Wednesday

Need the Nanny to Quit...

Received Wednesday, August 29, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
I have had a nanny for over four years. She has been good with the children, even though I never appreciated her lack of energy or helpfulness. I have been wanting to make a change for some time, but our three children are quite attached to her. I see the nannies other people have, the sort that smile and dance and laugh and do creative projects and I feel so envious. I would have fired her and replaced her a year ago if I was not sensitive to the fact that she has been two of my children's nanny since birth. So without judging me, can anyone give me advice on how to get the nanny to quit? I have considered this from every angle and this is the only way it can go down. Thanks in advance.

85 comments:

Anonymous said...

You sound like a caring mom, please be a good boss. Thank her for her service, provide her a fair severance and send her on her way.
You do not need to tell her your plans for hiring another nanny. If you choose to give her some constructive critism, keep in mind, it will probably not be well received considering the situation.
She has been with your family for four years, she deserves some respect.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to that last comment. Trying to get her to quit because you are too gutless to let her go is wrong and just nasty. Be a good boss and so it right. Just let her know you appreciate her (and show her with a severance package of some kind), but you just feel you need to find a better fit for the kids. Either that or be pefectly honest about why you want to make a change and see if she can step up to the plate and be what you want.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your children are attached to her because she provides them with what they need. Is she loving toward them? Does she make them feel safe and secure? Those qualities are more important than art projects.

Anonymous said...

If your kids are really attached to her they'll be hurt regardless of whether she quits or you fire her. Isn't that obvious?

Just can her aleady. If the kids love a low-energy snail, they'll REALLY love someone who plays with them and teaches them amazing things.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

i am a nanny, and as a nanny i would encourage you not to "make her quit". instead why don't you just ask her to do creative projects? or if you are anything like the family i work for, you probably have nothing in your house for her to work with anyway. give her some money, like $50 and ask her to go out and get stuff to do with the children, activities she would enjoy facilitating for the children. if you dont trust her, ask to see the receipts when she is done. dont blame this on the nanny herself without first evaluating the resources you have available for your nanny.

Anonymous said...

and also, i think you are very rude.

Anonymous said...

and also, i think you are very rude.

Anonymous said...

Don't do things to make your nanny quit. If you really really really feel the need to let her go, then let her go. However, don't make lack of art projects a cause to fire her. When you walk in the door, is she normally just playing on the floor quiet with them? Like doing puzzels or playing cars or dolls or whatever your kids like to do? I mean, if she is just sitting on the couch all day just "supervising" and not engaging in any activity at all then thats different, but if she is playing with them and keeping them occupied throughout the day, then leave her alone or just talk to her nice. Critism may not be well recieved, however, if she has been with your family for 4 years, then you and your nanny should a strong enough relationship where you can sit her down and talk to her and see if she can step it up a notch. If your kids are attached to her and love her and you can see that, then..she is doing SOMETHING right. I also don't understand why this comes up after 4 years. You should have nipped it in the bud in the beginning. Just try talking to her and give her suggestions on what to do.

Anonymous said...

Author: I wrote this post. She is more of a supervisor. She is great for hugs & kisses and bandaging an ouchie. I have bought materials, bought books on crafts, bought books on cooking with kids. She seems more content to supervise. I am sorry but I have come to learn that she equates doing these things as more work. I want my children to thrive. And if I fire her, I have a feeling she won't go easily. My husband and I have had a tumultuous 2 years and she was witness to the highs and the lows.

Anonymous said...

She won't go easily? She will cause a scene? She will blackmail you?
She is a household employee. You are terminating her employment. She is not the first nanny to be fired. Sit her down, give her the last date of employment and the terms of her severance. Don't negotiate. This is not as complicated as you are making it.

Anonymous said...

oh nannies. they don't always go easily. they write books. plus sometimes, you have made mistakes by letting them know too much about you. highs? are you a druggie? prepare to lose your kids. or atleast be investigated.

Anonymous said...

If you have things to hide that she has witnessed, do you really think making her miserable until she quits is going to make her not spread your business all over (or whatever you are afraid of). I fyou are adamant about getting rid of her, you best offer her a FAT severance in exhange for a non-disclosure agreement. Beyond that, I'm sorry, but I would say that you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the nanny hasn't been doing up until this point is as much your responsibility as it is hers. If you don't put clear expectations out there, how is she supposed to meet them? And if you aren't assertive and direct enough to talk to her about it, I assume that is how you've been with your expectations too.
Make up a new expectations/activities chart. Tell her you want to go over it with her. Involve her in it, act excited. List all the activities you want your kids to participate in each week and for what amount of minimum time. Include equal amounts of physical and mental activities. Have her sign and date it. If she doesn't like it, she can quit. If she doesn't live up to the agreement, you'll have grounds for dismissal.

Anonymous said...

coward

Anonymous said...

Maybe she feels you're not paying her enough? Just a thought, or she could just be lazy.

Anonymous said...

I think before you try to get your nanny to quit, you should actually ask her to do the things you would like her to do. Tell her you want her to do creative projects with your children, and explain what you have in mind. Give her a chance. If she doesn't do it, then can her. But I say, give her a chance. If you have never said anything about creative projects or even her lack of energy before - how can she know she is not meeting your expectations? You need to say something and give her a chance.

tanya said...

To OP,
I think that it is unfair to now, after four years of employment, tell your nanny that she is not and has not been doing her job correctly. You are not the director of a preschool implementing a new curriculum: her service has been fine for all she knows and as one above poster said if you were not assertive enough to tell her all along what you wanted her to do, it is your problem. If you want to fire her, fire her and find someone else. But the fact that you thought of "making" her quit speaks very loudly of your character which is obviously lacking. Furthermore, if you want her to be "as good as your friends' nannies" you have issues. Is that what it is all about? Bragging rights to whose nanny does the coolest art projects and dances around the most?
Sorry, I'm just calling it as I see it.

Anonymous said...

I think i understand. Young children babies need to be held and rocked. food comes out of a jar or a bottle. she did that job well but is too lazy to do more. don't waste another minute. write her a glowing reference for baby care and kick her to the curb.

Cheesepower said...

I've always asked my bosses to let me know if they aren't happy with something I am doing or would like me to do something differently. I would rather they just be honest, even if they want to let me go, than to try to find a way to make me quit. Since she has been with you for four years, hopefully you will offer a good severence package and a good reference, and she will keep her mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

8:00 I think it is just wrong to give someone a reference if you don't think they did a good job.
And you have no idea of the situation, you only know what OP has said. Since we can all tell she is a bitch, I would take her rant with a grain of salt...

Anonymous said...

Tell her the truth. Tell her that other nannies run circles around her mediocre self. She may change her lazy ways if she wants her job.

Anonymous said...

Tell her the truth. Tell her that other nannies run circles around her mediocre self. She may change her lazy ways if she wants her job.

Anonymous said...

I think the OP needs to slap herself. And I have a million reasons why. I am supposing here, that you have a nanny because you are working away from home. If thats the case your observation time is limited..and if you base it on what you see at the end of the day you could be dead wrong on how she is. Can you put yourself in her shoes probably a 10 hour day with 3 children...you would be tired, and not very involved at hour 10 trust me. If they adore her she's not treating them badly and thats soooo hard to find! You are willing to break the bond, put them at risk of a not so nice sitter, or one who has other habits such as sleeping on the job all so your child can sing more and have a daily art project? Wow...are you enrolling them in physics class at 3 months..if not your surely behind. LET them be children, whats wrong with play? Why do all of you assume nannies must constantly interact, never observe and produce mind blowing art projects, what about a nanny who (GASP) lets your child be a child in a loving safe enviroment, whats wrong with that??? And secondly how much do you pay nanny ..do you have a clue how much art supplies add up if your not supplying them?? Just yesterday I spent 15.00 on a four pack of foam frames and foam letters/shapes to decorate them with...and thats ONE days activity...That adds up, you have no idea. I once worked for a family for almost 2 years who dropped to part time and forced me out what followed was 2 years of speaking with them and hearing about the hardships of the "nanny" Miss Julia..who showed up late daily, fell broke her arm on personal time and asked them to sign that she did it on the job so she could get more money form the state, or on one occassion set her sister to fill in (without calling) only for mom to get home and find the baby in the same diaper, and one locked in her room with a soaked area rug from accidents.They hired me back its been 3 years ....THEREFORE understand me now you do not have a bad nanny you have a loving nanny who needs a bigger Petty Cash Stash, and maybe a vacation. Count your blessings..

Anonymous said...

8:18,
Couldn't have said it better myself!

Anonymous said...

818 AMEN!

Anonymous said...

Agreed 8:18! OP, if she "doesn't go easily", you deserve it cause you sound like a total a$$hole, sneaky snaky and spineless to boot. Any employer in any field who tries to make an employee so miserable they quit, thereby saving themselves from having to be honest and having to pay into unemployment, is raking up the bad karma BIG TIME.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:18 and the rest of the crew who said its wrong that you are going to try to make her quit. If your kids are attached to the nanny and if that shows, then she is obviously doing something right. I feel for the nanny working for you right now, because she doesn't realize what an unloyal person she is dealing with. If your nanny has been with you for 4 years, and you always get your kids back at the end of the day safe, healthy and happy, then what is your problem? And why are you complaining about this after 4 years? I've been a nanny for 10 years and you know what keeps nannies and families together? Loyalty, honesty, and good communication. You should try talking to her nicely and give her some ideas on what you would like the kids to do and then provide the resources she needs in order to put it into place. If and only if after that she doesn't step up to the plate, then yes, let her go. But try talking to the girl first. Don't make an attempt to run her out of your house. That isn't right. And if you do end up getting a new nanny, then you need to be upfront with that nanny from the beginning on what you would like to see your kids doing. Don't wait another 4 years.

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

If she is lazy when you are right there observing then what is she doing when she isn't being watched? Maybe you have a sleeping nanny, but just don't know it.

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote:
oh nannies. they don't always go easily. they write books. plus sometimes, you have made mistakes by letting them know too much about you. highs? are you a druggie? prepare to lose your kids. or atleast be investigated.

5:24 PM

^Unless that comment was a joke, I think whoever wrote that is misunderstanding what the OP meant by "highs and lows." It means the good times and bad times, not that the mom "got high".

To the OP:
I was a nanny one time, and I got laid off "because the mom (supposedly) wanted to stay home".
When you first hired her, did you sit down and explain the job duties and responsibilities (such as wanting her to cook with the children, etc.)? I think that if your nanny has been working for you for 4 years, you should've sat down and talked with her as soon as you saw something "wrong" with the way she cared for the children, if you hadn't previously laid out the responsibilities and duties. I don't think it's fair that you're just now deciding to "let her go" without any kind of warning. I know you said you've bought books for her to read, so that she'll cook and do various activities with the children, but once you saw that she wasn't using them, you probably should've sat her down and had a talk with her.

Anonymous said...

You've kept her for four years. She must be doing something right.

Anonymous said...

Children's and family's needs change as the children grow older. When my children were very young, I wanted an older, more sedate, mature nanny. Once they my oldest was school aged, I too wanted someone with the energy to run around with her and engage and play with her. The solution for me was not be a new nanny, it was a second, part-time younger caregiver who is more of an after school playmate to the oldest children. Realisticaly, when all my children reach school age, I will likely be forced to make a decision around whether my long term nanny fits my family needs anymore, but for now, the arrangement works. When it reaches that period, though, I will discuss the options with her honestly and with the respect she deserves as someone who has helped raise my babies (not sure what the options will be--likely a choice between changing job duties/hours or a severence package and assistance with finding a new position). Before you decide she is no longer needed ask yourself--when you compare your nanny to others' are they comparable jobs--hours, numbers and ages of kids, etc. and have you really explored all your options keeping in mind what is best for each of your children as individuals? Unless you have an open conversation with her, I doubt it. If the issue is she is a neglectful, lazy caregiver, you should have fired her a long time ago, but it does not sound like that is the case if your children care for her--children are the best judges of character.

Anonymous said...

Hi OP

Not sure if you are a working parent or not, but maybe by the end of the day the nanny is not dancing or doing projects because she is tired. Besides childcare do you expect her to do all household chores? Do you expect her to run errands, do laundry, clean or make dinner? If so why not hire someone to help relieve those duties. At least the cleaning aspects of it. Get someone in once a week to clean the house. Please don't be one of those parents that expect the house to sparkle at the end of a day. I have one child and the house gets messy I can imagine with three. Depending, on the childrens ages, make a chart of chores to help out around the house. Example: cleaning up toys, help clean of the table after eating, put clothes in hamper, etc. Reward them if they do a good job with a special treat, as maybe some art supplies, or taking them for an icecream cone. It will teach them responsibility, and make your life and the nannies easier.

Another idea: maybe enroll your kids in a art class or a class where parents and nannies can get involved. Music class, cooking class, etc. If you are at home you can join in on the fun. Maybe, she was never the arts type of person, but being in a group setting with other people and kids and instructors will encourage to do these sort of things with your kids.
Don't throw away 4 years yet.

Anonymous said...

I recommend that if you want her to smile more, then give her reasons to smile. Get her flowers, have the kids make her "I love you" cards and just tell her how much you appreciate the things she does do. See if that changes things. Because, I'm sure if you're not happy with her, that that shows through.

And if you had the "perfect" babysitter you might really not be happy because then the kids might prefer her to you (believe me, this has happened before). So choose to be happy with what you got.. or hire another nanny on the weekends or something and see if it works out better BEFORE letting your current nanny go.

Anonymous said...

Hi OP, Just tell her that you feel that the children would greatly benefit from far less "supervising" and far more direct one on one playing with her. Tell her that you know that she has a great personality and would able to teach them a lot just by playing with them directly. Tell her that as children age it is important to interact and play with them, imagine things together, and sit on the floor most of the time interacting and playing. Tell her that you understand this is a different way of doing things, but that you'd like her to start doing this now. Explain that you know she will help the children grow and learn and blossom, and that this is how they will benefit from her presence. Also explain to the children that this is how Nanny is going to do things now, more playing directly with them. They will be happy and everyone will know the new drill.

Please don't try to force her to quit. If it really isn't working out, just let her go. But that really doesn't sound like a good idea; your children are so fond of her and that is SO important!! Please try to tell her what you'd like her to do, and remind her of how happy the children are with her. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Michelle said...

If you are truly that unhappy or just not pleased with the way that things are running with your household with your current nanny then you just have to step up to the plate and tell her that you're moving on.

As difficult as it may be for both you (in terms of comfort) and your children it will have to happen eventually and sooner rather than later is always better.

I think that the suggestions of sitting her down and say you are parting ways is the best way to go. Give her a window/time frame to find a new job, and if you feel comfortable doing so help her out. 2-4 weeks seems fair as it seems that she has been with you for a good time period. I don't think that you need to mention that you are going to be looking for a new nanny, that can (at times) create an unpleasant environment for everyone involved. However if you do choose to go this route keep in mind that you will need to take some time off to "train" the new nanny and show her all the ropes.

As for the part of her being in your home while your family went through some difficult times...any employee who is working in a home in such close context with the daily runnings of the house is going to encounter different situations. You can either bypass that situation or let her know that you have appreciated however she handled that situation and keep going. If there is a blackmail situation involved then I am at a loss!

Good Luck! I know how difficult it can be to have to terminate someone who has been with your children since birth but remember...this is for your children! Worry about them and the best you can do is hope that she can bounce back!

Anonymous said...

From a nanny's prospective......I would not want to stay in a job where the mom has been wanting to fire me for a year.
Clearly this nanny is no longer the right fit for you. Do her a favor, let her go. And do it honorably, with notice, appropriate severance and a letter of recommendation. She has nurtured your children for four years. They will miss her, and she will miss them, but these relationships do end sooner or later, and we have to move on. She will find another family's children to love, and hopefully you will find a nanny who better fits your expectations.

Anonymous said...

OP, it is very hard to find a nanny, especially one who truly cares about your children.

It probably is harder to find those Leah Remini hoodies, but who cares about the hoodies. Keep the nanny :)

Anonymous said...

So, you've been having hard times with your husband, and now you want to get rid of the one constant in your children's lives? Seems to me like you aren't putting your children's needs first.

Get a tarp, put an easel over it w/ paints and tell the kids they can paint and draw over the tarp whenever they want.

Do you insist that the house be spotless each day? This could be why the nanny does not do art projects. Projects are messy, and if you are going to freak out about a speck of glitter on the floor, then I wouldn't waste my time either.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with 8:18, as I have nannied and money issues and lack of supplies were ALWAYS my cause of "supervising" or "appearing lazy" rather than want or desire. However, it was always uncomfortable for me to ask for these things. You just sound so cold and sneaky, if you don't like what she is doing why don't you just tell her? I can't imagine any boss in the entire world not letting an employ know what they did wrong, but being so nasty and awful that they "force them out" instead...I'm sorry, but you need to grow a pair.

Anonymous said...

Wow. If you're not happy, ask her to leave. Give her 1-2 months notice and a fat severance pay.

I'm also curious how much you're paying her. If her hourly wage is at the lower end of the scale, I can understand why arts&crafts etc are not included. I once had 2 families. One paid me $10 per hour ,one kid and some housework, the other $25 an hour, one kid and no housework. I was good to both kids but I did more with kid #2 because I felt appreciated , less tired (no housework)AND the family always left me money to take the girl to the museum, for a picnic , craft supplies etc .

Also, there's nothing wrong with kids entertaining themselves. They develop their imaginations more etc. It's also possible that she has a schedule of sorts and if you see her around the same time everyday sitting, it's because it's 'quiet time'. For my charge and I, quiet time is in the morning when she's just woken up (she's very grumpy in the morning), 15 minutes before her afternoon nap and about half an hour before her parents come back (because this is when I clean up her toys and anything else I have to do).

There's also a possibility that she's just not that kind of interactive nanny. If that's not what you want, sit her down and let her know you're letting her go.

Anonymous said...

1-2 months for 4 yrs of service?

op, not a single person has given you the advice you sought. Everyone sat in judgment and tsk tsked you.

Is your nanny a live in? If so, go to a pet store or a bad part of town and get a rat. While nanny is out, set rat up in nanny's room. I hear this doesn't always work. A demanding bitch of a nanny will insist that you get pest control.

Anonymous said...

Of course I'm judging. What kind of family makes life difficult so that the nanny will quit? You want her to leave, you do it the right way. Coward. Sneaky people disgust me.

Severance pay is based on years of service so 4 years= 4 months severance. If you can't afford it, stick with 2 whatever. Just don't be a sneaky bitch.

Anonymous said...

fire the bitch....you most likely have a nannie that sleeps in the park....or reads magazines in the libary...
your kids are better of with a energetic nannie

Anonymous said...

I have been in same situation. I kindly told her the needs of my family have changed and I have to let you go. I gave her a nice package and wrote some nice ads for her. There were tears and hugs and that was that. It was hard but my children come first. It is also common in this area of work for these things to happen. As a family grows, it's needs change and a family may go through several nannies throughout the growing years. Be tough and do it but be kind, gentle and compassionate. It is what it is. good luck.

Anonymous said...

your nanny does not sound like a bad nanny, especially if the kids adore her. Have you talked to her? Maybe she has a reason why she "appears" lazy. Are you a stay at home mom? Because if you are then I could see how you could see more of what she does. But if you and your husband both work, then maybe you just see her at the end of the day when she is exhausted. Why don't you ask your children? Or maybe ask her to do crafts, etc. Talking to her first would be great, unless you really cannot stand her, which in that case to be fair to her and yourselves you should let her go. Trying to get her to quit isn't quit fair to her.

Please keep us updated on what happens.

Anonymous said...

Also, if your children are approaching school age-then they will really get all that artsy stuff there. At school age, they really just need someone to take them there-pick them up and prepare meals and bath them. So if they are near school age-i would leave it as it is..hire a tennager to come over and play with them 2x a week if you want.

Anonymous said...

Send her to some sort of training school. This will show her how much you appreciate her and maybe inspire her to do new things.

If she sees that you are "investing in her future" then maybe that little push will go a long way.

Anonymous said...

just fire her. if you are so manipluative that you want to force her to quit, i'm sure there's a ton of other shitty things you are doing to her. maybe her "lack of energy" is due to your lack of integrity.


you want some advice on how to get her to quit? keep being yourself!

cali mom said...

Long thread...I agree with 5:49, 5:57 and 8:18. The suggestion of signing the kids up for art classes or something else creative that is a scheduled, structured activity is great, or if there are indoor play places, (there are several in my area) that have art areas, specific craft projects, storytimes, music times, etc, you could ask that she take the kids there a couple of times a week, and that might guarantee they get a certain amount of that kind of environment.

But as some have pointed out, there is NOTHING wrong with kids being allowed plenty of unstructured "free play" time. Expecially at preschool age, that is how they learn.

But by your posts, it sounds like you've made your decision to just take the sneaky, passive agressive way out and make her life miserable so she quits, with no concern whatsoever for ethics. There is no polite way to describe this, and it's actually so masty I'd suspect your post is just a schill to get people talking and cast a negative light on certain groups of people. But from working for various companies, I do know that there are slimy underhanded employers who DO prefer to take that approach whenever possible. Just sickening.

maggie said...

If you're single, start dating a douchebag.

Anonymous said...

You should be happy to have a decent Nanny at all. Why don't you tell her to do artistic things with your children instead of making her quit. And it sounds like you just want to make her life miserable till she leaves and that my friend is disgusting. It's hard not to judge someone who sounds like a self-centered person.

Anonymous said...

oh pipe down-
you've never met one of these lazy nannies? they can't push a stroller through dirt, cant go out in the heat, can't cut out things for the children to glue because of scissors. they tell you the children doesnt like x, y and z because x, y and z equals fun. I had a nanny like this once. she lasted 5 days. Even with a FT housekeeper and the fact she didn't lift a finger nor did she need to, she refused to let the children do anything fun. They couldn't even use bath crayons in the tub. And she allowed them one toy. Why? Oh the effort to remove the toys from the tub. What a stick in the mud. Somebody else is now suffering looking at her drull face.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this blog. I am a nanny and if I ever found out that my boss was writing on the internet on how she wanted to fire me or have me quit, I would quit on the spot, so my advice is to tell her about this web-site. Second of all, my real advice to you is to stop being so worried, if you want your children doing more activities, tell her...be honest with her, and if she doesn't do it, then do what you must. In my experience I've always had boss's that were honest and told me straight foward what they wanted from me. She may be your employee, but she is still a person, respect her with the truth and in turn she will respect what you want for your children.

elise said...

You call OP a coward because she wants Nanny to quit. Maybe OP just does not want to the one to fire or hurt the nanny's feelings. If a nanny quits on her own, she can still stay in touch with the children and family. If she is fired, no chance. And how sad is that for the children? You can't ask children to compartmentalize their memories or the people who have significantly contributed to their development. Talk about stunting a child's development!

Anonymous said...

Elise, that is not true...if the mom fires her she can say I would still love for you to be a part of my childs' lives, just not in the same way...if she is forced to quit, she will never want to come back!

Anonymous said...

Elise,
OP wants to know how to make the nanny so miserable that she will quit. That is hardly caring about the nanny's feelings!
I think the reason she wants her to quit is so she doesn't have to pay severance.

Anonymous said...

Elise...please read the post again. OP wants to basically make the job miserable for the nanny so she will quit. Do you really think that is an environment that should would come back to for a visit?

This OP is not only hurting this nannny, but her children and probably herself....What goes around comes around and I think she just may find the new fun nanny she envisions may not be all she thought it would cracked up to be.

Anonymous said...

8:34 you are so rude. You sound like the bitch. What is wrong with you. You sound pretty inhumane. The mother is asking for constructive advice. If you can`t be nice don`t be nasty. You could have turned this comment into something positive. What comes out of your mouth tells your character. I wonder what kind of role model you are to your kids. Hope you say positive things in the presence of your children or else you are a bad parent.

Anonymous said...

9:43: did you seriously just tell someone (8:34) "if you can't be nice, don't be nasty" right after calling said person a bitch?

chick said...

Well, how can I put this non-judgementally for you OP???

You have several options:

Continue to seek out a passive-aggressive way to make her quit, therefore saving yourself severance $$ and the annoyance of having to actually MANAGE your employee.

Take charge, and have a sit down with her. Ask her for feedback on how the job has changed over the years, ask her what's working for her and what she'd like to change, ask her what SHE thinks she could do to achieve your goals of more activities, discuss YOUR goals with her and ask her if she feels she can meet those goals. Decide when to meet again (4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.) to re-evaluate and make decisions about her future with your family.

Accept things as they are, knowing that you chose to put up with a nanny you didn't really like for 4 years, and evaluate what exactly you believe she would do with your dirty marital laundry. Then decide if it's worth it to let her go and start the nanny hunt all over again with the added bonus of worry over your family issues. Maybe you'd be better off sucking it up and accepting that your kids like her, she does X and Y but not Z, and you haven't got the guts to fire her.

Take a good look at yourself and your management style. Do you offer her $$ for activities? Do you ask her to shop for arts and crafts supplies and then deal with the resulting mess graciously? Or do you begrude her every dollar she asks you to give her for activities and sulk if the house isn't spit and polish clean when you come home?

Hey, here's a thought...do arts and crafts with your own kids on your own time!

And if all else fails, just be a total bitch for as long as it takes to make her quit. Find fault, loudly, with everything she does, add housework to her job, make her stay at home every day with the kids, and "forget" to buy groceries, so that she has to feed the kids stale bread and old cheese for lunch, then grouse about the kids eatting too many carbs and too much fat.

Anonymous said...

Getting the nanny to quit does not mean that you have to make her miserable. It just means you don't want to be the bad guy. Sheeeesh.

After my second child was 2, I divorced my husband and became a sahm. Mostly because I felt the children needed me (Dh took off). The nanny I had working was an English nanny, one who did preschool worksheets with my older child and taught them things and organized their day and shopped for them. She didn't need me and made me feel irrelevant. I tried to work with her because I liked her personally but she was who she was and I wanted to be a hands on mother. With my own ideas and schedule.

It was a very hard thing to do and the nanny did take horrible offense to the way things ended. I thought I was doing the right thing. I was very generous with her severance, offering her a month for each year of service. So I understand what this OP is going through. When the nanny/parent thing works, it is great but it is never an easy thing to end!

Having said all that, you have to live with yourself so you will want to look back on this time and know you did right by the person who took care of your precious children. Resolve to be honest and be as generous as you can. Be kind in your words and that is all you can do!

cali mom said...

11:00 said: "Hey, here's a thought...do arts and crafts with your own kids on your own time!"

Oh really now, don't you think that's just being completely unreasonable? [sarcasm]

Anonymous said...

Some mothers need to have efficient nannies who take charge. If the mother has to plan activities for the nanny, the mother is going to feel like she has another child. A nanny should be a partner to and an extension of the child's mother. Not a drain on her already limited time.

Anonymous said...

Gee Chick, that wasn't judgemental at all! LOL. Actually it was right on!

Anonymous said...

Chick-I love it!

11:12pm-You were a divorced sahm w/ a nanny?? You must have gotten a pretty good divorce settlement. P.S. sahm stands for Stay At Home Mom, not stay at home nanny supervisor.

Anonymous said...

As everyone else has pointed out, making her to miserable to stay is a bad idea. Particularly for your children, if they are attatched to her. More important than what your nanny is doing is what your kids are doing. If her sluggishness is getting them into the habit of watching 8 straight hours of TV, then there is a problem. However, your children might be so energetic and imaginative with each other and possible playmates, that the only role she needs to fill is the supervisor. That needs to be taken into consideration before you do anything.
There is a very simple solution to this problem, but you will have to look her in the eye and give her direction, and be a good employer. Explain to her that with the kids getting close to school ages, you now EXPECT a certain level of developmental and social activities for them, and that you are open to any reasonable suggestions or requests from her as to what you can do to help that along (craft supplies, a little leniancy on housework, better pay, etc.) This is a perfectly reasonable request from a parent (if of course they are willing to help too, especially in financing the crafts) if she refuses, she's pretty much quit. If she steps up to the plate, you truly do have a wonderful nanny that your children love, and you would have been a fool to get rid of.

Anonymous said...

I'm a full time nanny and I just get so sick of parents who expect their nannies to do things that the parents don't even do. Of course I play games, interact, sing songs, get creative, and have fun with the kids, but I'm not going to spend 10 hours a day dancing and rolling around on the floor. I can guarantee there isn't a parent out there who doesn't take a break here and there by just sitting back and supervising the children having a good time. Children need to learn how to be self entertained, and that starts around 6 months old. Why would you want your child to think the only way he can have fun is if a nanny is there to constantly entertain him? Silly! Be honest with your nanny and only after you have done that, should you find someone else who better fits your family if she's truly not willing to do as you ask. Also, unless you are paying her more than $15 or $16 an hour, don't ask her to do anything more than she already does.

Anonymous said...

OP:
What have you decided? Let us know.

Anonymous said...

I agree, kids have to learn to play on their own. Some parents don't seem to understand that, I see it at the playground. My son loves running around the playground without me always behind him. And hes only 20 months! When I try to do something with him their he pulls away and want to play with the other kids. At first it made me feel bad, but thats all part of growing up and learning to be independent. At least at night he still wants to be my little baby : )

Anonymous said...

OP, do you give your nanny enough petty cash? I am a nanny for 3 children and I have such a hard time planning activities because the kids don't have anything! The toys they do have are either infant toys from several years ago or toys that are broken/missing pieces. We spend a lot of time just reading library books or singing and dancing and playing games that only require props like pillows. It's hard and our days would be so much brighter with better resources. I agree that you are being childish comparing your nanny to your friend's nannies. Your nannies shortcomings could be due to the family environment, the children's temperaments, the duties, etc. and she might just be doing the best she can with the cards she has been dealt (like me).

Response from OP said...

Thank you all for your advice. I never expected anything unreasonable of the nanny. As I stated, I attempted overtime to introduce her to craft books and children's cooking projects. These are simple projects like making playdough or marshmallow snowmen. This isn't a case of her not knowing what I expected. Every suggestion I brought to her was brought to her in a way that she had no cause for offense. "Maybe one day this week when X is napping, you could help X and X make a birthday card for poppy? There's a bin of new stuff I picked up at the art store that could be fun to work with".

That is just one example. After considering her history with us and the children's needs, I have decided to let her go. I have not done so as yet.

One final point, I am not changing the job description. The needs of the children change as the children grow older. I believe that a good nanny recognizes that a three year old requires a different level and interaction than does a 4 month old.

My observations on what the nanny does during the day are based on what she tells me, the fact that supplies go unused, books, puzzles and games remain unopen. Any toy or game the children can do without an adult- those are the only things they do. I have been patient with her excuses. "X was fussy", "I was afraid X would chew on the pieces", "I didn't get a chance to read the directions" or my favorite, "X just wanted to play with his cars".

I think some of you go to the extreme trying to make excuses for the nanny. Beleive me when I say, I have been incredibly patient and tolerant. Letting her go is not going to be easy.

Anonymous said...

YOu have a right to have any nanny you see fit, but I think the main issue people had was with you trying to conive ways to get her to quit instead of just being an adult about it and letting her go honestly. Very unprofessional and just down right dirty.

Anonymous said...

OP:

You should always put your children first and do whats in their best interest. I think the reason why people were harsh with some of their comments is because the way you went about your post. Just fire her, don't make her life miserable so she quits. If you did everything you could to get her to interact with the children more, then by all means, let her go..but don't make her quit, just be honest.

Anonymous said...

OP:
I would be the perfect nanny for you. I think up art and craft projects and frequently bring in my own supplies. I go to the library on my own time and get piles of books for my charges. I sing and dance with them. I love doing these things, and that is why I became a nanny. Some people are just not creative. You need to find a nanny who is. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
No, I'm not available, Good Luck :>)

Evil said...

Be responsible and tell the nanny what she's done wrong. Tell her that there's no going back, that she's out the door. Give her a letter that gives her a glowing reference, give her some severance pay and show her the door.

Anonymous said...

Good lord. How horrible for the nanny. Why don't you just write her a glowing reccomendation, give her a nice severance package (3 weeks pay should suffice) and a ouquet of flowers and a baloney excuse? Say you're putting them all in preschool because it's more convienent. Or that You have a family member who's looking for work. Something that puts it on a non-personal level. That's harsh. Keep in mind, she probably cares about you children tremendously. It might not be that she is a first class nuturer, but she has kept them safe, happy, and feeling loved untill now, so be cautious of her feelings and don't FORCE her to quit. Be a real woman.

Anonymous said...

Tell her funds are limited and she will need to take a pay cut! If that does not make her quit, I do not know what would!

Anonymous said...

Shame on you to seek out ways to cause your nanny to quit. Your children are close to her and you admit she is good to them. Other people fire a nanny because they have endangered their children but you seem to want to mess with a nanny who is good for your children because you have Nanny Envy..wrong..lucky you to even get a nanny..I've raised 4 children while working and had to settle for childcare center..I cant believe some of the responses I'm reading in here. You over-priveledged people have too much money and not enough brains. The happiness and safety of your children are the most important issues.

Anonymous said...

Why do people have kids when they have no intention of raising them?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought of being truthful??????????? That is my preferred method. The last 2 nannies I have let go have been told the truth. Remember what you give, you get back. Doesn't look like you are getting good things back in your future. I don't mean to sound mean, but hey, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a parent, nor a nanny, but I AM an employer. And your lack of integrity is stunning. Give her notice, write her a LoR and send her on her way. Its not hard. If you're afraid she wont keep her mouth shut then theres other problems going on here.

Jenifer said...

The problem here is HOW you want to let your nanny go...obviously we don't know exactly what goes on in your home, but if you feel you need a new nanny you need to step up and fire the one you have. Also, I'm having a little trouble understanding something...you say that you know she doesn't do art projects because the supplies you have are unopen, well, if you wanted art projects done so badly wouldn't YOU have opened them by now? I am a nanny and I do lots of arts of crafts with the children, but so do their parents. If you wanted someone else to do all the fun stuff with your children, maybe you shouldn't have had any in the first place. Sounds to me that you are just jelous of the relationship your nanny has with your children and you are just looking for excuses to let her go.

Anonymous said...

OP,

Update us. Did you fire Nanny?

Anonymous said...

Look OP --- she's cared for your children for four years and apparently nothing has gone "wrong". If your child wants to "play with his cars" do you expect the nanny to say "NO WE'RE DOING ARTS AND CRAFTS!". Instead of the "overtime" thing (and nanny is probably already frazzled from the day) why don't you tell nanny and YOUR CHILDREN that between x hour and x hour they will be painting, drawing, building, coloring, whatever you want them to do. You are the one who sets the tone of your house. Think about it.......

Anonymous said...
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