Monday

What the.....

Received Monday, August 2, 2010
perspective and opinion I need your help with this one. I have worked for a great family for two whole years. They're not like other families. They have a good amount of money, but work hard. Both are employed. They save a ton of money and support an entire school in another country. Good people. For the past year and a half I have become very close to both of them during just the stint of my employment. Mom works from home one day a week and Dad works from home two afternoons a week. This just is. I go on with my days and keep the kid's schedule as if they were working. Of course I have run ins with both of them. The kids and I will have lunch or breakfast with whoever is home. Because the mother is a multi tasker, when she is home, I can slip away to run a personal errand or take a quick run. I don't do that with the father home because he seems to need nanny care. Over the passed six months, the father I am employed for has lost about one hundred pounds. Because of this, he is a bit more outgoing and you can tell he just feels better. This evenning I got in around 7 as I usually do on a Sunday night and there was a note on my door saying that Mrs. wanted to meet with me. This isn't that unusual. So I put on my pajamas and with a smile on my face, went to find her. She knocked that smile right off my face. She basically interrogated me as to why I never leave when the father is home. She said she thought that was "odd". Then she tells me that all the warning signs are there that her husband is having an affair and that she thinks he lost the weight for the other woman or the woman he is interested in me. I point blank asked her, "are you saying you think he was interested in me?" and she just looked at me. Then she burst in to tears and started saying, "it doesn't help having another woman around to dote on him. You really know how to make him feel like a man". I shook my head at her and then she apologizes profusely, still crying. Then she tells me she doesn't even know where he is now and that last weekend I returned at eight and he returned at ten til eight or some variance of those close times. She said she doesn't want to think like that. Then she starts crying hysterically again. She is saying, "where is he, where is he? what kind of man doesn't answer his phone". I should stop here to say that she was drinking wine from a large wine glass during this conversation and I saw one empty bottle of wine on the table. I don't even know what I feel now. I'm sitting her shaking. In my opinion, her husband isn't the affair type at all. He is all about his family and her. How do I revisit this? What if she never says anything again? Do I let it go? Do I start leaving during the afternoons the husband works from home?

43 comments:

Nanny Dear Abby said...

It seems to me that this family is having some personal issues that have nothing to do with you. The father may or may not be having an affair. Even though he seems "all bout his family" this does not mean he is being faithful. Anyway, what goes on in their marriage should not affect you in any way, as long as they do not drag you into it. What the mother said to you was totally inappropriate, but she was obviously drinking + I think she is just in a fragile state now. I would just shrug it off and move on, however is she were to involve you again, I could not handle it and would leave.
Whether to stay in or go out when the father is home is up to you. If the father seems okay with you leaving, by all means do so. But if he seriously is need of nanny care while at home, then I would just stay. Again, if the mother gets you involved...tell her that you have zero interest in her husband and that you stay around for the kiddos,etc. Then go on with your work in a professional manner.
Good Luck OP.

mom with a nanny said...

Holy crap. :( I'm so sorry you are going through this!!

Dear Abby is right: the issues first of all have nothing to do with you, and the mom was inappropriate to approach you that way. You know this!

You did nothing wrong, so you have no reason to leave. But be cautious: if this mother continues to imply and accuse, you don't have to put up with that. She would be crazy to do so, since you sound like a wonderful nanny. If she drives you away with her accusations and inappropriate behavior, she will regret it eventually.

Again, so sorry you have to deal with this, and please keep us posted!

Meme said...

I think, regardless of your obvious innocence, this is a situation that will not get better for you. As long as the family is having these issues, you will always be the "go-to" reason for the mom because you are close.

True that their issues really do have nothing to do with you, but the mom will likely continue to make them about you. I'd start looking for another job ASAP.

Think First said...

If these are such good people, they didn't really deserve to have their dirty laundry aired like this, did they?

Not Again said...

Think First- Just as was stated in another thread where a commenter attacked the OP for posting too much personal information, this is a public forum where Nannies can come for help. It's all anonymous so it's not really hurting anybody. The nanny just wanted to state this all seemed very out of character, and wanted some advice.

OP, I agree with what others have been saying. Dismiss it for now, but if it happens again, I might begin the job search.

Phoenix said...

Poor woman. That is really sad. Yes the warning signs are there. You know that you are not sleeping with the man so don't get too involved. She may fire you though.

wings said...

Men only ever lose weight for another woman.

omg that's terrible said...

OP, I don't think I would feel comfortable just letting this incident go. Unfortunately, you do not have to be proven guilty for things to turn out badly (e.g. getting fired with no reference), so I would want to keep things very professional from here on out.
I would let Mom know in a clear, yet supportive way, that you are completely focused on and dedicated to your job as the nanny, and that you want to enjoy professional and cordial relationships with each of your employers, but that you're not interested in her husband.

TC said...

If I was in your position I would look for another job, things will not get better.

You're going to be uncomfortable and always questioning your actions as in, if I stay today is mom going to think I'm fing her husband? If I smile at a joke dad says will mom think I'm flirting?

I would find something now before mom fires you and leaves you high and dry

DenverNanny said...

When I was in high school & not yet driving, I babysat for a few families where the dad would *never* drive me home so that no one could even *think* anything inappropriate was happening. I thought it was weird at the time, but now that I'm an adult in the "real" world... I can't really blame the guys for protecting themselves against slander.

I would consider addressing the subject with momboss when she's sober. Not a drawn out conversation, but maybe just a short and sweet "you brought these concerns to my attention, I wanted to make sure you knew I am a professional... to put your mind at ease, I'll take the kids out when he's home during the day".

I would play it by ear though and maybe consider job hunting... once any woman believes there's something going on, it can be hard to change her mind.

Maybe use this as an opportunity to start attending a new gymboree or fun art class at the rec center :)

Boston nanny said...

Your fucked. I'm assuming your a live in so start packing up stuff because next thing you know she's gonna be going through your shit looking for proof. Start looking for a new job, because even if she realizes it's not you then your prob end up being in the middle of a nasty break up.
Men don't leave there families for an entire weekend without calling or telling them where they are going. Something serious is prob happening and last thing you want is to be in the middle.

Boston nanny said...

Oops I though the post said dad was gone all weekend.

TC said...

I'm going to echo Denver Nanny, I had a best friend one time that thought I was fing her husband and there was no convincing her otherwise. Even after pointing out he and I were never alone together, and anytime we were together it was in a group and out in public but she still thought we were cheating and that was it. Needless to say she and I are no longer friends

CuriousDad said...

OP:
First the suggestion of talking it out with the mom when she IS sober. This is your first step to controlling this situation and its potential fallout. Yes, controlling it, if they are having trouble and it blows up, if there is any hint of impropriety on your part you are going to be SoL in getting anything like a decent recommendation from her. Sexist as it is, the recommendation from a Mom Boss is going to carry more weight than from the Dad boss.

The possibility of taking the kids out soon after the dad is home. Is a good idea. Breaking up the day so you are never around him even with the kids in tow for more than 15 minutes at a stretch might become an imperative.

The mom is insecure because she sees her husband trying to physically improve himself. He may be doing it for health reasons, because he loves her (she has nagged at him for it, and yes many wives do strongly hint/nag at us, not thinking about the consequences till AFTER we start looking better), or because he is thinking about taking his game further afield (what she is afraid of).

Do start looking into other employment if you can. Not saying get another job right now, just refresh that resume, look at what people are looking for in a nanny start talking to a nanny service, do let the nanny service know you are not available just yet, but that there is a possibility in the future and you are looking at getting your ducks in a row just in case. Etc..

CuriousDad said...

Denver Nanny:
"When I was in high school & not yet driving, I babysat for a few families where the dad would *never* drive me home so that no one could even *think* anything inappropriate was happening. I thought it was weird at the time, but now that I'm an adult in the "real" world... I can't really blame the guys for protecting themselves against slander."

How true this is, some do not understand exactly how powerful a few ill chosen words can be coupled with bad timing on the part of the Husband/Dad. Men do have to go out of our way to not be seen as doing anything improper with the opposite sex, especially if the opposite sex is fairly young, as even the hint of inappropriate appearances can bite us in the rear.
There is no ironclad defense against gossipmongers, but trying to avoid such appearances as much as possible. My wife thinks sometimes I am a bit off my rocker or using this as an "excuse" not to do things. When I tell her I will not do certain things because of appearances, even with my OWN daughter.

Wings comment is a pointed reminder of why I do that.
No Wings, many men do not lose weight because of another woman, we do it because our doctor tells us to, for vain personal reasons, because our wife has been nagging at us and we have noticed that we cannot go up all five flights of stairs without looking like a sweating pig embarrassing ourselves in front of our peers. The number one reason for married men losing weight is doctors orders, not other women.
But, it is because of people like you men are forced into doing a weird dance routine even with those we love just so you do not get fuel for you gossip that will hurt us socially, legally and in business.

a said...

Curious Dad,

I see the point of being careful with other women, and the babysitter, but your own daughter? What do you have to be careful with with her? I'm sorry, but that sounds like a copout to me.

Phoenix said...

my dad had the same views. He was careful with me and my sister as not to stir confusion. You have seen how strange people react. Just an example on this site was the story about a suposed grandfather touching his granddaghters bum while supporting her on the jungle gym. The poster thought he was chester molester.

It happens all to ofter and I commend curious dad for doing that. Things can go wrong quickly and if a woman gets it in her head that her husband is doing something bad...there is no stopping her.

Isent said...

Wings - that's nonsense, isn't it? I mean I recall losing weight with no other inspiration but how good it would feel. My father is dropping a bit now for his health. Well that and my mom has promised no objection to his chosen reward, a new MacBook Pro. Of course you know hpw attached men are to their gadgets...

Sent from my iPhone.

mom with a nanny said...

Well said, CD.

omg said...

think first:

OP did not post any identifying information. She is looking for advice.

KJ said...

Sorry maybe I'm the only one who thinks this, but something just doesn't quite add up. Is there a reason that you always have to stay home with your charges when the Dad is home? I can see if you feel comfortable leaving the children with the mother so you can run a few errands and not wanting to do that with the dad, but aren't there parks etc you could take them too? It just seems a little weird to me that you're ALWAYS home when the dad is home, but not when the mom is. I can easily see why the mom might misinterpret this and think there is something going on.

TC said...

a said my father did the same thing with me. After a certain age (forgot what age I think 5) he wouldn't give me a bath anymore, not because he was lazy but because he didn't want there to be any chance of someone misconstruing anything.

omg said...

KJ:

nice job blaming the victim. loser.

Village said...

Did the nanny tell the Mom, No, I'm not interested in your husband, or just ask if she was being accused?

The nanny needs to say, no, I'm not, not going to, not interested. There is no reason to change her behavior, ie go out when he is there as there is nothing going on. I suggest the OP just continue being a good nanny.

HOWEVER, the woman is so cut off from her husband, she doesn't know why he lost 100 pounds. He didn't discuss it with her, he just did it? If he is interested in another woman, this household will be coming apart soon, and the nanny's position could be threatened because of that. The nanny may need to be looking for another job not because of the accusation, but because of the major changes on the horizon, of which Mom is totally unaware. A man losing 100 pounds without his wife's support is a huge red flag.

DenverNanny said...

I understand why Curious Dad would be careful with his daughter... When I was 17, my dad and I flew out to meet the rest of my family (who drove, we couldn't miss work) in South Carolina. Three different airline employees thought we were married. So creepy...

MissMannah said...

You need to look for another job. She's your boss and you can't fix crazy. It is as simple as that. Tell her the truth: "I was uncomfortable with our conversation the other day and so now I think it is time for us to part ways." Get the father to write you a letter of recommendation because crazy boss-mom isn't going to give you a good reference. Odds are, she's going to think you're leaving because she was right. Tell dad-boss exactly what she said when she was drunk and that is why you are leaving. Hopefully they will go into some couple's counseling. Some people would tell you to stay out of it and not tell dad but I think it is his right to know because the mom is obviously not communicating well with him.

Nanny Franny said...

KJ the reason OP stays home mostly when Dad is around is because Dad is less involved with the children than Mom is. You know how it is...some (not all!!) men just don't have the same nuturing qualities that can only come from a mommy, etc. Or some men just aren't as interested in childcare as women are. Anyway, regardless I think OP stressed all this in her post.

world's best nanny said...

Why do ppl automatically assume he has an affair? When my ex disappeared, he was out smoking crack!
OP, try to fly "under the radar" for a bit. If mom's suspicions get worse, or if dad really does begin to hit on you, dust of the good ol' resume!

KJ said...

No, I understand why she didn't leave the kids home alone with the dad, I don't understand why she just always has to be home with them when he's there. I'm not saying I agree, but if someone has irrational thoughts about her husband cheating, even innocent things like staying home when he's there because he cant work and take care of the kids can be blown out of proportion. But maybe that's just my own personal bias, my husband actually asked our nanny to take the children to the park or out on errands when he was home for an hour or so working. He found it too distracting that the kids always wanted to see daddy since he was home. I'm not blaming the nanny, just saying I can easily see why she has an irrational concern about it.

CuriousDad said...

Thank you all for stepping up and defending my position and pointing out why men have to make some of these idiotic decisions with our own daughters.

a said

Sure it is a cop out, to avoid future problems down the road.

Unsure if I am allowed to psot a link on here, if not delete post please.
http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/2010/06/happy-fathers-day-youre-under-arrest.html

BTW their posts about false accusations have links to actual new articles.

CuriousDad said...

To all,

First it might be a mental difference between men (As Fathers) and women (As mothers). But most men I know who have another providing service for their children, would rather NOT interfer with that persons job. Otherwise they are NOT getting what they paid for. Unless it is absolutely nessecary to do so. A glaring example for me recently has been my sons soccer day camps.
Many of the mothers would be constantly on the sidelines telling their kids what to do and if the kids got into trouble would go out on the field, even if the coach was already handling it. The guys I would see there would let the coach handle the problems. The only time any of us fathers would go out on the field was if our child was not minding the coach and it was obvious the coach was getting into territory better handled by us taking the child aside. (Tantrums, potty and etc..)

The husband in the OP's description might very well be thinking that the nanny has a job to do in that home and if he were to take care of the kids and "help out". Then there is no reason to be paying a nanny for that time. Where a mother would be might be more inclined to oversee the nanny and give her direction. Or just to chat with her and hang out. Yeah, let a Dad "hangout" or "oversee" a nanny and see how well that goes over with most wives. Especially the wife mentioned by the OP.

NanGal said...

first off its great to see you back posting curiousdad. i totally agree with you about what how dads cannot do anything a mom can do with the children for fear of the impmressions of other people. love the false rape society blog, very interesting.
op, i think that you should look for a new job and address the mom directly when she is sober that you are not interested in db in any way.
can i just say this situation is only going to get more and more awkkkk

Lola said...

Curious Dad, Thank you so much for the link. I thoroughly enjoyed (and highly recommend) the thought-provoking, extremely well written essay titled They Were Expendable. An interesting and absorbing read! ;) Made my 'little grey cells' awaken!

CuriousDad said...

Thanks guys for the compliments. Its not that I have not been still reading the blog. I just have not had anything constructive to say. "A closed mouth gathers no foot"

Just an FYI, take anything that blog says with a grain of salt. Especially the opinions. It is a blog after all and will attract all kinds of gadflies who use the anonymity of the internet to spout bull.

Of course like any decent Blog, it does have a core of truth to it and when it does stat a "fact" more often then not it is based on empirical data, news articles and so forth.

Katya said...

The mom might just have needed to get that out of her system and realized how ridiculous it was after saying it. Maybe not, of course, but I think there's a decent chance this might not come back on you, although a very good chance the mom and dad are going to have waaaay more problems soon. If the mom confronted me, I'd probably suggest hiring a PI if she's really that worried. That for sure would take suspicion off of you, anyway. Although maybe not if he's not actually having an affair?

I had a weird situation with the family I work for when the Mom left the country to take care of her dying mother for a month and a half. I ended up coming over while my charge was in school to do extra errands like cleaning and preparing meals, and sometimes I helped the dad out with minor things for his real estate business so he could spend more time with his daughter when she was home. Fortunately the mom was aware enough to realize nothing was going on, but the neighbor was always stopping by and harassing me about what I was doing when the kid wasn't there.

CS Nanny said...

I think once that kind of idea is in someone's mind, it will stay there irregardless of how much she or you (the OP) tries to change that. If it were me, I would be looking for a new job. I couldn't work for someone who obviously doesn't trust me. And I don't think I could get over that. Many people are most honest when they're under the influence, and obviously this is something that is really bothering her.

However, I guess I am still not understanding why you are there all the time when the dad is. Until you find a new job, I think you should try to stay out of the house as much as possible when both parents are there.

cali mom said...

Chuckling again at all the "find a new job" advice. Yes OP, by the time you've found a new job in 10-18 months, MB will probably have forgotten all about this incident. I suppose it can't hurt anything to start looking, but anyone who expects to find something in less than 6 months has probably been living on another planet for the last couple of years.

cali mom said...

OP, my suggestion actually would be to discuss it with MB, in a non-confrontational and non-accusatory way, so that she doesn't just get defensive and decide she hates your guts and wants to kill you after she fires you.

Timing is everything, so pick a time carefully, or better yet, tell her that you would like to have a meeting with her and let her pick the time.

Then, tell her that you were very surprised by her statements, since such a thing had never even occured to you with her husband, and assure her that you would like to continue your job in the most professional manner possible, but if there is no possibility of clearing this suspicion away so that you both feel comfortable about your situation again, you will then need to start thinking about other options.

That way, if she has come to realize she must have sounded hysterical and irrational in her suspicions, she'll assure you of her thoughts and you should be OK. But if she still has suspicions, it will present the opportunity for you 2 to discuss it, and you will know for sure that she just can't get over her suspicions of you so you will be making the right decision to leave.

MissMannah said...

Cali mom,

That was very presumptuous of you. Finding a good nanny job is hard, we all know that and it can take a long time. But who says she has to work as a nanny the whole time she's looking for work? I would rather humble myself to work at McDonald's if I absolutely had to than to stay in a house of paranoia and accusations. Not to even mention a house of drunken bosses. You said for her to find a good time to chat with the boss...what if there is no good time because the boss has already made up her mind? I think it is unfair to OP for her to have to put up with that bullshit from her boss and it isn't up to her to fix their problems...that's exactly what this is, a marital problem.

cali mom said...

Missy, of course OP is free to make her own decisions. She posted here asking for advice. Just as you are free to spout yours, so am I free to post my thoughts on the topic. This is a forum, in case that little detail had been lost on you until nnow?!

And of course she can go apply at McDonald's. Who knows, maybe they have an opening within 15 miles of her home that they will offer her quickly. But to count on that, as I said, means you must have been living on another planet for the last couple of years. JOBS are hard to find. And everyone who has found themselves unemployed for longer than they expected has the novel idea of applying at a restaurant. You make it sound like it's some brilliant brainstorm particular to you, OP and no one else to apply for a fast food job.

MissMannah said...

If you really believed anyone is free to offer their own advice, you wouldn't be implying in so many words that mine was worthless. That's what I got from your first post anyway, with your "chuckling." Can you not see how that would make me a wee bit angry?

Of course I don't think it is some novel idea to go get a fast food or retail job, but I do know that they are much easier to get than nanny jobs. That is what I'm doing right now, in fact. Fortunately, I'm not "desperate" for money yet, but I know if I get to that point, I can more or less walk into the drop-in daycare around the corner and get a job to tide me over. Perhaps you have unemployed CEOs working in your McDonalds over in California, but I haven't seen any here. They are thrilled when someone who speaks English and is over the age of 16 applies.

cali mom said...

Well Missy, you apparently felt it was "presumptuous" of me to post my advice in response to OP's post asking for advice, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Lucky for you if you can walk right in the door and get handed a job somewhere. Your state must be different from the other 49. There was a news bit not too long ago about a janitorial job at a school that got over 700 applications. Yes, scrubbing toilets. I wonder if all those applicants were as sure as you that they could just "get something to tide them over".

NannyAJ said...

Cali mom: I think you're suggestions on how to approach the mother are spot on.

Jane Doe: I too, wouldn't leave the house when the father is home- not because he is male, but because he struggles to care for the children on his own. On the weekends, he would ask his mother to come out and help him for the 2 hours while his wife is out. I wouldn't dream of asking him to duck out but on the other hand, his wife would be mad with me if I didn't ask to leave if I needed to.

Best of luck. I hope you work things out. Please let us know how you get on.