playdate and nanny

(67 Posts)
mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:03:01

Have never posted in AIBU before and have NCed for this. But really would like some feedback on something that caused a big argument between me and DH last night. I am quite prepared to be told I was wrong....

Our DS, aged 5 has a playdate with a school peer next week, at his home. I am planning to take him. The mum has told me that she will not be home as she will be at work, and the nanny will be there. OK fine I said.

Talking to my DH about it last night. He does a lot of the general childcare as my work is far less flexible and far longer hours than his. He said he would be fine to take DS to the playdate if I was too busy (I was moaning a bit about the busy week I have next week). I said thanks, but i thought the nanny might feel a bit uncomfortable if he turned up and she was alone there with the kids.

He got very upset at this, accused me of being ridiculous, saying that I am in effect accusing him of being a potential rapist or being interested in diddling a nanny. I tried to explain that it was not about him, she knows nothing of him, but, especially if she is a young girl, she might feel uncomfortable with any unknown middle-aged man turning up at house for the afternoon. He reckons I am being stupid and sexist. He is a dad who is also a carer and women should get used to it. If women want to be equal to men they need to stop behaving like this.

What do people think?

Thenapoleonofcrime Mon 26-May-14 12:24:16

It's not just about gender, though, I let people know if my mum is picking up instead of me, or ask if it is ok if she is caring for the children and comes along. I think it is polite to let anyone know who is caring for the children and in the very unlikely event there is an issue, this is up front from the start.

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 12:35:46

I would have no problem with our nanny taking him but it's on a day when she is off! But in future, sure she could take him on playdates, yes. I didn't mean to be insulting by wondering whether she might be young, and I suppose I should not have used the term girl! I was just imagining it could possibly be someone the age of my daughter, who is 21 and who I certainly think of as a girl!

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 12:36:34

Ps I think I am just showing my age, to me anyone under 30 I would classify as a young girl! Sorry about that!

tiredandsadmum Mon 26-May-14 12:48:24

You sound thoughtful to me - nannies can be quite young and might indeed be uncomfortable with a dad staying. You have cleared with the mum so everyone knows what is happening. That communication has been the best solution.

I can also see why your DH was upset - if he is a regular guy and may not ever have come across or even considered this situation he could feel very accused. There are enough threads on this site alone where a neighbour has been inappropriate so it clearly does happen in real life and probably a lot more is unreported.

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 16:20:21

Pixie it would be just really unfair to leave DS with someone who does not know him and the techniques for managing him (and he has no speech so they would not be able to understand if he wanted something). I think he may well find it very difficult to be left without one of his familiar people. Also, he is a big climber and very inquisitive, so the people's home and possessions could be at risk of wholesale destruction (we have no shelves or books/CDs etc in our home for this reason!). But the plan is hopefully for him to get used to going out for visits (if people continue to be kind enough to invite him) and to fade back the level of support over a period of time.

PixieofCatan Mon 26-May-14 16:56:40

tired anybody uncomfortable with Dad staying purely because he is male is being utterly ridiculous for the bog standard person. To imply that young women would be is also silly.

OP RE young girl, I find that odd and almost a discredit to your daughter if you think of her as a girl at 21. She's old enough to have children, a high flying job and travel the world. You can't be that 'old' if you have a young son?

RE your son being left places, it's still worth talking to the prospective playdate about. Even if it's not something you'll do for a while yet, you may find one or two people willing to be test subjects supervise later on when he is ready to be left on a playdate.

Surely part of being a nanny is making small talk and socialising with your charges friends parents? And your own bosses. If a nanny isn't comfortable socialising with male parents, regardless of reasoning, then how does she manage in her own setting when DadBoss is home? Genuine question. You'd be limited job-wise if you searched only for ones where DadBoss wouldn't be around whilst you worked, especially if you made it clear that the situation would make you uncomfortable. All of my jobs have had me alone with men at some point, usually in the first week, it's unavoidable.

calmet Mon 26-May-14 16:59:40

Just check. Saying women who don't want to be alone in a house with a man she doesn't know, are being pretty insensitive. You don't know this nannies background, so just check if she is okay with this or not.

calmet Mon 26-May-14 17:01:37

And never mind people you don't know, if it was a couple I knew, I would want to know which one was coming before I agreed to it. I know couples where one is lovely, and the other is a nightmare.

drinkyourmilk Mon 26-May-14 17:08:51

An old hag of a nanny here. I wouldn't think twice about a parent staying (or not) on a play date- regardless of sen or not.
I do think that's it lovely you were looking at things from the nannies perspective though. So thank you flowers

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 17:16:08

Thanks for the reply Pixie, my daughter may be old enough to have children but to me she is still very much a young girl! (she may not agree however and I do take your point!). I'm nearly 51, so anyone in their twenties looks like a kid to me! I do take your points about nannies needing to be comfortable with people if they are going to be employed in this kind of job (although as I said earlier, I would not leave our nanny with an unknown man alone in the house, as she is a religious Muslim women and I think she would find it difficult. She would do it if I asked her to, no question, but I think she would not like it).

Anyway, it does not actually arise as I am definitely going to do the playdate myself (and the nanny is aware that I am staying. I will take biscuits!). But all food for thought for the future!

PixieofCatan Mon 26-May-14 17:30:39

I wonder if that is how my Mum thinks of me and my sisters then, we're all in our 20's. She's early 50's as well. I can't really comprehend that confused

I'm not entirely comfortable with adults on the whole, but I've gotten pretty good at faking it until I get to know them. I really don't see how nannies can avoid being around men, even in my job where the parents are separated and where I work for the Mum and no adult contact apart from her on a day-to-day basis (no play dates as before/after school position with child who has SEN so they wouldn't be arranged for my days), I still have to liaise with Dad occasionally.

HicDraconis Mon 26-May-14 19:39:34

YABU but you already know that.

DH is the sahp in our household and has taken both boys to play dates where, shock horror, he has stayed for a cuppa and a chat with whoever is in the house (normally mum, but has been both dad or nanny in past). We wouldn't drop and leave a 5yo either (mine are NT, just wouldn't have been happy to have been left at 5 - at 6 they were fine).

Interested by your concept of " young girl" though. At 24 (so fulfilling your definition) I was working full time as a junior doctor, making reasonably serious decisions, involved in life & death stuff. If someone had called me a young girl I'd have felt offended and insulted. It's not always a compliment. You wouldn't call a 24 year old male a "young boy" would you? He'd be a young man.

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 19:55:00

I was working as a doctor at 23, in a war zone, and very much involved in plenty of life and death! But I still think that's a young girl! And sure I call my daughters' friends boys....maybe I am just too old....

calmet Mon 26-May-14 20:09:12

There is a big difference between a professional nanny, and an au pair. I would be shocked if a nanny had an issue with this. An au pair is basically supposed to be treated like a member of a family, and comes from a different culture. If you had arranged a playdate where you were there and a friends daughter, and now it was going to be your Husband, of course you should ask if that was okay.

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 20:58:16

Yes I agree about the professional nanny being different from an au pair (we had an au pair, didn't go too well as she really WAS a young girl!). Our nanny is however most definitely from a different culture too!

Well, I am looking forward to the playdate, hope the nanny is nice! Glad to hear that some others would also not necessarily leave their 5 year olds (I have noted that at parties the parents have always all stayed, this far). I don't feel quite so "different"!

mediumsize Fri 30-May-14 17:29:04

Just popping back to report that the playdate went well. DS didn't interact hugely with the other child and his little brother, but did not destroy anything (!) and I was able to keep him quite calm. The nanny was indeed exactly the same age as my younger daughter but she was great and clearly there would have been no problem had DH had gone! (She was actually from the same country as DH!). I took biscuits but there was also lots if cake...bad news for my diet!...Thanks again for the thought-provoking opinions.

tiredandsadmum Fri 30-May-14 19:11:49

Good smile

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