Friday

Delicate Reminder

Received Friday, March 28, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
How would your readers, particularly the nannies suggest I best delicately remind the nanny that she is an employee and I am her supervisor? She is in many ways a lovely girl, in every way a competent employee, but it seems our initial complimentary accolades have caused her to set herself atop a pedestal. I still need her to report to me and defer to me. It has been 2 months, one week and the nanny has really been piling it on high since we initially shared with her our delight over her performance. An example of something she did was to contact a separate bus company and arrange for one of our children to utilize that bus service instead of the one we had used. The nanny informed me of the decision in passing. When I questioned her as to why, her reasoning made perfect sense, but I was left feeling like a complete fool. It isn't that she makes bad decisions nor is it that I have any reason not too trust her, quite the contrary. She is a nanny who came highly recommended from s suburb of London. While she has taken great control of our lives and our home has never run so smoothly, I cannot help feeling somewhat inept, even unnecessary to the equation. I do say, delicate reminder because I am very well aware that even in my circle, a bidding war would erupt over her services should she become incensed and depart our home. That is not at all what I want.

51 comments:

nynanny said...

i would politely tell her that you make the ultimate decisions for YOUR family! switching your kids bus?! that's overstepping things a bit! my thought on being a nanny is that i'm there to make things easier for the parents. i make sure that when they are home they can play with the kids instead of doing laundry, dishes, garbage, etc. that way they can just play with the kids!

Anonymous said...

If i were you i would try to open on on better line of communication so she has the opportunity to discuss these things with.you. I am sure she is not trying to take over just presumes you do not want to be bothered with minor details.

Anonymous said...

If there is a time during the day when the children are occupied (or if you could make arrangements for them to be with friends), perhaps you could sit down for coffee or even take her out to lunch to speak to her. (I have coffee with my nanny twice a month just to touch base and give her an opportunity to share any concerns or information she doesn't get a chance to at the beginning or the end of the work day.) Complement her on the things she does well, but let her know that as the parent, you need to be informed in advance about any changes in routine or approach. Let her know it's not a matter of trusting her judgement and her instincts and opinions have all been sound, but you want to be involved in decision making that concerns your children's safety and well being. I would not use terms like report to or defer to or supervisor. The best nanny/parent relationship is partners working together to enrich children's lives. Most nannies welcome parents who want to be involved with their children. There is nothing sadder than children whose only "parenting" come from a paid caregiver.

shel said...

You need to let her know that while you appreciate all she does for the family, you would still like it if she ran things by you before finalizing anything. That way there is no possible confusion or miscommunication in any circumstances. Let her know that you intend to do the same (keep nanny in the loop and run things by her so she knows). I agree with what anon at 521 said as well. If you make it clear without talking down to her and making her feel bad, I think it will clear up the situation.

However, if after speaking with her regarding the matter, she is still feeling a bit lofty, I would question what is going on with her.

Anonymous said...

Some families I have worked for in the past have just left everything basically in my hands. I would plan classes, activities, events, etc and just fill them in after. That is how they preferred it. Make sure that you are clear with your nanny. She may be under the assumption that is how you would like things done.

Anonymous said...

OP, could you provide some examples of why you think that your nanny puts herself on a pedestal? Your post only cites the example about the bus situation, which you ultimately say was a good decision on her part. It seems that your only problem with it was the fact that she failed to discuss it with you. That, in and of itself, doesn't suggest to me that she places herself on a pedestal or is overstepping her bounds.

Your mention of the fact that the home has never been run better leads me to believe that she does more than take care of the children and may, in fact, make many decisions in the daily running of the household. Perhaps the nanny viewed this decision as just one of the many things that go into household management?

If you sincerely feel that this is a problem worth mentioning, I agree with the other comments (especially 521) that suggest you casually run through your expectations with the nanny again. If you can do that while resisting the urge to knock her off her "pedestal," by all means. As a nanny, I always welcome the opportunity to make sure that the parents and I are on the same page.

I'm afraid to say that I think the real issue that you're having has more to do with feeling "inept" and "unnecessary" than with anything your nanny has said or done. It seems that some bosses want their nannies to be willing and able to do everything they ask, care for and essentially raise their children, run their household, do their errands, schedule their appointments, and make a plethora of daily decisions regarding their entire lives, but they feel, perhaps, a little guilty, or jealous, or foolish, or like they are missing out. It's a thin line, and something that can make nannying particularly hard; you raise someone's children and run all the non-leisure parts of their life, but they still want to feel like they are in control (and by this, I mean in a way that extends far beyond the paycheck) and that they aren't in any way absent. This is just food for thought, but I guess I would hope that you make sure you aren't projecting your own feelings of insecurity/uninvolvement onto a situation where your nanny is, by your own admission, doing a pretty fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

Let her know that even though you're too busy to do things (like tend to your own children's bus schedule) that you'd like to know what's going on because you're the mother.
Nah.
Just go ahead and admit that you aren't a real mother and leave it at that.

just anonymous said...

Pish-posh. You're just jealous b/c she runs your house better than you do.

A nanny who cares said...

I have to admit, I was shocked that only the last few posts got the the root of the issue. It sounds to me like you are feeling a little out of the loop, and now you are lashing out at your amazing nanny. You expect this woman to take care of your children, and make sure everything is taken care of and then balk at the idea of her helping you out! Which, by the way, is exactly what she was doing. You need to re-evaluate your situation and why you are angry. Because you are NOT her supervisor! You are supposed to be a team that works together for the good of your children. If you can't see that, I hope she does and quickly leaves to go to one of the other families that will truly appreciate her and treat her with the love and respect she deserves!

mom said...

I agree with a lot of the people here...especially 7:40. She touched on many different areas and made a lot of sense on each.
You sound a little "left out" which is completely understandable and definitely not a criticism. That would be natural when somebody is doing a lot of what would traditionally be your "mom duites" in your home, and doing them so well. It may make you feel more "replaceable" than you feel comfortable with.

On the other hand, the most important thing is that she is doing a fantastic job with your kids...and even managing your home...which probably leaves you with extra time to spend with your kids in the end. You should be careful not to lose such a wonderful nanny.

That said, the thing about the bus did make me wince at first. Then I realized that maybe she is just the kind fo person who, as a professional, wants to take charge of things she considers "menial" without disturbing you over every little thing. In the corporate world this would be very much appreciated in an assistant. Perhaps she thinks she is simply being incredibly professional and valuable to you by not bothering you. Maybe her last boss wanted things this way and she is just used to it.

I loved the idea the person had above who meets with her nanny twice a month for tea or coffee or whatever to just go over things and make sure everybody is happy and things are running well.

Make sure she knows how much you appreciate her BEFORE you mention the bus thing...and try not to make it a negative. I also love the idea somebody had about telling her you will also include her on decisions as well...so it comes off more like you want to be a team than it does like you want to be her supervisor.

Oh, and judging by what I read here a few months back...be sure to give her a great Christmas bonus, plenty of vacation...and her own room if you take her on vacation with you. She sounds like a real gem.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I've never said this before, but I have to say I think this post is fake. Just a few red flags which I'm sure can all be creatively answered, but really sound off to me:

-how did she change the bus service and pay for the new one? Does she have full use of a credit card or personal checks?

-after changing the bus she "informed you in passing?" How uninvolved a parent must you be that your school-age kids (old enough to ride a bus alone) wouldn't mention this to you? As someone who's dealt with private bus service for school in Manhattan, it's not a trivial issue.

-how could you have NOT have trust issues with a nanny who has only been with you 2 months and already changed your child's bus service without your knowledge or permission?

-It also sounds silly and contrived that you wouldn't address these issues for fear of a "bidding war." I agree that exellent nannies are in demand and worth every penny and ounce of respect. But it's not like the market rate for top nannies is a secret. You could not underpay her for very long and have her stick around so the idea that you are being delicate to avoid this imaginary bidding war is just plain silly. It sounds like someone who hasn't employed or been a highly paid nanny writing for their perception of "The Nanny Diaries."

Call me a skeptic, but the whole thing sounds dubious to me.

Anonymous said...

I dont think you are a skeptic so much as someone who doesn't get how much nannies do. Professional nannies usually have house credit cards, carry a copy of their employers or have their own credit card with their name on it and their employer's account.

I don't think parents are necessarily not involved. I think sometimes good nannies try to do things for the parents to spare them the time and the hassle.

I have many friends I call and speak with socially but they will never make or accept a playdate with me. I always must call the nanny and deal with her, even if it's a change in driving schedule.

The problem is that most of these so called bench nannies cannot be bothered to watch a child, so we know very certain they aren't doing anything extra or anything that takes time or effort. We are used to the concept of a nanny as one who refuses to exert any effort whatsoever unless essential to her own survival.

cali mom said...

It's already been said but I also think that from what you've posted here, your main problem is that you feel threatened by having her around and insecure by having her do her job so efficiently. Perhaps there is more to this than what you've mentioned here but it's not evident at all.

Just have a talk with her, NOT letting on how jealous and insecure you are of her and casually reiterate that you'd like to be more involved in the decision making and mundane issues such as transportation. If she walks, you'll get a not-so-good nanny that you will probably find easier to have around, and hopefully your children will still be well-cared for.

nyc mom said...

11:27

I agree with you on this one. I think fake too. For 11:39, I have a professional nanny and "get how much nannies do." Although I know one UES family who give the nanny a credit card, most (ourselves included) do not do this. We keep petty cash available at all times. However, any purchase big enough to require a credit card would require my knowledge and discussion.

Being a good nanny does involve trying to be proactive and helpful. This could include buying milk when we are running low, sorting through my kids clothes to put away those that have gotten too small, visiting a few area play gyms to see which looks best. It most definitely does not include chaning my child's bus service without my knowledge. That oversteps bounds by a lot. Bus service involves safety issues in both the driver and other kids. It shows poor judgment to do this without consulting the parents, even if the choice ends up being a good one.

ess said...

I think that several posters have been fairly presumptuous (and patronizing) in regards to the OP. Her post outlines a legitimate concern. An otherwise excellent nanny makes certain decisions without notifying her employer. While the employer respects the nanny's judgment, she also wants to be informed about these decisions before the nanny makes any changes. That is not an unreasonable request, and asking for more communication does not demean or insult the nanny.

Perhaps you could say something like, "I really trust your judgment, and know that you're often in a position to recognize situations with the kids that should be addressed. For example, changing the bus company made so much sense - I wouldn't have realized it if you hadn't addressed the situation.
With that said, I would be more comfortable if you ran any potential changes by me first - just so we have an open line of communication. I like to know what's going on with the kids, and to hear your insight.
Perhaps we could arrange a time to sit down every week - even if it's only for ten minutes - and talk about any issues involving the children."

Anonymous said...

Me thinks those decrying fake understand exactly what this woman is going through. You know it, don't you? In fact, you make your nanny rely on petty cash so she has to come to you every time she has to buy a gallon of milk or repair a children's bike tire. The very thought of a nanny with so much control drives you to distraction, doesn't it? I am a nanny and though it is the weekend, I have my boss's credit card on me at all times. I don't know any nanny that relies on petty cash except for those dumb nannies who think taking the child to the park and getting an ice cream for each of you is a treat. I use the credit card all day long. I pick up prescriptions. Today, I noticed ants, so I called the exterminator and had him come out early, paid him on the card and left a note for my employer where I had the exterminator spray. When my employer mentioned to me casually and in passing that she didn't know where to take some guests for dinner on Saturday night, I made reservations at three great restauraunts in my name. And I let her know she could use one or not. I could never work for a mind numbing, control freak for you. My boss needs me because she is has a job where hundreds of people look to her to be on top of her game. And when she has time to be with her children, she wants to hold them, laugh with them and dance with them. Not fill out paperwork for camp.

Let me guess, you go out of your way to hire an Island nanny so that no one could possibly ever mistake you the nanny for your child's mommy.

Shame on you, evil woman.

ro said...

What is hard to believe about a nanny getting congratulated for doing a certain and good job and then perhaps misinterpreting the accolades? I think that is what happened. I think OP sounds a bit aggravated, but be warned, if you can afford this nanny, do all you can to keep her around. Sit down and speak to her honestly. The nanny relationship is an important one and it involves YOU and the NANNY. Not me. Not her. Not a bunch of anonymous ninnies on a chatboard, (no offense, friends).
I am just saying that good nannies are very, very hard to come by. If you explain to the nanny how you felt honestly, hurt? I think she would understand crystal clear what not to do. Don't make it about being a supervisor. Either it's a two way street of team work and mutual respect or it'll go to the pot.

Good luck.

English Nannies are the best!

Anonymous said...

Do people in the suburbs of London often hire island nannies?

Kate said...

I didn't assume this poster was in England. Her writing is not British, ie, "favour".


The only people that I know who hire Island nannies are parents on a budget/looking for discount childcare or wealthy women who want the world to know-with a big red arrow, this is the nanny, not the mommy.

Anonymous said...

OP didn't say she was in England. But she did say the nanny was highly recommended by employers in a suburb of London. I assumed she meant London England, but maybe not.

Anonymous said...

So many good points made on here so far (discounting those that were downright insulting and not at all helpful) ...

To 1127, I have to say that I am absolutely NOT inclined to think that this post is fake. Many nannies do some degree of "household management," and making those types of decisions on a daily basis wouldn't be at all out of the ordinary in that situation. You would be amazed at some of the things that families will ask and expect of a nanny/house manager. Really, entrusting someone to care for your most precious assets pales in comparison to providing a credit card and allowing for various household decisions to be made with or without discussion. Oh, and nannies will, in fact, "stick around" with families that underpay them ... and I'm not just talking about the underpaid and negligent nannies that we read about on here.

I know where Cali Mom is coming from in her suggestion, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the best thing you could do is to infuse your conversation with the nanny with a bit of ... honesty. Tell her that you don't want to feel like you are out of the loop or unimportant. You, your husband, and your nanny are essentially a team in taking care of and loving the children and running the household; as such, everyone should be/feel involved, important, and informed. To proceed otherwise would be to encourage resentment and jealousy -- too often the by-products of the nanny/employer relationship.

nyc mom said...

Wow, 12:44, generalize much? You sound like a very angry and bitter woman. I'm sorry that the use of petty cash has personally offended you to such a degree. Everyone I know uses petty cash - keeping $50 or so around that my nanny can use at her discretion whenever she wants. I don't think she would like to have to use a credit card to buy milk. I know I don't. But I also don't expect my nanny to do all those tasks you list: picking up prescriptions, calling an exterminator, making me personal dinner reservations. My nanny's primary job is to care for my kids and do a few kid related housekeeping tasks (like laundry and basic meal prep). I work at a job where "hundreds of people look to (me) to be on top of (my) game" also. But you know what? I don't think anyone's job is less important if they have only a few people who need them to be at their best either - kind of like my nanny's job! I also don't judge anyone's quality as a parent by how many people rely on them at their job.

I do still believe the OP could be fake. I could also be wrong. However, one thing I'm sure of is that you are a judgmental and unkind person. Thank goodness you are not my nanny. And no, my current nanny is not "from the islands" though if I interviewed candidates and thought the best was, I would hire her.

Anonymous said...

12:44 I am a professional nanny and I use petty cash. Why do you draw a line between using petty cash or a credit card? And taking my charges to the park and then out for ice cream is a wonderful treat. I'm glad I spend my days with my charges having good, old-fashioned fun and not scheduling dinner parties and exterminators.

LindaLou said...

fake! next!

Anonymous said...

Fake, or Real...I like the fact that this post points out how easily a potentially good working relationship between nanny and employer can go bad (insecurity, jealousy, resentment, confusion). I like the responses that suggested frequent and HONEST communication initiated by the employer. It's a mine-field out there for nannies: one employer's idea of
being "proactive" can be considered over-stepping the parent's authority for another. It just aggravates me to read those all inlcusive "catch-words" in a nanny ad, interview, or work agreement. Better communication, honest definitions of what you want and expect and are willing to provide are what's needed here.
If this post is REAL, sounds like the OP is the one who's put nanny on a pedestal...she may be a great nanny, but she's probably not a mind reader. Honestly communicate with her!

Original Poster said...

I was almost expecting a harsh judgment from some people. I expected to hear, "other people have real problems". But I did not expect to have my post decried as fake. My situation is real. Having read some of the sounder, less accusatory advice I am now of the thinking that I should have been more clear about needing to be included on decisions. For the record, my husband thinks that the nanny is perfect and that she handled the busing situation exactly in the way he would have hoped. I don't know how credit cards came in to play, but we leave petty cash and a signed check in the home for an emergency as well as an extra credit card for the nanny to use for the children's expenses, shopping and household needs. To clarify, one other point, we reside in the suburbs of NYC and we hired a nanny directly from England based on a well regarded recommendation.

To have this situation now laid out in print on the Internet really puts it in to perspective. Yes, I did feel out of the loop, even idiotic when a decision I regarded as fairly major was relayed to me in passing and after the fact. If any mothers have ever felt that, you would know just how inept and awful a feeling that is. Gladly, today I see things with greater perspective. Though the nanny is away for the weekend exploring NYC, I shall make a specific attempt to sit down and speak with her in a casual setting. I appreciate the idea suggested by the mother who had regular meetings with her nanny over tea or coffee. I think that would be a splendid idea and am going to implement our first tea as soon as it works with the nanny's schedule.

Lastly, someone suggested I resist the urge to knock her off of her pedestal. Should I be completely honest, I would have to admit that I did have that very urge. The hurt and ineptness that I initially felt was replaced by anger. At no time, however did I lose site of the fact that the nanny's true fault may just be that she is too good at what she does, to quick, too organized. And never with sacrifice to the care she provides my two children, one of whom has special needs. My husband joked, "you get what you pay for".

just anonymous said...

ooooohhhhh....now for the real reason! Your husband thinks she's great. Hmmm...is that where the jealousy stems from?

Also, I don't think this whole bus issue is that big of a deal. As a professional nanny she probably didn't want to bother you with the small stuff.

I hate using petty cash. If you trust your nanny enough to leave her with your children, then I would hope you trust her enough with your money. Priorities.

Anonymous said...

OP, feeling inadequate with your children is definitely a sign that you are a good parent. Reading the posts however, I did feel sorry for the poster who has to make all playdate arrangements with her friends' nannies. Now, I know everyone's life is different and money does bring its load of complications, so no judgement there, but it seems to me some people are missing out on a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

I was a nanny in the past. About playdates, sometimes my employer would make plans with a family. And alot of times I made plans with the moms or nannies.

When the kids were in school I had to do everything. Pick up their towels they would just drop on the floor. Pick up prescriptions, birthday presents, going for oil changes, food shopping, dry cleaning etc. They left me a credit card, but only put $500.00 on it. I remember the first time I maxed it out. I didn't even realize until I was picking up their groceries. So I get yelled out for maxing it out. Which doesn't make sense because all of the things were there items.

Never work for a lawyer.

mom said...

Great follow up post OP.
Don't let the hater get you down. Some posters here do that to everybody.

Anonymous said...

I would ammend the never work for an attorney to say, never work for anyone who yells at you. I would have smacked that laywer across the face. No wait.

I would have said, "F you, your a piece of s—-t, shove it up your a*s with a red hot poker”

you new yorkers know what I'm talking about.

helen said...

I'm in St. Paul, Mn but I know you're repeating Spitzer's comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the follow up, OP! It's wonderful that you are able to look at things from a different perspective.

Also, as another poster pointed out, the fact that you do feel jealous and want to be included is, though tricky for the nanny/employer relationship, a fabulous thing. You care about your children and want to be included in their lives and even the most menial decisions concerning their lives. I'm glad that you're able to approach this situation with self-awareness and honesty.

Why do some people (just anonymous) feel the CONSTANT need to instigate? For the most part, I think this was a wonderful discussion and was to OP's benefit. If only more posts could be like that ...

Anonymous said...

Your right 3:18

I should have yelled at them, and just quit. I was young. And I should have known better I am from NNJ.

Nom de Plume said...

I really find it odd that some mothers out there don't give their nannies credit cards. 4 out 6 of my jobs have given me credit cards. The two that didn't were middle class families, understandable as they probably weren't paying off their cards at the end of the month. My last position the card had 10k limit that was easily upped at MY request depending on if I had to do shopping for trips, go on trips alone with one of my charges, or shop for holidays.

MP, CT said...

I would never work for a middle class family. I am a middle class nanny. My credit cards - 2 of them have 10K limits. Why anyone would work for a middle class family with their budget restraints and limits is beyond me. I don't want a one week bonus and a scarf. I want one month and set of couture luggage and I'll work my ass off to get it.

Anonymous said...

pipe down dummy.
ive worked for middle class and ive worked for richies. the richies gave better gifts but came with it a case of the cuckoos. the middle class people are the salt of the earth.

Anonymous said...

1:34, "a case of the cuckoos"...love it! and accurately stated, from my experience, too. LOL! Thanks for lightening up my day.

Nom de Plume said...

It wasn't a judgement call, anon 1:34 am. It was more of a reality check. But now that mp brings it up, middle class is lot less likely to have extra help for the home such as daily housekeeping or even weekend housekeeping. Let's be honest, most parents want to enjoy their time with their kids and that means ignoring little things like cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, doing the kids laundry on the weekends, even things like picking up dog dung that may have been an inconvenient area. With some sort of lame excuse as to why they couldn't get do even the simplest task. So I agree, I'd rather not work for the bourgeoisie. I also somehow doubt, anon 1:34 am, that you posses that much naïveté to believe that there aren't cuckoos amongst the middle class as well.

Anonymous said...

This is obviously written by a nanny.

Anonymous said...

As I write this, my charges are in bed and I am waiting for my employers to come home from a family event. I work for what I suspect many here would call a "middle class" family as a full time live out nanny. Let me tell you what it's like. My day is long--normal hours are 45-50 hours per week for which I make a nice, but not the highest I could, salary. I rarely am asked to work above and beyond that and even though my "official" work week is 50 hours a week, the parents always come home before my official quitting time and often let me go early on Fridays.

Tonight, they are paying me time and a half and I was asked if I would be able to babysit 3 weeks ago (not told just told to be available, and if I was busy they would make other arrangements without giving me a hard time). That in itself is enough to make this job better than some of my former employers who were in a much higher income bracket and paid more, but treated me like I was at their beck and call.

But let me tell you the clincher--and I've NEVER heard of anyond getting this benefit from a wealthy employer. I have 3 kids of my own and my employer has no issue with me bringing them to work with me if my babysitter falls through. And, if there's a school holiday coming up where it would be expensive for me to hire a full day babysitter, my employer ASKS me if I want to bring them with me to work. I am free to run to my kids schools or do things for them during the day if needed, as long as I coordinate those things with my charges' schedules. My charges and my kids play together well and their Mom has said yes to anything I need to do to care for my kids, often offering before I even ask if she knows they have a school play or conference coming up. Mom even cancelled her afternoon schedule so she could come home from work early when she knew my youngest was home sick so I could be with her even though I didn't ask Mom to do that. BTW, I get paid a full weeks salary on time every week regardless of whether I took some hours off to care for my kids or if my kids come to work with me. (Other employers I had would dock my pay if I took too many personal days because of my family and my kids would NEVER had been welcomed in their homes). Sure, there are some things I have to do here I didn't have to do in a Richie Rich's household (I do the kids laundry and I make a point of cleaning up any messes made during the day since I know they don't have full time cleaning help), but I would take this job hands down over any other.

just anonymous said...

9:26-You have a great family!

Nom de Plume said...

It depends on the job, Anon 9:26. You can't say unequivocally that no upper class family would treat you the same way because you simply don't know unless you've been in those positions.

I actually had a situation where I was caring for my younger sister and son years ago. When my sister was ill and in the hospital my then boss allowed me not only to bring my nephew to work but took me to the hospital with my sister, made sure she had the best medical doctors in the city and allowed my toddler nephew and myself to stay with her because she lived closer to the hospital where my sister was located. I know these people had a 50 million net worth, far above the middle class range.

On the other hand, I have a lot of nanny friends who have worked middle class and when they started their own families most were out of jobs. One held her job for awhile, and then the family relocated across country. She's no longer a nanny of course.

You can't always judge a book by it's bank account, Anon.

Anonymous said...

FYI
I am a full time nanny for a family
in Northern California...and this
is the second family I have had credit cards--AE and a MC...with my name on them...
Last job Visa And a checkbook--with my name and theirs on it...
I do grocery shopping and lots of
kid activities....and petty cash is
worthless since its never enough...
and I hold reciepts for a month and give it to employers...
Plus gas for nanny car...

Anonymous said...

I have several friends that give their nannies credit cards and check books and leave plenty of petty cash for them. Supply a car and gas and insurance.
San Francisco area is a great place to be a nanny and the pay is good here.
Until the passing of my daughter and moving in with my son in law to help raise the kids,I had never needed a Nanny. I had lots of help getting a great one from my friends
. She is only part time and she can bring her child with her everyday as the kids can play together after school. She is available if one of the children gets sick at school or needs to go to the Dr. A single Mom who is not afraid of hard work and 3 kids are hard work LOL She will even do a tub of wash for me and vac the carpets which is not her job.
I make sure that she never needs for anything.
When you find someone that loves children,is a hard worker,honest and dependable what more can you want?
She insists on using her own car so we pay half of her insurance and upkeep on her car.
I find that I do not have to "supervise her" and she discusses anything she wants to do with the kids,and tells me about their day and helps with home work. She is a God send to us.
I don't feel left out because she makes sure that when we get home that we have time to spend with the kids and if we didn't have her I would not have this amount of time with them.
Sometimes we need to sit back and think about what they really do for us. Not the amount of money that it costs to have them ,or if they make a decision without checking with us first. If we can trust them with the most valuable things in our lives we should be able to trust them to make the right decisions for the children.
I just hope that my SIL finds someone like her ,if he ever remarries.

Anonymous said...

Nom: 9:26 here. I just want to clarify, I HAVE been there and have a basis of comparison. I worked both "upper -class" and “celebrity” for seven years when I was first out of Teacher's College in both nanny and governess positions. I've had a job where a dress and behavior code were handed to me on my first day by the household manager, and a job where I was one of three round-the-clock nannies for two children where the parents only spoke to us once a week to give requirements by phone, and expressed little to no interest in their children. These positions paid extraordinarily well and gave me the chance to travel, but were emotionally draining not only because I was consistently treated as "less than" by my employers, but because I felt complicit in raising children without proper support, limits, or emotional bonds with their parents. With the money I saved from these positions, I was able to take off for a few years to start my own family after being fired by my upper-class employers because pregnant was not the “image” they wanted someone in their household to project.

I'm glad your experience with wealthy employers was much better than mine, but when I first returned to work, I went through several positions with very high income families that ended rather quickly because they expected their staff to be on call at all times, even though they agreed to otherwise in the interview process. I was about to quit nannying for good when my friend recommended this particular family. Not only do they respect mine and my family’s needs, our child rearing philosophy is very much in line. For example, they leave me a credit card, but I rarely use it, since I, as my employers do, believe in teaching the kids’ that there are limits on their activities and spending.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm going to be delicate here, but you should recognize that your problem here-- by your own description-- is not what she did, but how you feel because of her. It's really, really easy to say, "I'm glad you have such good instincts, but next time I'd really prefer we have a conversation about that sort of thing." You seem more worried that YOU feel inept in comparison, that YOUR friends would hire her if she wanted to leave YOU, that YOU aren't sure if she's too cocky or just really efficient...

You say your home has never been run so smoothly. You say your friends would love to hire her. You obviously see her merits. Why not just have a clear, professional and respectful conversation about specific boundaries and take it from there? She's not trying to become your children's mother, and it's okay for you to work outside the home and have a nanny. You don't have to feel bad just because she's doing a good job!

Nom de Plume said...

Again, Anon, that's your experience. Mine is different. I'm sure there are many that are different. You can't judge all the wealthy by your experience. There are plenty of wealthy parents who are involved with their children, they just happen to also be hard working and need a nanny. I can, however, say without a doubt that working for a middle class family that doesn't have the same resources as a wealthy family is harder. There are more chores. I did a lot more "light" housekeeping with the middle class families than with the wealthy ones simply because they had full time housekeepers. It's also nice to have another adult to talk to during the day as well.

Anonymous said...

I think the anonymous Columbia grad is talking about a different type of position. I suspect she's defining upper class as high society, not just wealthy. High society would not socialize with the help, thus the dealings through the household manager.

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying is... the nanny is doing a better job of running your household than you are and you are jealous.... so you want to be a WITCH and put her in her place so she resents you...

And "in your circle" Seriously... how pretentious are you!?

I hope this nanny leaves you!

Anonymous said...

So let me try to understand you, you're mad it her because she runs your house better than you did? Think about it, you're being silly. Yes, she's a great nanny, but in the end you are their mother. Let her keep on running things and you, you just enjoy being a mom.