Tuesday

Judgmental Nanny?

Received Tuesday, December 4, 2007- Perspective & Opinion
I have seen lots of different arguments on here both in favor of or against stay at home moms with nannies. I noticed that these are almost always SAHMs with young children. I am wondering what is the opinion of a SAHM with school aged kids who has a nanny come in after school? I had a job with one such family and was always wondering why I was there! The father is out of town about 80% of the time; the two children see him for 1-2 week chunks every other month or so. The mother did not work or anything and yet she had me come in between 15-25 hours every week. I would pick the kids up from school, make their dinner or take them out for pizza, help with homework, play, do arts and crafts, bake with them, etc. and sometimes stay late enough to give baths and put them to bed. Rarely was she out meeting friends for dinner or anything like that which can only be done in the evening- usually she was running errands (grocery store, etc) or going to "appointments." I was always wondering why these were things she couldn't get done during the 7 hours that the kids were in school Mon-Fri? It wasn't like she was cleaning house or baking/cooking or volunteering during the day, so I was always wondering... If there are 168 hours in a week, 70 were spent asleep, 35 in school, and on average 20 give or take with me, about 43 were left over where she and the kids were alone in the house (and you can assume part of that leftover time was spent with the kids either watching TV or on the computer while she made dinner or did her own thing...). Just interested to learn what the feelings are out there toward a situation like this!
-A Curious Nanny

39 comments:

Meme said...

Sounds like one of those moms who has kids for show or something, but doesnt want to be bothered with them herself. Do you know if she had a full time nanny before they were in school? Seems the type.

Anonymous said...

Easy ... Mom sucks!

Anonymous said...

How well did you know the mom? She may have been suffering from depression, or a physical ailment. There could be many reasons that would not be obvious to an observer.

OP (curious nanny) here said...

As far as I could tell there was no ongoing depression; I knew when she was upset/going through a rough patch and when she wasn't, also she was in excellent health physically. I knew her pretty well as I was with them over a year and the mom spent a lot of time chatting me up; example: she would write down on my hours sheet that I left at 6:30 but then walk me out to my car and talk to me while I sat in the driver's seat until 7:30; also, when I saw she was calling I would not answer unless I knew I had at least 30 minutes before I had to do anything because she liked to talk so much... and my mom actually informed me that I was going over on minutes and needed to not take her calls as often!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she was lonely and also maybe she knew she wasn't a good mother and wanted someone to bake with them do arts and crafts, etc. and hiring you actually makes her a better mother in my opinion, because she is trying to better her children's lives. She is not a kid-person, the father isn't around. The nanny is someone the kids need. It's better than the alternative.

erics mom said...

Yes, I agree with many posts. Sounds like she was a lonely "single mom". I mean her husband was hardly around.

I give credit for all the single moms that raise their kids, with no help. I don't know how you do it!

OP again said...

She may have been lonely in that a second parent was rarely around, but she did have several friends that she saw with regularity (more than I do, for sure!). Thanks for the thoughts so far; like I said, just wondering what the opinion on this sort of situation is. My family and friends were all clueless and asking me what I did there/why she had me there as often as she did so I wanted see what people who actually had experience in the childcare field had to say! Please keep the thoughts coming...

Sue Doe-Nim said...

I'm a SAHM and I can't come up with a single GOOD reason to have an after school nanny.

I can think of a lot of bad ones though.

My kids are in 1st and 3rd grade and I can tell you that I've got plenty of time to do almost everything I want/need during the day and if I don't I can always take the kids with me.

I like them. They're fun people. Too bad not all Moms can enjoy their kids, I'd challenge them to try.

Anonymous said...

Give her a break! as a fellow nanny, i ask you, is she paying you well? is she nice? Then shut up! sorry but who knows and perhaps you don't need to. if the dad is gone a lot she may need same time with herself to stay balanced and the kids may need you as a big sister.

mom said...

I can see maybe taking an evening a week for herself, since the father is mostly gone and she probly needs a little extra time to be "herself." But I cannot imagine having somebody else raise my children while I am off in another room not wanting to be bothered with them day after day after day like that.l

I am with Sue doe nim above. I loved having my "little companhions" along with me whenever possible. They were great little errand runners...because to little kids pretty much everything you do can be made into a great adventure.
Take the grocery store: We had a great time taking turns counting and putting apples into the bag, and then visiting the lobsters in the meat department as though we were at an aquarium...and, of course, there was the free cookie that most grocery stores give to "little shoppers." (If you don't know about this, ask at your grocery...you might be surprised!)

It takes longer to do your errands this way, but you can find a way to really enjoy your kids in almost every situation. You don't have to work so hard to find ways to entertain them all the time if you just include them in your daily lives. And you will not think of them as a nuisance during errands becasue you will be so busy having fun together.

So no, I don't get moms who have kids and can't be bothered with them.

OP said...

I don't work for her anymore because after bringing up that I was overdue for a raise and should have been compensated for other things, she did not really agree. Of course, as a nanny (and from this site I know a lot of nannies are like this... I guess it goes along with the "tender heart" required for caring for kids) I am very nonconfrontational and so I brought these issues up in the least offensive most non-accusatory way I could think of!

She was nice a lot of the time, but the longer I was with her the more frequent her random passive-aggressive comments became. She was nice enough, as I said, but somewhat clueless... she would get home late (not too late) or change my schedule verbally but not correct the times on the sorry scrap of paper that she had set aside for my hours and then act like I was being greedy/cheap when I had to bring these discrepencies up when she got out her checkbook. She would have me take the kids to a movie, dinner, etc. and only feel it was appropriate to offer to pay my way sometimes, as if I would have been there (on my own time) if she had not asked me to take the kids? She would never give me my hours for the week any earlier than 2 days before and would often be annoyed if I had to decline her last minute request... which is why I tended to not make plans! lol...

I agree that everyone deserves time with him/herself to stay balanced, but the main question was why couldn't that time be the seven hours every Mon-Fri that the kids were in school?

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Wow with all that additional information ie. not paying you and being unfair, unkind and selfish I (now) feel qualified to answer the question you pose:

"why couldn't that time be the seven hours every Mon-Fri that the kids were in school?"

Because she's a piece of crap.

Anonymous said...

OP, you are beating yourself up for an answer you already know.
What mom has the kids in school for 7 hrs., and still needs the afternoon to herself? A mom that lacks that very special thing we like to call 'maternal instinct'. She is doing the right thing by having a nanny, because she obviously cannot connect to her kids.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you don't work for her anymore. Sounds like a bad situation all around. You have obvious had very little respect for her and it sounds like she did things to demean you and did not respect you, like writing down hours on a little scraps of paper, interrupting what you were doing with the children without asking, etc. When you work with a SAHM or WAHM it is critical both parties respect each other for it to work.

Connor said...

It's a good thing that you don't work for her, because you (like myself) clearly need to work in a situation where you are vital to the family. I understand that.

But, I think it's also good for this mother to not have you in her home any longer. She's not making the decisions that I would make as a mother, but the number one thing I've learned as a nanny is that each parent needs to make their own decisions about how to raise their family.

She's a difficult person to champion, what with how she treated you, and please don't think I'm defending her. What I'm defending is the right of every person to run their family as they see fit.

Anonymous said...

Amen Connor.

erics mom said...

I assume they must be wealthy. Her husband traveling all the time, etc. So maybe she feels entitled to get her way. Some of these people are clueless. They have no consideration for others. Especially, the part where you mentioned she would give you your schedule two days in advance for the week. Just a thought do you think she has a bf on the side? Just wondering, why shes never home.

OP (cn) said...

Haha my boyfriend used to always say that her "appointments" were really lovers' meetings but I really doubt it, she would always come home with groceries and stuff. Indeed they must be well off because she doesn't have to work, they buy all organic food (which adds up), their house is in an expensive part of town, they drove a nice car, and they traveled a lot (and dh's homebase overseas was also expensive!).

What is weird, however, is that she didn't grow up with money and would relate her story to mine and yet she was inconsiderate like that. She said she thought the "flexibility" in schedule was really only a benefit to me, not her, one time. I informed her that my schedule in class was set so I could get my schedule a month in advance or have a set work schedule and it would be fine with me at which point she said she could't give me an advanced schedule (all I wanted was to find out the following week's schedule on the Monday of the current week, not too much to ask I don't think!). She was just really flaky, I guess... and maybe assumed that since the things she did when I was watching her kids could be done at any time and she didn't need to plan in advance for things that I didn't need to either? Don't know...

cali mom said...

This is someone who should have used birth control.

Mom, love the visiting the lobsters, LOL!

new here said...

op,
If you would have included all of the updated info on your post, I doubt it would have been listed as judgmental post. I was reading it myself and thinking, who does this nanny think she is to judge someone who is giving her a job?

I know many sahms with nannies. I am a wohm with a nanny myself. I need her help because I have a special needs child, my husband died 2 years ago and I have three children and of course, I have to work full time. I know of divorced sahm women who try to compare themselves with me when they have entire weeks and every other weekends free- for themselves. And they have full time nannies. I guarantee you if I have a free moment, I spend it doing something for one of my children. What is my point? You will never convince one of these mothers that they are missing out on anything, so stop trying. Instead, feel for them for they are truly beyond the pale and for lack of a better word pathetic.

When your children grow old enough to gain perspective, they will be able to see how much you loved them when they needed your love the most. They will be able to tell if you made even a single sacrifice for them and I pity the narcissistic and gluttonous whores that are focused solely on their own needs.

After school time can be diificult for even sahms, because if children go to different schools and have different activities, it may take more than one person to help with driving. If you have a nanny for the benefit of your children's schedule, to add to their life- that is one thing. But to employ a nanny so you never have to do a stitch of homework or sit in a dental office- well that's a crime against nature and all of humanity.

op said...

I didn't want to post all the drama between us, especially the series of weird occurances and passive aggressive comments (especially the talk I had with her and her husband when I left!) in my original question because I felt that wasn't the point... I guess I see now that more info was needed but I didn't want the opinions of her choice to employ me based on drama vs. based on the frequency she had me there and what she did when I was there. Sorry, that was confusing. Maybe JD could compile a list of bad/strange nanny experiences again? I have had 3-4 weird ones!

mom said...

OK Cali Mom...here is a funny story about the lobsters. Whenever we would visit the lobsters, I would say to my kids, "What does the lobster say?" and they would make their hands into little pincers and open and close them like lobster claws.

One Saturday morning my husband ran to the grocery and grabbed the baby to take along. A little while later he came bursting into the house, breathless, holding my son and saying, "He's a genuis! You're not going to BELIEVE what he did!" Then he proceeded to tell me with great pride about how he just happened to be walking past the lobster tank and all of a sudden the baby, right out of the blue, with no prompting, started making lobster claws at him. I had to laugh...a lot...and he was pretty embarrassed when I told him about our several visits per week to the lobster tank. In hindsight, he realized that making lobster signs was probably not a natural instinct after all.

Anonymous said...

cute!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Sounds like she had kids for show, but doesn't want to bother with them. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal---I've nannied for SAHMs who do virtually nothing but tend to their own needs all day. I've worked for SAHMs who fill their days with positive, constructive, creative projects and make every effort to involve themselves in their children's lives. I've nannied for parents who both work long hours and come home exhausted and grateful to see their children warm, safe and well-cared for. Clearly, nannying for SAHMs (or dads) who "hang out" all day can be a bit tedious (nanny is feeding, bathing, entertaining and nurturing the children while Mommy watches the telly and chats nonstop on her cell, etc etc), but I'm of the opinion that it's none of my business what my employer does with her day...as long as I'm being respected, paid properly and allowed to do my job with some semblance of autonomy...no worries.

jmarhar said...

Honestly, I don't agree with stay at home moms having a nanny period. I mean, if you did't want to raise your kids, why did you have them? Ya, its hard, but my mom did it and she's got 4 kids. Moms like the one you describe are too lazy and have too much money for their own good.

nannynicole said...

My first thoughts would be that she is acting as a single mom with her husband gone so much and just needs sometime to get away and do things she wants to do. With having time in the morning to do things it does make you wonder.. But maybe what she is doing is only aval in the evening..

My other thought is that maybe she is seeing someone, i know this is negative thinking but it kind of makes sense.

op said...

Well... the majority of the time she was grocery shopping or running errands. I used to work at the grocery store she shops at so I know for a fact that it is much less busy during the day than at 6pm! Also, I cannot think of anywhere that she could have an "appointment" that is not open during the regular workday and is open after 6! Most places close at or before then...

I really cannot imagine what she was during those 7 hours per day Mon-Fri, because it seemed as though she was always needing to do everything (i.e. shop, cook, clean, laundry, "work", etc.) when I got there. I didn't get the feeling that she did a great deal around the house as far as organizing and such goes and she didn't seem one for TV, so I am baffled.

a to the k said...

moms who claim they are always running errands or going to the grocery store are most likely sitting in a parking lot behind a dumpster swilling vodka straight out of a bottle.

trust me on that one.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

a to the k

Silly girl, some of us smoke weed. It makes us feel younger.

Anonymous said...

uh, sue, you'd admit that for all the world to see?

Sue Doe-Nim said...

8:51 AM Naturally I would. Everything you read on a blog is always true.

Anonymous said...

OP

Regarding your family paying for your outings with their kids, it is expected that they pay for you and their own children. However, you also have the responsibility to provide them with what those expenses are or will be.

We recently had a nanny contract with a nanny inwhich we stated that we would pay for ALL expenses including gas for her car. We asked her on several occasions to provide us with either receipts or at the least, a handwritten list of what she spent. We asked her to keep track of it during the week.

Even though we asked her several times, she never once gave a list or estimate of what she spent. Mind you, it was a pizza here, or a small 2-3$ toy there.

Since she never gave us an "expense report or even a dollar amount" we did our best to estimate her expenses based on what she did with our child each week. We put 50$ extra in her paycheck thats 200 - 250 per month for her expenses.

The first week, I just said, well, since you haven't given me an amount, I put 50$ in - is that ok and she said "yes". Most weeks, her expenses did not exceed or reach 50$ based on what she did with our child.

Unfortunately, after we let her go, she complained that she "never" got paid for her expenses. We're not sure if she forgot what her base salary was and forgot that we were paying her 50$ extra a month. We are also not sure if she realizes that she had a responsibility to let us know what she was spending (especially since it was in her contract and we repeatedly asked her to turn the receipts in or at least a list of expenses).

All of this is to say. DEFINATELY YOUR EMPLOYER SHOULD PAY FOR YOUR EXPENSES AND YOUR MEAL/TICKET TOO!

BUT IT IS ALSO your responsibility to make sure they know what those expenses are.

We had a nanny about 2 years ago who we took with us on vacations totaling about 3 weeks. We paid her way, paid for all of her expenses and even though she was not "required" to "work as normal" and just "help with the traveling" we STILL PAID HER WEEKLY SALARY WHILE SHE WAS WITH US AND WE ALSO GAVE HER HER OWN 2 WEEKS VACATION PAID - The two weeks of her vacation were NOT the 3 weeks we took her on our vacation with us. Also, if we took a vacation and she chose not to come with us, we paid her with PTO (Paid time off). WE took the vacation, not her, and we did not penalize her by taking her salary away and we also didn't force her to take her vacation when we took ours.

Basically If you go somewhere with my children, I pay for you just like I would pay for me.

If I need your help on my vacation, I pay for your expenses and I pay your salary regardless of whether you work on our vacation, or just come to help in the airports, and let us get a night out while were there.

If I go on vacation, you still get paid, it is not your fault I am traveling.

This is how we all should treat our precious nannies who are a part of our family. We could not survive without them and even if it means we have to cut some corners and be a bit more frugal in our spending, we should give these young women the same benefits of any other job. They can go elsewhere for work. They choose to work with our children and their very upbringing is in their hands.

But nannies, you have a responsibility to let us know how much you spend so we can be fair to you. And if you don't supply the expense information, be grateful if your employer takes the time to "guess" at what you "may have" spent and pays you for it anyway.

OP said...

11:53, thanks for the thoughtful comment.

She knew what I was spending. I am very crafty and the kids always wanted me to come up with arts and crafts ideas for us to do together but there is only so much you can do with construction paper and crayons! Once was had exhausted those ideas, it was annoying because I would drop hints and the kids would outright ask the mom if I could take them to the craft store and stock up. She would only give us like $5 for each of the two kids (happened like twice). Annoying.

I never took them out to eat without her being the one to suggest it. At the pizza place I would put myself on the receipt because it is a buffet and you have to pay to enter, but anywhere else, I would do it separately. She knew I ate with them, and would never offer to cover my portion. Hello, if I wasn't watching your kids and taking them to dinner because you have nothing in the house to eat, would I have even been at XXXX restaurant? No. Once I took one to a nice combo organic grocery store/cafe. I got the little girl some pasta and a fruit bowl. I gave her a receipt that night and she is like "XXX ate pasta and this fruit?" Like accusatory that I had bought it for myself. Sometimes she would give me $20 for the week (usually she would have me take them for a snack and meal, so this covered them for those two things) but sometimes not and I would have to charge everything on my debit card and have her reimburse me at the end of the week.

The third time they went out of town (over summer) it was to be for several weeks. Some family drama had come up before, things had been delayed and such, and she had been relying on my like crazy (I took the kids shopping for their vacation clothes, let her bring them to my house several times she could pack and such, took them to eat, outings, etc.) I get them all ready to leave for the airport and she gives me a check with extra (like $200 or so). I was astonished and very thankful; she said it was so maybe while they were gone I could take a break at least one of the weeks and not have to find work for the whole time. Then, when I brought up needing gas reimbursement 4 months later she said the "bonus" she had given me over the summer should be considered my year's worth of gas and my asking for it had been a "slap in the face" to her.

Sorry for the ranting. My point it, she knew, or should have known if she'd been paying attention at all to what we were doing and had any sense of nanny-employer relationship decency.

Anonymous said...

I am a SAHM who has a nanny come in. My reasoning is a bit different. I had been wheelchair bound with a permanent disability while pregnant. I could not have survived that first year with a broken back and broken feet without a nanny's help. There where times while breastfeeding my carpal tunnel got so bad I would cry, but I kept doing it b/c it was best for the baby.

When I had to be in bed all day, I had a nanny downstairs who would bring our child up and I would do my best to get down to visit. Our child would spend the afternoons and evenings with us in the bedroom.

I have a nanny so that my child can do more and experience more than I can give.

Over the past year and a half, I worked very very hard to get out of the wheelchair and back into some sort of normal life. Still, holding a toddler who is upset can be enough to put me back in bed for days to weeks. I have a nanny to help me get my child into and out of the car, help with groceries, and mostly, to be there in case I need her help.

If I have help with my toddler, then I can go to two stores in the same day instead of only one. Or we can go to the park and I have someone there if he gets hurt or needs someone to hold him or run with him, and to keep him from running off.

I recently had a nanny who never saw me in the wheelchair. Even though my husband and I explained my disability and told her from the start that even though I may "look normal", having her help makes the difference between my child having a quality life with his mother in it, instead of being held back from doing things because mommy's in too much pain.

Unfortunately, she had a selective hearing issue and I found out that she had been judging me as just a failure mother who refused to carry her child and accused me of "pretending to be sick" so that I could lay in bed. She called me names and said some really nasty things. How can someone feel justified making fun of disabled people who are just trying to give their children the best life they can?

There were some days I would wake up in so much pain and spend half the day in bed, then, after enough rest and some stretching, I could come out and go somewhere with them. I have to rest in between activities in order to walk, sit, stand, etc. Later, I found her talking about my "not being sick at all" because I wasn't blowing my nose or coughing or because I don't appear to have a sick symptom.

Ordinary colds or sore throats, most people can work through them. Most people, it takes a lot to get them to stay in bed for half a day - they have to be really sick for that to happen...but with me, I can have a cold and back problems at the same time and it isn't usually a cold keeping me down, but the back pain. But it turned out that the whole time our nanny was judging me and accusing me of "pretending to be sick" because either she wasn't listening when we told her about my struggles to get out of the wheelchair and to walk again, or she just didn't believe it.

I work out, and do everything I can to stay strong and out of pain. I can lift my child, I can carry him, and I can go places with him now. But having a mother's helper or nanny to assist makes it so I can do more with my child. This is why I have help. Not because I am a SAHM who is lazy or has too much money or that I want to put the burden of raising my children on someone else....quite the contrary, I want to give him more than I physically can.

We paid top dollar for this girl, and she just took advantage and twisted things around and threw it in our faces, making up outright lies. I am having trouble forgiving her right now for how much she hurt our family.

marypoppin'pills♥ said...

10:43
I do hope you have found someone else to come and help you care for your child.
I am a staunch SAHM, and I believe that whenever possible the mom should be at home with her kids. However, I do know there are extenuating circumstances, and yours is one of them.
I am completely sympathetic to a SAHM with a Nanny if she has a disability. And I think what your Nanny did to you was inexcusable.
Personally, I would find it hard to forgive her myself. But I am glad you are doing well ... and don't worry about feeling like you have to defend yourself to people who don't believe you or what you do as a Mother. If you know you are doing what's best for your kids so that they can have a better quality of life, then that my dear, makes you a good Mom!

Anonymous said...

What did you do to the nasty nanny who was gossipping about you and spreading mistruths?

Anonymous said...

this is 11:53,

I was just reading and realized there was a typo in paragraph 6 3rd line it was not $50 per month, but $50 per week. It should read:

We're not sure if she forgot what her base salary was and forgot that we were paying her 50$ extra a week.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with SAHM's having nannies. If the nanny has a problem with it then get a new job. You are being judgmental and all people out that disagree with SAHM's hiring nannies need to mind their own business. I am a nanny who works for a SAHM. She works two days a week and I come in 5 days a week. They want me around because they want their kids to be around other adults then just their parents. They know that I love their kids and that I am a good influence in their life and they know the kids love and trust me. And the kids can rely on me and know I am there for them. They want their kids to have this especially when they are teenagers. So, you dont always see the whole picture, and until you are capable of walking in someone else's shoes you should just keep your judgments to your own self.