Nanny on TikTok reveals the awful things parents say to her at work

A nanny has sparked a debate online after she revealed the controversial texts she has received from parents over the years.

In a TikTok video, South Carolina-based nanny Sophia Pagliuca shared with her 28,000 followers some of the texts she’s received in the seven years she’s worked as a nanny. She was upfront and honest about what kind of messages she’d get while in the industry, sharing screenshots of some of the worst ones in a series explaining how to talk to clients about your hourly rate.

One asked Pagliuca if she could work a 60-hour week, noting that they’d have trouble finding someone for the job, to which she wrote in the overlaid text, “I wonder why they had trouble...”

Another parent was direct about how much they planned on paying her for the gig, but were evasive about the amount of hours the role required. They wrote: “To be transparent, I call off a lot so we won’t need you sometimes but we don’t do guaranteed hours if that’s something ur looking for.”

Pagliuca noted that not guaranteeing her hours was a huge red flag for her, saying: “Guaranteed hours or goodbye.”

She also pointed out that she’s received a lot of messages asking her if she does business “under the table”.

“We’ve always paid under the table [because] we just use the tax money to do benefits,” one parent messaged. “So if you’re wanting the W-2, we won’t be able to do any health insurance, or paid days off... If I were you I’d take the PTO [paid time off] and insurance over paying taxes haha!!”

Pagliuca wrote in the overlaid text that she’d frequently receive these messages a few years ago.

“Do you think her boss told her that she has to choose between legal pay or PTO?” she said. “What a joke!”

One parent offered to compensate Pagliuca with food instead of money when they decided to stay out longer.

“What would you say to maybe making your Door Dash earlier to pay for the extra hour?” they wrote to Pagliuca’s shock. The nanny noted that the request was “truly wild” and that the answer was a resounding no at the time.

She’d also encountered issues with parents when she requested compensation for gas after driving their children around.

“Wait, are you saying that on top of your hourly, you charge for driving them?” a parent asked. “I’m just confused because we will already be paying you for that time you’re driving them. Let me know if you’re flexible with that as we didn’t budget for that cost.”

She commented in the overlaid text, “The way people try to gaslight you is crazy. She’s not ‘confused,’ she just didn’t want to pay.”

In the comment section, people were outraged on her behalf.

“Making your FOOD your pay?” one flabbergasted person wrote. To which Pagliuca replied: “I was floored.”

Some people commended her for standing her ground.

“I feel like this type of service is not typically negotiable, you either have nanny money or you don’t,” someone commented. “I would gladly pay more than usual if it meant my kids were in good hands.”

“Lovveeee the clear expectation and tone setting,” another said.

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Pagliuca said that she got her start by babysitting while working another job.

“One day, a random family I had babysat for once came into my cafe, and I ended up serving them,” she said. “By the end of the meal, I had my first nannying job — very unconventional, but it was such a fun way to jumpstart my entrance into the industry! I quit my job at the cafe and have been nannying ever since.”

Although she noted that there were more benefits than disadvantages in the nannying world, she noted that one red flag could deter her from taking a job.

“The worst, most frustrating thing is lack of respect,” she explained. “This is a career. Nannies are the backbone of many people’s lives! Too many parents believe that nannying is a side gig for young women to make some ‘quick cash.’ The best nannying positions are ones where the parents realise the invaluable contribution that a nanny brings.”

She continued: “I do want to add that it’s not just parents who bring this mindset — I have had many acquaintances ask me when I’ll be quitting nannying to get a ‘real job.’”

“I wish more people [including parents] realised that it’s not easy — each day can be starkly different from the last,” she added. “Caring for the physical, mental, and emotional health of children, often several at a time, is not for the weak!”