Saturday

"Frenemy" complicating nanny relationship

Received Saturday, January 12, 2008- Perspective & Opinion
For three years, I had a wonderful nanny from Columbia. She had been in the US for 14 years and was legal, a hard worker and the kindest person you would ever want to cross paths with. When that was coming to an end, I began to ask around to find a replacement. I have a friend/frenemy who has the perfect nanny so naturally I approached this nanny and asked her if she might know anyone. As it turns out, she did. To make a long story short, her friend came to replace our wonderful nanny. I didn't think we could ever replace our nanny, but somehow this replacement came close. She lacked in some areas, but made up for it in any areas. We met her salary requirement ($900 per week on the books.) She asked about health insurance, I told her we would be willing to consider paying half of it after six months. She seemed fine with that. At Christmas we gave her a bonus of $2500.00, this despite the fact she had only been with us for five months at that time. Everything had been smooth sailing. I should say here that I really like this individual. She is personable, intelligent, optimistic and has many fine characteristics. The problem I am having is one I must wonder if one that can even be managed. The nanny's friend has been with my friend/frenemy for almost a year and a half. She and I both live in the same vicinity in comparable houses, drive comparable vehicles and send our children to the same schools. I would suggest we our economically similar, if that makes sense. It seems that since our nanny has come to work for us, my friend has been showering her nanny with gifts and perks that we are not ready or yet willing to provide. I could certainly see myself indulging our nanny with nice gifts and perks down the road, particularly is she stayed for awhile. Is this a ridiculous situation? I feel my "friend" is hell bent on making me look like a bad employer, when I truly think I am a good employer. She also goes out of her way to tell me, often in the company of the new nanny who is looking for a nanny and what they are willing to pay. The things that makes this situation unavoidable is this "friend" is the sort of friend that has her hand in every one's business. She contacted the husband of another of our friend's to get tickets for both of our nannies to attend a NYC taping of "a show" and then gave her nanny the time off and told her, which in my opinion set me up to look like a buzz kill. We are both stay at home mothers, so we have some flexibility but I also have younger children. I don't see a way to work through this without alienating a friend, (the sort of friend who is the class mother, head of the fundraiser, throws the end of the year class party, etc.) or causing this nanny to resent me and our family. I am sure because it is rather apparent that we both live "blessed" lifestyles, my nanny is going to take personally any failure on my part to provide "extras".

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Easy, get rid of the nanny. Your a SAHM, you don't need a full-time nanny. Once, you get rid of the nanny, you won't have to worry about this petty stuff.

mom said...

Gee, I hate "friends" like that. There always has to be one in every neighborhood. And yes, if you tick her off, you will become the talk of the neighborhood. But this I have learned over the years (my kids are older and I can look back a bit)...probably everybody else feels the same way about her that you do. People like that thrive on making everybody else feel just a little bit smaller so they can feel just a little bit bigger themselves. Just the fact that she is the head of every worthwhile thing at the school shows she feels she must be in control of everything. Let me guess...nobody challenges her...and in fact, probably everybody tries to stay close to her. This is not because they think she is special and want to be here friend. It is because they don't want to become her next victim. Classic.
So here is what I would do. (And my "best friend" for a while was just the woman you describe...except we didn't have nannies...so I have direct experience. I "went along with it" for far too long before finally, as gracefully as possible, distancing myself.) And before I start I will tell you that this sort of woman may well be showing you up in the goods department...but she may well also be hell to live with behind closed doors. She sounds like just that phony type.
Anyway, forget about competing with her, or what she thinks of you. (That's her sick world. Don't let her draw you into the sickness with her. It only betrays her extreme jealousy and insecurity when seh acts that way anyway.) Be perfectly kind to her. Treat your own nanny well. As long as you know you are a good and generous employer, what Mrs. X down the road does should be irrelevant. If your nanny does not see that, you may need another one. If you yourself are a consistently kind person, the other people in your neighborhood already recognize you for what you are...and her for what she is. Yes, she will probably go after you a bit when she realizes you are suddenly "Immune" to her sick emotional games. People may or may not outwardly come to your defense (as I said, they don't want to become the next victim.) Hang tough. Because you know what? People will eventually start coming out of the woodwork and mentioning that they never really cared much for her either. Just make sure your hands are clean. Then no matter what she tries to say about you, it will be silly because she won't have anything true to tell. I never fight with other women...even if I think I might "have the right"...because when it all ends up an a "she said, she said," both parties end up looking like immature dumbasses. I never want there to be anything ugly that I said out there for the telling. I just shut my trap and try to remember that most people are smart enough to eventually figure out on their own what kind of person I am. (And the ones who don't bother trying are the ones who thrive on drama and gossip, so it has the added bonus of being an excellent weeding out process!)

Enjoy your kids. Forget about her, and in a few years (it's hard to see clearly in the moment in a situation like this) you will look back and wonder why you ever cared in the first place.

nynanny said...

great advice mom! you have great posts and have been a great addition to the ISYN commenters. the only thing i would add would be for the OP to let her nanny know how much she appreciates her. a nice simple card with some kind words are much nicer than any material things the neighbor nanny may be getting.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

I'm sorry ... is it just me, or is this 'snobbery gone wrong"?
Who cares about keeping up with the Joneses? Because that is exactly what you are trying to do.
Don't go there, please.
Just be kind to your Nanny. Give what you feel is appropriate, and forget about the rest of the garbage.
Also, including a nice note in her next paycheck may show her what a kind Employer you really are.
If she doesn't appreciate it, then get rid of her.

Anonymous said...

LMAO the "problems" some people think they have....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, really. I am disabled and live on Social Security. Last week they cut my electricity off, and I sat in the dark for 2 days before I could come up with the money to pay it.
Does that put things into perspective for you, OP?

cali mom said...

The "frenemy" you are describing is obviously NOT a friend, and you have every reason to cut her off from you, even if it means alienating her. If she's the type I am imagining, (my sister is like this!) you are already at the top of her shit list just for having a nanny that she secretly imagines is better than her own. In other words, she will find something to despise everyone for no matter how they treat her. So screw her, you don't need that in your life. Treat your nanny very well, show her that you sincerely appreciate and respect her, give her as many "extras" as you can, and make sure your kids show her respect as well. If she still feels like she needs more money and benefits, she can go look for them, and you may suddenly discover you enjoy spending time with your kids more than you realize. maybe you DON'T need a nanny after all.

NJNanny said...

I'm a nanny whose been in somewhat of a similar situation. I get paid what I can consider a normal salary, and although I do have amazing benefits (the best I've ever heard of), time off for me is nearly impossible, and sometimes my hours are a bit more than I prefer. When I hear about my friends whose families normally work with them on giving them days off, or surprise them with great gifts, but work harder and in much worse conditions than I do, I can't help but be so thankful. I've been working with my family for about 5 months now, and I've been told several times how appreciated I was, and I'm commended regularly on doing such a great job with the kids. I have an open line of communication, and a developing friendship, with the mother, and this is more than I can say for any of my friends who get the other benefits. Simple things like my boss printing out maps for my social outings with friends, offering to order groceries specific for what I want, and adding my own private phone line when there wasn't one in use before are all things that make me feel at home and so comfortable. So while I know my friends might seem like they have the "sweeter deal," I know mine is a long-term commitment from both ends, and in the long run I'll be much happier. As far as your nanny goes, I suggest you continue as you are, and make sure you encourage her and let her know how much you appreciate her work. When you reach a point where you feel COMFORTABLE rewarding her more, and not obligated, then do so. But until then, just little words of appreciation are SO rewarding. And if she doesn't feel this way, then she's not in the nanny business for the right reason. In fact, she's not in the right business, because I don't think anyone does this for the money haha.

And as for those people who disregard these problems as jokes, I would like to point out that this is a blog for nannies and their employers. No, you may not be able to relate to these problems but it goes to say that these are real issues for people like us. Whether you think they are substantial or not is your opinion and it should be voiced somewhere else. No one ever said these are the most difficult things we deal with, but they are in fact part of our daily life, and it's a subject matter we seek outside guidance on. Please remember this site IS geared towards us, and your derogatory comments aren't welcome.

Anonymous said...

njnanny
Who made you blog monitor? I saw a very thoughtful post until the last paragraph.
Then I see you're just a jerk.
You are pretty cold-hearted for not allowing someone to give their opinion on OPs post, by trying to get her to understand other people have it worse.
And you're a nanny?
I feel sorry for those kids.
Your just plain mean.

mnanny said...

I am a nanny who is on the receiving end of the gift giving. I am very good friends with the nanny down the street, whose employers I am "friends" with as well. Her employer is struggling to keep up with mine, and I know it really bothers her. She always makes these comments to me about my boss and things that she does/buys/wears/gives, it is crazy.
They (my boss and her boss) used to be good friends but her bosses ragging jealously drove them apart. She even sends her kids to school on opposite days so we can no longer have playdates. : (
Let your nanny know that you appreciate her and that will be enough. Don't do anything that you don't feel comfortable with. However, I hope that you did give her time off or will to go to "the show", you are a SAHM, you have the time and your kids will love to spend it with you.

Anonymous said...

Grow up, OP. Maybe YOU should have a nanny.

Anonymous said...

hey njnanny
This blog is for opinions, also. It doesn't matter how it relates to the subject. If you don't like what you're reading, SKIP over it!
Who the hell do you think you are telling us we have no right to an opinion? Have you seen the rest of this blog? It falls "off subject" all of the time! If you have a problem with that, too bad. We have all been able to learn something from somebody else because of the diversity of the posters on here.
You got a lot of nerve, you know?

TX Nanny said...

I agree with a lot of what everyone is saying. I have a large circle of nanny friends and we are all treated differently by our bosses. Some of us get amazing benefits and gifts and some don't. As long as our families are fair and respect us we are happy and wouldn't leave or be mad because one of us got a bigger bonus or more gifts than another, that's just childish and unprofessional. I'm sure your nanny is happy and doesn't expect you to compete with the neighbor if she's as great as you think she is.

vi said...

NJ nanny, I don't think this blog is especially for you as it is for the parents who employ you and the passerbys who observe your behavior.

By the tone of your comment, I am guessing you lack empathy.

Perspective is always welcome. Perspective, oh wait- isn't that what this is called? Perspective & Opinion.

Urban Betty said...

Seriously, this whole world of employers and their nanny problems is just a bunch of bored and lazy people who have no bigger problems and nothing going on in their life, so they create drama and "situations". Imagine how boring life would be if you actually raised your own kids, then you'd only have them to complain about... the horror.

Anonymous said...

I personally think NJNanny has a point- people who come in here to leave mean comments about others lives that they can't comprehend need to stay the hell away.

And how can you say she misses empathy, and not the other person who made the comment about these not being real problems?

sprak said...

I've noticed how many posters here try to pull some kind of "rank" on other posters, as if they are in charge! N.J. Nanny and Melanie and others of their ilk need to know that all opinions have been welcome here. Comments on bad sightings or good sightings, for that matter, are appropriate fodder for discussion about childcare. Any and all attention focused on keeping our children safe tends to keep people on their toes. If this blog were really only for parents and nannies, who would then report the "bad nannies"? Usually, it seems to be someone in the general public who spots an incident of questionable child minding and relates it on here. And thank goodness for that.

NJNanny said...

Sprak-
I don't mean to say that others opinions aren't welcome as far as for the safety/wellbeing/goodness of our children, and to ease some of the situations employers deal with. But to come in and belittle someone elses problems, to shove them off like there's really no problem there, is totally unacceptable. Just because one can't relate to an issue we have doesn't mean that they should say it's not a real issue.

I don't really understand why people lash their hostility out towards someone who tries to put in check other people who are doing just that- lashing out at people and being nothing short of derogatory about their careers/lifestyles.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

Maybe the comment from the poster 'downplaying' OPs problem wasn't appropriate, but I agree with Sprak.
NJNanny is acting "bossy" and trying to dictate what posters can write about.
Vi said it best:
Perspective & Opinion.

Sometimes when you think you have a stressful situation, it can put things into 'perspective' by hearing other peoples stories, ideas and 'opinions'.

Anonymous said...

I know someone like the "frenemy" in this story. I can never understand why people, like the OP, give a hoot about this kind of person. Your life will be so much better if you forget about this frenemy. She is a beast. Who cares about her. Who cares if she is often class mom or hosts parties. Host your own parties! Do your own thing! You will be better off not being friends with her. Just wait until your kids are older. You think you have problems now with the frenemy, but you can't imagine how things will be so much worse when the frenemy starts manipulating situations where the kids are involved! As the kids get older, this will happen. Get away now.

As for the frenemy's nanny, don't worry. Surely that nanny has little true respect for the frenemy (her employer). Surely your own nanny has little respect for the frenemy, too. The frenemy is probably a huge gossip, and no one is immune, and the nannies have probably heard her gossipping with any and every mom that comes to her house for a playdate. Good nannies see right through this and will not respect an idiot like this. The frenemy has no integrity. I agree very strongly with the poster who said that everyone you know probably hates the frenemy just like you do! Always true in a situation like this.

As for mnanny that wrote that she has a similar situation and the other mother now sends her child to school on different days so that "we can no longer have playdates :( ," I am sure that the reason the other mother changed her days has nothing to do with you personally. She has to distance herself from the other mother, and this is the easiest way to start. It is unfortunate that now you can't have playdates, but she probably has to sacrifice having playdates with you because she doesn't want the kids to become good friends. So, don't take it personally.

Getting back to the original post, everyone should recognize that this frenemy and others like her are incapable of being true friends to anyone. They are insecure operators. Don't waste your time on such people. See them for what they are, and get away, fast.

Anonymous said...

I sympathize with your situation. However, there are two sides to every story. I find it interesting, OP, that you write that your friend had a perfect nanny, so naturally, you approached her (the nanny)... did you talk to your friend about it before? Yes, nannies are free to talk to whoever they like, however, approaching a friend's nanny without first telling your friend about it.... that does not really make you sound like a good friend either. Maybe your friend thought that you were trying to steal her nanny, hence her insecurity. In any case, have you considered going to your friend and saying "I am glad I found so-and-so, and I am grateful to you for this, because I found her because of you".
Maybe that will mellow her down, maybe it won't, but you will have done the right thing. And I would not worry about the "extras" your nanny is not getting, because, if she is any good, she has other things to worry about than tickets to a show. Good luck and be kind

Anonymous said...

Oooo, 1:38 - I didn't even think of that. Maybe "frenemy" is showering her nanny with generosity because OP over-stepped her boundries and wasn't sure what she was "up to"?
Good thought ...

shauna said...

A nanny is not a piece of property. No one can controll who can talk to me about the weather or ask me about my friends and shame on all of you for thinking a nanny is someone's piece of property! Leader of the asshole brigade-1:38.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like a very trivial problem. You don't need to be dragged into a "one upping game" unless you want to. Treat your nanny nicely, give her whatever bonus/gifts/time off you feel is fair and shows appreciation. Don't worry about what that "friend" does. You'll come off a better person if you don't take the jealousy/gossipy route and focus on your own family.

MissDee said...

I wonder if the "frenemy" that OP is talking about is involved with so many things at school because she is having problems at home?

IGNORE her OP, and treat your nanny well.

Kate in CO said...

Geez.....I wish I had such problems. Steal you "frenemy's" nanny!......this would make a great show. OYE! SAHM's with nannies....golly you're killin' me here.

we need a nanny union said...

Blah, blah, blah. Why don't you go cry about it? I'm sorry, but this is so ridiculous. Get rid of your nanny and show up the frenemy by being the Best sahm you can be by actually raising your kids. That will give her something to be envious of. If you have time to read and post on isyn then you have time to go play with your own kids.
Also, poster 'mom'-while I'm sure you have excellent posts, I never read them because they are far too long.
Sorry if my opinion is a rude one, but I just had to spend the day with my mil, enough said.

rainbow said...

your right 5:41

About moms that post such long comments. Come on I have a child, but I post maybe, ten minutes a day!! I don't have time to be on here for the time some of these other people are.

Anonymous said...

There is no need to get an employer's permission to ask her nanny if she can recommend someone!
It is possible however that the frenemy thinks OP tried to poach her nanny. That would explain her sudden largress.

mom said...

I agree with Cali mom...this actually occurred to me too after I had posted. What your frenemy is probably most unhappy about is that YOU SEEM HAPPY...with your nanny, with your life...whatever. People like this tend to think that if you are not affirmatively unhappy, there might be SOMETHING better about your life than theirs, and it probably drives her crazy and sends her spiraling into new depths of insecurity. She might perceive that your nanny situation is possibly better than hers, and maybe she won't be happy until she has destroyed yours...or stolen her away.

I don't think it was at all inappropriate of you to ask her nanny if she had a nanny friend who she could recommend...as long as you weren't fishing to take her nanny away from her. She is a person and not the property of her employer, so neither of you should need permission to simply converse.

As for the person who is so intent on dismissing OPs post as irrelevant because they themselves have "bigger problems" in life-- That's called having a chip on your shoulder...and it's not pretty.

Anonymous said...

FYI, "she" has managed to lure a couple of you into verbal combat here. While she inexplicably finds some perverse satisfaction in this, it seems hardly worth the time of emtionally healthy adults to participate.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Seriously? Grow up and get a life. Quit worrying about what so-n-so thinks, says, and does. Are we back in high school now? And seriously...if it's really such a "problem", fire the nanny and raise your own kids! SAHM with a full-time nanny?! UGH. Disgusting. Simply disgusting.

pasadenamom said...

njnanny, I understand where you are coming. I am, ofcourse, refering to your first post. I think it was quite selfish or 12:43 and 12:50 to disregard others' problems and issues. Redardless of how small our issues may seem at to others, there is always someone selse experiencing the same, if not similar, situation. So, feedback is always good. I appreciate all the positive advie that I've gotten from reading all the posts and responses.

I don't always agree with what others have to say, especially if they are being cruel by using profanity or are intentially direspecting others. I simply ignore comments like that, b/c if you comment back, it only prolongs and encourages stupidity and ignorance.

Thanks to all of you who take the time to share conrtuctive advice. I find it all very useful.

Anonymous said...

pasadenamom
I'm really sorry that my comment at 12:50 upset you. I know it hardly compares to the problems you and OP have.
What was I thinking, being so selfish?

Anonymous said...

10:04
I'm with you. What has this world come to when these uber-rich SAHMs have a nanny raising their kids? Unless you are disabled, or have chosen to work out of the home to be closer to the kids - why have a nanny? Why can't these lazy ass moms get off their butt and take care of their kids themselves?
It's so pathetic, and that's why these kids are becoming so worthless nowadays. When all mom has to worry about is who has the better nanny ... the world has come to an end.
Hey OP, instead of trying to one up your neighbor, get out and play with your kids.

mom said...

I assume people believe that any blatantly racist comments are highly likely the work of "she" who likes to stir trouble. That isn't the point of the blog, and there is no reason to let every thread become a fight about racism, grammar, or whether the OP is a reprehensible person, or a liar....so we simply ignore it. let it go by, and thereby deny it a voice or the ability to thrive.

pasadenamom said...

Mom, Thank You!

Jane Doe said...

Anonymous @10:53-When we find comments we find objectionable, we delete them. Emphasis on "when". We occasionally rely on our readers to alert us to questionable comments, so save your outrage.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jane Doe said...

Anonymous @2:11,
What are you carrying on about? The comment was deleted before I posted my last comment.

Enough of you.

ro said...

thanks jane for taking the anonymous troublemakers recap of the comment off. people who repeat prejudiced comments do so---why? Maybe they get off on it.

She probably posted the original comment. Sounds batshit crazy to me.

chuck said...

dumbass@2:11-
Hit refresh before you go spouting your mouth off.

jennifer lecarlo said...

Enough is right.
2:11 is why I don't allow unregistered readers on any of my blogs.

Someone has way too much time on her/his hands. Or some strange agenda.

paul the intern said...

Isn't the Israeli flag on one of Jane's connected blogs an indication of where she stands at least on this issue?

Uninformed people should really keep their mouths shut.

Anonymous said...

Who doesn't know how to refresh?
Oh.
her.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

4:43 That was very tedious. Are you finished now?

jojo said...

previously known as 4:43,
this blog doesn't need another alamarist bullshit artist.
Get bent.

ro said...

Thank you Jane for deleting 2:11 and 4:43. She obviously is just a trouble maker.

marypoppin'pills☼ said...

Sounds like I missed all the 'fun'.
Good.

pasadenamom said...

Lol, me too, marypoppinpills. Lol, I missed all the drama. I guess that's what happens when a stay-at-home mommy like me doesn't really stay-at-home and takes her child out for fun and fresh air. SMH, SMH (shaking my head).

pasadenamom said...

PS....it's sunny and warm over here in Southern Cali. We wore flipflops and shorts to the park. 80)

maggie said...

You hardly missed anything. Other than someone, either A or the "original stalker" posting an obvious and ridiculous comment and then posting back about it like in shock. Transparent. Ridiculous. Reminds me of Emily. Not that girl, Emily. Remember her fake blog? But someone even more twisted. What do you call people like this? Rebel rousers, lonely hearts, desperate for attention, cowards, cunts, etc.

Anonymous said...

M,m,m, ....
did you really have to use the 'c' word maggie?

Anonymous said...

... and no, not 'cowards'.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me what "problems" people "Think" they have.

OP, I hope you never face any real challenges in your life, you will fall all to pieces.

mom said...

Funny, I was always a little curious as to why some people seemed to jump all over Maggie when she would make even a normal sounding comment. I didn't understand how she had gained such a fierce and seemingly large group of haters. Mystery solved.

And 10:09 Are you "she" who seems to be laying little bits of bait on every thread this morning, hoping to trick somebody into one of your long, tedious arguments about nothing of any importance?

Anonymous said...

Mom
Whether it's 'she' or not ... she actually has a point this time.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, DUH, it is not "rebel rousers" but RABBLE ROUSERS. People, learn how to write and speak, please. UGH.

mom said...

1:26
What point? That people who come here for advice should not be doing so because there are others who are worse off?
Ummmm...that's the POINT of the blog...to discuss issues, big and small, with people who might be able to add some valuable experience or perspective to a particular dilemma. While I agree that blogging is not a world changing activity, it is still a fun outlet now and then, and people should be free to ask questions without automatically getting attacked. If all somebody has to contribute to a blog is that the OP, or people who respond to her, have no right to concern themselves with such "trivial" issues, perhaps that person might enjoy another blog more...one they can relate to.

How about "Life sucks.Why bother?" I hear the moderator, apparently some donkey named Eyeore, is fantastic.

Or "Help! I have a giant chip on my shoulder and I can't lighten up!" Hosted by the good folks at Lifesap Alert.

§marypoppin'pills§ said...

lol

FNG said...

Mom-If someone posts looking for perspective and opinion, doesn't everyone have the right to post their opinion in response? Even if that opinion happens to be Deal or Get over it? I know people always say If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. My mom used to say "If you always want to like what you hear-talk only to yourself" :D

fng said...

Oops, forgot to respond to the OP!. Ayyway. OP, don't get caught up in trying to keep up with the Jones. Your nanny will
appreciate her job if you make sure she know's she is respected and appreciated. Good Luck!

mom said...

FNG,
Of course everybody has a right to post their opinion. But posts to the effect of "your problem is irrelevant" seem to be pointless and mean in my opinion. So...I have every right as well to post that opinion in response to those.

Don't you think if something was bothering you, big or small, and you went to somebody to ask their advice and they simply said, "That's stupid," or "get over yourself," wouldn't you feel sort of bad and insulted? There are actuallty times, I think, when, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," is the best possible advice. It's one thing to speak a hard truth in honesty...and it's another to simply insult somebody because you are feeling bad about something totally unrelated going on in your own life. That's just my opinion.

fng said...

Mom, you're right, posts like that are pretty mean.

My sister-in-law is like this frenemy. When I announced our wedding to her brother, she moved hers up to get married first, even though it was orignally scheduled to be after ours. (We had to act quickly because he had no where to live, couldn't afford his own place, and being a devout Catholic, I couldn't move in with him) When I got pregnant, she tried frantically to conceive and when she didn't she stopped speaking to us! I never tried to compete with her, I always thought it was silly. Good luck OP!

Anonymous said...

Sound like you are just jealous of the mom who apparently CAN do everything.

Get over it... if your nanny is still working for you then what is the BFD?

Annie said...

hire me! ill work for you and be loyal! ha no extra gifts