Wednesday

Nanny's Mind Drifts in a Sinister Direction

Received Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I have a problem. First, let me assure you I am of sound mind. I am on my fifth nanny job. The longest I have worked for a single family is 2 years. I have a journalism degree, I am 28 and I am in a fulfilling personal relationship with my S.O.

At the end of August, I started a new nanny job. The job was to work for a mother with two children under five. She is a stay at home mother but is never home. She does not do charity work, rather she spends her days shopping, lunching and a host of other time sucking things that I cannot even pretend to grasp. Birkham Yoga. I knew when I took this job that she was hiring me because she had many outside interests and needed help getting the children to activities, appointments and scheduling playdates. She told me in the beginning that she would try to make certain that I never had both children.

As it turns out, I have both children all of the time. The children are 2.4 years a part, and a boy and a girl. Their interests and friends and activities are not the same. This makes things hard. What makes things harder is that both of these children are very attached to their mother and cry for her all of the time. She comes in and out all of the time. Just today, I had them both involved with one playdate and the playdate was going great when she popped in with a new jacket and needed child #2 to try the jacket on. This ended with all three children crying and the playdate wanting to go home.

If I am planning to have a playdate, I will make little sandwiches in advance, cut up some fruit and have things ready. This way, when I need to be with the children, I can supervise them and they don't have to come with me to the kitchen and wait for lunch to be made. This is no secret. Three times the mother has come home, threw out the lunch I made and replaced it with some premade entry from one of her stops. Yes, the food is better that she buys, but she doesn't tell me in advance. And two of these times, a nanny was in attendance of the playdate and eating with us. It just makes me look stupid.

My biggest problem is that she doesn't seem to know how to love her children. She doesn't tell them she loves them or hug them or anything. She is not very affectionate at all. Her husband also seems pretty cold, but when he comes home, he always greets them all with a hug and kiss. I don't know why she behaves like this. These are her children. I have come to love them and I tell them that I love them. I hug them. I pick them up. I carry them. She never carries them. She never picks them up. I was going to avoid saying ages, but it is relative that the youngest child is 20 months old.

The way she treats her children makes me resent her. I don't mind the little digs she gets in at me. They don't compare. The problem is I have no desire to leave this position. First, because I am attached to the children and second, because she is so cold and unfeeling, I have true fear over the sort of person she would pick to replace me.

Everytime she goes out, I pray she won't return. I hope for subway muggings, killer icicles, runaway liver cabs and murderous thugs to cross her path. Everytime she comes home, I am dissapointed. My mind has started to wonder about ways that someone could kill her and not be found out. I fantasize that she starts to choke on crackers and gourmet cheese or a luna bar and looks to me for help. I ignore her. She tries to slam her body against the chair to release the blockage but instead passes out. I imagine the 9-1-1 call, the fake panic. When she leaves the house in heeled shoes on icy days, I cannot help smile and imagine. One night I was sitting and she asked me for my opinion on the necklace she should wear. One was fake but didn't look it, it actually was quite eye catching. One was real, small and classy. I pushed her to wear the fake, grander one, hoping she would cross paths with a mugger.

In my heart, I know the children would be devestated if something happened to their mother. I know that they would end up being raised by Daddy's new eye candy, someone who could potentially be even colder and more heinous.

How to I come to terms with my anger towards this woman? I would never seriously do anything to hurt her, but I don't like that my mind drifts in such a sinister direction. I am a God fearing person who believes in the 10 commandments and living a life of honor.

44 comments:

uhhh said...

I think you need some counseling. You are not their mother and while it is nice to care...you seem a little to emotionally involved. i think a therapist would help you work out your anger and violence issues.

I'm a Mom said...

OP
I can certainly understand why you feel the way you do, but I can't imagine it is very healthy for you to be so preoccupied with your employers death. While this is serious, I have to admit, your letter was humorous... and I don't really think you'd do anything to harm her. I can tell that most of it was tongue-in-cheek.

I wouldn't go so far as to say you need a psychiatrist, but do you have any friends that you can vent to? Maybe talking all of this out with someone who knows you will help.

Just take a deep breath, and don't slip the mom any little blue pills, ok? ;)

Good luck to you!

Victoria Anne said...

Clearly you are at your wits end with this woman... And it would appear it gets worse by the day. These feelings are not going to simply go away unless she radically changes her behavior, which is probably unlikely. It seems like your position with this family has run its course.

My suggestion is to resign, and offer to help them find/train your replacement. If you leave on good terms maybe she will let you remain in contact with the children or work for her on a part time, as needed basis.

My only other thought is that maybe you just need a vacation??

Phoenix said...

You need to get counseling, it is not right to hope death on anyone. I think that suicidal thoughts and homicidal thoughts are one in the same. Most people don't feel that way though.

First thing - Some people do not know how to show affection. She may have had parents that never hugged or kissed her and she learned that this was the right way to parent. It is not right but it is reality. She more than likely does love her kids but she doesn't know how to express it other than buying things. She could be completely selfish and doesn't know what she is doing. Speaking from experience i am not a touching kind of person, the only person that I can stand hugs from is my hubby, anyone else I prefer don't touch me... that includes my mother, my sister, and my step son. i am just not that kind of person. your employer might be the same way. She may also might have never wanted children but did anyway. That is wrong. I know what kind of person I am and I know how I would treat children if I had some of my own. Which is why i do not reproduce. I feel bad for this woman because she seems lost.

Second - Wishing death on someone is very bad. you are showing HER how much she influences your life. If you do not like her actions, then put her out of your mind and be done with it. imagine if she did die, and her kids love her so much, that would hurt the kids you claim to love. And what if she did get mugged and you thought such awful things, the guilt that you would hold would be horrible. I have always felt that thinking about someone so much gives them power over you. Try to be a good person and just take care of the kids, and try to be understanding, you don't really know what makes this woman tick and to wish her life to end is not good karma for you.

etereia said...

I am sorry I am going off on a tangent, but I have a question for Phoenix about something in her post that fascinated me. Is there a particular reason for your not allowing people to even hug you (especially your stepson and your mom)? I am not being mean or trying to insult you, but I just can not imagine why you would feel this way.

millows said...

you need to quick. while i can understand your annoyance with her, this is not healthy. it sucks to leave when you are attached to the kids but you are not their parent. leave and look out for your mental health. anyways, who would want to work for a bitch like that? good luck

millows said...

I meant to say, "you need to quit"

mom said...

First,
Phoenix...I Love the statement you made about thinking about somebody too much giving them power over you. That is so true! That's why I try NOT to stew over jerks. I heard it once said that it's like "Letting them live rent free in your head."

OP, YOu definitely need to seek counseling...and also find a new job.

This reminds me exactly of what happened with one of my college roommates. (Who will definitley recognize me as being one of three people if she's here...yikes!) Anyway, she developed a crush on one of her married teachers...and his returned affections were only in her head. His wife was pregnant, which she began to imagine in her head was the only reason he hadn't declared his love for her and left his wife. She began to talk about him more and more, and her resentment of the pregnant wife grew deeper and deeper over time. She bagan to say things about how it would be so great if the wife died or had an accident that caused a miscarriage. Then she started talking about it more and more. Then she started talking about this plan she could do where she could make it look like an accident and push the wife down the stairs in the school library (where the wife worked) and cause her to lose the baby, so that husband could leave the wife and marry her instead. In her mind this had now grown to be a favor to the husband who she now also imagined wanted the baby out of the way so he could marry her. Then she started talking about it more and more. Then one day she came home and announced that she had been watching the wife's schedule closely and knew the exact time she left for lunch each day and headed down the library stairs. She mentioned how she could wait near the top of the stairs at that time one day and then push her from the top as she started to go down the stairs, and PRESTO, no more baby! She went on to discuss how the husband, with the baby out of the way, would then be free to leave his wife without guilt and marry my roommate.

This scared the crap out of me. I had thought she was trying just to be dramatic and weird before but had mostly just ignored her because I never imagined she would really do anything. But she sounded serious this time. I stopped her right there and told her that , first, a person who is pushed down stairs KNOWS it, and would tell on her, and she would be in jail so fast her head would be spinning. I also told her that the loss of his child would probably be so painful for her teacher, forever, that he would, without question, be so repulsed by anybody and anything that had anything to do with it that he would undoubtedly be unable to stand the sight of her ever again, let alone marry her. Thank God she believed all of that and promised to abandon her plan completely, because I knew that otherwise I was going to have to report her to somebody and I didn't want to have to do that to her. She wasn't a horrible person...just somebody who started down a dangerous path of fantasy and it grew to have a life of its own.

OP this CAN escalate. Get help and get out!

yikes said...

I think you need to talk to a counselor... This was like, physically uncomfortable to read and I feel so bad for that woman who PAYS someone to wish death upon her

WTF? said...

Therapy.

ummmm ya said...

you totally need to leave. i know you love the children, but it is unhealthy for you to be imagining such crazy things and actually praying that they happen.

please, do yourself, and the children a favor and find something that you can be happy with.

jamie teso said...

Slip her a mickey. Won't hurt her, just give her serious diarhea. Sounds like you want to punish her.

If you want to show her you mean business, I suggest spanking her.

Hahaha said...

Bwhahaha! I think it's funny. Not for you but the thoughts going through your head are too fricken hilarious.

I feel your pain. Trust me. Some people should never be parents and this woman sounds like one of those people.

I'm glad the kids have you as a Nanny.

chill out said...

Oh, you should have known some of these drama queens would take your post so seriously, OP, and demand you seek psychiatric help. Good grief, who hasn't once in their life not wished that their asshole boss didn't get run over or something? So OP has more of an imagination, who gives a crap? At least she's getting it out of her system and asking for advice on how to deal with her emotions. I think getting all of this off of her chest is healthy, and she was able to do it here, anonymously, so that nobody would be able to call the wagon on her.

OP, you're fine. It's quite normal to hate an employer. Just try to ease up a bit on the fantasies and concentrate and those little babies that need YOU right now!!

Good luck!

TheOPneedsashrinkASAP said...

Uhhmmm... you need help... soon.

Phoenix said...

to eteria... it is not really a feeling. I will never push someone away from hugging me I just don't initiate it. I am just not a really affectionate person. I don't know why, I have been like that since I was little. My parents always hugged me and kissed me and said they love me. I just never really picked up on enjoying hugging too much. To me it feels awkward, I don't really know how to describe it.

NannyInCharge said...

Time to look for a new job. While the mother is not being the best mother she can be, these children are not being abused and it's not your responsibility to change their lives. They are lucky to have such a caring nanny, and an affectionate one at that, but all this anger surely cannot be healthy.

Village said...

Some people just don't hug or touch their family. I loved my MIL, and I would always hug and kiss her when I saw her.

Turns out, this was the first time this had ever happened to her. After many years, my husband, following me into her house, reached out and hugged and kissed his mother too. He told me later it was the first time he had ever hugged his mother. He was in his 40's.

I suggest you stop judging your employer. It's not really any of your business how she raises her children. Like my husband, her children may grow up to marry very affectionate spouses.

Nanny Taxi said...

I have run into moms like this, you can't help but wonder why she had kids. The kids are dolls to dress up and to be trotted out on holidays, family visits, or when she wants to impress someone with her home and her elegantly dressed children. It causes a ton of resentment.

With the feelings you are having, I would say you need to quit. It's just not a healthy situation for you. I know you love the kids, and you will still be able to get in touch with them


Off Topic
I'm a psychic! A week ago I was mulling over a job I had 3 years ago and how I miss the girl and I said to my husband I had a feeling the mommy was pregnant again. Guess what? She emailed me last night and SHE IS PREGNANT! Last child was conceived through IVF, this one was not, she's older, a bit worried, she thinks it's a boy and he's due on my birthday! I need to open my own physic hot line!

be afraid of psycho nanny said...

I think you are a bit full of yourself and are viewing things in your own little scary time warp.

First, I don't believe for one new york second that when you were hired to be THE NANNY that she told you you would only have one child at a time.

Second, you made your little lunches with her food, if she opts to exchange it for something else, that is her choice. She is not obliged to feed your friends. Did you tell her you routinely make lunches for other people from her kitchen? Maybe if you did, she would buy more extra food to accommodate your friends.

Third, it could be possible she does not feel comfortable showing affection for her children in front of you, though I believe you are exaggerating about her connection with her children. I think you desire us to see her as a bad parent.

Fourth, I agree with the other posters. You need counseling before you boil that pet rabbit for lunch.
if I were that family I would be fearful of you. I think your short stints as a nanny for various families speaks volumes.

You need to step away from being a nanny. It is obviously enough to drive you to irrational thoughts. Do yourself a favour before you land yourself in jail.

wow! said...

These aren't your kids. Even though she is not affectionate with them, they love her alot. They may love you too. But it won't ever replace her.

Maybe, a change of career. Since, you went to school. Why not work in the field that you worked hard to get a degree in.

not my regular moniker because... said...

I think that this woman could possibly be in danger.

Back to the side note, I hate when people attempt to hug me or go in for a hug. The idea of someone on the street giving out free hugs makes me want to whip out a carving knife and slice up his arm tendons so he can never again offer said free hugs. The only people I want to hug among are those in my family. The end.

Mom of Two said...

You may think that your presence is helping the situation, but you're wrong. If you know anything about kids, then you know that they are incredibly sensitive about picking up on unspoken communication. They may have no idea what's wrong, but you can bet that they sense there's something not right between you and their mom. And, even though she may never win mother of the year, you will never be their mother. Nannies and mothers are in no way, shape or form interchangable.

Just do everybody a favor, especially yourself, and find another job. Preferably in a profession that you can manage to stay in a position for longer than two years. An ever growing chain of two-year engagements isn't anything to bragg about.

bson said...

Mothers and Nannies are not interchangeable? Not usually, but yes, sometimes they are. Sometimes, nannies are better than the mothers. Sometimes, nannies are the only love a child gets. Some women have no maternal instinct. Unfortunately, I think what you meant to say is the children are stuck with their dirty bastard mother, unless, as was the case with Suzette K., the husband realizes the nanny is a better mother, partner and human being and he leaves the mother for the nanny. I know it must suck for a mother to imagine being divorced and splitting custody of her children. It must be especially hard to imagine the overwhelming joy experienced by the children when Daddy came to pick them up and they knew they were going to spend the weekend with Sane Daddy and Super Nanny-Step Mother. As a mother in the same building, I wanted to hate this nanny who was raising these children as her own, (the children began spending more and more time with the father and nanny and less and less time with the mother- at her bequest), but the nanny won me over. Some people just should not be parents. If you're married to someone who doesn't respond to your children, save your children, save yourself, run for the embrace of someone else. Don't let people kid you. It is normal to feel and worry and want and hug and love.

^how creepy are you said...

the above poster obviously has issues all her own. what kind of rant is that? be very afraid of the nanny who wants to take over your life and give the rest of us a bad name

MISSY said...

You sound jealous of your boss and secretly wishes to be her. You want her life and resent the fact that shes does nothing and seems to have everything she wants without having to work for it. You are the nanny NOT THE MOMMY, DEAL WITH IT.

Beezle said...

I can't believe someone that is responsible for the love and care of children is having these thoughts! I mean, it's a strange, sick world and all...but geez. I usually try to see both sides of every coin, but I think you're unfairly judging your employer AND I think you're demonstrating extremely demented thought patterns that could escalate to serious ill.

In regards to the mother "spending her day doing time sucking things that you cna't even pretend to grasp"...it really shouldn't concern you what the mother does while out and about. That is, whether her errands revolve around work or leisure. Sometimes mothers need a break and a free time allowance for self-preservation. Perhaps YOU need a break for self-preservation as well. Either way, your post was disturbing on a number of levels. Maybe you should start Bikram Yoga as a means to mellow the hell out and stop harboring psychotic fantasies.

fox in socks said...

I agree with chill out. I thought the op's post was amusing and creative. I did not get the impression she is a psycho who would actually harm her employer.

neither psychon or sox said...

Creative? Sox must be the OP. If you need to blog your creative writing, maybe this is not the site for you.

CaliNanny said...

I can partially understand where you are coming from as I have nannied for a similar, stay at home/shop all day mom. Though I think your imagination is getting a bit out of control because I would never wish harm to a family.
Just think how you would feel if one day, god forbid, you answered the door and police were there reporting some horrible accident. I would never be able to live with myself.
Either stop being imaginative,if you cant seem to stop these "fantasies", you need to speak to a professional and promptly leave the position because you may form unnormal attachments/bonds with the children.
Good Luck.

ctnanny said...

I don't understand why so many people can't accept that this woman is probably a horrible mother. Sometimes I do feel that the children would be better off without their parents' ongoing emotional neglect and abandonment, even though they would miss their parents.
OP, I think you really need some therapy. It will give you a safe place to talk about your fantasies, where they come from, and how to accept the things you cannot change (like the mom being bad).
It helps me to think that part of my job as "nanny" is to foster positive parent-child interactions, because that is what's best for the children. Therefore, I do everything I can to encourage and support interactions between parents and kids, and then just try to fill in the gaps when the parents are not emotionally or physically available.

Shocked Nanny said...

OP, let me tell you I have been in your shoes, meaning I have worked with parents who stay at home and come in and out during my shift. It has gotten so bad, that I will never again work for any employer who either works out of the home or stays at home and just needs a helping hand. It's just too hard for there to be "two chiefs" in the home. Without any boundaries drawn up beforehand, there will always be a clash. For example, once I was giving this child his bath and the mother came in the bathroom to get something. Well the child saw her and would not sit down or let me finish his bath. Children act differently when they know the parent is still in the home, whether or not the parent is always visible or not. Also, I can't stand the interference from the parent as I prepare meals, play w/the child, etc.
I think you should not keep this job if you cannot deal with the way things are now. I know it is hard for the children since you are so attached to them, however if you hate the job so much that you are entertaining these thoughts, then I do not know how things will manifest. Do you want to be the mother of these kids? If so, you are attached to them more than a nanny should be. To think such things about the mom are not normal. Either quit and move on, maybe you can visit the kids later on after you work out your issues with a therapist. Or if you stay, you need to remind yourself that these are not your own children and they do belong to another person.

etereia said...

Phoenix, thanks for the nice answer. I was a little bit concerned I would get bashed by you for asking this question. See, I am a very huggy - kissy person and the little ones (I am a nanny of three girls) constantly hang on my neck :-)...But I can see your point of view, now.

Vanessa said...

Look, I am a also a nanny and I have been in the situation where I have had to pretty much raise the children because the mother went to the gym, and to have lunch with her friends, and to do her own thing. She was loving with her kids for like 30 minutes and then she'd leave again and would leave them with me for the rest of the day. I was pretty much a mother to them. She did have personal problems that in the end broke their family and I sort of resented her because the little boy (who was like my child and whom I adore more than anything)would cry for his mommy and ask why she wasn't there with him. But I never wished anything bad upon her. Ever. No matter how frustrated I was for the kids. I believe you need psychological help because that isn't normal. Instead, you should sit down with her and talk and explain things to her. If she's a good mom, she'll understand. If she isn't she won't change, and unfortunately that won't be your problem because in the end, whether you want to admit it or not, it's not your family. So, if I were you, I'd go to a psychologist quick, because those thoughts are NOT normal. There is something wrong in there.

Vanessa said...

Chill out, I've seriously never thought how to kill someone or wish death upon anybody, much less waste my time thinking of creative ways for someone to die. If she was joking, which I hope she was, I apologize. But sometimes, people do have internal issues and problems that surface disguised as these things that one might assume are "harmless".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
honest nanny said...

I'VE BEEN THERE! i was working for an orphanage in another country and witnessed such neglect and abuse, it was horrifying. 4 babies died in the 3 month period i was there. i'm also very sound of mind.

the directors returned to the states for a month to do some fundraising and other things. while here the lady had some complications with an infection in her leg and nearly died.

i was so disappointed when she didn't.

i had to leave. that's what i suggest to you as well. the saying "out of sight, out of mind" is NOT true - you will think about those children, you will care about them. but the fact is, you can't save them and its not healthy for you to remain there and agonize every day.

you need to move on.

PinkNanny said...

OP,

Simply put, I would say that for your own sake, and the sake of your relationship with GOD, you need to talk to someone.

Nomatter how bad you think this woman is, you are making yourself even worse by consuming yourself with hatred of her. You are basically poisoning yourself from the inside out.

Talk to a professional counselor, therapist or pyschologist. Find out what it is that's really bothering you because it doesn't seem like it's anything this lady really did that was so bad.

princessduck said...

:)))))))))))))))))))))). Uhm you need a hobby...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
double wrong said...

Plus, you contradict yourself: first you say that you fantasize with her death, then you say that you are "a God fearing person who believes in the 10 commandments and living a life of honor".

Gosh, I despise those people that pretend to be so religious!

She is wrong for not paying attention to her children, you are double wrong for wishing death to someone.

Please please please quit

(you need a moniker!)

high heels and purses said...

You should quit. I wouldn't trust you if I was that woman. She had babies just to show them off, like her high heels and purses. You have a love for children but they aren't safe with you either.
Please quit and make your own child.

(you need a moniker!)

amazing nanny said...

Sweetheart! I was so there with my last job! The parents were just poor parents, PERIOD. I had such a hard time with them and became depressed and I honestly didn't want to leave because of the kiddos. I know how attached you are, I was the same way (am with every family I work for), BUT the most important thing is for you to be in a place where you are happy and feel loved and appreciated. You really need to find yourself a new job. I know it sucks to leave the kids, I still miss the kids I had to leave, but I honestly was found by the best family ever and am so happy now. You need to do what is best for you. When you aren't happy you cannot be the best nanny you can be (I know, lame, but seriously true).

And don't listen to them, you don't need therapy.