expensive stuff. Next would have to be scheduling. They want their children to succeed, and I get it. But every day, there is something: piano, ballet, tennis, Chinese lessons, and squash. They have no time to play.”

“The last part, which is a bit sadder if you ask me, is the lack of connection between the girls and their parents. It could be as simple as scheduling. For instance, the mom doesn’t know when ballet and tennis are; I do. She also doesn’t know her kids’ worries or 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 constantly slips up and calls me ‘mama,’ which breaks my heart.”

u/cnk93

A close-up of a person's hand holding a tennis racket against a light background, including part of a tennis court's green areaA close-up of a person's hand holding a tennis racket against a light background, including part of a tennis court's green area

Tatiana Maksimova / Getty Images

19.And: “I’ve been a professional nanny for over 20 years. I’ve worked for celebrities, billionaires, and athletes. I’ll tell you a few things. People who grew up with a chip on their shoulder wishing they could see how the other half lives and then make it rich in Hollywood or by throwing a ball around or marrying into the life are the ones who are more likely to be a-holes. There are, of course, exceptions to this. However, the multimillion or billionaires who grew up with money were often also brought up with nannies or governesses and are taught that nannies, chefs, drivers, etc., are the backbone of their lives and nothing happens without their help. They are often incredible towards their staff. When I am going on an interview, I will often ask my nanny agency if the family is ‘old money’ or ‘new money.’ If the answer is old money, I am instantly excited to meet them, whereas new money has me nervous to see if they will look down on me.”

—Anonymous

Have you ever worked with children from super-wealthy families? What was your experience like? Do you have any stand-out stories? Tell us in the comments or submit your story anonymously using this form.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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