Thursday

...she and my son are being shunned by the nanny community...

Received Thursday, July 12, 2007
Help! In the beginning of June, after much time of trying to work things out with our nanny of 16 months, we ended up firing her. She was unwilling to make the changed we needed to make and our job description had changed. We needed her to work different hours and travel with us. We ended up terminating her. We gave her 4 weeks of severance, even though she was only with us 16 months. The problem is our son is 2 years, eight months. He is reliant on others to help him make his friends. My husband and I work 50 hours a week. The nanny was responsible for finding him play dates and taking him to the park. The new nanny is great, but she and my son are being shunned by the nanny community that my son and the former nanny were previously a part of. They have been outright rude to her and completely ignore my son or on one occasion have said to him, "------- misses you lots" and then glared at the new nanny. This group of nannies is kind of a posse in our neighborhood and at the park nearest our house. Is the only solution for nanny to go to outlying parks? These were also children that our previous nanny had hosted and attended play dates with. Any idea how to make this right?

OP again here. (8:35) We attempted to keep the nanny on even though we needed to make changes due to my work. Previously I had work felxibility, but I took a job where I had to answer to someone else. This required that our nanny's day would be longer by an hour and a half. We also needed someone who would make dinner for our son (something I previously was able to be home to do). We offered her more money. However, the nanny told me that she was not a cook and that was not in the agreement and that it was too late for her to stay until 7:30. I don't know what she thought we would do. There is no doubt that she was great with our child and we enjoyed having her work for us when we did, but to say it ended amicably is not entirely correct.
Also, my nanny let it slip in things that she said that I should have just stayed at the same job and questioned why I needed to make a change. She was clearly resentful of the change even though we did our best by trying to keep her on, we were not about to hire an evening nanny for an hour and a half a night.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an utterly bizarre world you live in that nannies would be so cruel. Seriously. I've worked in community for years, moved to different areas with different networking and have never been shunned. Even when the previous nanny left abruptly or was fired. I'm stumped.

I do find it unreasonable to change expectations for your nanny after you hired her under the idea that her job description would be a certain way. It was nice of you to give her 4 weeks severance.

ro said...

I find it sad that anyone would be unkind to a child this age.

I can understand a nanny job changing. Perhaps one of the parent's jobs changed. You do have a right to change your job. And if your nanny can't make the changes, then she walks. How is that wrong? Or are you suggesting that the nanny is in charge of everything, including the parent's work committments?

jmt, but not that one said...

Weird situation. Since it sounds like the split was amicable (although I find the elocution "We ended up terminating her" strange), why not contact your former nanny and ask what she thinks might be going on? Two things might happen. She could be straightforwardly helpful in telling you about these nannies and speculating what their deal might be, or she could be evasive: if the root of the problem is her badmouthing you before moving on, you'll still have learned something from the tenor of the phone call. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the same scenario my former nanny had, although she was our FIRST nanny.

First lesson of the nanny kingdom:
The Caribbean mafia does not like outsiders, you know.

Your nanny needs to subconsiously flick those waste of skins the bird and meet some new folks. It *is* possible.

Enroll your son in a class and make up "family" cards for her to hand out with her name, title and cell or your house phone on it as well as your son's name and month/year he was born. They are simple to make on the computer with business card stock from Staples.

Have her aggressively pursue new blood to posse on down to the park with.

If your community has a list serve, sign up. Post about wanting playdates.

Show those immature snots who is smarter.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got rid of her. Any nanny who is sick enough to turn a 2 year old into a social outcast should not be working with kids.

Anonymous said...

836-great ideas!
823- jobs change! tough luck.

ble said...

I'm not sure what to do for your son, but my daughter is the same age and has little opportunity to meet kids her own age where we live, so I take her to classes (in which my hubby or I can participate as well) she enjoys, as well as trips to the park, etc. Perhaps some kind of classes might help.

Aside from having your nanny tell this catty group where they can stick it, you may have to consider diffrent parks. It's very sad, especially for the little child.

Hopefully it will just blow over. Sounds like you did what you had to with your former nanny.

Best of luck...please do let us know what comes of all this. Too many OPs never come back to update!

ble said...

I just saw what you wrote jmt...a phone call is a great idea! At the very least she will know you are on to her and might stop the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

8:36 here again. Give us an idea of where you live (not the street or the address, naturally) and I may have more suggestions for you.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like there may be more to this story....

Anonymous said...

No matter where you live, here are some additional ideas because I'm tired and I can't wait around:

Have the nanny get out and vary her activities.

Libraries usually rock and have a wealth of FREE programs, and at the very least they're filled with books & dvd choices. Have your nanny sign up for a library card, or give her yours to use. We get a new batch of books every week, courtesy of our nanny.

Most libraries have summer reading programs going on right now. My old library used to have children's programs twice a week all year round. They'd read about ice cream, for instance, then end the session by having a make-you-own sundae. It was awesome! Another cool session I recall was camp stories, followed by a mock camp-out. Bring those family calling cards to hand out!

Don't be afraid of exploring new parks. Pack a picnic lunch/snacks and bring those darn cards so you can make new friends.

The museums/zoos/historic sites offer kid themed events and some have "free" days during the week or offer "donation" admission which you can tailor to your own budget. Don't forget the.....you guessed it.

Visit local bookstores when they have storytimes. Hand out the family cards again.

Craft stores offer craft projects. Hand out the family cards some more.

The most important thing for a child under 3 is love, love and more love. And discipline. Socializing once a week in a playgroup setting so he can make a few friends is plenty.

Don't get neurotic about over-scheduling. It is unnecessary and not advised.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Hi-OP yet again. I live in the Park Slope area.

Anonymous said...

OP:

Are you aware of the local parenting board? It's a biggie in the neighborhood where you live. I loathe to type the name of it here. It's a great place to solicite playdates.

Perch has sing-a-longs

Postmark Cafe has crafts on Tuesdays

Both libraries have stuff. The one on 6th Ave is on Fridays.

Your son is the same age as my kiddo. Too bad we're all a bunch of anonymous freaks, or I'd tell you to hook your gal up with mine for a playdate.

Make the cards. Seriously.

Now you have me wondering which park the mafia is hanging out in these days. When I had my issues I wasn't in Brooklyn yet.

Anonymous said...

Are you just one person? Who has given me all of these wonderful tips and suggestion? FYI I am working on the address cards right now.
Thank you so much.
I love each of your suggestions.

-OP

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Yes, just one person. But I am going to take advantage of the fact that SLEEP is upon my house. Yippee! Where's the beer? Gotta go!

Anonymous said...

Hi

I have experienced this myself as a nanny after the last one departed. (I am also geographically close to you). My advice as you are in park slope is to join the yahoo group "Park Slope Parents". Just go to www.yahoogroups.com and type in park slope parents in the search engine. Then tell your story and ask for playdates. You'll have loads I guarentee you.

Unfotunately there is little you can do about this situation other than to make new friends as even if these nannies are forced to include your little one, it can only harm him to be around adults who feel this way about his parents.

You have many playgrounds in your neighbourhood so have your nanny hang out at a different one for a few weeks until she and your son's relationship is more secure and any bad feeling hopefully can settle down.

I feel for her and your little boy.

Anonymous said...

Yup. Post on there. But *don't* tell your story. I'll respond. She can bring your kid over here and splash around in our kiddie pool. There is also a little boy next door the same age. Playdate-a-rama.

ble said...

Wow...I got lots of great tips here too!! Thanks everyone!

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the nanny for not being flexible. Everyone has lives of their own and personally, I wouldn't want to work until 7:30 at night. Parents just don't spend enough time with their kids anymore. Working those hours you must never see your child.

Anonymous said...

1058, that is why the OP gave her the opportunity to say yes. So the nanny said no. Obviously she had to be let go. A child that young cannot be left home alone while waiting for mom and dad. And don't judge a parents decision. It does not affect you in any way.

Anonymous said...

I live in Westchester and I can tell you that there definitely are cliques here based on racial lines and many of the playdates arranged are really "nanny playdates". The Jamaican nannies all arrange for playdates for thier charges and don't really do playdates with children who don't have Jamaican nannies because it is a social event for them too. Likewise, the hispanic nannies tend to have their charges play with the charges of other hispanic nannies and the European nannies arrange playdates with other European nannies. I don't think it is out of conscious racism, but it's because the nannies tend to gravitate towards people they most easily relate to while at work and it gives them a chance for adult interaction while their charges play. The best way to break these cliques is for you to go directly to the parents of children your child used to enjoy playing with and arrange the playdate through the parents. It may be your current nanny is not comfortable trying to cross into the existing nanny cliques. That being said, there is no excuse for what that nanny said to your son. You should tell the parent who employs that nanny of thier inappropriate behavior. Within each nanny clique there are the stellar nannies and the "what were they thinking" nannies. She sounds like she's definitely in the later category

sprak said...

I don't think the parents or the nanny really did anything wrong...
unless the old nanny is causing havoc for the new nanny now That would be a very ugly thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I also live in Park Slope-does your new nanny go to JJ Byrne park with your son? Are those the nannies shunning her? Anyway, sorry to hear this-post on park slope parents-you will get play dates. I will even respond there.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny who worked for a family for 3 yrs but recently had to change jobs too, because my employers wanted to add on extra hours which i was not pleased about, a week before i left my job, my employer and i taught it would be a great idea that the nanny and i spend time together so that she can meet, the other nannies who i have playdates with and it worked out great.

Anonymous said...

NP
as for Park Slope parents board, that is a no go. About 4 weeks ago, I went to that group and "applied to it" and three days later got an email that I was not "accepted". So this whole mentality of posses is not a nanny only thing. What kind of sick freak would not allow a parent in park slope membership to the board? Based on nothing more than an email? Absurd!

And as for nannies who make playdates with other Jamaican nannies, I would have none of it. A nanny should not come ob board making playdates for the child. The parent should make the first playdates. With parents you are friendly with and children who are in your child's life, will go to his/her school etc. My nanny tried to get away with that and I took over making playdates for two weeks. That put her back in check.

Anonymous said...

PSP does not reject memberships unless the would-be member doesn't live in the immediate area or doesn't have kids. For instance, a nanny would not be able to apply. It has to be the parent directly.

I have never heard of someone being rejected after applying unless it's for the reasons I stated. I don't speak for them, but their whole idea is to build membership, not become some ultra-exclusive list serve.

There is NO reason why the OP would be rejected.

Sprak:

The nanny IS causing havoc. That's the whole idea of the post. Not sure how you missed the obvious.

10:58:

The nanny did not want to work until 7:30 at night and that's what the employers needed. It clearly wasn't going to work out, so off the nanny went. End of story!

How dare you judge this parent for the hours she works? And FYI, there are stay at home moms who spend less time with their kids. Trust me -- I know plenty.

And plenty of parents who come home earlier and prop their kids up in front of the TV without even asking them to recount their days.

Your holier than thou attitude sucks. It's not quantity, my dear, it's quality.

Former nanny, now a WAHM said...

I agree that there is much much MUCH more to this story than meets the eye. It just doesn't all add up.
First of all, it makes sense for the nanny to not accept the new terms. 7:30 is very late to work, even for more money. That part is not strange for me.
As far as "shunning" the new nanny and child, that seems very strange, and I wish I knew more about the story.
Yes, I agree that to use the term "terminated" or "fired" seems a little weird.
Agreed that it's horrible to treat a child in a mean way: only a jerk would do that. But I wish I knew more about the parents in question. It is never right to take out your feelings on an innocent person (nanny/child) but people often do when they are dealing with strong feelings.
Where did these feelings stem from? It doesn't make sense that they came about if the first nanny left on good terms, as she should have if it was merely that she did not want to accommodate new contract.
OP: what did you do and how did you act? It seems to me you are leaving out alot, and your post seems very one-sided. Any blow-ups? Did you by any chance gossip about your first nanny in a bad way and it could have gotten back to her or her friends? There has to be more to this story than you care to admit. Flame me, SAHMs, but that's what it looks like to me...

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what if anything the original poster did, this is about the child being able to remain friends with his existing playdates. He and his new nanny have done nothing wrong and it seems a great shame to penalise them.

12.08.... It seems you and your anny have a very unhealthy working relationship. I respect your need to know exactlywho your child is playing with yet your tone when speaking about your nanny is awful. Also in this situation the mom workd full time until 7.30 at night! If her child's playmates were to be only children she allready knows he would never be able play with anyone he met in the playground / classes etc as he is with his nanny during that time. Some of my child's best friends have come through such interactions.

Anonymous said...

9:51,
As an above poster mentioned, what the original poster did is very relevant. If she somehow mistreated the first nanny or gossipped about her and the gossip reached the nanny/nanny's friends, it makes perfect sense that the "nanny community" wouldn't want to associate with that family. No nanny wants to associate or have a playdate with someone who is dishonest or a gossip. It appears that the OPs family has been blacklisted so to speak. There has to be a reason. Are you saying that it is a case of mass hypnosis of nannies, and they all went crazy? This is not ordinary behavior, at least not in my experience. I think the OP can shed some more light on the topic. There must be a reason why the nannies are so against her and her family. OP says the nanny was "fired", yet also says that she left because she couldn't comply with changes in contract. If my great nanny felt the same, of course I would be sad, but I would never blame her or be angry or "fire/terminate" her: I would explain to her what needed to happen. As far as the comment the nanny made about not changing jobs, probably not the best choice to say to Mom. It is of course not the nanny's business to say what the mom should or should not do. Nanny may have been angry? Again, it seems there is more to the story, and we are just getting the tip of the iceburg.
(And yes, it is a shame to penalize the child and the new nanny, but perhaps the OP can take some of the responsibility for that if she has done something wrong?)

ble said...

Former Nanny now WAHM...

I am a SAHM and have never had to deal with a nanny before (although I had been one when I was much younger), so I never really thought it the situation from your point of view, but what you say does make sense.

Thanks for putting a different perspective on it. It would be nice if the OP would fill in the cracks a bit so we could more about the situation.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the OP, but these nanny gangs are like that. I'm willing to bet that there is nothing further to the story at all. They are just being "loyal" to the old nanny, who was obviously part of their "gang."

Anonymous said...

They may be being loyal to her, but it's just ridiculous to me to think that they are all such jerks as to be upset for nothing. If the OP is telling the whole truth, why would the nannies be mad that their friend left a job on her own free will, which is essentially what happened.

Anonymous said...

OP once again-
There is no more background to the story. The nanny made it very clear to me that she couldn't understand why I would take a different job. She was very resentful of that fact and behaved as if by taking another position that I had went out of my way to insult or hurt her.
In the end she was terminated. How is that the wrong word to use? She made a brilliant case for the fact the she could not work longer hours. But I believe that somehow she thought- because she was so wonderful- that I would come up with an alternate solution to her desire to be off by 6PM ever day.
Thank you again for the great suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Because a common characteristic is some of "these sort" nannies is obstinance.

It's their way or no way and you can't tell them differently.

For that reason, I go out of my way not to hire "that sort" and when I called the agency and specified as such, the placement coordinator told me that she often heard that.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the child. Perhaps his parents can buy him new friends with all the money they earn in their very important jobs.

Anonymous said...

sounds like the park slop nanny posse is here. who is doing the typing?

sc said...

re Park Slope parents-
" There is no connection between your Park Slope Parents website
and the Park Slope Parents Yahoo! Email groups (PSP or the Classifieds). "

So which one is the READ Park Slope board everyone talks about?I just tried to sign up to the one that is NOT the Yahoo one and after completing all the info TWICE, both times the connection failed after I hit send!

Grrrrrrrrrr.........

sc said...

sorry, I meant
So which one is the REAL Park Slope board?

JMT (the original one) said...

I don't see what the confusion is over the "terminate" word. If an employer's needs change and the current nanny is unable or unwilling to change along then she gets fired and they get a new nanny. Nothing personal. It's business. If the nanny made it personal and riled up her posse and they decided to be bitchy about it, it only shows their characters. My dad used to work for a company that moved to another state. He couldn't relocate with them, so they terminated him and he got another job. Business. He didn't get all pissy about it.
Regarding the playdate booking, I wouldn't give all the booking responsibilities to the nannies. Let the parents make some and the nannies make some. That way the parents can keep in touch with the families they know and the nannies can introduce the children to new playmates they meet and get along with. Mix it up a bit. I don't know why the OP doesn't leapfrog over all this shunning nonsense by simply contacting the parents of the children who "miss" her kids so much (because the stupid, evil nannies are keeping them apart) and making playdates. The nannies will have to break the picket line then, won't they.
Finally, I don't see that the OP needed to do anything wrong on her part to make the nanny mad and act this way. Too many people live and act on a very childish level. Being terminated because your employer's needs changed and you can't or won't fill the new role is life! Life happens! What if the nanny's life changed and needed to modify her work hours, but that wasn't acceptable to the employers? Terminate and find a new job and a new nanny. It happens all the time. It's sad to move on if you like your job, the neighborhood and your friends you hang out with at work, but none of us has control over our futures. (Hell, my friend survived the World Trade Center collapsing. Her work was GONE. Traumatized as she was, she still got a new job.) At least the OP was very decent and adult about the problem, and gave 4 weeks severance. I don't see what the nanny has to complain about or why she needs to act this way. She should grow the hell up.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:25. My very first nanny experience was not good and is a somewhat milder form of what seems to have happened with OP. My Jamaican nanny used to make lots of playdates for my older daughter with other Jamaican nannies in the neighborhood. When I asked who my daughter was playing with, the kids were often much younger or much older. I told her I appreciated her trying to set up activities with new playmates, but asked her to find kids closer to her own age and to make some playdates with her existing friends. There was always an excuse why she couldn't make a playdate with her existing friends. After 6 weeks of unpleasant discussions telling her these things, as well as others, need to change I let her go. Even though it was for cause I gave her two weeks severance pay (Just so you know--in addition to the playdate issue, we had very different views on what a nanny position included. Our job description said light housekeeping which I described as anything related to childcare and meal preparation and cleanup, but she refused to empty my baby's diaper pail and left it full and stinky until one of the days my housekeeper came. She was not very neat and she would not sterilize bottles. She just stuck them in the dishwasher saying that was clean enough. I also told her when I hired her to talk to me before doing any personal errands during work hours, but I found out from my neighbor she sent my older daughter to a playdate and then took the baby with her while she got her nails done.) Even though we treated her more than fairly, and she did not hold up her end of the bargain by doing her job, she still bad mouthed our family to the nannies in the neighborhood. To thier credit, they never shunned my children, but they were cold towards the new nanny and I. Now that I have had a good nanny experience with someone who raves about my kids and I know enjoys working with us (she has told me several times she thinks she lucked out finding our family--the kids are great and that we are flexibile and fair, and I know we pay above average, etc), I actually have been approached by some of these nannies asking for a position when my nanny took some time off. It takes awhile when you've been a victim of the rumour mill, but if you are a good family, that news will come out eventually.

Anonymous said...

There IS a connection between the PSP website and the PSP yahoo group. They are both run by the same people, and considered two arms of one group. They just have separate registration processes, for technical reasons.

There is something strange going on that the OP was denied membership. I don't know why that would happen and I suspect there is more to the story.

As far as the nanny being shunned in the playground, there are MANY playgrounds in Park Slope. If your nanny is being shunned at JJ Byrne, she should go to 9th Street, and vice versa. Or somewhere else entirely, like Berkeley, 3rd Street, Slope Park on 18th St, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet Jesus, what is this:
"There is something strange going on that the OP was denied membership. I don't know why that would happen and I suspect there is more to the story."

Something strange?
Maybe she typed her zipcode wrong on the registration. Or didn't fill it out all of the way. Or didn't check the right boxes re kids and birthdates.

Go sedate yourself. And then rent JFK.

Anonymous said...

I still say there is more to the story. Sorry, that's just what I think.

Anonymous said...

11:31:

ROFL! That was hilarious. And also very good advice.

12:07: you are obviously "one of them."

Anonymous said...

12:09,
I live in Rhode Island. I have never had a nanny, nor will I ever have one. I was once a nanny, and am now a parent myself though and I do know that many times there is much more than meets the eye and parents can be very hurtful to their nannies and gossip about them, that is the reason I am saying so. I am not "one of them" if by them you mean the nannies in this story, sorry to burst your bubble.

nanninator said...

park slope nannies are like those hell's angels. They walk around like they own the world and scare the shit out of anyone who comes within 30 feet of them. A great defensive tool for the parent who fears having a stranger bring harm to his child. But a unsightly and motly crew, too.

I can absolutely understand how without rhyme or reason they shunned the new nanny. Since the nannies have a sense of entitlement, they probably think the parents didnt do enough for their comrade.

Anonymous said...

I know this hasn't been mentioned in a while, but what about the phone call? and mention that "she still loves the child" (as the other nannies say) and so maybe she should talk to her friends about not being rude to the child. I cannot understand why grown adults would be so rude, it was business and the ties had to be cut for obvious reasons, why hold such a grudge? Also, OP: do you know the children your son used to have play dates with? Could you make a call to their parents instead of to the nanny and then maybe they could set something up? I just think it is so ridiculous for nannies to be acting like that when they are their for the interest of the children, not to have their own "playdates".

Anonymous said...

The nanny is acting childish and unprofessional. There’s no excuse for doing anything that would be hurtful to a child. It’s a small child. Doesn’t she have a heart? Even if she hates the parents and they have done her wrong, there is no reason to do anything hurtful to a child. If this is how she behaves, the parents did the right thing by getting rid of her now instead of later when the child grew more attached to her.

As far as the time change issue, this is what I do. In the nanny’s work agreement, I always state that the nanny has to make every reasonable effort to be flexible and sensitive to my families needs. If I ever have to change my work hours and hers has to change, it’s right there in black and white. I absolutely understand that nannies have family and lives too, so I would definitely try to come up with a solution. However, sometimes there isn’t much that can be done. And if she refuses to be accommodating, I would get rid of her too. It’s as simple as that since I depend on my nanny being there so I can work.

10:58, I couldn’t DISAGREE with you more. First, it’s not uncommon for a nanny to work beyond 7:30 PM every night. I get home at 7:30 PM every night. But let me tell you that my children are well-adjusted, well-mannered, friendly and smart children and they know that they are loved. Yes, I know that I’m blessed with good children but I have to take some credit as well. When I’m with my children, they get my undivided attention. I’m always exhausted but the minute that I get home, they get all of my attention. My husband and I do more with our children in the little time that we have with them, then most of the SAHM that I know.

In my daughter’s class, I’m the only FTWM, yet my daughter is the only one who will be skipping Kindergarten to go into the 1st grade coming September. She was evaluated and found to not only be academically ready but emotionally as well. So as you can see, it’s not the QUANTITY but the QUALITY that counts. Do I feel guilty that I don’t spend more time with them – ABSOLUTELY. But we can’t all afford the luxury of being home with our children. We can only do the best that we can with the resources that we have.

I coordinate all of my children’s playdates. I have a live-in, American nanny but still I have found that when I left this task to her, it did end up being a social and gossip event. I call the parents myself and coordinate the playdates and then I let the nanny know. This way I know who they are playing with and I know who the other nannies are. Although I’m not physically home to be with my children, I take a very active role in making sure that I know what goes on throughout the day. I don’t micromanage or call home all day, but I make sure that the nanny knows how my children’s day should be planned and what types of people, places and activities I want them exposed to.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, your nanny hung out at JJ Byrne Park, right? Those nannies are awful and cliquey and just unfriendly. It may be time for your new nanny to take your child somewhere else, where the people ar friendly. Come to 9th Street Playground - lots of nice peopel -- parents AND nannies there. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, your nanny hung out at JJ Byrne Park, right? Those nannies are awful and cliquey and just unfriendly. It may be time for your new nanny to take your child somewhere else, where the people ar friendly. Come to 9th Street Playground - lots of nice peopel -- parents AND nannies there. Good luck to you.

tammie said...

1:47,
I just wanted to respond to your post because I found it interesting.
I think it's great that your daughter is ready to skip kindergarten. You sound like a loving mom and the nanny must be great too if she is dedicated and flexible. I think it's not only wise but appropriate for you to be the one to schedule playdates. I don't think that should be a nanny's responsibility. I think that is just part of good parenting, to be a part of the who, when and where in your child's life.
However, I happen to agree that 7:30 is a very late hour for a nanny to have to work until. And yes, you are correct: many nannies work until then or later, especially live-ins. I realize I am not speaking from personal experience, because I have never had a nanny. (I work full-time from my home.) If a nanny gets off at 7:30, she will get home no earlier than 8:00. It's a fine shift if you are young, unmarried with no children etc. but it is still a long shift. I'm glad you found a nanny who is a good match for your family.
As far as quality, not quantity, I agree with you to an extent. It's true that quality is more important than quantity, but if that quality is only packed into a few hours a week, I question it's validity. Also, as I said, I'm glad your daughter is excelling in school. However in cases of children suffering from not being around their mother enough, the effects don't really become apparent until adulthood.

Anonymous said...

2:59:

Not the OP, but I've had long conversations with my pediatrician about this, and that is simply untrue.

A parent who works even long hours is no worse of a parent then someone who stays at home with their children during the day.

There are many professionals who don't stay home with their kids and the kids end up as amazing, productive adults.

I can cite way too many examples of this being true.

I can't tell you how many friends of mine tolled the doomsday bells when they heard I would work. My children are miles ahead of their children at this point, and it pisses them off to no end.

I say there is no competition here. Raise your children how you see fit (and we as much love as humanly possible) and mind your own business.

I don't care if you stay at home. Why should you care if I work?

A Nanny in Baltimore said...

I don't get why people have children and then let someon else raise them. I am a nanny, I work 40 hours/week. I love my job and the family I work for. The parents come home and spend the evenings with their daughter and spend the weekends with her. From time to time we visit Mom at work during the day too. There is nothing wrong with that.

However, I do have a problem with someone who decides to have a child, or two, and then spends the upwards of 60 hours/week working while someone else is raising their child. They are the same ones that probably also have a weekend and vacation nanny/sitter so they can have some "adult" time. Seriously, why bother to have the child then, are they just another possesion to these people?

I recently read "The Nanny Diaries" and found it to be dead on to what many people go through. As I said, I am not in such a position and I work for people who can't wait to come home and see their daughter at the end of the day.

ble said...

2:59....my pediatrician adamantly disagrees with yours and he is the Chief of Pediatrics here. Parents do what they have to do (I shudder to think what might happen if my husband ever died or something), but the more time with the parents, the better off the children are in ALL aspects of their tiny lives.

Great comment Nanny in Baltimore! You hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

3:24
Nowhere in my post does it say that I care if you work, nor does it say anything close to what you are responding to. I merely made the point that if a child is being negatively effected by not being around their parents more then a few hours a week, you most likely will not see the ill effects until much later in life.
And also, your children are "miles ahead" of the rest? What exactly do you mean by that? In school? In creativity? In happiness? In every way under the sun? I thought there was "no competition" here? Or does that just go for the moms: with kids the competition is in full force, for parents to argue bragging rights? All children are special. And what pisses your friends off may just be your attitude, not that your kids know more multiplication tables than they do or are in a more advanced reading group.
I don't care if you work or not. I was just expressing an opinion.

Anonymous said...

To the Nanny in Baltimore - since you work for a great family who are happy to see their daughter at the end of the day - why can't you give the benefit of the doubt to the other families too? They may work long hours, but they too are probably thrilled to see their child at the end of the day and it is probably the thing they look forward to all day.

As for working moms letting someone else raise their children - that is simply not true in so many cases. Studies have shown that women today spend more focused time with their children today then they did 20 years ago. This is despite the fact that more women are in the work force now than they have been in the past. They are able to spend more quality time with their children because they are spending less time cleaning, cooking and doing household chores. They outsource these things so that they can use their free time to focus on the kids, rather than the house. In other words, SAHMs who are mostly also responsible for taking care of the house in addition to the children are not spending more quality time with their children, and some cases, they may be spending less quality time with them.

Anonymous said...

3:53
Focused shmocused.
I agree with nanny in Baltimore. There is no reason to work a 60 hour week and have small children (not school age): excuses excuses.
I just don't buy it. The mothers who have such "focused" time with their kids just cannot deal with their kids. They have them in the same way that they buy a boat or a summer home. I hate to be the one to tell the truth here, but there it is. Why have kids at all if you can't even sacrifice two years TWO YEARS to watch your infant or toddler grow? It seems so sad to me. And that garbage about SAHMs and studies? Bologna. And I don't mean oscar meyer. The children of SAHMs see their mothers raising them and managing the household. Simple as that.
Nothing against working moms, of course some moms have to work. But don't tell me that some of the mothers in question don't have a choice: they do, they just don't want to give up their lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

If the stuck up nanny posse are shunning your new nanny and your baby, why would you want to make things right with that group anyways? Sounds like they are so busy gossping and forming cliques... wonder where the kids are sometimes? Anyways, my point is maybe they are not the best group and your son and new nanny shouldn't be poisoned by them anways.. good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

1:47 here. I agree with you 3:53.

I am thrilled to go home to my children every night. I can't wait to see them. On the weekends, we plan everything around them and what they like to do. The time that I spend with my daughters is truly special so I make every minute count. I know that they miss not having me around more but they are very happy children.

Our nanny is young and energetic. She drives so she takes them to a lot of fun places, which they love. She loves music so they end up singing and dancing a lot.

The SAHMs that I associate with are really nice. They do care and spend a lot of time with their children, but one particular mom is different. This mom had the nerve to ask me how I manage to have such bright children working all the time. She wanted to know what it was that I did with them, which I told her. She said that she thought that her youngest was not developing as well as the pediatrician would like her to. I had a few words for her for why I thought that was so but decided that if I couldn't say something nice, I shouldn't say anything at all.

To conclude, every family has a different situation and everyone is entitled to do what is best for their family. It's not up to others to decide what's right and not right. If you are a SAHM or you don't have a job that requires you to work so many hours, good for you. But we can't all be like you and until you really know the whole story of why a mom has to work so many hours don't pass judgement. She feels bad enough without having to be criticized. I know that I do.

Anonymous said...

Nanny in Baltimore,
I don't get what you are saying.
I think you are lucky to have a 40 hour work week when you work for working parents. Most nannies have longer work weeks because through no fault of the parent, the nannies hours must include the parents commute time to and from work. In the Westchester area when parents work in the city, this commute time can easily be an hour each way.

A Nanny in Baltimore said...

3:53
Tell me, just how much time do think those people actually get with their child during the week. Most infants and toddlers are in bed by 8:30, if not earlier. So the parents spend an hour each night with them. Wow, that's quality, especially since they are probably tired and stressed from their long day at work. I have worked for those families in the past...they are also the ones that always asked if I was available on the weekends so they could do dinner and drinks with friends.

Seriously, read the book I mentioned before, maybe then you can see things from the other perspective.

6:22
I commute an hour to and from work each day. It just happens that the people I work for live within 10 mins of their work.

I am simply saying why take on the responsibility of raising a family when you aren't the one raising it? I have people in my family who are like that - they work all day so their child is in daycare, then in the evenings and on the weekends, rather than devoting their time to their child, they have babysitters so they can continue the lifestyle they had before a child. That is what I don't get.

I don't knock working parents, Hell, if it wasn't for working parents I wouldn't have a career. I also have the luxury of being able to still work full time and spend the days with my child (when I have one) because I will be able to take him/her with me. My mom stayed home until I was in 1st grade, at that point she went back to work, and I can tell you the nightmare stories of daycares and babysitters from my childhood.

Anonymous said...

I got a huge laugh from that. Your chief of pediatrics probably sees his child for 1 waking hour a day, if he's really a working physician.

At least my pediatrician admits to it.

A Nanny in Baltimore said...

8:54 - Great point!

Anonymous said...

You gave her a month's severance pay after she worked for you for 18 months???
Guess what?
I worked for a family for NINE years and when they relocated to another state and let me go, they gave me ONE WEEK'S SEVERANCE PAY and a beaten-up old car that died a few weeks later.
They also waited til the last minute to tell me they were moving, so I was in a real bind trying to rush around interviewing for a new job AND pay my bills with my "generous" severance check. These people were quite wealthy and saw nothing wrong with their actions. The whole thing ripped my heart out.
Lesson for me: NEVER WORK WITHOUT A CONTRACT AGAIN. NEVER!!!
The way I see it, you were very fair with your nanny and she should be ashamed of herself for blacklisting you to the nanny community.
Best of luck. Hope things improve.

echave said...

The minimum standard is one week of pay for every year of service. Of course you do not have to give anything. But after nine years of service, you should have gotten at least nine weeks. We moved and gave our nanny of seven months, four months of severence. She spent 7 years of her life with my children and forever altered their life and mine. We are not incredibly wealthy, either. We do okay.

echave said...

^^our nanny of 7 years!!!

Anonymous said...

8:54:

It was my pediatrician's line, not mine. Both he and his wife are doctors, and his MOTHER was a doctor. It's not a hard concept to grasp, people.

My thought about having a nanny is this. I've never had a large family, so all my life I have had to create one. Friends have always been like my family. The same folks have been around forever.

Our nanny is another extention of that philosophy. She will be in our lives many years after she stops getting paid and isn't our nanny anymore.

I wish you could all see how wonderful my kids are and how they are NOT affected by my working.

They are as happy and as smart as can be.

Anonymous said...

There is always more to the story. The shunning should not be going on and I would question how professional these nannies are that are doing this. I agree with a previous post about having the new nanny get out and vary her activities. She will meet other nannies this way too. Is there a nanny support group in your area? Many times it is a great resource for networking with new nannies (outside of your neighborhood).

What I do find interesting is how many employers of nannies fail to see that a nanny is a person. A person that does have the right to have a life outside of her work situation. If you are working 50 hrs. then how many hours was she working already a week. It is good for the nanny and for your child to have a nanny that has a healthy balance in her life. Working over 50 hrs. is no way to do this. Traveling with a family is no vacation for the nanny. It's work in a different location with its own adjustments. She will not be able to have a break from her work world. I would suggest that you really work to make sure that your new nanny has some balance in her life. Or you are going to have an overworked nanny who is not going to stay.

Anonymous said...

sorry but the reality is that very few families are willing to even interview a nanny that has her own child. If they do then they want to pay less.

Just call a nanny agency in your area and ask if they are willing to place a nanny that has a child of her own.

Anonymous said...

i just completely stumbled across this website, thinking what a great idea it was....and now i am having a flashback post traumatic stress disorder moment. At the age of 18 I moved from Montana to Park Slope to be a nanny. I had to deal with the vicious, petty nanny gangs and the even more vicious petty parents. The axis of the earth revolves around Park Slope Playdates. The Gangs of New York should of been about Park Slopes parents and nannies. ugh. I still get shudders thinking about those four years. My biological clock completely and totally broke after that. fetal position, fetal position....click the x and never come back.

Anonymous said...

Oh the Caribbean Mafia

Goodness!!!

Do you know what it is to arrive at work and 1:30 mins before you boss leaves?

Us nannies get up before and arrive at work before parents and get home later than parents