Received Saturday, May 12, 2007
I've been a nanny with the same family for two years now. I genuinely adore the three children I care for and am always taking them places (parks, museums, zoo, story time, music). The majority of our nice spring, summer and fall days are spent playing outside in the backyard or at a park. We usually come home for lunch (there would be no money provided for buying food out and these kids aren't sandwich eaters). Since the beginning, mom has made numerous insinuations about how time is spent but it has gotten more frequent in recent months. For example, if she comes in right after the children have eaten lunch and I'm in the process of cleaning up, she'll say "Why aren't you guys outside??" in an annoyed manner. This happens any time she comes home and the kids are inside, regardless of the reason. However, if the kids are outside when she comes home, she often makes comments like "Why aren't you guys clean??" when she comes home and the kids aren't bathed yet. The important thing with that is to note that mom is home often and bath time never happens before 7pm, so I'm confused by her implication that I've done the wrong thing when the kids are playing outside at 6pm. Bedtime isn't the issue, as the children go to bed much later in the evening. I've tried to address this before with her, but I feel like it doesn't help. I'm left feeling like no matter what I do with her wonderful children, I've somehow done it wrong. I know I'm a good nanny, but my ability to address these types of passive-aggressive comments seems to be lacking. I always ask her when she's home what she would prefer me to do and 98% of the time the answer is "Whatever" What can I do to improve my situation? Or is it possible that I'm working for someone who is perpetually dissatisfied no matter what? Have any of the nannies who read this site worked for someone like this and how did you handle it?