Confirmation may Lead to Confrontation

Hello moms and fellow nannies! I hope all is well. I would like some advice on a decision that I pretty much just made about 3 hours ago. Background: Until September 2012 I was working with a family that I had been with since February 2012. The mom decided to stay home sometime in August and I didn't find out about it until September. I got one weeks notice and two weeks severance. Was I sad? Not really. They were very awkward, condescending, slow to thank me, even when I went above and beyond what was agreed to in the initial interview. They were however, quick to pick at me for anything that they saw as a problem. They would comment on how I didn't do the laundry even when the baby had been needy/fussy all day. How I cut "R's" nails too short even when the mom approved of them the day before. They would drop hints about how babies in his library group could point to colors or shapes - the other kids were 14 months to 2 years old and their baby was just 9 months old at the time.

I was very limited in the activities I could do with him and was never allowed to take him anywhere. There were days after books, bubbles, crafts, walking outside, playing with gooey stuff in his highchair, that he was literally, no lie, bored to tears. I was beginning to crack... In July some family friends, whom have both known me since I was a teenager, had a baby. I immediately accepted when they asked me to be their nanny. The mom was going back to school and the dad is a teacher. After the baby came they told me what they had in mind for me to do, discussed pay/hours, and start date, which is January 2nd. Everything seemed great. I was going to let the family I was currently working for know that I was leaving in mid November which would have been this month. I was pushing for January until I was let go in September. I "'d" for 2 weeks with no success... so many low ballers. I was referred to a ton of people but they only needed a day or two a week for 4-5 hours.

*Deep breath* On to the current issue: The family friends that I was going to be starting with in January referred me to a family they knew of with a 4 month old boy, J. The mom had worked with my mother at a high school and without an interview I was hired for the temporary position. Unexpectedly, J and I have the greatest time together. I unloaded everything I have always wanted to do with R onto J and it's just as fun as I imagined. We go to parks, story time at the library, we are starting a baby gym next week, and we go to the store. I try to take him to at least 2 places every day even if it's to a Sam's Club to see the Christmas lights and sparkly ornaments. He smiles a huge smile and pretty much jumps out of his mom's arms when I arrive. I have become very attached to him and everyday that I care for him it's getting more and more difficult to see myself leaving him in December. The mom hasn't been pressuring me to stay with them. She understands this was supposed to only be a temporary thing but I made the decision today to stay with J and not work for the other family in January.

I see nothing but benefits when I really compare the two families. I LOVE J's mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, everyone is just wonderful. J is also a rather particular baby. He has severe acid reflux, the kind that he may not grow out of. He has to be held this way, put down this other way, you have to feed him like this, burp him this way, give him this amount of medicine twice daily... I learned all that in 3 days before the mom went out of town. It would be really hard for him and his family to get a new nanny and it would just be a very hard transition for him and frankly I really don't want anyone else caring for him but me. The other family is very out in the boonies and away from any sort of civilization. There are no parks, baby classes, or libraries. I would pretty much be reduced to the same situation as before, only without all the bitching from the parents. (Pardon my french but that's really all it was). I would almost rather have the nit picking if I could at least take the child places but that's not the situation dealing at hand.

I have to talk to the previous family this week since I have made and confirmed my decision. I just don't know what to say or how to form the conversation. I kind of have an idea of what I would need to say but they may try to offer me more an hour than the other family, or guilt trip me. I am pretty much giving them two months notice but I know they will find someone soon. They have access to a bunch of nannies since the mom is a member of a mom group on FB for our area and she used to be a nanny as well so she knows the circuit pretty well. I have made my decision and am sticking with it and am very happy when I think about it but I know this is my situation so I don't expect a beginning to end script... but ideas, experiences, opinions and helpful or encouraging thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Looking forward to hearing from all of you moms and my fellow nannies! PS: Sorry that this is so long. I do frequent the site often so if you have any questions I'll be sure to answer quickly as I need the pointers! Thanks! - Anonymous


COnanny said...

Did you think about a nanny-share? It could work since the two families already know each other and you seem to know both of them well.
But, If you only want to care for J, I would advice you to just be honest with the other set of parents, two months is indeed enough time to find someone else for their child. They may not feel to good about it but if you are sure of your decision, go for it!

Nanny S said...

She may or may not be upset. Just say that you've decided that staying at this position would be the best fit for you and you're sorry to do this but you hope that 2 months notice would be enough. Offer to put her in touch with anyone you know that may be looking for a job. Then be proactive about maintaining your relationship and act as if this hasn't ruined your friendship. They will probably get over it. You didn't do anything wrong.

OhhhPlease said...

OP, Unless I missed it, but I didn't read that the other family offered you a full time position with them. You mentioned that the mom hasn't pressured you and that she knows that it is only a temp thing. But do they want you as their perm nanny? Is this family close with the other family?

Sarah NY said...

Maybe consider a nanny share if the families are close together, since the MBs are friends they may consider this and you can stay with J and make a little more money :)

Op said...

I did think about a nanny share but the families live about 45 minutes to an hour away from each other :-/

Op said...

Yeah see? I knew I missed something. The mom didn't pressure me but does want me as a perm nanny. Will even pay more than the other. They are not close. They used to work together but no longer do. The only thing they have in common really is that they are moms.

Op said...

I agree that I did nothing wrong but still dreading the uncomfortable conversation. Thanks for your encouraging words and advice!

Student Nanny said...

Though in a normal work situation I'd say you're fully justified in deciding not to go work for this family, the fact that they are family friends complicates things. Are they good friends? How close? Will you be very upset if this severely impacts the relationship?

If you're very concerned about the relationship, I would try and find reasons not to take the job that have nothing to do with the other position. You mentioned they live in the boonies, does this mean a long commute for you? Perhaps even just tell them straight out that you don't want to complicate the friendship by working for them.

RBTC said...

this is called an 'extenuating circumstance" and is completely reasonable, you are giving them ALOT of notice

just be very regretful and emphasize that you love the little boy so much - they would have to be terrible to not understand that - let us know how it goes ;)

nycmom said...

As an employer, I think it is a red flag that the current family of the boy you like is willing to "steal" you as an employee. First and foremost, I completely understand and agree that neither current (Family #2) nor referral family (Family #1) owns you or should get to determine what you choose to do as a career. This is not about the employer/nanny relationship.

But as a human being and even a casual acquaintance, family #1 referred you to family #2 as a kindness to you (temp employment), themselves (preserving your availability) and the temp family (temp coverage). It still remains unclear why current family felt they only needed temporary coverage for a few months and now need permanent coverage, nor why they would feel temp coverage for a few months was a good idea if they knew they would need to transition to permanent coverage.

Regardless, I cannot envision a decent friend/person accepting an employee referral, knowing family #1 was relying upon your availability in January, then being willing to hire you with no regard for the previous kindness of family #1 nor their future difficulties. I would feel the same if we were discussing any type of domestic employee (given the personal relationship) or small business employee. It just seems like a deliberately unkind act and that would make me, if I were you, question the morality and genuine kindness of family #2. I would expect that if any situation arose which was unexpected regarding your employment, this is the type of employer who will always place themselves before you or anyone else.

I don't think this would rule out you working for family #2 that you currently love. I just can't envision being family #2 and not having more of a moral dilemma about doing this. I also cannot envision doing this without a discussion with family #1 and you to at least explore options. You say a Nanny Share would not work due to 45 minutes living apart distance, but what if family #1 was willing to drive their baby to the home of family #2 daily? Now, if you simply have no interest in being a nanny in a share, that is an entirely different issue. I just can't imagine the family that screws the other family over so completely and not even questioning that choice!

I think two months notice is plenty and I think you should choose the situation that is best for you. Just be careful with a family that is willing to be a part of such behavior IMO.

Nina said...

Although the bottom line here is your happiness, I have to agree with NYCmom.

Heaven forbid something should go wrong: a dispute over hours, pay, etc; do you think a family like this, given their propensity to back-stabbing (ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic) - would make an easy go of it for you?

Just make yourself very aware. A family that would do something like this has no moral fiber.

And I'm curious too, why all of a sudden do they now want permanent care instead of temporary? Did something in the work/family dynamic change?

Best of luck to you, OP. I hope they truly are a great family and treat you well because in the end, YOU'RE the only one you should concern yourself with!

Op said...

Family #2 had the grandma care for the baby but she has shown herself to be painfully unreliable, not concerned about infant safety and has no energy to play. They accepted my being a temporary to see how having a nanny would go until January. They were about to look for a new one when I decided to stay with them.

I wouldn't say they stole me. Mom #2 is feeling guilty but I reassured her that it is completely my decision.

Nina said...

If MB is as nice as you say, and is feeling guilty when you believe she has no reason to, then I guess a few of us are being too hard on her. Again, like I said, you need to be happy so ultimately its all your decision anyway. :)

sockandmittens said...

Bonding with your charge and having things go well would seem to be a natural decision to stay. I would probably be honest with family #1 about exactly that. In other words, you're so good at what you do, that you've been able to shine :) Any reasonable adults could understand this, after their initial disappointment.

I would want to send a card, or flowers even, thanking the first family for the referral. It was a gift, really.

RBTC said...

for once i respectfully disagree with nycmom ;0)

the circumstances are regrettable but extenuating - the Op has fallen in love with the charge and vice versa

the charge has medical issues which the Op has learned how to cope with

the entire situation with the current family is completely what the Op wants and needs - the Op is entitled to think about her own quality of life

it's regrettable and a concern that needs to be worked out but it's clear thought is being taken on all fronts

it will be frustrating for family #1, but hopefully they can all work together to solve the situation - let us know Op!

Bethany said...

This is a tough one!

Yes your happiness is important and it can be hard as a nanny to find a good fit.

Bur I also agree with nycmom & nina. she may feel guilty ,but she ignored her feelings of guilt and asked you anway. I would be very very careful here and not let your love and your bond with the baby blind you to red flags and potential problems. Please make sure you have a contract in place.

Have you brought up a nanny share to the families? Many parents would be willing to commute a bit each day if it meant they have a good nanny and possibly save a bit on childcare.

However if they are not interested in a share or you simply do not want to work for family #1 you need to tell them straight away so they can find a great nanny for their baby.

Good luck to you!

Village said...

OP, you have a right to change your mind about a position two months out. You don't need to feel so bad. She can find another nanny in two months.

I think it's great you found such a great match. It was meant to be. Look at it that way. And enjoy it. That is one lucky little boy.

You can Email your resignation, and explain while you were waiting TWO months to start and doing temp work, you found a permanent job that is geographically desireable. There is no need for a confrontation. Just keep it matter of fact and professional. Remember, at the end of the day, it is just a job you have decided to decline. The mom will forget all about you in a day or two, or when she finds a another nanny, which ever comes first.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Even though this is a sticky situation at best, the bottom line is you have to advocate for your own happiness in life. Only YOU have to live with your own decisions..not anyone else.

Stay with your current family and let the other family know ASAP. Let them know you appreciate all they have done to help you out, but unfortunately you are unable to leave this current position based on how well you bond with the child involved.
I am sure the first family knew this was a risk when they initially referred you to your current family.

If you do not want to talk about this in person, you can write a nice email instead.
Just do not text something this important.

Best of luck to you.
Congratulations this was a good match. I truly hope things work out for you OP.

Keep us updated.

OceanBlue said...

You can do as you please. No one can make you feel guilty. That emotion is entirely your own.

But please give the other family plenty of notice.

Also don't trick yourself into believing you are the only one who can care for the baby properly. Because you aren't and you can be replaced.

Hopefully everything works out in your favor.

Op said...

<3 hey you girls are awesome! Thanks so much for all your advice and kind words. I'm glad I posted my blog. I was iffy about getting nasty comments but this has been a successful attempt.

I'll say for the record that J's family did not ask at all that I stay with them. I offered and tho hesitant they accepted after making sure that it was what I wanted and they also expressed concern for the first family. This is 100%, completely, totally all my doing.

I will be contacting the first family either tomorrow or Tuesday. I'll keep you updated. I would still love more advice or thoughts if anyone else has any!!

katydid said...

You need to call them TODAY. In my opinion your actions are flaky( if the situation were flipped we all would be upset with the parents and calling them every name in the book), tell them right away do't wait for them to call you. Maybe it will be your luck ad they have already found a better mach for their family.
I do not agree with whomever it was that told you to send them an email. You owe them a call.

Face the music so to speak. You've said you've made your decision. You should have no problem sticking to it

Tell them what you have decided to except the job and you regret any incovenience that your decision may cause them. The end.

They may try other tactics they may be upset with you ( rightly so) , but that's part of being an adult and making tough decisions.

In the future it's probably best you consider all aspects of a job before making an agreement with a family. What I mean is you know you are a nanny that likes to bring your charge places ( I am too and don't fault you for this), so why would you agree to a job where you can't do that? If you needed a full time job right away you should have stuck to that and taken several temporary jobs in the meantime.

Please make sure you have a contract with your new family. A very detailed contract.

I'm glad you have bonded with your new charge, but believe me when I say families will use that against you, and it's often the families you never think would. I'm speaking from experience. I'm not saying your current family will turn on you, just look out for yourself.

As someone said this is a job, and at some point whether it's when your charge starts going to school or his mother changes his mind about the type of care she wants for her son he will have another caregiver that is not you.

Congrats on the new job I sincerely hope it works out well for you!

Bethany said...

Now knowing you were the one to offer to stay puts a different spin on things.

I honestly think it's not very ethical of you to back out of a job you already accepted.

But that's just my opinion it's your life an happiness.

I would contact your first family by phone. It will be hard, but I think they deserve a phone call and an explanation from you.

I'm sure they are understanding, and would rather have a nanny that wants to be their child's nanny than someone unhappy in the position.

Hope everything works out for all parties involved.

Nanny Jenn said...

I disagree that you HAVE to call the first family. If you really do not like confrontation, then an e-mail is just fine. Plus, you have something tangible to show that you gave proper notice.

Good luck OP!

Op said...

I talked to the other family, turns out my position would have become pretty unnecessary since all the moms classes are at night. All turned out better than expected.

Thanks for all the good advice! I took a bit from everyone! Take care!