My wife and I live in CT and have boy-girl 7 yo twins. One has epilepsy.
We have had three nannies. Our most recent was the best and was with us for 5 years till we fired her this past Sunday. She took great care of our kids for about 4-1/2 years and was responsible for straightening up their rooms, the playroom, the den (where they spent a lot of time) and doing their laundry. She was a live in 5 days/week did not drive. We paid her medical out of pocket, gave her 2 weeks vacation (1 week of our choosing; 1 week of hers) As the kids went into school and spent less time at home we agreed she'd do all the laundry and do some light housekeeping. My wife is a very busy professional and I am a consultant with a home office.
It started out very well. But as time went on she got lazier and lazier.
The kids started spending more time at school and with after school activities (sports, art, playdates, etc.) My wife and I were resigned to the fact that we'd have to shuttle them around. This was fine and in no way reflected on the nanny.
Her primary responsibilities for the kids most recently were to get them ready for school in the morning, feed and bathe them at night (and sometime help put them down because my wife and I would read stories), and about 1/2 the time mind the kids after school through dinner time. During the day she had to straighten the rooms and do laundry.
What happened progressively was that she did not get the kids ready in the morning, leaving it to my wife and me. The kids stopped listening to her and she started yelling at them. Our washer and dryer were running from 6 in the morning to 8 at night non-stop, 5 days per week. Preparing their meals at night either involved heating frozen chicken strips and french fries or cooking pasta with butter - about 1/2 the time I was preparing "real" meals for the family and her. Despite having 6 to 8 hours when the kids weren't around, the house was always a mess. Her room was borderline disgusting. When I asked to have the children ready for me at a particular time so I could emerge from my office and do the necessary run - about 1/2 the time it wasn't done. In a nutshell - my wife and I ended up doing about 80% of her job which was frustrating because we had our own professional responsibilities. Still, we kept with her for the 20% benefit, frustrated though we were.
What pushed us over the edge was the phone. We paid for her service and therefore had access to her phone logs. About a year ago the phone usage got crazy. Literally an average of 6 hours a day. We didn't want to completely cut her off but told her explicitly that when she was watching the kids there could be no phone. My wife and I went out a few Fridays ago. Literally from the minute we left the house for 3 hours she was on the phone non-stop. Then this past Saturday we asked her to stay so we could attend a wedding. Before we left I walked into the room where she was minding the kids and it as clear she was hiding the phone (it actually fell from behind the chair she was sitting on and I could hear noise on the other side of the open line). She ignored it as did I. I did ask her what her phone was doing in this strange place and she said she was just charging it. Since my wife and I were home I wasn't particularly concerned about the phone but I WAS concerned about the deception.
My wife and I went to the wedding. When we drove back home and pulled in the driveway, there she was on the phone. We immediately checked the phone logs and it was clear she had been yammering on the phone for about 2 of the three hours we were away. I confronted her on the way to the train to take her home - asking her how long she had been on the phone. She told me that someone had "just" called her when we pulled into the house. I asked her what a 45 minute call in the log had been. She said she hadn't been on the phone but was "watching something." That was it. Gone.
We did it on Sunday by text. I really didn't want her back. It went relatively smoothly though she got a bit irrational, saying she knew we were "going to let her go" when we brought up the phone thing a year ago. She was unrepentant and insisted she had not abused the phone - even when my wife sent her copies of the phone logs. Disgusting.
Here's the kicker. Now that she's gone my wife and I are covering the shuttling of kids, feeding, and bathing for 3 days and we have a babysitter who we trust (not a teenager) shuttling / watching feeding, bathing and picking up for 2 days. The kids are actually calmer and get ready MORE EASILY in the morning. My wife and I are calmer. I am at home so I do the laundry. Strange - I have done 3 loads in 3 days. That is about 3 hours (total) of machine time and water use. If she were here that would have been stretched to 36 hours! In short - I'm really angry because I would expect we'd feel that we had a "hole" we have to be making up for. Instead, it feels like a burden (that we were paying for no less) has been lifted and things run more smoothly and easily!
WTF is it with these nannies. I know there are some good one but most of them just get lazier and lazier and lazier and more irresponsible as time goes on!
Thank you all for listening to my rant!
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