Please Help This Nanny Find Her Niche...

opinion 2 I am in need of some solid advice! I just began working with an awesome little boy a week and a half ago. I moved in with this family from another state and really had some reservations at first. I came in for an interview (mother flew me in) met the family, the old nanny, and the current afternoon and weekend nannies. The mother left me with them for sort of a working interview. The entire time I was there the other nannies said such negative things about her but the one that stuck with me the most was the fact that less than a week ago she offered the position to someone else who had declined it. Well we had already been speaking for over a month I had even interviewed the week before that and she told me I had the job she just wanted to see how I would interact with the team and the child before she made it official. I had already given my notice at my other job and to find out she had offered the position to someone else made me very upset and concerned but I accepted the position in light of that.

Now it has been a week and a half that I have been here and everyday it seems like I've done something wrong. I spent 3 days with the nanny I was replacing (she had been here for 3 years) and the afternoon nanny (she had been here 1 year). After the old nanny left everything went down hill! One incident involved my boss saying the little boy smelled like a puppy in the morning. When she got home that night she asked, "did he have a bath?" I replied, "no, I was told he has a skin condition where he can only have a bath every other day." She proceeded to tell me that not bathing him was neglect and that I was not caring for him properly.

After this the next incident was the air conditioner....One night I got hot and turned the air up just a smidgen (was on 80 I turned it to 70). I was told the little boy was purple in the morning and if I was that hot I could move to the basement. I apologized and said it would never happen again.

The very last incident which made me write this is kinda complicated. I was offered a glass of wine which I should have denied but did not in fear of upsetting her again. We sat and watched a movie and then she began to say how smart the child was but that I was not helping him grow. He is in a wheelchair and I did not put him in his walker or use his speaking device all week. I told her the nanny that just left told me it was not important to use these things all week because there was a weekend nanny who does it and therapist who do it so I didn't need to. My boss began (again) with "that is common sense, any smart person would know to do it."

I told her on the old nanny's last day he napped for 3 hours. I just assumed that's how things where done. Well then I really did it, she replied "my son was in his bed for 3 hours and you did nothing about it?!" By that time I had only been here for 3 days. I told her I assumed he was just really tired that day. Again I was called neglectful and I went to my room and cried. My question is what do I do? At this point I just want to pack up and go and never look back but this little boy is amazing and I can't just leave. I don't want to be uncomfortable and I don't want to neglect anyone so what should I do?


BrooklynMomma said...

Your common sense alarm is telling you what to do. RUN, don't walk away from this situation. MB accusing you of neglect and getting down on you for every little thing is abusive to you. Unless you are ok with being demeaned and accused of neglecting the child on a day-to-day basis, I'd leave. All this drama for this first week is an indication of whats to come. If the boy requires such exact care, maybe MB should do it herself.

Nannycaroline said...

It seems that the other nannies are sabotaging you because they don't want you there. And the mother needs to be very clear with what she does and doesn't want you to do. I suggest you leave before it gets any worse.

duh said...

On the contrary, it seems as if OP hasn't any common sense at all.

This is someone else's child. Regardless of how lovely he is, any hopes that working with this family could result in anything but the mental anguish that comes along with being abused are slim to none.

Get. Out. Now.

world's best nanny said...


Nanny L said...

This sounds like a position where you are never going to win. It does not sound like this is a good fit for you at all.

If you are already upset and in tears after just a few days, can you imagine how bad it is going to be down the road? You cannot let yourself stay and get attached to this little boy because that is probably why the other nannies had such terrible things to say about MB but were still there for 3 years & 1 year.

No offense but you should not have taken this job when you saw all of the red flags and were warned by the other nannies. If a past nanny straight up tells you bad things about the boss and you believe they are telling you the truth, you need to stay away from the position. MB offering you the position at the same time as someone else should show you that she has a manipulative side and you should be very concerned about that.

Even though you should not have taken this job, I understand why you did. You were probably under a lot of pressure after giving your notice at your past position, flying over there and doing a working interview, and probably making all the arrangements to move. It sucks that it has turned out differently than you had hoped, but you really need to just cut your losses at this point and get out before you waste any more of your life with a manipulative, micromanaging bitch MB.

Nanny Busha said...

If you were on the tenth floor, I would still say JUMP!

another nanny said...

The fact that she has a child with severe special needs, but believes that everything related to his care is just "common sense" (rather than requiring a week of training) just speaks to the fact that her expectations are entirely unrealistic.
The situation is not likely to improve, and may actually get worse. I agree with a pp who said to leave before you get attached to the child. There are other amazing kids out there (who have less obnoxious parents)

Nursemom said...

Hi, I agree with the others that you should leave. It doesn't sound like the MB has any common sense. Also, the previous nanny seems to have been trying to set you up to look bad by doing many things differently than the MB would want.
It is hard to find another job and leave but if you don't you will be miserable.

kind of see the moms point said...

Okay, so I do not agree that posters should be attacked on here but I actually agree with the mom and not the previous posters. That being said, before I write anything else if you are not comfortable in a position you should leave before you get stuck in a position you are not comfortable in.....

While I do not agree with what the other nannies said about the mom offering it to someone else (are you use this is true? You are taking this from the other nannies and they really may not have your best interests at heart) I think you need to have a talk with the mom and see what she expects from you. You both obviously have different expectations about the care of the boy and either she had different requirements from the other nanny or the other nanny is making things up to make you fail (harsh but reality).

By turning from 80 to 70 is not a little bit, that is a lot and since it appears this boy has special needs that really could have messed him up.

I totally agree with the mom about you not using the walker or speaking device all week! Just having the weekend nanny do that is no where near enough time for him. He should be using those things at least once a day. I agree, how else is he supposed to grow?? Now the mom should have said it nicer and I really think it has nothing to do with the wine but you should be using those things. Imagine if you had to sit in a chair all day?

I don't understand the shampoo thing but I am thinking if the mom mentioned that he smelled like a puppy in the morning that was probably her way of saying, he needs a bath. I think she should have come out and say it but she obviously did not like the way he smelled.

All of that to say if you feel uncomfortable leave but I do see the mom as having some valid points.

Put the blame where it belongs. said...

If MB was really that concerned about her child she would have had written instructions of what was to be done every day and how. She told the woman NOTHING but bitching about everything. I am not a nanny but am a mom and a great grandmother and if my kids had needed something done everyday you can bet that I would have cared enough to make sure the person in charge KNEW what had to be done by ME. Not some nannies that were both leaving. These women bad mouthed the employer and set this woman up and if MOM had a brain in her head instead of a glass of wine maybe she could understand that and train this nanny on how she wants things done. The woman is a snob, and a bitch and enjoys slicing and dicing people and making them feel guilty. You can agree with MB but in MO if she is wrong because as a mother the child is HER responsibilty and it is also MOMS responsibility to make sure the new person was trained right. OP grow some balls and tell this woman exactly what her former employees told you in writing, and that you are sorry but due to her not telling you HERSELF on now she wanted her son taken care of that you will be leaving in 2 weeks. If anyone is guilty of negelct it is MOM.

RBTC said...

you need to realize that unless you can grow a thick skin and not care personally when the mom acts like a jerk, you will not be able to stay without being traumatized.

i worked for a mom where every day she found something wrong ie - gave the little boy his red hat instead of blue (same style)

or - i cut his name out in american cheese but then left it out on the plate for 5 minutes which might give him a bacteria

i liked her actually and i adored him, but my stomach would hurt while waiting for the "wrong thing" to be pointed out

i left after 8 months and did not give the reason why - but - i could afford to leave financially

you are in a very rough postion - if you can afford to get out, do

if you cannot afford to get out then IF you can - try to level the playing field like the pp said - get everything she expects in writing and then check in with her thruout the day, keep a notebook - do the same thing to her - drown her with confirmations and at least once a day say something about making sure he is not neglected

you do seem to have a laid back "nice" approach when it seems the mother wants something extremely detailed and specialized

the mom and nannies have dropped the ball - if you are forced to stay you need to pick up the ball and communicate extra extra

let us know what happens !

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

If you have any desire to stay in this job, you need to sit down with the mom and say, "I feel like I need you to give me some specific direction on how you want {child} cared for - I want to do a terrific job for him and for you, but I don't seem to have the knowledge I need to provide him with the best possible care."

The get every single direction she gives you in writing and have her sign it, just like she signed your work agreement (you do have one of those, right?) so that you can refer back to that list of instructions when she nitpicks again, and say, "You signed off on that issue by telling me X. Now you want Y. Please clarify that for me, and I will add it to our care agreement and we can initial the change."

Of course, it doesn't sound as if she will be willing to sit down and talk with you to give complete and thorough instructions. If that is indeed the case, then you need to leave. Because if you don't leave, every single thing that goes wrong will be your fault as long as you work there.

And if you did, indeed, drop the air down 10 degrees without asking or commenting, you deserved that reprimand. If you made a typo when you said "was on 80 I turned it to 70) and you only notched it down to 78 or something, then ignore this comment. :-)

Bottom line is, you got bad info on how to care for this little boy from someone. You can try to correct that problem and see how things go, or you can quit. Best of luck to you whatever you decide, and please keep us updated!

calcuLATER said...

I agree with put the blame where it belongs...Who exactly is this woman that she doesn't have the time to personally tell the OP the specific details about the day to day necessities that are required to care for her disabled child?

I could understand leaving the training to the previous nanny in a different situation. Like if the child were completely healthy, the previous nanny had been with the family for a long time and was leaving on good terms, and the day to day details in question were things like nap times, lunch/dinner preparation, toys, park, activities, laundry room etc.

But when it comes to day to day details that directly affect the health of a child, why would you trust your old nanny to pass on those details second hand? I wouldn't even leave my cat with someone without making sure they knew exactly how to care for her, much less a child!

MissDee said...

Bravo, Tales! You took the words right out of my mouth. OP won't know how to properly care for the child unless she asks MB AND to put everything in writing, attaching it to the WA is an excellent idea. That way, if MB tells OP to do X and then complains about OP not doing Y, OP can show her that she wants X done, not Y.

I understand that special needs children can be high matienence-I was a special needs child. What I want to know is why this child has OP, an afternoon nanny and a weekend nanny? Does MB spend any time with her child?

Nanny Maria said...

I think the fact that 100% of the posters are advising you to quit speaks volumes here. If you are crying and this stressed out, in the next month or so you will most definitely be ready to kill your Momboss!! I advise you to pack up your bags, book the next flight out of there and go back home. I understand your feelings are strong regarding your charge, however I assure you with time your feelings will subside. Find a nice family, one who respects you and appreciates you and does not have unrealistic expectations from you.

Laura said...

you quit. duh!

Put the blame where it belongs said...

How do you pay attention to details when none have been given to you. The only people that told her anything were 2 unhappy employees that were leaving and probably because of the MB behavior. Of course she is being backed up by people in here. We can see exactly what happened here and how little MB cares about her child. She is paying a lot of people to take care of her son, therefore she should be making sure that new people have had the correct information given to them rather then sit back and crab about something that has not been done correctly (according to her). It looks like to me that MB did not care enough to check with this new nanny by simply asking her certain question before her other employees took a hike. If I had a disabled child I would make sure that the new nanny had been briefed correctly . This mothers actions are the ones that spell "negelect". AND if your child cannot take 70 degrees without being in danger then there should be a lock on the temperature box and a note stating not to turn temp below 80. It sounds to me that someone is cheap when it comes to ac AND probably has her own unit in her quarters to make sure she is comfortable because it looks like she doesn't care about her employees comfort. If this child has a skin condition don't you think the nanny should have been told? I would certainly sit down and discuss ALL of my childs needs before nanny took the job to make sure she could handle the posistion and it is quite apparent that this was never done.

no moniker said...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'm with Mom on this one. 80 to 70 is not a "smidge", 80 to 79 is a smidge.
The fist time you realized you had been given bad information by the previous Nanny, you should have stopped right there and started asking thorough questions. Why would you think that therapy for a special needs child would only occur on weekends? This is a family who is paying an entire group of people to care for their child. In that message alone you should concur they want him to receive a great deal of attention.
I have to agree that some common sense is needed here. The other employees have been there for years, everyone complains about the boss, but it is a good enough gig to stay.
You need to pay better attention to details. I am shocked how many Nanny's are here backing you up!

Aug 29, 2011 11:13:00 AM

christine said...

At any job, really, your boss is responsible to let you know your duties,responsibilities and just how she'd like things done. If she does not, then it is her fault. To simply reprimand you is not effective and will not make you do your job better... she will find fault with something else she didn't instruct you on. If you want to stay, you have to explain to her that it's important to you to do what she expects and do it well but she has to lay the ground work for you to accomplish your (and her)goals. Act professional and concerned that you were inproperly trained. Maybe she will write out your job duties and cooperate with you.

If she doesn't, you are only wasting time and you should pack up right away and get out of there!

Angelman said...

OP - As others have pointed out, you were given bad info from the other nannies from the start, such as telling you you were second choice, to telling you the child needs bathed only every other day to the BS about the communication device. Maybe Mom did not realize that she had a bunch of immature "Mean Girls" working for her and had a little misplaced confidence in her employees. Is this her fault or the nannies' fault? There is nothing wrong in having a departing employee train a new one, and it horrible that the nannies would use the care of a disabled child as a pawn in their departing power struggle. This board is always so full of hate and jelousy to Mom, all Moms, it is like something created out of a Freudian fantasy.

Why not simply ask the Mom to go over the expectations with you and see if they are something you are capable of doing? If you ask the Mom to reduce it to writing and sign it, you better be prepared to sign it too. What would be the consequences of not living up to the "Care Agreement" on your end? You really should have realized you were being set up if you were told that time out of the wheelchair and the communication device only occurred on the weekend. Maybe the former nanny was able to get away with doing this with a non-verbal child. What are your qualifications for this position?

And as to "Spreading the Blame" or "Placing the Blame", whatever the moniker was, you sound like you are in serious need of immediate in-patient therapy. Good Lord, you sound like a miserable piece of humankind! It might be interesting to know what brought you to such a hate filled space in your life, would you be willing to post about your nanny experiences?

oh well said...

If you don't want to quit, you need to ask your boss to put things in writing, and you need to make it clear that you want to do the right thing but need her help. You two should come up with a schedule for the day, and you should also address how handle difficult situations. I find it strange that the other nannies told you not to use the walker, but I also find it strange that the mom would tell you that you are not helping her kid grow after three days.
Hope you find a solution soon.

seriously said...

I think people have made good points and while I don't agree with everything I did want to add that it IS common sense that a wheelchair bound/non-verbal child would not be left in his chair and not put in his walker or use a speech device at all with you during the week and only wait for the weekend.

Imagine if you were the child? Is that what you would want? I have no training in special needs (and maybe the mom should have you trained in that? especially if it was so important to her) but I do completely agree it would be easy to figure out that it is important to move a wheelchair child around, do new things etc.

calcuLATER said...

angelman, I am a little bit confused.

How exactly is "put the blame where it belongs" a hate filled miserable piece of human kind?

All she is saying is that it is the parent's responsibility to make sure that a new nanny has all of the necessary facts and information about caring for the parent's disabled child. That maybe, since it is such important, health related information that is at stake here, it should not be up to a disgruntled ex employee to pass that information along.

Especially considering the bold way that the ex nanny bashed the MB, and the way that the MB criticized the OP, you can bet that the old nanny and the MB had some conflicts while the old nanny was employed.

How pointing that out makes someone hate filled and miserable is entirely unclear to me. I think taking the time to personally train the caregiver of your disabled child sounds like good parenting, not a cause for in patient therapy.

MissMannah said...

Are you serious? What's with the crying? If you're that upset with your job already, you need to leave. If you are really unable to leave, you need to put on your big-girl panties and start doing your job.

If you hear a million complaints about the Mom, you need to find out why they are complaining BEFORE you accept the position. Don't you consider that a huge red flag? You should have gone to the Mom and asked her about some of the more suspicious allegations, ie: "Is it true so-and-so just turned down this job last week, and did she say why?" The mom probably needs to know her staff is bad-mouthing her just as much as you need to know why they're doing it.

And don't make assumptions! The point of a working interview is so you can learn the boy's routine and ask as many questions as possible. If you aren't getting straight answers out of the staff (or they are just back-biting), you ask Mom. Better yet, ask the staff and the Mom the same questions just to make sure everyone's on the same page.

Oh, and 80-70 degrees is not a smidge. I would have been freezing and almost purple as well. I keep my thermostat on 80 or 82 at night and just turn on the ceiling fan.

Heidi said...

I agree with Calculater and other pp's who said that there are huge issues here, mostly due to the fact that this child has significant disabilities and requires special care. My youngest DD had a progressive disease and received in-home care around the clock until she passed away. Every new caregiver was specifically trained in every aspect of her care. Once DH and I were comfortable with the caregiver's ability to do something, we gave him/her the final OK to start doing it alone (once the caregiver was comfortable as well!) Walkers/gait trainers are heavy duty pieces of medical equipment, and someone who isn't trained in their use could end up hurting the child. It's up to the parents to teach the caregiver how to use the equipment (or for the caregiver go with the child to a therapy session for the PT to teach her.) Keeping the child in the bed or wheelchair because "the weekend/evening caregiver will do it" is definitely not an excuse, but Mom needs to make sure you're comfortable using her child's medical equipment! Communication devices cost thousands of dollars, and if a child needs one to communicate, there's probably a specific way to help the child use it; it isn't as easy as giving a child an ipad to play around with.

If Mom's already pointing out things that you aren't doing (which, from your description, are things that are not run-of-the-mill child care tasks) and is labeling them "neglect," run! If she decided to follow up on any of these "neglect reports," you stand losing a whole lot more than a job reference; neglect can become a criminal matter and could prevent you from being able to work in child care, education, medicine, etc ever again! MB sounds scary, please be careful. :)

Angelman said...

"... if MOM had a brain in her head instead of a glass of wine maybe she could understand that and train this nanny on how she wants things done. The woman is a snob, and a bitch and enjoys slicing and dicing people and making them feel guilty."

I thought this was a little much for a woman the poster knew maybe a paragraph or two of hearsay about. Sounds like one of the Nancy Grace accolytes screaming for Casey Anthony's head after she had been found not guilty.

BTW OP, communication devices do cost thousands of dollars, even over ten thousand. There is now a fantastic program caled Proloquo2Go, $189 on iTunes and runs on an iPad. It is fun and effective for a lot of non-verbal kids and best of all, they look "cool" with it around other kids.

Wow (the real one) said...


Sorry to hear about your daughter passing away.

NannyPoppins said...

The mother should of went over with you what she wanted from you and not relied on the other nannies to explain. Before you started, a list of rules and expectations should been created by BM. She is not speaking to you in a respectful manner and that is intolerable. I would suggest living since you are so upset and unhappy. I know you said that you love the child but this sounds like a situation that will not get better. And honestly I think if you sat down and talked to her you would most likely not get anywhere. I mean you could try since you say you love the little boy but I have dealt with mothers like this. I have done sit down convos and explained my concerns and unhappiness. The out come usually ended up with me resigning from the job since the mother would be "normal" for a time being but seep back into her old ways. The hardest part about being a nanny is being attached to the children and dealing with ridiculous MB/DB. It is a battle that tugs at the heart strings since child who you love are involved and it is hard saying goodbye. But you cannot put your happiness aside. My suggestion is to perhaps talk to her and tell her that the way she is treating you is causing your feelings to be hurt and that you are upset. Explains that if this keeps going that you no longer can work for her. Also ask her to set up a list of "rules/schedules" that she would like for you to follow. I would also address her using the word "neglect". That's a very serious allegation and you definitely do not want her to take these "neglect" allegations to a higher level. Do not rely on the other nannies "advice, training".If anyone should train you or give advice it should be the BM herself. If after all this does not work and she is still treating you badly. You must resign.

Vida Starr said...

She needed to be clear and explain what your role and duties are as a nanny in her home. She should have set out for you what the child's needs are. I understand if she expected the other nanny to train you, but once she saw that the nanny was giving you the wrong information and training, your boss should have went over everything HERSELF. And if you saw that she wasn't able to come to this logical conclusion herself, you should have helped her by asking. I know she seems intimidating but for your own sanity at least try. And nothing is "Common Sense" when working with someone's child. Every family has different needs and expectations. So her idea of what's "Common sense" needs to change. If all else fails... LEAVE!!!