Can a nanny be too good?

Received Wednesday, December 12, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
I assisted my wife in locating our present nanny who has been with us since late August. She started her time with us by joining us on a family vacation. This seemed like an ideal time to spend time with her and assess the way she treated the children. Having seen her in action for herself, I have to say I felt like I had really found Mary Poppins. I never witnessed her do anything wrong at all. She raised her voice to the children as needed, she was neither too soft, nor too hard. She always smiled, she filled the rainy days with explorations and craft activities. Then we returned home and settled in to our fall school schedule. We have two in school all day and one in preschool 3 hours per day. Again, she proved flawless. She offered to help out in areas we did not expect her to (for example, she made us dinner more than once, she picked up our dry cleaning, took our cars in for service). And still, the children loved her. She was great getting them to and from school and as strict as she needed to be to get our oldest to work on his homework. I continued to brag to my coworkers that I had found Mary Poppins. The children had never been happier, the house was organized and every time I walked in the door, I felt this amazing positive energy. Our nanny was a live-in and she has been absolutely respectful of our privacy. I thought we had found perfection. So what do you imagine I am contacting you about? Something sordid I caught my nanny doing? No. My problem is that since mid November, my wife has been complaining about the nanny. Picking at her for things that have nothing to do with her nannying. In fact the comments were very catty, relating to her appearance, a hairstyle she got, the jacket she wore, etc. These comments were said just to me in privacy. Last night we came home late and the children and nanny were in bed but they had made Christmas cookies in the shapes of ornaments. There was a plate left out for us and a container full and both my wife and I had remarked how hungry we were on our trip back from the city. My wife refused to eat the Christmas cookies and dumped the ones on the plate in the sink and snapped on the garbage disposal. My wife and I both work about the same hours. I don't think I am missing anything about this nanny. There is no sexual tension or anything between the nanny and I, and that is not the reason for my wife's about change. So, at long last, I have a question for you employers of nannies. Can a nanny be too good? Because I can only imagine my wife's obvious resentment is going to escalate. I have asked her what's wrong but she continually says, "nothing" and becomes irritated with me. An help, advice, suggestions?


TX Nanny said...

I guess your wife is feeling resentment on having another woman handle her house so well. I think your wife is insecure. Maybe she should consider cutting back her hours a little and spending more time with the children.I think it would be terrible if you got rid of a wonderful nanny and replaced her with someone who won't be as great just because of your wife's bruised ego.Think of your children first.

Anonymous said...

Your wife is jealous because she thinks the nanny is a better "mother" than her. I hate to think your nanny will lose her job because of your wife's insecurity. Good luck with this one!

Aunty Rhea said...

Your wife is jealous.

She hired a nanny to care for her kids, and now she is jealous that someone is caring for her kids.

The same thing happened to me when I nannied for a certain family. When there were no complaints and the kids were happy to see me and didn't care about the parents leaving, and especially when the little girl skinned her knee and came to me before her mother, the mom became hostile towards me.

If someone can't handle having their kids go to others for comfort and care, they shouldn't hire nannies. It's childish.

cali mom said...

Fire the wife and keep the nanny.

Do Everything Well said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Housewife said...

Your wife is jealous.

But mostly she feels bad about her own inability to do everything the nanny does.

I'm sure she feels inferior and quite possibly she should. Your nanny sounds like the type of woman that shows us all up.

Talk to your wife. Tell her she's a good wife. Tell her she's a good mother.

I don't know if she's a good wife or a good mother but if you don't massage that woman's ego she'll DESTROY that sweet nanny and your children won't get all the love they deserve.

Two women + one house = big mistake.

Anonymous said...

no, but she can be TOO good.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. If your wife is this jealous about a nanny, then I can only imagine what this is going to mean for your marriage down the road. Just think about the constant nagging, controlling, and bipolar behavior you will need to endure, plus all of your good friends being driven away by your wife. This is a huge red flag. I say dump her. Get out now while you still can.

And keep the nanny.

bv said...

I sympathize with your wife. I had some very tough times with my nanny in the beginning. I was able to help myself through it as I knew the nanny would only be with us 18 months. She was starting graduate school in another state and we knew that when we hired her. I kept telling myself in the beginning, "it's only temporary and it's best for the children". I worked in the city and was away from my home for 50 hours per week. On weekends, the children would constantly call me by the nanny's name and tell me how nanny did this or nanny did that. I could hardly shun nanny's ideas, they worked. After three months, I acclimated to having super nanny around and the OP is right, there is just something different about the aura of the house when you have a good nanny. The right nanny ties everything together. I don't have to work, I chose to work. I love my job and I hired a nanny who loved her job. She is still in contact with us by email and we love her. We have had all sorts of nannies, but none was as great as her. If you are going to resent your nanny for something, it might as well be that she is good. Just keep it to yourself. Don't let her pick up on it. And good luck.

bv said...

I could seriously do without the misuse of the term/condition bipolar. A mother resenting a nanny isn't abnormal. It's something that must be dealt with.

And what credit to the nanny that she is so great that she evokes such a reflection. I think because of super nanny in my life, I was very conscience about being patient with my children and finding learning adventures and spending quality time with them every single day.

Thank you.

Sarah and Mitch said...

Wow, what a tough call. Honestly it is crystal clear that your wife is having some jealousy issues. I really think that you should talk to her about them, and see if the two of you can come up with a suggestion. Is she happy having to work while someone else watches her children? Really, you can't blame this on having a great nanny, because it's likely that if the nanny weren't great, the wife would still be having some serious issues.

Definitely try to talk to her and see if you can work out maybe special one on one time with her and the kids, where it's a treat in the middle of the day and not just an "after work" kind of visit. You can also talk to the nanny about this sensitive issue, just make sure to tell her in the nicest way that you adore her, and see if she has any ideas about how to include the mom more. Sounds like she is definitely a gem. I will tell you though, a fantastic nanny is only as good as how the family treats them, so make sure you keep lines open! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

clear...your wife is an idiot

Anonymous said...

Your wife is jealous toad and needs to grow up and get over it.
While feeling a little resentment is normal ( I did in the beginning, the first time I came home and my kids waqnted me to go back to work so my nanny could stay longer) your wife's behavior is childish. What does she want? A bad nanny who will abuse the kids or a mediocre nanny who will have them watch TV all day? She her this site and then, if she still acts this way, ask her to go to therapy and if she refuses think long and hard about what type of woman your wife is. Is she REALY going to be so selfish as to make you get rid of a woman that obviously makes your children very happy so SHE can feel better about HERSELF???

Anonymous said...

Maybe seeing the cookies reminded your wife of the things she would like to be doing with the children, the special moments that she is not sharing with them, while someone else is. Can she cut down on hours, perhaps, and have some more "special time" with the kids? It would be a huge shame to get rid of this nanny - she sounds TERRIFIC. But the fact that your wife is feeling so hostile means that something in your family needs to change...perhaps her feelings are a sort of wake-up call that she should make the effort to spend as much time with the kids as possible while they are still young. Even if she must work long hours, she can plan to do really fun things w/ them (like baking holiday cookies) when she is off. Perhaps making more special memories herself w/ the kids would help her relax a bit towards the nanny.

how selfish said...

Shame on anyone for putting their kids happiness in front of their selfish behavoir. If my mom ever threw my cookies down the sink i would've just died... how mean. Ditch the wife and marry the super nanny!

chick said...

Well, I do agree that your wife is jealous of the nanny, but maybe the issue is more how impressed you are with nanny, how much you brag about nanny, etc.

I bet if you started thinking and focusing more on how amazing your wife is, and bragged a bit about her, etc., things might improve.

Imagine how your wife will feel at your company holiday party if all anyone talks about is the fantastic nanny you brag about constantly. Heck, I AM a nanny, but I can see why that would piss off a wife.

So, feel free to appreciate your nanny, but make sure you appreciate your wife, too. If you don't, chances are you'll lose the nanny and permanently tick off your wife.

erics mom said...

I agree with 9:38

Its a wake up call. The nanny sounds great. Is their a way your wife could work four days instead of five. It would give her more time with the kids. And give the nanny a day off. Or can your wife come home earlier each day than usual then you wouldn't need a live-in. I would still keep the nanny, but maybe she could live-out? I don't know what you are paying your nanny, but give her a raise so she can live-out and find a nice apartment.

Sounds like you work in N.Y. and reside in Bergen County?? I am assuming Ridgewood???

mom said...

I agree with all the posts above (except the ones that suggest you ditch your wife, which I assume are joking anyway.)

If you are going to leave your kids in the care of a substitute mommy all day every day, your wife needs to suck up her jealousy and treat the nanny well and make sure your children continue to have the best care possible. They have to come first. Don't let her drive this nanny away in favor of a poor quality nanny just to soothe her own ego. How selfish would that be? I have seen people here suggest women do that sort of thing but I never really thought it happened...until now.

However, you might help your wife explore her feelings about being a working mom when maybe this nanny has shown her what a pleasure her own children can be to be with each day. I agree with the people who suggest she work less, or not at all, if she feels she is missing out on her children's lives and affection.

And it may also be true that your constant praise of the nanny has contributed to her jealousy.

I would not want another woman living in my house, period. But then I wouldn't allow another woman to raise my children in the first place either. Maybe your wife has had a change of heart about that as well. Maybe you ought to offer for her to stay at home if she wishes, and assure her that you will find a way to just make it work financially for her to do so.

Anonymous said...

Remind your wife that you are paying your nanny. She is being paid to do these things with your children to keep them occupied and busy. If your wife doesn't want that, hire one of those bench park nannies that are sweet to your face but treat your kids like crap. It'll only be your kids that suffer. Your wife will feel better that the nanny isn't one-uping her but your kids will be miserable.

Connor said...

I find it very odd that I'm going to be the one dissenting voice here (so far at least) but I must disagree with many of the posters above.

Having feelings of jealousy and insecurity are totally normal things. Moreover, your choice of nanny is an incredibly personal decision and in many ways it should factor in all of the ugly feelings we never talk about like racial prejudices, phobias, and just "little feelings" we have. This person is in your personal space day in and day out and she has to be someone you get along with or you'll go out of your mind.

Who knows what your wife is reacting to. It may have nothing to do with how good this woman is with your children. It could be as simple as a clash of personalities. Your wife isn't a bad person for feeling negatively toward the nanny, no matter how irrational it may seem to you (or to the 18 people above me).

It's your job to mitigate this problem. Go to your wife with all of the evidence you've given us. Let her know that you support her. And finally, if you decide to let the nanny go DON'T feel guilty about it but DO give her generous severence (beyond what you think would be "normal", as this isn't a normal situation). Also, don't be honest about why you want to replace her. A lie will ease the way for all of you and honesty isn't always the best policy (plus, frankly, this may protect you from a lawsuit).

Don't let people on this site make you feel bad about your wife. We're all human here.

helaine said...

The great nannies can be hard to deal with on many levels. But for those brave parents who insist their children have the best in their absence, it is well worth the sacrifice of being reminded how great nanny is on a weekend. When your children are older, they will realize that in your absence you found them the best possible subsitute and that you made some sacrifices for them (perhaps humility) to keep the top tier nanny around.

I don't see where OP ever suggested he bragged about nanny to his wife. I would like to think he would know better than that.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with your wife. It is a hard adjustment to get used to having someone else play such a big role in your kids' lives. Have you done things to let her see the positives for her to having a competent live in, like a date night for just the two of you? Also, rather than have the nanny as part of all family activities (like family vacations), save every Saturday or Sunday for family activities day and plan out some fun things to do as a family. She may need to do some hands on Mommying to gain more confidence in her mothering. For me, although I was very successful in my career, and I waited until I was older to have children and read lots of books on childrearing, pregnancy, etc., motherhood made me feel completely incompetent. I am never sure if I am doing the right thing and anything amiss--from not knowing how to work the car seat to not knowing when to get her on the pre-school waiting list--just proved to me that something was lacking in me. A Dad is excused for not knowing how to fold a stroller or what to do if there is no changing table, but not a Mom--just read some of the comments on this site to prove that. There are all these expectations that the instant you give birth you are instantly imbued with mystical knowledge of exactly what you should do to make your children and family happy and perfect at all times as they grow. The fact is a true professional nanny has more childcare experience than an inexperienced nervous Mom and that is an enormous help. MOM is far harder role than any job or career and far harder than anyone ever tells you. Your wife may need to gain more confidence in her own Mommy skills and come to see the nanny as a partner and a resource to be a better Mom, rather than a threat. Reminding her that she is less expert than the nanny in the mothering department is not going to help her come to that conclusion. Don’t dismiss this as "oh, she’s a great Mom and she knows it"--she may never share with you that she ever thinks she may be lacking in the mothering skills department because that is considered so completely unacceptable for a woman—witness how many women will now turn on me in this blog.

marypoppin'pills said...

Women can be catty, jealous, spiteful and mean ... when they think someone does something better than them. It's sad because there are so many poor kids out there that deserve your Nanny, and here is your wife, chasing her off! I would have a long, thoughtful talk with my wife if I were you. Her tossing the cookies down the drain was cruel, after all of your kids hard work. Did she not think of them? I'm afraid I'm a little more sentimental than that.
I don't know how long your wife can keep up this charade, but I'm sure your wonderful Nanny is picking up on it. It's only human nature when we don't like someone that you can only fake it for so long.
You need to ask her if it is that she's feeling inferior to the Nanny? ... because she's there with the kids and she's not, or because she's 'in her space'?
Bottom line, your wifes feelings are the most important. Hopefully she will calm down and see that this Nanny is what's best for your children ... unless she decides to stay home.

Anonymous said...

I happen to agree with you. I thought reading every book in sight would help me, also. I had to learn through my own (little, thank goodness) mistakes.
Another thing - it means the world to me when my husband says out of the blue: You are such a good mommy!
It brings tears to my eyes. Maybe your wife needs to hear this from you, OP.

mom said...

I can't imagine that there is a mom on here who hasn't and doesn't feel inadequate at times. It is a really hard job...with the consequences of doing a "bad job" potentially so devastating that it can't help but leave even the best of moms quaking in their boots at times.

Anonymous said...

"cali mom said...

Fire the wife and keep the nanny.

4:50 PM"

Just what I thought, but in all seriousness, I am more concerned that you don't have a line of communication to your wife to bring this up. Look, she's going to react negatively. That's a given. But she needs to hear it and frankly it should be from you and it should be now rather than later. Have some cajones and some faith that she (the wife) is a good enough person to overcome and deal wit her feelings. Remember the better or worse part? Well, this is the worse and it's your job to caringly confront her with her behavior. She may scratch your eyes out before she realizes that what you are saying is valid but it's your best chance for keeping both the nanny and your wife.

Anonymous said...

If you hire a nanny to take care of your kids, then you CAN'T be jealous of her because you hired her in the first place! If you want to be treated by your kids the way they treat the nanny, then stay home with them! Goodness gracious people, why have kids if you don't want to raise them? Why hire a nanny if you do want to raise them? Why be jealous when YOU CHOSE to hire a nanny? Your wife needs to make a decision, either fire the nanny and stay home herself, or suck it up and shut up!

Anonymous said...

A nanny can only be too good if a parent had decided that they aren't going to do more. Parents hate the kind of nanny that by her very existence makes the parent feel like he or she should spend more time with their children, read with the child, show interest in the child. Damn! Damn too good nanny.

Anonymous said...

Diplomacy, OP, just a tiny bit of diplomacy could go a long way...
Isn't it nice how all these sanctimonious moms or nannies have never felt jealous about anyone? As for me, I totally understand how the mom feels (I really dig the cookie episode), especially if you OP are bragging all the time about your nanny. Here is one reality check for you: Nobody is perfect, including your wonderful nanny. I am not denying that she may be doing a wonderful job, but if she is human at all she must have faults (and if you think she does not have any, then that is definitely suspicious on your part).
For all you know, your wife could be picking up on small relevant details that men - sorry for the stereotyping - tend to be oblivious of. In any case stop bragging about your nanny - give her a good bonus if it makes you feel better. But do not rave about her. "Cool praise" should be what you are aiming for.
The only person in your life you should unconditionally support should be your wife. This is what marriage is about.

Anonymous said...

Who ever said these "sanctimonious moms" never felt jealousy? They are offering bits of advice, same as you. I guess you think that unless they are on the 'moms side', they are hypocrites?
I do believe the husband should put his wifes feelings first, but
unless she plans on staying home - the only ones who will suffer will be the kids ... with the lazy park bench nanny that dad will have to replace the 'good nanny' with because mom is acting so immature?

Anonymous said...

... otherwise, good post 5:33.

Anonymous said...

Your wife needs to grow up.

katie said...

I've been a nanny for a long time and I've seen way more SAHMs who are hurting their kids than working moms. The most important thing for a mom to do is cultivate the type of life that makes her happy, and if she does that and knows herself then her kids will be happy whether she sees them for an hour a day or 8.

There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to have kids and have a nanny and I wish that all the holier-than-thou SAHMs would stop asking that question. Just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for all moms or that it's the right thing.

The family next door to mine is all in therapy, including the 4-year-old and in my opinion it's because of the matriarch, a SAHM who wants first and foremost for everyone, including the 4-year-old, to continually praise her for her sacrifices for the family. The kids are literally being driven crazy by her ego. Meanwhile, at my work, everyone is healthy, happy, and things work well because the parents have the right balance in their lives.

Some women are made for the whole mommy thing, some aren't. Neither are better people!

Anonymous said...

Why pick on SAHMs? This wife obviously isn't one, and that's fine. My only gripe with her would be ... if you can't or don't want to be home with your kids, wouldn't you want the next best thing? That would be a competent and loving nanny.
And guess what? If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a SAHM. And I don't think bashing a womans right to work solves anything. She had just better make sure that if she's not there, somebody who is capable can be. This wife needs to get a grip, and realize she did the right thing, or she's going to ruin the 'next' best thing for her kids!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Katie!

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of opinions on here, but not too many solutions.

It's apparent that your wife feels inadequate, unneeded, replaced. Your wife's insecurities need to be addressed ASAP, but not by you, OP. Your wife would see that as your taking the nanny's side over her. (You ARE taking your nanny's side, but your wife can't know that.)

Is there a trusted female - ie, MIL, SIL, best friend, etc. - that you could speak to in confidence, and then have her broach the subject with your wife? Perhaps if a third party can help your wife to see what an absolute asset the nanny is to your lives, it would be more well-received by her. No wife wants her husband defending another woman, even if she should be defended. Good luck - and I'm curious as to how this works out.

Anonymous said...

Right Connor... This guy must let the wonderful nanny go for no other reason than she did her job too well. Don't consider her feelings, don"t consider her need to earn a living and definitely don't consider the trauma the kids will suffer. Just consider your selfish wife's feelings and make sure the next nanny you hire is a lazy pig that will sit on your couch eating bon bons and watching Soaps and Jerry Springer and Judge Joe Brown while your kids run wild!

Anonymous said...

If a female employer can't complain about her nanny to her peers, then she will whither and die. Seriously, I would rather work for a single father any day of the week. No mind games. Provide good care and be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I was trying to stay neutral, but this seems to be turning into a beat down for the SAHMs, for no apparent reason. Did you guys happen to notice that OPs wife WORKED?
And to the Dad ... buy your wife some roses, tell her you love and appreciate her, and try not to give the nanny any untoward attention (sometimes you guys can't help it, especially if they're young & cute!)
Although if I had a cute nanny, I would be amused to see my hubby tripping all over himself. But that's just maybe because I'm confident.
Good Luck!

mom said...

I don't see this as a beat down on SAHM's.

I did see somebody above make some ridiculous comment about it being important first and foremost for the mom to make herself happy, and that once that most important goal was met, it wouldn't make any difference whether she spends one hour a day with her children or 8...because apparently if mom is able to put her own happiness first, all will be bright and sunshiney for everybody who revolves around her.

People work for a variety of reasons. The only thing I really have a hard time understanding is how people can have kids and not realize that they can't keep thinking the world revolves only around their own happiness. When you have kids, it becomes your responsibility to think of them do the best you can for them...and to make your "fulfillment and happiness" work around that. Not the other way around.

tree said...

Your wife is insecure of the nanny's bond to the children and the way she keeps your home clean and organized. She seems jealous that the nanny is being a better 'housewife' than she is.
How old are you? the wife and nanny? Is the nanny younger, prettier or thinner? Woman are so competitive with each other. I agree she needs to talk her feelings out to you and maybe you should 'spoil' your wife and let her know she is a good wife and mother. Good luck.
Keep your nanny she seems fantastic.

New SAHM, Former Nanny said...

Sounds like a jealous wife. She sees the nanny as doing a better job of being a mom than herself and it irritates her.

All in all... nannies like this are hard to find so make sure if you do let her go you give her great references and severence pay.

If you keep her... let her know she is appriciated! Don't take advantage... I left my job (of two years) because not once did I get a raise or a bonus even... and the kid was autistic (with aggression issues - got marks to show for it) and the sister was a high-needs toddler.

I got sick of being taken advantage of, not that I think that is the case here.

But keep in mind...

"if momma ain't happy, ain't no body happy."

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Your wife is jealous and insecure of her mothering skills.

I've lost jobs over this and it sucks. The closer I got to the kids, and the more they warmed up to me, the worse the mom's attitude was to me.

Your nanny WILL start to notice this, and you'll notice she won't be going out of her way to do nice things for you and your wife anymore.

The worst part of this for the nanny is she is doing a wonderful job and will never be able to use your wife as a reference.

If you do let your nanny go, please let her know she can use you as a reference.

Also write her a letter of recommendation. It's devastating as a nanny to do a wonderful job for however long, and then not have a reference to show for it....all because of a mother who is so insecure in her own life. Sad.

Anonymous said...

****Hire a MANny!!! instead!!!***

Lisa said...

I think the wife just needs to have her feelings validated by the husband. He just needs to listen to her rant, and then gently explain to her all the great things you guys have been saying.
We all have feelings, no matter how unreasonable or immature they may be, but they are our FEELINGS and can't be changed.
What we CAN change is our behavior.
I am sure the wife feels awful about her awful behavior, and relative incompetence in childrearing. The husband needs to be patient and loving with her.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the nanny caught the wife doing something she had no business doing and now the wife sees the nanny as a threat. If she turns the husband against the nanny then the nanny is gone and her secrets are safe.....just a little conspiracy theory :-)

Anonymous said...

This is a fake letter sent by a delusional nanny. Nice try!

cali mom said...

And you know this how? Because YOU posted it?

Go away Ax2.

Anonymous said...

I hear that there are some excellent divorce attorneys in your neck of the woods. Go hire one. Clearly, your wife is mentally unstable.

eBay exec said...

Maybe you should install a few hidden webcams in your house without your wife's and nanny's knowledge so that you can witness how the two of them interact when you aren't around. This is very easy and inexpensive to do. We have several hidden webcams installed throughout our houses to watch our nannies and household help, and also just for general fun.

Perhaps there is some bad blood between your wife and the nanny and the webcams will help shed some light on it? And just maybe, if you are lucky, your webcam will capture a good cat fight between your nanny and your wife just like the ones that Joan Collins and Linda Evans used to have every once in a while on that television show, Dynasty. That would be one popular video on YouTube!

Anonymous said...

ITA with 10:25.

Anonymous said...

326-why would you even think this is a fake letter? There are so many great nannies out there, of course you have to pay through the teeth to get them- but still- there are enough people in my neck of the woods (Hedge Fund City) that do so gladly.

Ever have a new employee come in to your office or workspace and outshine everyone? It can be a bit much.

mom said...

How incredibly sad for this nanny who is obviously going above and beyond to try to please all of you and become a welcome part of your family. She probably believes she is working toward a long term, happy relationship with your family, and all of her efforts to be sweet are only having the opposite effect on your wife. The poor girl is probably going to be a little jaded by this situation and go in a little less trusting and a little less eager on her next job. What a pity.

And how incredibly sad for your kids who were probably really excited to make all of those wonderful, beautiful cookies for you, only to have them washed down the sink. I imagine they were very proud as they worked, imagining how proud and happy you would be to find their little masterpieces waiting for you when you got home.

I do feel bad for your wife that she is obviously very unhappy about something. But she should not take her feelings out on these innocent bystanders who are working so hard to please her.

i got the apple! said...

Mom 6:45, I completely agree with you!

It sounds as though this nanny is trying SO hard, usually when one puts so much of themselves into their work, and goes so far above and beyond their work requirements, they in turn get job security, praises, and sometimes other added bonuses! Yet, here we have a case of total jealously, and this poor nanny gets the opposite of what she deserves! I actually feel sorry for her, because it sounds as though she is trying exceptionally hard to please OP and his family!

OP, nannies like this are 1 in a million, your wife sounds extremely jealous (you even stated she was being catty, and don't get be started on the cookie incident!) You stated that you brag about your nanny, and she does sound practically perfect by your post, it's no wonder wifey is feeling a little inadequate, jealous and easily sounds like super nanny is going way beyond what mom ever could!

Try to work this out with your wife, take advantage of date nights, spend quality time with her, and possibly set one day of the week EVERY week (say Sunday) as a fun family day with just the family...go on outings, play board games, go ice skating, go see a play etc...I'm sure the nanny would welcome the break and "alone time" as well...we all need space especially when she's working so hard for you!

BTW, installing hidden cameras in your situation would be quite immature and extremely violating. You have a wonderful nanny, now what you need is wonderful communication with your wife! I can't even imagine not being close enough to my own husband to not be able to admit to him I was jealous, and I can't imagine him being too afraid to speak to me when I was behaving immature and down right bitchy as your wife is. The key to any successful relationship is communication. Be gentle, take her out for some alone time together, tell her you've noticed that she has been upset, ask her if she'd like to speak about it. If she's too ashamed to admit it, prod her good comes from hiding ones feelings eventually she will hit a boiling point! TALK, TALK, TALK!

Anonymous said...

Rock on, Mom! You give the best advice. You should write your own column.

"I do feel bad for your wife that she is obviously very unhappy about something. But she should not take her feelings out on these innocent bystanders who are working so hard to please her."

Anonymous said...

wtg mom!
OP - please write back and let us know what happened!

Anonymous said...

GREAT posts mom and I've got the Apple.

I agree, if this continues this once amazing nanny is going to be jaded because of this situation. I feel badly for her.

It can be hard for a mother to let go and enjoy things with a nanny. It is a hard transition, but it's going to be a harder transition if you go through nanny after nanny after nanny because of how your wife is handling this situation.

Best of luck!

LindaLou said...

keep the nanny, lose the jealous, immature wife.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lindalou! Long time, no see!

Connor said...

9:41: The reason this man MAY decide to let his nanny go is not because "she did her job too well." If he choses to do that it will because she wasn't the right fit for his family.

I believe that this man's family is probably a bit more important to him than the feelings of his nanny. That's the way it should be! It will be sad if she loses her job, sure, but for the sound of it she won't have that much trouble finding a new one. If the kids are going to suffer terribly at her leaving, than something more than this nanny/mother relationship has gone wrong.

I am a nanny. I'd hate to be fired for any reason, let alone one I had nothing to do with. But I'm a wonam as well and I'd like to think that when I'm married it will be to a man who will be like the OP, struggling to find a solution to a problem in his family, not deluding himself about what life should be like in a perfect world.

mom said...

Well, if doing her job too well means she is "not the right fit for his family" then there are serious problems that need addressed in addition to this nanny situtation. If that is the case, and the only nanny who has a hope of being "the right fit" is one who does her job shoddily enough to satisfy the mother's ego, then these poor kids are doomed.

If you two aren't willing to find a way for one of you to raise your own children, then good grief, at least allow them to be raised by somebody who cares enough to to the fantastic job you wish you were doing! How can you begrudge them the best of childhoods simply because you are 1) not willing to bother raising them yourselves and 2) have some twisted need to satisfy your own ego at their expense? There is no reasonable justification for this. When reason leaves it is time to quit living by the "if it feels good, do it" philosophy and find a professional to help you rearrange your mindset and priorities. You have other people to think of besides yourselves now.

I understand how your wife probably feels. It would KILL me to watch another woman living in my home and raising my children....especially if I secretly feared she was a "better mother" than me. But again, I would HOPE I had enough love and compassion, not to mention sense of RESPONSIBILITY, towards my children to give them the very best care in my ego COMPLETELY ASIDE. Anything else is pure selfishness. I'm guessing that if you are really honest with yourself, your wife is probably one of those people who is generally selfish and competetitive in many other ways as well...probably several more which also involve your children and their feelings. Right? Get her some counseling and DON'T let her be one of those moms who has every opportunity and resource available to her to help her be a great mom, but destroys her children anyway because she can't get a grip on her own insecurities. It's also YOUR responsibility

I am still in shock that people really DO get so jealous of their nannies that they would rather have a bad one than a good one. I used to think these were just wild, baseless and vicious accusations by bitter nannies. But its actually TRUE!? Just take a moment to think...REALLY THINK...about how SICK and TWISTED that is!!

Your wife isn't going to be "satisfied" until your children are miserable and clutch at her legs each day, begging her not to leave them alone with the horrible nanny she has finally found. She will wrench herself free, slam the door in their little faces and let a sick, satisfied smile spread across her face as she hears the muffled, begging cries of her miserable children behind the closed door. She will think to herself, "That's muuuccch better"... before putting them out of her mind altogether and driving off to "fulfill herself," childfree, for the next 11 hours.

Yup, good times.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your wife thinks your sleeping with her. Who knows. I wouldn't be surprised. Are you???

marypoppin'pills said...

Wow ... all I can say is "wow". Your 9:42 post gave me a chill down my spine. I must say, after dad reads that one, if he doesn't put a plan into action to save his wife, then those children are very likely to suffer for it.

You are one of the most incredible writers I've seen in a long while, mom. I would love to hear that your doing something with that talent.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You sound like a complete nut. Why would someone want to contact YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU?
Using caps, and looking altogether desperate ... not appealing to a professional nanny as a potential employer.

Anonymous said...

I was in this situation as a nanny. The father wanted me there and the mother criticized and micromanaged everything I did. She wanted the little girl to go to daycare. To make the situation even more difficult, the little girl was adopted as an infant and her mother felt that the baby bonded to me and not to her. How sad and difficult that was! Although I tried to work it out with the mom and encourage her and praise her interaction with her children, I ended up getting fired anyway! And over the phone on a weekend at that. I think it would indeed be hard to adjust to having a nanny but it is a personal choice. I think the mom is bound to feel jealous if the nanny is doing a good job but she has to way the pros and cons of having a nanny.

Anonymous said...

Is your wife's skin slowly turning green?

SecretGuru said...

It sounds like your wife is feeling a bit marginalized, which of course is a normal response to having another woman "doing such a great job in her own house."

Are there are ways that you can acknowledge and appreciate her? Are there other ways that she contributes to the lives of your children that you can tell her you're greatful for?

You could even try something like,
"Honey, isn't it great that we have a reliable and organized nanny to handle all the routine household stuff so that you and I can have some quality time together?"

And then I would make an extra effort to go on outings with your wife and children WITHOUT THE NANNY so that you all can bond as a family.

It sounds like she just needs a boost, not that she's a maniac. Please ignore all the advice of people telling you to dump her. Rather, use your best instincts and loving demeanor to find a way to soften her, appreciate her and love her. I can't imagine any woman staying upset with that kind of genuine attention from the man she loves...and who loves her.

I hope you get this situation resolved--for everyone's sake. And if you can't find resolution on your own, I would seek our a family and.or marriage counselor -- even if you have to go by yourself -- to get some good advice that may help you sort out the situation. Because it's difficult, if nto impossible, to solve a problem with the same level of consciousness that created it. In other words, we need NEW INFORMATION, and that's exactly what a professional can provide,

WIshing you every good fortune and happiness!

marypoppin'pills said...

So OP ... what did you decide to do? Is it going to be a date, or divorce court?
Please give us an update.

good nanny must leave said...

I'm currently working for a mother who is exactly like the one in the original post.
I've been there long enough to know that she is mentally unbalanced, often goes off her psychiatric meds (no, I'm not kidding) and will never improve. The husband has begun to stay away at "work" until 1 or 2 am in order to avoid her tantrums (his wife's, not the children's), and the kidslook to me for stability and routine and security, as their mother is totally bipolar.
I have accepted the fact that I must save my money and update my resume so I'll be able to terminate my employment in 2008 and find another position.
I'm an excellent, skilled and loving nanny who has reached the end of my rope...I can no longer tolerate being berated for non-nanny-related things, working 11 or 12 hours without a break (often going all day without time for a meal or a bathroom break), overlooked for the dedicated, professional I am, and being subjected to my employer's random psychotic mood swings.
The only option is leaving, unfortunately.
I will do so with dignity.
I will do so properly, and give 2 weeks notice.
I will miss the children terribly, but I have no other choice.
I suggest that other nannies who are suffering under these conditions stop attempting to "fix" things and simply leave the job. It's the only sane solution.
Wish me luck.

marypoppin'pills said...

Good nanny must leave
I feel sorry for you, but I feel more sorry for the kids. You sound like your the only stabilizing force in their lives. Mom and dad have both 'checked out' for different reasons, and that's very sad.
I know you have to do what's best for you, but are there any extended family around to help with the kids after you leave?

Anonymous said...

WHOA In response to SarahAndMitch's post,


If there are serious jealousy issues, talking with the nanny would side you and her together and your wife will begin to resent you for it if and when she finds out.

Talk to your wife, try to work it out. If you can get to a place where she feels like she's ready to heal and move on, it may be good to both talk with the nanny about what had been going on in your wife's heart and work with her to move on past it. But all 3 of you together.

You also need to consider that the nanny may seem "great" to you, but there may be underlying issues that make her not so great for your wife. And if those issues are something the nanny is doing that only your wife sees, then you'll want to address that. Also, you should consider a nanny may overstep boundaries. An example would be if your wife prides herself on her cooking and for some reason you compliment your nanny on her cooking, over time your wife could begin to build up insecurities and feelings of inadequecy.

If your wife is struggling with going back to work and leaving her children with someone else, she may be feeling like her "womanly jobs" at home are being done by someone else, thereby making her question her purpose as a woman. Many mothers who go back to work struggle with the gender role issues and this is a natural thing to go through.

Some women also feel "smothered" by nannies who do too much. Or who are always around. Maybe your wife is not getting enough time with you.

Regardless of what the symptoms are, the problem sounds like poor communication between you and your wife, not your wife and your nanny. If you've got some concerns about your wife's complaining, you really need to be talking with her, not your nanny. You need to give your wife a chance to talk and really listen to her. Just listen and let her pour her heart out. Don't try to "jump in and fix it" right away. Let her talk, cry, get angry, and talk in circles. ....let her get it out and then you both can make compromises together to make it better.

After you do make it through this storm, then talk with your nanny because she no doubtedly feels what is going on and it can make her want to start looking elsewhere.

Provide a warm loving and open atmosphere and talk with your wife.

If it is actually a jealousy or resentment of someone else and if your wife is unwilling to discuss it, you may need to find a new nanny. Even if this one is "great" and it is very hard to find nanny's who are great. Your wife is more important. Even if you disagree with her jealousy, if she won't discuss it, you may have to cave in and find a new nanny so your wife can feel more comfortable with you as her teammate.

Reality is--if you can afford it, have your wife work part time or stay at home. If she works part time she can have part time helpers with the kids and house. Even if you have to downsize your home, sell off one of your cars, and start grocery shopping in bulk/ it. Children are always happiest with one or both of their parents at home.

I just would DEFINITELY NOT talk to the nanny about it without your wife present AND ONLY AFTER THE TWO OF YOU HAVE WORKED IT OUT! :)

Good Luck!

cali mom said...

good nanny must leave, what an awful situation. That dad is a WUSS and he is abdicating all responsibility for the well being of his own children, knowing that his wife is a psycho, and leaving it all on the shoulders of the nanny to stabilize their lives.

commonsense said...

Downgrade your lifestyle, then maybe your wife can stay home and do what mommys are supposed to do. Why do people have kids when they won't raise them? You've hired someone to mother your children. She is better at it than your wife who obviously does not want to mother them. I would ask her how she would feel about "downgrading" and becoming a SAHM. You might be surprised at the answer.

Anonymous said...

"Children are always happiest with one or both of their parents at home."
In a fantasy world yes. In the real world there are some people who have children who are simply not good at parenting, for a variety of reasons. The OP's wife sounds like one of them. The cookie debacle is scary!

moom said...

9:29, I disagree. It's not that way only in a fantasy world. It's USUALLY the case. Just because SOME deranged parents should never have had kids in the first place, and would probably be better off having a monkey raise their kids than doing it themselves does not mean it is not GENERALLY better to have a parent raise the child. I think people resort to using lame comparisons like that to help themselves justify not taking more of an interest in their own in, "If somebody else is even worse, then I look just a little bit better by comparison." Unfortunately for the kids, it doesn't really work that way.

Anonymous said...

It's really not all that uncommon for children to be raised by someone who isn't one of their parents. This happens across all cultures and throughout history.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with the anny poster about not talking to the Nanny w/o your wife present. I'm a stay-at-home mother and I love it. And it would absolutely kill me to see someone else spend so much more time with my own children than I could. I have friends who have had to go back to work when their children were babies and it hurt so bad they would cry the entire week.

Even hearing my mother say, "Oh, while you were at the store she did this!" So I would definately be incredibly jealous of a nanny who my kids and my husband absolutely adores. Try to make sure you're being cordial with the nanny and not rude or ignoring her but at the same time don't always brag on her or say how wonderful it was that she baked all these cookies and cleaned the house and how much more organized everything is now that "Mary Poppins" is here.

Your wife can't do it all. And maybe she's not the type that could even if she is a SAHM. I stay at home and I can barely keep up with the housework and cooking meals and chasing my daughter around. My husband makes comments on the side about my disorganization...but I've never been one of those super organized OCD types. I'm more of a super disorganized ADD type. It hurts me when my husband alludes to my shortcomings and comments about how great this person's wife is at this or that.

really start to compliment your wife on all the great things she does. Reassure her that she is a great mother and a wife. Absolutely do NOT adopt this attitude that you should keep your nanny and lose the wife. Maybe the best situation would be if you asked your wife if she would like to stay at home with the kids...maybe she secretly wants to but feels like you can't afford it. Crunch the numbers...maybe you can and that would be the best gift for her if that is what she truly desires.

mom said...

4:43 Do not let your husband say demeaning things to you on the side about your disorganization. Nobody knows how hard it is to make everything work in a household while raising young children unless they have done it themselves. Only somebody very cruel, selfish and thoughtless (and probably quite insecure I right?) would second guess your mothering/wife skills on a regular basis like that. You may well end up one day feeling as OPs wife you just aren't good enough at anything...and finally realizing that your husband is a complete ass. Fix it now before his respect for you disappears completely and yours for him as well.

Anonymous said...


What you should do, is go out one day on a weekend. When I say go out, go out. Not two or three hours, try and go for at least 6-8 hours. Tell your husband you have errands and your getting your hair done, or meeting a friend for lunch. He will see how hard it is to keep an organized house. Maybe, he will appreciate you more.

Anonymous said...

She didn't say generally, she said children are ALWAYS happiest with one or both parents. Tell that to CPS!!!

mom said...

She will just come home to a wrecked house. He will consider himself a great success, if not a demi god, for having kept the children alive for the duration of the outing. As far as the horrendous mess he has made while playing, but not bothering to pick up after himself or the children...he will expect her to make it all wonderful as soon as he disappears to work again.

I have seen men like this. A man who would demean his wife like that is not doing it because he doesn't understand how hard it is. He is doing it to assert his superiority and keep her in her place. HE is very insecure. They have a serious issue to deal with. Better sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Mom!

katie said...

Why has no one suggested that the OP be the one to stay at home and raise his kids?

Anonymous said...

Is this going to be like the dear, sweet Baby Madeline post where the OP father NEVER got back on and told us what is going on? So many people are on here offering advice... has he even seen it? Why ask if you aren't going to come back and take it into consideration; at least give us an update!

Anonymous said...

I agree!!
I wonder how many of these stories are just that stories. We never hear an update.

Anonymous said...

You guys suck! I can't stand it when somebody writes in and we take the time to give them great advice and they don't even so much as thank us with a follow-up!
Gee, I sure hope things worked out for you and your wife, OP.

op-Father of Three and Husband of One incredibly Sexy, intelligent, vivacious Woman. said...

I wasn't really inspired to write back and update you. Not much has changed. It is the holiday season and so everyone is in good spirits. I considered some of the advice. I don't talk about the nanny too much or in any way to make my wife feel insecure. I know that my wife is very much looking forward to ten days alone with the children. I am hoping she will get past it, but as the responses suggest; this could be eating away at her own insecurity about being a working mother. She wants to do everything but she does hear from members of her own family that she doesn't spend enough time with her children. Isn't that a bit strange? It is 2007 and my wife makes three times what I make, yet people want to lambast her for chosing to work. I don't know what to think. I haven't had to consider it closely recently because nothing has come up. We have all been incredibly busy gearing up for the holiday and for travel. Thanks to all who responded.
Father of Three and Husband of One incredibly Sexy, intelligent, vivacious Woman.


From what I see it, your nanny has essentially become the "mother" figure that your wife would like to be--she takes care of your children, maintains your house, does errands... all things a housewife should (traditionally) do.

Yet, your wife is out working like you and thus, her primary role as a caregiver and housekeeper has been taken away and instead, thrust onto a "perfect nanny."

She doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that this nanny is indeed perfect and suitable for her children. Instead, she is consumed in her own jealousy and insecurity...

Anonymous said...

Thanks OP for the update, I really like your moniker, just keep giving your wife your unconditional support. She is certainly NOT a bad mother because she chose to work. In any case whatever decision she makes will be the right one, because nobody else knows what the right solution is. So I hope you keep your great (but not perfect!) nanny and everything works out in the end. Happy Holidays to you and your family

marypoppin'pills♥ said...

Thank you so much for the Update. And I can certainly tell from your signature, that you adore your wife! I hope you tell her she's sexy and vivacious all the time! She should be proud she's making good money and doing well to support her family. Not everyone can stay home. I'm sure with a little coddling from you ... she could get over some of her insecurities. You sound like a great guy, you cared enough to write in for advice ... your wife is lucky to have you!

mom said...

I don't know. It concerns me that your wife's family...people (apparently more than one) who are presumably aware of the situation first hand...are telling her that she doesn't spend enough time with the kids. If you keep getting the same comments,it is definitely time to take a closer look at the situation. I have known working moms who do a great job of spending time with their kids. But I have known many others who work, then feel they need personal down time (because a happy mommy is apparently a better mommy...even if her personal fulfillment time leaves virtually no time for mommying at all), then they next feel that they need private couple time (because it is important that mommy and daddy work on their relationship first..."for the good of the kids", even in that leaves virtually no time for mommy and daddy to spend with the kids so the kids can bask in the joy their parents feel at being with one another), and then they leave only the leftover moments for parenting. This results in a lot of guilt and "creative rationalization."

If this is the case in your house, then the guilt and comments from her family would certainly make your wife ripe to resent any nanny who stepped in and did what she felt she should be doing herself.
When both parents choose to work, something has to give somewhere. It's usually the kids who lose out. I think those parents who realize that the after work sacrifices need to be mostly absorbed by themselves, rather than their children, probably feel pretty good about the time they devote to their families.

Whoever told women that it is possible for us to "have it all" did women (and children, and families) a real disservice. There are not enough hours in the day for us to have it all. While it is true that women have more choices than ever about what we do with our lives, it also remains true that when we make choices, we must also make sacrifices. It's a real balancing act to keep our priorities straight and make the right choices/sacrifices.

In my opinion, if you're going to have kids and work, your time after work should be largely devoted to parenthood...otherwise what's the point in even having kids?

While it is possible to work and be a good mom, it is not possible to work, be a good mom, have adequate "me time" and adequate "couple time," and enjoy an active social/recreational life. Something has to give somewhere.

mom said...

As if my last post wasn't long enough, Ineed ot clarify.

When I say that whoever told women we can have it all has done us a disservice, what I mean is that instead of telling us that we have the right to choose what we want to do, it has instead been presented to us in a way that makes women feel that they can have and be everything at once. There is less "choice" to it than there is "heaping" of responsibilities.

When a woman chooses not to be a mother, there remains a certain stigma, and an unspoken question as to her womanly instincts.

So, instead of a woman being truly free to choose a career instead of motherhood and being respected as a "whole woman", many women instead feel that they should do both...and that they somehow should be able to do both as well as if they were doing each exclusively....when each is a full time job in itself. So here are all these women scrambling around, coming up just a tiny bit short of reaching the brass ring at all times, and wondering why they are "inadequate" when, after all, "women SHOULD be able to HAVE IT ALL."

Katrina said...

I think she is insecure!!! because the nanny is really good at her job and manage the house reaaly good.. I donno if the kids are more affective with the Nanny that with the Mom, and you are talking all the time how wonderful the Nanny is.. even she is great maybe u need to cut of a little bit ur comments in front of ur wife ,.

cali mom said...

OP, going along partly with what Mom said, I think it might be a great thing if your wife made a point, as in a major PRIORITY, of spending more time with your kids. It's great that she can bring home so much bacon, but if she can't accept the fact that that means she is NOT doing enough mommying, (and it sounds like she isn't), then that is a problem that can and should be remedied. She doesn't have to give up her career and all the earnings to wipe snot and change diapers, but I think she must be missing out on ALOT of loving, happy time that she could be having with your kids while they are still kids. (You don't say how old they are). More time with them would help her feelings of inadequacy AND be a great thing for the kids.

Anonymous said...

OP, thanks for the update. Don't take all of the advice you find on here. Take it all in and filter it according to what applies to your own situation and your relationship. Just know that your wife loves you...she wouldn't have married you otherwise. I know that this is sometimes an unpopular topic, but God brought the two of you together for a purpose and He gave the two of you your children for a purpose. Stick it out, be as loving and understanding as you can, and if you really can't see a way through this, try to talk to your Pastor for counsel. Again, not to offend the non believing in Jesus Christ, but I cannot keep silent any longer. Your children are so special, and your wife is also, and for that matter, your nanny sounds incredible.

Take this situation and grow from it as a family, together, rooted in Christ. Whether you know it or not, God is knocking on the door of your hearts and He has such a good plan for you. Not without hardships, but a life where leaning on Him can get you through.

I know many of you don't share this opinion and that's ok....OP, your wife may also read this blog and wonder.....



Anonymous said...

2AXs is that you?

Anonymous said...

This is so common. Nanny envy is something a lot of nannies and employers experience. She needs to address it with the nanny. I worked for a family for about 4 years that I absolutely adored, and we went through this. The difference that made this a good situation was that the mom was really honest with me about it. When I asked to take the kids to the beach she said no because she wanted to be the first one to do that with them. I totally understand that, so we found something else to do. I love that she was so honest with me. I haven't worked for them in 3 years but we still see eachother at least twice a month. If she doesn't talk to the nanny about it it's just going to become unbearable. If the nanny is as professional as you say she will recognise that this is just one of the trappings of the job and deal with it accordingly.

Anonymous said...

I worked for a mom who was the same way. I took the children somewhere once and she freaked out and asked why I had thought to do that. She had a freaking temper tantrum because she wanted to be the first one to take her child to X place. I am not going to say where because I don't want to out the evil shrew. The problem is that after I learned that lesson, she told me more pointedly where I shouldn't take the 2 kids so she could be the first. And as time went on, she never did it. She had that asshole corporate mentality. You know- where no one ever does anything, but spends endless time talking about what they are going to do and how they are going to do. I ended up quitting because the woman was just too crazy to work for. Issues? She was a whole mess of crazy. She would run and tattle on the children to her dh like a sneaky 10 year old. And she glared at the children like a spoiled brat when they did something wrong. I think she was a mental case because the nanny before I and two housekeepers quit both said she was "crazy". Strange thing is now she doesn't work at all. I have to wonder if she gets anything at all done without consulting nine different people and having at least two people stand by and hold her hand. I don't miss her. She was needy, greedy and ultimately kind of seedy.

Anonymous said...

She wanted to be the first to take the kids some place?
Sounds pretty selfish to me. Her kids probably care more about being with her anywhere than in a "cool", fun, place. Now, about the original post, I have to say that if my husband was gushing around about our nanny "who can do nothing wrong with the kids", chances are that a) I would not agree with that b) I would be pretty pissed off. I don't think the mom is being selfish here, just working out her own issues - and no, it's not that "she just has to stop working"!

Anonymous said...

I can understand how it might be hard to see the nanny sharing experiences with the children that she wanted to, especially first experiences.

However, I am blessed to work for a wonderful mom. I can tell it makes her sad sometimes to miss out on the fun things the kids and I do, but she is so sweet and gracious and is never hostile about it.

Anonymous said...

OP, give up one of your pricey SUV's and your home that's way to big, and be a stay at home dad. If your wife makes 3 times as much as you, a small downgrade in lifestyle should be easy to achieve. This way wifey won't feel threatened and the kids will have excellent care. Because getting rid of a great care provider in exchange for a sub-par nanny to apease your wife's jealousy will serve no good for anyone, least of all your children. And do give your excellent nanny ample notice, a great letter of reference and a generous severence amount. She deserves it.

Anonymous said...

OP. easy solution. Hire a lazy couch potato nanny and keep your wife happy. Your kids will get over it, they will understand. So long as mommy's happy.

Anonymous said...

I doubt dad staying home will help. She will just resent his bond with the children. She needs to work on her issues of insecurity and lack of self esteem in order to be a good mother.

Anonymous said...

Too good of a nanny? No, but first of all I sympathize with the OP, sharing his most intimate laundry, and so many people rushing to judgement of his family, when it seems more appropriate to look to the nanny first for possible adjustments? We don't have to fire her or damn her to hell. It is ironic that I am the one saying this, because I'm a nanny and I was expecting that on a sight like this everyone would jump on the nanny anyways- but I can say from experience it is NOT unreasonable for your wife to expect a degree of sensitivity on your nannies part. Your wife is the real wonderwoman here, not the nanny, and the only reason she hesitates to assert herself is to not upset the happiness of her children! Isn't it all this obvious?

PaperBack said...

I am a former nanny. Your wife is jealous. And selfish I might add. She got and you got exactly what you are paying for: someone else to raise your children while the two of you go off and have ME time.. whatever that ME time consists of: job, activities, whatever is more important than raising your children. Children have mothers so they can bond. That's just biology. If your wife won't be there, she paid for someone else to mother her children. She can't get p'o'ed at the nanny because her children prefer the nanny to her and because the nanny is a better mother, housekeeper (and maybe she's thinking) better wife.

All your wife knows how to do is make money and pay someone else to do the things she either cannot do or doesn't want to do. Harsh? Ok. But women have been sold a raw bill of goods in this "You Can Have It All". Women cannot have it all nor are they entitled to have it all.

You and your wife need to make a choice. Don't think changing nannies is going to solve this situation, it will only start over again and you're only hurting your kids by taking away someone they've grown to love. I agree with the poster who said "Keep the Nanny, Fire the Wife"

Anonymous said...

Women can have it all, and have a happy husband, happy baby, and happy nanny. I'm living proof. This disgruntled nanny is obviously bitter about her own inadequacies to have what she wanted in life. Sorry for you loss Paperback. But I'm even sorrier for the families you've nannied for with that attitude.

mom said...

Huh? This nanny sounds wonderful. Did you mean to post to a different thread, 10:41?

Anonymous said...

no that was directed to Paperback, 10:58. =)

cali mom said...

Paperback is right on the money. And to omfg, if you think YOU can have it all, guess what? You MAY be able to, but your kids sure can't have it all, no matter what you tell yourself to justify your choices. And your priorities are obvious.

Anonymous said...

It's a delicate balance, what I'm saying is you can choose to believe it's impossible to have everything, or you can choose hope and have your children follow THAT example. It doesn't hurt to have a nanny who also believes in you, unlike most nannies who really think behind your back you are a poor excuse for a mother, personally I wouldn't want that kind of energy around.

ned said...

Right omfgb, but if you are a poor excuse for a mother,
#1 it isn't just the nanny who knows it. Best you believe everyone knows.
#2 if you are a poor excuse for a mother, you really do need to have a good nanny around to undo all the damage you are doing to your kiddos.

And if you are the negative energy yourself, hell have mercy for your children, your nanny and anyone you contaminate.

PaperBack said...

omfg can say or post what she believes. But, like most posers, her response is indicative of the knee jerk reactions of most mothers who employ nannies and come here posing as a nanny.

Jobs as nannies are never simple. And we were not told ALL of the facts regarding the children and the work schedules up front. Every single day, mom and dad come home a few minutes later to squeeze in some more of that ME time. That's not negative energy on my part, that's just a fact.

Here's another harsh fact: kids don't want nannies or daycare or the crap your extra money from working buys them. They grow attached to nannies and daycare and come to expect all the extra crap your guilt buys them out of compensation for something you cannot buy for them and that is your time, love and attention. Don't fill my ears with a lot of slop about "quality time" either.

Also omfg (nice nickname by the way) makes a LOT of assertions about my OWN position but who said I was speaking about my OWN position? I most certainly didn't. Her post was a knee to the gut reaction from her which makes me think, she's some mother incensed by being told that she's not a good mother.

We've become a society that does not want to be told they are doing anything wrong. We want to be told we are good mothers and we do what we do because (Together everyone) We Have No Choice. Mothers want High Pay, Exciting Careers, A Big House, All The Trappings, Marriage and Children. In short: All.

But you can't have it all. You're not entitled to have it all, no one is. You can most certainly attempt to try for it but somewhere along the way in those 24 hours, you only have enough time for a few things on that list. Something has to go to the back burner and kids always go to the back of the line in favor of ME time and that career and that money that seems to be far more rewarding. I've seen it a million times and also, I cannot tell you HOW many times I've seen normal, healthy kids doped with Ritalin because the mothers do NOT want to deal with the child's energy. Before we get on to another tangeant, I DO know how Ritalin has helped a lot of kids but I've also seen it abused by parents who either cannot or will not pay enough attention to their children.

Ned was absolutely correct when he said "If you are a poor excuse for a mother, it isn't just the nanny who knows it. Best you believe everyone knows".
Worse still, all the other nannies know it too.

Anonymous said...

I take it as a compliment, Paperback, that you mistake my post as one from a mother, because motherhood is the singlemost important job I could willingly take on for myself, and I dare you to find something cynical hidden in that statement, but I know you won't let us down.

PaperBack said...

If Motherhood is the single most important job you could willingly take on, and I also believe that it is, why have you negated your role in this single most important job you could willingly take on and are paying someone else to perform this single most important job you could willingly take on?

Outside of squeezing them out, which is just biology,(and rabbits do that faster and easier so you're not special there) you're essentially paying someone else to take on the single most important job you could willingly delegate.

Cynical? I'd rather be cynical than a complete contradiction of terms.

Anonymous said...

I've already expressed my pity for you Paperback, and the families you've infected with your negativity, and now I might add, the impressionable readers of this thread, while I can't hold myself accountable for all that, I do apologize for not having the endless amounts of time and energy it would take to counter the infinite amount of garbage you have stored up in your unfortunate pea-sized brain.

cali mom said...

Oh dear, omfgb. Save your concern for your own little pea size brain, the rest of us reading the dialogue between you and paperback don't need it. You've described motherhood as "the single most important job you could willingly take on but don't", so what is your point?

IF you actually have contributed some chromosomes to a living being, I hope you have a good nanny because if your posts here are representative of you, you sure don't have much else to contribute to them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Calimom for your supreme judgement, as I'm sure God can use all the help he can get it dishing them out!

cali mom said...

And btw, you never need to apologize for withdrawing from a discussion to which you have nothing worthwhile to add.

marypoppin'pills said...

Paperback ~
Great posts, especially 8:17. (Rabbits, lol.)
And I'm sure this will probably open another can of worms, but I have to touch on the subject.
Your comment about Ritalin (12:34), was dead on. I personally know a mom that has a beautiful, energetic kid (like mine) ... but she dopes him up on Ritalin, because in my opinion, she's just too lazy to be a more involved parent. It distresses me, but I can't do anything about it. I try to let her see all that she's missing out on by showing her how much I enjoy my son, but I think she just doesn't care. I get upset sometimes because his true personality doesn't shine through ... he never has an appetite and has gotten very thin. (Not in a dangerous way, but still).
I don't know what else to do, I can only butt in so much.
I wish Drs. would be a little more careful about who they prescribe to ... Ritalin is just one of those easily obtainable drugs, and that's a shame.
They tried to medicate my son, but that was never going to happen. I read up on ADHD, and learned there were other ways of dealing with it. In my sons case, getting him on a strict schedule among other little 'adjustments', helped immensely. I keep him busy, and his behavior is not even a factor now. He's a happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved, intelligent kid ... and we did it without Ritalin.
I couldn't help but think ... if ADHD has been around forever (or is it a new 'tag name'?) ... what did parents do 50 yrs. ago without the Ritalin?
I know some may disagree with me, and that's fine, but I have my own experience and opinion because what we did worked for us.

PaperBack said...


In my nanny work, I've actually seen both sides of the Ritalin argument.

I've seen where it took a young boy who could not sit still, could not focus and could barely string two words together and with a low dose, he was able to calm down, sit down, focus and study and ended up testing for the gifted program.

Then I've seen normal, healthy smart boys who just have a lot of energy and have inquisitive minds and their parents (mostly the moms) are so involved in their own thing, they can't handle the distraction.

The neglected child ends up acting out and the negative attention he gets for it escalates. The parent responds by doping the kid on Ritalin to get the school off her back. She comforts herself by saying "I Had No Choice".

Schools are in a very very tough spot and as hard as I am on schools, I do have to cut them a break. So many clueless parents aren't teaching their children the basics like how to share, how to sit quietly and how to eat with a knife and fork. They expect the schools to do that job for them as well and the teachers are worn out with these kids who are being sent to them without so much as basic home training. Then the academic lessons aren't being enforced at home by parents who just will not turn off that boob tube and check into their kids.
50 years ago, mothers stayed at home and took care of their children and children played outside, mowed lawns for extra money, were involved in the boy scouts and girl scouts, had chores to do in the home, homework to do.
Kids walked or rode their bikes everywhere too. Nowadays the sidestreet by my house which was and is and supposed to be a street for the middle school's faculty ONLY is now blocked bumper to bumper two times a day by mothers in minivans ferrying ONE child to school. One very overweight child to school at that.

Yes, some feminists will get all over my case about these antiquated ideas but 50 years ago, a mother knew where her child was, who his/her friends were. The common phrase was "take this outside"

Yes, yes, yes, I know ALL about Stranger Danger. So get outside with them and watch them.

MaryP, there isn't a damn thing wrong with kids today. Sure, there are a couple of kids with a headful of scrambled wiring and a low dose of Ritalin helps connect the dots but by and large there isn't anything wrong with a majority of kids except their lazy, selfish parents.

marypoppin'pills said...

Wow ... brilliant post. I couldn't have said it better myself.

"The neglected child ends up acting out and the negative attention he gets for it escalates. The parent responds by doping the kid on Ritalin to get the school off her back. She comforts herself by saying "I Had No Choice"."

My sons Teacher was the 1st to try and get him on Ritalin. I was fine with his energetic personality but I was forced to go to the Dr. and get him tested. He was diagnosed with mild ADHD/special needs. Nothing was wrong intellectually, but socially he was awkward, and very energetic. He couldn't sit still and I could see that was a problem in school. The Dr. told me to "think about it" ... because I was refusing the meds. As I said, I did a little research, then consulted with his Dr., who said to give it a go.
I know my son is one of the lucky ones because I am a SAHM who took the time to find another alternative to doping him up.

get real said...

Just give up on the whole "nanny thing". IT's true that once in a while a diamond in the rough comes along, but most of these girls are in such denial about reality of parenthood...why??? because they don't have kids. They've become these know it all 20 somethings who don't have compassion or care for your or your's a job to them and they think they're good at it. Look at the Nanny Diaries....or as I like to call them the struggling to find my identity diaries. Most of these girls have NO CLUE what they want in life or who they even are. Once in a while you find a good one but most are just in an emotional identity crisis who didn't have enough money to go to college for something real and so they rationalize it in their heads as "a career". Tell me...who has been just a nanny for 20years like a career. Who has a pension after 30 years at a "nanny career". What nanny hasn't gone on to marry and be a mom, or go to work at starbucks, or a mall...or an office, or gone back to college --or wasn't in college while being your nanny. NANNYING IS A TRANSITORY JOB. Sure you can talk about so-called professional nannies who have written books...but they are no longer nannies, they have moved on to be authors.

they need to stop being so stuck on themselves and realize that they are helpers for parents. Yes they should have their own opinions but they are not raising their own kids. they are raising your kids. and as long as you let even the seemingly "most qualified" nanny raise your child, you can't're leaving your kids in the hands of COMPLETE MORONS WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR LIVES AND IF THEY HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT THEY WANT TO BE IT IS NOT A NANNY FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS..IT'S A NURSE, OR TEACHER, OR MOM.......GET REAL.

AND YOU SO CALLED "NANNIES" ADMIT WHO YOU AREN'T. Get real and maybe you'll have a shot at a good nanny/employer relationship!

Anonymous said...

um, guess what- I'm 30 and a PT professional nanny. I am also educated as a nurse, have a degree in child development and another in psychology. I also have a son. Being a professional in anything in no way means a lifetime commitment- what planet are you from? I have been a teacher, a nurse, a yoga instructor, an author, a business owner and will likely go on to do many other things. I AM a professional nanny. You sound like a threatened jealous idiot. You have issues- that's why you look down your know it all nose at people. Work on it honey- see a psychologist, a priest or perhaps a pharmacy.

ICU said...

yup i see a green monster... BURRRNNNNNNNN lol

Diane said...

If you think MOST nannies suck then I'd say the issue is YOU as nothing could be further from the truth! Here's an idea- why don't you send your child to one of those cattle farms they call daycares or better yet- stay home and PARENT your own brats. I feel sorry for your kids, they have a pathetic excuse for a mother in you.

Cherri said...


First of all, i am a full time nanny myself. Not live in but i spent a considerable amount of time at the house where i work. You mentioned that your nanny is GREAT with your children and GREAT with your house and many other things. This is great to start with. However, you need to talk to your wife about what's going on and why she is not happy about your nanny and gentlely remind your nanny that your wife is got issue. If you hired your nanny to do a great job with your children and have her focus on this and let lose of some household cleaning/organizing. After all, it is YOUR WIFE's home and not your nannies. Your nanny is already being with the children and does a great job with them. Your wife might feel useless around the house and don't know where to place herself. Parents can be sensitive so nannies need to be sensitive too. Provide enough support but not take over the household.

Irushka said...

So many of you in this page are quick to accuse the wife of being selfish, crazy and other offensive terms. It is evident that most of you have no idea what it's like. What it feels like when you HAVE to provide for the household and have no luxury of staying home with your baby. How it feels to be at work and every moment just think about how you want to be home and hold and kiss your baby. How it feels like when your baby prefers another woman to you, and nothing you can do to change it. Two hours after work will never be the same as ten hours the nany is with your baby, caring for him. Not necessarily if she is terrific. Even if she is just ok. They will get attached and it hurts like bitch. My heart goes to the poor woman, and we are in the same boat. I think the best is to suck it up and do what's right for the baby, but it does not make it any less painful and the husband should be supportive as possible and respect the feelings.