Too Perfect a Gig Has Nanny Seeing Things

I think I got myself in a sticky situation.
Let's start with the beginning:
Cut to three months ago, it was warm, no leaves were falling and I was at my favorite NYC park with my three year old charge. I met a woman who was super complimentary about my style of nannying. She was accompanying her friend to the park with twins but had no child of her own, yet clearly pregnant.

She asked for my number. The next day she texted me and said she was nervous as a first time mom and wanted to find the right fit for her first child, could she take me to lunch? We ended up having lunch on that Saturday. She schmoozed and charmed me. She offered me a better salary, better hours and a job. On Sunday, I met her husband and saw the apartment.
Trevor Allen Photography

She offered me some exceptional perks to leave my job, including in addition to a salary of $950 for 43 hours, on the books, she offered 1K cash, off the books to help me find an apartment not too far away. I really liked the job I had, although the hours were long, the pay not as good and it was live in, so I did jump, but insisted to give my current employers notice. I thought that would not be an issue since she was not due until Oct. 5.

My previous employers got very angry at me, let me go with no notice. Told me I was causing irreversible psychological damage to their children and I was selfish. With no job, I told the new employer and she said, "no problem, we'll start you now so we can get used to you and you can help me with baby projects".

So only 6 days after meeting her, I went to work for her. She was as nice in person as during the interview. Fairly laid back. She asked for my ideas about setting up things in the nursery, not furniture, but diapers, lotions, special lights, etc. I washed and folded baby clothes. We went shopping for a second and a third stroller. I got the key to their apartment, got to know the doorman, spent a minimal amount of time with the husband. The baby came Sept. 23 which was early. I was with her, I called her husband, he came and got her. It seemed to be very smooth. She was home the next day, and I met the new baby.

The job seems pretty easy and a good fit for the most part. If anything, I do not do much at all except keep bottles cleaned and organized, schlep bottled water from the store, heat things, wash things, change the baby occasionally, I've accompanied her out to one appointment. This lady seems not to care one bit that I read books and magazines all day. The first weekend, she did ask me to work and so I came Saturday. They let me go at 4 and asked me if I could come back for a few hours around noon. I came back at noon. The father went for a run, the mother took a long bath. I straightened up, restocked supplies. Before two, I was dismissed and given $400 cash for the weekend. (Not even 8 hours).

Now that I have settled, I do notice some things that are perplexing, maybe even worrying. First of all, the last thing I do at night is feed the baby between 5-6 while she is making dinner. Her husband comes home, usually takes the baby from me and I am off. She seems like a really good mom, but she'll say something off the wall sometimes, like, ""her diaper was soaked through again in the morning. I think we're feeding her too much at her midnight feeding". I didn't question her, but why would a baby of that age sleep from midnight until 6AM?

She also has a network of mirrors set up off this window by an alcove outside her bedroom and it direct sunlight to a carpeted area. She said she wants to make sure I do tummy time with the baby there. But the baby looks the wrong way, she will get sunlight blasted in her eye. (This has not started yet. This area was set up for the mom who keeps to herself, doesn't go out much and literally lays on the carpet and takes a rest at some point during the day).

Then there are things like tooth brushing. Even though it's gum brushing, the baby is not even a month old. Isn't this too soon? There are some smaller things to, like, they keep a fastidious house and the baby doesn't move much, but she will just set the baby wherever she is on the ground. I am a bit intimidated by her so it is hard to question her, but this I did. She responded that baby seats are entrapment devices and not normal for a child to bind her spine too. She believes that the baby should be able to have free range and move. She has a really awesome hammock swing that the baby swings in, but it is not a baby swing.  And the mom does a lot of physical exercise and yet she keeps the baby with her all the time, so I have seen her literally hold the baby up for stomach crunches. Is she just bonding and fitting her life to the babies? Or is that dangerous for the baby's neck?

The baby seems happy. She rarely cries. My nanny friends tell me to relax and enjoy this because it's a nice gig. Even though it doesn't seem like much, I feel like I don't do enough. For example, if she is looking at recipes online and puts the baby down on the floor, my inclination is to pick the baby up, but she doesn't want me to. She also hinted that she hoped to be pregnant with her next child by New Year's, so that might explain why she wants me around. I feel kind of like an idiot sometimes.  I did suggest she consider baby wearing and she looked at me like I had three heads. She said that was a convenience for moms who werent committed to their children and that she would seek opportunities throughout the day to hold, carry, lay with, the baby. (true).


Taleia said...

Relax? ;)

New moms are notorious for having all the best answers and knowing the best way to do everything. (<-- read with a little good-natured sarcasm, lol). I'm assuming that, since baby is less than a month old, Mom is on maternity leave and will eventually return to work? She may consider this time period a chance for you to ease in to the new position and get to know baby, MB and DB, and probably figures you'll be doing a lot more "work" after she is no longer there all day.(If not, good luck - my MB is often home while I'm there, and we get along great, but I hear that nannying with a parent home can be a little sticky.)

Nothing you've mentioned here is worrying, and most of it can be chalked up to either new parent ignorance (baby sleeping for long periods, gum brushing, etc) or mom just being very laid-back and possibly a bit "crunchy" (letting baby have free motion, preferring to keep her nearby instead of in a swing, etc). She seems to have a definite opinion on how she wants to raise her children, but if you feel that overall, it's a good fit between you, then consider yourself lucky and go with it. Chances are reality will set in eventually... probably pretty quickly if she gets pregnant with #2 within months of delivering her firstborn LOL!

Good luck!

(Also - I'm sorry you had such a terribly exit with your last nanny family. :( I don't understand why some folks take that so personally. You gave them a lot of notice and tried to do the right thing, and it sucks that they screwed you.)

Corina said...

Wow sounds like a great position. Sounds like a SAHM who is well off, that enjoys spending time with her baby, I know you mean well and concerned with some childcare practices. But all moms have different parenting techniques. You really can't push your worries or ideas on her. Like you mentioned the baby is happy that is what counts.

They seem like great people to work for that really appreciate you.

Heidi Smith said...

She seems like she is just doing things the way she wants to as a new mom, rather than doing what many other moms see as the norm these days. It seems like she has good reasoning for why she is doing what she's doing. If the baby seems happy, then everything is probably just fine!

this_nick said...

It actually sounds like you escaped the stickier situation.

Suzy. said...

Every family parents differently. Sounds like a great gig to me.

The Wife said...

Sometimes experience is the best teacher. She'll spend time with the baby in the tummy area and she'll see that it needs a change. She will inadvertently trip over baby and be more selective where baby is placed. She will have less time fur gum brushing when the second comes. Mom sounds great. It'll be fine.

The Wife said...

Sometimes experience is the best teacher. She'll spend time with the baby in the tummy area and she'll see that it needs a change. She will inadvertently trip over baby and be more selective where baby is placed. She will have less time fur gum brushing when the second comes. Mom sounds great. It'll be fine.