Nanny is Eating Employer Out of House and Home

Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I would like to update the readers on what has happened in my home. First, thank you for allowing me to post my question. The responses I received were overwhelmingly voicing concern that the nanny was take advantage. Many great suggestions were offered. The number of responses received helped me to decide to take action. On Friday, before the nanny went home, we had some time to talk. I thanked her for being so reliable and let her know how comfortable I felt with her taking care of the babies. I was very complimentary. I then said something to the effect of, "I know the winter has been particularly brutal this year and going out to pick up meals is a great diversion and gets you all out of the house for a bit of time and I understand that, I just think the cost has begun to add up." At that point her eyes changed and I could tell she immediately went on the defensive. She said, "I didn't realize it was causing a problem" and I said, "not a problem, not at all. I would like X and Y to try new foods everyday and I just think if you sat down and ate with them". She sort of cut me off and said something to the effect of "yes, I know, they are getting older. I always share things with them. That's why I get the pastas. They like the pastas and the vegetables that come with it are always tender". I said, "great, that's great and I'm not saying not to do that every now and then.." I think she cut me off again. She said something about trying some homemade dishes and wanting to do that but X and Y don't give her much time to spend at the stove". It ended somewhat awkwardly, but I felt I had said what I needed to say, honestly and was satisfied. Monday morning came and the nanny arrived per her usual. I got the same greeting as always. Monday went well. I had left a grocery list I had started and told her to add what she wanted to the list. I left it with the credit card. I noticed Monday night she had not gone to the store. I didn't grow concerned. Yesterday, I came home and the grocery list was still there, as was the dry cleaning receipt. In addition, there was a $1.00 bill and a note saying, "I used a tomato to add to my sandwich. Please replace it with this money when you get to the store". I didn't see her this morning because I had a 7:30 meeting. I am at work dealing with a chaotic and costly mishap, but I am completely distracted by the nanny's behavior. Did I deserve this? And how do I fix this?

Received Monday, February 2, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I have a nanny who is wonderful with my babies. I have twins who are nine months old. This is not an easy job and the nanny does it with ease and a smile on her face. I have no complaints about the way she does her job, minus a few picking up after herself issues. One other issue has come about though and I was hoping for some insight. The nanny said during her interview that her main concern was being stuck inside with the babies and that she felt that it would be good to take them out most days, even if it were for a walk, even if it were to run a personal errand in the neighborhood or (she volunteered-to pick up groceries, go to the drugstore, drycleaning, etc.).

I can tell the nanny enjoys having things to do. Again, this is something I am grateful for. When she began these outings, I would say to her, such as "there's a great little deli one block down, why don't you pick up something for yourself for lunch". I have also told her if she wants to keep some things on hand for her lunch, she should just use the credit card and buy them. This all started out reasonably. When the nanny started using the card on a regular basis at the deli, I was not concerned, as stated, I am grateful for the care she provides my child.

Since that time, she has escalated her spending to include picking up lunches, full fledge lunches at Italian restaurants. A lunch bill alone can be 2--25 for just herself. At the same time, she continues to keep the house stocked with her favorites. I realize that with the two babies, she does not have a lot of time for prep and her day is from 7-6, but she is currently eating all three meals at our house. Her breakfasts and dinners are often premade or frozen entrees from wholefoods. And lunch is always out. In addition, she drinks Fiji water, to the tune of about a case per week.

I wasn't previously looking at the receipt until I got my last bill. When she goes to Whole Foods, she does get things for the entire house (which she also noshes on). But for example, last week, on Monday, she bought three egg and cheddar bagels on croissants, a chorizo burrito, a $25 platter of drummettes (I doubt that it was meant for one person), a three layer enchilada pie, 2 pizzas, a sandwich, two types of cheese, three types of crackers. When I was looking over the receipt on Sunday, what struck me is that none of the food is here. Meaning, from Monday-Friday, she ate all of the food. This is in addition to looking at my online banking statement and seeing that on Tues, Weds and Friday, she ordered meals to pick up or be delivered from delis or pizza places.

My husband uses the word hoggish. I don't think she is taking the food home because she is a large woman and because my mother in law had been recuperating here following a hip surgery. She left about two weeks before the nanny started. My mother in law called and asked if she could send her health care aid over to pick up a case of butter pecan ensure she had left here. I said, sure of course, and told my nanny that someone might be dropping by. The nanny told me, "I'm sorry, I drank it. I didn't know it was needed". I said to her, "of course not, how could you? I didn't even realize it was here". I mention this only as it goes to the whole hoggish thing. My trouble is she is really loving and tender with the babies. Is there a way to address this without coming off as petty and unappreciative? Is it too late to set a $ amount on the food allowance per week? I appreciate all of your advice. Thank you, UES.


TC said...

I wouldn't think setting a limit would be a problem. Just explain that with the economy and such you and your husband are trying to save money each way you can and that unfortunately that means you will have to put a set limit per week or month for food.

Another idea would be to buy gift cards, which is what my boss does. Visa and mastercard both make them with denominations of 25 50 and 100. She buys me a 100 dollar gift card to use for whatever I need. (I usually get between 2 and 3 a month but that's because I use it to pay for field trips and such)

Julie said...

I think it would be fair for you to talk to her, let her know how much you appreciate the care she gives your children but that the ammount of charges is more than you expected and you are willing to let her charge $xxx per week on food for herself

honest nanny said...

YIKES!!! haha. it has always been one of my insecurities that my employer would feel this way about me so i always tend to not eat or use any money!

i think it is completely reasonable to set a certain food allowance for a week. one thing with nannying is that when you are alone all day with kids it is easy to start eating too much ... but for her health and your finances i think its time. I liked TC's suggestion of gift cards, tell her how many she'll get per month so she knows how to allocate appropriately.

no doubt it will be an uncomfortable conversation for you, but it must be done.

millows said...

And I feel guilty if I eat an apple or some pretzels at work when I forget my lunch! I think that you can kindly explain that you guys need to "cut back" financialy and that you have to set a limit. I cant believe she eats that much.....

helaine said...

Unfortunately for OP, she could be one of a small minority of we nanny employers who because we are blessed financially are not hurting during this current recession. Time and again, I have had nannies, service persons, housekeepers and friends even attempt to pull such nonsense on me simply because I could conceivably afford such and such.

Just because I could afford to lend your Uncle Vito $5,000 to start his painting business does not mean you should have the audacity to ask. Just because you show up to give an estimate on a plumbing repair in my home and assess that we may have been financially blessed does not mean you should feel free to adjust your rate and bill me twice as much as you charged your last two clients. Just because I hired you at a rate you agreed too and you have since come to realize that we do well financially does not mean you are entitled to a raise!

I am so sick of being encroached on this way by the riff raff of society. I can't tell you how many nannies I had to discard by the wayside for their sense of entitlement!

u r a snob said...

"nannies I had to discard"

like garbage?

you are a bitch!

My2Cents said...

I agree with TC- blame it on the economy. Tell her you had to reassess the spending, and although you're glad she feels comfortable and want her to continue to be able to purchase meals, the food budget has to be decreased. You sound like a great mom to work for- she should understand, and if not, then there is a bigger problem!

mom said...

yes! Set an allowance...or give gift cards...nad take away that credit card.

In fact, here's a way that m,ight accomplish the whole thing gracefully. Tell her your husband lost his and you are closing the account and have to cut up all the cards. Take her card from her and, at that same time, hand her a prepaid $100.00 (or whatever amount seems $100.00 too much?...suggestions ladies?)and tell her that ought to do her for the week...or two weeks or whatever for her lunches out. Then, the next week, give her another gift card in the same amount and tell her that your husband and you have decided that this is going to be the best system from now on because, due to the economy, you are going to have to start keeping the entire family budget on a strict and completely predictable weekly you are no longer going to use credit cards for random purchases, like restaurants, etc.

Is your nanny a live in? Because it will probably be a determining factor in how much you need to give her. If she is live out, she really has no reason to eat breakfast at your house. I give my college age son approx $400-$500 per month for food...and at 6'4" the kid can eat! he just doesn't do it at the gourmet grocery or at costly restaurants...unless he plansd ahead and saves up a little extra somehow. It's not that I couldn't give him the moon if I wanted to, but I keep him on a budget just so that he will learn to live within one and not end up with the entitled attitude your nanny is displaying here. Somebody obviously forgot to teach your nanny manners.

nannypro said...

helaine dear, go back to your task of amassing wealth for your horde of 'better than thou' spawn. The employee OP talks about is merely an overeating pig, not someone who copies their employers' attitude of entitlement. Do everyone a favor and go lock your gilded gate up, I'd hate to be tempted to go into your pit of pretension. Dumb ass.

nannypro said...

Just tell her like it is, show her the bills and list of food she's bought, it sounds like a lot and therefore she cannot argue that it isn't. I had to put my assistant nanny on a budget when she kept bringing home toys and books for the children that weren't at all necessary or in line with what the parents and I wanted for them.

Or why don't you just fill the fridge with food, enough for the week or do it bi-weekly. You can also just put a limit on her card, tell her of course. But why are you even thinking of explaining it to her. Your family budget is none of her business, changes to the family budget are also none of her business.

You are the employer, she is behaving like this because the boundaries haven't been made clear to her.

honest nanny said...


seriously? you do sound like a bitch!

i mean, i agree with you that people shouldn't take advantage of your "so called wealth." but that doesn't entitle you to stereotype all of them into "encroaching" household servants!

maybe people are treating you this way because you treat them badly. i wouldn't overcharge a nice person, but i certainly would you!

food-a-holic said...

Eeks! I would definately put her on a "budget" of sorts.

That's crazy. I always feel awful eating my employer's food that sometimes I will go without breakfast and lunch if I forget to pack one because I don't feel comfortable taking from them.

I once ate a can of soup and felt so awful I had to fess up.

bitty bites said...

or perhaps the nanny is thinking....

when in Rome.

PinkNanny said...

Well, I think it shouldn't be the eating you're concerned with, it's the spending. I would tell her that you didn't realize how big the grocery and restaurant bills are and that you can't afford it. Just negotiate something more affordable for you.

If you want my opinion, if she is a live-out nanny you should be providing lunch and snacks. But also she should be providing some stuff somtimes. For example, I bring most of my lunches but I eat their snacks.

NL said...

May I inquire to the ethnicity of this nanny? I have heard of such situations before. It won't get better. It will only get worse.

Lalalalala said...

What in the world does ethnicity have to do with it?? Give me a break! Why even go there? So offensive!

OP, you sound very kind and it's wonderful that you are so generous with your nanny who is great with your twins. Just set some reasonable limits and leave it at that.

Helaine... riff raff?? Seriously? Discarded nannies? You've got to be kidding.

cali mom said...

Haven't read all the comments, so sorry if this was already suggested, but I'd get her a prepaid VISA or other credit card with whatever amount you feel is reasonable, one each month. Just explain to her that your finances are tightening, as are so many other peoples', and you need to manage your budget a bit, so this is the new plan. I understand wanting to take good care of a good nanny that you are very happy with, but if you and your husband are not ordering full lunches at restaurants 5 days a week, I don't see why your employee should be doing so. The family grocery shoppingmay be a bit more tricky, if she is including some things for herself along with all your stuff. You may have to address that directly if it keeps happening.

SA said...

"a $25 platter of drummettes (I doubt that it was meant for one person)"

You seem to be assuming based on her size that it was consumed only by her, but I wonder perhaps it wasn't?

Any chance she is seeing someone else while outside the home? Is she feeding someone else with your money?

Is this a concern for your babies' health? We've heard some pretty awful stories here on ISYN and I would caution you before jumping to any conclusions, but it's a thought to consider.

As for the financial aspect of the situation. I agree with the use of the blame the economy excuse, it may not be entirely truthful and I'm usually not an advocate of that sort of approach, but it is easily understood and relatively nice. You risk insulting her weight, etc. here and if she really is so good with you babies, you may not want to.

That said however, I don't know what your overall financial picture is like. One has to ask what would happen if she quit tomorrow? What is the disruption then? How much time would it take for you to find someone else? How much would be lost as a result? How much would it cost to find someone else? What is the likelihood in your area of finding someone with similar qualifications and temperament?

Ever thought of tracking your own eating? Or your husband's? Food can be expensive.

Big picture here.

All said however, you're incredibly generous. At the very least dump the water bottles, in most cities tap is actually better for you.

Of course I'm a nanny who doesn't expect more than a glass of water beyond my pay check and the usual benefits.

Nanny Taxi said...

Take away the credit cards. Give her a gift card. When doing the family shopping give her a list, and ask her not to stray from it. She drank and entire case of Ensure? Does she have an eating disorder? With all this food she's been eating, not to mention the nutritional supplements, she'd be as big as a house! Does her breathe always smell minty? Bulimics use gum, and candy to disguise the odor of vomit on their breath. Look at her knuckles. Bulimics have bruises or bite mark from sticking their fingers down their throat. She is munching on Tums or the like? Stomach acids from vomiting can cause "heartburn." I don't want to sound morbid, but this could be a possibility. Bulimics are usually a normal weight.

frugal nanny said...

I am a live-in nanny. the family I work for offered to buy anything I needed. Instead I asked for a meal budget of $3 a meal/$9 day.. Plus, I am always welcome to anything in the house ( but rarely choose too.) So, if I want to spend a little more... it comes out of my own pocket.

If the family orders in chinese etc.... sometimes get something.

I believe that bounderies are important...

Plus, if you buy the english muffins,eggs.... I end up taking money home. frugality goes a long way. I am sure that your nanny will think twice once it's here money she is spending.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Nanny Taxi
As morbid as it sounds, what you are suggesting makes perfect sense, and it would account for the serious amount of food this Nanny is eating. I had a very dear friend pass away a year ago in March from a heart attack at 38. Bulimics place a lot of stress on their heart from years of binging & purging.

chgonanny said...

MPP, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry.

I am an overweight nanny, and I admit to stealing a few pieces of the kids' Halloween candy (they literally had a BUCKET of the stuff). When I was hired I was given free reign in the kitchen, but I pretty much stick to what the kids eat, since I don't know what is being used for special dishes and such. I would NEVER feel comfortable to just eat whatever is in the house. Yes, this means I eat more PB & Js and Goldfish than the average adult, but then I don't worry about eating something the mom was planning for a special meal.

As an overeater (I know how I got this weight on, I'm now trying to lose it) I could never go through that much food. I'm sorry to say, I think she has a problem. If she's not bulimic, perhaps she's taking food home.

mom said...

Taking food home also also occurred to me. Maybe your nanny is the one who has people living in your house for sale? Do you have a house for sale?

Does your nanny have a family at home that she might be buying for? Maybe you never see any of this food because it goes directly there, or her husband comes by and picks it up.

People here seem to think she is a live out nanny, If so, you need not be giving her too much food allowance or paying for her breakfast and dinners. It's one thing for her to grab something from oyur fridge or pantry on a late work night, but quite another to order premade meals form the most expensive grocery in town. She's totally taking advantage of you!

And if she quit tomorrow because you suddenly expected her to show some shred of respect for you by not taking advantage of you like this (the gall, really)then you can be content that you have lost an employee of questionable judhment and moral caliber. That would be important to me if that person were essentially raising my kids all day.

Give her an average of somewhere between $5.00 and $10.00 a day for lunches out (if she feels she needs to eat out every lunch...a little presumptious on oyur dime, I'd say)...and let her fill in the blanks with what I am guessing is a nice salary since you sound so generous if she feels the need to go gourmet. Bring food into the house and let her eat from your pantry from what you have. bought...or, as somebody said, give her a strict grocery list and ask her not to deviate. I'd give her a $150.00 per month prepaid card, tell her it's hers to stock the fridge the way she wants or eat lunches out, period, and be done with it. This is just outrageous behavior for a live out nanny.

I really hope she doesn't have an eating disorder, but please do look for the signs. It's not an uncommon thing, unfortunately. You may just play a role in saving her life if that is the case.

imhungryto said...

I agree this is a little much for the nanny to be buying that much food. I am a nanny who has a credit card given to me by my employer and she always tells me to make sure i put gas in my car or buy lunch for myself but it is actually rare i do it. I mean if we are out and i have to buy the kids lunch then yes i buy myself some to but never do i put the kids in the car or go out for a walk just to go and buy myself lunch on my bosses dime. The amount of food she is consuming seems like quite a problem. You should also conisder the fact of her taking food home like others have suggested. I had a nanny friend who would take a lot of food from her employers home all the time and basically fed her and her roomate of of that lol. I don't think it is rude at all to ask your nanny to only spend a certain amount. I mean yes she is there all day with the babies and needs to eat but she doesn't need to eat outragous meals every day.

ATL Nanny said...

I second those who encourage you to look for signs of an eating disorder. Bulimics are usually of average weight or even a little overweight, so it's not as easy to spot as anorexia. I also think there is a distinct possibility she is taking the food home.

Assuming for the moment that she is not bulimic and is not taking food home, the real problem seems to be that she expects you to foot the bill for gourmet meals every day (often multiple times a day). This is, quite frankly, ridiculous. My personal policy is to eat with the children if they are older (If I pack them a lunch, I pack myself one as well. If I get them lunch out, I get myself something reasonable as well.) With infants/toddlers, I eat what is available at the house, pack a lunch from home or pay for my own lunches out.

I think it's very generous of you to pay for her lunches out when your children are not at an age to partake as well. And I think it's very clear that she is taking advantage of your generosity. The pre-paid gift cards sound like a perfect solution. If you are looking to avoid confrontation and you don't mind a white lie, I love mom's solution of telling her your husband lost his credit card and you have to cut up the other cards on the account.

You sound like an appreciative, generous employer. Good luck.

Marypoppin'pills said...

chgonanny -
Thank you so much, you're very sweet.

I agree with you and Mom here, if the Nanny isn't taking the food home, she absolutely has a problem. This is just way too much food for one person to normally consume.

jada said...

I've seen a few posters suggest that OP tell her nanny that they are having financial difficulty and to use that as a reason for cutting off her food supply bonanza. Here's the problem with that: OP will have to watch what she spends/brings into the house because then nanny will know she is lying to her. We don't want that. Secondly, it's kind of embarrassing to tell someone your broke. So, I also have to agree with Mom's solution that simply: your husband lost his credit card.

gimmeabreak said...

I am sorry, but drinking the Ensure is just weird! it's a nutritional supplement, not a regular drink! Why would anyone drink that? Wouldn't it have been obvious that it was there for a reason, shouldn't the nanny have asked first? It sounds to me as if nanny has a serious problem.

Lurker said...

"Taking food home also also occurred to me. Maybe your nanny is the one who has people living in your house for sale? Do you have a house for sale?"

That was pretty funny, Mom! Good thing I didn't have a mouthfull of coffee!

Beezle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beezle said...

Unless she's a bodybuilder on the side, I'm going to assume that there's some sort of eating disorder taking place here. Ensure? Really? Why would anyone WANT to drink that stuff unless they needed it? Blech.

I'm surprised at her audacity though, spending your money like that. The family I work for just gives me cash for certain days/dining out with the kids and that way, it remains very easy to keep within a reasonable budget.

NJ NANNY said...

Is there a possibility that she may have a binge and purge issue? Or just perhaps a food addiction issue? Something? Anything medical? Like the above commenter said..some sort of eating disorder. Also OP, you were very generous in the first place for allowing a LIVE OUT nanny to use your credit card to make her own food purchases for the time she is at your house. I'm a live out nanny with hours from 7-5:30 and if I want something special, I buy it myself other wise I eat what's here. But, I don't do breakfast here, or dinner - only lunch. So your situation is very different if she is eating 3 meals at your house and eating everything. I keep it narrowed down to maybe a sandwhich and graze through the day picking on snacks here and there. Because of your generosity with purchasing her food items and giving her free range to get what she wants, I don't think it would be a major issue to set a spending limit on the credit card. Or you could just leave her a certain amount of petty cash for just HER meals and when its gone, its gone. I think you can approach this gently by just saying " Hey there Nanny, you do a wonderful job with my babies and you make our life so much easier-we really appreciate everything that you do and I just wanted you to know that. Due to the way things are recently with the economy, for now I don't want you to concern yourself with doing my grocery shopping. I am going to do the grocery shopping by myself and for now on just leave you some petty cash to get what you want to eat. My husband and I just want to watch our spending a little bit." i think that should do just fine OP.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Boost (which I drink everyday) and Ensure (your right Beezle, blech!) can be consumed for many different reasons. Personally, I use it as a meal replacement. I buy the High-Protein Boost and I drink one for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a salad or whatever for dinner to maintain/lose weight. My son uses it as a snack in between meals to help maintain/gain weight because he is on the thin side and on occasion when he gets sick, it has been a lifesaver because he won't eat at all (his Pediatrician recommended them). Just recently, he recovered from Strep that kept him very ill for a few weeks and the last thing that baby wanted to do was eat.... but he did drink his Boost. :)

However, if nanny is eating regular meals AND drinking those supplemental drinks, it is a very fast way to gain weight! I have a feeling nanny drank them because she must have just liked the way they tasted.

Ha! said...

Gee Op this is a tough one. It sounds like the nanny has a food addiction, I mean, why would she drink an Ensure when she has plenty of food on hand already?

This will be difficult, but you do need to speak with her...for her sake as well as your wallet. Set a budget you are comfortable with then si ther down. Praise her to the sky for the wonderful care she gives your kids and then gently address the matter of needing to budget the household spending.

Good luck!

P.S. Helaine, you may be rich in wallet but your morally and spiritually bankrupt.

NJ NANNY said...

There is a possibilty that we are in over our heads and that this nanny is fine and has no eating disorders at all. Eating disorders come in all forms and all shapes and sizes. OP, depending on how long she has been with your family you can ask her if she is okay and if there is anything she wants to talk about. But, don't push it, just ask her very generally just so she knows your lending an ear to listen and she can trust you if there is some issue. I am sorry I am stuck on the eating disorder thing, but its just a little too close to comfort as I had one, although recovered now for a year. It never goes away, but once you are recovered you learn how to harness it. And my family I am a nanny for does know about mine, and they are very supportive. In fact, they are probably the ones who helped me save myself from it.

jada said...

Ha! said...

"Helaine, you may be rich in wallet but your morally and spiritually bankrupt."

Heeheehee! LMAO!
I heard that smack all the way over here from a different state!!! LOL

been there said...

Good for you in your recovery NJ Nanny, however, eating disorders are a very dirty secret for most. If this nanny has one, she may not open up to OP about it.

gimmeabreak said...

NJNanny, there is no way that this nanny is fine! Not with the huge amounts of food she is eating. It's not healthy, not for anyone, to be eating that much.

NJ NANNY said...

Thanks been there.... and also, you are probably very right. Mine was a dirty secret for a long time, but I gave in and couldn't deal anymore and wanted to do something about it. I wrote my last comment very much in doubt that if there is a problem that this nanny would come forward to the OP, but also was just suggesting that OP leave herself open for any discussion should the nanny decide to talk if there is some sort of issue.

I of course hope she doesn't have an eating disorder and nanny just needs some guidence and limits on spending OP's money on food for herself.

If my family I am with were in this position with me, "mom" would just be like..Yo..we want you to eat, but just chill a little. HAHAHAHAHA and I would be got it..hahahah.

But, I just have that kind of relationship with them. Not everyone is the same. lol

NJ NANNY said...

Gimmeabreak..your probably right as well..we may never know..

gimmeabreak (the original) said...

Can we somehow make it so that two people can't use the same moniker? I see 'gimmeabreak' posting, but it is NOT me posting.

I have mentioned before that I use that moniker and the person said they would use something else-yet, there it is again. it gets very confusing and I don't want people to think I am writing something when i am not!

NOT gimmeabreak said...

sorry, I didn't know.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Gimmeabreak -
There is no way to prevent the same moniker from being used. All that you can do is what you just did. It's bound to happen from time to time when new posters come on board, especially if it's a common name or expression. Just kindly mention that it's "your" moniker, and hopefully the person using it will pick something else.

NannyIncharge said...

All those drummettes and stuff that she bought last week, sounds like she threw a superbowl party at her house on your dime!

sara said...

"he doesn't need to eat outragous meals every day."

Maybe it makes the job more interesting. Who knows.

I just wanted to make the point that the nannies who read ISYN are not the normal nannies. The comments from the nannies thus far have illustrated nannies who are guarded when conuming other people's foods and act as professionals by taking care of their own food needs.

However, these are not most of the nannies I know IRL. You offer a nanny a coat you are through with one winter and next fall, she is picking through your hall closet for coats for her entire family.

Been there, done that. Couldn't live with nannies, decided I could live without them.

OP said...

Hello, I am the OP of this thread.
I appreciate all of your suggestions. I don't think the nanny is binging or purging, she is a large woman. I think the idea thus far that might help resolve the issue is the lost credit card. I don't think I can say anything about finances, because we are not impacted and our lives won't change and yes, she sees things coming and going in the house. She knows that we are comfortable.

I have another thought. The nanny does want to get out during the day. It's too cold to go sit in a park or pretty much anywhere else. These short trips with the children bundled up help everyone. And she uses the credit card to pay for the errands she does too. So if I take away the credit card, I take away her ability to get out (through winter) and all the help she has been providing with errands, a Godsend.

A part of me says I should just suck it up for now, but I realize this is just laying the foundation for the future.

Ha! said...

Gimme A break..I was the other one posting as Gimme a break and I changed to Ha! when you brought it up, so this is yet another person using the moniker now.

Also sorry for the typos, I meant to type "You're" but had a brain fart.

Jada :D

millows said...

You really shouldnt have to "suck it up" ... you could just set up a checking account and give her the debit for it. That way you can transfer money in so that she has cash for outings but also a limit on her food spending.

alex said...

Gosh! I definitely do not see a problem with you talking to her. What about writing out a grocery list for things you want her to buy for you so she isn't buying too many random things. I don't know if setting a limit is the best idea instead of just letting her know to stop buying so much, haha. I mean, if she is a large lady that may be what she would be eating anyway so it is a tough one. But she doesn't need to eat lunch out every single day. I think maybe a talk with her should help. I just cannot believe spending that much of my employers money on food for myself and eating it all. I guess I don't eat that much but by seeing the bills I would start to feel bad and cut back.

Alexandra said...

does she need to be drinking a case of water a week? It wouldn't save a ton of money but a nice sigg bottle and a water filter could do the trick on that, haha. Also, it would be healthier and better for the environment. :)

ericsmom said...

Really its just plain rude the way your nanny is acting. I know nannies eat on the job with the kids. But that doesn't mean getting take out at restaurants, or going to Wholefoods and having their buffet over there. Just for one pound of food its usually around $7.00.

I can't believe she doesn't feel embarrassed. And why does she have to drink Fiji water? Save the environment and drink tap water, there's nothing wrong with that especially if you have a filter on it. All these wasted bottles.

You mentioned she buys frozen meals, do you think she bags some of it up and takes it home for dinner or for her family to enjoy?

No other job will allow someone to do this. She shouldn't be entitled to take advantage of your kindess.

p.s. when I babysat the family left me money for things needed. Like going out with the kids, etc. But I had to bring back the receipts to show what I bought. I don't blame them, it's the right thing to do.

ericsmom said...

Opps! Alexandria I just saw your comment now on the water filter. We had the same thoughts!

honest nanny said...

OP, I don't think you should have to suck it up and let her keep spending uncontrollably. But you do have to suck it up and be upfront with her. Either claim you have a lost credit card and start providing her with cash for those errands, or tell her she's spending too much on food and you are putting her on an allowance. She might be hurt over it for a while, but I always think honesty is the best policy and I would want my employer to be upfront with me instead of harboring frustrations.

chick said...

To address the financial issue first, I would suggest asking her to save ALL her reciepts this month and next, so that you can go over them together and set up a budget and a seperate household account for her to access. That way, she will have access to $X each month to use for errands and such.

That will allow you to see what she is spending on food, and it will give you a chance to figure out what to say to her about her food spending.

Once you have set a satisfactory budget, set up a checking account with a check card for her to use for ALL expenses, have her save her reciepts, and if she keeps "running out" of money, you can discuss how to better manage her food budget money.

Of course, it does sound as if you are reluctant to discuss the issue. But I think open and honest communication is the essential piece of a nanny employer relationship. If you don't discuss it, you (or DH) may become angry or resentful to the point you wind up firing her for some other issue.

As far as the amount of food consumed and the fact that she is not apparently "hiding" her consumption, both of those things point AWAY from an eating disorder IMO. People with food issues are more likely to go to great lengths to hide their problem.

Again, just IMO, but if nanny had an eating disorder, she might have drunk the ensure, but then snuck a new case into the house to make sure no one knew she'd drunk the original.

worlds best nanny said...

I will be honest when I am working I will eat a lot of the Land O Lakes American Cheese Slices from the deli. They are soooo good. But I have picked up a pound here and there with my own do re mi.

Mich said...

I think this nanny is really taking advantage of you here OP. I mean who needs to eat out for lunch everyday or even weekly? Why should you,her boss have to pay for it each time?

If she needs to get out of the house with 2 babies in order to not go crazy with boredom then she needs to find another way. Is there a library with story time or play area, a play group or anything FREE or cheap in the area? Hey some play groups even have snacks for the grown ups ;) She may like that.

If and when I go out for coffee or lunch while on the job as a nanny I pay for myself. The time that I was expected to go to a cafe with one job the mom gave me $5 each time. That got me a coffee and sometimes a bagel if I chipped in a little. That worked for us both.(Mom wanted her baby to people watch at the cafe)

I honestly wouldn't want this nanny to have access to my money or to do my grocery shopping at all. I'd actually ask her to make a list and meal plan each week and to buy her food for the week/month and keep it in a cupboard for herself. If she needs more then you provide she can bring it herself.

May sound harsh,but seriously she has taken all that generosity for granted by getting all the frozen or pre made meals at whole foods and the drummet thing and all those expensive lunches a little to often.

The water thing is crazy! If your tap water is safe to drink then she should either drink that or bring her own Fiji. If your family drinks Fiji then she should as well though I guess. Does she drink that home if she has to buy it herself? I doubt it.

The family I'm with now (2 days a week) have always told me to help myself and they normally point out what leftovers they have for my lunch. I'm lucky,super lucky b/c they often make great vegetarian food with me in mind. One time I arrived just before lunch time and the mom had left me a bowl of soup,a sandwich and a 1/2 a pastry on the counter for me. It was so sweet. Today when I arrived she offered me homemade pancakes and fresh coffee. She brought it me while I chatted to her and made goo goo faces at the baby!

I try not to overeat while at work or eat the last "whatever".

Just be honest with this nanny and put your foot down OP.

mom said...

" NannyIncharge said...
All those drummettes and stuff that she bought last week, sounds like she threw a superbowl party at her house on your dime!

Feb 3, 2009 1:14:00 PM"

OMG! I'll bet you're exactly right!!!
I was wondering this morning if OP saw all the wrappers and containers for all of this stuff in her trash...which I assume she did not or she would not have been surprised to see these things on her grocery receipt.
OP, you will probably have to start doing your wn grocery shopping (especially if you take her card away)unless you give her cash and ask for a receipt and change...which I would find awkward since you don't want her to feel that you don't trust her with your money (even though she has thrown away any and all reasonable expectation of trust IMO...and with both fists at that!)

This makes me question her overall character.

mom said...

OK, I hadn't read pst the post I just commented on when I commented.

OP I think there is a likely enough possibility that oyur nanny is taking food home for her family (which is stealing from you) that I got a reall yicky feeling when you mentioned letting her keep oyur credit card for errands. I owuld not want her tied to my finances in any way ever.
I might leave her about the amount of money what you need that specific day will cost, in cash, in a little box you will set aside for that purpose...and she can conveniently deposit the receipts and the change in the box when she gets home. (You can tell her its because your husband is now keeping detailed budget records.)

And I would still give her a modest card for lunches and her own food that is completely separate. (Although, how much do you want to bet that when you give her the option of eating that money away or pocketing it for herself at the end of the month that she suddenly loses her need for fancy gourmet food and starts eating from your pantry and drinking form the tap instead?)In fact, I amend my previous recommendation...I would provide her maybe AT MOST $100.00 per month on a card for her lunches. She doesn't have to eat at a restaurant every day.
And why, if she is a nanny, must she busy herself with errands to "fulfill herself" during her workdays? Kids don't generally like being strapped in a stroller for errands on a regular basis...unless they are so accustomed to being trapped that way on a regular basis that they don't know the difference anymore. personally, I would want a nanny who was less concerned with her own personal enjoyment during the day and more interested in taking my kids to a park or library or baby gym, or swimming class...or reading to them or playing with them, etc. Her job is to focus on them and their development and enjoyment...not think of ways to amuse herself while dragging them along. Can she simply manage to go for a walk with them WITHOUT having to stop and buy something? She sounds like a bored housewife, saddled with a couple of kids she didn't really want and just trying to plod through the days. And she sounds like she has a problem with honesty and integrity.

People who lie about little things might just as well be lying about the big ones. How do you know your children don't spend all day shopping and then nanny is oh so wonderfully playing with them just as you arrive home each day? How does she manage ot shop for all of this food and stuff, find time to eat it all (although I do now think at least some of it is being stolen and taken to her home)and then still have time to give your kids all the time they need? Heck, there were days when I barely managed to get one meal...cold...and probably not while sitting down...and I didn't have twin babies!

Really OP, I would start to rethink how much of a "gem" she really is.

One thing...the obnoxious tasting health drinks she consumed a whole case of...that doesn't sound so much like an eating disorder to me. They don't taste very good. Why would somebody force that down only to have to throw it up later? One of my best friends in high school had bulimia (only I didn't know what it was at the time...had never heard of it) and she would eat things she really a whole pizza or a whole box of Oreos and then toss them. Sher always ate two giant cinnamon rolls at our school break time...and then threw them up. She tried not to eat at all, but when she did, it was something like that. I didn't get that it was an eating disorder...mostly the rest of us thought she was nuts for spending her money on food and then not even digesting it for ten minutes. I just didn't understand why she didn't save the money up for a cool dress or something. We had no education about that stuff then.

jan said...

TAKE THE CARD BACK!!!!!! I'm a nanny and I hate Nannies who do that.

Nanny Taxi said...

You know I've been thinking about that myself. Are these kids strapped into shopping carts all day? I know they are only 9 months old and can't run around at a playground but they do deserve to look at something other than overhead lights in a grocery store!
Where are the babies when she is eating? If they are napping you need to give her something to do! Laundry or whatever. I used to be a large nanny myself, but when my younguns were sleeping I did aerobics on FitTv.
Please tell me she doesn't sticking them in front of Baby Einstein and runs off to pig out! Consuming an entire case of Ensure is not normal! They taste nasty, and you say she's a large woman so these drinks are not healthy for her! I still suspect an eating disorder, but I'd be happier to find out she was taking the stuff home. Leave enough cash for the week, once it's gone it's gone! It's not like your babies are asking foe ice cream cones or wanting to be taken to the movies.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I've worked for the same family for 7 years and still keep every receipt so my employer can see exactly where her money went...and it's never on anything for me, as a live-out nanny I take care of my own food requirements during the day. It's a shame OP that your nanny is really taking advantage of you, hopefully you will be able to take some of the advice given to you by everyone here and stop this unbelievable behavior from your nanny before it gets even more out of hand.

Original Manhattan Nanny said...

Hey, another moniker thief! I have been using Manhattan Nanny for a long time, and that isn't me!
(There is also a Nannyinmanhattan, who has a blog.)
Please choose another moniker, Manhattan Nanny at 9:23.

WTF? said...

I vote for the Nanny-Stealing-Food theory. OP, you're being taken.

mom said...

WTF, OK, make that three! (Now I'm beginning to believe the Russians must be involved...hehehehe!)

ericsmom said...

I can't believe someone would think its okay to spend $20-25 dollars are lunch. What happened to making yourself a sandwich from the coldcuts in the house. Or making a salad for yourself? Or a bagel with cream cheese.

Wow, in the real working world we never would expect the company to pay for our lunch.

And on the occasion when the boss did treat us out. I always made sure it was a lunch special. I can't imagine ordering seafood or steak.

One time one of our co-workers which was our supervisors wanted to treat us out to lunch. I think it was TGIF or Chilis. It was a long time ago. And I made sure to get something under $10.00. Most of us did. Two of the other workers ordered entrees that at that time were like $18-20 a piece. Then had the nerve to get dessert.

I thought that was really rude to do.

justsaying said...

I would NEVER EVER spend my bosses money like your nanny does. I bring my own lunch everyday and snacks too. When we're out running errands and I want something I always make sure I separate it and pay for it separately. NO WAY would I be buying anything with my bosses cash even if they told me. It's called respect. Sounds like your nanny needs a little bit of it. The economy is crap right now and I'm sure you could find an amazing person who respects you and your finances way more than your current nanny. She should be ashamed of herself.

hmmmm. . . said...

ericsmom - didn't you post on a recent thread saying it would be hard to eat lunch out for nanny and 2 young dc in nyc for $20? If it wasn't you, sorry, but this sounds so familiar and your last post seems to say something radically different.

overeatersanonymous said...

For those that are saying that they don't think OP's nanny has an eating disorder, she does. Just because she chooses not to throw it up after wards doesn't mean there isn't a problem. OP states she eats a lot of food and is overweight, well, she's an over eater, and that's a disorder.. at least the last time I checked.

nanny prints said...

I'm a live out nanny (8:30-5:00) M-F and I too take care of my own lunch if I go out, and if I stay in, I will have leftovers (that they offer) or a ramen noodle lunch or a cold cut sandwhich. I often bring my own packed lunch as well because even still, I don't like to eat their food - it's shocking that a nanny would have the gall to spend so much of your money on multiple meals every day.

Nanny in Beautiful San Diego said...

Sure, set a food monetary limit from now on and I am sure she will comply.

giftcard said...

HOw about getting a prepaid grocery card that is for her to use just for her own food? You can just tell her you just did you taxes and realized you need to be more conscious of what you are spending money on... and that you want to try and get away from using credit cards with the interest rates going up. Then you can set what you think is a reasonable amount for her to spend. You shouldn't be feeding her entirely, I don't think... but maybe supplementing her food. Snacks, a few lunch things like sandwich stuff... and make her drink tap water (think of all those bottles you are throwing away!!) But she should be providing herself breakfast and probably dinner too.

I think you can reload the giftcard online, also.

Nanny Taxi said...

Guess what? I threw some leftover baked ziti with meatballs from last night into some Tupperware, and that'll be my lunch. Employers having nannies favorite soft drink or h20 on hand is one thing, asking them to pay $25 a day for lunch is something else.

Metronanny said...

I totally agree nanny likely has an eating disorder. Many people lack willpower when it comes to food, but some are true food addicts and she likely isn't purging afterwards. If this is the case, and I suspect it is, she simply can't pass up most foods. She likely eats out of boredom, stress, loneliness, depression, happiness. Food addicts will use any excuse to eat. I had a hard day-let me eat this box of Devil Dogs, I cleaned the basement let me have this pint of Chunky Monkey as a reward, I didn't get that raise, time for oreos and milk, oh it's the holiday party, onto that chocolate fountain! The list goes on.

OP, you need make no long, drawn out excuses, explanations, etc. You can simply say something tot he effect of, "Nanny X, we have been reviewing our statements and we decided to put a limit on your expenses by doing (insert method here be it giving her a set figure, a prepaid or limited card or what have you) Of course, end the discussion on a positive note by saying what a great job she is doing and how much you appreciate her. If she is any sort of professional, she will appreciate your candor and direct approach.

I just have to say, as I have a few times in the past, I will never understand why nannies feel this sense of entitlement to be reimbursed for their meals, travel expenses and the like. I commuted to my office job for 20 years and never was given bus fare or mileage compensation. I also had to brown bag or buy my own lunch, except on the occasions our bosses treated us. I understand meals are often a perk in the nanny profession, but I never expect mine to be provided, and I rarely take advantage of the generous hospitality of the families I work for. I like to keep things as professional as possible. Perhaps that's why I don't run into so many problems like my employers being late without calling or taking advantage in other ways.

i miss austin said...

I agree with all who have said nanny is taking advantage. I understand feeling the need to provide all those meals since she works such long hours, but it seems a bit much. The first thing she should do when arriving at work is NOT to sit down and eat breakfast. I have worked early jobs (nannying, opening shift at the grocery store, etc.) and always either took toast and water to go in the car or just forgot to eat... As for dinner, when I was an after school nanny and had to make dinner for the kids/family and then bath them afterwards and put them to bed, I would often eat a plate myself or eat a few of the carrots as I was setting up their plates because I wasn't going home for another few hours but... if she gets off at 6, it is plenty early to go home and eat dinner there.

The fact is, most families I have personally encountered are more than happy to provide food, asking what you like best so they can stock the house with it (which I always declined and said whatever they had was fine), some even encouraging me to consume their "special" foods and drinks. Usually I would just have whatever the kid was having, or if the kid was a baby I would eat as little of their stuff as possible. However, since most families are like this it does come across as stingy when a family doesn't offer for you to "help yourself". It is a bad feeling working for someone who trusts you with their kids, but if you forget to bring your own food one day, you feel like a criminal making a turkey sandwich and eating a few pretzel sticks. (The parents actually moved the barrel of pretzel sticks into their bedroom!) Anyway, the point is OP- you are being incredibly kind, definitely on the generous end of the spectrum of the whole nanny-employer food issue. It just stinks that she is taking advantage this way. Even if you can afford it, and she knows this, it still isn't right. I understand not wanting to take the card away because you value the fact that she can take care of some errands for you, and also get the kids out of the house to do fun things when weather permits so it's tricky... I guess the best way for me would be to say that yall are trying to track spending, just as a preventative measure, to be prepared and all that. Say you want her to put family related expenses (family groceries, errands, outings for the kids, etc.) on the credit card, and you will give her a gift card for her personal eating expenses. When I was in college (I graduated last year, so this isn't long ago) I used $300 a month from my stipend for food, and that was more than most people needed! Sometimes I would cut it down to $200-250 if I had unforseen expenses or was saving for something or whatever. Point is, that was for every meal, snack, baking ingredient, stocking of my freezer, every restaurant meal, etc. And I wasn't buying the cheapest stuff out there either, not that there is anything wrong with that- I am just pointing out that she should be able to buy food enough to consume during a work day for less than $200 a month. She doesn't need to eat out every single day. She can buy a box of cereal to keep at your house for breakfast. That's like $3 for 2 weeks of breakfast!

Now to go way OT-

Most jobs do not provide meals, nannying usually does- it is a perk of being in the home I guess. My husband works in the oil and gas business, however, and they do provide meals. To be more specific, they are reimbursed $12.50 for each day they work in lunch allowance at each paycheck. Some people get fast food and it's $5, some eat at a nice restaurant and spend upwards of $30 on food/drinks at lunch.

Also, ericsmom- your story about lunch with coworkers made me think of something. My husband's mom came up to visit recently. His sister lives nearby and the four of us were going to go out for a family dinner. The sister's roommate INVITED HERSELF ("Yall are going to meet your mom for dinner? I'll come with"). She is pretty awkward, didn't really talk the entire time. It comes time to order food, the mom orders a steak which she is obviously in the right to do, as she is paying. Everyeone else orders burgers or whatever that is under $10, expcept the roommate who orders a steak as well for like $22. My eyes nearly fell out of my head as I exchanged glances with hubby and sister in law... Didn't offer to pay for herself (which you should, even if you know you will be turned down) or say thank you. Didn't even finish more than half of the steak lol!

jada said...

A comment that 'Mom' made yesterday is really sticking in my craw. After reading your post OP and then the follow up comments, I think your nanny's taking advantage of your generous food allowance is only part of the problem. I fear that the bigger picture is the comments your nanny made about "being unhappy" unless she gets out of the house, etc. I can't help but feel that since she is making herself a priority over the kids (and you, for taking advantage) - I'll just bet you've got yourself a real live park bench nanny. You need to ask someone to follow your nanny around once or twice just to see what she's up to. Are the kids "stuck" in their strollers all day long while she's out?

You have an overweight nanny that seems to be noshing in large quantities all day long... please don't think for one minute she is getting any exercise by letting your babies out to run around.

Please check on her. She's already proven herself sneaky, manipulative, entitled and untrustworthy.

Ha! said...

Although most advice was sound, I like Metronanny's best. Be direct while being positive. As the employer, you won't come off as a hardcase if you are simply laying a ground rule down. It's your right as an employer.

Metronanny also makes a very good point about respect being a two way street. The more professional the relationship the better!

TC said...

I've been a nanny for this family for almost 3 years.

I get prepaid gift cards throughout the month. It's never a set amount or date, I think it's more like when the mom remembers to pick one or two up.

We eat out for lunch every day and the mom thinks it's wonderful because her son tries so many different foods he wouldn't normally eat. And she tells me this way she doesn't feel bad when her son asks for mac and cheese every night for dinner because she knows he eats nutritious foods with me

We go to places like Red Lobsters, Olive Garden, Chilis, and Mexican restaurants. We use the restaurants as a learning experience. As in you must sit here and color and talk quietly. You may not run around, jump up and down, scream....... We learn to order our food and use manners etc.

We always order fairly cheap, as in no more than 15 bucks a meal but since my charge is fairly young I hardly ever order him a meal. I share with him whatever I eat. That way we can afford to go out to eat everyday. It works great for us and even I'm amazed at all the things he eats now because of this. Broccoli, salad, okra, chicken, peas, carrots, pears, fish.......

So eating out every day is not that big of a deal IF you do not go out to the most expensive places each and every time.

BTW if I run out of money on the prepaid card, which happens often, then I use my money.

I do think OP's nanny is taking advantage of her and I think giving her gift cards is a better approach rather than giver her free reign over a credit card with no limit.

ericsmom said...

Yep that was me. This post talks about a nanny getting take-out just for herself at the cost of $20-25 dollars. Not including kids.

I still think its hard to go out for lunch in NYC with two kids for under $20.00. Example: today went to the mall in NNJ with my sister. Each of our items were about 7.00 each. My son's kid meal with an applejuice was almost 7.00.
In Manhattan the prices are a little higher for the same thing.
And no we didn't eat alot. Mexican pizza and drink and cinnamon twist.

NJ NANNY said...

OP, Let us know how your talk with your nanny goes. Given your generosity I really think it will be okay. If not, then you need a new nanny.

mom said...

But this nanny is watching babies, right? (9 months old, if I remember, right?) They're not eating from the restaurant, nor are they learning anything there except to sit quietly in their stroller while nanny gorges herself.
I like what TC does...but not for babies.

LarchMommy said...

I completely avoid the problem by having a lock on the refrigerator that is on a timer -- it unlocks from 9:15am - 9:25am, 12:15pm - 12:25pm, 3:15pm - 3:25pm, and 6:15pm - 6:25pm (and not again until the next day). My live-in nanny knows these times and she has worked well with this schedule. My family and I have a punch code to unlock the refrigerator whenever we like.

Also, I make sure the nanny carries a clear purse, so I never have to worry about "sticky fingers".

That is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous! said...

Seriously! You trust her with your children, but not with your food? And, if she's a live-in, it must be awful for her to spend every waking hour in such an untrusting, paranoid environment. You're a piece of work, lady.

honest nanny said...


WTF?! I'm glad I don't work for you! If you don't trust her with your food or your belongings, why do you trust her with your children?!

And ten minute intervals?! What if she's ... taking a shower and forgot and missed her fridge privilege opportunity?

You need to breathe. And let go. You can't micro manage every aspect of life.

Bytch! said...

You are one of two things:
a piece of shit OR full of shit.
Take your pick!

You forgot the third choice: said...

Larch is a troll.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I'm pretty sure LarchMommy is being satirical.

maggie said...

Manhattan Nanny
You don't know that for sure! Unfortunately, there ARE employers out there just like her, and I feel so sorry for the nannies that must be so desperate to stay on in a job like that.

KT said...

To the OP and everyone's who's talking about eating disorders:
As someone with an eating disorder, it sounds possible to me that this nanny also has an eating disorder. I am a nanny and while I am very careful to disguise all of my behaviors from charges, I have occasionally begun non-purging binges at work during nap time (binges for me wouldn't be considered binges for most other people, so the amount of missing food isn't unusual). My employers use the "make yourself at home and feel free to eat whatever you want" line but I am still extremely self-conscious about eating their food...some have even said that because I'm "tiny," they don't think I'll eat very much. I'm just mentioning this to let you know that it can be very hard to deal with this kind of thing and she probably already feels bad about it.

Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is this: Whether or not she has an eating disorder, PLEASE don't mention her body or health when you address this topic. Talking about finances should be sufficient. If she's overweight just because, then it's not your place to try to reign in her weight. If she's overweight because of an eating disorder, she's probably already extremely insecure about her eating and her weight/body.

I suggest being sensitive to your nanny and approaching this in the most diplomatic way possible: as an employer to an employee. Don't drag personal issues into it. If you are truly concerned that she has an eating disorder, do your research( is a great place to start) and take it from there, but not in the same conversation.

KT said...

Oh, and I just wanted to mention that even if she does have an ED, that doesn't make it okay to spend your money like that! The first time I read your post I didn't realize how much she was spending. Yikes!

mom said...

OK everyone, I feel quite confident in saying that larchmommy is not doing what she says. Don't worry, she's either trying to be funny, or trying to stir the pot.
I'm sure larchmont's opinion would change if her nanny was eating the equivalent of a high end Porsche payment off of her credit card every month too.

NannyJ said...

Okay so here is the thing.
The fact that you are worried about insulting her is very nice, but there is NO WAY that she doesn't know what she is doing! I am a slightly overweight nanny [and I bring my lunch from home], and the most I eat of my employees food is half of an apple that I'm splitting with the children, or a slice of turkey! I mean COME ON. She is being extremely rude, you never gave her permission to do this (and she knows it), and you do not have to cover up the truth when you confront her about it. She is lucky she has gotten away with it for so long! She is basically stealing from you.

How does she have time to care for the twins if she is eating soo much? You need to have an honest discussion about this with her.

fox in socks said...

I fear LarchMommy is real. I fear we live in the same village (but I don't know other Larchmommies like this LarchMommy with the timer lock on the fridge). I have a vague memory of LarchMommy making similarly strange comments on this site. Then I recall asking her if we might live in the same village outside NYC. I think we do. I recall LarchMommy saying I would know her nanny because she carries designer purses. LarchMommy, is this you?

elephant in china shop said...

What does LarchMommy refer to? Larchmont, NY?

mom said...

I don't think she could possibly be for real. First, I have never heard of such a locking system being available for home refrigertaor use. And if it exists I would guess that the cost of it would far exceed what nanny might consume in extra food in the times in between locking sessions. (Again, somebody doing an actual good job of childcare would probably not find the time to eat that constantly.)Also, if nanny were hungry, completely piggish (which she wwould need to be to make the price of the lock worth the investment), and not a dumbass, she could simply take a lot of food out when the lock was opened at various intervals.

Even aftre that, it would require not only that Larchmommy was an insane freak, but that her husband was also one...and that her nanny had zero self respect whatsoever. The whole thing makes zero sense. Think people.

The only thing real about this is that Larchmommy is somewhere laughing that anybody could believe her ridiculous story.

worlds best nanny said...

LarchMommy sounds like someone I'd come to blows with. Hitler lives within the body of LarchMommy.

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

I looked up refrigerator door locks with timers and there is no such thing, not with timers anyway. But, there is a patent available for one if Larchmommy is interested, lol.

(They do make tiny laboratory-type fridges that have timers on them, but nothing that would be appropriate for a consumer)

Anyway, I think what she's done is possibly taken a timer lock (which DO exist) and put that on the fridge, but one would have to assume it is the side-by-side model, otherwise this wouldn't work.

Sorry, just had to look it up!

honest nanny said...

Jada: hahahaha! I love that you looked it up!

After reading your comment I had to go back and re-read the post by LarchMommy just to see what she said that boiled our blood so much.

I'm now of the opinion that it must have just been satirical as Manhattan Nanny (original or new?) suggested.

But can you imagine? A 10 min. interval to get all the ingredients out to make something, use them, and replace them? If this happened to me the employer would find a lot of spoiled milk when she came home to unlock the fridge. Or I would be STARVING cause I was busy cleaning her kid's butt when I should have been ravaging the momentarily unlocked refrigerator.


jada said...

Spoiled milk, lol! I know, right? Yeah, I think Larchmommy was trying to get a rise out of some people. The main reason I looked it up is because Mom said she'd never heard of such a thing, and I just had to know for sure! lol

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

PS I second your compliment to Phoenix!

mom said...

oops. Jane and MPP, now that Jada's post has been moved to the other thread, go ahead and delete my response from here and I'll move mine too.

LarchMommy said...

Wow, I could not have imagined such a strong response to my posting, but I'm not surprised. Some of you seem to disagree with the way we run our household, but who here is the one with nanny problems? Never me.

The refrigerator lock is among many, MANY customized features in our home, and yes, it was extremely costly. And having it on the refrigerator has nothing to do with the cost of food. It's all about rules and boundaries.

Our nanny, like I said, is live-in, and she is officially "off the clock" at 8:00pm, after she puts the children to bed. She is then free to go and do whatever she pleases. Her curfew is 10:00pm on Sunday-Thursday, and 11:00pm Friday and Saturday, and we have the same system in place on al our doors. The doors lock automatically at curfew time, and if the nanny is late, she's out of luck, she is welcome to come back in at 7:00am the next morning when her code works again. It happened once... and never again!!

Our nanny appreciates the way we run our home the same way children thrive on being on schedules.

We are known in our community as no-nonsense employers and our home runs like a well-oiled machine. I understand that many of our friends and most of you here are envious of this fact. There is nothing I can do about that.

jada said...

Envious?! Of who? You?! You're a tyrant! I feel sorry for your nanny!
You instill fear in your nanny and treat her like a child! I don't know how you can be of sound mind when you treat her like that but can trust her with your children?! Lady, you're crazy!

mom said...

I still odn't believe her. I think she's trolling an dtrying to get a rise out of people. And, if by some miracle she's not, she's s incredibly wierd and unhuman sounding that I'm not going to take any more time even to think about it.
And, if such behaviors were real and known about town as she brags about, nobody would envy such a person, but would instead find her sad, compulsive, and sadly unable to relate to humans in a normal sort of way. Sounds like a pretty lonely existence to me.

Clarence said...


If you can't trust the nanny to not eat more than you ask, or to not take anything from your house, how on Earth can you trust her with the care of those who should be the center of your universe?

How can you trust her to teach them right from wrong?

What this reeks of is pure laziness. Trust takes work, paying attention to your children takes work and you think a shortcut out is to be a domestic fascist.

This will irreparably harm your children.

honest nanny said...

I believe that LarchMommy is the first robot to join us here on i saw your nanny.

let me ask this, what happens when you are late for curfew? do you also spend your night on the front stoop?

even if you are real and you are serious, i've decided you have a cold, metal heart. and something severely lacking in the brain capacity.

i neither envy you nor pity you.

jada said...

Domestic fascist? Holy cripes but that has to be the friggin' word of the day!! I love it!

HarrisonMom said...

Larchmont is much too close to New Rochelle for my taste. I doubt I would be able to sleep if my residence was that proximal to such a detriorating ghetto. Perhaps Larch Mommy has to keep her house sealed like a bank vault to keep out the robbing and thieving felons that live and hobknob in New Rochelle. I feel for you, I do. So much safety comes from living further North. My neighborhood is so safe, we leave the doors open most of the time. I pity you, I do. Perhaps your nanny will one day be able to work for a more settled family.

down in the dumps of New Rochelle said...

Haha! tell her HM! hehe.

JavaMama said...

I know this will get deleted, but LarchMom, you are a nickel-plated cold cunt bitch!
Do you count how many sheets of TP your nanny uses and adjust her pay accordingly?

Ha! said...

Larchmom is a troll who shows up here every so often to stir the pot. I think she's a legend in her own mind. She probably writes about how she would be if she ever had more than two nickels to rub together and could boast ownership of more than a dozen brain cells.

jessie said...

At my house, my fiancée and I call Whole Foods "Whole Paycheck". The fact that your nanny regularly shops here for herself is unbelievably selfish. I'm a nanny for a two year old boy, and take him shopping for the family's groceries maybe once per week. Mom gives me a list and I stick to it, unless there's a great sale on items that their little boy eats regularly. The family always urges me to eat whatever I like from the pantry, and I still bring my own lunch. It's just courtesy. No one likes to come home from work looking forward to noshing on leftover Chinese or some other item only to find that nanny has devoured it. It's just common courtesy.

Once, my boss shared an unbelievably good recipe with me and had me go to the store to get ingredients to make it. She insisted on me getting double the ingredients so that I could make it at home that night, too. I thought that was SO generous of her and I was touched that she was exhibiting such compassion. We're on a limited budget and ate for two nights on that meal!

Even when she leaves cash for my charge and I to get treats, I have to date never used it for myself. Fiji water and gourmet lunches and Whole Foods ridiculously priced grub with no hesitation? I would feel so ashamed of doing that, as would, I gather, many good nannies like the ones who have already posted. She's taken your generosity beyond all reasonable limits.

And Larch, I've just got to inquire, do you also have expensive customized locking systems on your pantry? There's lots of good unrefridgerated snacks just waiting to be stolen in there!

Jana said...

Larch, I got news for you, if a nanny wants to steal from you-she will find a way. I used to work in the loss prevention field. No matter how sophisticated your system is, people who want to find ways around it will. And the longer they work in a place, the easier it is to figure out the weak spots and believe me, all security systems have them. No camera system can see everywhere, there are always blind spots. Locking mechanisms can be decoded and breached without anyone being the wiser. What's more, you would not believe how easy it is to bugger the most expensive and complicated systems! I will bet any amount of money if I came to work as your nanny, I could rob you blind after a month in your service, right under your nose too! You would be surprised how many people with no formal training in the field can figure out ways to breach all sorts of security systems. All you really need is a basic understanding or how electronics, timers and sensors work.

My advice, having invested more than three decades in the field of security and loss prevention solutions, do your best to hire honest people, then, earn their respect and loyalty, it's the best security assurance you can have.

lp said...

There sure is a lot of yapping about loss prevention on this blog of late. Either my husband works in loss prevention or I used too. So, let me tell you my ancedote. There is no better perch to rob from than the one that has you in a black suit with a silver name tag that says loss prevention. Handle what you wish, stuff what you desire down your drawers.

its freezing said...

I never brought food when I nannied. But I never would order take-out. Or eat an absurd amount. Common sense.

You mentioned seeing receipts for what she bought, but the food not being there. Like the chicken platters, etc. Well I am sure she takes them home in a big purse or bag. And her family has a nice dinner compliments of you.

I'm a Mom said...

We've never had a nanny take advantage of us like this. Even though we offer them free reign, they still have never plowed through our kitchen eating everything in sight! Your nanny has some appetite!

You really should offer a specific allowance or put a cap on what you're willing to allow your nanny to spend. I think giving her a credit card with a weekly limit is a great idea, but be sure she knows that once she's reached that limit, that's it until the following week. Hopefully she'll be responsible, and also, you won't have to give any explanation for taking back your husbands because she'll see having her own credit card as a perk.

Have you had the opportunity to speak with her yet?

mom said...

OP, Your nanny does not sound like a mature adult.
First her shameless and abusive use of your credit card pointed to a lack of respect for you(and I would say Character also, although some may disagree.)I also suspect she was stealing food...which may account for her defensive, passive aggressive reaction to your very, very kind sounding conversation about the issue.

Now her response is very, very immature, passive aggressive and ugly. NO rational adult treats their EMPLOYER that way and expects to have a job. I htink her response also shows a great lack of respect for you. You gave her far more leeway that I would have with the credit card and offering for her to still buy items at the grocery for herself. She should have been ashamed of herself and apologetic for abusing your trust the way she did, and instead she has the gall to act like a spoiled twelve year old just because you asked her to abuse your trust a little bit LESS?

She sounds hostile and nasty to me. I'll bet she's not the dear sweet lady to your children that you believe her to be in your absence. She doesn't sound like she has enough respect for you to want to work for you.

If I were you, I would shore up my emergency at work, take a couple of days off, call your mom or somebody to watch the kids until you can find a new ADULT nanny and not have her back in my house, starting tomorrow morning.

Phoenix said...

You did not deserve that. Only hearing one side of the story (yours) I think that you handled it well. I am sorry she did that, it was very rude of her, and now she thinks you are cheap.

you need to talk to her again, and ask he why she was compelled to do such a thing. i would again explain to her that you don't mind if she eats out every now and then but with the economy you need to be a little more frugule. Maybe have her plan out a menu for the kids and tell her you don't mind if she cooks while they nap ect.

This was very spiteful of her, and i wish it didn't turn out that way.

Westchester nanny said...

It sounds to me as if she is embarrassed and is getting defensive. I see nothing at all wrong with what you said to her. Just explain to her it's ok to buy food for herself just not go out to lunch every day. My employers tell me to buy things I like with their groceries but I never take advantage of that. Some yogurts, cold cuts or certain fruits I get, but going to restaurants and take out places? I would never expect my boss to pay for that.
I'm sure it will blow over. I really just think she feels embarrassed and this is how she's dealing with it. If her attitude does not improve just talk to her again. If she cannot take adult discussions without becoming defensive that's her problem, not yours. It's just childish.

Westchester nanny said...

Larchmommy could be real and I bet she lives in the Manor....
Her nanny is an au pair I bet, they put up with anything. You could never find a reasonable person to live by those rules just young girls from foreign countries. These automatic locks also assure she cannot move out in the middle of the night with out creepymommy's knowledge.
I work in Larchmont fellow posters and I've seen moms like her, believe they exist.

twinkiesmom said...

OP, don't apologize and don't let her guilt you into opening your wallet again to unlimited expenditures.

Suggest a reasonable dollar amount per week and make her live within that amount...

eastcoastnow said...

Uh-oh. Time for another talk. She took advantage of your generosity, and now that she's been called to task, she's pulling an attitude with you. Yikes!

I'd just say that you didn't mean to offend her, but the lunches ordered out, in addition to the food from the grocery store, are just breaking your food budget. Ask her if you could sit down and come up with a meal plan for her for the week that would be satisfactory to her, yet keep within the budget.

Sorry you have to go through this stress...please keep us posted!

nyc mom said...

Everything Mom said : ) I hope you don't mind me echoing your thoughts on a couple of threads, but they are good ones!

No professional nanny or any other employees hould react this way to a normal workplace conversation. I understand her being uncomfortable, but her level of defensiveness and passive aggressive response indicate guilt. She has undoubtedly been taking food home or something else underhanded.

I do think you made a basic error in your discussion because you should have come to the table with a firm dollar limit in your mind and put it in writing for your nanny to avoid any further debates or confusion on this issue. As people said earlier, simply state the weekly food budget, provide a prepaid card in that amount weekly, and request receipts for tax purposes. It's fine if your nanny countered with, "let's try that, but would it be okay if we discuss the amount again if it's not working out?" But her reponses was simply unacceptable.

I hate to say this, but I think this is the end of your relationship with this nanny. BTDT on other issues and once things deteriorate in this way with the anger, sullenness, and you having your workday and likely family time affected by mulling over this, it's over. Even if you guys hash it out, in my experience this event is a window into your nanny's character and it's not a good view. I know it's so hard as a parent to start over with a new nanny, but I promise kids are resilient and the sooner you do it the better for everyone. The next time you'll learn what to do *from the start* and hopefully avoid these kinds of conflicts as you become a more skilled employer also. I think this happens to so many of us the first time we employ a nanny and to so many nannies in their first nanny job. Good Luck!

TC said...

Wow. As I stated before my charge and I go out to lunch every day BUT we share a meal and I don't spend more than 15 bucks (including tip) and when the prepaid card runs out I use my own money.

OP I hate to say it but I would look for another nanny. If she is acting like that to you then how do you think she is treating your kids? And she may be looking for another job now too.....

If I was in her shoes you better believe I would be embarrassed but I wouldn't have left money for a tomato nor refused to go to the grocery store. I would have turned red, apologized and then watched what I bought from then on out.

May I ask how old your nanny is and how long she's been a nanny?

millows said...

ok now your nanny is being a passive aggressive bitch, sorry its true. you need to just be flat out with her. i know that you like how she cares for your twins but this is so rude of her. can you imagine her acting like this the whole time she works for you ?! i am just disgusted with her behavior!

time for the ol' heave-ho said...

Sorry, sorry, but I just gotta say it:

What an ungrateful little bitch.

Please fire her. You and your children deserve better.

She's acting like an immature brat.

I'm a Mom said...

OP, the whole purpose of having a nanny is the luxury of peace of mind. This nanny seems to be a thorn in your side as of late, and now you are stressing at work because of her?

I suggest you stop being so passive about this situation and tell her how you really feel, without her cutting you off... that is so disrespectful!

Lay out firmly what she can purchase and if she continues to act like a child, then maybe it's time to let her go!

wow said...


Just how much are you willing to take?
I mean, really.

nannyinmanhattan said...

Something is clearly WRONG with this nanny. She is acting like a two year old she should be mature enough to accept correction especially being in this particular industry, working from people's homes, face to face with their children and taking instruction on a day to day basis.
I am blown away by her behavior, how rude and disrespectful can a person get??
To me she is putting you off as beng a cheap employer who doesn't want to provide for her nanny, hence the reason for the tomato dollar.
She is implying, if you can't buy her a tomato, she would buy her own tomato.
It could only get worse from here. I also doubt she ever shared any pasta with your babies.
She sounds bitter and vindictive.
She sounds like she needs a good slap to wake her up and for her to realize how blessed she is to be employed and have a credit card in her trust. Many of us out here do not have that luxury.
You should tell her her behavior is UNACCEPTABLE and will not be tolerated in the future.
Also if grocery shopping and errands is in her job criteria tell her to make sure she completes her duties because that is what you pay her to do.
She is really blessed and it pisses me off that she treats you so disrespectfully.


Nanny Taxi said...

Ok, OP. It's either time to start taking her personal spending on your credit card out of her pay. I am a nanny and I hate to admit it but if you hit some nannies in the pocketbook you will get their full attention.

Or, ending this relationship before hard feelings begin. The whole idea of having a nanny is so you can have peace of mind at work.

fox in socks said...

To OP, obviously nanny had an innappropriate passive aggressive reaction, and was totally unprofessional. I agree with the other commenters who said that her reaction is indicative of her character on the whole. She sees you as a gravy train. I think you should tell her that her antics with the $1.00 were totally uncalled for. Remind her that you will not be treated this way and that she should return to normal professional and friendly relations immediately (you will find a better way to word this but you get my drift). She should really apologize for the tomato antics. If she does not, I do think you should start looking for a new nanny.

Please come back on here and tell us what else happens. It is really interesting to read when people repost and tell how things turned out. Thank you for your update so far. We all appreciate it and enjoyed finding out what happened.

It is evident to my mind that this nanny (and so many) resents what she sees while caring for your family and feels entitled. There is too big a divide between her status and that of whom she works for, and she is looking for ways to equalize it. The food thieving or taking advantage served this need on her part. It helped her feel like her job was more worthwhile. This "perk" of getting so much food helped her feel satisfaction with a job that she isn't generally satisfied with. Getting over on you helped her feel better about her situation which she probably sees as lowly.

To Westchester Nanny, please tell the stories you alluded to! Inquiring minds want to hear some stories! Please spill it! I want to hear about the other moms you know in Larchmont that seem similar to Larchmommy to you!!

Victoria Anne said...

When it comes down to it, you are the employer and she is the employee. I doubt you would let an employee in your business life to treat you like this.

Good Luck! I am not a nanny, but you seem like a great boss!

fox in socks said...

Oh and I forgot to say, I totally agree with the sentiment another commenter expressed: if she is treating you like this (taking advantage, then being ridiculously inappropriate when gently corrected about it) then how do you think she is treating your kids? Not that well, to say the least.

Manhattan Nanny said...

OP, you sound like a kind and easy going employer who is being taken advantage of by an immature and unprofessional nanny. (that tomato note is over the top rude!) I agree with those who advise looking for a new nanny. I don't see this being resolved in a way that leaves you with a good relationship with the nanny. I have a feeling that once you have a new, more mature and professional nanny, you will realize your current one was not as good as you thought she was.

millows said...

another thought...

if things go down hill and you either fire her or she quits get her out of your house asap! from the way you described her reaction she is very immature and petty, who knows what she would do if given 2 weeks notice and still watched your babies :-( your better off giving her a week or two of severence (like she deserves it, yea right) then have an even more bitter and petty fired nanny around your kids.

mom said...

nyc mom,
Thanks! I often echo the sentiments of other posters when I agree. (Saves on typing.)

OP, I have a question. What does your husband think of this behavior? What does he want you to do? My husband is often the voice of reason when I am unsure. I think mine would be completely appalled by this nanny. Maybe I'll ask him later and post his opinion for a male point of view. I am just surprised to see so many stories here of people with zero work ethic. I guess I was just raised differently, but I simply cannot imagine a situation where I would either purposely take advantage of my employer, steal from them, or address them in the way your nanny seems to feel entitled to do to you. I am also very particular about who is in my home (I want to feel perfectly comfortable, not on edge) and who is around my kids.

Village said...

In my opinion her behavior is passive aggressive. If she will use it on you, she will use it on your children.

She is refusing to do her job because she isn't allowed to eat as much of the best food she can find.

I'd start looking for a new nanny.

chick said...

I'm going to attempt an analogy here...

You have a secretary. She is responsible for purchasing snacks and drinks for all of the workers in the office to enjoy. She is also really good at filing. You review the snack and drink receipts, and find Secretary is buying in excess of what is needed/neccessary. She is overspending company funds.

When you sit down to discuss it with her, she cuts you off, acts huffy, and generally seems annoyed.

She comes in to work the next day, ignores the snack/drink shopping list, and then leaves a dollar on your desk to "pay" for a drink she had that day. She continues to ignore the shopping that is part of her job description.

What do you do?

Do you sit down and talk with her again, making sure to use "I" statements and not make acccusations and asking her politely to listen to you without jumping to conclusions? Do you also emphasize that she needs to do ALL of her duties if she wishes to remain employed?

Or do you appologize for offending her, hand her back complete control over snack/drink purchases, and suck up the financial drain because she is really good at filing?

Ok, so my analogy may need some work!

OP, sit nanny down again. Talk about the food issues again. Emphasize that she needs to do her job if she wants to retain her position. If she keeps acting like a sullen teenager, fire her butt then and there. There are other nannies out there who will not treat you like crap and try to walk all over you.

I think a lot of times parents are in fact scared of their nanny because they fear nanny will take out her anger at the parents on the children. That's excessively unhealthy for all involved. Find a new nanny who you trust with your kids regardless of whether she is annoyed at you. Life is too short to be afraid of people you employ to make your life easier.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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I can't believe said...

people STILL don't get the concept of picking a moniker. It just isn't that complicated!

Dear 11:19 Anonymous,
You clearly read ISYN enough to refer to prior posts. You should have absorbed the no longer new posting rule that you MUST use a moniker or your post gets deleted.

op ... said...

OP - please email me @ a.d.0856 at gmail dot com

A nanny who cares said...

I want to echo the sentiments of everyone else. Her behavior is COMPLETELY unacceptable! I can't believe she had the audacity to actually behave like that after so blatantly taking advantage of you!

I can NEVER imagine behaving in that manor and I have been a nanny since I was 17 years old, so the maturity thing doesn't fly with me. No matter what her age is, she needs to be fired. I believe you should give her severance because she has been great up until this point. But, I don't see how you could ever trust her with your twins again!

The family I am currently with I have been with since their twins were 1 1/2 months old, and they are now 3 1/2 years old with a 1 year old brother. Admittedly in the beginning I had help from the mother, but I have been doing everything on my own since the twins' first few months. And, I bring my lunch to work every day and have only had dinner there a few times and that was because I worked all day and babysat for them at night. I did feel entitled to dinner on those nights! =o)

OP, PLEASE let this girl go! You have let yourself be taken advantage of FAR too long, and for her to show you disrespect is completely unreasonable!

mom said...

OK, so I ran this by my husband.
I didn't get past the first post about the excessive spending before he said she needed fired.

His opinion on that is that she grossly abused a trust to the point it could legitimately be considered stealing and that, at the very least, that shows a lack of judgment...which he says makes her unfit to care for children.

I then went on to tell him about the second post where she is acting bratty to the which point he said, "What is wrong with people? She needs fired."

cali mom said...

Oh, OP...I pretty much agree with all those who have said this nanny should NOT retain her job with you any longer considering all the bad signs she's shown you so far. (Being too free and easy with YOUR money, giving you snotty attitude when you try to discuss her JOB with her, AND putting her own needs before your children's.) ie, your earlier comments about how bored she is staying home with them and how it drives HER crazy to not go somewhere ever day. If she's that miserable staying inside, taking care of twin babies on a cold snowy day, she shouldn't be a nanny.

However, if you really want to give her another chance, here is what I think you should do: Sit down with her and FIRMLY discuss the food/grocery shopping issue. If you really think she should still use a credit card at the grocery store, tell her you will need the receipts EVERY time. And give her a prepaid card that she can use for HER foods that come from someplace OTHER than the grocery store. That would still be extremely generous of you, and if she tries to blow you off with more attitude at that point, fire her before she can get up from the kitchen table.

I'd also arrange to have someone she doesn't know shadow her several times, maybe even a couple different people, if you have neighbors or friends who could do it. Have them report on their observations of how she REALLY acts with the babies. It's certainly possible to make a grownup outing entertaining and educational for babies, and maybe she really does interact with them plenty when she's out. But if she's just stuffing them into a stroller and going about filling all her boring on-the-clock hours with "me time", paying as little attention to them as possible, she needs to go.

I hate to keep repeating this sentiment, but this is the crappiest economy since the great depression, DESERVING people are losing their jobs left and right, and you do NOT have to tolerate her half assed job performance or snarky ways. Give her a second chance if you want to, but I think you'll find she's not that great with the babies after all, and even if she is, her attitude towards you is unacceptable.

Thailand said...

I think the OP handled the situation poorly. She should have set the rules from the start. Letting someone do as they wish with your credit card and then confronting it later is just wrong.

Secondly the op beat around the bush when the subject was brought up instead of being to the point.

I wouldn't fire her but have a real talk about what the job entails and what you as an employer expect. If she is wonderful with your children you may be shooting yourself in the foot letting her go...the next one might not be good.

WTF? said...

That tomato bit crossed the line. I'd let her know that such stunts won't be tolerated and give her a budget and tell her she'll be sticking to it from now on or it'll be deducted from her pay.

Anonymous said...
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Swiss Nanny said...

It sounds to me like OP now has 3 children to worry about! But it also sounds like the OP is a bit wishy-washy. You handled the confrontation poorly, and now the nanny is acting like an immature brat who didn't get her way! Seriously, leaving money for the tomato was just her being petty and rude. She was probably sulking in the corner most of the day. You really should talk to her again, and possibly let her go. If she is resentful of you and the situation, then your children will not be getting her 100% best and the care they deserve! Next time, as someone else said, be upfront regarding the limits and use of the credit card!

What goes around comes around said...

IMO, i think Larckmommy is the one who came up with the universal rules for nannies...such as wearing bumble bees uniforms and carrying our stuff in Ziplock Bags.

She doesn't deserve a doesn't matter at this point..don't care if u pay 30/hr.
What goes around comes around.

give a second chance said...

I can only say that i also screw up as a nanny, but learned from my mistakes because i had compassionate employers who didn't fire me on the spot for giving attitude and acting resentful.
I would say give a second chance and speak clearly writing amounts on paper and setting up a budget, without her interrupting you.
If she doesn;t change her ways...She does not deserve a caring employer like u.
I now appreciate employers like u after i had such a nightmare experience with one mom. She was the meanest employer u could ever get. I can only say she polished me. She would only give me $20 for one week or two to buy things they need all the time such as bread, eggs, milk, and yogurt. I always left the receipt with the correct change everyday. I would never be stupid to steal a dollar or two and then loose my job. She would say that i could buy anything i wanted for myself with what was your math...$2 the most...bubble gum now costs that much in manhattan. I always brought my lunch to work because she never cared that i would be hungry or if i liked something. All she had there, never dared to touch. Money was always an issue to her...she yelled at the top of her laungs 2 times at me in front of her kids and made me cry twice. Always said why should i feel like paying you for this and that...
Please don't ask me why i stayed there for one year...
All i can say is that you are a good employer and need to be treated with same respect.
If u need a new nanny let me am
I wish u the best.

taking advantage said...

I'm a caregiver and PREGNANT.. I do not eat nearly as much as this nanny! She is totally taking advantage of the situation.. I think she must be obsessed with food?
Perhaps the tomato incident sprung from her finding this website???

OP needs a wake-up call! said...

Wow, your nanny sure put you in your place! Why the hell are you so passive? Why did you allow her to keep rudely interrupting you?

I guess we know whose boss in your house!

Understanding Nanny said...

OP, you approached it in a very respectful manner. You started off with letting her know what a great job she is doing with your children and how happy you are that she is your nanny. Then you addressed the matter diplomatically and I think did a very good job in doing so.
Her reaction, personally is very immature and shallow, she leaves a $1. She is acting like a child and she needs to understand that compromise needs to be part of any working relationship. If she continues to act like a spoiled brat and her attitude dosen't get any better, you may have to weigh the pros with the cons here. Is she such a great nanny that it may be worth it to pay for her food? Or is it really eating up your finances and is it better to just find someone else. I mean, there are a lot of great nannies out there who would not overstep boundaries and take advantage like this one is. Think about it.
I personally think she is not very happy with herself since you mentioned she is big. Maybe she thinks you were indirectly saying she was fat....Believe me, I know that is the FARTHEST thing from your mind here....but maybe her insecurities are eating her up. (No pun intended)!
I personally never eat at my family's homes even though they offer me. I just feel too weird. I wouldn't want to be the one who ate the last piece of fried chicken in the fridge or drank the last bottled water.
But, that is just me.
Good Luck. You sound like a fair person and she is lucky to have such a nice family to work for. If only she could appreciate it.

worlds best nanny said...

Oh, for Christmas sakes, tell her to bring her own lunch and favorite beverage. When you need her to do the shopping give her an exact amount of cash and a list. Tell her to stick to the list and leave you the receipt. Look, I am probably one of the most snarky nannies you'll ever meet but you have to draw the line somewhere! My employers give me 1 credit card and 1 gas card, I do not abuse these things because I put myself in their shoes and see what it's like for someone to be taking my hard earned cash.

Nanny B said...

I was in a situation like this not that long ago. I was a live in nanny for a family and was told upon being hired that all my food and meals, both on and off work hours would be provided. About 2 years into the position off handed comments started to be raised about the gallon of OJ I went through in 1 1/2 weeks (I never got sick though!), or the roast beef I bought which no body else would eat, and when I went on weight watchers buying that special diet food shouldn't have been covered under their costs. All those little comments added up and made me feel like I was doing something wrong by having them buy food that I was only going to eat.I was so stressed that I was eating more of their food that I should have so I started buying my own food. After 2 years of this I realized how crazy it was, my contract called for them to provide me with food as part of the job, and yes I was buying a few extra things a week but nothing insane.

I however, think that this nanny is being a bit over cautious about how much she is spending. I would just tell her that it seems she is being childish and needs to be talked to about it.

Vanessa said...

Don't worry. I am a nanny and if my employer ever told me that I'd definitely feel embarrassed and feel apologetic. The excuse that kids don't let her cook anything, well then try to fix them quick, healthy meals. As a mom, I think you should be the one doing grocery shopping during the weekend and buy her things that she can prepare easily for the kids. And also some stuff that she can eat easily too. That way she doesn't have to worry about that.

Kat said...

I agree with Vanessa. Do your own grocery shopping for your family on the weekend--buying food that the nanny and your children can easily eat while you're at work. It will work out much better that way. Take your children with shopping is a great family activity. And after all, wouldn't you want to be the one picking out the produce...making sure the apples are juicy and ripe, etc. I firmly believe that mommies, not nannies, should be the ones who wake their little ones up in the morning and have breakfast with them...and mommies, not nannies should be the ones who fix dinner in the evening, give the children a bath, read stories...etc. You can have a nanny there to help you while you're at work, but if you want well-adjusted children, you need to be there as much as you can...being the parent. It sounds like the nanny is eating far too many meals with your little ones...and you're not eating nearly enough meals with them. Wake up...and smell the coffee!!!!! And do more of the family care yourself =) I guarantee that when you're old and grey that you won't remember the crisis you solved at the office...but you will remember all of the time you spent with your children...all the sticky kisses...and big hugs! Don't let let the nanny be their parent...she's just the sitter who watches them while you can't.

Jacqui said...

OP, in regards to your update, I think you handled it VERY well and it seems as though you expressed your concerns as delicately as possible. However, I do sympathize with the nanny being a little taken aback. You had every right to put a stop to the spending and the conversation HAD to take place, but her defensiveness is understandable. I am sure she'll get over it..she's probably just a little embarassed. A normal reaction when confronted about something like that. As long as she doesn't get hostile or remain passively confrontational, it should be fine. Neither of you are doing anything wrong.

nanny said...

O please spank the brat!!!

scenario said...


Anyone who is petty and passive agressive enough to leave the tomato dollar and note ( and she even had a day or so to cool off )is the type of person who will take her anger out on your babies. I bet she pinched them that day.

Fire her immidiately.

Village said...

Yesterday I posted that I thought the OP needs to start looking for a new nanny.

After sleeping on it, I think OP's nanny is probably looking for a new job as we write back and forth about it. OP needs to make sure she has someone lined up if the nanny quits.

I just don't see how this could have a happy ending.

oh well said...

OP, you sound decent and considerate. I think you should have been more assertive with her and that you let her have the upper hand in the conversation.
She may be a great nanny, but she does not sound like a good match for you. I would let her go. Fast.

lornhh said...

"Neither of you are doing anything wrong."

jacqui, are you the OP's nanny? the nanny is very wrong for acting like this.

Jacqui said...

Yeah, I'm the OP's nanny. That's the only explanation for a difference in opinions.

OP sounds like she respects her nanny, and despite a hint of belligerent behavior on the nanny's part, I don't see a problem. Nannies ARE human and it appears as though the nanny-employer relationship is one that exceeds "proper" business formalities. What some of you fail to realize is, a lot of nannies are actually treated like people..part of the family..not the help or simple corporate employers who maintain status as nothing but a number, one tiny function in a grander scheme of things. So for this nanny to have a VERY human reaction to someone she may look at as MORE THAN A BOSS, is OKAY. Like I said, if she continues to act passive aggressive, it can cause a problem, but really, lets put this situation into perspective. She feels stupid, embarassed and maybe even hurt, especially considering she is a heavier woman. In fact, she may even feel ashamed. Some of you are being incredibly hard on her.

millows said...

I am a nanny and think that this nanny is being very unprofessional. Yes the family appreciates her but this is still her JOB and she needs to act accordingly. She is not another child for the op to look after. I agree that nannies are human to (duh) but they are typically adults, not bratty piggy 4 year olds.

Jacqui said...

I want to add, one more time, a little cleaer, if she continues acting like this, THEN consider firing her...but I think you should give her a day or two to lick her wounds. As silly as they may seem to someone else, they could be very real to her.

Jacqui said...

Millows, my gut tells me that the nanny's reaction may have a lot to do with her weight...and it's comments like "piggy" that are directly attributed to insecurities. As a thin person, I used to be very hard on overweight people. I didn't tolerate them...I became a victim of society's ostracization of them. I refused to believe they were anything but gluttenous and lazy. Growing up and maturing a bit, I have completely abandoned those shallow, ignorant stereotypes and, generally speaking, feel extremely empathetic towards overweight people, especially children. Instead of assuming they're "piggy," lets take a more positive stand and encourage exercise and nutritional education.

I'm not defending the nanny's cattiness...but I am defending her right to have a very human reaction to something that may (or may not..I'm just putting it out there) really affect her deeply.

mom said...

Your comments about nanny possibly being insecure about her weight may be correct. However, OP was very considerate int he way she brought the subject up and did not say anything that would make a normal person thinks she was being criticized for her weight.
Nanny is an adult on a job looking after defenseless children and needs to have enough self control to act like an adult at all times on the job, even if she has unhealthy emotional issues...probably especially, in fact. This is not the kind of job where one can afford to have irrational meltdowns...not even one.
I'm afraid her behavior speaks to more serious character and judgement issues. I know its very kind to give people the benefit of the doubt and second chances...but maybe if you own an ice cram store or something...not when it comes to taking care of children. Sometimes you don't get a "do over" if you make the wrong choice when it comes to your kids.

Maybe said...

Is it possible that she has read the submission to this site? And the way you worded things is extremely insensitive.... so it is possible you did deserve that.

However, if she somehow has not seen this website, then no, you didn't deserve it. I would talk to her more about this, because I think if you don't this will only get much worse and more uncomfortable for both of you.

honest nanny said...

her passive aggressive note about the tomato was disrespectful and unnecessary.

you handled the situation very well, explaining to her the rise in food costs had to slow down and you tried to give her a set of boundaries.

she's being unreasonable. granted, she's probably embarrassed and hurt - but if this happened in an office situation it wouldn't go down quite so well. obviously she cannot handle constructive criticism well and she is acting out immaturely.

i'd reconsider if she is as amazing as you think she is. i wouldn't want someone who is acting like this around my children.

and most importantly, why was she being so defensive? if my employer explained a problem they were having with me (as nicely as you did) i certainly would not try to defend my actions, rather adjust the way i do things.

like i said, time to reconsider.

twinkiesmom said...

The issue isn't whether she's fat or skinny, the issue is she's adding $150-200 per week (my estimate from your post) to her salary directly from your charge card. And that's not ok no matter what tax bracket you as the employer find yourself.

No employee of any company, no matter what the size, is able to justify substantially increasing their income by skimming from the employer.

It's a moral issue, and I suspect she's trying to level the playing field between herself and yourself by living large on your credit card. And I further suspect she is doing this because she's unhappy stuck at home with two little kids.

NannyInCharge said...

Wow the tomato just took it over the edge didn't it!!

Those are the behaviors of someone who is very guilty, embarrassed, and mad that she got "caught" eating you out of house and home.

She thought she was so freaking amazing that she could do whatever she wanted without question.

I'm so glad you called her on her outrageous spending. If I ever pulled a stunt like that on an employer I wouldn't be surprised if I got fired.

What an ingrate.

honest nanny said...

OP, i told my mom about this situation today and she knows nothing of the nanny business, but she does have in home nursing care for my younger sister. her first response was WOW. her second was, why didn't she [the nanny] go grocery shopping on monday, wasn't that one of her jobs? and by the end she said, i'd be letting her go and finding different help. i wouldn't keep someone in my home that was being so petty about a tomato.

just thought i'd share.

Soon to be Mom said...

When I worked as a nanny for a family in the next town over my hours were 830 to 430 M-F. They told me to help myself, but I always went to the grocery store on Sunday night and bought enough food for lunches for the week and brought them to work on Monday (so I wouldn't have to remember to make/grab something everyday). I was glad I did that more times than not as they usually never went to the grocery store and the house seldomly had food in it! Thankfully my charge was an infant and his grandmother would drop off enough jars of infant food for the week on Mondays (guess she knew what her child was like lol).

princessduck said...

I agree with honest nanny :). I was an au-pair in Belgium for 4 kids and I was so ashamed to take something from the fridge or from the cupboards and if I was craving for an apple, I would just say : ''May I take an apple?''. And my boss would always be surprised that I asked them, but I was afraid to take food from them, of course it was no amount of money, no need, as I was always in the house and I wasn't driving, but they were nice enough to ask me if I needed something from the store and on Sundays I would just go out and get what I wanted. The point is that an employer should tell straight away to the nanny about the allowance expectations. And start saying like: ''You are a nice girl, we appreciate you bla bla and then to say that: ''Here is your weekly money for your expenses ''(food, bus, whatever) so the nanny would know exactly how to use the money and the employer to be in peace that the nanny won't use their credit card for big sums. Also you are right honest nanny- when you stay with all the kids all day long, especially inside you tend to eat much or..think about food and when you have time you just go to the cupboard or fridge, so I think the employer should have a special place for the nanny to put her food and gets that everytime she needs.

Jacqui said...

So OP, how is she acting this week? Is she back to normal?

Anonymous said...
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I agree said...

I totally agree with NannyInCharge. She is on defensive. She is also trying to make you look bad for calling her out on that. I have worked for many families that will say "help yourself" because I am skinny (110 pounds) and they think that I don't eat much, but they are soo wrong. I eat as much as a bull! So, I saw that they would hide some foods or have less food when I was there. I was mortified. Never ate there again.
Your nanny is ungrateful. If I had a cool boss whom let me have the credit card and buy some yummy stuff for myself once in a while like you let her, I would be very grateful!

(you need a moniker!)

amazing nanny said...

I am a nanny, and very good one. I agree with most of the comments, except you have no reason to explain yourself to your nanny. You don't have to go as far as saying "because of the economy..." or what have you, just tell her which outtings you feel are appropriate and how often. Let her know that you are happy to pay for her lunches on occassion but that there is plenty of food at the house and you would prefer she use what you have.

Be firm and just know that you are her BOSS and she needs to play nice. I really am upset by the fact that she interrupted you and feels that she is entitled to spending your money freely. The family I work for are wonderful and have offered to pay for me to take the baby out to lunch but I understand completely that that means on occassion, not every day or week.

OP said...

I am hesitant to update this because I feel I might get flamed. I didn't know what to do after I received the note, so I told my husband the whole story.

The next day, he went in to work late. He said very casually, "Insert name here left a grocery list on the counter, if you want to go this morning without the kids, you might have some more time to pick out some things you would like us to keep on hand for you. Insert name here mentioned you wanted some tomoatoes".

And that was that. She went to the store. Came back. She had gotten a modest amount of provisions for herself. My husband (said he) was very laid back in his approach and kind to her. He said before he went to work he said, " I really appreciate the way you take care of the children". Or some words to that sentiment.

Since then, everything has been fine. She was taking the children to a park on one of the nicer days last week and let me know that if it was nice, she was probably going to sit outside with them for awhile and would I mind if she stopped at a certain deli and got snacks and lunch. I responded by saying that sounded like a great plan.

I only feel slightly annoyed that it was so easy for a male to interject his self in this situation and effect a positive outcome.

cali mom said...

OP, my guess is that the outcome wasn't positive just because he is male, but just because the approach came from a different source. When my son was first potty training, but still had diapers, some other parents would urge him to try using the potty at school when they were changing him, and he'd sometimes try at their suggestion, but would never want to when *I* suggested it.

I hope it continues to work out well for you with your nanny.

fox in socks said...

Good luck OP. I too think that it wasn't necessarily because he was male but because he's a different person. I hope everything works out with your nanny, but if she is ever so terribly rude or inappropriate again, you should get rid of her. It's not good for you or the kids if you were to tolerate this kind of treatment. Thanks for posting with an update.

mom said...

OP, I LOVE what your husband said...about you having mentioned that she wanted some tomatoes! Touche! If I were her, I would have died a thousand deaths inside knowing that you two had discussed my very immature outburst of a note and that he was having the balls to bring it up right to my face like that. What he said was perfect and that is why she probably has said nothing more.

If I were you I would still watch her...or have somebody tail her to see how she is with the kids. She doesn't sound like a person of good character at all to me.

WTF? said...

OP, you and your husband both sound great. I love the way you guys handled it. Hopefully everything will work out and the nanny will try to be more considerate.

Janet English said...

I suggest you ask her if she would like for you to get a jar for her tomato dollars she's leaving in the house. She clearly took it the wrong way but tough. You where kind and nice if she's too immature to get it- too bad for her.

Janet English said...

I suggest you ask her if she would like for you to get a jar for her tomato dollars she's leaving in the house. She clearly took it the wrong way but tough. You where kind and nice if she's too immature to get it- too bad for her.

banginMOMsboy said...

MOM...This is in response to your latest response.
I just wanted to know if you really think your advice is helpful and your approach is the best way? No disrespect at all!
My only concern is this. At 6'4" yes he can eat alot. And because you raised him in an enviroment and lifestyle so spoiled he has no ability of self control. Who do you think picks up the bill that keeps his stomach full...not that it is a big deal, cutting him off to teach him self reliance (isnt that what you are advising?)...but maybe you should have equipped him with the ability to actually be self reliant...i.e. not telling him to bring his laundry home for you to do for him. Guess where he brings it now? Guess where he will be living? Guess who is feeding him? Self reliance? Stealing? YOu bought him a two seater and he can now not even drive around the family the works so hard to pick up the pieces of his attempt at self reliance.
I just think maybe you should consider the advice you are giving. Practice what you know?
Just try to mind the advice you give....