Tuesday

"No Nerve"

Received Tuesday, September 4, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
It is exactly a year that my nanny has been working for me. I have a hard time asking her to do the most simple things. For example, when I come home from work, my son's room is mess and I clean it up as she gets herself ready to go home. I ask her to clean the fabric on my son's stroller (she sometimes feeds him in there, which I asked her not to) it is still dirty.She never refills the wipe warmer or replenishes the diapers in the changing table so when I reach for one it is empty. I gave her a list of things that need to be done everyday and weekly and I don't see her doing them. How do I tell her to do these things? It has been a year and stupid me has not said one word but she certainly knows how to ask for a raise (in April) and takes naps in front of my mom when she was visiting!

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

time for you to grow a pair! and i'm not talking about boobs.

former nanny said...

Get a new nanny. Seriously, I am sure your employer would never allow you to behave this way, so why would you allow your nanny to? Give her the boot. It will feel great. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

To be blunt, screw her. She's taking full advantage of you.

Time to find a new nanny. It may be easier for you just to tell the new one why the old one had to go.

Anonymous said...

are you completely happy with the way she takes care of your child? if not, it is time to get a new nanny. sleeping on the job--that is completely unprofessional. Resting or having some quiet time when grandparents are around is okay, but sleeping? Presumably, she isn't working for you a million hours and does have some downtime to sleep. if you are happy with her care, then you still need to talk to her. Be frank, start by saying something like, "These aren't big things that I have issues with, but if you could perform these tasks related to the care of my child, it would really make things so much easier for me..." Suggest perhaps leaving a weekly checklist of job related responsibilities. If you are planning on giving her a raise, then tie these responsibilities in: i.e. "Yes of course you deserve a raise, but I would also like to ensure that you consistently perform these tasks that we previously agreed upon..."
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

She behaves this way because you let her. Fire her and have some backbone with the next one.

Anonymous said...

I tell my nanny she can sleep, surf the net or talk on the phone once her other work is done and the child is napping.

This lazy sack of bones doesn't do jack before she sleeps. To the curb with the rest of the trash she goes.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny, I say ditch her. I always refill everything and leave the house cleaner than it was when I got there in the morning because I don't want my boss to go through what you are going through. She has told me that I can nap too but I never do. If you are having to do the work that you are paying her to do that's not fair to you.

Anonymous said...

refilling the wipes and diapers is just common courtesy. You shouldn't even have to ask her to do that. As a nanny, I suggest letting her go. I know you can find better.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of her -- she isn't addressing your baby's basic needs -- a clean, hygenic environment.

Anonymous said...

You need to fire that Nanny. You pay her to do a job and she is not doing the job that you pay her to do.

Anonymous said...

how can you not read what you've written and not go "duh, i should fire her" ??

Anonymous said...

Another nanny here. You are her employer, not her mother. If she doesn't do what you have specifically asked her to do, fire her. Now that you have experienced these problems, as you look for a new nanny, you will have a better idea of what to ask references. Good luck.

Heidi said...

I am a little disheartened by people who speak of nannies and say "kick her to the curb with the garbage". This is a human being. A lazy human being, but she must have redemptive values..loving? patient? kind? if she is in your employ. Not everything is black and white. Should this employer let her nanny go, "yes". Does she need to "kick her to the curb" or otherwise treat her unkindly. No.
Give her severence, not notice. Take a deep breath and then contact some friends, nannies, agencies. Have it in your head what you will not tolerate. And you don't have to be a bitch going forward. I think I am a pretty kind person and I am absolutely generous. My nanny and I have a great relationship. People get hung up on the "make sure she knows you are the boss". In reality, it sounds like your problems could have been solved by employing someone in a mutually respectful relationship. She wasn't doing as much as you were.
Not acceptable!

Anonymous said...

I agree that she should be given a notice and a severance but the mom needs to realize that she isn't going to change if she doesn't say anything. My boss and I have fabulous relationship because I do things that I am not asked to do. I go the extra mile, she clearly doesn't even make it to the starting line.

Anonymous said...

OP,
Does your nanny have a sense of entitlement? It sounds like it. Why does she? Is she so spectacular in other areas of her job that she can laze on the job and make you her bitch? I doubt it.

Entitled people are to be avoided.
Either as Nannies or with their hand in the pocket of Uncle Sam.

Anonymous said...

I said "kick her to the curb" because she is grossly defying her employer. It's not as though she wasn't specifically asked to do the tasks she has chosen to ignore.

Obviously one should not kick anyone to the curb who shows them an ounce of respect. This one goes out of her way to be defiant.

I guarantee you that if she can't refill a wipe container there are many other things she's not doing that aren't quite so obvious.

Anonymous said...

Im a nanny and I also say, Kick her to the curb..

Kelly said...

It is time to let your entitled nanny go. Sounds like you are working for her. How hard is it to take 15 minutes to tide up? About the notice, nope. Keep her long enough for you to interview other nannies, then give her notice and severance pay on a friday night.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't blame you for being annoyed. At first when I was reading this I thought you were overreacting to the room being messy. But as I continued, I would as well be annoyed about not diapers and wipes replenished. Thats just common sense!! How hard is it for her to take a minute or two and refill.

P.S. just curious how does she treat your son?
If you want to keep her I wouldn't but if you do, you have to sit down and talk to her. Let her know, if she can't do the simple things you ask as refilling, and not feeding your son in the stroller, its time for her to find other employment.

Anonymous said...

Your nanny sounds like a real slouch. Any chance she is a professional American nanny? I'm guessing not.

Anonymous said...

Considering the fact that there are probably 15 "professional American nannies" in the entire country, I'm guessing not too.

Anonymous said...

I have had one full-time nanny job. I was previously a lead pre-school teacher for over 10 years, have a degree and great references. I now run my own business from home.
I took the nanny job because of money. I learned the hard way that money isn't everything. The family I worked for was not happy with the job I was doing: they felt I was unreliable even though I never went beyond my alloted sick time (four days and still had some left when I left a year later) although they never told me they were unhappy. After I left the job, giving six weeks notice, I found out that they had been talking badly about me to other families in the community.
I found these people to be low-lifes for this simple reason: they didn't like me or the job I was doing, yet they chose to have me care for their children for many many months regardless.
Now that I am a parent myself I can tell you this: you can bet your ass that if I am not satisfied with the job someone is doing taking care of my kids, I would do something about it. Many moms keep nannies on that they are not satisfied with not just because they don't "have the nerve" to let her go: it is more often because they don't want to deal with the inconvenience of hiring someone new. They don't put their children first, rather they put their own needs first. I find this very sad. I think the family I worked for was horrible for a number of reasons, but the number one reason is that they kept me on taking care of their kids when they didn't like me or trust me. I find that horrible and it makes me feel worse than the fact that they didn't like me. Much worse, for their children's sake.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny who never took sick time. How sick are you adults anyway? The only time I get sick is from the children. And my boss pays (good money) for a nanny because as a woman in a male dominated field, she will lose repspect and money if she has to call in to work because her nanny is sick. Come on nannies, step it up.

8:52 said...

11:07:
Your comment is quite ignorant, in my opinion.
If you must know, I took my "sick" time to go to OBGYN appointments since my husband and I had an unplanned pregnancy several months after I took the job. The reason I left nine months later was to have my baby.
If by "stepping it up" you mean that my husband and I should have neglected the care of our unborn child by putting the nanny job first, then I feel sorry for any future children you may unfortunately have. And for the record, those sick hours were in my contract and I when I left the job I had two of four sick days left: I only used what was neccessary.
As far as your theory on women in the work force, women have every right to use the sick and vacation time allotted to them: it would set them back if they did not use it. That is what it is there for and if it is part of your benefit package you are a fool if you don't use it. Nannies are no different than doctors or executives. They have the same rights and deserve the same amount of respect, including time off. It is unfortunate if you are not allowed that respect in the nanny position you now hold.

Nanny B said...

1107, I find your comment to be completely un professional. Step it up, I bet you've never had a gyn appt before, or a dentist appt, the entire time you were working there. Becuase I can tell you, that not all drs work on the weekend and sometimes even us nannies need to have some time to attend to our personal health. Or maybe you just didn't care about yours as much. I only take time off when absolutly needed and trust me, my bosses know that and respect that.

cali mom said...

nanny b, very well said. It's outrageous of any employer in any industry to take the attitude that employees are just sponging off them, slacking off, etc, if they actually USE an allotted sick day to take care of their own personal health, let alone when their own personal health is related to the health of a baby growing inside them. 4 sick days is one every 3 months, and most people can easily have a bad cold, a wisdom tooth coming in, or need to have some medical needs checked on that many times.

As someone who had life threatening problems in my pregnancy, and a preemie that spent a long time in the NICU, but still stayed within my LEGALLY ALlOTTED UNPAID pregnancy and family leave, sick and vacation time but STILL ended up having to take my former employer to court for their attitudes and treatment towards me as a mom-to-be and a new mom, I think it's beyond sick and ignorant for an employee like 11:07 to parrot that attitude. God forbid she should ever find herself sick or injured, (or pregnant!?) and run the risk of having to use a couple of sick days, thereby ruining her employer's career.

cali mom said...

Sorry for the typo!

Anonymous said...

Everyone gets sick. I don't care if you are a nanny or a high end executive. We all get sick from time to time. Example: before I had my son I worked in a corporate office. One of my co-workers was not feeling so good. So she went to the doctors for a regular checkup. Turned out they had to hospitalize her and run tests. She ended up having cancer.

When I was pregnant my doctor advised me to leave the job once I was five months. I did leave before that. Turned out the last two months I had to go in the hospital every week then twice a week, for stress tests and ultrasounds because my fluids were low. Then I wasn't allowed to really go anywhere I was supposed to just rest on the couch no walking around. Now I have a healthy son. Imagine if I was working and and I didn't listen to my doctor

Anonymous said...

OP: Get yourself a new nanny..she has this behavior because you let her have it. How is she as far as child care is concerned? I would just find a new nanny that could perform the simple tasks assigned..its not like she is doing any major housework.

11:07..your comment is igornant. I only take my sick time when and if needed. Once in a while I do get sick..and my "mom" would much rather me stay home a day if I don't feel good, then go there and get the children sick. And you know what? My 'Mom" pays good money for HER nanny and tells me everyday she wouldn't know what to do without me there to help her out.

Beat it with your rightous attitude. Just because we use a sick day does not make us bad nannies.

Nanny for 8 years said...

Well, sometimes it is hard but your words will tell her, if you are not satisfied. Plainly tell her that you are not ok. with her performance. She'll feel uncomfortable belive me. If she wants her job, she'll change if not, than, you have to let her go.
I know it is hard after all your child got used to her. But sometimes we have to make changes for good.

Maliksmommie said...

I am a preschool teacher in NY state, and I can tell ya, if you work with kids, you WILL get sick! Especially during the first year working in early childhood. Most young children are not very good about keeping their germs to themselves (I've been known on occasion to say that it's the ONLY thing I've seen 2 year olds readily share! ) It is completely unreasonable to say a Nanny shouldn't use her sick days!

Leigh said...

Honestly, you need to step up to the plate! If your children are important to you, then you will. One can only imagine what she is doing all day when you know for a "Fact" that she is not doing what is asked of her. Please fire this nanny. It will only benefit your child(ren) in the long run. By allowing her to continue being a nanny to your child(ren) you are doing more harm that good! It is sad that this is happening, however, you are the parent/employer. Act like both!

Anonymous said...

Get rid of her - she's a slob

Anonymous said...

The nanny is not the problem, you are. She knows she can get away with it because you allow her to. If she is this inept after year, she needs to go. She should have gotten the boot nine months ago. And, if she is doing these things with you knowledge, what is going on with your child when you are not there!!?!

Anonymous said...

First of all, it is time for you to grow up, take some responsibility and be the adult. The Nanny is an employee. Written expectations, hours, behaviors and consequenses...just like any other employee. If you also want a valet or housekeeper, then write it down. The Nanny is doing what you do not want to do or cannot do. From what you describe, it sounds as the Nanny is just doing the minimun. (All you demand) This may be cultural (as in you have so much you owe me attitude) or she is just naturally lazy or feels underpaid or unappreciated. BUT, if YOU do not set standards, who will follow any? Too bad you had to learn how to manage people and be in charge on this person. Now it WILL be hard to change. Look for another and replace without notice. That attitude usually comes with a retaliation component. Change your locks and routine too.
Good Luck. Get some assertiveness training and therapy. No more children until you are adult enough to care for them.

Anonymous said...

Why dont you just be a real woman/mother and take of your own children? Fill your own damn changing table. Does she wipe your ass for you too? Jeez.

Anonymous said...

Wow a lot of opinionated people out there? I am a Professional American Nanny and have been for 10 years. Mom boss…you need to be just that a boss. Just keep it professional no matter what else you do be proud of how you handled the situation.

As a nanny I consider it part of my job to make the parents job easier. If the parents have 10 more minutes of free playtime with their kids than I have done a good thing!

So I would say you have given your nanny plenty of opportunities to perform as you would expect and she hasn’t. I wouldn’t give her a notice and it’s up to you if you can/want to give severance pay. And like many others have said with your next nanny make sure it’s someone you feel comfortable with and is competent enough to follow simple direction. There are a LOT of good nannies out there!

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

You are paying her, not the other way around. Tell her the list you leave her is part of her job, and if it is too difficult for her to do these things, you will give her a two weeks notice.

Anonymous said...

Get over it. If your kid is happy and healthy when you get home and loves the nanny then what do you care about a little mess?? The only thing they really need to do is love and support your chilren when you can't be there. Give the other stuff up to God. I am the proud parent of the nanny in the listing above and the reason you see such a wonderful tale about her is that we have a loving, warm relationship as a team and we have mutual respect, which means my kids get the best care. So what if the stoller gets food on it. You are too up tight. Take this as constructive critism,as it was meant.

5'2" 250 but lovin life! said...

You are not fit to be a parent kind miss. Your Nanny isn't your maid - your Nanny will take care of your child. The #1 priority for any proper Nanny is PROTECT THE CHARGE. The #2 priority is to raid the fridge...he he he LOL. You are should remember these two rules - and to Mrs. Crandall please keep more of those little Pigs in a Blanket in the fridge. He he he - they make both me and my charges happy! LOL!

Anonymous said...

this is intended for 52 and 250.
are you serious? dont make jokes on this site. are you a child?

Anonymous said...

5'2" and 250: WTF????

EM said...

I find this all so interesting- the way you guys talk about nannies as if they are little less than human beings- that era which should never have existed is now over, where nannies are somehow less than other people.

I feel so saddened that nannies feel that they have to go above and beyond to be liked by their employers- whatever happened to doing your job and doing it well and being respected.

Isn't the job description supposed to come before the job is given?
what are these other tasks that this nanny is supposed to perform?
How easy is it to spend 15 minutes picking up you say? Hmm, depends on how may kids you are actually taking care of.

I find those employers interesting, who don't clean their homes but expect to see a spotless one when they return- what is the job again? Nanny, or housekeeper?
It would be quite interesting to see my employer leave me a 'list' of things to do...first of all that would be an insult- employer or not (tell me how many of you like to get your bosses coffee)
I know that I am doing everything that my job requires and that does not include cleaning. Nannies are not hired as 'moms' Moms take care of families and households- nannies take care of just children.

What would be interesting to see (and this part is not related to this particular blog) is a handy cam put in all offices and lets just see what you are all up to - that would be interesting!

Again, I'm not sure if this is an 'esteem' issue, but it's again very interesting for those who feel uncomfortable taking sick days- are you not human? are you afraid your employer will not like you if you indeed needed some time for yourself?? It's really not that unusual- other normal people do it at times.

Sad is the day when I have to overwork to prove to my employer that I am worth it. Cleaning is my employers job- not mine.

As for the notice/severance or lack thereof- Ever heard of the golden rule?
How would employers like to left in the lurch?
How about we tell you on a Friday night that we simply will not return on Monday morning? how would you like that? Or even more classic not show up at all!

Note to parents:
Nannies are not in your homes to do your every bidding- you cannot just leave them little lists of your unfinished tasks to perform- if you could raise your children AND COMPLETE ALL THOSE TASKS THEN DO IT!!

Now for sleeping on the job- again, here is where we need ot make up our minds on what's important- how many hours does this nanny work? Is it reasonable for this 'non human'?
Personally, I would never sleep on a job (ethics), but I do take rest periods- tha is because unlike most people I know I;m not a machine. I do quite a bit with my charges- infact my employers so not tell me what to do with them...I am the professional on a job. I know what is to be done in terms of their development- whatever I choose to do is for their benefit- I spend my down time when not simply resting, organizing what other activity etc we are going to accomplish. I take pride in my work- my employer knows this. I love the children. My employer does not infringe on my lunch time- period- which I take alone I might add ( I don't watch children and eat at the same time)

If some employers were smarter however they would be careful about being too restrictive- again think about what you like on your own jobs- A well rested nanny is able to more adequately take care of your precious ones.
I hear a lot of you talk about nannies in the park lazy etc- what are nannies- robots? that every second you catch them they should be throughly engaged??? I just don't get it- don't you get tired as a mom?
This is the problem...nannies not properly pacing themselves- the parents issues all these commands and things to be accomplished and the nanny rushes about to do them- shouldn't the nanny know what is possible and what's not?
If I know that I am too tired to paly with the kids in the park- I simply don't go!
Nannies listen up- you have to pace yourself- you only have one life (and probably no health insurance) Try to tackle only one strenous activity per day or if you do 2 please place them at both ends of your day. That's what I do and all is happier for it. If there is some other activity that parent wants for their children that you simply cannot perform then I sggest the parents do it themselves.
If you are a professional on your job- for goodness sake act like one and not a lackey!

EM said...

oops quite a few misspellings and grammatical errors there...and I am actually college educated- lol
Sorry about that. I actually didn't expect to be quite as lenghty

anne said...

Time to grow up! YOU are the one responsible for taking care of your children by giving them a competent replacement for yourself - which she is definitely not.......think about what SHE does when she reaches for a babywipe and there isn't one there. FIRE HER.

Anonymous said...

How much are you paying her? If it isn't over $10 an hour than you can't expect her to do those things.

I mean, I would, as most people would, just out of common curtousy. But not everyone works that way.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

out of curiosity, after listening to the opinions voiced here, what exactly is a nanny's responsibility with regards to cleaning up? In my experience, anything to do with the children (ie cleaning up their rooms, or the stroller) is the responsibility of the nanny, am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

OP I'm a lot like you. I have my expectations and I outline them clearly in the begining. When they are not met - I 'prefer' to do them rather than remind the person responsible to do it and do it right. You will likely need to start over with someone new and telling the new person 'why' you let the other go will go far. However, I've learned that, not everyday or even every week, but regularly I need to coach and correct my nanny. Remind her that the wipes or diapers were empty when I went to get one. Or that the highchair was left a mess. I also created a list of things to do before she goes home at the end of each day. I always arrive on time and occassionally we go over the list together. If there are things not done then she runs around to complete them - on her time. This has helped me to take a nanny from not helpful at all to being very conscientious.

Anonymous said...

I never babysat for families, that had a list of chores to do. It was common sense some things that I did do. Put away the toys, clean up after the kids ate, load their dishes in the dishwasher, etc. They never expected me to do work off a list. I think they really liked the idea that I was spending time with the kids, and they were having fun. Also, they had a cleaning service once a week, so I didn't have to do anything cleaning.

Anonymous said...

Its also common sense to flush the toilet after you use it.