Jailhouse Hubby

We have had the same nanny for a year. She's fantastic. She is great with the kids, pets, and housework. My husband and I work a lot and don't necessarily have adequate time for our children, our nanny has completely taken over that role as well as all house hold functions, she also makes sure kids and animals appointments are met and kept up with. We have two children who absolutely adore her. She is not only a great nanny, but a phenominal person as well. She really does go above and beyond normal nanny duties and never complains, we can not imagine day to day life without her. She is very young, but you would never know while having a conversation with her, she carries herself well.

We have always had an open and honest relationship with our nanny, but we have recently just found out that she has been hiding something from us. As I said, she's been with us a year, and we've yet to meet her husband. Curiosity got the best of me and I googled his name. I was shocked to find he is incarcerated. For what, I'm not sure. I'm sure I could find out if I looked into it but as of now I'm still trying to take it in. My biggest question (other than for what, of course) is why? Why hide this from us? I would assume it was a fear of prejudgment. Which kind of hurts my feelings, because I consider us to be very close. But on the other hand, seeing my reaction upon finding out makes me realize that I am a lot more judgmental than I thought I was. She is amazing, but this news makes me uneasy. I don't know how to go about it or what I should do. I have two children and one on the way. As much as we absolutely adore her, I am now just concerned. I am open to any advice, comments, questions.


UmassSlytherin said...

When it comes to your children, you must be prejudicial. I would not want my nanny to have a husband who was incarcerated. I would not want to be involved in that.

I'm sure what you say is right: I'm sure your nanny is great with the kids, etc. That being said, you can find another nanny who is not married to a criminal. Criminals have friends and families who are criminals. Do you want those people to be connected in any way to your family? Better safe than sorry. Your nanny's feelings are not as important as your children.

As far as why she did not tell you: don't be foolish. Nobody in their right mind would tell you something like that and still expect to get the job. Fire her, and she has to deal with the consequences of having a husband who is incarcerated. I don't think private employment is the way to go for her. As my father always said, "Be careful of the company you keep."

robinsparkles said...

On my first date with my fiance, he casually mentioned "the time he was in prison". Just like that, out of the blue.

I was shocked, since I am very suburban and Midwestern, and nearly ran away from the beer garden right then and there. And yet somehow I stayed, perhaps because he is very very cute, and it took me another date to figure out that he didn't mean like drug-dealer prison or murderer prison, but political prison.

He is from a country that regularly imprisons people for doing things like organising marches against the regime in power. If he hadn't fled the country as soon as he was released, he could still be there now.

I.e.: People go to prison for all kinds of reasons, and just because they are in prison doesn't mean that they are criminals, or that their fiancees or wives are people who will rape and murder your children. If she hasn't jacked your shit and stolen your car by now, she's not going to.

Judge not said...

It's against the law for you to discriminate against your nanny this way and ethically bad mojo for you to let her go because of her husbands actions. Like you said, she's young and I'll bet this marriage won't last forever. Try to be empathetic and remember all she's done for your family!

melissa said...

I totally get the concern. I'd be concerned too. That being said, her husband being in prison doesn't in any way, shape, or form make her a bad person or a criminal. I completely understand why she wouldn't mention the fact that he's behind bars to her employer. I don't like to discuss religion and politics with the people I work for because of the issues that could cause; imagine if she was like, "and my husband, who's in prison...". Just saying. The thing is, she's great with your children, and she's NEVER made you feel uncomfortable (unless she has and you just didn't mention that). I would just think long and hard before you jump to a decision.

nynanny said...

I think it would make a world of difference for you to find out what he's in jail for: DUI, possibly forgivable... in comparison to: child molestation = let her go pronto!

I say you either ask her delicately one-on-one, or keep digging, like you said, and find out on your own.

nashville nanny said...

Im on the fence with this one. As a parent, your #1 responsibility is to protect your children. Having a nanny who's husband is incarcerated in probably terrifying for you. I completely understand.

That being said..... my husband has a felony gun charge on his record. He was a licensed gun dealer back before 9/11. When the terrorists attacked the US, the gun laws were tightened, so my husband began to sell off his inventory as well as his personal collection with the intent of relocating to another state after. (He has 2 other businesses and decided that it was time to dive 110% into them) He sold a firearm that should have been dismantled and destroyed (according to the new laws) to a collector, and got in trouble for it. (All of this was 10 years before I met him). Do I think my husband is a criminal? No. Do I think he made a bad choice? Maybe. He served no jail time. No one was hurt by his "crime". But you can bet your ass he has paid for it. Today, he owns 2 businesses. Donates a substantial amount of money to charity. Works in the personal protection field (bodyguard for celebs).

The point is, OP, I can see where you stand, as well as empathize with your nanny. If I were your nanny, I wouldn't have volunteered that information but if you asked me, I wouldn't have lied. I think it's sad for your nanny to have to "pay for" her husband's mistakes. But i also feel that you need to do what your heart tells you to for your family.

I wish you the best.... this isn't an easy one.

alex said...

I can understand how you feel but I am guessing she has not told you because she was afraid of how you would react. I don't think she should be judged based upon her husband. I know you have to be concerned but ultimately it would be against the law to discriminate her for that reason and you said she is amazing with your kids. If it really makes you uneasy just ask her. I don't think she should be fired because of this though. She probably assumes it isn't important because it does not affect her job performance.

Susannah said...

Well first off I don't think it's strange you never met her husband. I never introduce my husband to my employers.

Only one has met him since we've been married and that was pure coincidence. We happened to be at the market at the same time.

I can understand your concern now that you know.

You may as well continue snooping and find out what he's in for.

Ir you could ask her point blank. She's young so she probably won't quit on you.

Lyn said...

First thing: when you google my name a famous and half naked belly dancer show up. Obviously (and unfortunately) that isn't me. :/ So I definitely wouldn't bring it up to your Nanny before you are 100% confident that this is her husband.
You have every right and reason to be concerned. I think you should google more to find out what you can and then make a call to the sheriffs office to see what they can tell you. I'm pretty sure his arrest would be deemed publix information since its on Google and was probably mentioned in the local paper at some point. It couldn't hurt to ask! :)
Now for the tricky stuff. . . Do you become more observate of a Nanny you previously 100% trusted? Do you ask about her husband after you've done your research? Do you start to decide which (if any) crimes are permissible under the "right" circumstances? Do you try to find a replacement? If I were in your shoes I would carefully inspect all of the options available. But I have no idea what I would decide to do.

Claire said...

Did it occur to you that she might be seperated or divorcing him?

I married an idiot when I was young and foolish & trying to escape a tough upvringing.

I made a break for it when this fool got his ass locked up.

Only jobs I could fnd was as a babysitter given my age & experience Glad none of my employers then found out and kicked me to the curb.

OhhPlease said...

I would def make sure you have the right person before you go and fire her. I would also ask her about her husband and what have you. After you have all the facts together you can then make the proper decision of whether you want to fire her or not.

MamaLaywer said...

Few points: 1. We became friendly with a neighbor who had to apply for permits from the city to make changes to his house. My husband googled him, only to find out that he'd been arrested multiple times for pedophilia and public drunkenness among others. My husband and I talked, then confronted him with what we'd "stumbled across." Turns out, it's not the same guy. Same name, different guy.
2. A good friend of mine's husband was on the Sex Offender list for years. Why? When he was in his 20's, he was a photographer. Once, hired to take pics of people at a party, he snapped pics of two girls dancing on a table. One flashed him. Later the girl's pic was in a magazine, her parents found out, and she was 17, not 18. Was he wrong? Sure. Should he have asked for ID from each person who walked in the door? Not realistic. The girls crashed the party.
3. I *might* ask the nanny, but would not feel uneasy having her continue working. I'm no fool either, and wouldn't, when the DH gets out, allow him in my home without watching him every second.

NannyShell said...

I would find out more information. First make sure it's him and second find out why he is there. He could be incarcerated for so many different things. It's possible that it was a domestic issue.

melissa said...

Wow, Lyn brings up a really good point. If you google my name, none of those that match mine are me. You may not even be looking at the right person! If I were you, and if you're really concerned about it, invite her to bring her husband over for dinner. That way it gives her the opportunity to confirm that he is who you think, or not.

aregular said...

My question is, do you honestly think you can continue to keep the same relationship with her given the information you now have? Based on your own admitted reaction, it sounds like no. Before talking to her about it (because it sure sounds like this is going to have to be addressed in some way), think about possible answers she may have for you. What explanations could she offer that would make you be able to completely look past this info? And would you trust what she tells you now, given that you feel she has already been dishonest?

She was not under any obligation to tell you this personal information about her husband, and he may not be some awful criminal as others have pointed out.

All you can do is be honest and address it with her. I would do it face to face so that you can gauge her initial reaction and so that she will have to spontaneously explain, rather than have time to formulate a response over e-mail for instance.

Good luck and I hope it turns out well for both of you!

Dr. Juris said...

Hahaha, if you google my name, you'll come up with some crazy biach from VA who has a gazillion DUIs. (Not me, I promise!)

Beezus said...

A while ago I Googled my name. MY FULL NAME. It's quite unique, so I assumed I would have no surprises, I was just bored.
Well it came up that I had court in a week for a felony charge! I totally freaked! I thought it may have been for some lame parking ticket from eons ago; that now my licence was going to be suspended and I was going to spend hard time in the slammer.
Turns out,I'm not too special and there's a girl in Vermont with the same exact name and birth month/year as me. So relieved,but it was very nerve wrecking.

Beezus said...

Don't just fire this girl. Sometimes our loved ones do things we have no control over and it should not be considered a reflection on us.


Did you run a back round check on her? Instead of snooping on Google, wouldn't that legally give you most if not all of the information you want/need?

Ashley said...

About eight years ago (before I started working as a nanny), I got into an altercation w/an EX-boyfriend and was subsequently arrested for domestic violence. Because I couldn't pay my bail, I had to stay in the county jail for over a week. Charges were never filed against me, and I never even faced a judge since my criminal record was perfect.

As a nanny, I have had many background checks run on me. I am always so nervous that this arrest might show up, and it never does.

During my interviews, I NEVER mention what happened as I view it as a very isolated incident. I know if I did mention it, I would never get a job.

I do not blame your nanny for not disclosing this information. She is not morally or legally obligated to do so.

The only concern I would have is if my child were being cared for in her home, however by what you seems this is not the case.

As long as her job performance is stellar, your kids love and you love her then I think her husband being in the big house has no bearing on her job. I would just let this slide.....

Remember Martha Stewart went to jail...also did Paris Hilton, etc. Just because someone went to jail does not mean they are unfit to be around children.

For the record, I am a very well-respected nanny in my community and work for great families due to word of mouth. If I ever had disclosed I was in jail, I would never be where I am in my nanny career.

Thank your lucky stars you have such a great nanny and don't worry about her hubby. She does not deserve to be fired for the actions of someone else.

Best of luck to you.

Ms. Vivienne LePeaux said...

[b][i]I'm no fool either, and wouldn't, when the DH gets out, allow him in my home without watching him every second.[/b][/i]

Why would she ever have to let him in her home period?

Village said...

How do you know whether it's her husband or someone with this name?

Peppermint said...

You can let her go for any reason you want, it's not against any law. There is a lot of personal leeway in deciding who cares for your kids. Years ago I had a secretary whose husband was in prison. I fired her for another reason but for years that stayed in the back of my mind and I kept tabs on his release date on-line (it's all public and easy to find.) Just go to the state government site or for federal crimes.

Nannyof3 said...

And what were you doing googling your nanny's husband. That is none of your business as long as she has a good background.

RBTC said...

1 out of app 150 people in our country is in prison - prisons are big business with alot of clout with the government

you will travel far and wide to find someone with no contact with the system

your nanny is so great in every other way - think long and hard before giving that up

ps - i have hired in the past 2 women who made a big deal out of how their background check is perfect and they each work for a government agency

one of them stole and lied over and over and the other one was extremely verbally abrasive necessitating parting company

be careful before giving up what you have

TheDevil said...

Just fire her.
Then in couple of weeks we can get a post from you about how hard it is to find a good nanny or how terrible your new nanny is and she never does the the things your old nanny did.

Can we say looking for drama?

You must be one bored housewife.

Zarine said...

OP, I completely understand your concern as your first and biggest responsibility is to your children.
As above posters have suggested, could you check to make sure:

-this is the right person?
-and what the jailtime is for? because that will make a world of difference.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

The trouble is, OP, that in order to verify that your nanny's husband is in prison, you may have to ask HER for info.

At that point, you will have violated her privacy (since she doesn't talk about him, and he has never been at your house) and she may choose to quit her job with you and go elsewhere.

If I were seriously dating a guy I would be livid if my employers decided to try to research him if I had NEVER brought him by their home or introduced them to him. That would go double for a husband.

Phoenix said...

well lady. you need to find out what he is prison for. You can't judge someone until you know what he is prison for. And you had no right to look him up and the judge your nanny.

how fucking rude. you need to understand there are instances behind every case. EVERY CASE.

I have a mechanic who was dating a girl he knew in highschool. He was 17 and she was 16, his parents hated him. He turned 18 and they said he was raping their daughter. He went to court, found guilty, and is now a convicted sex offender. He is NOT a sex offender. He can't work, he couldnt even move home because his little brother was in the house. WTF

some people do things when they are young that come back to bite them in the ass. Some people smoke weed, some people are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you live in the great state of AZ. You have cops that make shit up so they make their fucking quotas. They throw people in jail, beat people up, rape women, steal and you know what? The fucking judges out here need the money off the incarceration and people who were abused by the cops get abused by the legal system and they are in a rotating door of shit.

I don't trust cops. Not after what I went through. I will never ever judge anyone incarcerated until you know what they did. And still its not your beeswax

Phoenix said...

***her parents hated him****

Phoenix said...

you can not refuse work to someone who is married to a felon. You can refuse work to a felon but no the spouse

Dr. Juris said...

You can fire someone for any reason at all, actually. Particularly since she's not a company that subject to discrimination laws. I wouldn't do it, though, OP. :) Sounds like she's a great person, and for all you know, her husband may be in the pen for not paying taxes.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I would keep her on if she is indeed a great nanny as you state. Why ruin a good thing?

I wouldn't worry if her husband was in the Big House. As long as she doesn't bring your child around him, it is okay.

Find out what he is in for. If it is something like tax evasion or whatever, I wouldn't say he is unfit to be around kids. If it is for sex crimes, well I think you know what to do for that.

Good luck.

Phoenix said...

or he could be in for not paying his student loans. People go to prison for that

luckoftheirish said...

What did you read online that told you he was incarcerated?

More than anything you said you feel she has kept this from you. I don't think she has necessarily kept it from you. It has nothing at all to do with her job or her relationship with you or your children. She can not be held responsible for her husbands behavior. I think if you tell her that you googled him, she will likely be inclined to share the situation with you. Be prepared though. She might feel violated, angry, embarassed and like she can not trust you at the same level she did before you secretly googled her husband, instead of just asking her. I can understand your concern for whatever his crime was as it may involve harm to a child. I doubt that's the case, but if it is of course you would be wise to let her go. Because he will get released a some point & of course you can't allow even the remote possibility that he would be around your children. Chances are its her soon to be ex &/or a crime that poses no risk to you or your family. And if you decide to question her, remember that she did nothing wrong(she is not the one in jail AND she did nothing wrong by not telling you. You did invade her privacy and you're going to embarass her by bringing it up. So I would advise you to consider her feelings and be very apologetic. Hopefully this will bring you two closer.

daisy said...

as many have said is it really ethical to fire someone for their partner being in jail?
She was not, is not and never will be under any obligation to introduce you to her husband. It crosses so many professional bounds for you to expect this, to snoop into her personal life and then to fire her for what you 'find'.

according to google my husband is a professional hockey player.

i can understand your initial fear but as an employeer you need to understand the boundaries of these relationships. If you want to keep all the criminals family members away from your kids then make sure they never leave your home. That police officer, teacher, nurse, cashier- most likely has someone in their family who has been to jail at some point for who knows what.

Get off the internet and go spend some time with your family.