Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Brazilian Nannies Realize Their Power
Nannies are a fact of life in Brazil and they are starting to realize the power in that. That's why it didn't surprise me too much to see an article about it in the New York Times.
While the article was based in São Paulo, I'll tell you that nanny prices are going up here in Rio de Janeiro. Things have changed quite a bit in the 4.5 yrs it's been since I had my oldest. I have seen friends fire their nannies (who were actually more my friends than the Mothers seeing that they were the ones who I met up with at the park) over money and time off.
Every once in a while you'll see the Mothers stomping into the playground with a new baba (nanny) in tow. You can just see the joy written all over their face.
One woman openly complained about her recently fired nanny's request for a R$400 a month raise and weekends off. The nerve of her! Seriously, she actually said that, the nerve of her. Let's look at the facts for a minute:
1. The daughter was 2 at that point and the nanny had raised her from birth. She stayed in the hospital with the Mother post delivery!
2. For 2 years the nanny stayed at the home 24hrs a day except for Sundays. She was allowed to leave at 10am on Sunday morning and had to be back Monday at 8am, and they were not pleased about giving her that.
3. She was making R$800 a month for all this.
Personally, I was rooting for the nanny and I told this friend that. At that moment the going rate had gone up to R$1200 for nannies and full time maids up to R$800. It's not cheap to have full time help and it shouldn't be. Maids and nannies are taking care of your home. Hell, nannies are raising your children! I do believe this goes under one of the things you don't skimp on in life.
If it pisses you off that much, maybe you should raise your own children. Working parents can put them into school full time and be there in the evening to pick them up. Be the one to give them their dinner, bath, and put them to bed. And no, you won't be able to go out and see that movie because you don't have a live-in babysitter. Suck it up! It's called being a parent.
By the way, the nanny I mentioned found a new job right away with the pay and time off she deserved. The Mother put her daughter into full time school and expected the maid to do the rest.
On a side note, you should read the article. It's hilarious to read about women complaining that middle class families can not afford nannies. One woman even referred to the nannies as mafia, as she picked her child up from a private school. I'm amazed by the feeling of entitlement people have here when it comes to cheap labor. Do they really not realize that they are attempting to hold another person down?