I keep my mouth shut, right?

Received Sunday, June 28, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I'm a nanny and I thought I took my dream job. I live in a huge house in Westchester County. I make more than most would imagine, drive a luxury car, have insurance, a gas allowance and I have my own cottage on my employer's property. I take care of two super little girls. I don't have to do any housekeeping because there is a full time housekeeper and a cleaning crew that comes in twice a week for heavy cleaning. Dream job, right?

If you think I am about to say my bosses are horrible, they aren't. They've been very nice to me. They've gotten me tickets to Broadway shows and even purchased my airline ticket for me for my first trip home at the end of the summer. I have only been here 4 months.

There is something that is starting to rattle me and I wonder if I should just ignore it or if it's as creepy as I think it is. Everytime I think it's creepy, the next moment is followed with something normal and warm and I second guess myself.

Here's the deal. The mother is attractive. She doesn't seem to be crazed like most of the Mom's out here about looking good. It seems to come to her naturally. She gets botox and some stuff but she doesn't obsess about her looks or weight or diet. She eats what she wants. But, when it comes to the girls, she has some weird things going on. After bath, she wants me to make sure to have the girls apply this really expensive cocoa butter cream to their breasts and their hips and where their arms meet their pectorals. This is to prevent stretchmarks later in life. The girls like to play in makeup and things like that. I do that with them sometimes and paint their nails. But when Mom does it, she does adult sort of facials and treatments with them and it doesn't seem fun. I have seen one of the girls skin just rubbed sore and red from a seaweed scrub for cellulite.
I have also heard the youngest saying she doesn't want to this or that and the Mom insists. She always says it will be fun. And she always rewards them with toys for participating in her adult beauty regime. She even has them use teeth bleaching stuff, not over the counter stuff, either, from her dentist.

I keep my mouth shut, right?


ChiNanny said...

Unless it's abusive, I think you keep your mouth shut. And it doesn't sound abusive. However it does sound like the mom is extremely vain and worried that her children won't be "flawless".

You could always mention to the mom that the girls complain about how much it hurts. Maybe she'd think twice about some of it, however I highly doubt it.

Sounds like you've landed a great job with a vain, superficial parent. I'd say enjoy the perks and just watch to make sure nothing becomes abusive.

Nanny in Beautiful San Diego said...

I agree w/ChiNanny. However, it sounds borderline abusive since they are getting sore skin, etc. This one is a tough call, but I would keep my mouth shut and maybe tactfully mention to the mom that you noticed the skin of the daughters is rubbed raw. If Mom gets really defensive, I would just let it go, but do what I could do to make things easier for the girls.
Good luck.

Marypoppin'pills said...

I actually knew a Mom like this. She was also very attractive and dabbled in some plastic surgery, much like the Mom you described. But she was much harder on her girls... to the point of yelling at them if they even gained 2 pounds.

I think the cocoa butter is harmless. That may actually help the girls later, although you don't say how old they are. But if they are really young, I see no reason for this now, but it won't hurt them.
As for the seaweed scrubs, etc... not good. Why on earth would she subject her children to this? If you think you can get away with mentioning to the Mom that the girls are sore and red, then I agree with the other posters... say something... delicately.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

Keep your mouth shut. It's not how you would raise your children, but I don't see anything overly abusive here. All of our mothers made us do something we didn't like or didn't want to, and hopefully, most of us turned out to be fine.

These differences always occur. In my family its that the parents don't clean the boy's butt well enough after he has a dirty diaper. Is this abusive? No. Does it cause unnecessary diaper rashes? Yes. Is it my place to tell her how to change a diaper? No.

Sounds like you do have a fantasy dream job. Wanna trade?

Argh..... said...

i don't think any of this (with the exception of the teeth bleaching) is any big deal. it does sound like the mom is a bit obsessed with beauty and looking good and wants her girls to look great, but, I don't see it as a big deal at all.

Mommy- kids should be kids said...

This mom is weird- how old are the girls- If they are old enough, maybe they should be the ones to say something-

If they are not old enough- then they are to young to be getting facials and treatments- etc.

Girls love to dress up, play kitchen, house and other girly things. Kids should be kids

fox in socks said...

The dentist should okay the teeth bleaching. It's not okay for all ages. If there is even a chance that the mother doesn't realize that they are getting rashes from the adult "beauty" treatments then you should definitely tell her. Maybe she doesn't fully know what is going on with their skin.

It does sound odd and excessive to be slathering them with cream only in certain parts of their bodies. There is nothing wrong with putting on moisturizing cream. However it is normally applied all over, such as on the arms and legs where children and adults tend to be dry.

The fact that she is only having you put cream on their future "womanly parts" makes me wonder if it's possible that the cream contains something hormonal in it. Is it possible that it contains some natural yet very active an potent hormonal ingredient? (For example, wild yam cream.)

not my kids said...

I think that's disgusting. But that's my opinion. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't say anything- they're her kids, and her parenting decisions.

ChiNanny said...

Fox in sox -

cocoa butter cream will help prevent stretch marks when the girls are developing. Many little girls get stretch marks on hips and breasts as they grow. The mother is trying to prevent this most likely.

Not something I'd do, but not something to get worked up over.

mom said...

My daughter got stretch marks on her thighs when she grew, and she's not in the least overweight. She just grew fast, I guess. I had no idea what they were and had to ask the doctor. She told me it is not all that uncommon. Had I thought there was a way to prevent it, I would have put cream on her legs too. Thankfully, they all but disappeared in time.
That said, I don't think the cream is weird.

If she is really rubbing their faces raw, that is terrible. If it is not to the point of being abusive, you have no recourse, so why take any chance of damaging your relationship and your job situation?

I hate to see vain mothers treat their children like this. The couple of moms I have seen first hand do this...yes, their girls were beautiful...but they turned out to be truly slutty at a very young age. Maybe it's a coincidence, but I have always assumed it was the result of years of those children learning that being pretty was a good way to get attention, and maybe their value as girls became too tied up in being desired for them to be able to look at their true worth as people.

NannyJ said...

Geez! I can't believe that a child would have cellulite to worry about... therefore I think the mom is a bit crazy!

But yeah, don't say anything unless it really gets out of hand.
However, if the mom is doing it in such a way that the girls feel bad about themselves because they feel like their mom thinks that they always need to look *better* (cellulite scrubs...teeth bleaching), make sure you reassure them that they are beautiful, inside and out, etc, etc. :)

citysitter said...

I think that this only sounds like abusive behavior from an emotional perspective. It sounds like the mother's preoccupation with vanity could rub off on her kids, and leave them with self esteem problems in their teen and adult years. If i were you, i would work on giving them positive reinforcement for things other than their looks, like their ideas, skills and talents. You should also make sure that the time you spend with these girls is used in a way that has nothing to do with beauty, so that they have the opportunity to develop other aspects of their personalities.

world's best nanny said...

They are her kids so you may not agree, but that's the way things go. I can only wonder what is going to happen if her children don't come out stunning once they enter puberty. You can try and look for recipes for natural things they can try. I worked for a mom once that wanted to use the Musela brand, I think because it was "trendy." One day I handed her a bar of Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap. She was turned off by the smell and the appearance of the soap that she refused to use it. She got called away on business for a week or so and I used the soap. Babies eczema and chronic diaper rash was cleared up, and the cradle cap was gone. So sometimes mama's know better and sometimes not so much.

oh well said...

There is no evidence that cocoa butter does anything for stretch marks. And I suspect that the cellulite scrubs may do more harm than good. But I don't see how opening your mouth about it is going to help anything. As long as the girls overall look happy and healthy, I should not worry too much.

Village said...

I don't think you can say much, but if the abrasives are breaking the children's skin, you could say, 'Oh I hope that redness doesn't leave a scar.'

Lola said...

I don't know, I used cocoa butter on my body my entire pregnancy and didn't get one stretch mark....although I do have them on my lower back from puberty.

Depending on the girl's age I can see the benefit of cocoa butter, but the rest is over the top. Especially the teeth bleaching.

Pick a name said...

While I think it's weird, I do think that it is the parenting style this mom is choosing for her children. I would keep my mouth shut as far as voicing my concerns, but take an alternative route to help the girls develop a healthy self esteem.

Find activities to send them the message that they are beautiful just the way they are, and encourage them to be creative and find things they like that they can share with their mom.

Also.... I don't know just how naturally beautiful this mom is. If this is how she treats her kids... I guarantee you it's a long morning for her in front of the mirror.

sd said...

I wish I had used some cocoa butter before puberty!

I don't think the cocoa butter is a big deal but getting their faces rubbed raw is sad. I would say their faces are really sore and offer to do it for the mom, and then just do a tiny tiny bit and barely touch it to their face, that way you can say that you did it, but it won't be to the degree that the Mom does it!

Otherwise, don't mess up a good thing!

Wicker Park Nanny said...

Village, your comment suggestion is both brilliant and hilarious!

:D hahahahahaha...

strechmarkednanny said...

I do agree it is a bit creepy and might give the girls complexes, but I wouldn't say anything. Also, I got awful stretchmarks when I hit puberty. I wish my mother had at least given me a chance to avoid them.

t said...

I'm an esthetician. Facials are not recomended for children until after puberty, when the skin changes. Until then, exfoiliation and deep cleaning does more harm than good.

If the mom really feels the need to give the kids facials, she can use mashed avacado or yogurt. Also, scrubs that leave the skin raw actually cause wrinkles because you're stretching and irritating the skin.

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