Tuesday

What should I do?

Received Tuesday, July 8, 2008 - Perspective & Opinion
I have been working with a great family for the past 10 months almost 11. I am responsible for the care of their 10 month old son and I love doing it. I love him so much and think of him as my own. When I was interviewed, which was at least a month and a half in advance to the baby's birth, both parents assured me that they would be going back to work, Mr X planned on taken 3 weeks leave from his job when the baby was born and Mrs X decided that she needed 6-7 months maternity leave. After the 6 months was up Mrs X decided that she wanted to work from home instead and proclaimed she would not be returning to the office anytime soon. I was certainly OK with the new arrangements and I welcomed the company. But mid way thru the 7th month nearing the 8th I began getting these strange feelings and noticing even stranger gestures from Mrs X : a) Mrs X did not trust me with her baby, despite the length of time that I've been working with her (and personally I feel if someone does not trust a Nanny with their baby they should not hire him/her for the job) b)she was becoming overbearing and very watchful of me and the baby c) she expressed the fact that she wants her baby to love only her d) doesn't want the baby to be attached to me or the father or anybody else e) sneaks up on me when I'm changing the baby's diaper or clothes f) hovering over me when I make bottles or when it's feeding time g) doesn't allow me to take formula with me on day trips to the park h) refuses to switch to powdered formula so I'll always have to come back to the house to feed the baby i) when I feed him his cereal she always, always interrupts the session with playful gestures distracting him and then in turn leaving baby X half full and very cranky j) in her opinion baby X is never tired, she refuses to let him sleep in the day time. I can go on about the things she does but I won't. I should work at least 12 hours every day with this family but in reality I work only 4-6 hours with the baby (one on one time). Some might say why complain about that, but I take my job very seriously and I try my best to do my best. Honestly I don't mind the current situation, but that was not the original contract we made and to be very honest I don't feel comfortable. Should I leave? Should I confront her on the issue?. What should I do???

28 comments:

emily said...

I think you really need to get in touch with how you feel about your job and your boss. You say, "Honestly, I don't mind the current situation" but how can that be true? People who are truly ok with their jobs don't usually post rants about them on a blog.

Your boss sounds like she may be going through a difficult time. That's unfortunate, but you need to think about yourself first. Maybe that means talking about your concerns, maybe that means looking for a new position--but before you can do any of that you have to start being honest with yourself about how your boss makes you feel and what you need from your job.

nycnanny said...

This is exactly why I would NEVER work for a SAHM or SAHD!! Sounds awful. I would suggest saying something to her but quite honestly it doesn't sound like it will do any good. It sounds like she doesn't trust you and she resents you being there. ( which is so dumb because she didn't have to hire a nanny, many people do without them during maternity leave). How does she ever expect you to bond with the baby or be able to do your job properly ??? All of the things she does sounds annoying and quite honestly psychotic. I think that she needs to see a shrink -maybe she has PPD?? Either way, its not your problem. I would look for a new job ASAP where your employers respect and need you. You deserve to be happy . And it sounds like you enjoy what you do so I would just move on. She's a nut and probably will never change. She will micromanage your every move and always never trust you 100%. Move on!!! good luck!

mpp said...

I think you might have a problem.
And this is a hard one, because you never want to say that being "too attached" is a bad thing, but I guess it can be, from what you're describing.

Is this due to Post-Partum, I don't know .... but does she seem almost obsessive about the baby's welfare? Does she seem full of anxiety when you leave with the baby? .... Not allowing you to take formula for the baby on your outing sounds like she wants to make sure you aren't gone very long.

She's not allowing you freedom to make any choices in caring for this child, and that's what she hired you to do.
Who wants to work a job where the Parent hovers over you all day telling you how to feed, bathe, dress, play with their child? Because if they do their job right and hire someone that knows what their doing, then what comes with that is a certain level of expertise that you have trust your Nanny has in caring for your child.

Either she's feeling insecure, and possibly even guilty that you're sharing the role of mothering her child (which I think is normal).... or this goes a little deeper, and you may be finding yourself having to 'exit stage left'.

Only you can say for sure.
Good luck, and keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

OP, your description of your momboss sounds exactly like what I imagine my momboss was like when her babies were new. Her "babies" are now 11 and 6 years old, and the overly possesive, jealous, insecure, overly controling,micro-managing, mistrustful attitude toward whomever is in their employ to help raise her children continues. I don't know if your momboss has the same issues as mine, or whether anyone can predict her attitude toward you will be ongoing and long-lasting...but, I do know how horrible it feels to work for someone like your momboss, and would reccomend finding a family that is mature enough to admit they need you and willing to show their appreciation for what you do for them.
It may be worth a try to talk to momboss about her attitude toward you (difficult to criticize her attitude toward her baby, tho!), and see if things might change. I think there could be some deeper, more serious issues going on for this woman that may make working for her difficult in the long-term. Bes of luck!

Persnickety Ticker said...

To me it sounds like this mom has some serious personal issues. Although to be fair, it sounds as if you have your own. It may be PPD, but speaking from experience on the "Mom" side of things, it is tough to see someone else bonding with your child. Having your child completely dependent on someone that isn't you, can make any mom have feelings of inadequacies. Add that to the fact that she is now a WAHM and there could be a serious emotional problem brewing within her.

Bottom line is, if she is not honoring your contract, you need to have talk with her. She may be completely unaware of how her emotions are affecting you. As far as your attachment to the baby, keep in mind that this is a job. I know you stated that you love the baby and think of him as your own, but it just may be that attitude that has the mom feeling threatened. You can be an excellent caregiver and nanny without complete emotional attachment to your charge. Most importantly, you and the mom need to communicate if you plan on continuing at this position.

a texas nanny said...

It almost seems like she is regretting work and wants to stay at home with the child instead of working from home so instead of being upfront about this fact with you and/or her husband, she is trying to make life miserable for you with all the hovering and micromanaging and lack of trust. Then if/when you quit she can tell hubby that you were imcompetant and that it just isn't worth it to entrust the care of their only child with some other well-meaning stranger, so it would be best if she becomes a SAHM.

Hey, it's one possibility...

Anonymous said...

Your boss doesn't want the baby to bond with the father? She has some reral issues and if I were you I would find another job. She sounds mentally unstable and PPD usually is a wee bit different. Moms usally don;t want anything to do with their babies while suffering from PPD. I think I would sit down with the Dad and tell him what is happening and that you will be looking for another posistion where you are trusted and appreciated and then move on.

Marissa M. said...

I see loads of things wrong with this situation. i completely understand- it all makes your job so much harder, after all you are the one who get the cranky baby in the end. I would just tell her its time for you to move on, if they do this now, imagine what the terrible 2's are going to be like...

In the meantime hand her the cranky baby when she interferes by saying you need a bathroom/lunch break or something and that you will be back when they are done playing.

Anonymous said...

What jumps out at me is "she refuses to let him sleep in the day time". That is a very serious health issue for a 10 mo baby. You might show her a chart of sleep requirements for various ages, and suggest you work out a nap schedule together. That, and the statement that she doesn't even want the baby to bond with the father is frankly alarming. This doesn't sound like PPD I do think the mom no longer wants a nanny. It may be that once you are gone, and she can be hands on, her anxiety may wan. I know you are concerned about the baby's welfare, but frankly, I don't think you can change this situation by talking, and the mom's stress is going to affect the baby.
A Nanny

Anonymous said...

I've worked for lots of insecure moms. It's just something nannies usually have to deal with.
What has helped me is to let the mom know- "No one is better than Mommy- but I think it's wonderful that you trust me so much with your child and allow him/her to have one more person in their life who love them and can teach them.

If you do want to continue on with this position, you will need to sit down with the mom and agree to some guidelines.

If you'd like a list of them-
please e-mail me at happynanny41 @ yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I agree that the mother is obviously having personal issues right now. It sounds to me like she is regretting her decision to hire a nanny and wishes she was just a SAHM, not a WAHM. The issues you listed are bordering on obsessive--not wanting the baby to bond with the father? Not cool. Obviously it's not your place to tell her to go see a shrink, but if you continue with the position, I would definitely watch her behavior. I'm a nanny, and if it was me, I would give a month or two of notice, and in the meantime, find new work AND watch to see if she makes any attempts to hire a new nanny. I think your attempts to do well at your job would be better suited with another family.

Katya said...

I am a mother of 1 year old girl and I do the same things. Its natural. Take it easy. Or may be make a baby for yourself:))

JerseyXJacqui said...

Katya, just because you do the same thing doesn't make it natural...or even SANE.

Anonymous said...

Katya-

You bug the babysitter constantly and don't want the baby to love anyone else in the world besides you including his/her dad? Gee, that is very sad, you need some help too!

nycnanny said...

Katya-you are probably even more insane than this mother. Your poor child and your poor nanny. Heres a thought ,why bother having a nanny ?? You are up her butt all day long -why not just take care of the kid yourself? And regarding that comment of why don't you have your own child -that is very rude and irrelevant to the posting. How do you know if the OP doesn't already HAVE her own child? Also what if the OP can't have children of her own? So rude and inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

working for SAHM or Dad can be very difficult!

I always tell everyone that I am traditional nanny looking for a traditional nanny job..I am not a mothers helper.

No one can care for your children as well as you can and some moms & dads have a hard time letting go allowing you to do your job..

You need to look for a new job. be honest with your employer. Explain that you know your limits and being a good nanny is knowing your limits, knowing when and how you are able to provide your best care . Tell her that you have learned over the past few months that you are not able to work with a SAHM or dad.

shel said...

i feel the same as mpp. my first thought was post partum. then i thought that maybe she has esteem issues and being around you doing a great job with the baby is making her feel inadequate.

if it's post partum, it will pass (hopefully). if you feel that good about your position, you may be able to ride it out. however, if this is an esteem issue, it may only get worse. she is going to resent you and possibly put the baby in the middle of it all.

i worked for a family where the mom appeared to have it all together. but she was very insecure. i would get comments thrown at me about how i could "never do anything as good as she could" and such. it got to the point where i felt that any move i made would set her off.

if you talk to her, be very gentle in how you handle the discussion. if it's post partum she's dealing with, you have to tread carefully. since it's been almost a year, maybe ask for a sit down with her at the "one year" point or right before so that you all can discuss how things are going, etc....like a review.

good luck!

kathleencares said...

It sounds like the mom has some issues, especially if she doesn't want the baby to be attached to even the father. You could try talking to her, but my guess is that conversation won't go over very well. I took care of a two year with a WAHM and it was a nightmare. I only lasted one month - it's too hard for the kid and the parent. You might want to consider another position.

Yaya said...

Oh Man, get out now! Or just mention that she might want to seek therapy...

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what my job title was, or where I was working, I would not stay in a job where I was not trusted to DO my job, and carry out the tasks required of me successfully.

Now Op, you need to ask yourself, are you willing to stay in a job where you are not trusted? Can you successfully carry out what's required of you, or is your job performance (and happiness) being hindered by an overbearing controlling boss?

If you're anything like me, you'd rather move on to a job where you get the trust and respect you deserve...there are many actions that a boss can do that are hurtful, but not very many are quite as painful as being wrongfully mistrusted, regardless of the reasoning.

Anonymous said...

8 months and no naps?!?!?! that is crazy!

cali mom said...

The mother is a complete psycho, and you shouldn't work for someone like that. From all you've said, she is irrational and crazy, so talking to her will do no good. As much as you love the baby, you need to find a new employer. Anyone who thinks an 8 month old baby should not be alloweed to nap, and does not want the baby to bond with his father, should not be running around loose in society. Or be allowed to reproduce in the first place, but too late, in this case.

Katya, you're a scary nutbag and a witch for making that comment to someone about having her own baby. Has it ever occurred to you that not everyone is able to hook up with a suitable sperm donor and successfully produce offspring, no matter how much they may want to? What if OP is recently widowed or has had multiple miscarriages?

Anonymous said...

10:36
Wrong. Some mothers with PPD actually become obsessive about their child - they are NOT always withdrawn.

sprak said...

It's up to you whether you speak to the mother about what you are feeling. It may help and it may not help, so if you think you cannot continue with your job under the present circumstances, maybe you should start looking for another position. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

As a mother, we are faced with so many negative things about Bad Nannies. I say to try and understand where she is coming from to some extent but definately speak to her.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound like this mother is a good fit for having a nanny, and it doesn't sound like the family is a good fit for you any longer.

You have to weigh the pros with the cons, and only you know what they are. I personally could never work under those conditions. However, I may be willing to put up with other things that would be a deal-breaker for you.

The tough part is that I don't think there is any nice or comfortable way to actually sit down and talk to the mom about this. It's not like asking for a raise. It's that she has issues and there's no nice way to tell her.

Personally, I would find something else and then give your notice. The good thing is, you won't have to worry about leaving her hanging for childcare because it seems like she would be happy to do it all anyway.

Anonymous said...

You should leave. This mother is sick. Do not waste you time. Move on

chick said...

You were hired to do a job that doesn't actually exist. I hope you have a contract, and if you do, you can simply give notice according to the contract terms and thank them for the chance to work for them.

You DO NOT need to discuss the mother's issues with her, confront the mother, or any of that sort of thing. For one thing, if mom is experiencing PPD, she will likely fire you off the bat for being pushy. For another thing, you are not the family psychiatrist. You are the nanny, and you don't even like your job.

If you feel you do need to speak up, talk to the father, talk to mom's mother if you know her, talk to mom's BFF if you know her. Choose your words very very carefully, and express nothing but concern for mom and baby. Don't be critical, don't coment on how the issue makes YOU feel.

Good luck.