A Little Bit Pregnant

Received Thursday, August 6, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN I am a nanny who has over 10 years of experience. I am currently with a family FT and work over 40 hours a week. I have been with this family for over a year and a half. Actually 2 years if you include my trial period. I am due for a review the week after labor day. I just found out that I am pregnant with my first child. I will not be 3 months along until AFTER my review.

My question is not only WHEN, but HOW do I tell my bosses? I am afraid that I will be let go because I am pregnant, but I don't want to hide it either.


Sensible Nanny said...

You do not have to reveal your pregnancy until after like 5 months or so. If they ask why you didn't tell them prior, you could say that either you didn't know...or that you just wanted to wait until the 5 or 6 month mark just to make sure that everything was okay w/the baby. Some people do not reveal that they are expecting for 5 or 6 months because they too want to make sure the pregnancy is going smoothly and that the baby is alright before they announce things.

JF said...

I was in your same situation last year. I didn't tell the family I worked for until I was almost 4 1/2 months pregnant. I was scared to death that they would fire me. Everything turned out pretty good. They did end up letting me go and gave me 3 months maternity leave and 3 months severance. So hopefully, the family you work for will be understanding.

MinuteMuggle said...

When I was a nanny I got pregnant shortly after I was hired. It was an unplanned but welcomed pregnancy. When I told them (right away) everything changed. They started treating me like crap and basically made my life miserable. I think they felt they couldn't fire me because I was pregnant, or at least did not want to use that as a reason, so they figured if they started coming home late every nite, piling chores on me to no end, not letting me use any sick time (which was in my contract) and generally being rude and mean to me, I would quit. But I worked until I was 8.5 months pregnant because I needed the job. When I left, they told me that the new nanny they hired was going to be paid twice as much as me and that she would be working less hours. They did not thank me at all. It was a horrible experience. I will never nanny again.

But I'm sure your family is better than the one I worked for. SN has good advice: you don't have to tell them right away. It is entirely up to you.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

Legally they can't let you go because you get pregnant. But they are also under no obligation to give you any time off for maternity leave.

You don't have to tell them until you want to tell them. If you think it would be better one way or the other follow your gut.

Some families are ok with their nanny being pregnant, some are understanding, and as these other posters have mentioned some are completely against it. But it's not as if you were like, "let's get pregnant to piss of my employers." Pregnancy happens.

When you do decide to tell them ask them how they would like to handle the situation. Will they be "letting you go?" Will there be any flexibility for maternity leave? Can you use your vacation time for maternity leave? Can you take unpaid time off (and still come back)? Just get a feel for things upfront. Don't tell them and not work out the details immediately. Better to know.

nyc mom said...

I would wait to tell them until you are showing and it is unavoidable. Prejudice of some type will happen after you tell them. I always waited to tell my employers of my pregnancies until after amnio results which is around 18 weeks. I also did not want to be treated differently, though in my case it was always the opposite of what nannies experience. My supervisors were, kindly, trying to give me less demanding work and hours. But any time off or decreased responsibilities I took meant my coworkers would have to work harder. This was guaranteed to lead to resentment. So I lobbied to work extra hours and shifts during my pregnancy and took 3-6 week maternity leaves with each child.

I did have a nanny who became pregnant during her time with us. It absolutely affected her job performance. I don't blame her for this because the nature of nannying is so physically demanding, but nonetheless it is tough as a parent to accept less than stellar care for your kids for 4-5 months. Also after she had her baby the plan was for her to return in 3 months. I hired interim care. When she returned she told me unless I could offer her full time (she had previously worked about 20 hours a week), she needed to bring her baby with her. Since I had hired only a temp/summer nanny in her absence, I had no choice but to go along for a while. I wasn't automatically opposed to her bringing her child (current nanny brings her elementary age daughter at times), but it was immediately obvious that just like pregnancy this dramatically affected her ability to care for my kids. I would still do my best to my as accomodating as possible if my nanny got pregnant, but I would be more firm about job performance. I would also set clear expectations about plans when she returns from maternity leave. Whether I gave paid maternity would depend on how long she was with us and my resources.

SpriteDrinker100 said...

I would be careful. Eventhough you have been with this family for 2 years, they may feel like you have hidden it from them if you tell them after your review.

On the flip side, its customary to wait until after the first trimester to tell people. I guess you need to go with what you feel is best.

I agree that you need to talk about what is expected, and what will happen when/if you come back. How much time off you will get, etc.

Hopefully more people respond so that you can get more input.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Many many people wait until after the third trimester to announce a pregnancy. I would suggest doing that, and trying to keep your job performance up to par as much as possible during early pregnancy.

If they ask why you waited, simply say you wanted to get past any possibility of first trimester issues.

nannydownsouth said...

" Anonymous talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Many many people wait until after the third trimester to announce a pregnancy. I would suggest doing that, and trying to keep your job performance up to par as much as possible during early pregnancy.

If they ask why you waited, simply say you wanted to get past any possibility of first trimester issues.

Aug 6, 2009 2:18:00 PM "

After the third trimester? Is there a fourth trimester I was never informed of when pregnant? Lol. The third trimester starts at 28 weeks and ends when you give birth. Impossible to not tell her employers until after the third trimester, unless she told them after the baby was born. Almost no one would be able to hide a pregnancy that long...

nannydownsouth said...

Oh, and regarding OP's question. I can't give advice on experience, as I was working from home when I got pregnant the first time. This time I am employed as a nanny, but my employer and I are very open with communication. She knew that I was trying to conceive before my husband was deployed to Iraq. I have no qualms about happily celebrating when I test in 2 weeks. Or looking to her for comfort if I'm not(my husband is already deployed so if I'm not pregnant now it won't happen for at least a year). But that's just the relationship we have.

My opinion of your situation would be to tell them after you are 12 weeks but before you are 20 weeks. That way you are out of the first trimester when most babies are sadly lost, but you are not so far along that your employers would be upset. That would give them a minimum of 5 months to plan for care while you're on leave.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

Oh My Gosh, you caught me "nannydownsouth"! I...oh goodness, I can hardly stand to say it...(sob, sniffle)

I made a ...a mis-...a mistake.

Please, do punish me as I deserve for this egregious and sinful error!

(eye roll)

Janet English said...

DON'T TELL until after the first 3 months.

mom said...

I have my fingers crossed for you! What a wonderful coming home gift it would be to hand your husband his new baby! And it would give you something special to focus on while he is away.
(On the other hand...just to give you a silver lining in case you have to wait that would also be very special to have him be present for your prgnancy and witness the birth.)

Either way, you have a lot of good things to look forward to! (Let us know when you find out, OK?)

CulversLover said...

I am just curious why she should wait? If her main concern is "hiding it" or feeling like she is going to be called a liar, why wait?

Other than the obvious things can happen in the first 3 months.

mom said...

I don't think anybody is ever "ethically" required to divulge pregnancy news in the first three months. Too many things can happen and she isn't obligated to have to explain to everybody and his brother what happened if, God forbid, something should go wrong.
Some people are even superstitious about speaking of it in the first three months.
Whatever the reason for keeping silent, it would be quite unreasonable of your employers to expect to be told before you tell your family (which many people wait to do until after the first 3 months.)And most humans are familiar with the "3 month rule" so they will not be shocked that you waited...unless they're narcissistic.

After that, you ought to tell them sometime in month four, if you are worried about them thinking you tried to hide it from them.

As long as you're still doing your job well, I can see no reason why they wouldn't keep you on. People don't generally like to give up a fantastic nanny. They're hard to come by. Are you a fantastic nanny? If so, put your mind to rest.

WasANannyNowAMom said...

I guess it depends on your relationship with the famly. I was a FT Nanny for 2 girls. About two months after starting with them the mother aproched me about watching another co-workers child PT to fill the time when their 2 girls were in school and it could be done at their house, which I loved so I didn't just sit for 3 hours. About a year later I found out I was pregnant. I ended up going to the mother's work to tell her because my Dr only had an appointment that next day so I would have to come in late. She was WONDERFUL .... they gave me whatever time I needed off for appointment, I even took the kids with me to some. They were so nice to me!! I had a lot of complications but ended up working until I was 8 months and had to call on a Sunday night to tell her that I was on bedrest. They had already made arrangements with a substitute or two weeks later and thankfully she was available early so it was not a problem. They came to my house and brought baby gifts and everything! I ended up having my son two week LATE so six weeks after I stopped watching the kids. I went back when my son was two weeks old since he pretty much just slept the entire morning while I was there and I only had and hour afterschool which the kids just loved to watch and play with my son. I could not have asked for a better family to work for. I was with them until right before my son turned one and both kids entered school full time.

nannydownsouth said...

Tales, I was in no way harping on you. I meant it in a joking way.

Thanks Mom! I will definitely update. We lost our twin girls at 32 weeks last year, so this is hard but important to us at the same time.

ohwhynot said...

I think a lot depends on how your pregnancy progresses. For me, I didn't get the fatigue/nausea until about 10 weeks in, then I felt HORRIBLE for about a month. Then I felt great! But if you are fatigued, nauseated, etc., I think you owe it to your employers to tell them why.

NannyVal said...

I had been working for a family for almost 2 yeasr when I was surprised with my little munchkin to be. I ended up telling them at the 2 month mark because I was constantly sick, already starting to show and wouldn't have been able to schedule all my prego appointments without disrupting my work schedule. I ended up losing my job around 5 months along to a not so pregnant nanny. I believe the dealbreaker in my case is I wanted to continue working and bring my child along,(since my job description is to care for children I guess I thought my own child would fit right in?). I also think having an pregnant(and unmarried) nanny didn't really "look good" at the country club either.

In my opinion, wait if you can, stating that you simply chose not to announce it to the world until you were further along. In the meantime get your resume together and be prepared. Then, soon after you tell them be sure to discuss any changes to your job that will take place due to your new baby, ei. if you'll be bringing baby along. Just be ready fro anything...including being a stay-at-home mom who can't find a nanny job that will welcome her toddler with her :)

mom said...

I am so sorry to hear that. I cannnot imagine how painful that must have been. My latest (of 5) miscarriages was at 18 weeks...and that really hurt so especially much,because I thought we had "made it." How much more you must have felt that. My heart goes out to you.

When you have a healthy, happy baby in your arms (which I hope will be this year), it does go a long way to easing your pain. It won't hurt so much forever. (I used to hate people for saying that to me when they had no personal experience to draw from...but now that I have experienced it and know how much it helped me, I feel its worth the risk of offending to maybe give somebody else the hope that one day the pain does at least ease.)That doesn't mean you will ever forget your little girls (why would you even want to), or that their birthday will go by unnoticed...but it will stop hurting so much. I promise.

And the one gift that will be with you forever, courtesy of your baby girls is that, when you have a child to care for, you will never, for even a moment, take him for granted, or forget to be matter how tired or frustrated you might get at times.
I would sometimes see other mothers...mothers who had not been forced to face, first hand, what a miracle it truly is when a healthy child is born...bitching about their kids as if they were some kind of nuisance, and I would smile to myself inside and think, "She just doesn't realize how truly blessed she is. It's not her fault. She has the luxury of taking her kids for granted." And then I would remember, with much love, the little babies I didn't get to know, but whose lives had touched me so profoundly and added so much to the joy I found in motherhood. Without breathing a breath, they made me a better person and a better mother.

Your baby girls will forever be a blessing in your life in just the same way. You'll see. Truly, they are your little angels.

nannydownsouth said...

Wow, Mom, Thank-you so much. Your words are truly heart-felt and made me cry. My baby girls lived a very short life(5mins) but have changed me forever. I am a much more grateful, sincere and caring person now. We just celebrated their first birthday, and will every year. I know that having another baby will not replace our girls, but I suspect that having a baby in my arms will ease that pain, as well as make it stronger at times. My husband and I are greatly looking forward to being parents, and know that by having lost our girls, we will be much greater parents now. Like you said, we will appreciate them so much more and never, ever take their presence for granted, even on the worst of days. It too bothers me to hear parents complaining about lack of sleep, tantrums, etc. They just do not know what I and so many other grieving parents would give to be sleep deprived or fighting with a cranky toddler. I never hold it against them, but have to fight the urge very hard to not tell them how lucky they are.

Thank-you again. Your words have brought true comfort to my heart.

OP here said...

I guess my main concern is because it falls so close to when my review/contract renewal is up, that I feel like I need to say something, rather than sign the contract and then be like "oh by the way im pregnant"

I'm just unsure. Friends that I have told say I am starting to show already... (I was TEENY before getting preggo) so I dont know if I can hide it until 12 weeks.

I'm just not sure. Moms-- how would you feel if your nanny signed a new contract and THEN told you a week later she was?

ChiNanny said...

If you're planning on telling them a week later, then I think I would bring it up at the review meeting. It would seem sneaky that you waited only a week.

I get the feeling you know you're going to be fired. Is that just a hunch or has something been said by your employers in the past that makes you think they will not keep you on if you're pregnant?

a fact said...

OP - Your uterus stays behind your pelvic bone until you are 12 weeks along... so you won't be showing before then. If you are, it's just bloat, and as long as you are not wearing tight clothes, you will be able to hide less than a 12 week pregnancy. It doesn't matter how tiny you are.

The only exception to this is usually if it's your second or more pregnancy.

Google it, or ask any doctor, your uterus (and baby inside of it) will stay below your bikini line until then.

Kristen said...

minutemuggle, I am so sorry they were so rude to you! And to tell you about the new nanny, honestly! They have it coming to them.

OP, I would wait until you are at least 12 weeks along which is the normal time to tell people. I would hope they would understand because of the common problems that arise before the 12 month mark. Also, I think since you have been with them so long they will welcome it and be alright with it. Parents sometimes forget that their nannies have lives too. Congrats on your pregnancy!

MinuteMuggle said...

thank you kristen, that was very kind of you to say.

I really tried to do a good job for them. I was not perfect by any means, but they were just so weird.

They used to live under the impression that if they came home a half hour early one day, it gave them leave to come home two hours late the next day! This happened all the time! I used to keep a detailed account of my hours in the back of the childs daily log, clearly documenting the overtime that I had worked, and one day I came in and looked at it and the mother had crossed out and erased all of the late hours I had worked (which were approximately a total of 10) and made a note of all the times they had come home half an hour early, or even 15 minutes early to "make up for it." It was so unfair! It was the worst job I have ever had.

the worst thing they did was to post a "warning" on Craigslist about me! Although they did not mention my name, they cut and pasted an ad I had put up for childcare and said horrible things about me. I wrote to craigslist and told them that if they did not take it down I would call the police: it was down in about five minutes! Some people are just so horrible. I never did anything bad to these people and while yes I was tired when I was pregnant, and yes I was not perfect, the kids were always well taken care of. I was really heartbroken when i left and they did not even say "thank you."

Yaya said...

I would tell them. I had a miscarriage while nannying and had they not known I was pregnant it would have been hard to explain my sudden time off.

Yaya said...

PS Congrats!

mom said...


That makes me happy. ;)

OP here said...


I dont know that I am going to be fired. I dont even have a hunch. I guess its more of a FEAR. With my review being so close to my 3 month mark... I guess I dont know what to do. I know a few nannies in my area who were let go when they announced their pregnancies, and for me, its just fear of how they will react.

CuriousDad said...

Worst case scenario:
If your bosses are going to fire you over being pregnant. They will fire you no matter what time you tell them.
They will just use the excuse of you not telling them you are, to fire you and possibly use this as a reason not to give you a good review when you look for another job.
I would suggest telling them before the third month ends. You will need to build up as much savings as possible before then, just in case. If you have been paying taxes and you employers have been paying their Nanny taxes, you have Unemployment Insurance available too you, to help you get over some if not all of the pregnancy. This would also be the time period where you should be look for another job.

Best Case:
That said you bosses could be straight up "good people", who will keep you on at possibly reduced hours and give you maternity leave with or without pay. Then allow you to bring the little one along to watch alongside their children. Or if not you will be using daycare and or a sitter or two yourself. If you have an Singificant Other in the picture they may be able to help out in watching your child during those periods they are off.

mom said...

I mentioned this thread to my husband this morning. He said, "I don't think she'll get fired. If you had a really good nanny, wouldn't you try to keep her for as long as you possibly could?"

I said, "I would. And if I had a really great nanny I would invite her to bring her new baby to work with her, just to entice her to stay on even longer."

He said, "I know. Me too."

OP, I hope you're working for people who know the value of great childcare. You should have no problems. I didn't get the first time through that your review is just one week before your 12 week mark. That is a little stickier...but still, IMO, does not obligate you to disclose. All you have to say when you do tell them is, "I wanted to tell you last week at my review, but we were waiting until after twelve weeks to tell our families, and it's very important to both of us for them to be the first to know."

OR, why don't you just postpone your review for a week or two, and then when you tell them everything, they will understand why. And they will probably doubly appreciate your thinking of them first and not wanting to sign a new contract with them without being able to give them all the information. If I had a nanny and she proceeded that way in this situation, my admiration of her and my respect for her integrity would grow ten sizes because of it.

San Diego Girl said...

I know this is just pure opinion, but I can't help it.

Anyone who would fire their nanny who has been full time for a year and a half, for being pregnant, is a lowlife.

Me said...

BTW they should be happy for you!