Too Close for Comfort?

I am just wodering what everyones opinion is on how close it is appropriate to get to the children/family that you work for. I am a Nanny and I feel as though I have a close enough relationship but I certainly don't think these are my kids. A friend if mine is so in love with her Nanny family. She goes to the toilet in front of the kids, tells them she loves them and they tell her all the time that they love her. She has a credit card from the family and uses it on the weekend to buy the kids clothes and things that she sees. She is always thinking about them and talking about them.

When I leave work I leave work and honestly do not have a second thought about the kids clothing needs etc.  My friend also earns almost $10 more an hour than I do and I feel as though she is over paid just simply because she is so close with them and they will do anything to keep her. She has worked there for 4 years and has seen 2 babies born while there. The mother will call her when the kids do something new like walk or say things and she takes the call and they celebrate together! She gives the parents all kinds of advice, decides the weeks menu and family outings which she goes along on sometimes. She even knows mostly the ins and outs of their finances. Am I just being weird or is she just too close??


Bethany said...

I only find the bathroom and I love yous not appropriate.

I wouldn't go to the bathroom in front of charges.

I wouldn't tell charges that I love them. Act caring and lovingly, but I love yous can get into a tricky area.

The parents may want her to buy clothing for the kids.

Many parents want a nanny that can advise them on aspects related to the children it's usually presented as a neutral set of facts and the parents select what they want to do.

Many nannies are in charge of planning the menu for the week so that's not weird. Many nannies also are responsible for planning and attending family outings.

As far of the finances, I've known nannies that are privy to that as well, but they tend to have more of a household manager type role.

The added duties tend to go with a higher salary which your friend seems to have.

The celebration is cute & harmless to me.

The biggest problem I see for your friend, is that she may have forgotten this is a job, and at some point this job will come to an end , unless she is employed by the Duggars. I think you friend will have a harder time than the average nanny when the end comes.

Allyouneedislove said...

Hmmm... How can you honestly avoid ever using the bathroom in front of your charges unless you only work with older children. I work with toddlers and took them out to a museum the other day. When I had to pee, they had to come in with me. What else would I do? Hold it for another two hours? Leave them outside of the bathroom?!

I also tell my charges that I love them on a regular basis. I do love them. When you are the sole caregiver for a child for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, that child needs to know that you love him. Obviously I don't love my charges more than my own children, but they are loved.

bostonnanny said...

I go to the bathroom in front of my charges when it's necessary. I say I love you to them because I do love them and I don't feel that expressing love is wrong. I kiss them on the mouth ( pecks) and cuddle all the time. I will buy them presents when I'm out and their parents text videos when they learn something new like crawling or walking. Hell their parents text me whenever they do something funny. I pretty much do everything that this nanny does except know their finances. And guess what, I work for families long term, get paid great, am treated with respect and have never had an issue when I moved on to a new job. By the time I leave I know that they are loved and ready for a change, that my time is done. It's hard for some to find the line between being too attached and being indifferent but once you can find that middle ground your work life becomes extremely pleasant.

To me you sound a little jealous that this woman is being paid way more then you and has a wonderful relationship with her employers. She deserves every cent she is making because she goes above and beyond. You can have a professional relationship and still be an affectionate very caring person.

Rhiannon said...

@bostonnanny: LIKE!

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think it is a wonderful thing that the Nanny and the Parents have such a close relationship. I see nothing creepy about it.

The Nanny profession is unique in that there is a lot of love involved. I tell my charges I love them because I honestly do and I am sure it is fine w/their parents.

♥ ♥

NannyPants said...

Just because you yourself would not be comfortable with this type of relationship with your own employers doesn't necessarily make it inappropriate.
I am a live in and my MB and DB tell me all the time that I am part of a family. Some employers when searching for a nanny want to keep that relationship strictly professional. In my case, my employers were looking for a nanny that fit in with their family and friends and ideally wanted a nanny to become basically like a family member. I have my own private space in the house, but spend much of my time with my nanny family. We eat dinner together every night, watch TV or movies together in the evening, I tell my charge I love him countless times a day because I DO! I have been here since he showed his tiny face in the delivery room and he is now a toddler...obviously I love him and I want him to know that. My MB is like a big sister to me and we talk about lots of things. I text pictures and videos of my charge to MB and DB throughout the day, and if I am away visiting family or something, I recieve the same kinds of texts from them. I realize that this type of relationship may not work for everyone, but it works for us and I am very happy here. I have been here for a few years with VERY minimal conflict. Now do I think I could have this relationship with every single nanny family that employs me? No way!! I just think I found a great fit for my personality and this job never feels like 'work' to me because I feel so at home. And I see nothing wrong with that. It makes me do a stellar job taking care of my charge because I truly love him and want what is best for him. My bosses thank me daily for it.

MichiganMom said...

The close bond between nanny and child is a large part of the reason parents hire nannies instead of sending kids to daycare. I wanted my daughter to spend her day with someone who loves her - which our nanny does, and tells her (and us). That does not seem weird to me. It seems highly desirable, if not essential (at least for what we were looking for in a nanny).

Fiona said...

Honestly you sound a little bit jealous of the pay.

I think it's inappropriate to go to the bathroom in front of the charges. They are not your kids.
I pobably would have fired my nanny if I knew she was doing this back in the days my kids are little.

The I love you is a gray area. It's not always wrong, but it can get tricky. Hugs and kisses are fine, if the child initiates the I love you it's ok to return it, but I wouldn't start it.

It's also not ok for this nanny to be discussing their finances with you.

The fact that she talks about the kids all the time just means she needs a life outside of her job.

Everything else I don't have a problem with.

Your friend might have a problem when her time with this family ends.

Being a nanny is a delicate balancing act. You have to learn to give your all without giving your all.

MissMannah said...

The only thing I think is weird about your friend's situation is that she has told you all this stuff. Most of it seems pretty normal and I am probably that close with my work family right now. But I don't go and tell my friends "Oh my MB told me this and this about her finances today" or "I think I will plan for the family to eat such and such for dinner tomorrow." (Actually I don't do menu planning or cooking, no way.)

You need to keep in mind that every family-nanny relationship is unique and as long as there is mutual respect, none of it is wrong. If you are happy at your job and your bosses are happy with you, that's all that should matter. Same with your friend.

Lyn said...

That sounds wonderful! It might not be something youre comfortable with but if it works for them why stress about something that doesn't really concern you. It sounds to me liike clearly both parties adore the situation they have. I'd be asking my friend to find out if her mb/db know any equally awesome people who are nanny hunting, haha.

A really good fit like that is a 1 in a million matchup and it makes for the most incredible equally respecting workplace ever. I would give anything to have that type of relationship again. The family I work for is amazing. Super sweet, generous, friendly and genuine. I am beyond blessed that to have met them and have them be my employers. But when you've had the type of work/personal relationship you're describing it can be hard to really adjust to another family if circumstances pull you away from your current.

Rhiannon said...

@fiona, you would have fired your nanny for going to the bathroom in front of your kids? Is this situational? Or is this black and white? If your nanny had taken your young kids on an outing and had to use the bathroom, what would you have had her do to avoid being fired? Obviously, leaving young children to stand alone outside of the bathroom while the nanny pees is not an option. Maybe you'd have her hold it? But that's actually illegal. You cannot keep an employee from using the restroom. So what would you have her do, Fiona? I'm honestly curious,

Fiona said...

Actually yes, Rhiannon you can leave children outside the bathroom while you use the toilet.
When you are at home. Keep the young kids in a safe area.

I expect that my nanny would be able to go to the bathroom in 5 minutes or less.
I'd also expect a nanny to use the toilet before going on an outing and be able to return home without going again. I wouldn't hire someone with a bladder problem, or someone unable to control their eating & drinking intake so that they had to use the toilet all the time.
I've been a nanny and amother. Not once have I absolutely needed to go to the bathroom infront of a child.

This seems to be a problem among the younger generation.

Phoenix said...

You are not weird. she is being a little weird.

But. She is not you and therefor you shouldn't worry about what she is doing. if she wants to go all psycho hand who rocks the cradle that is her deal.

I think you have a healthy professional relationship.

I wonder how the family of your friends is seeing her? Do you think DB is comfortable with this? Is mb comfortable enough with your friend to leave her at him with her husband?

I really think your friend needs to get a life. Peeing in front of them is no big deal. Once you reach a certain comfort level with people that kind of thing doesn't bother you. I'm not a prude so i don't care as long as she isn't being creepy about it. (I can' even imagine the details of that cuz its gross)

But you shouldn't be worried. You have a healthy relationship with your fob (family job) and you have a healthy break when you leave. I don't think about my job while I'm at home. Most people don't

Then again your friend may just not have any other friends or family. She is finally feeling wanted. And on top of being accepted she is getting paid. In my opinion that is like paying the big sister to watch the little kids, or perhaps an aunt figure. She has crossed the line and is no longer a nanny. She is a parasite.

Your friend will be heartbroken when they finally have to let her go. It will happen. She can't nanny for them when the kids are al grown, or if one of them loses their income

Fiona said...

In case you are still wondering, I absolutely mean I would have fired her.

Village said...

I don't think there is a rule. Some are more involved in families than others. Both the family and the nanny need to find a level of intimacy that suits them.

I can see some families being horrified if the nanny purchased clothes for her charges, not to mention the bathroom.

Rhiannon said...

Well that's just silly. Obviously I am not talking about using the bathroom while at home. But expecting a nanny to go to the bathroom before an outing and to just "control her eating and drinking intake" in order to not have to pee again until they all return. That is silly. If she were just going to the store for a minute, sure. But lots of nannies will plan picnics and day trips to zoos, etc. I bring a water bottle with me everywhere I go in order to stay properly hydrated. Staying properly hydrated means you pee often. Peeing often means no bladder problems. So you may hire someone without a bladder problem, but after awhile working for you, she might develop one.

As a mother, did you not allow day trips with nanny? As a nanny did you just never take your charges anywhere for more than two hours?

NannyBrandie said...

Wow Fiona, you would allow your nanny to put your infant/toddler/preschooler out of site of the nanny than rather they witness them using the bathroom?
Seriously, in Boston someone could take your child..... not safe.

Rhiannon said...

Oh no Nanny Brandie! She would just have the nanny hold it or not drink anything all day to avoid the issue all together!

But seriously, interviewing must be quite awkward.

Fiona: Okay, your references, experience and background look great. Now I just need to know if you have any bladder problems and how often you pee.

Prospective Nanny: Umm What?

Texas Nanny said...

I'm not quite as close to my nanny family as the person the OP describes, but similar.

I do buy the kids clothes, but only for gift-giving occasions like Christmas, because the parents are bad at taking the kids shopping and I know what items and sizes they need.

As far as the bathroom... at home I did make the boy join me in the bathroom until he was about 18 mos. at which point it didn't seem appropriate. Before that leaving him alone outside the restroom was just asking for something to be smeared or dropped.

The girl also stopped going to the bathroom with me then, but now at age 2 has started again because she's potty training, so we go together. If we're on an outing, though, they both come in the stall with me. It just seems like the safest option in public, even though I'm not really comfortable with a 3 year-old boy watching me pee.

A different perspective on the "I love you" issue: I'm not big on those 3 words. I don't use them with friends, or even my parents usually. I'm very reserved in my personal life and I don't think of myself as loving the kids.

But when Boy turned 3 he hit the "I love you" stage, and started telling me "I love you, Nanny" all the time. And I would tell him, "I love you too, Buddy." because which is worse, a nanny telling her charge "I love you", or a kid telling someone he loves them and getting a negative/no response?

bostonnanny said...

Depending on the age and whether or not your potty training, most children don't sit in the stall staring at you while you pee. They are way to busy exploring the stall and you spend half the time telling them not to touch anything because of germs. When I was potty training it was a group bathroom event, I would have 2-3 kids sitting on potties while I went too. They would also all like to look into the toilet to see everything as I flushed. It was a potty party and they loved it. I don't find it gross, sexual or inappropriate because guess what...everyone poops! The children just learned that it was a normal thing to use the restroom, sometimes I needed privacy and other times they would just come into talk to me. It was way better then worrying what they were getting into or hearing them scream/ fight.

Maybe it's cultural but I was raised with a mother who left the bathroom door open so she could hear everything we were doing. She was a single mom of three and did what she had to do.

Fiona said...

Actually, I'm no longer interviewing nanny candidates as both my kids are grown, out of the house and happy functioning adults.

They some how made it to adulthood without their mother peeing in front of them.

I honestly don't know how.

Honestly I wouldn't want a nanny whose only solution to keeping a small child safe for the 5 minutes she's in the bathroom is to bring the kid with her.

I'm honestly curious how that works. Keeping them safe from the plethora of things that could harm them in the bathroom while you are popping a squat.

leftcoastmama said...

No real problem with any of this.

Maybe the bathroom thing depending on the age of the kids.

I wouldn't fire my nanny for doing it,, but I wouldn't be thrilled with the idea.

I do think it's weird your friend is telling you this especially the finances.

Student Nanny said...


That's just the point, when in a public bathroom if they are inside the stall with you, there are no dangers. However, if you leave them outside the stall then anyone could easily snatch them, and you have your pants around your ankles.

As for at home, I believe most nannies talking about bringing their charge in with them then are doing so more out of teaching about potty training than as any sort of concern for safety.

Back when you did have nannies, did you flat out ask them their bathroom habits in the interview? Because if you did I can not imagine how you ever found a nanny.

Ann O'Neemus said...

I nannied for a very young child who would freak out if I was out of sight. Until he got over this stage I would take him into the bathroom when I had to go. I would take a toy or book for him, and position him where he wasn't looking directly at me. I always wore long shirts so he didn't see anything inappropriate :)

ICPatient said...

Wow. I had no idea that Fiona was like that. I have a bladder disease. My bladder is the size of a toddlers. Should I add this personal medical information to a cover letter, should I se

ek nanny work once again??

You're super controlling & off the charts weird about someone elses bathroom habits. MYOB

yoursolutionis? said...

Fiona, how would you like anyone (mother, nanny, etc) to keep a two year old safe, while she uses the restroom? She's with her charge and no other adult.

Fiona said...

My nannies did not take my children on long trips when they were younger.

I also would not want my child sitting on the floor of a public stall waiting for nanny.

As a nanny I do not take young charges on long trips.

This avoids me needing to go to the bathroom, and any typical adult should be able to do the same.

As for what I did with them, well if it wasn't during their nap times, they went in their play pens or stayed in a playroom that was already childproofed and gated.

Older children 3 and up were given activities and trained well enought not to go beserk the 5 minutes I was in the bathroom.

No I did not ask during interviews, but I had a nanny cam. The cam was not installed in the bathroom, but if they were off camera I knew they were in the bathroom, not one every brought a child into the bathroom with them.

You are all free to pee in front of your charges or your kids as much as you like.

I simply do not approve and your boss or future boss may or may not approve.

Fiona said...

To be fair I pobably would not have fired her the first time, but I would have made it clear the behavior wasn't to continue.

thedevil said...

I have a question would you be ok with a daycare provider going to the toilet with your child or in front of your child?

I'm not talking about center care, but family daycare where there is typically one person and 3 kids.

But I DO love them... said...

Bethany, what's wrong with telling your charges you love them? I have always said that to my charges, because I honestly do love them.

Flip1 said...

Is it really fair to only let a child play outside for half an hour to an hour invade you need to go to the bathroom?? I went with my two charges and db to a theme park. Due to age gaps often one was with one and vice versa, when either of us needed the bathroom we took the kids into the stall. They aren't interested in what they see you doing. They know your going to the bathroom it's natural!!
I was asked at the swimming pool by a boy charge why are girls different to boys? Why do girls wear top parts on there bathing suits?
That was at the pool so how is the bathroom different?

Bethany said...

Whoa I log on at the right time! Someone asks me a question.
It's not so much that it's wrong, but I've been in situations and know other nannies that have been in situations where telling the charge you love them gets you into trouble with a jealous parent.

So I don't make it a habit.

It's also that at some point you will leave the charge and family and most likely won't contact them again. I just feel it could be damaging .

I also think that in a few cases the I love yous can be a symptom of a nanny that has forgotten she's a nanny, and not the big sister, aunt, or mom.

I will say if a charge tells me the love me I always say it back, and it's hard not tell an adorable baby that you love them.

So not a bad thing, I just try not to make a habit of it.

I am generous with hugs and kisses.

SLNanny said...

I tell my charges I love them. They are amazing kiddos, and I've known them both their whole lives. Of course I love them. MB and DB are fine with it and have mentioned that it is important to them that the kids be shown love. I have gone to bathroom in front of them, a saftey issue as others have said. It's not my first choice but it's worked out fine.

Katie said...

I love you can be creepy. Remember that post a time back with the poster that pretended her charges were her kids and encourraged them to tell her they loved her and call her mommy.

I love you can get creepy.

Actually this reminds me of the other post where the girl was ayoung nanny that was wrapped up in the family she worked for.

I'm going to agree with you,OP.

Individually these things might not be so bad, but together they scream boundary issues on both sides of the coin.

I don't think your jealous either.

Katie said...

How does the toilet thing work for you nannies tha do it?

When you have to go do you round up the kid/kids and toys and all go to the bathroom together?

When do you decide a kid is old enough to be left on their own for a few minutes?

How do you deal with a kid that's upset because they aren't allowed in with you any more?

I'm not being sarcastic.

I have neer done this, as I never felt it was needed, and would like to know how it works.

It has always seemed yo cause more issues down the road.

I will admit I don't see anything wrong with leaving a kid in a room by themselves for a few minutes.

AussieNanny said...

Fiona I am sorry but it must be said - you are an idiot! Seeing as you say you have no experience with long outings with kids then you really have no place to chime in here!

I have been a Nanny for 10 years and I have ended up peeing infront of every one of my charges. The idea of leaving them alone outside a stall where I cannot see them or get to them fast enough is just crazy! The kids have never 'stared' at me, they chat away and I do not make a big deal.

I have flown with kids and we all crammed into the small cubical on the plane. Sorry no way could I hold for 14+ hours and what would you do? Leave a 8 week old just on the seat? Ask her 18 month old sister to mind her?

Also I am from Australia and I know this is very rare (probably less so in the US) but a littlw girl waa grabbed and murdered in a shopping centre toilet a few years back. Guess what? She was standing alone waiting for her carer!

You sound like an uptight cow and I would never ever work for someone like you!

That is all.

Flip1 said...

I agree in the house they are playing go to bathroom and come back. Your not leaving then with knives at least I hope not. But if they walk in don't freak. The issue is more when out and about do not in a home but rather at the park/museum.
Predators pray on children left alone. Let's not go o I need to pee ill just be a minute. That's all it takes and you will face criminal charges for neglect. As you will of left the child alone in a public place.

NannyPants said...

Okay. It has to be said. Fiona my dear...you sound BAT SHIT CRAZY!!!!!!
Just so many things wrong with your posts. As nannies, some of us are REQUIRED to go on day long outings with our charges, not stay cooped up in the house all day or limit our outings to an hour. Sometimes we have to travel with our bosses and are out at museums, zoos, etc. all day. You really expect the nanny to LIMIT THEIR FOOT AND DRINK INTAKE in order to avoid using the bathroom? Are you kidding me? That's abuse!!!! If I have to pee, I have to pee whether you like it or not...sorry!! Sometimes I pee all damn morning after having only one cup of coffee. Do I have a bladder disease? NOPE!!! It's just NATURAL, lady!!
Also, from my understanding you would be okay with me leaving my 1 year old charge in his stroller outside of my bathroom stall in a public restroom just so he doesn't have to see or hear me GASP use the bathroom like everyone in this living world does?

You are insane.

cupcake said...


1.)Who said anything about a child sitting on the floor of a public bathroom? That is a completely different topic. But since you've brought it up, a child is more likely to sit on the floor of a restroom, when they are out of the site of their caregiver. As she can not do anything to prevent it. That is yet another reason to bring a small child in the stall with you.

2.)Whenever I've brought a child into a stall with me,, I've always ensured they don't see anything personal. Since children don't see anything, what exactly is your objection?

3.)What do you expect a parent or nanny to do with a small child or children, while they use the public restroom? There are no older siblings or adults there.

I am going to follow my hunch about your controlling issues and predict that your grown children likely suffer from anxiety & related disorders. Caring that much about someone elses voiding is not normal. People have no control over their need to use a restroom. Its absurd that you think a reasonable adult would avoid long trips, as an effort to avoid needing to use the restroom. The average person uses the restroom every two hours. Does missing out on having fun & experiencing life as an effort to avoid using the restroom logical to you??? Judging by your extreme need to want to control someones bathroom usage, I'm going to make an educated guess that your grown children are suffering from anxiety related disorders. Some things you can not control & its healthy to accept that.

cupcake said...

you're not seeing double. I commented on her adult children twice. On my phone, I can't scroll back and read what I wr New Kids on the Block

NKOTB said...

Hahahahahaha, sorry

2, 4, 6, 8 said...

I don't know what I would do if I had to go to the bathroom every 2 hours. I mean, seriously, (TMI)I go at 10am and I'm good till 4. No infections over here.

Fiona said...

No my kids don't have any anxiet disorders.

I'm goign to assume you are all under 40, so the idea that a child not be attached at your hip 24/7 and doomed to suffer from an anxiety disorder is problem foreign to you.

I honestly don't see why any adult would need to go to the bathroom every half hour or hour.

That baffles me. If I had to go to the bathroom I simply went home, or I traveled with another adult that gasp! looked aftert the kids while the two of us took turns going to the toilet.

But I never had to go that badly.

Kids of all ages are at risk for abduction so by that logic you should take the older ones into the stall with you.

I also don't approve of nannies that change clothing in front of their charges, or use terrible manner such as passing gas, burping, or picking their noses.

Fiona said...


It's not abuse I never required my nannies to limit their food or drink intake or the toilet.

All my nannies somehow had the smarts to figure that out on their own.

It doesn't take a genius to realize if you have a small bladder you probably shouldn't drink the 64 oz soda when you're with the kids.

@ aussie I wouldn't have hired you anyway. You probably wouldn't have made it to the first round of in person interviews. you sound very rude, dear.

I don't approve of rudeness either.

Fiona said...

@cupcake the lap top psychiatrist.

We all have our beliefs and preferenes. It is mine that a nanny should not go to the toilet in front of her charges.

You are free to do as you wish. If the people you work for don't care, keep on pissing dear!

Wow! I certainly hit a nerve with so many of you.

Are you shocked that a parent may not approve of that behavior?

Happy 4th to the Americans!

Hmmmm said...

Hmm so Fiona you've stated your children are grown so that means at least 20s right? You've also stated you had nanny cams. I didn't know they had nanny cams in the 80s early 90s

Fiona said...

Nanny cam surveillance. Same difference in my book.

Maybe you didn't know the right people or were to busy peeing in front of kids to know the right people.

Susannah said...

Why are people so upset with Fiona because she doesn't approve of nannies using the facilities in front of kids?

Unless you are employed by her it shouldn't matter.

I doubt you are going to change her opinions. Even if they are extreme and somewhat crazy.

justsayin said...

I think Fiona is as nutty as crunchy peanut butter, but I don't think she's lying.

If she's considers her kids grown at 18 nanny cams would have been around.

My parents had one for me and I was born in 1993

The definitely had security cameras before the 90s.

Susannah said...

To the person who posed this question, I don't see any red flags in your post. Your friend is extremely close to her bosses. Nothing wrong with that.

You also seem envious of your friends high earnings. It's not for you to judge if she is overpaid or not. As long as she and her employers are okay with their arrangement it's none of your concern.

Focus your energy on finding a high paying job with a family you like since that seems to be what you want.

Beezus said...

I think it's weird that they involve her in their finances. It's something I personally could care less about. If my nanny family has enough to pay me each week, and offers me lunch and Starbucks daily, I can assume they are doing fine- and even if they are not, it's none of my beeswax.
I don't use the bathroom with my charges. When my charge was 2 months old, it did get a little complicated but I would pee before we left to go out and usually be fine. Now if shes using the bathroom in front of her charges at home, and they are of the age where they can be off doing something for like 30 seconds while she uses the bathroom that is unnecessary and perfectly avoidable.
I feel that in these times you NEED to be extra careful around peoples children. What you may find innocent- peeing in front of your young charge or changing clothes, someone might find inherently evil. Better safe than sorry.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Fiona, apparently not all of us have the sort of bladder control, lack of interest in going on "long" (4+ hour) filed trips, or the extraordinary uptight attitude that you possessed as a mother and now possess as a nanny. I did read correctly that you are now a nanny, right?

I can't remember who had issues with telling a charge that Nanny loved them (Was that you as well Fiona?), but I can't imagine not saying that to my charges. Kids need emotional nurturing, and if they know you love them, they are better able to cope when you don't LIKE the way they are acting.

And to answer the questions Katie asked:

1) How does the toilet thing work for you nannies tha do it?

****I tend to work with infants to preschoolers. When I care for school age kids, they either stay right in front of the door of my stall in public, or they come in and turn away from me. At their home, they don't come in with me at all.

****With preschoolers and under, I tell my charge(s) that I am going to the bathroom. If they want to come in, they do. When I am home alone with them, I leave the door slightly open, so that they can come and "check" on me, or leave to go play. When there is another adult in the house, the door is shut, and they have to either come in or stay out.

****Younger kids come in with me when we are out and about. Not always easy (Did you know grocery carts don't fit in grocery store bathroomn stalls, and that you CAN use the toilet while holding a crawler in one arm?) but I would NEVER leave wandering kids alone in a nasty bathroom. They learn not to touch the floors/walls/facilities and to stand still with patient instruction.

2) When you have to go do you round up the kid/kids and toys and all go to the bathroom together?

****For mobile kids that I can't trust yet on their own for 2 minutes, they can bring in a toy and they do stay in with me. Trustworthy toddlers/preschoolers, see above.

3) When do you decide a kid is old enough to be left on their own for a few minutes?

****When they can make it more than 10 minutes with my supervision without trying to climb the bookcases, defeat the childproofing, or otherwise injure themselves while exploring.

4) How do you deal with a kid that's upset because they aren't allowed in with you any more?

****Well, there are times that I need privacy, and I explain that to the kid(s) if I can't wait to use the restroom until they are eating or sleeping. Then they can stay right outside the door, and I talk to them while I am doing my thing.

****BECAUSE I don't treat the restroom like a forbidden zone, kids tend to not really care a whole lot if they can't come with

->Is astonished that I have just written an essay on my toilet habits when with my charges. The mind boggles. o.O )

Fiona said...


I've been a nanny for over 30 years. I had and raised my own children during that time as well.

If you want to talk parenting v being a mother get back to me after you've raised children of your own.

As for saying I love you, I don't have a problem with that. As I said it's a gray area neither wrong or right, but can cause problems for a nanny so she should probably know her bosses feelings on it, just as she should know her bosses feelings on taking children that aen't her own into the bathroom with her.

Fiona is insane! said...

Wow, Fiona is insane!
Honey, how do you expect a nanny to go to the toilet when she's out for over 2 hours with an infant or a toddler? Do you expect her to leave the kid by herself? When the nanny is all day long with a kid out, she can't go to the bathroom, based on your idea that she may "damage"the kid for taking him to the bathroom for 2 minutes with her? You are a moron! And I don't care whether you've been nannying for over 30 years, you sure have a lot to learn!

Fiona is insane! said...

Btw, whenver I bring a infant with me to the bathroom, he's on his stroller, and I TURNED the stroller await, so the baby is not "staring" at me while I pee. It's a necessity! If you have to go to the bathroom, you have to goo. Control your food and drinking intake while you are working with kids is silly. You gotta have the energy to keep up, and you must be hydrated as well. When I bring toddlers to he bathroom, they usually are not staring at me, and if so, so what? The kid is not gonna get traumatized for seeing me sitting doning my business.

Fiona seriously is uptight as hell and think that because she is a mother and a nanny for "over 30 years"she automatically becomes an authority and must rule on people's toilet issues! MYOB!

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Fiona said..."If you want to talk parenting v being a mother get back to me after you've raised children of your own."

Not sure where the "v." came into play - I stated that I thought your attitude was uptight as both a mother and a nanny. Since you have been at this for 30 years, perhaps you are of a generation in which a more uptight attitude was seen as normal?

And just FYI, not everyone who posts here plans to raise children of their own, so that might be a comparison point that you need to discard. Although I am not sure what that has to do with anything, frankly.

Fiona is insane! said...

*** Sorry people, just now I noticed there's tons of words misspelled. I typed too fast!

Fiona said...

In my view a nanny has no business taking an infant or toddler for trips that last longer than 2 hours on their own.

I've never done it and never allowed long trips for my kids when they were younger.

I'm sure I do have a lot to learn, but my view on nannies and toilets isn't one of them.

Fiona is insane! said...

@ tales

I am sure Fiona is the type that cannot bare the thought of anyone seeing her butt naked for a second, she might think is "dangerous"for children's development, she must be stuck on the past.

Lyn said...

2 hours? Story time at the library is an hour and a half. A trip to the Children's museum is at least two and a half. The zoo? Why that is an all day event.
What do you do when you take your charges to the park to play on a nice fall morning? You stop them from getting fresh air and playing with their friends because it's been over an hour?
I could care less about your paranoia about bathroom habits. But you let your bladder and your past care takers bladders effect the outings, plans and overall experiences your children received? Confusing. 2 hour limits on all outings. Did you discuss this in interviews with your potential employees or spring it on them suddenly on day one as you head out the door?
I don't think one of the families I have worked for would have hired you based solely on that piece of information.

Fiona is insane! said...


Thank you! That's exactly what I think! Fiona must be one of those boring nannies who likes to spoil the kids fun time.

MissMannah said...

Fiona, I really hate to break it to you but I am willing to bet your children's nannies peed in front of them once or twice while out in public. They just didn't tell you 1. because they didn't think it would matter or 2. because they knew you'd have a shit fit about it.

I only think it is strange when a nanny (or mom) feels they have to bring the kiddo into the bathroom at home because they can't be left alone for a couple of minutes. C goes into her playpen when I have to use the bathroom and yes, sometimes she will scream bloody murder at the indignity of not being held for those 45 seconds but she gets over it.

As for in public, when I had a baby and a 2 year old, they both came into the stall with me and (horrors!) they sat on the floor. Well usually the baby was in the stroller. Then we all three washed our hands before leaving. When I had a 4 and 5 year old, I would pee in one stall and he or she would be in the stall next to me so I could see their feet the whole time and they knew not to come out looking for me until I was done.

Former Nanny said...

Wow, Fiona, you might be the only mother in history who has never used the bathroom in front of her child.

You say that you never let your nanny take your child out for more than 2 hours. I'm glad you weren't my boss. I used to take my charge to the library (20 minutes subway ride each way) for several hours at a time... story hour or just hanging out there. The children's museum or pool were 4+ hour events.

As a mother, I certainly don't limit my outings to 2 hours or less with DD. Heck, a drive to visit my parents takes 4 hours, and though I have no bladder issues, yes, I normally have to stop once during that drive. What am I supposed to do, leave her in the car???

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Wow. Just wow. I would be bored out of my flipping SKULL if my employers decreed that their infant or toddler couldn't be out of the house for more than 2 hours. That would mean no zoo/aquarium/museums/playgrounds for long visits and picnics, no multiple store errands for the family, no darn exploring of the world, no adventures beyond their backyard, no play dates outside their neighborhood...heck, my charge and I take 2 hours for a library visit sometimes, between the lake nearby, story time, finding new books, and playing on the playground!

You are definitely of a different generation Fiona. Very old school, and I am glad for your sake there are employers who prefer your somewhat rigid ways, but I tend to be a little less uptight and more focused on experiential learning through outings and adventures.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

As a nanny, if my bosses told me I was not to be gone longer than two hours, that would be a job deal-breaker to me. I would hate to feel rushed while on a kid-friendly outing...always looking at the time. That would just take the fun out of it for me plus add lots of unneeded stress as well.

Smile said...

@ Bethany - I disagree big time on the "I love you's"!! I am a nanny, a mom, and I have even been a grade school teacher. No matter what my role, whether life-long, or for a short time, I tell the kids I love them.
As a teacher, you hear countless stories of kids in ghetto schools who "made it" because they had just one teacher, one year of their life, who loved them and believed in them. Kids are not psychic; they won't know you love them if you don't say it.
YES, of course it hurts when you have to leave! It hurt to say goodbye even when I had only taught a class for half a semester. I'm sure it will hurt when my son leaves for college, or to get married. If you truly care about the kids, it will hurt to say goodbye.
Part of the sacrifice of working with kids is that you HAVE to care deeply about them, and it WILL hurt, whether you are a nanny, mom, or teacher!

happy chic said...

WTF Fiona!!
Thank you to the poster who reamed her out as bat-shit crazy!!!!!!
Hey Fiona, guess what, I'm a nanny, a d**n good one, too, and I am pregnant. That means I have to pee every 30 minutes, like it or not. And I do all the family grocery shopping, take kids to swim lessons, zoo, children's museums, parks, everything.
You f;cking expect me to f;cking hold it even 2 hours??? I would have to abstain from liquids for 24 hours to do that!!~ WTF. Lady, I feel sorry for your kids. They have an idiot for a mom. I bet they can't wait to move out of your tight-az house. HAHA. I'm so glad I work for a amazing family instead of someone like you!!

Fiona said...

Happy Chic!

Well you don't hae to worry about any of that because you don't work for me, and if the people you work for are fine with how you conduct yourself on the job don't worry.

As fo rmy kids, they are out on their own, and see me happily and regularly.

They can also spell correctly.

Congrats on your baby!

Bethany said...

@smile Of couse it's always bittersweet when you say goodbye.

I was thinking more of the kids who have someone that is there daily telling them they love them and then disappear, sometimes forever in the nanny world.

At least in the "ghetto schools" as you call them the kids have a chance to see that teacher as long even if they are no longer in his ir her classroom.

Also I'd love for you to clarify what you mean about "ghetto schools".

As I said before saying I love you isb't a bad thing, but nannies and teachers need to be aware that not everyone shares the same I love you philosophy and their job could be at stake because of it.

I am thinking of a teacher I know. a great teacher, did everything for herr students that came close to losing her job because she told her students she loved them and two of the parents in the school did not like that. Things got quite ugly.

calcuLATER said...

The only thing that I think is weird is that she purchases things for the kids using their parents credit card on the weekends. It is odd that the parents would request that their nanny take care of shopping errands for their children on her weekend off, during her free time. If an employer asked me to do this VERY infrequently, and only in like an emergency situation, I might agree. But generally I would not be enthusiastic about making a special trip to baby gap or toys r us on my day off of work.

If they have not asked her to do this, it is pretty inappropriate of her to just go out and spend their money on things for the kids. I doubt the parents are thrilled when they receive their credit card statement at the end of the month and find all these random charges on it for that little t shirt that was "just sooooo cute i couldn't resist" or another crappy toy that will wind up being discarded in a month anyway.