When Nannies Take the Place of Parents

Received Friday, January 8, 2010 - Rant
My wife and I worked as tag team nanny’s for the summer a few years ago in Amherst, NY. We are both certified teachers with Masters degrees in early childhood education. In addition, we have several years of experience in daycare and school age education. The child whom we worked for was the unfortunate product of lack of parenting. From birth he had been raised by a Nanny, as mom and dad; working resident physicians had zero time for him. As a result he was three years of age, not completely toilet trained, still drank from a bottle, and slept in a crib. My wife and I were appalled, however our attempts at age appropriate maturation were stifled, via the fact that such behavior was reinforced via the mother in a quazi attempt at “attention”.

Under one instance when she came home from work the child was already in bed, and night diapered; she let him go “fucacca” Russian for poop in his diaper, when he could have used the toilet! She also brought him bottles on frequent occasions and he was over three years of age! To make matters worst, this child’s mother was pregnant again; hence the child was intelligent enough to realize that he was no longer going to be the “baby”. As we worked for this child, we took him everywhere amusement parks, local parks, etc and he had a great time with us. Prior to such, he had not left the house, as his previous Russian nanny did not have a license.

This child greatly longed for mom and dad to spend time with him, and did not want his mother to leave for work, which is a common response with preschoolers. This child also did not want to go to daycare either as he was accustomed to a private nanny as a playmate. However, once the child was at daycare, or was with my wife and I for a few minutes he was fine. To illustrate this fact of a lack of parental involvement the father a radiologist was leaving for the Cleveland clinic for a year to finish his residency, hence he would only see his child on weekends. The evening before he was ready to leave, the child asked his father to play, knowing full well that he was going to be leaving. The father responded, sorry “E” I have to go work out, go play. As a result we subsequently left the position-debating calling CPS for parental neglect.

Fast-forwarding a few years, I left teaching for a while as I needed a break and my position was cut. I interviewed for a great nanny position for a 14 month old. I listed this family as a reference as I assumed that things were fine, and even though there were problems with the parents, we did a great job with the child. This woman had the audacity to tell the family of the 14 month old that she had her reservations about me as her child was unhappy and did not want her to leave when she left for work, thus she felt there was an underlying issue. Hence, she felt that a 14 month old was too young, as he could not articulate his concerns. She also stated that she has been through several nannies in the course of several years, I wonder why?

She also drew a faulty character nexus under a supposed altercation with a snooty neighbor whom did not like us parking our dented sub 100K vehicles across from his house. Apparently, this gentleman had asked us one day, not to park in front of his house, my wife and I responded in a direct tone, that it was a public street, and parking in the host families driveway was not possible due to car movement. This individual told this family that I had lost my temper with him, which was completely false. Hence, this woman painted a picture that I was some type of anger management case and I was not fit to be around kids. When the prospective family told me of her statements, I was floored-I was a quazi father to the child and was nothing but kind, nurturing, playful, and supportive to his needs.

Sadly this woman is currently an ophthalmologist in Rhode Island. I only hope she is not as blind as a physician as she is as a parent. My heart goes out to “E”, whom has had to endure the torment of having two parents, whom are too busy with their lives to love him.


Nina said...

Call CPS because the Dad wants to work out? Do you have a clue what this agency is for? Don't waste their time with your petty jelousies and bitterness. The parents are doctors and know what to feed their kid and when to toilet train him better than you do. If they didn't work, you and your wife wouldn't have had jobs! Grow up.

ChiNanny said...

This is sad. Not child neglect. I'm glad you didn't call CPS and waste their time.

It's sad when parents have children they have no intention of being with. It breaks my heart to see children raised by nannies, and especially when it's a revolving door of nannies so that the child doesn't reach age appropriate milestones.

Nina - Doctors are not infallible. A bottle at three is ridiculous and bad for a child's teeth.

LatisseLash said...

I don't think it is "neglect" either. CPS-type neglect would be not clothing, feeding, seeking medical attention, etc. CPS is inundated wih "complaints" from disgruntled sitters, nannies, ex-MILs, etc. I question the vitriol to the Mom with only a few complaints re the Dad. I really think the OP sounds creepy and ovebearing.

Black Orchid said...

"The parents are doctors and know what to feed their kid and when to toilet train him better than you do."

The parents are a radiologist and an ophthalmologist. Not pediatricians. My mom boss is a cardiologist and she comes to me and her son's pediatrician all the time for advice.

Red Pen/Blue Pencil said...

I'm more concerned that you are a teacher and might be passing along to your students your appalling writing skills, complete with atrocious grammar and punctuation.

My sixth grader has a better grasp of the written word than you do.

feels for OP said...

I worked for a couple who are doctors in Rhode Island. They were idiots. The mother did not even wash her hands after she changed a diaper and she kept raw chicken in the fridge that was about a month old. They were disgusting slobs. I don't care what kind of a doctor you are: you went to medical school and you should know how to care for a child. It just goes to show you that you can go to school for a million years and still be a freaking idiot. Scary but true.

I feel for OP: many doctors look down on their childcare providers. They think they are so much better than everybody else because they are worth more financially. And they think nothing of throwing around an untrue and undeserved reference because they couldn't give two shits about lowly childcare providers. It is disgusting if you ask me.

Village said...

Grammar and sentence structure are not your strong suits. I wonder if that is one of the reasons your position was cut. This is becoming more and more common with degrees in Education, and one of the reasons our public education system is going to hell in a hand basket. Even the teachers can't use English as a first language.

teacher said...


In my opinion, if grammar and sentence structure are the reasons these people fired the nanny, they are retarded.

What do you do? You have no clue about public education, and obviously no respect for it. The main challenge facing public school educators is you and people like you who have no respect for a teacher's position simply because you know absolutely nothing about it.

My child goes to public school and they are wonderful there. I myself am a teacher and you cannot imagine the pressures on us, compiled with parents like you who think they can do the job of anybody else because they know absolutely everything. We are the ones who care about your children despite the disrespect you show us. We do not take that out on your kids. We feel sorry for them that they have bitchy parents who are elitist finger-pointers.

I don't like you, Village. You are a snot.

cali mom said...

1. These doctor "parents" sound awful and should not have kids.

2. Why would an intelligent person wait SEVERAL YEARS and then blindly ASSume that someone they have not had verbal contact with in that long will say everything they want them to say when some random stranger catches them for a few moments over the phone? When you leave a job, get a wrtitten reference, or if you are giving out someone's phone number, contact them first, let them know you would like to use them as a reference, and see if they are willing to speak well of you. If not, don't use them. Duh.

A "teacher" whom (!) thinks that "whom" is a more educated way of saying "who"? YIKES. I hope you taught math?

to be or not to be said...

Um, they hired not one, but two Masters-level early childhood educators to care for their son when they couldn't (for whatever reasons) be with him. I'd say that shows some level of concern for him. I do think it's sad that they didn't seem to invest the time and energy a child warrants, but it's hardly a CPS case. For better or worse, outsourcing parenting is not a crime.
And as cali mom said, it was foolish to assume this family, whom you already identified as having issues, would give you a good reference after several years.

Subject vs object said...

Misuse of me and who are indeed indications of one's level of education.

Who went to visit John?
Me and Joe went to visit John, who we missed.
Joe and I went to visit john, whom we missed. I asked Joe to go with me.

If you want your child to get into a good school, hire a nanny who models correct grammar, and whom the child can copy.

IliacCrest said...

Comment to Teacher: The thought of a "teacher" who starts off with the "r-word" is really disturbing! Do you call gay people F___s or use the N word? Please see

AnnoyedMama said...

This post is annoying. I can't imagine this family enjoyed your services at all. You seem very judgmental and contentious. Your attitude stinks. And, I agree with the others; CPS is not for working parents who don't jump at their child's every beck and call. Good luck finding work. It's clear that you are passionate about children.

MissMannah said...

Yes, it sucks that some parents can't be bothered to raise their own children, but that's why we are nannies. We do our job because we love the children and the parents hire us because they know we'll do a good job of raising their children.

As for the grammar complaints on here, I absolutely agree. "Teacher," you're right in that I don't have any idea about public education. I, however, can see that fewer children are learning proper sentence structure and fewer adults have any grasp of grammar. It sickens me that these people don't even realize how ignorant they sound when they misuse simple words such as "who" and "whom." Do not defend the teachers! They were too lazy to ensure their students learned!

PS: "Teacher," have you ever heard of a comma? Apparently not.

Em said...

I really can't get past the first sentence here.
"My wife and I worked as tag team nanny’s for the summer a few years ago in Amherst, NY."

Why does nanny have an apostrophe 's'.
There is no ownership there is there?
Shouldn't it have read "My wife and I worked as tag team nannies for the summer..."

The sentence where 'whom' was used could easily be corrected by saying 'with whom we worked'; though I'd never say that I worked for any children. I work for parents taking care of their children.
And those 'vias' really don't even apply. They made me chuckle. I think we could have substituted 'because' there, and I won't even touch 'appropriate maturation'.

'Under one instance' really?
Ok, I think this was not written by a teacher at all, much less one with a MA in Early Childhood Education.

Op, I think people would not comment on your grammar if you didn't say that you were a trained teacher; but I think most are appalled that you were allowed to take care of children without a decent command of the English Language.
We are of course assuming it's your native language- perhaps you are Russian?
If you are then I would suggest that you ignore all these grammatical corrections, but be sure to include your nationality in your posts from now on.

I agree with the above posters that this was not a matter for CPS.
Not every parent has the time to spend with their children- that's why some of them have nannies.

As for the references- well that's a whole other story. Yes, you should inform former employers that you plan to use them as a reference.
I do think the whole reference thing kind of sucks. I have no problems not using certain parents as references, and I never explain any 'gap' in my work history.
Why, if I wanted to be interrogated like that I would be working in Corporate America.
Feel free to do a background check, but the rest of my life is very private.

omg said...


You're flakey.

kindergartenteacher said...

Miss Mannah said "Do not defend the teachers! They were too lazy to ensure their students learned!"

This statement proves how ignorant you are to the issues in education.

Celi said...

About spelling errors, has it crossed anyone's mind that some ppl can't spell because of dyslexia? Oh no surely, it can only be laziness :sigh:

I do agree that calling CPS might sound extreme, but I do feel sorry for those poor children whose parents are so uninvolved. Nannies should not do more than day care. they are not substitute parents for parents cannot be replaced.

They cannot compensate with baby bottles and pacifiers either!

Anonymous said...

From birth, I was raised by a nanny. My parents always woke up early and came home late. This nanny of mine was with my parents 3 years before I was born. My parents were like teachers - really kind and loving teachers - but to me, they weren't the parental figure. My parents taught me many things - how to be honest, how to do math and english. They took me out of trips; but I wasn't really close to them. The one time I was teased by a classmate and talk to my mother about wanting her to call the said classmate parents. I told her everything and she said they couldn't call the classmate's parents. My nanny taught me everything; from how to tie my shoelace to buttoning up buttons. She took me everywhere...and came with me everywhere. My nanny was really my parental figure.

P.S. This is simply how I feel about how I was raised as a kid. I did not mean to offend anyone.

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything about child development? Im a Psychologist, and as you like to point out you have a masters degree, i have a doctoral degree, and I tell you that being 3 sleeping in a crib, drinking from a bottle and not being completely toilet trained (which really could mean anything) doesn't in any way constitute being behind on milestones. So I am appalled at you for not taking the time to at least check age appropriate milestones before writing this bull and scaring parents out there. Please take care and inform yourself.

Anonymous said...

Do you realise that formula milk goes up to the age of 3? That must obviously be because a three year old is not recommended to have bottles right? You're clearly not a parent. This is SO ridiculous. You did a great job you say? Of course the child was not happy to stay two nannies pushing her/him into things he/she was not ready to do.