Sunday

The Pregnant Nanny...

Received Sunday, March 23, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
I'm currently a nanny for a 6 & 12 year old. I told my employer 2 weeks ago that I'm expecting...(I'm currently 9weeks pregnant) She was very happy for me and excited and said "i bet you were all stressed out about telling me" She was more than nice about the situation. I felt like i HAD to tell her asap as i would need to be going to a few dr. appt's etc...

Lets rewind to before i was hired.. I had told her that my husband and i were going to try to start a family within the next year and asked if this was going to be a problem. She said absolutely not and mentioned that she even payed her old nanny maternity leave..

Okay... So on Thursday she wanted to talk with me..
She questioned my commitment for the next year and a half.
Told me that my due date is a big inconvenience for her and her husband because they will be very busy for work.
Wanted to know my plan - exactly how long i will take off, what I will do for childcare etc...
Wants a dr's note stating I'm allowed to be outside for 8 hrs a day in the summer, because they have a membership at a yacht club where the kids will have swim and tennis lessons.
She was rather mean and rude to me and has NEVER treated me this way before..

I'm paid under the table so if she just fires me I'm screwed with no income..

I feel like I'm being forced to quit..

They are out of town for the next week so I'm busting my butt to try to find another job and stressed and depressed..

Just wondering what other parents would do in this situation?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't find her questions that odd. They need to make plans now about what they are going to do with the childern while you are away and after you have the baby (Did you talk to them about bring the baby, or are you finding another person to take care of your child). It takes families a long time to find someone to replace a trusted nanny and your announcement has left them without a clear plan for the future.

I am also a nanny who is expecting (in July). I had the same talk with my family about what would be happening while I am out (about 2 months, and it is ok with them if I bring my own child) and what will happen if I am put on bedrest of have medical problems that change my ability to work.

Sit down with your family next week and have a nice talk with them about what they expect and what you would like to happen. Hopefully you will be able to find a way to work this out, but some families want a totally commited nanny.

alex said...

Maybe they did have the same talk with their other nanny as well. I would sit down and talk to them and answer their concerns and even mention some of your concerns. There is nothing wrong with communication :) Also, because she wanted a doctor's note that was probably her way of making sure that would be okay this summer, for you and the baby. She probably should have approached it a little nicer, but maybe she just didn't know what to say.

cali mom said...

It doesn't sound like their questions are unreasonable, just that they want to know exactly what your plans are for the near future so they can try to make sure all bases are covered. You'd probably feel the same way if they told you they were having another baby and you'd wonder if the mom was suddenly going to decide to quit her job to be a SAHM. And plans DO change after babies are born, as priorities can change. But yes, you are screwed if they fire you, which is just one more reason people should BOT get paid under the table. Also, I doubt brand new employers wuould be any more acccomodating to pregnancy and baby plans than the ones you are currently with.

erics mom said...

Main thought. Don't get yourself stressed out, and depressed. You are early in your pregnancy. Please, take care of yourself and the baby first. Stress will affect the baby, and you don't want to take a chance of a miscarriage.

Okay, can you finish working for her for another 5 months? Then leave? Maybe, take off for a few months at least to be with the baby? Maybe, in the last trimester you can stop by some nanny agencies. Let them know after the baby is born, you are looking for a new assignment.

Anonymous said...

If you and your husband were planning for a baby, he has to realize especially being paid under the table, you have no job security. Especially, a job as a nanny.

Tx nanny said...

I agree with Eric's mom. From your post I gathered that she came at you in a slightly hostile manner not just curious about your plans.So if you can accomodate the family for now and go your seperate ways hopefully in a way that is not hugely inconvenient to either of you, that is probably your best bet. I can't imagine a lot of families wanting to hire a nanny who is pregnant because it is a difficult situation for a working family.

Anonymous said...

Sounds odd if she was very pleasant and happy for you two weeks ago, she came of as mean now. Could she have just been feeling a little stressed getting ready to go out of town? How did your first conversation end? Perhaps she expected you to come back to her with more details on your plans on your own? At least she's thinking about whether or not you will be capable of handling the summer duties beforehand, not just expecting you to do them without considering whether it could effect your health. Talk to her when she gets back. An employer who thinks you do a great job is likely to make accomodations to keep you, especially since she did it in the past for her former nanny.

D said...

I think you should have a sit down with her. Tell her how you feel, ask her if they feel like another nanny would be a better fit.

Tell he that you understand she needs to do what's right for her family (as she will anyway), if you lay it all out at least you will know her intentions.

The smartest plan (if that's the case) would be to keep you as long as she feels comfortable and have you help transition a new nanny. You will leave with a better reference, she will get the situation she wants and you will have some more time off just when you need it and have time to plan your finances.

Kill them with kindness and concideration. Karma will take care of things.

And CONGRATS on the baby!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say that I also went throught the whole pregnancy dilemna while working as a nanny. I had actually put off having a baby for a couple years because I am so comfortable in my job and with my payscale. I thought for sure it would all vanish when I told them I was pregnant.
Boy was I wrong. they were more than supportive. When I tried to explain things such as my plan as to how much time off I took and when I would be back I was immediately shooshed with the recommendation not to stress over anything and to worry about it as it came. I had to move out of my beautiful studio apartment I had on their estate for a larger place so they increased my salary $250 a week to make sure I would be able to stay near by. They bought me a beautiful nursery from Bellini furniture for my gift and the cost was astronomical. Let's just say if I was buying, it probably would have come from Target. They have been completely supportive of me, allow me to bring the child with me to work whenever I want, and my boss covers my daycare expense. So I say, answer her questions, tell her how important you position is there, and give them a chance to do the right thing. I thought my future was over with my family but it has only gotten better. And I will say that my boss seemed more afraid of me quitting than I was of getting fired. GOOD LUCK!!

Anonymous said...

Personally I wouldn't have said anything to the employer until after 13 weeks. This is when the possibility of miscarriage is significantly reduced.

They are asking very ligitimate questions. If I was to employ a nanny I would want to know her plans ASAP.

shel said...

i agree with what D had to say. approach them in a mature manner and let them know that you would like to know their feelings on what would be best. it seems that they've had a nanny who had a baby before and that worked for them. i don't see why it wouldn't this time.

did they actually tell you that your pregnancy was inconvenient or is that the vibe you got from them? if they TOLD you that, i would definitely be looking elsewhere for a job. however, if you felt that was the insinuation, you won't know until you have a heart to heart with them.

and if they are truly ok with your pregnancy, make sure you also find out what they are expecting of you when you return from having your baby. can you bring the baby with you?

and btw, CONGRATULATIONS on your pregnancy! :)

Anonymous said...

Original Poster HEre...

Thank you everyone for your advice/opinions...

I guess i should have been more clear..I totally understand she had right to ask these questions etc..
BUT the thing is
#1 - She asked me a million times to think about weather or not i could sit by a pool all summer.. i mean come on?? I do not have to lift any children or do any labor..
#2 - She said that my due date is a big inconvience to her and that i will not be able to take time off when the baby is born.. I mean come on????!!!
#3- 2 weeks ago she said i was doing a GREAT job and I had nothing to worry about...

I think she wants me to quit because she is too busy to deal with me needing time off and does not really have anyone else to rely on..

With that said i'm looking for an office job as of now.. I'm quitting asap...

I've learned she is very vindictive and i don't trust her..

Its sad because i know her youngest is super attached me... Tells me everyday "i love you nicole"

mom said...

Sitting by a pool in a very hot climate all day really could be a problem for a very pregnant woman. You don't know if you will have preeclampsia, swelling, etc. She may have a valid concern about your ability to perform the duties she expects this summer. I know it would be very nice for her to work around your pregnancy, but in this case it might mean that her children (which are really the first priority here) might not be able to participate in the outdoor activities she wants them to be involved in this summer if your doctor does not think you are up to the task. I know it is very important to me for my kids to be outside and playing/getting exercise as much as possible, particularly during the summer months when they might otherwise tend to "veg." She just doesn't want hers being subjected to your potential need for rest and prolonged periods of time indoors. She's just being a concerned mom on this point (and possibly also a concerned employer not wanting to endanger your health or your baby's by expecting things of you that are unhealthy in your situation.)

It doesn't sound so nice that she finds your due date "inconvenient," and won't give you time off. Is there an extenuating circumstance there, or is she just being selfish? I would ask about that because she didn't seem to mind accomodating the prior nanny, so I doubt she is simply that selfish.

I would talk to her. Pregnancy often makes us hormonal and moody. Maybe you really did read more into her comments than she meant, or maybe she was simply having a bad day (or was hormonal herself that day) and came off less kindly than she meant to. It seems odd that she didn't mind her other nanny being pregnant (even paid her maternity leave) and then would all of a sudden freak out because you are pregnant. Maybe the other nanny quit abruptly on her after she paid her maternity leave and left her feeling used?

Talk to her. Something just doesn't add up.

Sue Doe-Nim said...

"Just wondering what other parents would do in this situation?"

I'm not a parent who uses a nanny but if I were her I'd be kissing your butt and praying that you didn't take it upon yourself to pay taxes.

You see there's really no limit to the damage someone like you could do to them via the IRS and pregnant women are notorious for being emotional, irrational and short of patience.

So yeah, if I were a parent in this situation I'd be nervous and EXTRA nice.

cali mom said...

Sue, great idea!

OP, I'm not sure of the laws for domestic employees or what state you are in, but you should certainly look into them because at least in california, an employer can NOT simply deny you any time off after you have a baby. They don't have to pay you but they are REQUIRED to allow you 12 weeks of unpaid time for family leave and 12 weeks of unpaid pregnancy related medical leave. If they have to get a temp, then that's what they have to do, though it sounds like you might be better off if you can find an office job quick enough to move on.

Anonymous said...

Already with the hormones. Women are very very strange, especially when they get preganant. I worked in customer service and the worst people to speak to were the pregnant women. Maybe your employer is jealous because she wants to have another kid and the husband doesn't. That might be why she changed her tune. Because what's worse than a pregnant women is a jealous one.

mom said...

A couple more good points I see about why it is never a good idea for anybody involved for people to work off the books. In the end it seems everybody loses.
I wonder (does anybody have this information) if the maternity leave laws don't apply only to businesses over a certain size? I thought small "comapnies" with inder a certain number of employees are exempt.
Of course, she can't fire you for being pregnant.
Still, I hold out hope for you, OP, that there is simply some misunderstanding going on here and you and your employer can work it out together. Yes, I could be way off base, but its probably worth having an honest conversation with her about so you will know for sure. She might be completely horrified to find that she left you with the impression she did, when she might be planning to keep you on happily for years. Worst case is you find out that what you already think about her is true. Nothing to lose by talking.

Anonymous said...

OP here -

Her old nanny's sister married her brother.. So it's like family to her...
I"m assuming that she was more compelled to give maternity pay due to that fact..

She is very selfish and does travel alot for work - so my due date which over a half a year away is inconvient for her..

Oh and we do not live in a hot climate mid 80's is our summer...

As for the whole being outside thing i think she is "looking" for reasons...

Thank you everyone for your input..

Anonymous said...

She may have a big project, trial, merger, whatever scheduled for around that time. Ask her.

Anonymous said...

OP: Are you sure you aren't just looking for reasons to justify to yourself leaving your charge? Sounds like you haven't given your employer an opportunity to explain why she went from being happy for you to not. Although you may have explained why her treatment of the former nanny's pregnancy was so fair, she still hired someone who told her she might be facing this situation within the year, and the change in attitude from happy for you to difficult in a two week period doesn't make sense. And if she has never been mean or rude to you, what makes you think now that she is vindictive? If you like this job, you should give her a chance to clear things up just in case she was busy, didn't know how to approach the subject, and didn't intend to come off so rough. If the nanny job is not what you want, give her notice and offer to help with the transition for your charge's sake.

TX nanny said...

I was a nanny for 12 years and I experienced wonderful caring parents who made me apart of the family and selfish parents who never once thought about my life. If I were OP I would be getting irritated with everyone saying that the mom's attitude doesn't make sense so the OP must be taking something the wrong way. It sounds pretty simple to me, the mom sees this as a huge inconvenience and is being rude to her nanny so the nanny has decided to quit because she is getting no support with her preganancy. I say you're doing the right thing OP, you don't need the stress of this selfish woman right now, enjoy your pregnancy because it flys by. I shoud know I quit my nanny job a month ago to have my first baby in June:)Thankfully it was on good terms though because the family I work for undertsands how inmportant giving birth to a child is.

TX Nanny said...

important not inmportant oops.

mom said...

Wow! Congratulations TX nanny! Good luck to you with your new baby. There's nothing like having a child of your own. (and I mean adopted or naturally, by the way...but being a mom is the greatest joy ever.)

TX Nanny said...

Thanks Mom:) I am thrilled!! I can't beleive I get to spend all day with my very own child, hehe. I have loved being a nanny so much and am excited to put all that love and attention into my own little family. It really is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

If you are let go file for unemployment and they will then go after said employer for failing to pay/file required taxes. She will then be hit with penelties along with your portion of taxes and hers.

chick said...

Generally speaking, nannies are not covered under any sort of family/medical leave act. The Federal law, at least, only covers employees in firms with more than (I believe) 50 employees.

Also, in most cases/areas, nannies are considered "at will" employees, and can be let go for any reason, including pregnancy, with few to no repercussions for the employers. This is especially true when a nanny is paid off the books, because she has no unemployment insurance to fall back on.

Ultimately, nannies aren't protected by most employment laws that "regular" workers can count on. Nannies can be, and frequently ARE, asked questions that would make a corporate HR person faint dead away.

For example:

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your savior?"

"Have you ever tested positive for an STD?"

"Are you planning to get married and/or pregnant within the next 5 years?"

"Have you ever had an abortion?"

"What prescription drugs do you take, and why?"

"Do you drink alcohol? How often?"

Nannies aren't a well protected class of employee, because they work in private homes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never was asked those questions. And I wouldn't want to work for an employer that did. Why would it be anyones business to ask such personal questions.

Anonymous said...

Just tell your husband to get off his butt. And get a second job for the next year.

fox in socks said...

To the OP, your original question was "What would other parents do?" and I took that to mean you were asking what other employers would do.

I think other employers might unfortunately have to get rid of you, much as they really dread the prospect of giving up a beloved nanny.

I'm not sure why you seem to think it's not legit that your employers really can't do without you around the time of your due date. It's quite likely that the parents' professions may not allow them any free time around the time of your due date (give or take since no one really knows AT ALL when you will actually end up giving birth, nor the level of complications you could have). Furthermore there could well be other circumstances in their lives around that time (of which you are unaware) that would make using a temporary substitute nanny impossible.

It seems like the mother is asking you all sorts of questions. She is probably trying to work out in her mind what will happen even in the BEST case scenario. There are so many unpredictable factors. In the best case scenario, you have your baby around the date expected, don't have complications necessitating a reduced work load (or not being able to work entirely) before the baby comes, and don't have complications or a C-section when it's born, and her kids get to have fun ALMOST as much as they would if you were not pregnant. The mother is probably wondering if she can afford to take a chance and keep a nanny the family really likes, given the real possibility that you may not be there for her children because of your own needs as a pregnant person/new mom.

There are unfortunately no protections for a guaranteed maternity leave (meaning no pay during the maternity leave but you are guaranteed to get your job back after the leave) for nannies, because even if you were paid on the books, those laws only apply to places where there are more than 50 employees (as someone mentioned).

You seem to interpret the mother's actions as mean. It doesn't sound mean though. It seems necessary for her to ask questions and wonder if her children will be served well as your pregnancy progresses. Maybe you will change your mind entirely about wanting to work once you've had the baby. Many people do, and this mom is just looking out for the welfare of her own children by asking you these questions.