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?