Tuesday

Saying Goodbye, #1

I suggested this feature because I know a lot of nannies who have had hard goodbyes with their children. Some see it coming, others, like myself, do not.

For almost four years, I was a nanny for two children, both of whom I started with at birth. When the children were 1 and almost 4, the parents asked me to meet them at an amusement park on a Friday afternoon. This was not unusual.

We met in the front. Once we saw each other, the father asked me to return to the car with him to help him with the stroller. He even made a joke of it as we walked away from the mother and the children. Once at the car, the father told me, "Mrs. X has taken the children into the park. I have your final paycheck. We feel it's time for you to move on."

He handed me the final paycheck and asked if I needed anything from the house or car. I was floored.
He followed me to the car where I collected a few odds and ends. Tears were burning my eyes and I fought to hold them back.

Working for them was never pleasant, but I stayed because of their children. They were both absent parents who were very vain and didn't seem to have any real regard or concerns for their children, excepting that they shouldn't get fat.  The almost four year old was healthy looking, not fat, but her mother was becoming increasingly rigid about her eating and had even taken to grilling me about what I was letting her eat. I worked for them for almost four years and had only a surface relationship with the parents. They would say good morning or good evening but never asked about my life or shared anything with me except instructions or disappointments in something I had failed to do.

I never took a single sick day in all that time. I never got a raise, I never asked for a raise. I never caused them any inconvenience. I should have known that being cold people things would end like this but I was not prepared. I never got to say good bye to the children I had raised. I fed them three meals a day, got them up in the morning, tucked them in at night, even said their prayers with them.
This was 2 years ago and I still think about that day every single day. I wonder what the absence of a good bye did to those two beautiful spirits. I don't know what the parents told the children. I do hope they remember that they were very much loved by me.

*This submission has been edited at request of author as English is not her first language.
If you have a Goodbye story you would like to share with ISYN, please email isynjane@aol.com.

14 comments:

Nanny S said...

That is HORRIBLE. I am completely dumbfounded that parents would not even let a nanny say a final goodbye, give a reason for letting her go or even express any remorse. Wow. OP, I hope you were able to find another job.

Wednesday said...

I couldn't even imagine the hurt that those parents caused you and the children. It was not fair to you to work in that situation. I, too, hope you found a position where you are respected and appreciated.

I've worked for parents like that. I never even received so much as a thank you, just criticism and nit picking at what I did or didn't do. Now I work for a family who loves everything I do with their son!

For all you put in to your job you deserved to be loved as well by your charge's family. I know those children remember you loved them.

day trading phoenix said...

There strong always.

geni said...

I'd like to say this is the saddest nanny goodbye I ever read but I have heard worse. I am sorry for your pain.

MamaBear said...

I am in tears for you and those poor babies. This is why even when we have considered letting our nanny go (for performance and attendance issues), I always decide to grin and bear it because I cannot fathom the thought of putting my children through the goodbye. As long as the issues don't impact the children's wellbeing, I have just learned to grin and bear them. Their happiness is more important than inconveniences to me. If there ever comes a day when we do have to move on, I will do whatever it takes to make sure a goodbye happens and, if she is willing, that she stays in our lives.

Nay The Nanny said...

Horrible...I would just about lose my mind if I had to leave any of my kiddos without saying goodbye. And never get to see them again...how very depressing. What is wrong with these people...poor kids.

LittleMiss said...

So sad! I hope you know that the children love you and that you deserve to be happy :) I hope you heal and find a great job!

Bethany said...

That is terrible. I'm sorry that happened to you.

Those children know you love them. Kids know they can recognize goodness and caring in people.

I hope their new nanny is as kind and loving as you were to them.

I hope in time you heal and find employers that appreciate you.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

These parents seem very selfish and self~entitled and OP it was THEM, not YOU that was at fault.

You endured such vain parents because you truly loved your charges. You sound like a loving nanny and this family was very lucky to have had you for the almost four yrs. you were there.

If these parents were not so self~absorbed, I am sure it would have given the children closure if you were given the opportunity to say "Good bye" to them. Instead, the parents denied you this which only hurts their children. It will make them leery of forming a bond w/the next nanny because how do they not know that she will just disappear into thin air someday just like you did.

OP,
I have a question. What do you think led this family to terminate you? Just curious.....

Sad but true said...

This is the reason loving nannies never say no to parents become professional nannies that learn to keep professional and emotional boundaries with families. If your a career nanny you learn (often through tuff lessons like OP's) to protect your own best interests, speak up when necessary, and move on when your effort and energy on the job exceedes your pay and is unapreciated after years of loyalty. Also the reason most professional nannies only give two weeks notice (no more, no less) when they've found a new position. This is a feild where your lucky if you get a great reference and your last two weeks. Often parents opt out of giving nanny a last good bye so they can avoid too much drama have it seem like no big deal. The worst part is knowing the children will not remember you.

rstlne said...

I'm sorry this happened to you.

But the truth is your charges will forget about you after the first week or 2 with the new nanny.

I suggest you forget about these people and focus on your new job.

Nannybear said...

Wow. Rude much. OP shared a story with us because she feels we can all relate. She isn't asking for sympathy or judgement. Maybe the kids won't remember her, maybe they will,maybe they'll just remember that they were loved, (which can make ALL the difference). Getting attached to your charges doesn't make you unprofessional, it makes you human.

Adam said...

rstlne,
I have employed six nannies. Some of the nannies were easily forgotten when the new nannies came. But the good nannies are never forgettable. It must pain you to be one of the forgettable ones. Perhaps, you are in the wrong field.

rstlne said...

Actually Adam and Nannybear.

I keep in contact with many of my families and have good relationships with many.
But thank you for telling me how my career is and what the relationships with the people I work for I like.

Any nanny that has been in the field long enough will come across a family like the OP worked for . terrible people plain and simple.
Although I even hesitate to say that because we only have OPs side of the story.
OP says this was 2 years ago. Why spend energy pining and bemoaning something that took place 2 years ago.

Sure it was a terrible experience, but again it was 2 years ago. Time to let it go and move on.

Those children are now 3 and 6 years old and likely have no memory of her. The only way they would is if their parents forced memories on them like some do.

I don't remember calling the OP unprofessional so I don't know why that was mentioned.

In my opinion, and it's just my opinion the very best nannies, the ones that have the longest careers as well as the best relationships with the families they work for know when to let go. It's no good to anyone to keep holding onto things you cannot change.