Tuesday

Mother's Day?

Received Tuesday, April 27, 2010
perspective and opinion I have a problem with my current job. First, let me say, I care about the children I take care of but I have little interaction with the mother. She breezes in and out and seems to go out of her way to say things designed to make me feel unimportant. If I pass on to her some crucial information about a school activity, she gets snippy. But if I don't pass on the information, she misses it entirely and then the children's participation in the activity (requiring for example $10, a white t-shirt, a pair of running shoes that day) is compromised. I am a professional nanny in that I do not judge the mother for her behavior, although I have concerns. I treat her respectfully regardless of how she treats me or her children or our mutual contacts, (other nannies, mothers she thinks are beneath her). This is the background. She is a stay at home mother, by title only. I use the word "mother" loosely. I have been her nanny for the past seven months. Mother's day is approximately two weeks away. I am honest, I am here because I am a nanny and I get paid every two weeks; rain or shine. I don't get involved in any personal details of my family. As I stated, the mother is downright mean when I try and offer her reminders about something she has no care about. My problem is that perhaps out of fear, her previous nannies; and she has had about 10- have all done things for her for mother's day. This includes getting her flowers with their own money, working on Sunday for free to give her the day off, buying her gifts, spending weeks making something special with the children for her, even naming a star after her. How do I know this? The mother has mentioned mother's day a number of times to her children and told her that she does for them all year and they better have big plans for her. Has anyone else ever been in this situation? While, in my course of employment, I do not judge her; quite factually her children are neglected on a daily basis and emotional abuse is the norm. Will I lose my job if I don't fete mommy dearest? What is the least I can do? Is it damaging to children who's needs are not being met by their mother to make them write poems and plan a day saluting their mother for being loving, nurturing, giving? On an aside, I am a mother with a two year old daughter and all I want for mother's day is to spend it with my child and not think about my job.

19 comments:

DenverNanny said...

I'd help the kids make some kind of project (decorate a picture frame etc) and cards for mom and that's all that's necessary.

I see no reason to spend your own money, much less work on Mother's Day. If she feels that's insufficient, then she can get over it... I know, not the most helpful assvice, but all you can do is your job :)

MissMannah said...

Nannies have named a star for their MomBoss? What the heck kind of butt-kissing is that? I adore my MB but she is not MY mother so I'm not going out of my way for her.

If former nannies choose to butt-kiss, that is their prerogative and has nothing to do with you. If MB is willing to fire you over not getting her a good enough present, then you definitely do not want to work for this woman anyway. It would just get worse down the line.

You should do something to acknowledge Mother's Day with the children, but it can be as simple as having them make a card for her. Isn't it the dad's responsibility to buy her a present from the children?

As for not being able to tell her important info, get a note-writing system going. I did this with a former family. Get a notebook especially for nanny-parent communication and jot down little things like: "May 3rd--Janie fell and scraped her knee but she was fine after a band-aid. Sam need $5 for school tomorrow." If she is still unwilling to communicate with you, then maybe you should start looking around for something better.

Nanny Sarah said...

I would not work for free for her. That is crazy. Do employees work free for Wal-mart one day just because it is their boss's birthday, etc.? And you do not have to spend $$ out of your own pocket...if you do, that should be a gesture, not a given.
I would help the children make a nice card or other handmade project for the mother. Sure, she may not be the best mother around, I agree w/you there...but she is THEIR mother and it would just be the right thing to do to help the kids make something nice for her. She sounds super materialistic to me and if she fires you just because you didn't work for free or buy her something expensive, then you will be much better off not working for such a selfish person. I believe it's better to find these things out sooner rather than later. But we may be jumping the gun here.

Phoenix said...

Ahhhhhhh!!! Run away! Run away! My mother has said things like that to me since I was 5. Now my birthday is HER special day, mothers day means SHE is the only mother in world. If you can get those kids outta there you should!

I will tell you now. If you do not make her something for mothers day with those kids, she will take it out on them. Trust me, I have experience with a selfish, controlling mother. I say suck it up for the kids sake. She will make them feel guilty and they will be sad.

Another Mom's Perspective... said...

Why not let the kids decide what to do for her? Judging by the number of mother's day gifts you mention, at least one child is old enough to "pick" the gift she'd like to give her mom for mother's day. And if it's not good enough for the mom--her loss. She will be missing out on the pure love that only her own child could feel for her. I agree-- do NOT spend your own money or work for free. Your gift to her is to teach her children to do something thoughtful and considerate for someone else--even if they don't deserve it.

monkeyshines said...

does not sound like a family I would want to work for but I understand jobs are scarce, I would start looking for another job because it is not going to work or you can sleep with her husband

Petite Ponder... said...

If the children are old enough to be independent in creating something for their mother through choice then I would encourage that, perhaps offer them ideas and let them know you'd be happy to assist them with any plans they have (the children I mean) further than that it's not your problem.

In my last nanny job the mother I worked for sounded much the same as your boss it was supposedly shared care but with the amount of running around doing little chores here there and everywhere neither I nor the children had anytime to even consider the idea of mother's day - all she ended up with was a hastily bought shop card, she was really hurt on the day but then one of the children told her she was a silly mummy and she totally stepped up the mummy game after that by the time it was her birthday three months later the children had voluntarily shared their pocket money to buy her a lovely gift.

At the end of the day even though the job of a nanny is a very personal role it is still just a job, not your life!

Village said...

I think you should help the children make a card for her, but you should do nothing. She's not your mother.

How about getting sheets of poster paper, and making a GIANT card using art the children have made in the past, their hand prints, and a 'I love you Mommy'.

She's the only mother they've ever had, so they think this is normal, more than likely.

A nanny who cares said...

I agree with the other posters. A handmade card and a gift from the children will suffice.

On a side note, you say you don't judge the mother, but it is very clear that you do. I actually feel bad for her because I am sure she can clearly see your resentment towards her, no matter how much you try and mask it. She is obviously insecure about that fact that you can mother not only her children, but your own as well. Have a little compassion for her, even though I know it is tough as I have worked for mom's like this in the past.

She wouldn't feel the need for so much of a fuss to be made over mother's day if she actually felt like a good mother. It would serve all involved best to go out of your way for her, and have the kids do something really nice. No need to spend more than a few dollars of your own money for supplies.

Homemade cookies, cards, and a picture frame (homemade) with a picture of her children in it would be an amazingly kind gesture.

Manhattan Nanny said...

She has gone through ten nannies, and SHE told you her previous nannies worked for free on Mother's Day, and named a star after her. I'd be skeptical!

You should help the children make something for their mother. Not for her sake, but because part of our job is to help children learn to be kind and considerate.

Remind the dad that Mother's Day is coming up. It is his job to buy the flowers and presents, or give you money to take the kids shopping for them.

You do not need to give your momboss a MD gift unless you really want to, which you obviously don't. Gifts are supposed to go down the pipe, not up. If anything, she should give you one, since you are a mother, and her employee!

cali mom said...

I agree with what everyone else has said, and unless SHE is giving YOU the day after Mother's day off with full pay because YOU are a mother, you'd be nuts to work that Sunday for her for free. (I don't mean you in particular, but the previous nanny must have been).

And good point about what all the other 10 ***FORMER*** nannies did for her. Help the kids make sometrhing special for their mommy, and leave it at that. she is your boss, not your mother, and you owe her nothing special.

michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A nanny who cares said...

Michelle: I have worked as a nanny in Orange County, CA for 8 years. It would be an absolute miracle to have worked this long in the land of rich, entitled "moms" and not have come across at least a few of these. I have worked for plenty of moms like this, which is why I finally had to realize why they act this way. I was driving myself insane and it was making me very bitter. Until I realized, happy people don't act like this. Only people who aren't comfortable with their choices act like this. She clearly has a lot of guilt (as she should) about letting strangers raise her children while she goes off and does God know what.

OP: Don't get me wrong, I COMPLETELY empathize with you! I quit several jobs before I was able to change my own mind set and I have been a lot happier since! For your own sake, either find a new job (which I know is insanely difficult in this economy) or learn to pitty the mom. You clearly are doing an amazing job raising her children as well as your own little one. Enjoy your much needed mother's day and stop stressing about what to do for your boss. It will all work out in the end.

shittafuriotta said...

Here is what you do. Spend $1.0 of your money. Get some pictures of the kids and paste them on a giant poster board. Make a huge bold face heading that says "you are a good mom because" then let the kids come up with whatever they come up with. Probably "because you hired a nice sitter to raise me mama"

world's best nanny said...

What is she getting you for Mother's Day? Exactly!

Bloomfield babysitter said...

Try this site http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/mothers-day/ or just type 'ideas for mothers day crafts' in your search engine. Pick one or let the kids if they are old enough and assist if need be. I take mine to the dollar store pick up any craft supplies not in the house and have them make a card and a craft. I don't get my MB a gift and I don't spend more than 5 bucks or so on craft supplies. Good luck OP

TC said...

I would help the kids make a mother's day present but that's it. I have in the past spent my own money but it was because I WANTED to not because I had to. One year I took my charge to paint a plate and it cost me a decent amount of money but it was adorable and I wanted to do that with her and for her mother, I never felt obligated to. Another year I bought an apron and stencils and fabric paint and we made her an apron. Again I used my own money but I didn't have to and I think I spent all of 10 bucks that year. Another year we made a candle and that cost me a tad more but again it's because I wanted to, I could have used the supplies we have at the house and made a card but I wanted her to have something special.

You should not give your free time to her, and you should not feel obligated to spend extravagantly on her either.

Another idea (and what we are doing for mother's day) We went to JoAnn's fabrics and found these cute little wooden bird houses and my 4yr old charge said she wanted to make one for her mother and father. So I bought that for a dollar a piece and bought paints for another dollar and we've already got our mother's day and father's day presents already picked out and we just have to paint them.

Now if anyone has any ideas on what I can get her 9 month old brother to do I'm all ears, he refuses to let me paint his hands or feet to do any sort of project and he mouths anything I hand him so I cant just put down paper and paint and let him paint in his high chair

Erika said...

I would ask the children what they want to do and go with that. I wouldn't spend a dime on her and I sure as heck wouldn't work for free on Sunday. Mother's Day is your day as well and you should enjoy it without having to worry about work.

Ravenswood Nanny said...

obviously doing something nice for her on MD doesn't really have any weight on keeping your job - you did say there were 10 FORMER nannies who did something fantastic and yet they aren't working for her anymore...