Nanny with Senioritis?

We hired our nanny in June of 2012, and when we hired her, she was great. However, as time goes on, I am very disappointed with her performance. My two year old son seems to notice this too, and it has me very worried now that we are expecting our second child. Our contract states that for $625 a week, our nanny is responsible for providing quality care for our son while also completing child related household duties: cleaning up toys, washing dishes used during the day, 1-2 loads of laundry per week, and straightening up any messes she makes. She no longer does this, and I am starting to wonder what we are paying her so much for. I was willing to let the chores things go because she was really great with our son, but now he wants nothing to do with her. I understand that this is normal behavior for a two years old, but it is very uncharacteristic of or son. Is it worth it to try and makes things work, or would it be better to start looking for a new nanny to start before our baby is born.
Please help!


paisley12 said...

I would sit down with her and go over her contract. Its not acceptable for her to just doing the chores. They are very reasonable for a nanny. If you really feel that she is not going to be able to handle 2 kids then I would start looking.

a mom said...

she's got to go....horrible work ethic and that's not going to change. BTDT too many times.

justaneastcoastnanny said...

1. If you feel your son is safe I would try talking with her first just say you've noticed a few things and have some concerns see what she has to say. Even if you are satisfied with her response you should continue to check up on her.
2. Is your son afraid of her or just rather do his own thing? Is he upset because he now associates you leaving with her arrival.
3. How much experience does your nanny have with toddlers? Caring for a 1 year old infant/toddler is far different from caring for a 2 year old. It requires a different skill set ,and if your nanny has little experience in that area maybe overwhelmed.
4. Children are sensitive to mood changes not just the nanny's but your,s if your fun senses your change in attitude toward the nanny he will reflect that.
Good luck I hope everything works out.

KaFate said...

What's your gut say? I would trust your two year old. They eat up the people who love them and want more attention!

Manhattan Nanny said...

It sounds like she has lost the motivation to do a good job. My guess is that she is not only letting the laundry and cleaning slide, but is also not putting the necessary energy and enthusiasm into caring for and stimulating your son. Her job will be more demanding when the new baby arrives, so I think you need to think about looking for a new nanny.

Raleigh said...

It sounds like she thinks she is irreplaceable. You need to tell her she very much is replaceable and you will do as such if she doesn't straighten up.

Poor little guy. Children pick up on moods and probably realizes she doesn't really want to be there with him :(

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

You didn't say how many hours your nanny works per week, but if it is not more than 40 then she is making a good $alary here. For what you are paying her, she should be putting more effort into her work.

Is she working 50-60 hours per week? If so, she may just be burned out. Perhaps you can hire another nanny to fill in w/the add'l overtime hours.

Overall, it sounds like your nanny is just getting too comfortable here. The job novelty may have worn off and she is just "going through the motions" here, doing only the "bare minimum."
This is completely unacceptable since one should always give 110% to the child at ALL times! No exceptions. No child ever deserves less than that.

OP, is your nanny young? Perhaps she is realizing that this is not the right profession for her. Or maybe she is being a crappy nanny because she wants YOU to fire her as opposed to quitting on her own.

Regardless, a sit-down talk is warranted here. Keep it diplomatic and do not let emotion cloud your good judgement. Let her know that it is very important that your son gets 110% stellar treatment from his caregiver and that you have felt that lately he has been getting sub-par treatment. Let her explain her side of things and hopefully you both can resolve this amicably.

Keep in mind however that it is highly likely that this conversation may put her on the offensive and that things could get super awkward super fast.

Since a precious child {yours} is involved, if things immediately go south, I would fire her on the spot. Do not give her the standard 2-wk notice since a fired/disgruntled nanny is not a safe nanny to be around your child. Perhaps give her a severance if you can afford it and move on.

For the sake of the child involved here, I hope you both can find a suitable situation where everyone is happy.
Good luck. ☺

snow said...

From the information you've provided I would say have a talk with her.
There are so many things that could be going on. No one here can tell you what those things are. Be a good employer and speak to your employee about the things that are concerning you.

nenanny said...

1. Determine if your son is afraid of the nanny or going through an all about mommy phase. It's pretty common for twos to suddenly become super attached to mom even over the greatest caregivers. Even more so with a new sibling on the way.

If you believe your son to be in danger let her go.
If not move on to step 2.

Talk to her! How long has this been going on?
That is part of your job as an employer to address employee shortcomings. You will have trouble with any nanny you will ever hire if you believe communication ends at the point of hire. From that conversation you can determine your next move.

Natalie said...

I would get a nanny cam to be on the safe side. You don't want to chance it with your child. And, I would be on the look out for a new nanny.

melissa said...

As someone with experience working with a two year old and a newborn, I'd look for someone else. Maybe she is a little burned out (I know I've been there before), but that's not an excuse not to do your job. It will only be more demanding with the addition of a baby. Your nanny might be a great girl, but you need to do what's best for your children, not your nanny.

nycmom said...

I think Amy Darling has some excellent advice and thoughtful comments. I do very much agree with not overworking your nanny -- even if she wants all the extra hours.

However, from a purely experiential perspective I have to agree with most others. I highly doubt this is going to work out and I would plan on finding a new nanny. I think communication is the absolute key to a successful nanny/employer relationship. It is not really clear from your post when things started to slide, how long this has been going on, or what you have done to address it so far. You should definitely never "let things slide." I know, as parents/employers, we sometimes have an irrational fear of upsetting or offending our nannies and find ourselves making excuses "as long as she is good with the kids." But I think this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

I find employing a nanny is best approached like any respected professional relationship. If there are performance issues, you address them immediately, directly but tactfully and kindly. Often these issues are the result of poor communication and can be resolved. But once you let things slide to the level you described in your post, I think it's pretty hard to go back. I would give the same advice to a nanny. If your employers start adding chores, getting home late, not paying you on time, etc., you should bring it up immediately. If you give anyone the impression you can be taken advantage of, they will often do so, even if they are not bad people.

I do think nanny burnout is a very real thing, but I don't think it should be happening after less than a year. It's just a bad sign. Definitely give your nanny the respect of addressing these issues in a formal performance review with a written contract. Then have a low tolerance for parting ways if things don't rapidly improve.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "a mom..". If your child isn't happy and your house isn't presentable, why is she there? That doesn't mean that she may not have a reason for the change. Health? Family crisis? Personal issue? Who knows... The point is that you don't entertain keeping someone in their position who doesn't perform. It's not a kindness to your son, whose interests you must represent. I wouldn't warn her, either. Give her a basic severance, a very brief exit interview, and be done. Yikes.