Spineless Nannies

opinion 1
Maybe I am missing something but what's up with all of these spineless nannies lately? I guess I just don't understand the fear these girls are expressing over Dad Bosses. What's the big deal with being left alone with them? Or having them work from home? It seems like a fear of sexual assault. I guess in my opinion this profession requires communication with both mom and dad and to be afraid of the dad just seems silly. Yes i have read the stories of assault and affairs involving dads but that kinda stuff happens in plenty of other settings, and women don't avoid those settings. I just think women are only as weak as they think they are. We have more power then we realize. I am a victim of date rape... but I can honestly say that didn't change how I live my life... why should we change our lives just because they did something wrong?


It's not always easy said...

Well sometimes it's hard to speak up for yourself when the people you work for are good and making you feel small. I think too one big problem is working in someone's home taking care of children the line of general communication and respect gets crossed VERY easily so I know sometimes for me I never speak up to my bosses about issues I may have because I don't want to rock the boat. And for me at least, every time I address and issue (most of the time it's small,) it turns into this long drawn out "talk" that lasts over an hour and when they do not like what they hear they will just go in circles until I finally cave and just accept that my concern fell on deaf ears and it's all about them. And they never give me warning for these sit downs. It almost never fails that they will wait till 30 minutes until I'm due to leave and when it's time for me to leave they could care less that they are running into MY time. I have asked that if they want to have discussions and if it cannot be done in the TEN HOURS I'm at their home then to schedule a meeting in my after hours because I respect THEIR time I expect the same in return!

So for me it always turns into a major headache to bring up issues or concerns regarding my job, but I just want to clarify that I have zero problem talking to them about the child or issues regarding the child I'm speaking strictly of the other stuff that goes on.

workingMom said...

It is true that one can encounter creepy and/or predatory men in ANY setting, however, I think the odds increase in a nanny situation with a WAHD.

Think about it: you are working in your bosses HOME. (i.e. his "turf") He has power over your employment situation, which is intimidating enough if you NEED the job - and he might have an intimidating, dominating personality as well. HE is not accountable to anyone else the entire time you are with him, so any encounter has the potential to be a "he-said/she-said" situation, unless there is outright physical violence, which would leave evidence of an assault. (which would be unusual - encounters would be more about coercion than actual assault, even if forced, and predators can be VERY crafty about covering their tracks while carrying out their harrassment)

Being faced with a predator under these circumstances is simply a lose-lose situation for the inexperienced nanny. Look at how many nannies are taken advantage of in other ways by their employers. Consider how many nannies report feeling that they are treated as "less-than" or looked down upon by their employers, as if their humanity did not count as much as someone else's. I do not think it is over-reacting for a nanny to be on guard for any of this, in any work arrangement.

Expect the worst, and hope for the best. Because it's true that 9 out of 10 DB's will be decent guys. But if you begin to see/hear/experience some of the worst from that 10th, get out immediately!

workingMom said...

Sorry, I just have to post again, because I don't think nannies with this concern are spineless; If a nanny is already on alert for any questionable behavior, and she is consistently employing deflective behavior herself, she is being SMART. Being on alert does not have to be indicative of fear. It simply means one is aware of potential hazards in that particular environment.

Nobody is going to look for her but HER.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I would not call a woman "spineless" for not wanting to work for a WAHD. It is her right to pay attention to her comfort level and decide whether or not she is comfortable in that situation. However, she must be upfront about it and not accept a job where it will become a problem. I don't think it is appropriate to act as though every man is out to take advantage of a woman but I also wouldn't walk down a dark alley in NYC or walk on the streets alone at night because I don't feel comfortable. In no way is that "asking to get raped" but it's also not very preventative on my end either.

nan said...

I agree with this post. It just frustrates me that people are so quick to judge WAH dads...they're not all sexual predators quit being so ignorant.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I think it would make me uncomfortable working for a Dad who works at home. The fact that I am alone with a strange man in HIS home does not sit well w/me. Perhaps after getting to know him, I would change my mind. Trust would have to be established first.

Tabs said...

Workingmom, I so agree! Many good points.

Manhattan Nanny said...

I have never worked with a DB who worked from home, but I have had some who had crazy schedules and were around sometimes. I have been lucky in that our relationships were friendly and respectful. My only negative observation about dads if they are more prone to being late to relieve you than moms are. I think high earning men are used to the people around them at work catering to their every need, and just don't realize that the nanny expects to go home on time after ten exhausting hours!

OP, I'm sorry that happened to you, and glad that it hasn't made you fearful. Everyone's experience is different, and to be so judgmental of others whose experience you don't understand is unfair.

Phoenix said...

I don't like the man bashing either. I think it is very very unfair and technically its a huge double standard. I agree, women are only as strong as they think they are. I think this also eludes to the fact that people coddle their kids and try to keep them from everything. I guess this would be called the time of "worry"

It must be tiring to worry like that all the time. To always think something bad is going to happen. To always think you are in danger. People can make themselves go crazy over the "what-if" factor.

Phoenix said...


People are more likely to raped by cops than they are WAHD. The police use their position of power and they use threats to scare the women into submission. Men can be intimidating but women shouldn't fear them. It isn't accurate to say that rapists are going to attack if they are a WAHD. That rape quality will be in anyone. It doesn't matter their profession or the location.

nan said...

Pheonix-amen! thanks!

Aries said...

I agree. Yes there is a chance something could happen but it's slim. You're not sitting in a jailcell with criminals all day, you're working at a home with a dad who is married raising children. He isn't going to go from family man to a low life who sexually abuses females.

I can see someone feeling on edge, esp if it's happened in the past and they have a guard up around men but i've seen alot of nannies concerned about the same thing. I'm sure he's not interested. Not all men are pigs 24.7. and if its such a problem then ask up front before interviews, etc.

workingMom said...


"It isn't accurate to say that rapists are going to attack if they are a WAHD. That rape quality will be in anyone. It doesn't matter their profession or the location."

I agree, and I did not say that.

I said the odds for a nanny to be caught in a predatory situation can increase with WAHD's for the very reasons you say cops get away with it: misuse of their authority, intimidation, and lack of accountability to a higher authority because of their autonomy.

My post was NOT saying that one must be on alert with all WAHD's because they're all creeps. My post was saying that I think a nanny who is already aware of the potential hazards of such working conditions, and uses behaviors and decision-making to avoid such problems, is prudent and wise.

And, as another poster mentioned, the smart nanny will also know her own personality and how strong she is and/or how comfortable she is with the situation, and listen to her own gut when choosing (or staying in) such employment. Everyone has different personalities, and different people will be able to tolerate different working situations better than others.

How many nannies do we read about on here who complain because they were taken advantage of in one way or another, and it's generally due to their own inexperience and not trusting their own instincts? Whether it be not getting paid, job creep, or the many other things nannies can experience, I think that being AWARE of the possible/potential hazards of a job helps anyone practice appropriate measures to avoid many of these hazards BEFORE they happen - whether it's knowing when and how to stand up for yourself, or knowing what situations you would prefer to avoid altogether.

parental references are worth their weight in gold said...

I get what your saying. I myself never had a problem with stay at home parents, in fact I worked two years with a family who DB and MB were in and out all the time and it was great. BUT last year I accepted a job with twins, dad was work at home, soon to be fulltime work out. I trained for a week with the MB (DB was around but I THOUGHT he was busy working). Twins (2.5) were a handful even with my experience. Once I was on my own the children were 800x better. After two days found out the DB wasn't going to work out of the house in fact he was jobless. On my own kids were great, around the DB they were horrible and he would undermine EVERYTHING I did. MB told me to use time out, it worked like a charm cause I was consistent, DB would just come in and yell at the kids then scould me for not keeping them under control. After a few too many back handed insults (remember this is TWO DAYS in), I left the house phoned the MB and told her I wouldn't be returning due to an uncomfortable work environment in which she informed me her last nanny quit for the same reasons and she is now reconsidering a nanny while her husband is home. UGH! My advice, especially with a work from home parent if they can ask you for references you can ask them for references as well! I have done this a few times and not only have found it reassuring but very insightful and helpful!

parental references are worth their weight in gold said...

*I left at the end of the workday not in the middle, sorry if it seemed that way

Tamm said...

No one here is man bashing, and no one said anything about ALL dads being predators. People are just saying that as women, we have to be aware of potential risks.

Awareness is not paranoia. Do you look both ways before crossing the street? Does this mean you are overly paranoid about getting hit by a car? Of course not. I still look before crossing even in a quiet neighborhood. This seems like basic safety and common sense to me. Same goes with not being alone in a house with a man I don't know.

I think it is a lot more spineless to say nothing if a situation makes you uncomfortable. We need to stand up for ourselves and let employers know what is negotiable and what is just not acceptable.