Friendly Drug Chit Chat Has Mom Up All Night

Ann Divito, 1st Place, 7th Grade, St. Athanasius School
I have my first nanny ever, after four years of daycare. Against most of my mom friends, I became very friendly with her to the point that I shared stories of meeting my husband and college with her. She has shared stories of dating life and going out with me. Some of it is wild, but doesn't usually involved me. She is a live-in nanny.

We were talking on Tuesday afternoon about her weekend and she started talking about heroin,. I have shared with her that I tried marijuana and cocaine in college (and liked neither). She shared basically the same sentiment. When she said heroin, it was with the same tone, but I immediately tensed up. She told me she didn't understand why so many people overdosed on heroin but after she tried it on Saturday, she gets it. She then went on to talk about a high that was so great she couldn't help but imagine the next time and explained she thought people overdosed because they feared not getting that "beautiful high".

I feel like a hypocrite, but I can't look at her the same. The fact that she spoke  so glowing of it and told me that she "wouldn't do it again because she knew it was addictive, but couldn't help imagine what the next time would be like, are all highs the same." These are words to me of someone who has been turned on to heroine. While it happened in the city and she stays away on the weekends, I don't know how to handle the feeling that it has brought up in me. I feel I am looking at her pupils, asking more about the plans. I called three times today. I don't know if talking is necessarily the answer because she might just say what I want to hear, when before I believe she was being honest.

At no time did I ever try any drug or even alcohol while I was in charge of any children. I was in college, I was free. I don't see it that way. I'm worried about what if she brings something back with her, what if she starts using pain pills. What if heroin acquaintances start talking to her during the week or know where she lives/works.

What are my options here? I really just want her gone. I didn't sleep last night. I arranged to work from the house tomorrow and go away for the weekend leaving Friday morning. The nanny has been with us 9 months. I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old.


Delilah said...

I had a very similar situation and after she opened up to me, I opened up way too much myself. She told me all about all of her drug exploits and things changed immediately. I felt like I was always on guard, always worried. I tried to convince myself that she is not perfect by any means, but that she would never do anything to hurt my kids. Well - one day she did use drugs while watching my kids. She didn't admit it but I could tell. I was beyond upset and felt like a terrible mother for even allowing that to happen. I had to let her go obviously. I am still bothered by it all to this day.

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MomtoS&J said...

For me, the trust would be 100% gone so nanny has to go. Heroin use is on the rise everywhere and it's a highly addictive drug. She only used once-according to her- and she already can't stop talking about it. She's a live-in. I assume Heroin addiction moves at quite a fast clip. I'd would fire her effective immediately. Even if she never uses again, she still demonstrated a high level of unprofessional behaviour. I couldn't trust her to use good judgment. I'd also, change my locks, pass-code entry numbers where applicable. Your instincts are right. Time to Mama-Bear up!

Anonymous said...

If you don't trust her, don't worry about feeling like a hypocrite. Heroine is so different than either drugs you tried. If you don't feel like you or your family is safe, I would give her a 30 day move out notice and let her go as a nanny. She probably will get upset but have your husband and you sit down with her and tell her why you feel this way and try to leave it as pleasantly as possible. If you can, arrange a place for her if she can't find one. Since she is a tenant, you can't just throw her in the street.

Hope it goes well. Good luck. Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. I was shocked when I realized the number of people in childcare who have struggled with addiction issues. I also was too close to my employer as I hit bottom and had to get help for my issues. I lost my job, which was devastating, but in the long run I am sober, and happily employed with a family who know my background and have taught me a lot about good boundaries at work.
I think the important thing to recognize here is the lack of good judgement on the part of your nanny. You told her about drug use in college, before she had children, she is currently using drugs. Let her go, and help her in any way you feel comfortable. The sooner you take action the more likely it is that you will be able to maintain a friendship.

Anonymous said...

*before you had children. She is using and currently working with children

Kate said...

Let her go. A good nanny, a safe nanny doesn't use heroin, not even once.

this_nick said...

That she equated old stories of pre-children drug use with something allowable as the current caregiver of your kids shows poor judgment.

A side note: it wasn't a mistake to be friendly and familiar with her. She wouldn't have told you about the heroin use otherwise.