Friday

The Stepmother...

Need some advice on how to make this argument. I am marrying at the end of June. I have spent overnight trips with my fiance since becoming engaged and will not move in officially until July 1 (logistical). I am marrying a father with two children with one woman. He has been divorced 2.5 years.
Paula Rego

He has sole custody of the children and they have visitation with their mother, every other weekend from Friday-Monday morning and a week at Christmas, a week in summer. The father hired a nanny when they first separated and the nanny was the go between the father and mother. She is a good person and was able to be the peaceful connection between the two during the bitter times following the separation.

The nanny has continued to be friendly with the mother in a way that keeps the mother informed of the children's lives on a more regular basis. The nanny seems oddly committed to continuing to fill this role, even though as I see it, she is no longer needed.

The nanny is also a live-in. I am a real estate agent and set my own hours. I very much want to get a new nanny, someone who will work as a live-out and work more to serve our household. I don't see anyway around this and I don't think it is too much to ask since I am taking on two children, one of whom has special needs.

What I would like is the nanny to continue through the summer (or as long as she likes through 8/17). She could work along with the new nanny, if she liked. I would also give her the option to leave after two weeks and take all of the remaining weeks paid.

I am changing my life around taking on a whole new family and I am getting some resistance from my finance who seems to cling to this nanny who has outlived her purpose.

31 comments:

Nanny Layne said...

Honestly I think you need to back off. Obviously the nanny still wants the role and your fiance (her boss) seems to as well. The children are having a lot change sounds like the nanny is the constant.

Maybe speaking to her about the role change would be better then "forcing her out" its obvious things will change but many nannies roll with the punches and change what is needed of them

And honestly, I wish your husband to be good luck with you, because you come across as rude, selfish, and egotistical.

Anonymous said...

You sounds like very selfish...

Anonymous said...

And insecure...you make me think of the evil step mother in Cinderella minus the step sisters :)

Cookienanny said...

As a mother, stepdaughter, and former nanny, my advice is to butt out. If you want a pleasant relationship with your stepchildren and a long, happy marriage to their father, that is.

Getting a new stepparent can be a confusing and difficult thing for kids to handle already. It's a big change and you really don't want to rock the boat anymore for them. Plus, it sounds like the nanny gets along with both parents and the kids, creating a drama-free (or at least reduced) co-parenting situation. Why would you want to eliminate that?

Anonymous said...

Oh, bless your heart. You are intimidated by this girl, that much is crystal clear. I think your family should offer her a raise and change her job description (if she's open to it). Ask if she would be willing to be a live out, for X amount of money more. And then work on your relationship with her and the kids. Getting rid of what sounds like the one person who was constant for these children in the last 2.5 years is a really bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Having you come into the household will be a big adjustment for everyone. The children need someone constant and reliable in their lives who they feel comfortable with. I'm sure you are a good person, but you may have underlying feeling of resentment or jealousy towards the nanny. If you force her out, I have a bad feeling about how the rest of the family will view you (mom, dad, nanny, and kids, and who knows, maybe even the grandparents), and I promise it won't be in a good light. She seems to have made a bad situation with the divorce and made it manageable. I'm sure her job isn't easy being the go-between and now she has to win you over as well.
My suggestion would be to give her a chance. Try to like her, you might be surprised. Don't see her as competition, or as she's trying to take your place/role. She knows her job. Your fiancé loves YOU, he's marrying YOU, not the nanny, she is an employee. Talk with her and see if she's willing to change her role to a live-out and more part time. If that doesn't work with her schedule/life, she may just find something else anyway.
Please, please, do not come into this family's life and demand a bunch of change, you will be met with resistance and it will cause tension.

this_nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
this_nick said...

This seems like an unnecessarily long post with which to say "I'm an insecure, jealous woman."

Miss Dani The Nanny said...

As a stepdaughter and former stepmother, everyone on this thread is correct: separation and divorce, plus remarriage is an adjustment for everyone. My ex's daughter, who lived with her mother, adjusted fairly quickly to our relationship. We werent married (Thank God!) but his daughter addressed me as "Mommy Danielle", even in front of her mother. I stayed far away from her mother as possible, mainly due to the fact she was an ignorant bitch from the first time I met her.

These children have been through enough; they need someone consistent in their lives, which has been their nanny. Imagine how they would feel if you fired the nanny.

Get to know her before you jump to harsh decisions that can ruin a family.

Stephanie said...

I'm with the others. You sound, insecure, jealous, spiteful and petty. Good luck on your marriage if you take away these kids' only constant and comfort. Ask her if she'd like to live-out, but for humanity's sake, do not fire this nanny.

Anonymous said...

This is my niche and have been doing situations like these for over a decade.

These children will need their current consistent nanny for at least 6 months. Uprooting the nanny they ove on top of gaining a new person in their lives is damaging. They will have enough to adjust to without adding a new nanny with a new schedule. Why should you want to add more stress to them? Not to mention make you out to be the bad guy because they will put this on you for changing their world unnecessarily.

This isn't your place. These children are theirs and if the sole custody provider doesn't want to change, you are not in a position to push the hand.

You both need to have a sit down before you get married and figure out your fiance's limits when it comes to the kids. You sounds like you're trying to take over (and that is not your place) which will only end up in agruements, resentments and possibly divorce!

Angi

Anonymous said...

Also, make the nanny sign a NDA going forward. Mom can only get information directly from dad going forward. I've seen issues when there is no NDA between parents adding unnecessary and unwarranted ugliness to the parental split and custody. Mom is only to get details from kids or dad. This will also cut form on the he said she said, exaggerations and misunderstandings seen/told by nanny.

Angi

Anonymous said...

Yet another situation where Angi is an 'expert'. thank god we always have her wisdom.

thirty something said...

Yes, you are making sacrifices and yes you are taking on a lot. But you made the choice. These kids have been nothing but incidental in the changes their parents keep making. For goodness sake, have a heart and let them keep their nanny. It's not about you, it's not about your fiancée or his ex wife. If this nanny is good for the kids, keep her and don't question it until you have been in the household a good while, gained ghe childrens trust and in a position to be able to assess what is best for THEM.

this_nick said...

Ok I lol'd.

this_nick said...

Reading this post again to see if I could possibly have misjudged it. Yeah, no. You aren't taking on two children; they are taking on you. My condolences to them.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought, how about we still belittling each other she concentrate on the posts itself? Wow.. . what a concept. I've got 30 YEARS dedicated to child care...THREE DECADES... of course I am going to have experience. My niche turned to special needs and dynamics over 10 years ago. Smdh WHY is that so hard to grasp/believe? Wow

Angi

Anonymous said...

"stop belittling each other and concentrate on the post itself

OP said...

This is not the response I was expecting. I am well aware that I have sacrifices to make, and believe you me, I have made them. The nanny is not going to work out in the home with me there. My desire is to parent them myself and reduce the time they spend in the care of a nanny, which is of course IN THEIR BEST INTEREST!

Thank you just the same!
Please feel free to remove me post!

Ugh! said...

Sorry OP it is not in their best interest to remove their nanny from their lives and force them to have you play mommy. If you want to parent, have your own kids. Most of us are specialized in Childhood Development and understand children a lot better than you seem to. These poor kids have been through enough. This WILL be traumatic if you fire their nanny. I agree that you seem like a horribly insecure, petty, jealous and ignorant woman.

Cookienanny said...

I think it's great that you want to be there for the kids. Really. I still think you should give the kids time to adjust to the new situation before letting the nanny go. Or, instead of getting a new nanny like you mentioned, see if this nanny would be willing to live out.

Anonymous said...

So what you're really saying is you just want a bunch of professionals to pat you on the back and praise you instead of giving you quality advice?

Don't bother going to a shrink if you aren't going to listen to a word they say. Wow.

We are the professionals.... This is our world, our expertise! It's not the advice you were looking for but it IS in the best interest of children. You are just too stubborn and egotistical to listen to what we are telling you. These children will have ENOUGH to adjust to as it is just with the marriage and move-in.

We aren't saying that you should keep the nanny forever but certainly for awhile. .6m, a year would be ideal. Still thinking of just yourself. Put yourself in their shoes.. How would you feel to lose the on consistent person in your life?

You want to be a good wife and step mom, think about the adjustment these kids have to endure just with you moving in. Smdh. You are very selfish

Angi

Calla said...

Absolutely right Angi! OP seems so stubborn and selfish!

Anonymous said...

Lol I love that OP Changed it to "I want to raise the kids!" When in her first post she clearly states that the best solution would be for current nanny to train future nanny. OOf. I feel bad for the guy and kids who get stuck with OP.

Anonymous said...

You might share a bed with the dad but I advise you not to mess with his kids life. In this case, the current nanny loves them and take care of them which keeps the children stable in this fragile situation. She probably knows them more than you do and bringing a sudden new nanny will break this stability which is already fragile.

I had a step dad and I thoroughly despised him. If you want them to like you, you should show kindness, be patient and EARN their love, not coming in like everything is granted.

You should be careful in how you handle this and back off. As I said you might share a bed with the dad but compare to his kids, you probably are nothing and if you hurt their feelings and that he has to choose between you and them,Im afraid it's not going to be you.

You feel threatened, I get it , us woman like to own our territory but in this case, it's not just yours...

CAREFULLY handle the situation as you could loose your new husband as fast as you had him. Try to think about other people rather than you selfish self for a second ;)

Thirty something said...

OP: I get the impression you don't have children so might not understand the severity of the impact the change you are suggesting will have on the kids. I am writing as a mother, not as a nanny, but will say that my kids come from perhaps the most stable home there is and even so, any change in their routine takes careful planning. Dad puts them to bed every night and even if he is away on business for just a few days, they get very emotional and act out. Please consider their needs and don't just look for he answers you want to hear. It is very admirable that you wish to parent them, but this can't happen until they are ready for you to do this. They have been through their parents splitting up and it will take them time to trust you. Grant them and the nanny this time. You can not force yourself on the children in the manner you are proposing and expect them to love you and trust you right away. They are human beings with complex feelings and things aren't black and white. You should really listen to the advice given so far and maybe do some reading around the subject from child psychologists and parenting experts. Best of luck!

jemma said...

I can understand you feeling threatened if you feel the nanny will report back her findings to the mum. But for now I would leave things as they are.If you move in and their nanny goes the kids will blame you.
I would let the nanny remain as she is for now and let the children adjust to you being in their lives. Maybe in a few months you can ask the nanny if she would be willing to be a live out. If she says no, then its the time to see if you could make the change.

this_nick said...

I give this marriage two years, tops. A woman who doesn't grasp (or doesn't care) how removing the nanny these kids love will affect them isn't going to be much of a stepmother, and dad will catch on. "My desire" - really? That's what's important? Lady, you haven't the first clue what's in their best interest since you're doing the exact opposite.

this_nick said...

What Anon touched on here is the Cliff Claven quality to your posts, coming across as claiming to be an expert on everything and that this is why your feedback is more important. Not saying that's your intent, it just comes across that way. Particularly in those times when you disagree with everyone else in a thread so make sure to reply to every last one why they're wrong. (The adderall-stealing mom thread springs to mind.) It comes across as overkill.

If it's any consolation, I'm sure my posts come across like I'm an asshole, but I assure you - it's only because I am.

RBTC said...

i like thirty something's words and suggestions - stated reasonably - i sure hope the OP saw that and understands it - because this OP has a very large amount of power over those kids - she can help them grow and be loved or she can beat down their self esteem - hopefully she will see through to making the kids her priority in her decisions

jen said...

Who is deciding what's in the kids best interest here - you or them? Have you asked them at all about this?