How long do I have to go on feeling something isn't right?

I switched from using a top notch daycare to a nanny when my child turned three and a half so that the nanny could take my child to attend gymnastics and swimming classes. I don't think I was ready for that step myself. I feel like I have a stranger in my house. The nanny has only been with us since Valentine's Day. My husband insists that I give her a chance. How long do I have to go on feeling something isn't right? I don't feel my child is in danger. I just feel something is off. In the beginning of March, we suddenly had a bed bug infestation. I don't really know if I blame the nanny for the bedbugs and can't get past it. I don't know. My daughter likes the nanny but not the way I thought she would. I wanted her to leap up and run to her. I feel like so much of my daily life is not about keeping the nanny comfortable. When it was too cold to walk, making sure there was money for a cab, money for lunch out, responsibility to get her to and from my house in inclement weather. Did I just make a bad pick? How do I know if a nanny is just not right for me?


Nanny S said...

This is really tough. It's hard to know if it's just an adjustment, or a bad fit. And then to wonder about the bed bugs thing...

If I were the parent, I'd ask myself if I liked the nanny as a person. If my answer was "I don't know" I'd start right there trying to get to know her a little bit. Being friendly and a little chatty.

I'd ask my daughter how she liked the nanny and having a nanny instead of daycare and what they spend the days doing. That would be really insightful.

I'd also be honest with myself about if I just didn't like the extra responsibility of being an employer. If that were the case, I'd decide to just accept it or go back to daycare.

If you conclude you don't really like this nanny, please please do not just fire her without severance because she is not a good fit with your family. As most families don't pay taxes, this nanny would be without a job and without eligibility for unemployment.

The nanny/employer relationship can be one of the most challenging if it's just not a good fit. Screen your nannies more carefully if you decide to hire a replacement. Best of luck. Please post a follow up!

RaleighWorld said...

I used to work for a family like yours and I could also sense that the parents felt the way you do now. they always seemed wary of me and even tho their son would reach his little arms out for me when I'd arrive, I still felt like the mom or dad didn't want to let him go to me. He was always well fed, clean, changed and happy.

I agree with the suggestion of being chatty. the family I worked for never asked me questions about school, previous non-nanny jobs or even if I had brothers or sisters. I got there, they left for work, they came home and I left. Your nanny can probably sense that you're uncomfortable or distant. she may be feeling a bit cautious herself and not making a huge effort to get close with your daughter as well.

Asking your daughter if she likes the nanny is first. if she doesn't like her, for a good reason and not because the nanny won't let her have cookies for breakfast, than maybe you should consider going back to daycare.

please don't string her along if you don't think you're ever going to accept her. my job lasted for 7 months and I wish they had let me go a lot sooner.

good luck!

HobokeNanny said...

I also think there is probably some negative feelings towards your nanny because maybe you're jealous. It's one situation if your daughter is at a school, she doesn't have as close of a bond with teachers. Whereas, with a nanny, it's a pretty close bond. Maybe it's just you?

I think you should take the time, make your nanny feel like she's part of your family, instead of just a work situation. That means a lot. Bed bugs can come from anywhere, even you!

alex said...

Do you take the time to talk with your nanny? Learn more about her? I think it sounds like you are just having a hard time getting used to having someone else in your house who is taking your daughter places etc.

Talk to your daughter. Ask her about what her and the nanny do and if she likes her. I wouldn't take the idea that she isn't running into your nannies arms as reason that she is mean to her etc. Some children just attach well to others better than other children, nothing wrong with that.

I don't think the bed bugs is your nannies issue. Is she a live in? That may have just happened.

As for making your nanny comfortable, that would be with any nanny you have- not just this one. So maybe you just are not ready to have a nanny? It does take more thought leaving that stuff for her than dropping your daughter off at daycare does. I honestly think, based on what you have said, that even if you had a different nanny.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

Hmm...OP this is a tough call.

On one hand you feel like something is just not right, yet at the same time it is difficult for you to pinpoint exactly what it is.

It sounds like your nanny is a "live~in" which would make it much harder to let her go if that is what you are considering.

I think this is just a chemistry problem.
As a nanny, I have worked w/many families. Only a select few have I shared awesome chemistry w/. Other families have been "so~so" while others there was zero chemistry.

I am a strong believer that unless the chemistry is great, a successful nanny/parent relationship cannot exist.
In fact, I find that mutual chemistry should be at the top of both nanny and parent's wish lists.
It is vital that the nanny and her bosses feel comfortable around each other in order to communicate well.

If your gut is telling you something here is not right, even if you do not know exactly what that is...then I suggest you act on it.
Give your current nanny adequate notice and search for someone else who fits more your ideal of the kind of nanny you so desire.

Since a child is involved here, I wouldn't stick w/second best when there most likely is someone out there who is more to your liking.

Hope this helps.

nanny said...

Honestly you don't sound like the type that should have a nanny.

You want a wonderful magical nanny without putting any effort into the relationship. Valentine's Day was barely 3 months ago and you expect to be best friends.

You want your daughter to run and leap to her.

Does your daughter run and leap at anyone?

Also your daughter is 3.5 years old and up until 3 months ago had been in the same daycare all her life she probably still misses her old teachers and friends.

Don' get me started on blaming her for your bedbug problem.

You sound extremely immature and self centered.

You sound like the type who acts on fantasy and impulse and the appearance of things.

You probably hired a nanny because you liked the idea of being able to tell everyone you had hired a nanny.

There are evening and weekend swim and gymnastics classes you could have saved the money and taken her yourself or hired a part time sitter.

RBTC said...

Op - thank you for your post - it takes alot of courage to go on the web asking for advice with all the flamers out there

there is alot of constructive criticism above - try some of the positive helpful suggestions and get back to us with a follow up

Manhattan Nanny said...

I second the suggestion that you just aren't ready for a nanny. Non of the things that bother you have anything to do with this particular nanny. If you let her go, and hire a new nanny, you will still have a "stranger' in your house. You will still have to remember to leave petty cash. Even children with strong loving bonds with their nanny don't always run and leap. Sometimes they even have separation anxiety.

I think you should make a real effort to get to know the nanny better, and give yourself some time to adjust. If you still feel uncomfortable in a few more weeks, go back to the daycare, and don't feel guilty. A nanny isn't the right choice for every family.

StaceyWho... said...

The bedbug thing would totally do it for me. It's not the case that the nanny brought them or did not- it's just that this kind of problem is so difficult to deal with that it's a freak out on it's own merit. Add to that the fact that the nanny and you don't click and that's enough reason for a reset and a fresh start. Just be honest (it isn't working out the way I picture that it would, but it has nothing to do with your performance", give a good severance and a recommendation along with a cordial good-bye, and you now have time to sort yourself out without dragging a nanny through the drama. The stuff about the petty cash and the transporting of your nanny IS kinds silly. If your nanny leans on you too much, find a more mature nanny who has her own car. Stop worrying about petty cash and settle up with your nanny weekly, having her save up the receipts. You can even "gift" her with the first installment towards expenses so that no one is inconvenienced- that way she is always ahead and you aren't counting money daily.