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?

cookielove Sun 25-May-14 14:05:34

I think it's fine for him to go and your being silly.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 14:06:27

I can see both sides really, although to be honest I'm inclined to see your DH's side more.

I have 3 kids and I have to say it's been pretty even in terms of their friend's Dads or Mums accompanying them/picking up/dropping off etc.

So that would kind of make it the nanny's 'problem' if she's uncomfortable around parents of the opposite sex.

missingmumxox Sun 25-May-14 14:06:36

Yes you are being unreasonable.

all that is needed is her knowing who is picking up so she doesn't hand your child over to the Avon lady should she happen to pass.

SuperLoveFuzz Sun 25-May-14 14:06:40

YABU and totally overthinking the situation. In your DH's position I would be annoyed too.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 25-May-14 14:07:03

Do either of you need to be there?

ICanSeeTheSun Sun 25-May-14 14:07:56

I think you are overthinking this.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 25-May-14 14:08:30

I feel sorry for the nanny if she is expected to make conversation all afternoon with a stranger. Can't your dh just drop and go?

BerniesBurneze Sun 25-May-14 14:08:55

I often buy things online and send my husband to collect them and I also wonder if some women are upset with him turning up when they're expecting me. If it sounds natural I try and give them a head's up first just in case.

I think 99% of people should be fine with it though.

Floralnomad Sun 25-May-14 14:08:59

YABU but also if your DS has been invited why are you going at all ,at 5 don't they go alone and you just collect at the pre arranged time ?

ThingsThatShine Sun 25-May-14 14:09:18

I agree with your DH

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:09:21

OK I submit, I was wrong then! Someone does need to be there all the time as DS has special needs and cannot be left. I just thought a young girl might feel a bit nervous with a strange man with her in the house for several hours (well, my DH is not in the least strange but she doesn't know that!), that's all.

BerniesBurneze Sun 25-May-14 14:09:40

* by online I mean Facebook

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 14:11:28

I don't know much about nannies, but don't you have to be at least an adult to be one?

callamia Sun 25-May-14 14:13:13

He's not a strange man though, he's someone's dad.
He's there to look after your son, I can't imagine the baby would be particularly bothers who it was - adult company and conversation might be welcome for her.

chirpchirp Sun 25-May-14 14:13:34

I think you are being unreasonable. Are you sure anyone is expected to stay? I'm sure a qualified nanny would be more than capable of looking after a couple of 5 year olds for a couple of hours.

bengal38 Sun 25-May-14 14:13:37

Just tell the parent that your husband will be picking up at a specific time. I think you were being unreasonable though.

I think if someone has to stay then you need to clear it first. That's not because he's male but because he's a stranger. I would say the same if it were your mum.
If it was just drop off then it would be different.

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:14:48

Yes that was his argument, he is there as a carer and a dad, and to focus on DS, and the parents know who we are. OK, I will have to go and grovel to him later....

DearGirl Sun 25-May-14 14:15:34

I am a nanny and have had play dates with mums/nannies/dads etc as long as they bring biscuits ill chat to anyone :D

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:15:50

Definitely someone has to stay, someone who does not know DS would not be able to look after him because of his special needs.

If they know him then it's fine.

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:16:33

Glad you said about the biscuits, we have not had a playdate before and I was wondering whether it is etiquette to bring something....

chirpchirp Sun 25-May-14 14:18:14

Sorry x post

prisonerofallisurvey Sun 25-May-14 14:23:04

Have you met the nanny? From your post OP you are saying she is a young girl and this is the problem in your eyes. However I would assume she is an adult, professional and will be 'at work' when your ds and dh are with her so there should be no issues.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 14:25:39

That's what I was thinking prison

The OP has referred to her twice as a 'young girl' and that conjurs up an image of a teenager doing a spot of babysitting.

Rather than a professional young woman.

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:28:54

I haven't met her and I know nothing about her, I was just imagining she might be a young girl! I fully accept I was clearly unreasonable here!

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:30:38

Thanks everyone for the replies. Although I have to now admit that I have been judged by the court of MN to be in the wrong!

whatever5 Sun 25-May-14 14:30:50

YABU. Why does he have to stay though? I presume that your DH would just be expected to drop your child off. The nanny is unlikely to want the parent to stay whether they are male or female surely?

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 14:32:08

As I said before, someone has to stay because of DS's special needs.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-May-14 14:35:14

I don't think you can legally employ a young girl as a nanny.

Anyway, have you broken the news to your DH that you were the unreasonable one yet? grin

Or are you going to let him sweat it out? wink

whatever5 Sun 25-May-14 14:38:23

Does the parent of the playdate know that you/your DH will be staying? I can't see the problem but it would be polite to mention it.

VitoCorleone Sun 25-May-14 14:39:55

Yes YABU, but you know that now, have you apologized to him yet?

Sally40000 Sun 25-May-14 14:42:45

Don't know a great deal about nannies, but my grandchildren have a nanny who is a man/boy - I think twenty five, Have met this person who does seem quite pleasant, they are two boys so I think they quite like a man nanny, nevertheless medium size I can also see your point of view too - I cant see anything wrong in mentioning this to the other mum. And if she isn't comfortable (even though most people wouldn't mind) then probably you should go - if you can - and if a parent is needed?

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 15:02:54

Haha! I am working ( -- and checking Mumsnet-- ) and he is watching the Grand Prix but will be talking to him later....

I think it is a good idea to mention it to the mum, thanks, I had not realised that a parent staying for a playdate might be thought of as unusual, but as I say, we have not done this before so uncharted territory! I suppose, as DS is my only child and he is not like a typical 5 year old, I had not really thought about leaving him, because I had not really thought about what a typical 5 year old is like!

WilsonFrickett Sun 25-May-14 15:12:12

I have to say neither the mum or nanny will be expecting you or DH to stay, as that's not usual practice for a 5 yo playdate. So you should probably mention that one of you has to stay to help DS, or it might be a bit awkward (DH taking coat off, nanny thinking 'is he staying?' sort of thing).

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 25-May-14 15:23:07

I agree with others, you need to make it clear that you need to stay because it's usual practise to drop and run. She's probably expecting to let the kids play while she gets on with some jobs, so she needs to know that small talk/cups of tea will be required.

I can see both sides of the argument re. should you or DH go. I think your DH is right in that it absolutely shouldn't be an issue and for the vast majority of people it wouldn't be. However, there are some people who because of personal or religious reasons would be uncomfortable being alone with a man who is a stranger to them.

I think you need to speak to the mum or nanny and just confirm that it's ok thay DH comes and will be staying for the duration.

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 15:34:29

I am just e-mailed the mum, thanks. (She does know about DS's special needs and knows what he is like, at school anyway, where he has a full-time one to one TA, so I think she may well have expected someone to stay. But I don't know for sure, so glad people alerted me to this, thanks!)

The issue about potential personal or religious reasons may be one of the reasons this crossed my mind at all. Our nanny is a religious Muslim and I think she probably would find it very uncomfortable to spend an afternoon in the company of a strange man at the house. So I would not put her in that position. But I appreciate, from what everyone says, that for most nannies this would not be an issue at all.

Actually it will still be me and not DH going in any case! This was just a theoretical discussion!

mediumsize Sun 25-May-14 20:31:41

I apologised to him, he said humph and then cooked me a roast chicken. Things are fine! I emailed the mum and she said she was well aware someone would be staying and that was all fine. Thanks for all the helpful input.

Caitlin17 Sun 25-May-14 22:11:28

I hope any of the 3 nannies I employed are reading this. Once they've stopped laughing they might tell you how ridiculous you are being.

Itsfab Sun 25-May-14 22:23:32

I think it would be considerate to let the nanny know it is DH coming as you have to work in case she would prefer to not spend the afternoon with a man she doesn't know. It isn't about your DH as she doesn't know him it is about being considerate as some nannies would not like the dad bringing the child.

Thenapoleonofcrime Sun 25-May-14 22:25:31

I usually let people know if my husband is going to be doing a playdate, pick up or coming along to a party, just because then they know who to look out for, but also if there's any issues with this, such as the religious one or the person just feels uncomfortable, they would be prepared/let me know. Obviously he usually arranges things himself anyway, but if we swap over having arranged things with me, I think it is polite to let people know for more than one reason.

Viviennemary Sun 25-May-14 22:34:06

If he is just dropping off and collecting then fine. If he is planning to stay then no. He doesn't know her and she doesn't know him so it's not a good idea.

To those laughing at OP and thinking it shouldn't be an issue, it definitely would have been a problem for my two Muslim nannies. Definitely polite/should flag it.

mediumsize Mon 26-May-14 09:59:24

Sees like there are more differing opinions than was at first apparent, and even some who do not quite think I was being utterly ridiculous by considering this! Thanks for that!

FeelingIrie Mon 26-May-14 10:15:25

Ignore the 'utterly ridiculous' comment OP.

Think Caitlin just wanted to share with the world the important news that she has three nannies! I'm sure she could've done that without trying to belittle you at the same time but never mind.

Sounds like you are all sorted. Hope your DS enjoys his play date.

GiveTwoSheets Mon 26-May-14 11:19:26

Medium you say you have a nanny just wondering if its meant as a play date for kids whereas both nannies can get together also

Nanny0gg Mon 26-May-14 11:36:48

Why doesn't your nanny take him?

PixieofCatan Mon 26-May-14 11:59:16

Seriously? YABVU. And ridiculous hmm I'm a nanny, I would think nothing of one of my charges friend's fathers being there, in fact, I'm often left alone with them shock

Also, your assumption that the nanny is a 'young girl' is somewhat insulting, I'd be a bit peeved to be thought of as a 'young girl', I work bloody hard at what I do, I study in my very little spare time for qualifications linked to nannying, I have insurance, keep my first aid qualifications up to date, keep up to date on current practices, etc. And unless the SEN care required involves specialist skills, a nanny (or another parent) may be perfectly comfortable supervising a play date with your child, you should ask.

To be entirely honest with you, I'm more uncomfortable with the mothers of the kids. I have to do more small talking with them usually, which I'm not great at. Though most of the parents I meet through play dates have been lovely and after the initial awkward five minutes it's fine.

Caitlin17 Mon 26-May-14 12:06:00

feeling what a stupid comment. Don't you understand the past tense? "Employed"?

My son is all grown up over a period of aged 3 months to around 13 I had 3 different nannies.

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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