Nanny needs help addressing her right to privacy...

Received Sunday, April 26, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I've been a live in nanny for this particular family for nearly 2 years. The parents have had nothing but praise for my work with their children, and I've never been told I need to really improve on anything. Basically, I've been wonderful to their kids and I've been a "great fit" for them. However, things on my end are drastically different. A while ago I asked to move out because I felt my privacy was being invaded and the issue of spearating personal life and work was becoming too difficult. The mother gave me some piece of s*** reason as to why I couldn't leave (I have VERY set hours and the kids are older so they basically care for themselves- there really is no reason for me to live in aside from the fact that it makes her "more comfortable"- i.e. she has no idea how to be a mother and can't function as a parent so she has to have me here to calm things down when the kids get out of control after I'm off.) The mother is a control freak beyond all imagination and I know that the only reason she doesn't want me to leave is because she wouldn't be able to control my life anymore. I'm currently looking for another position, but as most of you know, things are rough as far as job options.

Today I walked in and found my window shut when I'd left it open. I asked her if she'd shut it, and she said that she had because she wanted to turn the air on. It really, really bothers me that she goes into my room. I understand completely that it's her home, but I think that if you're going to hire a live-in nanny, there has to be a level of privacy you need to respect. She wasn't even going to mention having been in my room- I had to bring it up. I know this has happened before, but this was the first time I confronted her about it. I'm wondering if I would be out of line to talk to her about this. I wanted to say something along the lines of, "You hired me as a live in, and I've respected our agreement by staying here against my own wishes. I would appreciate you giving me more privacy and not entering my room without having talked to me first." Is it okay to address this? OR am I totally out of line?


Lisa said...

Yes, it is her home, but I think that you are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy in your personal space.

In California, landlords must give 24 hours notice before entering a rental property, unless there is some sort of emergency. I know that a live-in nanny situation is different than a landlord-tenant situation, but that compaison did pop into my head.

I think a conversation with your employer is totally justified and it sounds like you would approach it with a business-like, professional way. Good luck with your job search!

Nanny in San Diego said...

I feel for you OP. You do not want to live-in, but also you know if you move out, she will probably fire you and you're are very scarce now. I am an unemployed nanny who is tired of all the searching and interviewing, etc. w/no prospects in site!
Sure, you can address the issue of privacy w/your employer. Let her know that when you are off, you are off and you need this time for yourself. It will make you a much better nanny for her children if you are not so burned out. Also, tell her that you would like your space in the house to be just that....your space and kindly ask that she not enter your room while you are not there. If you make this very clear to her, and she still enters your space, I would give notice and look for another position. I would only stay if it was necessary for me to stay in order to other words if I was living hand to mouth. I hope she respects your privacy and things work out.
It is not out of line to ask her to please stay out of your room...just say it very diplomatically, but in a firm manner so the point gets across w/no misunderstandings. You have a right to privacy in your space...I don't know how I would feel if I knew someone was in my room when I wasn't in there. That would bother me.

what am I missing said...

So wait... you're upset because she shut the window? Is that it? Did she go through your stuff too? What am i missing?

fox in socks said...

I agree with whatamImissing, and am wondering what else she has done that invades your privacy, but also am wondering why she really needs you to be a live in. Maybe the dad travels so she feels better with another adult at home during sleeping hours in case of a kid related emergency? like one of the kids needs to go to the hospital?

It's okay to talk to her about trying not to invade your privacy, but I think that the example of shutting the window is not going to cut it. There would have to be more egregious things going on for this to be taken more seriously.

It sounds like a really tough situation for you though. It's really hard to be a live in no matter what, and if you are called upon during your off hours this makes it even harder.

Maybe you could strike a deal where you are paid a nominal fee (additional pay on top of what you currently receive) for the hours in which you are off but kind of "on call."

Kim said...

I agree with Fox and Whatamimissing, is there something more than the window? I think going in to shut a window when turning on the air makes sense and isn't an invasion of privacy. Did she do something else?

Otherwise it seems more like you're upset because you're burnt out and expected to be "on call" any time to handle situations. Which is a completely reasonable complaint.

You can try talking to her again. See if things will change, however, if your complaint is about going in to shut a window she probably will think you're being petty. You could also tell her you are going to move out, but be ready for her to fire you. My guess is she doesn't want you to live out because she'd be expected to pay you much more.

Keep looking for a job. If you're really desperate, look for jobs in other areas besides childcare as well, then get out, you can change jobs again when you become established.

Good luck!

UNOME said...

Leaving a window open when you go out is practically inviting her into your room.

What is she wanted to go out and secure the house ?

What if a rain storm came and she didn't want water getting in?

Was she supposed to turn the air on and let her money pour out your open window so she and her family could be comfortable?

As you mentioned that this is not the first time, sit down and speak with her professionally and draw the lines. And then don't do things that give her a good reason to go into your room.

Best of luck with the job search!

OP said...

Alright- a little clarification. There should have been no way for her to know my window was even open if she hadn't actually opened my door and looked. Secondly, the weather in my area was GREAT (as in no chance of storms, in the 70s and sunny) and I like to leave a window open to get some fresh air b/c the area of the house I'm in isn't well ventilated.

The issue at hand is not that she had anything to do with my window. It's that she went into my room without my permission. And it's definitely not the first time. I've come home to find my door open or shut when I had left it the opposite, and this is after the kids are asleep. As far as her going through my stuff, I really don't know, nor do I care. The fact is, she's in my room, and I'm out of the house, and that's just not acceptable. If she wants to have a live in she needs to adhere to some restrictions herself and stay away from that area.

If she doesn't want my window open, then she should just ask me to keep it shut once I leave the house. Or if she needs to go into my room, I feel like she should call or text me and give me a heads up. Granted, there's no reason for her to ever need to go into my room, save this once incident.

Regarding me being on call, like I said in the post, I have very set hours. I will give it to her and her husband that those don't fluctuate much at all. This is why I see no reason for her to have a live in.

NannyJ said...

I understand your frustration, and agree that you should have privacy (and not work on your off time etc), however... I don't think I would blow up about a window being closed.

Think about it, she wants to turn the air on...but your window is open, it is horribly wasteful to run air conditioning with windows open... are you suggesting that her house should be uncomfortably warm because your room is off limits?

Yes, I think that you deserve and require a higher degree of privacy than you are probably receiving, but be reasonable!

Donna said...

I understand that you want privacy but I think your getting upset over the window thing for no reason. First of all, you should never leave a window open if nobody is home--fresh air, or no fresh air. It's about safety. If she wanted to go out when you're not there and you don't want her to go in your room, how is the house supposed to be secured? If you don't want her to close the windows, then you need to take some responsibility and do it yourself.

Kim said...

After your clarification I think you're being petty. Your window shouldn't be open if you're leaving. If it is and she wants to turn on the air (there's a storm, she wants to leave, etc.) then she has every right to check and close it if necessary. Closing a window is not invading privacy. If it bothers you that much keep it closed unless you are home.

What seems to be your real issue is that you don't want to live in, don't think they need a live in, and think it's unreasonable that they won't let you work as a live out. However, that is their decision. If they want a live in nanny, whether you deem it necessary or not, they have every right to have one. If you no longer want to be a live in, they have every right to replace you. That's their prerogative.

world's best nanny said...

Sorry, their house, their AC, their $$$. With each job there are pros and cons. A big con of being a live in is privacy issues.

Emily said...

You people are crazy! I am totally on OP's side. It's the principle. It is her private room and if she doesn't want anyone inviting themselves in, then that is her right. It's not that she's mad that her window was shut, it's that the mother just barged in without mentioning it, totally disregarding the OP's privacy. So, for those who think it's perfectly fine that the mother went into her room, then it would be acceptable for the OP to go into the mother's room unannounced?!!

Black Orchid said...

Maybe they will let you get locking door knob that needs a key to get in. This will make it more like your living area or a little apartment. They could even keep a copy of the key for emergencies (as a landlord would), but maybe that will get the point across that it is not one of their kids' bedrooms they can walk in and out of as they please; it is your living space, and as an adult employee, you deserve your privacy.

OP said...

I think maybe what I wrote was misconstrued (damn internet communication ha.)

What bothers me is NOT that she closed my window. I totally get it- I do, honestly. And if I were her, it would make total sense to do that.

This was sort of "the straw that broke the camel's back" I guess. This one incident isn't what bothers me so much. It's that i know that she goes in and out of my room when I'm gone, and without any reason. This was the ONLY time I've left my window open when I've left the house. If this happened and I hadn't had any other previous incidents of catching my room not in the state I left it, then I would have been a bit annoyed but honestly understood and forgot it.

However, she (or her husband, unlikely, but always a possibility) have been in and out of my room in the past while I've been away and I just don't like them going in there.

I have nothing to hide. I'm not some sort of sexual nympho into fetishes, even though I'm of legal age and do enjoy drinking with my friends I would NEVER disrespect her household by bringing in my own alcohol, obviously if there's no alcohol there are no drugs or cigarettes.

Over the past 2 years I've proven myself not only a great nanny, but a responsible individual who really tries to respect the boundaries of the home I'm living in. I feel like she should do the same.

fox in socks said...

Emily wrote: "So, for those who think it's perfectly fine that the mother went into her room, then it would be acceptable for the OP to go into the mother's room unannounced?!!"

It's funny you say that, Emily, because I was thinking about the exact same thing. I was thinking that it IS normal for live in household help to go into the mother's room during her work day unannounced! (Obviously not if the door is closed though; someone could be changing clothes.) I was thinking that if a live in household employee wanted to bring in the washed and folded laundry, of course they would just walk right in!

I was thinking that it's not exactly reciprocal, that the employer wouldn't easily just walk into the employee's room (only if they have a good reason and the open window thing could be a good reason).

If a person is a live in, I think one assumes that they will generally be walking around your house wherever they need to be for their job. Unless they were specifically forbidden from going into certain areas.

OP, thank you for your clarifications. I do think that it's the general burden of being a live in that is very hard, and you would rather not live in. If you could speculate, why do you think the mother (or father) has gone into your room so many times (not for the window)?

If you wanted to you could tell them that you really want to continue working for them and love your job a lot, but you would really like your own space and would like to move out soon, yet continue working for them in the same capacity for the same pay. See what they say. Do you have anything to lose by telling them you would really like to continue working for them but would also really like to move out?

Village said...

It's only my opinion, but is it possible the window/room problem it a symptom of a bigger issue? Maybe the OP is just done with living in others' homes, and wants her own place. Sometimes it is easier to focus on the little things, and not the object you really want.

The OP mentioned the control freak mom. To me that is a red flag that the OP is ready for a situation where she has some control, and a private apartment away from work is a good start. The OP may be ready to just be a live out nanny. If that's true, make that a long term goal, and start looking now for that type of situation.

Or maybe a less control freak mom would work in a live in situation.

I think the OP needs to sit down and ask herself what her ideal situation would be, if money and logistics were not an issue. When you get to that truth, plans can be made to accomplish your goal, but first you have to figure out what it is.

IMHO Just a thought.

could never be a live-in said...

OP, I really feel for you. It sounds like the resentment has really built up over the past two years. Obviously this latest incident is just one of many that finally has you ready to snap.
Here's what I would do: Since your 2-year anniversary is coming up, ask to sit down with her and re-evaluate the terms of your contract. This puts you on an even playing field, so she doesn't feel attacked. You can bring up the privacy issues, and make them explicit in the contract (ie, no one is to enter your room without your permission). Ask for a lock if necessary. She can then add anything she wants you to adhere to (such as closing the window when you're gone).
However, I think you need to consider whether you can continue living in, even if these changes are made. You sound pretty burnt-out.

Village said...

PS: OP, she has to have a live in nanny because she is a CONTROL FREAK. It goes with the territory.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

OP, GOOD LUCK IN YOUR JOB SEARCH. I think that is your best option right now. It sounds like you being upset about your privacy is directly related to the fact that you don't want to be a live in. When you are unhappy in one area it begins to leak out into all facets of life and now you are becoming increasingly annoyed by all those little things that you could get over if you weren't a live in.

Until then, sit down with the parents and ask them to text/call/etc before or after entering your room. This is a reasonable request.

Janet English said...

Well that's just a bad way to phrase it. "Against your wishes" is not the best way.

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

I'm sorry, but I could NEVER be a live-in. Not for a million dollars. No way. People with live ins just want complete control. I need to have my separate life.

I think you should continue pursuing other live-out options and in the meantime find someone looking for a roommate on craigslist or something.

get a moniker said...

Anonymous said...
I understand why you are upset that she closed your window. If she wasn't going to tell you this what else is she going through of yours when you are not their?

Apr 26, 2009 6:13:00 PM

Clo said...

I get that there is deeper issues.

But the window? Really?

I can't tell you how many times I entered the room of my charges parents to close a window or check the window to see if it was closed.

I never felt I needed to call them or text them to inform them I did it. And after work, it wasn't even big enough for me to remember to tell them about it. I'm sure they realized it though, because they would come home to a closed window.

Don't nitpick about something so small. Who cares? Honestly, you should have thought ahead and closed the window yourself before you left. If you have bigger issues, bring them up to your employer. But for the sake of being reasonable, leave out the window thing. It's silly.

mom said...

You need to live on your own now. It's really hard living in somebody else's house...and hard having a non family member living in your house too...I wouldn't want to be either of you in that position.

About the big deal. Now that you have left the window open, she will need to be checking to be sure it is shut before she leaves the house or turns the air on and off? Where do you live? I just got back from New York City a couple of hours ago and it's hot as blazes there this weekend! I would never turn the air on in those temperatures with anything in the house open. I also check my kid's bedroom windows at my house...not because I want to control their lives, but because from time to time I like to either air out the whole house or turn the heat or air conditioning on. She didn't bother to mention it to you because it was a big nothing. It would have been akin to saying, "I saw your sock on the laundry room floor so I picked it up and put it in your room." She may not know you feel violated and may be doing normal things that she has no idea you wouldn't maybe seeing that your bathroom fixtures are working properly and that your drains are running smoothly....also things I do in all of my kid's bathrooms from time to time. Or washing windows, vacuuming, etc.

It's just time to move out. You've reached a stage where you need your own space and probably having to live with anybody right now would cause you to be tense and feel violated. That's understandable. We all need and want our privacy at ceratin stages of life. Your employer doesn't sound so bad and you'll probably see that when you are able to make some distance between the two of you.

Misty said...

Ok let me tell u about a situation that I was in about 4 years ago. I worked for a family in Stamford CT and I thought that I had a pretty sweet set up. My living space was the "cottage house" about 35 feet away (at the most) from the main house. I had 3 kids and did EVERYTHING for the family. To add fuel to the fire the father didnt even work.. but I digress.. Being that I had my "own" apt I THOUGHT that I was free to be myself.. Not the case. On more then one occasion the mom came into my place to "inspect" how I was keeping it.. I mean right down to if the toilet was clean. I bit my tongue alot BUT the final straw was one SATURDAY afternoon ( I only worked Mon-Fri) I was out with friends when my cell rang and it was her DEMANDING that I come home immediatley and do the dishes that I had left in my sink. Yes you read that right. I had left a rinsed out bowl and spoon from my breakfast in the sink and she took it upon herself to come into my "space" and call me to come clean it up. Needless to say I quit 2 weeks later.
My advice for you is to GET OUT.. I know that the job market sucks now but KEEP looking. Whose to say that she isnt looking through your stuff when you are gone? You deserve better then this. You are a grown woman and you deserve your privacy. Even inmates are entitled to some.

just another mommy said...

Misty, while I agree that the op is entitled to privacy as a live-in nanny, I don't believe that inmates in prisons are entitled to any privacy whatsoever. Otherwise, there would be no cavity searches.

Nanny in San Diego said...

I think that the window thing was just the straw that broke the camels back. I mean, if it wasn't for the fact that someone had been in her room prior to closing the window, OP probably would not have an issue w/it. OP, I disagree w/those that say you are petty, I believe that they should NEVER to into your bedroom unless they have permission by you. This is a black & white issue, no gray areas. It is your space and you are entitled to it 100%. I would be peeved too if someone came into my private space w/out permission. How disrespectful.
Yes, the job market is tough right now, but this situation sounds pretty tough too. And in your next position, I would make it clear before I move in (if you do another live-in position) that you want your space private and that should be on your contract.
I can't believe people on here think it is okay for someone to come into your private room, even to open a window. Especially, when you know they were in there before. Who knows? Maybe they were snooping through your stuff to see if you were a drug addict or something. Or maybe they planted cameras, etc. Who knows?

Clo said...

I would imagine they would plant cameras in the room before the nanny moved in. Not after.

Unless they developed some weird fetish with her and decided they needed some excitement.


Maybe tell her you will pay for all the money she wasted cooling off the yard because you couldn't allow someone to close your window.

Nanny Taxi said...


My jaw is still on the floor after reading your experience! Who does her dishes? She or you? I would've been like "Uh, excuse me you cannot go out 'til you clean the dishes out of the sink."

Juju....nos EUA.. vida de nanny!! said...

My situation was the same!! Living in for a family for 17 months and they never respect me! My room was only open when I came back home from the weekends and my things were touched!! Thats I why I quit!!
Thats why I don`t wanna be a nanny ever again, thats why I am going back to my Country to study and be somebody!!! Not a slave for this people!!!

Run!!! get a live out job!!!
good luck!!!

mom said...

Really, there's nothing here to suggest OPs employers went through any of her stuff. Ever. That's a huge conclusion to jump to...and if you're going to jump there without any evidence at all...well then, maybe every live in nanny in the world ought to quit under the same premise: "They probably go through my stuff when I'm not home. There's no evidence to suggest they do, but they still probably do, so screw them. I quit!"

If OPs employer came on here and wrote that her nanny had a hissy fit, or even quit, because she went into her room to close the window on hot or cold days when she wanted to use the heat or air conditioner, or needed to set her burglar alarm before going out, I suspect a lot of people would side with the employer and say that nanny was impolite to leave the house without securing her own window first. That's just a common courtesy when living in somebody else's house.

OP, If you only left it open when you were home then your employer would have the opportunity to ask you to close it yourself. You left her NO choice.

The nanny with the dishes...that's a whole different level of control and your employer sounds like a freak.

And no, prisoners get no privacy. Even thgeir toilets are in plain view of everybody. That's the height of no privacy in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

She IS paying for the air conditioning and if she's putting on the A/C and your window is open, it's like throwing money right out of the window.... So I have to agree with her on that. I wouldn't have mentioned it to our nanny either. It probably wasn't a big deal... she just closed the window...

olderandwiser said...

Misty's experience reminds me of an experience I had living in NYC a long time ago when I was young and naive. I was living in a "share" situation where I had 1 (furnished) bedroom of a 2-bedroom apartment. I paid $800/month which was pretty steep at that time.

Not only did I have no real furniture in the "furnished" room (one of those foam chairs that fold out was the bed), I had no privacy. The apartment owner came in and out of my room at will. She told me (after I moved in, and had not thought to ask about these things) that I wasn't allowed to have visitors, wasn't allowed to have food in my room, wasn't allowed to use the phone except for emergencies, and wasn't allowed to use the kitchen. Oh and I wasn't allowed to be in the apartment if she wasn't there. There was 1 bathroom and she spent lots of time in it so I had to go to the local diner to use the bathroom all the time and I snuck showers when I could.

I cried a lot, having already given this woman $800 and having no other place to live and not enough money to move elsewhere. I finally did scramble cash together and I left after meekly confronting her...I had left a can of Sprite in "my" room and she came in, removed it and berated me for breaking the no food in my room rule (which basically meant I had to take all my meals outside since she didn't want me in the kitchen). She told me I was a "guest in her house" and made me feel like shit. I have wanted so many times to go back in time and ask her sarcastically, "do you charge all of your guests $800/month and treat them like presumed criminals?"

Anyway, having had such a nightmare experience with an apartment share, I can see how the potential for abuse with live-in nannies is very high. I would never ever in a million years be a live-in, and I think anyone who takes such a position should have EVERY LITTLE DETAIL spelled out in writing and signed, notarized, whatever, in triplicate, before the first day of the job.

It's hell to feel like you have no privacy and no recourse.

DenverNanny said...

WOW--once again, 90% of the responders on here did not read the original post OR OP's responses.

This has NOTHING to do with the window, whether mom actually touched/looked through ANYTHING, or whether this nanny would have difficulty living with anyone.

The issue is: (drumroll) mom has NO respect for nanny's privacy. There is NO excuse for habitually entering nanny's PRIVATE areas without AT LEAST notifying her.

Remember the whole coffee enema thing? Wasn't the BIG issue that she wasn't in her PRIVATE area? But wait--now the parents are free to come and go in nanny's area whenever they want? And the nanny is to blame for not liking it?

OP- You're right, mom's wrong. If she won't respect your privacy, look for a new job...

erosser said...

I'm sorry some of these CLUELESS mothers (whatamimissing and fox) don't get it OP. It doesn't matter that she "just" closed the wouldnt matter if she wanted to go and lay a present on your bed. Unless there is a real "cause" for going into the room, she shouldn't. It should be regarded as completely and utterly your space (its the one area thats yours in their whole house). I do think you have every right to talk to her about the issue, especially because she's the reason you did move out on your own.

H said...

I have to ask, why is the nanny even on the same AC unit as the family? My nanny has her own heat and AC and she can leave her window open whenever she likes. If it's raining and her stuff gets wet, it's on her.

The problem with so many of these live in failures is that the family either isn't equipped to properly house a live-in nanny.

As an employer of a nanny, I can tell you that I would never go in my nanny's room, ever. There are times when the children want to tell her something or show her something and they go to her room and knock on the door. None of us would ever go in the nanny's room.

mom said...

Hmmm.I thought the OP asked if she was being petty about the window. She is.

It sounds like the mom may have gone in and opened or closed the window before, nothing more serious.

And she wanted to know if we thought she should address it.
She can address it all she wants...if she wants to sound petty and immature.

What's she going to say? "There is a privacy issue here that I cannot live with any longer. I don't care if it costs you a fortune to heat or cool not only your house, but the entire backyard as well, but if my window is open when I am away, you need to stay out of my room and just live with it, because that's MY personal space and you have no right to enter. If you want to go out for the evening and are unable to set your burglar alarm, or you have to bypass my window to set it, and consequesntly get robbed, that's too bad for you, because you have no right to enter MY private space to secure your home against burglars."

Yeah OP, go say that. If I were you, I'd have another job lined up first, because it's going to sound really snippy and immature. It may be "your" personal space, but its HER house, and you have no right to be detrimental to her safety, or to her enjoyment of her home in the process of protecting your privacy. Be an adult and secure your room before you go out and the issue goes away without any immature sounding hissy fit. How hard is that? But yeah, she will probably open your door a few times when you are out for a while now when she sets the air because you have created a sitatuuion where she will feel that she needs to find out if your window is open when you leave. When she sees its shut, she'll walk out. End of story.

mom said...

Does your nanny also pay her air conditioning bill?
And who pays for the damage to the sills, walls, curtains and carpet when nanny's room gets rained into?

What you suggest is unrealistic for most people.

Are you saying that unless somebody is a gazillionaire who can throw money away they ought not have a nanny?

DenverNanny said...

High5! -- a parent with a live-in that actually knows what they're talking about. Thank you for respecting your nanny and her privacy!

You're still not getting it... Waaaaaay too focused on the window, despite OP trying TWICE to make more clear that the window was NOT the issue. Sometimes its easier to just walk away from what you dson't understand...

And if you don't have enough money, or more importantly, the RESPECT to provide a decent PRIVATE living space for your live-in nanny, then no, you shouldn't have a live-in nanny--Duh...

feels for OP said...

you're absolutely insane. it looks to me that you're becoming more hostile with each post you make. OP has made it clear that she is NOT upset about the opening and shutting of the window, and I'm willing to bet she'll be keeping it shut from now on. She's upset about the fact that the mother has been going into her room not just this one time, but in the past as well, without permission.

It may be the mother's house, but unless she's ready to deal with losing some of her control over a room or two, then she needs to let the nanny move out or get a new- live out nanny.

mom said...

feels for're right. And I suspect that if OP has a hissy fit over the window she will choose the latter.

Be snippy all you want, Feels, but in this economy employers are most likely to look elsewhere when employees start having tantrums over minor issues. That's just the fact...insane though I may be.

You may have a lot of friends who are nannies and secretly resent their employers for every little thing...but the people I know most are the employers of nannies...and being immature on the job is not something that earns brownie points...and calling me every name you can muster up isn't going to change that fact. There are a lot of really nice, normal people out there working as nannies, and one who gets upset because her employer dares go into ther room to close a window is not going to appear to be one of those. All OP says about the past is that "I know this has happened before," and makes no mention of her stuff being rifled through ever, so I'm going to take that as prior window closings or some other thing where OP thinks they have walked into her room, but had not been in her stuff.

Goad OP into losing her job if you want to. You sound like such a nice person.

You may not like the reality of things, but none of us get to choose what reality is. Either learn to live with reality or spend your life having tantrums over every little thing that isn't fair. Personally, I think picking ones battles is the wiser route, and a window closing, or even a few, wouldn't be the hill I wanted to die on.

NervousNanny said...


OP said "What bothers me is NOT that she closed my window. I totally get it- I do, honestly. And if I were her, it would make total sense to do that...However, she (or her husband, unlikely, but always a possibility) have been in and out of my room in the past while I've been away and I just don't like them going in there."

I'm thinking that means that she really isn't that upset about the window. What I think is the issue is the fact that they have entered her room before. Such as the example she gave where she returns to an open door when she left it closed, closed when it was left open, etc.
I agree, she shouldn't make a big deal about the window, but I'm thinking she was already aggravated and this just hit her hard. Sometimes we get all bent out of shape for something that normally wouldn't bother us at all. It happens. What I think is the real issue is that whether it be true or not, the OP feels as if she has no privacy in what is her current home. You need to feel that you have privacy no matter where you live. In a situation like this with a roommate, people get angry. This makes sense to me that the OP is upset.

I think the OP needs to speak with her employer if she plans to stay. To make sure that she and her employer have the same ideas of privacy in mind.

In my opinion, I don't think the situation's working for you OP.

(And personally, I check all of the windows in my house before turning the air on too. If I had a live-in, I think I'd do the same and not think much of it)

Kim said...

I agree with Mom on this one.

OP never says they have touched her stuff. She just knows they have opened the door...probably to check the window or something else completely innocent. It is her room and she has a right to privacy, but the homeowners have a right to check on the situation of a room when it will affect them.

I think there is something else going on with OP, but she still hasn't given any specifics besides the window. I believe from her statements that she is mad that they weren't accomodating when she wanted to be a live out. But that's their choice, not hers. They want a live in for whatever reason, she can leave, but they don't have to continue employing her if she does.

gabriela said...

i am astonished at the responses, especially some of those from posters that i generally fall in line with.

as a live-in nanny she gets less money for her services because part of her pay is considered to be her room and board, no?

i live in an apartment. my landlord must let me know if she plans on entering my property. period. if she repeatedly entered without my knowledge i would point out the portion of my contract that states that such behavior is inappropriate and walk on my contract.

windows are not the deal here. personal privacy are. i work with children but i am not a nanny, but i am honestly shocked at the lack of sympathy for the OP here. i can only hope that some of this extremism is just folks bringing on their blog persona... not that they are actually like that.

Where is nanny's home? said...

I can't believe how many people are adhering to the "it's her house" line. I believe a live-in nanny is equivalent to any other tenant you might have in your home. If the police were executing a search warrant for the employer's house, could they legally search the nanny's room as well? I think I've heard they can't.
The point is, the nanny's room is HER home. She is entitled to complete privacy in this one room. Mom, of course you would do these things in your CHILDREN'S rooms. But the nanny is not your child. She is an adult entitled to privacy in her home. So although I know this window incident is a minor thing indicative of a major problem, I would still be upset about the window incident, unless the employer had previously made it clear that the nanny should shut the window when she goes out.

If $ really mattered said...

Some people have pointed out that it's a financial issue for the employer in checking the windows before turning on the AC. The OP states that it was a nice day, a comfortable temperature. If people choose to waste money by using central air on a reasonable day, I don't have a lot of sympathy for the extra money they would waste by air conditioning with the nanny's window open for a few hours.

mom said...

I think somebody else here made the best point of all...nanny has just reached an age or stage of life where she is ready to have her own place. At a certain point, living with "roommates" is just no longer that tolerable. I don't think OPs employer is the devil, and I don't think OP is the devil either...but their needs have grown apart.
Anybody who lived away at college and had to live in dorms or apartments with relative strangers knows that there is a lot of give and take and a lot of looking the other way at the things other people do when oyu are living together like that...otherwise nobody would be able to get along with each other. All people have their quirks and things other people find irritating or rude.

I still maintain that in a living siutation like this people need to be very careful about which irritants they choose to make an issue of and which ones they choose to dig their heels in about.

I personally would have really hard time living in somebody else's house. I loved it in college living with three other girls in an apartment with one shared bathroom...but I'm older now and would hate that. I think OP has also reached this stage and it's time to move on.

mom said...

And, if $ really mattered,

I was just talking with somebody about this topic over the weekend. Why do people always assume that people who have money, have money to burn...or that they would WASTE money even if they could? Many do not...and that is exactly WHY some of the people who have managed to get ahead got ahead!
I sit in flabbergasted at people who are struggling financially...really struggling...and then decide its appropriate to sepnd $1300.00 on their child's prom, or some other ridiculous waste of money. And then they complain about how they can never get ahead?! There was a time we had hardly any money and a time (now) when I could easily spend that kind of money on a prom...but I would NEVER consider doing it. Why? Because it's a huge waste of good money, that's why. Same for blowing money out the window by leaving windows open with the air on. Not to mention the waste of energy...which is in short supply in many areas, in case nobody has heard yet.
We are in a recession, which seems to be heading toward a depression. I don't want to be the one being forcibly moved out of my house and wishing for those dollars back that I wasted wantonly "just because I could." Maybe OPs employer feels the same way.

And again, I ask if this "pretty day" ovet the weekend supposedly happened in New York, because it was really hot there all weekend.

NVMom said...

H, Think about what you're saying. Not all houses are constructed to give certain rooms their own A/C. I just built a 7000+ sq. ft. home in Texas that has five AC zones. The only one that works for one room is for the master bedroom. If I had a live-in there (which I won't because I'm selling it), she certainly would not have her own air. She'd also be required to allow a cleaning person in to clean it. No matter who lives in my home I'm responsible for its upkeep and maintenance.

Anyone who has someone clean their home gives up a degree of privacy for the service. It's the same thing if a nanny or any other person stays in your home. And by the way, all of you complaining about absolute privacy, do you let housekeeping in your room when you stay at hotel, or is that off limits too?

DenverNanny said...

OP: we're not ALL crazy on this site...promise.

So, I have a question for all these posters who feel OP is in the wrong/grown out of living with people/etc:
Meet a hypothetical mom who submits a question for Perspective & Opinion. Mom has a nanny. Nanny cares ONLY for the child and their needs (laundry, their food, cleaning their messes, etc). Nanny has NO reason to be in the mom's room. Mom's noticed nanny has been in mom's bedroom but she don't know why or how often. What to do?

Is it appropriate for a nanny to be going in/out of the parents' bedroom whenever she wants? (Assuming she's a REAL nanny, not a housekeeper, laundry maid, etc)

mom said...

Sure she can go in mom's room to open and close windows as she uses heat and air conditioning...or, IF she owns the house, pays the electric bill, or has the mom's permission. If it was my house and my nanny, and if I had left windows open and nanny wanted to turn heat or air, I would be appreciative of her thinking to go into my room and close the windows, even if she had no specific permission or any other reason to enter my room. Common sense is just common matter which low horse you ride in on. (Don't remember which thread that particular phrase made it's appearance on, but I thought it was priceless.)

In a roommate situation where people are sharing rent but have separate bedrooms, I would think it also reasonable to enter one another's bedrooms in order to open and close windows under the circumstances. I also think it would be most polite to just go ahead and close and lock private window upon leaving the house so that the other roommates don't have to worry about being murdered in the night. You may think I'm being dramatic...but then maybe all of you didn't live in Los Angeles when the night stalker was making his rounds. Lock your windows at night!

OP said...

Thanks for all the responses everyone.

For the record, I'm putting in a letter of resignation because I'm just tired of dealing with this situation overall. As DenverNanny so graciously pointed out, the situation is not at all concerning the open window. It is about my overall privacy, as I tried to clarify in my followup comments. However, certain readers (i.e. mom) are so caught up on the idea that I'm upset over a window that quite frankly, I don't give a flying shit. For the record, I was gone for a couple (read TWO) hours during the middle of the afternoon when everyone was home. Glad the LA Night Stalker didn't get anyone then. That open window would forever haunt me.

Mom, I am glad I was never your roommate. I've had roommates outside of my live-in nanny position and if I had entered their rooms when they were gone on a semi-regular basis, we wouldn't have been roommates for long. I don't know what makes you think you're entitled to go in and out of peoples rooms, but whatever it is, take the stick out of your ass and get over it.

After a few days to cool down and think about things, I'm absolutely positive that I'm in the right and deserve a lot more privacy overall than I've been given. Sure, closing the window would have been better, but considering the great 70 degree weather and the little ventilation I get in my room, and that I would be back soon, I didn't think of it as a big deal.

The fact remains, the people I work for want a live-in... something.... but definitely not a nanny, because nannies are adults who deserve respect and privacy as if their room were their own home, and these people refuse to offer it. I'm not their 20-something daughter, but an employee and adult and deserve to be treated as such. Obviously that's going beyond their reach.

Again, thanks for all of the input. And a special thanks to those who get out of their box and read the post and followups for what they really are.

mom said...

Gee OP, what a lovely person you sound like.

Here's an idea, if your post WASN'T about the open window being closed, how about NOT writing almost the entire post abut the window and instead devote the bulk of your details to describing what it's ACTUALLY ABOUT?

Instead, you mentioned vaguely that you feel the mom is controlling (which, frankly, without any specific incidents mentioned, makes you sound more like a spoiled teenager who has nothing to back up her claims, but instead just wants to bitch and banter about the ever popular word, "controlling."

And you mention vaguely also that "this is not the first time." The first time about the window? Because if it is about the window more than once, your leaving it open repeatedly is nothing more than a passive aggressive power struggle...which paints you as being as immature as your "follow up" post proves you to be.

Here's a thought. How about thinking about somebody besides yourself for more than five seconds and have a moment's consideration for your employer. All I hear in your whiny post is "Me, me, me." Look at the other side for a breif moment once in a while and say to yourself, "I'd prefer she not enter my room..but I can see her perspective on this one also and I can understand that she needed the window shut so it didn't cost her a bunch of extra money." It's not big deal. You just don't care about her side because it doesn't affect you personally in a negative way. If it did, you would. That's the very definition of selfish, dear.

That spoiled, self entitled attitude of yours isn't going to take you anywhere good Missy. Nor is your foul mouth. Grow up.

TX Mommy said...

Mom I have to say enough already. I know you are use to being right but I feel you are out of line. Sometimes I get the impression that you are the kind of person the loves the sound of her own voice. Others have already pointed out that you don't get where the OP is coming from and that is obvious. You seem way more hung up on the window than anyone else. I take the OP at her word that she doesn't like her level of privacy where she lives and I don't need a long drawn out post to understand where she's coming from. Have you ever been a live in nanny or employed one? Maybe you shouldn't be so opinionated about something you know nothing about. Mom you are usually more diplomatic, maybe you're having a bad week?

NervousNanny said...

Mom said: "Look at the other side for a breif moment once in a while and say to yourself, "I'd prefer she not enter my room..but I can see her perspective on this one also and I can understand that she needed the window shut so it didn't cost her a bunch of extra money.""

OP said: "What bothers me is NOT that she closed my window. I totally get it- I do, honestly. And if I were her, it would make total sense to do that."

I think you need to actually read things through mom.

Ms. said...

Wow mom, what a lot of bravado. Can't you just admit you misunderstood the post. That you focused in on something VERY specific when the question was much more broad. It's not like she asked about the window, she just used it as an EXAMPLE. And you just keep repeating yourself over and over about the window. It's making you look stupid.

Mom 2 said...

Dearest Mom, you wrote:

"Here's an idea, if your post WASN'T about the open window being closed, how about NOT writing almost the entire post abut the window and instead devote the bulk of your details to describing what it's ACTUALLY ABOUT?"

If you read the post you will see that exactly three sentences are devoted to the window.
They way you talk to OP in your last post calling her dear and all that makes you sound like an ass.

You have officially pissed me off.

Anonymous said...
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TC said...

Mom are you going through some personal issues? I've always agreed with your comments and I like the fact that you seem to take the high road but that hasn't happened in this thread. You are a sweet lady and I hope this is just a bad thread for you and I hope we get to see the old mom real soon.

After all us Texas women are awesome ;)

DenverNanny said...

OP: Lovely response & Good job standing up for yourself!

Mom: Do you really expect ANYONE to post on this site if that's how you plan to treat OPs?

Jacqueline said...

To be perfectly honest. I can see both sides of this situation. And I am not gonig to comment on or go into the argument between OP and mom. I think that OP is upset about her privacy being breached and that is understandable. But I don't think the mom (her employer) is totally out of line for going in and closing the window, as she said. I think she is just DONE with living on someone elses terms, and wants to be on her own. I can appreciate that! I have had many roommates and I know for a fact that I never want one again. Not because they were all horrible (some were, some are still good friends of mine) but I just want to answer to no one! well, other than my boss...hahaha! But I also don't think it is fair for her to make it out like her employer is a horrible person. It doesn't sound like it, from her posts, but more like she is looking for something to blame for her wanting to leave. Just be an adult and admit you don't want to live under someone elses roof. Don't villainize your employer!

fox in socks said...

Here's what I would like to know. A few people have mentioned that those who want live in nannies, au pairs, or whatever, are control freaks. Can someone explain more about this? I would love to hear it. Thank you.

I have a few friends with live in help. While one of them definitely has an au pair because it's a much more affordable solution to her child care needs, as I think of some others, I do think there could be some truth to this issue of people who want live ins being desirous of being in control.

Please say more about this, nannies. Can you give some examples and explain why you think this is true? Thank you.

Mom, I hope you are doing well. I did notice a change in your personality on the other thread, and more so on this thread. On the other thread, it was more slight but I definitely noticed it and thought about you significantly. I thought it was something odd, not really like you, nothing too egregious but you get my drift. On this thread a lot of other people have noticed and some have said mean things. I hope you are feeling okay and don't take the mean things too much to heart. Hope all is well.

chick said...

Fox in Socks, I think a lot of families who choose a LI nanny eventually come to feel that if nanny is home, she is available to work. And many nannies are innate "people pleasers" who may have a hard time drawing boundaries and saying "No, sorry, I cannot be available 24/7 to work."

So, the nannies begin to feel like their employers are trying to control their lives, and thus the "control freak" tag is applied.

I know LI nannies who wind up working 80+ hours a week because they are in the house and the expectation becomes that if they are there, they are willing to work. That attitude on the part of employers is a direct path to fast nanny burn out and eventually they will lose their nanny.

LI families need to make sure they are willing to establish specific times for nanny to NOT work, and then they need to make sure they maintain those coundaries, even when it's not convenient for them. No asking if nanny can watch the kids "for just a while" when mom has to run a weekend errand.

In addition, I think many nannies who LI are younger, may be just starting out in the nanny profession, and they can't draw those boundaries very easily themselves. After all, if they say "No" too often, they may begin to fear for their jobs, and if they get fired, they have nowhere to live. So they say yes to all unpaid OT requests, and become resentful.

Happy LI nannies are, in my experience, older, experienced, and more than willing to draw those boundaries and just say, "Nope, can't help you, I'm off the clock." Or, they say, "Yes, I can help, but you'll need to pay me my OT rate in cash upfront."

MinuteMuggle said...

I think that you shouldn't leave windows open when you go out.

That's all.

mom said...

Fox in Socks,

I'm good, thanks. Just really, really, REALLY busy right now, so I'm mostly just popping on and reading from time to time when I'm paying bills or checking e-mail. I think the change you notice is probably because I'm not commenting much these days, unless something really strikes a nerve with me...hence the more "rabid" tone of my posts, I suppose. I'm mostly only commenting here and there when I feel really "passionate."

The other one I recall becoming fairly involved with was about a young girl who I felt needed to stand up for herself more with a lady who was underpaying her. In her, I sensed that she may undervalue herself and/or have a hard time standing up for herself. I hate seeing that in young people...especially if they seem to be very nice. I wanted to give her every incentive to feel strong and empowered.

This one (which I am tired of discussing...'cause I feel like I'm beating a dead horse at this point...but here goes once more) struck a nerve for the opposite reason. I tried being diplomatic with OP in my first couple of posts, but her subsequent updates convinced me more and more that she was leaving a lot of the "real" story out. I try to bear in mind that there are two sides to every story, and I have every confidence that this is one of those times that we could have seriously benefited from hearing her employer's side of things. I think many of you would be truly shocked to hear her employer's take on this situation. I really do.

I deal with a lot of teenagers and young adults...and a pet peeve of mine is that so many in this younger generation have been raised in such a "me, me, me" fashion that they sometimes get so wrapped up in their own "rights" that they so often don't even think to consider how their actions affect others. I think it is an extreme disservice to them in the long run. And I am not shy about calling people out on that when I see it. Our society has become so wrapped up in everybody looking out for their own "rights," no matter how big or small, that we are rapidly losing the arts of diplomacy and common courtesy. That's not a good thing.

I have also helped myself/friends/teachers decode many a teen gripe fest/girl snark off.

Here's a little teen speak decoder, whch led me to my conclusion about this post:

Calling somebody "controlling" without having any examples (very popular among the yopunget set these days) generally means that the teen/young adult has been called on some unsatisfactory behavior and resents being "told what to do." BTW, It often times doesn't matter WHAT the kid has done, or whether the reprimander has a legitimate gripe.
(If an employer, or anybody, is truly "controlling" there are examples aplenty to back up the claim...such as the nanny here who had the employer call her home to wash dishes in her private apartment. One GOOD example. We all got the point, and her employer indeed sounds controlling. If somebody has "good examples," they're not going to let their beginning, middle and end case center on some vague "it's not about that" example.)

I suspect this nanny and her employer are having some...probably several...issues and power struggles that do have nothing to do with the window, and I very much suspect that they are probably both teed off at one another by now. (So, in that regard, I believe that "it's not about the window" is actually true...but not in the way OP wants us to think.)

And "It's not about the window (or, insert whatever it's not about here)" typically means that it IS about that (or at least that's the best they can come up with at the time anyway), but that even the complainer realizes deep down that whatever it's "not" about is not really something worth complaining too much about...but they're hacked anyway and want to get it off their chest. So they have their tantrum, but, when called on the fact that they're being overly dramatic, claim, "that's not the real problem anyway." If there is no explanation as to what the "real" problem is, then you can pretty well bet they were just blowing off some steam...being a lttle dramatic and rebelling.

Believe me, when a young person has a legitimate gripe, they generally do not keep silent about it and dance all around it with minor, off topic, examples. There is a stage of life when young people generally feel wronged and maligned, no matter what the reality is. And they are dramatic about the slightest things. Somethiing LEGITIMATE to complain about? That's the mother lode! It will not be overlooked or downplayed.

Soooo, in the absence of any concrete explanation of any event that has the OP so upset with this "controlling, privacy invading" employer, I suspect this is one of those cases, and OP would benefit very much from considering her own part in this whole thing. However...along with the stage I have been just describing, also comes the apparent inability to "see the other side of things." Catch 22. OH well, I give up.

Have a nice day. I'll be back to my "milder" general-commenting self after graduation.

In the meantime, please forgive me if I'm not the same "mom" you all have come to expect. However, I should be very clear in stating that I am just a person and should in no way be placed anywhere near a pedestal. I try to be nice most times...but I do have my passions as well...and I'm bolder about those. This site is for opinions...and some of mine are very strong.

Just Asking said...

Hmmm... Interesting...

Anonymous said...
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you need a moniker said...

I would mention everything that you said, but never say "you" always say "I" when confronting. although in the future don't leave your window open because of the air. and also you shouldn't have to control the children when your shift is up. that's not your job. leave the house and go to the library or out with friends for a couple of hours to make that point that you have your life.

May 8, 2009 4:45:00 AM