Received Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Has anyone ever heard of such a problem? I am the stepmother to be of a father of three children. Mother has been in and out of their lives since the youngest was 1. She has spent time in rehab, time in a mental institution and has been living in Australia for the past 2 years with no contact to the children. She has no rights to the children. The oldest child is now 11.
They have had the same nanny for the past three years. She was also there nanny for two years, previously- with a one year lapse in service. The nanny is a good nanny. She is the sort of nanny many a family would be happy to scoop up. But as the soon to be stepmother of these children, I don't think she fits in. She has had Thanksgiving with the family the past two years. I suggested to my soon to be husband that she not come this year and he was not happy with the idea. We have not been together long and our engagement is expected to be short. He thought we should include her this year and gradually phase her out. The children are crazy for this woman. There is no question that they prefer her over me. The nanny that tries to make a big show about trying to include me in her activities with the children. For example, making mini pumpkin pies. I think she enjoyed that I was the fifth wheel. I think she enjoys that she knows there whole history and that the children go to her for their questions and everything.
I work full time now, so I have to decide what to do. My career is important to me, but if I go to work, I am rather certain we need to hire a new nanny. One that comes in to our life, rather than me coming in to their lives. Not that I think anyone should be made to feel like an outsider, but I definitely should not. From the youngest one, I have had to put up with such things as "I don't want you to be our mommy, I want (nanny's name) to be our mommy". My soon to be husband thinks everything will work out and keeps telling me how much the children have been through emotionally with their mother and that I should be more patient.
All the child books I have read say that children are resillient and we don't give them enough credit. I don't think it benefits the children to play in to their hands. I think they need to just accept how things are going to be and the nanny needs to go quietly. Back to my story about Thanksgiving. In order to not hurt the nanny's feelings, we all went away for Thanksgiving. We paid for nanny to go home to her boyfriend's family. The boyfriend just got sent on another tour about 2 months ago. Even without the nanny the children all said a prayer which included thanks to the nanny and how much they loved her. I had to sit there just steaming and appear gracious to be soon to be inlaws, (who also adore the nanny).
Again, I don't dislike the nanny, I just think she has served her purpose, done wonderful, but it is now time for her to venture on.