Two Sides of the Same Coin

opinion 1
Question A: How do you nannies deal with a child calling you mommy and saying they wished you were their mom? This is my first gig and I've never been in this situation before. The kids only 3 so I don't want to crush her but I want to make sure I'm being respectful of mom too.  

Question B: Do you ever imagine you are your charges mother? I cannot be alone in this. I'm thrilled when they "accidentally" call me Mama. I even encourage it somewhat. I can't help but think what it would be like to be in her shoes...the mother of two adorable kids....a gorgeous husband....


Bethany said...

Question A:
I never considered it a serious thing. I think all the times I experienced it it meant the kid was having a good time.
You know the kid version of I like you alot, and feel safe with you, and I like you. Almost like how they beg on to stay at the park or wish they could have ice cream for every meal.

The most I've every done, this was when I worked daycare) was gently reimind them I was Miss Bethany.

Bethany said...

Question B:

Is this real life? In case it is

Maybe you should scroll a but down and see how bad of an outcome you could end up with.

Seriously? I think you're all alone on this one.

It is very wrong dare I say abusive for you to have your charges call you mama.

I also kindly suggest you seek some professional help.

UmassSlytherin said...

Ew. OP, you have issues.

If a child calls you mommy, you should say firmly, "I am not your mommy. I am your caregiver."

If the child says, "I wish you were my mommy," you should say firmly, "That is not a nice thing to say. You have a wonderful mommy. You should respect and appreciate your mommy."

The child is 3 and is old enough to learn this.

finally, if you are thrilled that the child feels this way, you're freaking weird. You will have your turn to have a child and a relationship some day. Maybe.

Just a nanny said...

My 3 year old does the same thing and is the same way. However, I always correct her. It's disrespectful to her actual mom and when MB feels less loved and favored, you can be sure she'll find a reason to let you go. Tread softly. Here is how I keep my three year old on track. I assure her that I love her but her mom especially loves her. The three year old has offered to call me her "pretend mom", which still doesn't work for me. I allow her to call me her pretend big sister, her best friend, etc but not her mom!!

But seriously three years old they still don't know what they're saying. She's even gone as far as saying I was married to her daddy (ewwww!!!!) The 7 yr old, on the other hand, calls me mom often on complete accident. (Says "mom? Oh oops I mean you nanny!")

Please don't be creepy... Don't kidnap your charges or anything stupid. If you really adore your charges as much as you say, then you will build strong loving relationships between them and their parents. Not destroy them. You also need to play your cards right because one wrong card and you can be sure you'll never see those kids again. Good luck to you!

Lyn said...

I agree 100% with UMass. Also, just wait until there is a slip up around their actual Mom. It's bbound to happen and you will then officially be on her radar. Might as well start looking for another job as soon as she hears this.

I'm sorry, but this is just creepy. Especially the second question. You know how often we talk about being professionals in this forum? You need to find another line of work.

I see this ending in one of those child abduction stories you see on the evening news.

Lyn said...

Are you going to start hitting on the dad too? Trying your best to take over the moms role in the family entirely? I only ask because I feel like I've seen a Lifetime movie with an identical plot, haha.

1234 said...

It's funny how this blog goes through cycles. For a few weels whatever Miss Mannah says is law, then Phoenix, and now it's Umass's turn.

It appears as though we have two different posters. I'm surprised the the educated caregivers on this blog didn't pick up on that.

1234 said...

For the first question, when is the child saying this?

If the child is saying this at a time and manner to intentionally upset mom, you back up whatever it is mom requested and say something along the lines of those words hurt mom it's not nice and not ok to hurt people with our words.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The kids just means they like you and enjoy spending time with you and are having fun with you in the moment. 3 year olds don't think much beyond the moment. They don't actually wish you were their mother.

If they do, or if mom gets huffy about perhaps she needs to examine herself and her relationship with the child.

I wouldn't worry much you are being respectful of mom. Consider question B for an example of being disrespectful of mom.

I've been there as both a mom and nanny don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

1234 said...

Second OP you are sick!

Maybe deep down you want a stable partner and loving family of your own, nothing wrong with that.

There is something wrong with spending large amounts of time envisioning yourself in MB's role.

There is something extremely wrong with telling your charges to call you mother.

I think you need to leave this job and avoid all nanny positions and get some serious therapy.

Mike Obey said...

After reading question B, I think you are sick. No way in Hell would I want someone with your mindset around my husband or kids. What do you mean, gorgeous husband?? Are you attracted to your Dad boss?

For the family's sake, you need to leave this family. Perhaps working with families may not be your call.

No offense, but your statements in Part B kind of freaked me out. If you really want what Mom boss has, then I suggest you go out, find yourself a man, get married and start your own family instead of fantasizing about someone else's.

Susannah said...

I see you are a new nanny are you also in your first weeks of this job?

You are probaly pulling out all the bells and whistles and your little charge is having the time of her life.

I wouldn't at least not yet make a big deal about it. I absolutely wouldn't give her a firm lecture about hurting mommies feelings and respecting her. Give me a break!

If you must say anything, let her know you have fun spending time with her, and work into your conversations you have fun things she does with mom.

Also young children often mix up names and titles of caregivers, especially the new ones. They are not forming a plot against their parents, again all that's needed is a a gentle reminder of what your name is.

I have nothing for question B because I don't believe that it is an actual situation.

Ocean Blue said...

Is this the same person? Is this a real person?

The first question seems normal and sane and the next not.

I have nothing to add as good advice has been given on both accounts.

NannyB said...

I don't know if you were being serious in your post but this is a problem. I have two charges a four year old and a six year old and the four year old has got into the habit of calling me mummy. At first it was by accident and he would correct himself but now a year down the track he does it more often. Or when other children ask "is that your mummy" he says yes.

If you are a hands on nanny who spends a lot of time with your charges and do all of the bonding things such as homework, nap times, dinner conversations, bath time it is slightly understandable but you still need to correct them.

My boss is a single mum who works full time. She is just trying to do the best for her sons and make sure they never lack anything. For her to hear her sons call someone else mum would be heartbreaking.

So correct your charge when you hear it and suggest another term of endearment.

MaryPoppin'Pills said...

Sorry for any confusion...

Both questions came a few days apart by two different people, and since they were so closely related in subject, I decided to Publish them together.

utnanny said...

I nanny mostly for infants/toddlers and they have all called me mommy at some point. I ALWAYS correct them. However i have to disagree with umass if the child is 3 (or younger) and accidentally mixing up names or just honestly confused there is is no need to be firm with them. I tell my charges usually in a silly voice "im not mommy im ..... mommys at work but she loves you very much and she will be home soon andyou will have so much fun together!" If the child is older and doing it diliberatly then yes a firm "my name is .... not mom"would be appropriate.

Beezus said...

I'm having a similar situation now with my 3 year old charge. She was starting to call me "mommy" and saying she didn't want her dad to come home. I take it as I'm doing a great job, but I also understand she's really just missing her parents immensely. They travel frequently and she doesn't totally understand why they're not here and I am,even though her parents and I explain work and travel to her as often and best we can. They also Skype her,which helps A LOT. She's recently started calling me her "best friend" which I feel is a good compromise.
Happy to know these posts were not connected!

lexeael13 said...

my charges have accidentally called me mom once or twice over an almost 2 year time they usually get embarrassed that called me that (i go by Miss (my first name) with them) I just tell them its ok if they call me the wrong name but im Miss ____. I guess its fine to see the family you work for and envy their life in a way but there are boundaries and if you truly want that for yourself you should go find it for yourself.

Karli said...

A. Yes, but it was a child I was with since he was a newborn, and I was there 11 hours a day. Sometimes I woke him up and put him to bed and he never saw the parents unless he woke up during the night, so when he started talking and saying "mama", he would sometimes direct it at me. The mom saw this, and understood that he was just confused and would soon learn the difference between us and start using my name. Which he eventually did. But it did freak me out that she might start to get jealous so when he took his first steps with me, I didn't even tell her. I let her tell me how excited she was when he did it that weekend and just pretended those were his first. LOL

And B. You're not alone. I do this job because I want kids of my own someday and love taking care of them. Feelings are feelings, you can't help how you feel but you can help what you do with it. It can be heartwarming and choke you up a little to hear a child you love call you mommy, just don't do anything insane like actually start to believe you are and feel possessive over them because if you start to do that, you need to detach yourself from the situation before it gets out of hand. You'll only get hurt.

It's hard sometimes, but for your own benefit and emotional well-being, you should try your hardest to respect that "line" and not cross it.

MissMannah said...

A: If that sort of thing happened with me and the child was 3 years old and therefore able to understand the difference between mommy and nanny I would say "Oh you're so silly, I'm not mommy! I'm Mannah!" I would say it in a silly manner at first but then if the child continued, I would be more serious with him or her, saying something like "Your mommy loves you very much and it would make her sad if she heard you call me mommy. I am Mannah and I want you to call me that, not mommy."

B: If you are being serious, then you need to quit this job and potentially the nanny career. This is no joke, it could get very dangerous for you.

UmassSlytherin said...

"1234 said...
It's funny how this blog goes through cycles. For a few weels whatever Miss Mannah says is law, then Phoenix, and now it's Umass's turn."

What is this about? Is this really necessary to post? I swear to God, I am always getting flamed on here. Can we post without this shit, mentioning posters for no apparent reason? If someone would like to comment on what I'm saying, that's fine. Other than that, grow up.

UmassSlytherin said...

the child in OPs post said "I wish you were my mommy." a child who says that is old enough to learn why that is wrong. it was not accidental.

Kathryn said...

PP made a simple observation. YOU don't have to agree or in your case disagree with everyone.

UmassSlytherin said...

Are you talking to me, lady? What are you trying to say?

MissMannah said...

Umass, the poster known as "1234" has a penchant for expressing her displeasure with anyone who is outspoken. She likes to say we are stirring the pot, yet she posts nonsense like this and finds it totally acceptable. I could say the sky is blue and she would find something in the post to argue with and somehow manage to make it my fault.

Katie said...

I like Mannah's advice. Perfectly said.

I'm general one for approaching a situation with ease and humor first.
As has been mentioned I doubt your charge really means he wants you to take over for mom. He is simply expressing his fondness of you in the awkward way of a 3 year old. He probably thinks mom is the best and wanting you as mom too is the highest compliment he can give.

It's also totally normal for a little kids to mix up names.

I would also suggest not responding when called the wrong name.

I also agree with Mannah on qiestion b. I would add that you should consider speaking with a therapist.

leftcoastmama said...

As a mom to a former and current 3 year old I agree with most of what's been said.

If you see the name thing becoming more of a game, meaning they know your name and are calling you the wrong one for attention, try ignoring it. The less reaction they get in this case the better.

The thought of people like the second poster existing and being in someone's home sends chills through my spine. You need serious help girlfriend!

Ginger said...

Poster B: guess what movie I just got through watching? The hand that rocks the cradle!

Anonymous said...

nannyinmanhattan said...

Whenever they call me mommy I know they're thinking of their mom and it was a mistake. They themselves always laugh it off when they realize the error.

And no I don't wish to be in her shoes per say, her children being my children or her husband being my husband, but I do sometimes wish for a similar situation of my own, my own husband and my own children...I'm assuming this is what you meant??

Logical Skeptic said...

Oh, come on, people. EVERYONE fantasizes about what their life would be like if they were in their superiors' shoes.

I work for a VIP couple. I see the wife in her expensive clothes, getting to go to events and opening and fancy restaurants, enjoying all the privileges of her status: not having to work, staff/household help, lots of travel, etc. etc. Sometimes I wish I was the wife of a person like her husband and that I got to have and do all these things. Does that make me want to marry the guy and assume her life? OF COURSE NOT. It doesn't make me "sick" to think about this. It makes me human.

The only red flag I see in Question B is that the nanny encourages her charges to call her "Mama" to supplement her fantasy. That is a BAD IDEA and UMass' advice for dealing with a child who says she wishes Nanny was her mom was spot on.

Remember that little kids are still figuring out the world, and their cognition and vocabulary aren't always in sync. My friend's little boy called my parents "Grandma" and "Grandpa" on a visit, because he was trying to see where my parents fit into his life. I could practically see his mind working. "Well, let's see: they're older than Mom and Dad, we visit their house and can't touch everything, they give me cookies and smile at me and sing with me. They must be grandparents!"
He hadn't gotten to the cognitive stage where he understood that you only call your *own* grandparents "Grandma" and "Grandpa", not any person who fits the description of "grandparent".

And doesn't everyone have a story about calling their teacher "Mom" or "Grandma" or something? Point is, IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL if it only happens once in a while.

OP Question A said...

Well I took the advice that UMASS and Lyn gave about being firm and it backfired bigtime. It seemed right. I didn't want mom to think I was taking over.

Little M burst into tears. Which shocked me because she's not a cry baby at all.

Anyway, her mother works at home some days Saturdays being one, saw her crying looked at me looked at the child but didn't say anything to me.

So at the end of the day I go to say goodbye, she sends M off to her playroom and asks me to follow her into the kitchen.

She asks me why M was crying and I explain the situation to her.

She says she appreciates my effort but she thought I was too harsh on a child that is just now 3 years of age. It is wrong to emotionally blackmail a child in order to correct my behavior. In in the future I should try a more positive approach to correcting behavior. She thanked me for all my help paid me for the week and sent me home.

Well a few hours ago, I received a phone call from her saying that she and her husband had discussed the matter and they were not comfortable with me returning to my job after today's incident., and that they've decided to find someone with more experience caring for young children.

That's that! Fired! They are giving me two weeks pay.

But, I don't know what to think.
I didn't yell at the little girl at all.

There was no discussion of what form of discipline they would prefer just kicked to the curb.

Don't know what to think. I'm seriously rethinking this nanny thing.

I'm sorry for typos I still can't believe it.

Ginger said...

OP A, could you please tell us exactly what you said to the kid and what you told the mom?

MissMannah said...

I agree with Ginger, I would very much like to know just what you said to your charge. I find it very strange you were fired simply for reprimanding the child. I also don't see how it could be interpreted as emotional blackmail.

Logical Skeptic said...

Me too, Mannah! Give us a transcript, OP.

If she started to cry and she isn't normally so sensitive it sounds like maybe you came down a little hard, even though you meant well (UMass' advice is tricky to follow and get right, I'm beginning to think). Your charge may have been trying to compliment you in her less-than-perfectly-articulate 3-year-old way (like, "I love you so much you're like a second mother to me" or something), maybe?

Emotional blackmail? What? I don't even know how this is relevant, especially if you explained that you were worried that M was getting a little too attached or you or that you were concerned MB might think you were trashing her to M. Possibly another MB just looking for an excuse to can you?

But I'm just striking in the dark here. We want details!

Lyn said...

?!?! I don't even have words OP A! Please share to the best of your memory what exactly occurred. I'm baffled by the "emotional blackmail" comment your mb used. Could you explain the situation please? I'm so sorry things ended the way they did for you. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise though.

ericsmom said...

Oh I am so sorry OP you lost your job. Parents sound anal. Yeah really if you can do something different the nanny field isn't that great. Did you graduate from college? If you really enjoy working with kids. Maybe, a school setting would be better? I know where my child attends school they are hiring aides for the class. Only thing is that you need a degree.

OP were you on the books?? If so, go straight down to unemployment and put a claim in. Hope everything works out!

P.S. I don't feel like you are a bad person. Like a previous poster mentioned. We sometimes imagine ourselves living a life better than ours. Or we have a desire to have a family like the families we work for. I use to be like that when I was younger.

Brenda K. Starr said...

OP, I am sorry you were fired.

I know you are probably rethinking this Nanny thing, but please do not think of leaving this profession over one stupid family. There are some great families out there. I hope you find one soon.

UmassSlytherin said...


OP, I really am trying hard to believe your update. Really trying hard.

Come on. lmfao

And how is my advice "tricky to follow?" lmfao.

I'm sorry but this is just to crazy. I want to order my transcript as well. :)

UmassSlytherin said...

p.s. OP this woman is freakish if this in fact happened. You are so better off. I'm sorry my advice backfired. However, I still think it was good advice. You can find a much better employer to work for.

Bethany said...

It seems to me she was looking for a reason to fire you, and if that's the case there was nothing you could have done better. It was only a matter of time.
Especially with her saying they want someone with more experience. Maybe there was more there that you weren't picking up on.

How long were you working for them?

Was this a trial period?

I didn't agree with UMASS's method but I don't see how that would cause you to be fired.

Most good nannies have at least one horror/weird story to tell and now you have your's an initiation if you will.

Being a nanny is hard work it's very differnt from being a babysitter or being a nursery assistant. I know I was shocked when I first started to nanny anf I had years of experience with kids.

If you really want to be a nanny give it another shot.

If not try something else you seem young and there are many ways to work with children if that's what you want to do.

Maybe even take some classes in child care. It can't hurt it might even make you feel more confident next time around.

I'm sorry this is how you're weekend went. It sucks to be fired.

Nanny Deb said...


I find it sickening that you would encourage your charge(s) to call you Mom. That is just plain sick to me. Please do everyone a favor and find another profession.

Logical Skeptic said...

UMass, I meant your advice was "tricky to follow" because I began to see that it could be hard to get the tone right, not because it's bad advice. OP tried being "firm" as you suggested and look where it got her--the kid burst into tears (I'm not addressing her firing right now). Which may mean that the kid was trying to say something innocently nice to her in a bid for approval and bonding, didn't get the reaction she was expecting, and got upset about it.

Miss Mannah has suggested laughing it off and calling the kid "silly" for making the mistake, which would work if the kid really did just make a slip of the tongue but sort of invalidates the kid's feelings if he or she was really trying to express deep affection for the nanny...or, on the other hand, if the kid really *does* wish Nanny was Mommy (not touching THAT issue, either), laughing it off doesn't adequately address the issue.

But it's kind of hard to tell with any given 3-year-old, and I think the potential for mishandling it a little or a lot is high. Thus, tricky-to-follow advice. Not bad advice.

Logical Skeptic said...

And actually, re-reading Bethany's first post, I agree with her on that too. Not B, though.

Susannah said...

I'm sorry things didn't work out in your favor.

As for the girl crying, was that the first time you were firm with her?

Many years ago when I was a little Susannah, my siblings and I had a great babysitter that we alll loved.

The very first time she got on to me about something I burst into to tears, She didn't yell at me or anything of the sort. I think I was in shock and also upset that I had done something that my beloved sitter didn't like I did everything I could to please her because I liked her so much. The though that I haa in my view fallen out of favor just broke my little heart.

Granted I was 7 and not 3 , but all I'm saying is just because you cried doesn't mean you were too harsh.

It's difficult to say because none of us know this particular 3 year old.

Take some time to be sad, and then think long and hard about the situation . Is there any way you could have handled it better? What changes could you make for your next job?

Susannah said...

@ Logic

People are reacting to the part in question B where nanny says she encourages the kids to call her mom.

I can't think of a good excuse for that/

WheelockRavenclaw said...

Lurker here. I just wanted to chime in and say that while OPs initial posting about fantasizing the children are hers is alarming and encouraging them to call her mama is also a bit alarming, I don't see the need to correct the children when they call me mama.

It's a slip up. My 3 year old and 6 year old both do it sometimes. My 3 year old actually calls me MamaWheelockRavenclaw pretty often. I have worked in various after school programs, have nannied and taken care of children for quite sometimes, and slip ups happen. I prefer not to pay attention to them and I just let them go and the kids sometimes giggle about it when they catch each other.

Thats my 2c. I have nothing to say about the job loss though. Sorry OP

Fiona said...

I would have asked mom point blank exactly how to address her daughter. I would have insisted on examples.
I think you may have encounterd a sensitive mom.

She may have thought well this person makes my child cry when I'm here what on earth happens when I'm not?

Since you said M is not a cry baby and mom saw her crying she may have felt you were not honest in your explanation of the event.

This is one of those situations where you might not ever know. So, I wouldn't assume if you'd done things differently you would have received a different outcome.

I don't think any of the advice in this thread was bad.

Sorry about your job, but chin up!
Doesn't seem like it now, but this was most likely a blessing in disguise.

UmassSlytherin said...

It sounds like this kid is not used to being talked to firmly. That is too bad. When she goes to school, the first bitchy teacher she has will eat her alive and she will be made fun of for being a crybaby.

Kids these days are so wimpy. It's really sickening. What happened to the good old days when if you got in trouble from the teacher, your parents supported them?


Your name is sort of contradictory. I don't really think Wheelock is a Ravenclaw type school. Sorry.

MissMannah said...

"Most good nannies have at least one horror/weird story to tell and now you have your's an initiation if you will."

This made me laugh because it is very true.

OP question A said...

Here's what happened, M and I came back from the playground. We played in the playroom for a bit and then I went to go fix lunch. I give M her 5 miinute warning to clean up and sing the clean up song with her. I help her get washed for lunch and we sit down to eat.

After lunch we get cleaned up and I have M brush her teeth. We then go into the den for quiet time. M doesn't nap and her mom said it was ok. So I would sit with her and read 3 short stories and tell her it was quiet time. At quiet time I would do the other parts of my job like M's laundry.

Rest time is about an hour and M gets up.
We play quietly inside ffor abit and then we go out to blow bubbles and I show her how to hopskotch.

We then go inside to try the ice cream in the bag that we made earlier. We talk as we eat and M says I'm the best sitter ever.!

I tell her thanks that was a nice thing to say and I like being her nanny.

M says I wish you were my mommy.

I tell M. she has a good mommy that loves her, and does fun things with her,and that she shouldn't wish for another one because it isn't very nice and might make mommy sad.

M. then looks down sadly and bursts into tears. I attempt to console her but it doesn't work. She goes off to her quiet corner and after 15 minutes settles down. It was during this that mom came in.

She then comes over gies me a hug. I decide not to bring up the topic.
The rest of the day was fine as normal. We played, we talked. M seemed happy.

When I talked to mom I told her exactly what I told M. I told her that M had been saying that I lot, and though I loved caring for M I wanted to be clear about what my role was Not her mother and that I never would be, and that she was lucky to have her mom.

According to Mom I should not have told M that saying she wished I was her mom would make her mother sad. She said that was manipulating M's feelings and making her feel guilty for the way she feels.
I didn't say too much because I was shocked that she was upset over what happened.
Our phone conversation went exaxtly as I said here.

OP question A said...

For the person who asked. I've been at the job since the end of March. It wasn't a trial period at least not to my knowledge.

I wasn't on the books, so I guess I'm out of luck for unemployment.

No, I haven't been to college. school was always hard for me and I barely graduated. I do like working with kids and have done a lot of babysitting. I've done daycare and babysitting and thought being a nanny would be good, because I could make good money and still be with kids and not have to take courses like the daycare wanted.

Mary Kay said...

I am a Professional Nanny and I admit I get jealous of the families I work for. I mean, most of them live in beautiful homes and drive expensive cars. They have well-paying jobs and take vacations to places I can only dream about. The children have the best of everything as well, much more than I ever had as a kid.

I think my jealousy is normal though. Don't we all turn a little green once we are exposed to people who have more than us??

But I never fantasize about being married to someone else's husband or being a mother to someone else's children. That is over the top.

UmassSlytherin said...

I don't get jealous of other people unless they get to meet celebrities.

MissMannah said...

OP, thanks for coming back and going over what happened with M. I, personally, don't think you said anything wrong. If your MB thinks that you were emotionally manipulating her by saying what you did, then you are better off without this family. I mean, would she rather you allow M to call you mom? I highly doubt it.

MissMannah said...

An Mary Kay, no I do not get jealous of what my bosses have. I could have all that crap too if I was willing to have the stressful jobs they do and work my ass off and never see my own children. They have made their choices and I have made mine. I value family much more than money, which is why I don't make any.

UmassSlytherin said...

well said, miss mannah

Logical Skeptic said...

"According to Mom I should not have told M that saying she wished I was her mom would make her mother sad. She said that was manipulating M's feelings and making her feel guilty for the way she feels."

As a child I was very sensitive to things like this. If I was told that something would make someone else sad, or feel bad, I would be very, very upset and worried.

So I CAN understand the mother's thought/wish that you had stopped at "[M] has a good mommy that loves her, and does fun things with her" or maybe added that "I am your nanny and I love you too, but you only have one mommy", because obviously, implying that her (probably innocent) behavior would make MB sad did a number on her.



Firing you over this is INSANE. I'm sure you would have been receptive to a little constructive criticism, right? All MB had to do was tell you, "please avoid making M feel guilty for how she feels". There's plenty of literature out there about how to acknowledge children's feelings without invalidating or "manipulating" them--she could have offered to find a few articles on this and discussed them with you.

You sound like a great nanny, I think you handled it perfectly reasonably (it's not like you knew M would start crying, after all!), and firing you for something this trivial and this fixable would be funny if it weren't true. Possibly this isn't about just this incident...?

You have my sympathy.

utnanny said...

Op i am so sorry you lost your job! I cant help but wonder if mb firing you had more to do with her being upset over what her daughter said, rather then how you handled it. Maybe she felt guilty for not being around or threatened by your relationship with her daughter. You handled it well and it sucks that this happened. Best of luck to you and hope you find something soon.

ericsmom said...

I agree. I think the mom is feeling insecure. Maybe, she works long crazy hours and is not around her daughter as much as she likes. She should be happy that someone loves her daughter so much. That you spend so much time with her. Alot of people could just plop the child in front of the tv all day and not give a crap. Doesn't sound like you.

workingMom said...

Unbelievable. We are given the detailed information about OP A.'s situation, and yet the final conclusion made about what happened is that the old "MB must be jealous/insecure". Because all MB's are jealous and insecure about the children and the DB loving the nanny more. Please.

This was the OP's first gig, and this was only one situation she told us about. Even after the MB clearly told her that her dissatisfaction was because the OP made the child feel guilty, the OP still didn't "get it". The OP is too inexperienced to know how to handle the situation, or even recognize the critical focus of the situation.

As caregiver, a large part of your responsibility is teaching that child in a positive way, not shaming a 3 yr old about her feelings by making her feel guilty about a feeling she can't control and can't adequately express. Yes, affirm the child's expression of affection, and define and re-direct the actual from the wishful, but there was no need for the OP to then turn the conversation into a lecture and tell the 3 yr old they should feel BAD for wishing nanny was mom. Geez.

Part of the beauty of employing a nanny is so that your child can receive practiced, individualized care in a nurturing environment. If this was not important to a parent, they certainly have the option of warehousing their children in a community daycare or school, where the child could be made to feel bad about her feelings and choices by multiple outside influences daily.

What happened here is that the MB realized the OP was too inexperienced for the job, and fired her before any more mistakes were made. Plain and simple. Let's not divert the focus from what really happened and twist it into something more palatable to spare the OP's feelings. After all, the OP is not 3; she should be able to take it, learn from it, and move on.

UmassSlytherin said...

Workingmom raises some good points. However, I honestly think that we cannot know the reason that Mom fired this nanny.

I did not see anything in OPs posts that seemed as if she were "shaming" this child. I feel the mother's reaction was odd to say the least.

UmassSlytherin said...

p.s. referring to schools and daycares as "warehousing" children is sure to offend some people here who are teachers at schools and daycare centers.

I personally prefer a lisenced school or daycare setting for my child. It is much safer in my opinion.

Fiona said...

So telling kids the truth is now shaming them?

I honestly believe as humans we should feel shame and sadness at times. It let's us know what's appropriate and what isn't.

I also think this new style of parenting of all positiity all the time is actually harmful to children.

UmassSlytherin said...

great point fiona. I totally agree.

MissMannah said...

Working mom, how would you propose OP had handled that situation, while sparing the child's feelings?

I do not think the MB was jealous of the nanny or anything so scandalous. After all, didn't OP say that she works from home? So I would assume she gets to see her daughter frequently and would have no reason to feel guilty.

I also find your comment of "warehousing children" offensive. You can feel disdain for daycare centers all you like, but there are some very high-quality programs out there that I would love to send my future children to.

Susannah said...

I don't think OP is incompetent ( she sounds great especially for a first timer) I also don't think the child's mother is evil, insane, or jealous.

I think very simply there was a conflict in philosophies on handling children.

While I don't find anything wrong with how OP handled the situation, her former boss did, and for whatever reason decided against clearly explaining her point of view and working with OP on a method she( mom) found satisfactory.
it doesn't seem to me that the OP would have been opposed to changing her method.

I also say mom is at fault here, because as the parent she should have been clear from the start exactly how she wanted nanny to speak to her daughter.

Both she and OP can learn from this experience and perhaps be more upfront about their communication/ behavior management side.

Susannah said...

Where did OP tell the little girl she was bad or that she should feel bad for what she said?


Daycares and workers are just like anything else in that there are good and bad.

Do you truly feel that all daycares are warehouses run by charlatans? Or were you trying to take a swipe at OP because she mentioned she used to work in daycare?

Fiona said...

I firmly believe that ,UMASS!

Yes it's great to redirect, and it's great to positive, but sometimes a child needs to be told point blank that what they did or said was wrong.

And no it doesn't always matter what they were feeling at the time.

I'm not saying you need to get nasty, but children are more capable of handling direct communication than we give them credit for.

When as a culture did we become obsessed with making kids and everyone else think they should be happy all the time and that every thought and feeling they have is wonderful and should be praised?

And before anyone says well you're just a nanny...
Well I am just a nanny for nearly 20 years now and I'm also a mother to two grown children, one in college the other out on the workforce. Two fully functioning and happy adults.

Phoenix said...

Question A: Um there is no way your going to CRUSH your charge. YOu are not the mom. This is not news to her. When she says "I wish you were my mom."
YOu say: "Why? You have such a wonderful, pretty mom, you are very lucky.
I know what! How about we both say things we like about our moms. I will say what I like about my mom and you say what you like about your mom.
My mom has the most beautiful hair!
Now you go! What do you like about your mom!"

This will help your charge appreciate her mom and get you out of her head. don't let this statement go to your ego. You aren't her mother.

Question B:

This is not appropriate and you need to stop thinking about those tpyes of things. You are starved for a family. This is a little too much like "the hand that rocks the cradle"

Kourtney said...

Part B:

You know OP if you want two adorable children and a gorgeous husband to boot, why don't you go out and meet a nice-looking man, marry him and have two children with him?

It's not like it is an unattainable goal.

I hope someday you find true happiness. ♥

Phoenix said...

also Mannah and Umass it is just that people do not like outspoken strong minded women. I didn't even comment on this until today which is May 21st and I was mentioned along with you two on May 18th. WTF

I don't know why you people think about us so much. It is very odd to me. I dont like most of you and you never cross my mind. I don't sit here and comment then go oh where is 1234? She hasn't come around and pissed me off yet. People unfairly like to argue with me.

Like Mannah if people scream at her for saying the sky is blue people also scream at me for "insulting" them about things I don't even know they had in their lives. If I say I like cats. People freak out and think that I said their dog should be killed. Really? How utterly ridiculous is that?

If you don't like someone. Then don't think about them or bring them up and don't bring them into a conversation when they aren't even here. That is like talking behind someone's back in school.

Grow up

Phoenix said...

OP. I do think that they fired you for entirely the wrong reasons.

What exactly did you say to her?

in the future when you come across this situation because it will happen again is to use humor and remind her. Not tell her you are wrong. If you told her that she could hurt her mom's feelings that may have been what triggered her emotional outburst or she is honestly really confused about what role you as the nanny played. She sounds really confused.

Just note that kids respond very good to humor and playing. It would even be good to tell her that you are her "pretend big sister" that sometimes is even more wonderful to her. Her very own big sister.

I don't think you handled the situation wrong. I think the parents did. I think they confused their daughter. DOn't quit the nanny field. It is a learning process

Phoenix said...

ok OP. Sorry I keep skipping your posts.

I agree with the mom that you shouldn't have said that she was making her mom sad. i don't think that was her intention so it would upset her.

Fiona said...

It might not be her intention to hurt someone when she calls someone fat or ugly. She will probably just be making an obseration. Should her next caregiver avoid telling her that what she said was rude and that she hurt that person's feelings because it wasn't her intention and she might cry?

I can't today. I need to get off this thing and enjoy my vacation.

Phoenix said...

when you are 3 you say things without intention.

When the nanny told her she made her mom sad, she took the positive comment towards her which was (nanny I love you) and made it an attack on her mother. So the child felt that since she had fondness for her nanny that she was hurting her mom.

That is totally different then a kid calling someone fat.

Children need to learn sadness and empathy but they need to learn those things when they do something that makes someone sad. If the kid purposfully calls someone stupid you can tell them it makes them sad. But if you tell a child that there affection for someone else is hurting another person that is wrong.

Nobody should ever feel guilty for expressing any emotion. It is their emotion. you may not agree with it but it is theirs and theirs alone.

THis was a situation where the child didn't need to know her love for another person hurt her mother. That is like saying the love I have for one of my friends hurts my moms feelings. What kind of thing is that to say? That doesn't teach a child disappointment it teaches them they can't love anyone but their parents. It will give them a complex. That will make the child grow up and strive to please their parents over pleasing themselves. She will be worried to bond with another nanny because she will be concerned about the way it makes her mom feel.

Fiona said...

See that is where you and I disagree. I believe 3 year old can albeit in a very simple way understand that what they are doing, and can be taught that their actions impact others.

But the nanny didn't go on letting her believe that she could be her mother if she wished hard enough

It's a good thing nanny didn't tell her she could be her pretend big sister either. Especially now that big sister is gone suddenly.

In my opinion , it is more damaging to a child to let them go on believing something that isn't true.

Funny enough folks are geting so riled up that the girl cried, did you happen to notice she and her nanny spent the rest of the day having a good time.

There is nothing wrong with being honest with a child even a 3 year old.

She won't be worried about bonding with another nanny. If anything she'll grow up thinking the entire world revoles around her feelings and whims, and that nobody else has feelings, and that everyone elses exists simply to validate her.

1234 said...

Don't worry about Phoenix.

She just likes being contrary.

If most folks were saying OP was in the wrong she would take up for her.

Also remember this is the same person who advocates cussing at kids and locking them in rooms, and crying to make them do what she wants.

Get ready for three 8 paragraph long post that includes a random story about her life and family. some degree she's earned, what a strong& independent woman she is, and profanity

1234 said...

I call it as I see it. There are many that can't stand Mannah, Phoenix, and Umass and just as many who fawn all over them like girls in middle school trying to get lucky and get in with the in crowd.

Umass, I find it hilarious you find fault with me for bringing drama from other posts. It's what you do best dear.

Nothing much to say to you hear. You've actually been a pretty descent poster the last week or so.

1234 said...


Here's where you went wrong

1. Coming here for any sound advice.

2. You should have reiterated to the girl how much you enjoyed being her nanny and caring for her in addition to you asking her not to call you mom or wosh you were her mom.

3. You should have asked how she would like you to address her daughter.

Phoenix said...

yeah but was it true that her mom was sad she called someone else mom?

I'm all for raising kids with giving them right emotions at the right time but in this situation it wasn't right

UmassSlytherin said...

are you hitting on me?
I'm straight. sorry.

Opahs said...

Umass should not be allowed on this site.

I guess her parents are to blame. Too much damn confidence.

MissMannah said...

Umass, actually it kind of sounds like she's hitting on me. Seeing as I'm being so "descent" and all.

Fiona, go enjoy your vacation and leave this crazy place for us nutters! BTW, I couldn't agree more with this:

"When as a culture did we become obsessed with making kids and everyone else think they should be happy all the time and that every thought and feeling they have is wonderful and should be praised?"

Very well said!

Nannyof3 said...

Guys, u have had someone fired? Puh- leeez, advise wisely. Life is too hard without a job.

workingMom said...

Mannah suggested
I would say "Oh you're so silly, I'm not mommy! I'm Mannah!" I would say it in a silly manner at first but then if the child continued, I would be more serious with him or her, saying something like "Your mommy loves you very much and it would make her sad if she heard you call me mommy. I am Mannah and I want you to call me that, not mommy."

Excellent advice, and that would have been great if the OP had just did that. But....

OP said:
"I tell M. she has a good mommy that loves her, and does fun things with her,and that she shouldn't wish for another one because it isn't very nice and might make mommy sad."

Maybe it's nitpicking, but I see two different things being said and done between these two examples. Mannah's suggestion was to make light of it while reminding the child of the difference, unless/until the child continued to call nanny 'mommy' - and then at that juncture point out to the child that it would make mommy feel sad to hear her call someone else 'mommy' to reinforce why it is not acceptable.

On the other hand, the OP scolded the child (on what I presume was one of the firsts occasion of being called 'mommy') and told the child SHE should feel sad for wishing such a thing. Way to lay on the guilt trip! To a 3 yr old!

Again, maybe I am nitpicking, but I just think the OP did not handle it well, and I can see it from the MB's perspective.

workingMom said...

Re: My comment about warehousing

Yes, I am very aware that great daycares and centers exist; unfortunately, in the area where I live they are way too few, and very difficult to get into. (think waiting list)

At any rate, I am too tired at this time to explain where I was going with that, except that it was enough of a digression on the topic of this specific post that it doesn't really matter anymore today; Trying to say too much in the short time I had before leaving for work.

I will explain myself better on that another day.

UmassSlytherin said...

"Umass should not be allowed on this site."

lmfao. Best post ever!

MissMannah said...

Working mom, I'm sorry but I still don't see much of a difference between what I said and what the OP said. But then again, I wasn't there to hear the specifics, nor do any of us know the exact tone she used or the attitude in which she said it, so perhaps that is what made all the difference.

Logical Skeptic said...

I still feel that we're sort of missing a bigger issue here (although everyone's opinions on how to handle this kind of situation are very interesting!), which is that OP was fired after ONE minor incident where she mishandled a conversation and made her charge cry briefly. That's what's so upsetting here. I really think MB overreacted. As I said in my last post, did it not occur to MB to offer some constructive criticism and help her do her job better? Wouldn't OP have been perfectly receptive to that?

If I were the MB and my otherwise awesome nanny muffed a situation and made my kid upset for a few minutes(obviously this doesn't apply for more serious situations of abuse or neglect or trauma), I would talk about it with the nanny, maybe talk about it with the kid if I could manage it without undermining nanny's authority, and chalk it up to a learning experience for everyone. Because people make mistakes, but we love them anyway.

Frankly, I think it's going to be harder on poor little M that her beloved nanny has been unceremoniously dispatched from her life than it EVER would have been if OP had been allowed to stay on as her caregiver, despite the occasional and very minor slip-up. How could MB not realize this?

leftcoastmama said...

I think people are seeing that the poster is a new nanny and assuming that she must be terrible because of it.

The 3 year old cried. 3 year olds cry at times. Doesn't automatically make what the nanny did wrong.

I actually think she did a good job handling the situation.

I also agrre with Logic that mom should have been clear about how she wished for the nanny to communicate with the daughter.

If mom isn't clear on that she'll run into that situation again even with more seasoned nannies.

I also think more damage has been done than by kicking nanny abruptly to the curb.

I think this girl has a long list of nannies in her future.

MonkeyNanny said...

Question B:
Ok, I'm not going to attack you or call you names, but I do think this is a problem. You should never, ever, encourage a child to call you mom. I understand wanting a life like your MBs, but actually pretending her kids are yours is a bad idea. IF a kid calls you mom or mama, you should immediately say "No, I am nanny(or your name). Mama will be home later."

If you want a husband and kids, you will need to find your own man and have your own kids. Do not encourage a fantasy of yours that will only end up hurting everyone involved. There is a good chance the parents will be furious, you will be fired and the kids will be very confused and upset.