Still crying at the pass off.....

Received Friday, July 18, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I have posted in the past about my charge who was 10 months at the time crying when he would be passed off to me by the parents. He now just turned one. Things have gotten a lot worse. I have been with him since he was 2 months old and the parents are NEVER home. Some days they don't even see him at all, I am the one to get him up and put him to bed. This happens on a consistent basis. They have them on weekends mostly but not always. Needless to say their time with them is VERY limited and I am the MAIN caregiver. I feel that we DID bond and I really enjoy my time that I spend with him, usually. In the past few weeks when the parents leave in the morning or if they just leave the room he gets HYSTERICAL, INCONSOLABLE and wont let me comfort him and basically does not want me. I have been a nanny for 10 years--I have NEVER had this happen to me( for children I have been with since birth basically). It is a slap to the face. I know he is just a baby and perhaps I am sounding like a whining baby It just really hurts my feelings. I don't know why if he never sees them why he would even care. It makes me think that we aren't as bonded as I thought we were and perhaps they should find another nanny that he likes better. When we are alone together he is fine but when they are around -forget it! Am I crazy , is this just a stage that he will outgrow? The thing is when they are with him all they do is hold him and let him be a brat and do whatever he wants. When he is with me he can not act like that. What should I do?? there really isnt anything I can do is there? Should I look for another job? I feel like I am not that happy anymore.


Emily said...

I remember when you posted the first time and I believe I commented then that it seemed to me that you didn't respect your employers. That seems even more evident now. You don't think they're making the right choices for their children and you're resentful of the child's emotional attachment to them because you don't think they deserve it.

This is all my opinion, of course, but I think you're in a very unhealthy place and you need to find a new situation. Children, even very young ones, are adept at picking up on tension and conflict. You aren't doing this child any favors by sticking around while your resentment and anger festers.

I believe you are probably a good nanny, but you've gotten yourself into a very bad place. Read what you wrote. You're angry at a two year old for crying when his mother leaves him! I can't help but believe that's not rational behavior. Please do something to change what's going on here, I worry that this could escalate and be even worse for this poor, innocent child.

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Emily said...

10:32 I didn't say that the OP is disrespectful, I said that she doesn't seem to respect the parents--there is a very big difference.

One Fabulous Nanny said...

I wouldn't take this personally. I know it's hard, but he needs his parents. It's got to be hard for him to be with them for a few hours, and when then they decide to leave, he knows his fate is to be without them the rest of the day. He's just doing whta he can to get them to stay.

Don't take offense, you have to remember that you aren't his mother or father. Even though you are the caregiver, and you are whom he sees the most and loves dearly, there is such a special bond between parent and child. He definitely knows the difference between the two of you, and he's crying out for their love and affection; he already knows he has yours.

Sarah and Mitch said...

I really think that if you were to be the one leaving, he would get just as upset. I think that kids that age don't like change, and have attachment to everyone they love. It's hard when someone leaves; they have no concept of time, and can't understand that anyone will be coming back later for them.

If you aren't happy, you should leave. If this is the reason you aren't happy, you should pick up some child development/psychology books and see how you can help ease the situation so it doesn't make you uncomfortable, and also, so you can see how this is not a personal thing. It is a normal developmental phase and will also pass.

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Marypoppin'pills said...

Sarah & Mitch hit it right on the head .... children this young have no concept of time, and when his Parents leave he is fearful they are not coming back.
Don't think for a minute that this child doesn't realize that many nights he's going to bed without even seeing his Mommy & Daddy.
How very sad.

Are his Parents Work-a-holics? Or are they doing other things that are keeping them away from the children?
I think you are feeling a little resentful, but get this ... I don't blame you. I would probably feel the same way. You are only Human, you are this child's main caregiver, and you are probably thinking his Parents are doing a lot of harm not being around to raise their children -- that duty has basically been left up to you and it really is kind of strange that after all this time the kids haven't become sort of numb to the situation.

If you're feeling that unhappy, you know what you have to do to change it. However, since you have been the only mainstay for these kids, your leaving would most likely end up being very detrimental also. You may not see it now, but they would eventually realize you're gone, and now there's someone new taking care of them.

You've got a big decision to make. Stay and make the best of a sad situation, or leave and find something else. Because I'm not sure things are going to get much better for a long while ....

OP said...

OP here--I am NOT mad at the baby, Emily. That is ridiculous!! I respect my employers tremendously, they are great people . I do not, however, respect that they choose to spend no time with him. Even when they arent working they would rather go out for dinner/drinks then spend time with him. It does become a little resentful after awhile when you are the one with him ALL of the time and hes crying and giving me a hard time and will take hours to console and calm him down. I am not taking anything out on the baby, I NEVER would. I am a professional,warm hearted nanny who adores children.

OP said...

FYI the baby does NOT cry when I leave for the day when the parents come home. He doesnt even blink and eye when I say "bye-bye" when they are around. 11:28-thank you that makes a lot of sense, I guess I never thought of it that way. I have taken child psychology and like I stated before I have been a nanny for 10 years, its just this is the FIRST time this has ever happened and its puzzling for me!

ericatomten1 said...

Can a 1 year old child be a brat? He's just a baby!!

nycnanny said...

She said he "acts" like a brat when he is with the parents..not that he is a brat! And yes, 1 year old's can certainly act bratty.

Marypoppin'pills said...

I know this is a difficult situation for you to be in.
Thanks for clarifying what the Parents were doing. It seems that any free time away from work should be spent with this child, and it isn't. I feel so bad for you and what this poor child is going through.

Why do people like this even have children? Do they not realize how much damage they could potentially be causing?

Emily said...

OP, of course you being mad at a baby is ridiculous, it's irrational. However, that doesn't mean that someone in your position wouldn't feel it. Emotions are rarely rational. Read what you wrote. Yes, you didn't say you were angry at the baby, that was my editorializing. You said that your feelings are hurt by what he does. I don't think that's a good place for a caregiver to be at, emotionally.

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Frmr Nanny now a Mom said...

The child is neglected by his parents. He knows they are his mom and dad, he instinctually wants them/needs them and is not having that need met at all. He is obviously distressed beyond belief by their lack of attatchment to them. He probably will outgrow this, unfortunately he will probably come to the sad realisation that his parental situation will not change, accept that rejection and move in. Heart breaking.
As for their behavior when they are with him; typical.
As I have experience with many, many working parents who dont spend time with thier children, they experience heavy amounts of guilt. This guilt causes them to indulge and baby their children tremendously in an (often unconscious) effort to make up for their absence, to prove that they love their child and that the child loves them. Its a sad situation that is all too common. The best you can do is to be a solid foundation for this child, love him, set boundaries for him, be someone he can depend on. Instead of feeling hurt by his reactions, try to remember the root of them.
Poor Baby.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Sometimes my son doesn't get his way and he gets upset. There's a little affectionate thing he does with me called, "meow, meow", where he'll come up and rub his cheek on mine and purr. He does this especially when he's happy.

Occasionally, when he gets upset with me, he'll say, "O.k., no more meow-meow" .... and yes, this hurts my feelings. But I would never take any hurt feelings I have out on him.

I think you might be over analyzing OP's hurt feelings, and thinking it may cause some detriment to the child. But I think she's professional enough that she can have the feelings she's having, and the child not have any drawbacks from it.

OP said...

I didnt think I would have to clarify "bratty" i didn't mean it in the literal term. I meant they give him WHATEVER he wants whether it be the remote controls, cell phones, glass bottles, climbing up on furniture and trying to jump, etc. I will not let him have certain things because they are not toys. But when he is with mom and dad he gets his way--always!! And if they try to say no he will throw a tantrum( which is normal) but they give into it. So THAT is what I meant by bratty. Of course I don't think he is a brat. And Emily you can think I am not in a good emotional place if you would like. I am not mad or resentful of the baby. I am upset with the situation with the parents and yes I am only human I do get a little hurt when I am with him 24/7 and he acts like this. But judge all you want.

Emily said...

Maybe I am over analyzing--but this isn't the OP's first time posting about this. The extent that "no more meow-meow" bothers you is absolutely miniscule compared to where the OP is emotionally.

If you'd posted multiple times about how your son hurts your feelings and welcomed strangers' opinions on a blog then I might think your feelings weren't exactly rational as well.

I'm not trying to tell the OP that she's wrong or bad or anything like that. I'm giving her my opinion that she needs to deal with the emotions her job is bringing up.

ericsmom said...

O.P. well I hope the pay is well. You shouldn't be working 24/7. You need your own life to go out and be young and have fun. Can you talk to the parents and let them know its too much? If they don't respect that you are human after all, why not look for another job? A job where you can actually have a life besides the child.

No one can judge you because they are not in your situation.

Emily said...

But . . . now that I think about it more, I will say that I'm particularly biased in this case. I encourage any nanny to look for a new job if she feels she's not working for parents who are making good choices for their kids. It never breeds anything but resentment and an unbalanced relationship with your charges.

We're not consultants in the "Super Nanny"/"Nanny 911" model. We can't sweep into your home and make you fabulous parents. As a nanny you have to take the parents you get and I don't see how the OP or any nanny can have a good relationship to the family she works for if she feels the heads of that family aren't doing their job well. The way she feels about her employers is bound to rub off on the kid.

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LL said...

With due reverence to your well worded responses, I do take issue with some of your concepts. It seems in reading your responses here and in previous posts that you view the parents as a hierarchy and the nanny but as a tool. A subordinate. I believe in a previous post you suggested a nanny was getting too attached to the children and that a nanny should not come to feel like her charges are family because they are just a job.

As a mother and a professional who has employed 8 nannies in 12 years, I can certainly say that nannies who don't come to feel for their "charges" make terrible nannies. I think it is abnormal for a nanny not to have her emotions tied to the children she spends all day with, especially if the children are very young.

Many of my friends have the same nannies for 5,6, and 7 years. The nannies live as much like family as imaginable. They are included in discussions about development and their opinion is respected. After years of "service" in an intimate position (nanny), it is natural for a good nanny to become part of the family. Certainly, this should work to her advantage too because the benefit the family receives from knowing they are leaving thier child with someone who truly loves and will fiercely protect that child- you can't buy that.

I don't know what your experience is or how you came to have some of the viewpoints that you do, but they feel cold and robotic to me.

Nannying is a job that is best done by warm hearted people. And when warm hearted people give of their heart and their love and receive the response this OP has gotten, it makes perfect sense that she would reach out looking for advice. She has every right to confess her intimate feelings here. Can't you imagine yourself in such a position?

I don't see the OP as failing to "respect" her employers. It seems to me, OP is saying, "what am I doing wrong" and "is this situation salavagable".

My sister works part time, approximately 20 hours per week. She has a nanny come in during those twenty hours. Her two childrenl 3 & 4 run to the sitter and run back excitedly to Mom and announce nanny's arrival. Excepting those 20 hours a week when she is working, my sister is always with the children. They don't cling to their mother because they know she is coming back. They know that they have had time with her today and will have more time this afternoon and will have more time tomorrow.

Your situation sounds tough. It isn't that the child wants his parents, it's that he wants to feel wanted by his parents.

Trust me on that one.

stefanie, nyc said...

Children have a bond with their parents that cannot be replaced with the love of even the best of nannies.


Some children never establish a bond with their parents. Because in many homes, baby nurses and nannies are used as soon as the child arrives. The child learns to go to the nanny or babynurse or next nanny for all of his needs.

Wake up.
There are bad parents everywhere.

Miserly Bastard said...

If you loved the child, you should be happy that he prefers his parents. They will be around much longer than you will be, and it is a good thing for him to prefer them to you.

The converse is also true: parents should be delighted when their child prefers the nanny; it should give them confidence that the nanny is doing a great job, and that their decision to work outside of the home is mitigated by the fact that their child is in loving, attentive childcare.

Remember: It's about what's in the best interests of the child. Your needs/wants/desires as nanny (or parent) are secondary.

anonymous comments will be deleted said...

Instead of clicking on "anonymous",
click on "name/url"
and simply enter any name you would like to use.

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UmassSlytherin said...

Well said, miserly bastard. The children's needs should come first.

That being said, this situation sounds as if it is very trying for the nanny. I feel for her, I really do. It sucks to be unhappy in your work. Sure the child is the important person in all this, but the nanny has to look out for her own needs as well. If she doesn't want to work it out or deal with it, she should leave.

I wonder if she has tried more tv. If not, I would highly suggest it. And if that doesn't work, Radio Disney, perhaps? The new Jesse McCartney song rocks so spectacularly that it's not even funny.

Emily said...

II, I have never warned against becoming too attached to the children you care for. I couldn't do my job well if I didn't truly love the children I care for. I've been a childcare professional for more than a decade and I am incredibly close with the two families I've left. This weekend I'll be sleeping over at the house of the first family I nannied for because their youngest is going off to camp on Sunday morning and it's a tradition that I'm there to send her off.

However, in my time as a nanny I've seen a lot of unhealthy relationships between nannies and the kids they care for. I think these nannies thought that life would end for the kids they cared for if they were ever to not be their caregiver. I think that kind of relationship can undermine the parents role. I can't believe than anyone reading the OP's posts thinks she sees herself as part of the family. She sees herself as this child's savior. It's just my opinion, but I don't think that's healthy.

I also can't see how you can think the OP respects the parents she's worked for. She's posted twice on a blog about their poor parenting habits. That's respect?

I can understand why you might see me as cold or robotic. I only ever post her to give advice or tell of my experiences to other nannies and I do it in as measured and rational a way as I know how.

G Illinois said...

As a grandmother raising her grandchild as her own, let me tell you one thing. My daughter never bonded with her child. Never. She dressed her up in a few cute outfits, took a lot of pictures with her. When friends came to visit her, she would hold the baby and coo, but soon after, she was off to the bar. She'd come home the next morning still drunk (and high). I took care of that child from the get go.

What you fail to realize is that you don't form a bond with a child when you go to the child when you want a hug or kiss or someone to cuddle. You don't form a bond with a child when you prepare a bottle or give a bath in front of an audience of adoring peers. You form a bond with a child by doing the things the child needs when the child needs them. That is love.

There are many women who lack what we thought was a maternal instinct. My daughter is one such person. She has some fine points, but she is a narcissitic alcoholic and if she ever has another child, You damn bet, I will take that one too.

And I'm too old for this. I raised five children of my own. 4 succesful children with loving families of their own. I didn't sign up for this. I just couldn't stand the suffering of this child, watching him long for her mother.

Emily said...

And for the record, I do see the nanny's role as being subordinate to the parents. Is that weird? I'm their employee. I certainly expect that my nanny, if I ever have one, will be subordinate to my parenting decisions.

I try to be the nanny I'd want to employ.

faye said...

I see that too in EMily's comments. Emily, you write as someone who sees the parents as victims of a nanny. A good parent has a bond with their child before the nanny shows up on the door step. No one could undermine my relationship with my child. I have a nanny, but I don't sign off on my children. I am there at every conference, doctor's appointment, recital and school event.

I know the parents you speak of. They have to ask the nanny what day 'Jody' has ballet or for directions to "Billy's" best friend's house.

I think someone did a number on you, sister. I picture you as meek and mild mannered. Nodding your head non stop as you bow and curtsy to your employers.

But why?
What happened?

Beth, VA said...

Sorry, but I don't pay $1,500 a week to a nanny who has to call me on the phone to ask me if it's okay if my son takes his shoes off and plays in the grass.

I want a nanny who thinks, dreams, creates and envisions my child as the adult she knows my husband and I are trying to help him blossom into. My husband and I call our nanny our partner, albeit somewhat facetiously. The respect we give her is given back 100%.

Emily said...

Do you honestly see me as meek and mild mannered? I stand up for myself on this blog, why would I be different in real life.

I like to see myself who sees both sides of situations. I try to put myself in parents shoes as well as those of different nannies on this site.

I'm glad no one could undermine the relationship between you and your child--but is it outside the realm of your imagination that someone might try? And lots of parents do sign off on many aspects of their children's lives. There are parents in the world who are not as good as you, probably not a surprise.

My employers and I are partners and as I said before, I couldn't work for them if I didn't think that they were good parents making good decisions for their kids.

Emily said...

Beth, what has that to do with this post? Is it because I said a nanny should be subordinate? Subordinate doesn't mean the person can't think for herself and be proactive.

You guys have gone WAY off topic in your delight in attacking me.

UmassSlytherin said...

Emily, do you like Jesse McCartney? Just asking.

Emily said...

But, by all means, continue. This is one of the reasons I love reading this site!

Emily said...

I had to google him, so I really don't have much of an opinion, other than he looks cute enough.

Did I miss something, umass?

anonnomore said...

I don't really see you as meek and mild-mannered, but I do see you as sensitive. I wouldn't consider this an attack. I don't think anyone is trying to be mean here. We are all just expressing opinions, and I don't think anyone has said anything worse than what you've said to the OP.

As for UMass, she brings a lot of wit and humor to this board, and one of her tactics is running off topic for a bite at that humor, lol.

Stefanie said...

I am not attacking you.
Some of the things you said have rubbed me the wrong way. Just like families sometimes, end up with terrible nannies that cause harm to their children, nannies do end up with terrible families. Except, generally, the children are not so terrible. And as a nanny who is very compassionate, I did find myself sucked into working for one very abusive family. I tried to protect their three children from the harm they were doing. It was stressful, chaotic and maddening. In the end, I had to leave for my own good. I learned about six months later that the nanny who had replaced the nanny who had replaced the nanny who had replaced the nanny who had replaced me took one of the children with her to a house where a number of people were gathered and the child (a 4yo girl) was molested. The little girl told the mother of her best playmate and that mother contacted social services and the police, because even she was unsure of what would happen if she contacted THE CHILDREN'S PARENTS.

Try not to judge the nanny's that try to stick it out. It isn't pleasant. It isn't fun. It doesn't make us feel good or superior. Although, at times I did feel I was doing something good. I didn't make the children's life any worse. I just carved out a niche of peace and tranquility for them and provided a safe environment for them for the 17 months I was there.

Those poor, poor children.

Emily said...

Oh I'm definitely sensitive! But I also know that this is good fun.

And I was called robotic, cold, meek, and told that someone's 'done a number on me' and I labled them as attacks. I told the OP that I know she's probably a good nanny, but that she's gotten herself into a bad situation and she's clearly unhappy and should do something about it. Difference?

UmassSlytherin said...

No I was just asking because I like him alot and I was trying to figure out if you and I had anything in common.

That's all.

Emily said...

I think we like this blog, we share that umass, and always will :-)

anonnomore said...

You sound like an awesome nanny. I'm so sorry for what you went through, too bad those kids don't have you in their life anymore. You were probably the best thing that ever happened to them.

nyc mom said...

I agree with the spirit of Emily's comments here. OP does sound like she is quite critical of her employer's parenting choices and I agree that is a terrible set up for any job. I would not choose to work long term for an employer with whom I fundamentally disagreed on the basics of my job. I also agree with Emily that the nanny/employer relationship should retain a large degree of professionalism and not become too intimate. Of course, both nanny and employer ideally want a nanny to feel affection and delight in the kids - the job is certainly different than many. But I do think it is still important to maintain some boundaries, if only to ensure that the nanny continues to be treated as a valued professional. However, I have seen this issue discussed on ISYN before and recognize that different arrangements and levels of intimacy have worked for different families.

Also, I disagree with MPP's comment that "It seems that any free time away from work should be spent with this child, and it isn't." As working parents, my husband and I do not choose to spend every free moment we have with our children. We spend a large part of our free time with them and love our family time. However, we have also made sure to include a "date night" in our week so that we have some time alone together to focus on our relationship. Happy parents = happy kids. I actually think it is unhealthy for parents to never have any time alone together. Still all we have in this post is OPs description of the parents and we can only conclude from that that the parents spend almost no time with their kids.

In answer OPs question, yes, you should look for another job. As you said, you aren't happy which answers your own question. To comment a bit more on your charge's behavior. It actually sounds to me like the baby has an insecure attachment to his parents, not a particularly secure one, and a fairly secure attachment to OP. Crying a bit when being handed off to the nanny is normal for a few months in an infant, but crying inconsolably for hours with a caregiver he knows well for months is not normal IMO. If my 10mo were doing this, I would be very concerned.

OP said...

LOL @ thinking I am their savior. That is hilarious. I don't see how you can get that from my posting. You are entitled to your opinions about a situation you aren't in but I promise you -you are 100% off base!!

anonnomore said...

"It seemed to me that you didn't respect your employers"
"You're resentful of the child's emotional attachment to them"
"You're angry at a two year old for crying when his mother leaves him! I can't help but believe that's not rational behavior. Please do something to change what's going on here, I worry that this could escalate and be even worse for this poor, innocent child."
"You said that your feelings are hurt by what he does. I don't think that's a good place for a caregiver to be at, emotionally."
"It never breeds anything but resentment and an unbalanced relationship with your charges."
"I also can't see how you can think the OP respects the parents she's worked for. She's posted twice on a blog about their poor parenting habits. That's respect?"

Um, sorry. No difference.

tessa said...

OP, I think Emily replaced a SAVIOR/Nanny or something. No offense to you personally Emily but your perceptions have been colored by some weird experience. Imagine all of the children who live in abusive homes, being raised by druggies and molesters. Imagine if we could send nannies into those homes to work 60 hour weeks. It would be unfair to the nannies but wonderful for the kids, and yeah, they kind of would be SAVIOURS!

OP said...

1:50-I agree with the last part. This is why I , myself, am concerned. I understand that he is going to cry and whimper a little but lately it has been NONSTOP crying. I may have exaggerated with the hour part but its not like it was before and only for a few seconds-it now carries on for quite some time. This is why I find it so strange because I am so loving to him and we have so much fun together , I just cant figure it out. After reading everyones comments I am thinking that his crying issue is more with the unattachment of the parents and not reflected at me--but can you blame me for taking it a little personal. Also I don't want his parents to think we aren't bonded because we are --when they aren't around . I do respect my employers as people but I don't respect the fact they are NEVER home for their child. I understand everyone needs date nights and time away. I get this. Lord knows I would as well. I dont think they should spend every second with him. But I also think its quite sad when 3 days will go by and they haven't even seen him once because they decided dinner at a fancy restaurant or a charity ball was more important . IF this is the wrong attitude to have well then so be it. I feel what I feel. I don't think its unhealthy and I also don't feel its unhealthy to love this child as I would my own. I know if I had a nanny I would want the same. I know it is a "job" but when you spend so much time with the little guy its a bit hard to not take it personal.

Emily said...

It would be unfair to the nannies and I wouldn't be among them. I think my experiences may have been colored more by Any Rand. I believe in a kind of nanny-karma. Good nannies find good families and vica versa. This is seeing the world through rose-tinited glasses, I realize, but it's been true from experience so far, and I hope it always will be.

OP, bottom line, you said you're not happy. Make a change to make yourself happy, or don't, but if you complain online about your unhappiness, expect to hear from people like me about the ways they think you should act.

MissDee said...

I am curious as to what the parents do that would prevent them from spending time with their child. Are they movie stars? Or do they have demanding careers that they work 60-70 hour weeks? My class of toddlers are in daycare 40-50 hours per week and they are just fine. I must say that I agree with the poster that said this child only wants his parents' attention and affection, and the fact that he knows he has yours. I was passed from relative to relative by my own father, and I grew up not trusting men, because my father "abandoned" me. You are the only thing this child has to parents, and should you decide to leave this child, he could develop self eteem/self image issues that could scar him for life, based on the fact that you are the only person who loves him-from what you wrote before and what you write now, it's evident his parents don't care about him.

fox in socks said...

OP, I think you are getting a good perspective on the situation in your comments at 1:57. The bottom line is that the child is crying inconsolably because he knows quite well that when you come, he may not see his parents again for a very very long time, so long that it feels almost like forever to him. The crying has nothing to do with any "dislike" for you; he clearly loves you. He knows that your arrival means he will likely not see his parents in a very long time. It's as simple as that.

Your opinion that their frequent choice to attend a dinner or a social function instead of being with their baby is a bad choice is well founded. You are very correct that this is not a good way to parent. Any basic parenting book indicates this. Of course it is far from ideal for this boy's development.

The only possible thing you could do is suggest to the parents that as the child gets older, he needs his parents in his life more, not less, and that he would greatly benefit from seeing his parents more often, for more time. Perhaps you could try having this conversation. You be the judge as to whether you could or should have such a conversation with the parents. Perhaps you could speak to each parent separately, explaining to the dad how important he is in the little boy's life, or something along those lines.

You may also want to open the conversation by explaining to the parent that the reason the kid cries at the pass off is because he doesn't know when he will next see the parents. Perhaps the parents could say to him, "I will see you tonight before your bath," (for example) because these are terms he will understand. As they begin to live up to these promises of when he will see them, his trust in them may be somewhat repaired and the crying may diminish a bit.

Good luck!! Let us know how things go. And thank you for posting here and sharing your story. It is such as sad one for the little boy.

pananny said...

maybe better advice for this OP would be to quit the job but maintain a presence in this kid's life. That way the family could seek out a nanny with more emotional maturity and the child gets to see that his beloved nanny is still committed to him.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Please don't misunderstand my comment. I also think it is imperative that Parents get "date night" and special time alone, but this is an extreme case. We have Parents that spend NONE of their free time alone with their child, and I think it is really going to cause great harm in the long run.
This child could experience attachment problems, the inability to trust or bond with another person properly, a host of insecurities or self-esteem issues ... or a myriad of other things.
Take your pick. It could be a smorgasbord.

anonnomore said...

Why are you calling this nanny emotionally immature? I hardly think that's the case. She cares very much for this child, more than his parents do, that's for sure. She wrote in asking for help, instead of dwelling on some issues that could possibly get worse, or better yet, just for some insight.
I think her feelings are absolutely warranted, and she is just looking for the best solution.
These parents are the ones that are emotionally immature, they never should have had kids!

mamasansdrama said...

OP you might also want to keep in mind that your charge probably "allows" himself to melt down when in your care because you're his safe person. He knows you're a solid presence in his life and that he can count on you being there for him no matter what. His parents, on the other hand, come and go without a predictable schedule or any consistency; when you pass him to them, it's in his best interest to "behave" so that he will be accepted.

I still see this with my own children, but reversed. Very often, when I pick them up from school, one or both melt down with no apparent reason. It's their way of saying "I had to behave all day, and now I can let go." Mind you, they love going to preschool and all the teachers are excellent, but I am their "rock".

If anything, I would take your charge's behavior as a sign of his confidence in you.

Jamie Teso said...

well you could have a nanny who cares. a nanny who wonders what she is doing wrong and feels badly about the crying or a nanny who puts on her ipod and says 'fuck that noise' and ignores the child.

personally, i'll take the nanny who is invested in my child. the best employees are those who are invested in the company. this is why stock options are such a positive morale booster and perk. if you don't want a nanny who is invested in your child, you better be very careful.

ro said...

I love your comments but not your moniker. The ltter X would stand out more, know what I mean? Not too mention all of the others who will follow with their play on anonymous.

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anonnomore said...

LOL Ro. I know. But after thinking about what to use, I got a headache.

chick said...

Despite everything, kids know who their parents are. It sounds like your charge is:

missing his parents

trying to do whatever he can to get their attention when he sees them

enjoying being "spoiled" on weekends.

None of this reflects on you unless you get yourself all twisted in knots about it.

If you are doing a great job, your charge knows you love him and will be there for him. His crying is simply due to missing his parents. He will cry when handed off to ANY nanny, because he wants more time with mom and dad.

Do you think the stress of working such long hours is contributing to the feelings you're having? If so, then that would be a reason to change jobs. If you are feeling burned out, then you and your charge might be better off in new situations.

Just remember that this isn't about you, it's about a baby feeling (I would guess), somewhat abandoned. It's right for him to want mom and dad before anyone else, and he can only express himself by crying right now.

Good luck, and keep your chin up!

ch said...

Part of being a parent is creating a place where it is safe for the child to express his emotions. The parents obviously have not done that. But the child feels he can with you. You probably comfort the child and soothe him. It will get better. Don't be afraid to maximize the differences between you and the parent. Be as warm as they are cold, as coddling as they are hands off, as interested in the child as they are bored. Give it another month and remember you are adult and you can walk away. This child has 16 years of heartache with these assholes still to bear! bare? bear?

Marypoppin'pills said...

I love your post, ch.

midwestdoglady said...

I have to wonder HOW, as you've stated OP, that you "respect your employers as people" when you admit their parenting/lack of interest is the cause for their child's distress and unruly behavior. I suspect the pay and benefits for this position have clouded your opinion. I'm guessing they treat YOU really well (why wouldn't they?-you're doing their job for them!), but their own child is left wanting.
Pleae separate out the issues in your own mind. Bad parents are NOT good people to work for. This child's distress has nothing to do with you, and EVERYTHING to do with his parent's lack of involvment. Sometimes, backing away (removing yourself as the enabler) is the solution. True, they may just replace you with another nanny willing(or not) to pick up where you left off. But I think an honest discussion of WHY you can no longer continue to do what they should be doing in their child's best interest is called for here.
I can see how this(the child's reaction) could be taken very personally by a nanny who is OVER invested in their relationship with their charge. This tells me you are not getting what you need (their healthy participation) from the parents as well. Thias is a no-win situation...when YOU care more than the child's parents!

LindaLou said...

i agree with chick. it's completely normally for a one year old to really want his parents above all others, and he obviously doesn't get enough time with them.

Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life said...

My charge sees me as her 3rd parent in a way. Because of this I cannot imagine leaving my job! I know they see me as a part of the family and cannot imagine not having me there because after several years they do not NEED me but continue to employ me. Her parents are wonderful people and excellent parents but have busy schedules and are a bit high strung. I fill in the gaps, I am her consistency and her soft place to land. I support the family and am mother, sister, friend to my charge when need be.

A good nanny does a great job, a great nanny loves her nanny family and the best nannies are loved back :)

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Frankie said...

I remember when you posted the first time and found it strange that you didn't get the basic fact that I think just about every nanny matter how much time they do or don't spend with their parents, children still know these people ARE their parents. And while the child may love you very much, the parents are still number 1, even if they aren't around a lot.

At one year, he is way more aware of what is going on in his life. This is a prime time for him to have some separation anxiety. It will pass. I can't tell you when, since all kids are different, but it will.

Also, regardless of how you feel about what the parents do or don't do, they are, once again, the parents. You need to stay out of that. If he behaves for you when he's with you, good. But what he does with them is up to them.

You need to talk to the parents and let them know what you've noticed with his being upset. I've done this with the parents I work for and we worked out timing so that we weren't on top of eachother and all around with the little one at the same time. If I was with her, they let me do my thing. If they wanted to be with her while I was working, I butted out until I was needed again.

If they are willing to work with you to make the anxiety better, great. If they aren't, I would suggest you get out. I think you would become more judgemental and negative if you stayed without a change in situation. Then again, you may just find something else to feel offended by

OP said...

Frankie, I GET that they are the parents and the baby knows that. I still find the situation odd though considering the amount of time spent with him since he was 8 weeks old. Also none of my other charges got so upset. I do get it though, I am not an idiot. I found your response to me quite condescending but hey, you are entitled to your opinion.I have talked to the parents about this and I feel much better. Thank you to all who had kind words to me and great advice. This will be my last time posting on here seeing since I don't want to deal with condescending remarks! Thanks again to all of your kind advice.

Marypoppin'pills said...

I'm sorry some of the posts have upset you. Unfortunately, you'll get a wide variety of opinions on here, some good and some bad.
I don't want you to feel you can't post here again ... on this subject, or any other.

You seem like a very caring individual, and this little boy is very lucky to have you in his life.

m said...

Apparently the OP is not supposed to have any human feelings- lol.
She's human!

Each nanny is different and has different kinds of attachments.
I absolutely love my charges, but I also loved my last charges and the ones before that, yet I left them. I still talk fondly of them, but I'm still glad I left.
I will leave these tomorrow if I had to. I would miss them sure, but I'd find a whole new set of babies to love. That's the beauty of this career. There are new babies all over to love.

I love when babies reach out to me but not at the expense of their parents (which these do now), but it also feels bad if they reject me (these haven't)but it is possible it will happen.
When kids favor me, I encourage them to go to Mommy while not making a big deal about it so the parents aren't hurt.

oP, I understand why you feel the way you do. It probably makes you feel likeall the time you spend with him means nothing, butr that's how children can be sometimes.

And to the person who asks if a one year old can be a brat. Emphatically yes, but most parents miss this and facilitate bratty behavior, and before you know it the kids are out of control.

just my two cents said...

OP people tend to be really agressive on this forum.
I agree with the poster who said that the child probably lashes out because he feels most comfortable with you. I am glad that you talked with the parents. I know this will sound dumb, but have you tried talking with the little boy about this, putting words out loud on the way he must feel and also on how you feel (without criticizing the parents of course)? I know he is just one, but even very small children seem receptive to language. I hope everything works out for you. You sound like a great nanny.

tina v said...

Are the parents thriving to see this? Perhaps they know they are unavailable and horrible parents and they think by their son acting so freakishly, they have you fooled and him.

DowntoEarth said...

I don't think she is angry at the 2 yr old. She is upset because the parents just simply do not want to parent. Maybe she is too involved with the child since she has him 24/7 . It appears to me she loves this child and doesn't understand that he has bonded or wants his parents to stay with him and not leave. Some children cry if the parent leaves the room, it is pretty natural for kids to do this.
If I were her I would find another posistion because this one apparently makes her pretty unhappy.

cfg said...

I think OP gets that this kid loves and needs his parents, but what I think is making her unhappy, is she was probably blaming herself for the way this kid was crying all the time, and it's NOT her fault.
I think OP is working way too many hours, and if she were to leave, maybe it would force these people to actually be parents --- at least until they found the next nanny to take advantage of!

fox in socks said...

OP, please don't pay attention to the idiots who are criticizing you for no good reason. You seem like a great nanny and a very caring person.

ByeByeBaby said...


Two things are clear to me:

1. The baby is upset because he doesn't see his parents enough, he's not upset with you in any way.

2. If you can hang in there for another 1-2 months, it is probably going to get better.

The reason I say this is because the little boy I care for now was terribly clingy and needy until he could walk pretty well, about 13 months or so. Now he is two and very independent, active and happy. I think your little boy may be similar. Even though his parents may continiue to deprive him attention, he will develop into a toddler soon and become more independent.

I would say if he doesn't change in two months to move on. You deserve to care for a child that will be rewarding for you to care for. That's why we become nannies - for the bonds and friendships and fun we have with the kids. If this baby is making you feel bad every day it's not a good fit for you. You deserve better and with your experience I know you can find it.