Received Thursday, June 17, 2010
perspective and opinion My last day of work with a family of five years is on Friday. I love the children to death and I'm already depressed. My heart breaks a little more every day as the end draws near. It doesn't help that their parents could seem to care less about my continuing a relationship with the children. Some of my parent friends from the school suggested that they might feel threatened by the relationship I have with their children. People are always surprised when they find out I'm their nanny and not their mom. I spend more waking time with the children than their parents do, so it's only natural that we would be very close. I didn't expect to come over for dinner every night, but if I could stop by and say hi on the weekends it would make the transition loads easier on me and on the children. This family has been less than wonderful to me and I've contemplated leaving for years, but always stuck it out because I love the kids. Now the time has finally come and even though I know I'm going to be better off in the long run, I can't help but be sad. Please tell me this is normal and the feeling will eventually go away. I miss my babies and they aren't even gone yet!


A nanny who agrees!!! said...

Oh no, its normal. Trust me. As a nanny, myself, when it is time to move on- it can get really hard. No matter how long you were with them. You know, I found a scrapbook helps- its helps remember the good times and gives you a little smile knowing you had a small part in their lives. Best of luck in whatever you do next.

opinions said...

Aw, feel bad for you, parents like this will let you see the kids afetr, if only for the free baby-sitting. I have a family that I cant see now becasue I am just too sad after seeing their littlest casue i loved him so much. So no, sometimes that sad feeling of abandoning them never goes away. It depends on how old the kids are as well.

Seeing the kids after you are gone will be good for you, because Ive learned that they are very, very resilient. Only a few of my nanny friends have kids who feel betrayed by them leaving.

move on. said...

get over it. they are not your babies, and if those parents don't treat you like the gold that you are, they suck and it sounds harsh but kids who have parents that suck grow up to suck are probably right: they are threatened by you.

you did a good job with them. give yourself credit and move on.

Nanny Sarah said...

Part of being a nanny is the bond you forge w/your charges and you are only human. I still miss the various children I took care of, but you must miss yours most since you had them for five years!! They will ALWAYS hold that special place in your heart and that will never change. However, you must move on. I am sorry the parents are not being very understanding, but it is not your fault. They probably feel guilty and jealous and it is unfortunate that they are this way and are not thinking of their children first and foremost. But you cannot change them. I like the scrapbook idea, but at first it may be too hard. Do not dwell on it, from a professional standpoint it was a job and it was what it was. I hope you find another family, hopefully w/nicer parents and that will help you move on from where you are at now. Good Luck OP! :)

OP said...

Thanks for the kind words. I've been with the youngest since they (twins) were about four months old. I knew I would be leaving after they started Kindergarten and had hoped to have a really fun summer with them, but then out of the blue their dad decided to stay home with them for the summer. For monthes I've been preparing them for my leaving at the end of the summer. Now they feel like I lied to them, and it makes it worse that when they ask when I'll come visit, I can't give them a definate answer. I can only tell them that they can call me anytime and whenever it's ok with mommy, I'll come visit. I've stayed through their parent's divorce, worked out of two homes, cleaned for their dad until he got mad that I was using up the cleaning supplies too fast????, paid for everything out of my own pocket, volunteered at their schools, taken them on fun and educational outings almost every day since they were old enough to leave the house, and this is the thanks I get. At least I've learned my lesson and will do things a lot differently with the next family.

OP said...

I'm really not an idiot. I can spell months and definite. :)

Providence said...

Maybe the parents think you are too attached to the kids and don't want you seeing them. I had a nanny that became very WEIRDLY attached to my kids and there is no way I would have encouraged any contact after I terminated her, or allowed it. In fact, I intercepted a card/note that she mailed to my 8 year old after being strongly told not to. My son is still afraid of her, 4 years later, and worries that she will come over, or show up somewhere. It has been a nightmare. Don't assume parents feel "guilty or jealous" as another poster said, sometimes parents just want a person GONE from their childrens' life and certainly have that right.


move on. said...
get over it. they are not your babies, and if those parents don't treat you like the gold that you are, they suck and it sounds harsh but kids who have parents that suck grow up to suck are probably right: they are threatened by you.

you did a good job with them. give yourself credit and move on.

I could not have said it better

MB said...

This is totally normal. You invested yourself in raising these children. It will get easier after awhile. I had to laugh at the "free babysitting" comment. That's exactly what my nanny mom wanted from me when I left and because I turned her down we didn't end on good terms. But we weren't on good terms to begin with because of her mood disorder.
I got along great with the dad though and use him for a reference.

Roxanne said...

I know how you feel. I think we nannies who truly love the kids sometimes stick it out with uncaring families simply because we DO love the kids so much. I am pregnant and leaving my family of 3.5 years in October. They don't want me back after I have the baby. I will miss the kids, but having my own baby will heal my sadness.
For you, since you are not pregnant, I would say that falling in love with your next family will heal your sadness. Once you get your next job and bond with the new kids, you will fill the hole in your heart.

Paige said...


I don't understand. Why would someone keep a nanny on for five years if they felt that way about her? Doesn't it seem more to you like the nanny was probably wonderful and that's why they would keep her so long? I mean, they entrusted her with their infants.

Please explain what happened.

Nanny Sarah said...

Providence...while it sounds like your nanny may have been "weirdly attached" to your children, I do not think that is the case w/OP. She sounds like she has a very nice heart and a genuine love of children (two great qualities to have in a potential nanny by the way!!)Sure, Parents have the right to terminate the relationship between their children and the nanny, but only if it is in the children's best interest. In this situation, it seems like it is only in the parent's best interests.

Piglet said...

I know you're just reacting with your own experience. I respect that and I hope you will respect that I am about to do the same. I had a family who cut the cord, abruptly and then got annoyed with me when I wanted to say good bye to the children. No matter what I said, they wouldn't consider it.

Up to that point everything seemed to be going wonderfully. In fact just five days beforehand they had suggested extending our contract and without my asking, had given me a week to ponder it.

Then one morning, a phone call. That was it. Financial collapse was the reason given, but it was clearly an excuse; I saw an ad clearly written by them on Craigslist a month and a half later. I had a friend write to express interest, a response confirmed it, my friend didn't write back.

I don't know why they got rid of me. I can't imagine what the real reason was. There was nothing weird about the relationship I had with their children. And yet they never let me say good bye, and it hurts to this day. It happened in October 2008 and I still feel it.

Where you would warn OP to be wary on appearing too attached, I would remind parents that nannies are supposed to be attached. We're not babysitters watching "some kid" on the weekend, we're usually there on a daily basis, at least a regular basis and if your children are as wonderful as you see them as, as every parent sees them as, we're going to grow attached. It is only natural and it is very appropriate.

I would be frightened by the cold creature that could be around children for so long and not grow attached. Why is it a surprise to some parents that nannies do care for the children in their care?

I'm sorry to hear about the weird nanny you had - children shouldn't worry like that, but if OP was anything like that, why would they wait to get rid of her?

Nanny Sarah:
I would say the parents' convenience. Sadly too many parents are more interested in what's easier than what is right.

Phoenix said...

I wouldn't want you around either. This is a business. You were an employee and that's it, unfortunatly. Go your way and go love some other kids. Be happy that you were able to influence their lives for the amount of time that you did. Now just move on and make some other kids happy.

Disgusted said...


"You were an employee and that's it..."

No, being a nanny is more. The failing is with parents who don't realize that.

DrMom said...

Three years later and I still miss the little girl I used to nanny for.

But, the family did treat me like gold while I was there. :)