Significant Secret

Hi, I'm a long time fan of your blog, but never had a reason before to write in, until now. I made a stupid decision, and I don't know where to go from here. I'm a 19-year-old nanny working for a family with 3 kids. I am only responsible for the younger children, as the oldest is my age. I've worked for this family for over a year and I love them. We like and respect each other and I don't want to lose this job.

I was out with friends one Saturday night and my group of friends ran into the oldest sons group of friends (the one that's my age). We've always been kind of flirty I guess, but never inappropriate, at least until that night. One thing lead to another and we slept together. It has happened a few more times since then, over the last 2 months. For those who haven't guessed, I found out that I'm pregnant. I know for a fact that I'm pregnant because I've been to the doctor, and I know 100% that he's the father. I also know I'm keeping it. Obviously I need to tell him first, but what about the family? Help! - Anonymous


BrooklynMomma said...

Oy! Mistakes certainly happen and I don't mean to rub it in, but you absolutely need to learn about boundaries in the workplace. The son, although the same age as you, is a work-related no-no. Same rule applies to the dad boss.

Don't expect the family to be happy about this bit of news. In fact, they may feel betrayed and angry at you for the reason I shared above.

Regardless, you have to come right out and be honest about things. The only thing I can suggest is telling the boy first and his family second. Either way, this is probably going to be taken quite hard by the family and if it were me, I would fire you on the spot for engaging in inappropriate behavior.

I wish you the best, OP. If you nanny again in the future, please set some definite and clear boundaries and stick to them.

MissMannah said...

Yes, I think you need to tell them all together. And you should probably quit too because you have crossed a very important line.

CleaverJune said...

Well, I am not going to comment much on the error of judgement, you know that you shouldn't have done what you did. you know what birth control is. You either chose not to use it, or chose not to use it correctly. Now take a deep breath and focus on the important things at hand... You need to get a job. A new one, like right now.

I suggest that you get a new job IMMEDIATELY. You will loose this one AS SOON as your employer learns that you were sleeping with one of her children. It doesn't matter if he was not your charge, he is still their child. They will likely feel betrayed. Working in their home is not a likely possibility once they know that you were sneaking around with their son. Discuss this with your "partner," ASAP. Be sure to stress that you want this to be between just the two of you until you find a new job. Babies are expensive and you need to stockpile as much cash now as you possibly can. You may need to get any full time job you can. Think about insurance benefits. If you don't have them now.... You NEED to get ASAP.

No one can legally fire you for being pregnant. Not even if its under these circumstances. They can however,
a) make life very difficult for you and
b) FIND a reason to let you go...
And just remember, some states are "at will'" so they don't need a reason.

Take it one step at a time.
Take care of yourself first and foremost.
Talk to the father and make a plan, remembering to take care of yourself first. Then just keep on taking it one step at a time.

You will get through this.

I feel so sorry for you said...

Tell him first. Then you two sit with the family and tell them together. If he refuses to join you tell him you'll do it anyway. Are you going to marry him? If not, you'll be handing over your baby to him every five days(weekends). The complexity of single parenthood is never ending. So many complex relationships. Its awful to watch in tact families when you're single with a kid. Get your education. You'll qualify for welfare, food, medical, etc. Make the best of it. Good luck. Its a long, hard road. Id advise you to give up dating for the next 18 years too. Especially if you have a little girl. Having a non related male in the home increases abuse by 33% to your child. Oh god. I wish I was 18 again. I was in your shoes. I'm not going to lie. It was hell. If I could go back, I would've used birth control and finished school. I fucked up friendships, my body & through my future of course and messed up my childs life. I hope you marry the father & finish college. If you do, you'll be the exception. Its going to suck. Sorry. I am sure your parents wanted a better future for you.

RaleighWorld said...

Oh my...I know you're going to get a lot of crap for this. Honestly I would agree with both the truthful, unsympathetic posters and the sympathetic ones. I hope you'll understand them as well because you know what you did was horribly irresponsible and of extremely bad judgement.

Now on to the advice- I almost want to say find a new job, quit and don't tell them. I know that's wrong tho. Ugh I guess I really don't have any advice. He definitely took part so you aren't alone in this. I guess the best way is to tell him first so you both can figure out the best way to tell the parents. They might be in denial about it being his and not want anything to do with the baby, or you, until its born. A paternity test should be done after the birth if this happens to be the case.

I hope you get more advice. Good luck.

OceanBlue said...

How exactly did you see this playing out in your mind when you were flirting with your employer's son and sleeping with him?

Where you hoping for happy days and they'd just welcome you into the family?

I'm honestly curious.

Glad to know the baby's father isn't your DB. I thought that's where this post was headed.

Tashina said...

Oh well, what's done is done. Time to move on. (: Your next step is just pure honesty.

Psyber Chics said...

I got pregnant at 19 too and I was terrified, but 10 years later, she is the best oops I ever made! I suggest waiting until you are 12 weeks to discuss with the family just because miscarriage risk goes way down around that time. I also suggest you let their son lead the conversation when you tell them. Take care of yourself!

SleepyMissDee said...

Hmmmmmmmm. Tough decision.

I think of the movie "For Keeps?" with Molly Ringwald when she says, "'I'm pregnant. Can you pass the turnips?'".

My advice to you: I wouldn't say anything to them just yet, until you have a due date from your doctor. When you do tell them, assure them you will be able to work up until your due date (unless directed by the doctor) and assist with finding temporary care during your maternity leave. At some point be prepare to tell them who the father is.

As far as telling him, well, be prepared....

RBTC said...

ok, i'll start. But i am hoping our usual crew will come up with better advice than mine.

You made an incredibly immature and unprofessional decision, hopefully he is not jailbait ( you say his your same age 19 ) as you seemed to say he is your charge

for the rest of your life - he will need to be involved financially in your child's life

your good relationship with the family is probably shot and is the least of your worries

get a lawyer, and let us know what happens

wow said...

Please update us on what happens. What a life changing thing. I wish you the very best of luck, you are going to need it.

katydid said...

This isn't a mistake. A mistake is I put the cake in the oven at too high a temperature.

This is deliberately choosing foolish actions and now having an Oh bleep! moment because she's more or less been caught red handed.

What's done is done. And this isn't a movie.

Yes you tell them and I think you tell them together.
I suggest you start looking for another job for the following reasons.
1. It's very likely these people will toss you out on your behind and not believe you or help you in anyway. That is also true for the son. Be prepared to provide proof of paternity.
2. Sleeping with your charge is cause for firing. I hope to God you are certain he is of age. If he is even borderline be prepared for legal action.
3. You plan to keep this child and you are going to need steady income to provide for this child. I suggest you look outside of being a nanny because once this story gets out I doubt any family would risk hiring you as their nanny again.

I also suggest you find outside support don't assume you can count on this family. If you don't have a family on your own I suggest you get in contact with a women's support network in your area and explore all your options.

This is a child. A child you will be responsible for the next 18 years at a minimum. This isn't a toy, a game, or like being a babysitter. As I said this isn't a movie.
Time to grow up. I may sound harsh but I honestly wish you the best

VA nanny said...

Everyone else gave good advice. I feel for you, and I won't try to tell you what a bad decision it was, because you're going to have to live with the very real consequences.
I'm just very puzzled by the part where you stated that you "don't want to lose this job".
Of course you're going to lose your job! You SHOULD lose your job! I can't even believe you want to keep it. I can't think of a more awkward situation... you would be paid to take care of your child's aunts/uncles. And what about when you have your baby? Are you going to give him/her to the father to take care of while you continue to watch the other children in the same house?
Sorry, I just don't see how you can think that you would, or even want to, continue working there. You need to find a new job and tell these people.

knittynanny said...

Op, I think you're in a very tough situation. This isn't the most popular position, but I definitely feel bad for you. You were both consenting adults when this happened. He is not your charge. He is an adult.

I do agree with others, however, that proper birth control steps should have been taken.

workingmom said...

With all of the previous posts regarding adoption, I am surprised nobody mentioned it as an option to this OP. She is very young and will have no livelihood after this pregnancy is revealed; and open adoption is a valid choice for her and her baby-to-be.

And, at the risk of inevitible backlash I will throw it out there: in this country, termination is also a valid, legal option.

Whatever the OP decides to do, she needs to put on her big girl panties and decide SOON. I wish her the best of luck.

Lyn said...

I cannot begin to imagine what you're going through right now. My thoughts are with you.
I would suggest waiting until you are at least 12 weeks along to discuss it with either the son or the parents. I also imagine that you are making an income that will allow you access to help like WIC, food stamps, and help (if not coverage) for the medical aspect, should you decide to keep your baby. There are several options available. None of them make you a bad person.
Did your pregnancy come about in a less than ideal and professional way? Of course. But that doesn't mean you'll feel it was a "mistake" in several months or years.
I wish you all the best and look forward to an update.

ericsmom said...

Well I hope it all works out for you. Do you care for their son? Does he care for you. It could work out. Look he is a grownup 19 is a legal adult. It wasn't like you were sleeping with someone underage. He needs to take responsibility as well.

Whether they like it or not they are going to be grandparents. Hopefully, they will accept the baby in their lives. If you really care for this guy and vice versa, I think you guys should consider getting married.
This situation doesn't have to turn out to be so awful.

bostonnanny said...

I think you first need to make sure keeping the baby is the right thing for yourself and the child. You need to realize that this is a lifetime of responsibility and just because the father is here now doesn't mean he will be there later. He may have the financial responsibility for this child but he may not actually follow through with it. There are many ways to get around paying child support an I know a few men who have, my father included.
You need to find a new position one that offers benefits like working at a daycare and be prepared to raise this child on your own. I hope you won't have too but you need to kept that in mind. Start saving, finish up school/college and make a plan. You made a huge mistake and now prepare for the worst and hope for the best

Therapy baby said...

Psyber has great advice that I second. Are you sure sure sure you want to keep this baby? There are MANY lives here at stake. I was a single mom and pregnant at 19. I never considered abortion though I am not against this choice. Of course I don't ever regret having my beautiful daughter. But I very much regret our struggle. My main concern is why your boundaries are so weak. Did he pressure you? Can you say no to men? Did uou want to get pregnant and why?? Get therapy for find out the answers. Therapy is awesome and worth every dollar! Don't do this alone.

beawarrior said...

I want to emphasize that you know you are keeping the baby. From there on focus what you must do not only for yourself but for the human being that is in you. You asked specifically about the family, so your concerns (and I try to look from your own perspective), it is scary, adding also the possible broken trust between you and them. But like somebody else said, honesty is the first step, and have in mind it won't be easy for them to accept it, or it could be otherwise, be prepared to accept the outcome, as you have already accepted what happened. The only thing I would advice, it is the time now to look not only for this present time but for future, for the good of you and your baby. (My apologies for my not so perfect English, but these are my two cents and I wish to you THE BEST!)

ericsmom said...

Actually it would be better after the baby is born she doesn't work. She will be able to receive more assistance thru the state.
Do you really think she can save money by working at a daycare? Really once you hit 4-5 months you will not have the energy caring for kids in a center.

I would work for a few months. Then go apply for assitance from the government. Stay home with the baby for 6 months or a year. Maybe, you can take online classes, and enroll in a community college. Some colleges have daycares.

Therapy baby said...

Except public assistance is not a living wage,either. OP- I agree with Ericsmom in that if you have any way to not work in the first year, you and baby will have the time you need to adjust and build a foundation for your next step.

Public assistance is a crucial resource for moms in so many insane situations. But it's not going to keep a roof over your head or provide enough to eat and buy tampons and diapers.

Pikachu said...

Why should she marry the father of the child?
that is a stupid idea. They only had sex a couple of times!! If they get married we all know that they will last a couple of years.
I think that she should give up the kid for adoption. Either that or terminate the pregnancy before is too late.
She is too young to be thinking about diapers and babies. Is not going to work! She does not have a job, an education, a husband/boyfriend/family to support her or money to pay for everything.
Is she going to look for a job after the baby is born and pay a nanny/daycare to take care of her baby? Or maybe she will be featured in the next CLWTF because she is a single mom and she can only afford $10 for child care.

Come on people, we all know that is not going to work.

Talk to the boy and before talking with his family and decide what to do. If you are keeping your baby, you will need to tell his family and yours. If you are giving up the baby for adoption, you also should tell them (it will be evident that you are pregnant). Maybe they will help you find a family for the baby.
If you are terminating the pregnancy I say... tell the boy and nobody else. He is the father, he should know... But then again, maybe he doesn't care.

Good luck OP, you are going to need it. Being a teen mom is not easy.

Momwest said...

Since you have decided to keep the baby, you should tell the guy first. He can then tell his parents. I have a son about the same age and I would want to hear this from him. I would ask him how he felt about you and having a child. If he loved you (unlikely, but it happens) and wanted to be a father to the child, I would approach the situation differently than if he did not. Either way, you would not remain the nanny for his siblings. So you should be prepared to lose your job and your good relationship with the guy and his family.

Bethany said...

I think you should speak with a resource center in your area.

They can help you sort out your current job situation. Prenatal care, future employment. If you are serious about parenting this child you need a solid plan for income, housing , and being able to support yourself and the child fulltime etc.
You are going to need a lot of help and now is the time to start building that support.

Wishing You The Best said...

I would think long and hard before giving your child up for adoption. You won't be in this situation forever. Very few moms don't regret their adoptions. I hope you don't terminate. I was in your shoes. I have a gorgeous daughter. She's extremely intelligent and could model if she wanted. She's my everything. Stay optimistic but realistic. Good luck momma.

Village said...

The OP clearly states that she "made a (*)(*) decision." This was not an accident. She chose not to use birth control. She has thought this through, from the prospective of a 19 year old, and she wants a baby, and I surmise, a family as well.

She will not be welcomed with open arms unless this is a very forgiving family. The respect she so dearly craves will be lost as well. She and her pregnancy will most likely be tossed out. Does she have place to go?

OP, I wouldn't tell anyone until you have had the time to think through where you are going to live, and how you are going to support yourself. If the boy doesn't work, you won't get child support. Good luck, and best wishes to you and your baby.

Voice of Dissent said...

I don't agree with the posters who are certain you will be tossed out on your rear. I do believe that the family will be angry, and may perhaps fire you in the heat of the moment.

I think, tho, that most people will start to think - wait, this is my grandchild. My son's child. And this is the mother, the woman who will be carrying our grandchild. Will they want the mother of their grandchild, despite the anger at her for sleeping with their son (who is the same age and just as immature and equally responsible for the circumstances), to be destitute?

No, I see these people being in her life for a long while. They might get angry, but that eventually passes. At some point, they will probably start thinking about dealing with the situation, and I can't imagine these people not wanting their grandchild taken care of.

I envision that, in the long run, OP will probably have her job, even if initially she is let go.

Good luck, OP.