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AIBU? Nanny taking charge to own home to walk her dog?

(52 Posts)
VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:17:36

My husband and I have an issue we're torn on and are not totally sure if we are just being arseholes or have a point!

Firstly, we live on a tiny island. There is not much to do, we have no soft play/petting zoo/swimming pool etc. The activities for our toddler son (18m) are limited to playing at home with vast mountain of toys, reading books (which he loves), visiting the library, crafty stuff (playdoh, finger paints), helping to bake something, playing in our garden (giant trampoline and climbing frame), visiting the (crap) park for the swings, going for a walk in the ample countryside/beaches.

So we understand that there isn't a huge list of things to nanny to do with him, we really do.

When nanny started she wanted us to add into her contract that our employers insurance would cover son at her house if they ever popped by there for some reason. We refused to do this, saying that we did not want him at her house (round the corner). For us we choose a nanny over a childminder as I want him in his own home. So we already did cover that point.

We;ve employed her for 6 months and now they have got into a bit of a routine whereby after breakfast they go out (between about 9am-11am). She is driving to her house, collecting her dog and then the dog is accompanying them on a walk. On the one hand I'm happy that he is getting out and about, stretching his legs (he doesn't go in a pushchair) and splashing in puddles. On the other hand, they go even if it's chucking it down (in suitable clothing) and I feel that maybe they shouldnt be planning the morning around nannys dog getting a walk and there are other things (see list above) which they could do. They arrive home at 11am, son sleeps 11am-12:30 then they have lunch about 1pm and she clocks off at 2pm. So there isn't any other time in the day for these other activities. The morning is the only time.

Today nanny dropped into conversation about her and DS being in her sitting room at home and he spilt something and she may need to claim on her house insurance. Well we didn't want him at her house! Now I'm imagining her coming here, having bfast,going back home, taking her dog out, going home, sitting on her sofa in her own home and only returning here for his nap (90 mins that she sits on the sofa here which we've agreed as we have a cleaner so don't need her to do anything else) Then they both eat lunch and she clocks off.

AIBU? Would we be total arseholes to be mentioning that whilst we understand that there isn't masses to do, perhaps they could be mixing it up a little bit and not walking the dog every single day. On a rainy day they could do crafts/library. Or are we dicks and have to accept that son is getting fresh air and is happy and healthy?

MildDrPepperAddiction Fri 08-Nov-13 17:20:47

If she only works until 2 could she not walk her dog in the afternoon? Or early, before she starts work? I wouldn't mind occasionally but I agree I wouldn't want my DCs day planned around a nanny's pet.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:23:13

She works 7am-2pm

There is no problem with the dog, her DH comes home for his lunch about 12 noon and she is home for good at 2pm so dog isn't left for 12 hours a day or anything. I think she just sees it as killing 2 birds with one stone, something to do with the toddler, and if they're walking she may as well swing by home and take her dog.

rubyslippers Fri 08-Nov-13 17:27:34

it would tick me off if it was every day

i am a nanny employer and understand that there are times when my nanny needs to do stuff in her working hours and the kids need to accompany her

you aren't being arseholes - you are her employers

Floralnomad Fri 08-Nov-13 17:30:22

I'm afraid she wouldn't be doing it on my time ,occasionally maybe but not as a routine thing . Was she telling you about the spillage because she thought you'd offer to pay ?

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:30:59

what about her taking him to her house? We'd rather he was here. It's why I wanted a nanny. Something grates about paying her to sit in her own house. Would we be unreasonable to re-iterate what we said before employment started that he is not to go there? Nobody else gets to pop home in the working day and hang out at home for a bit!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 08-Nov-13 17:34:22

well first and foremost you stated you did not want your son in her house and she has gone against that rule so I would issue a verbal warning for that.

secondly, the odd walk with the dog maybe once or twice a week I would be fine with if a walk was on the agenda for that day anyway but not everyday and not in bad weather.

she is prioritising her dog over your child when she is being paid to look after your son.

not on in my book.

I would be having words. saying no to son being in her house and no to the dog walks. because I think even if you said "occasional dog walks are fine" she sounds like she's take the piss tbh.

is she your only childcare option?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 08-Nov-13 17:36:18

and she really has no need to be walking the dog if her partner is home at 12! not that it would be your problem if she was leaving the dog all day. it would be her problem to sort- like hiring a dog walker.

starfishmummy Fri 08-Nov-13 17:41:17

Yanbu at all. You are paying her to look after your son not to walk her dog with your son tagging along every day (once in a while might be ok but not every day).

You also expressly told her that you didn't want your son going into to her house and she has ignored that. In your shoes I would be considering if the arrangement was working for me.

bamboostalks Fri 08-Nov-13 17:46:02

A 2 hour walk is a long time! Could she not walk dog for 30 mins, then get on with whatever you think your son needs. Just tell her, you're the employer paying a wage here.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 18:06:14

a walk once a week would be nice but not every day, but she is your nanny and you are entitled to ask her to play with your son and not walk the dog iyswim

esp as finishes work at 2pm so she can walk the dog then

she has gone against your wishes by taking child to her house- tho again i dont see the harm in it every now and again - my kiddiwinks love coming to my house and playing with my toys/looking/feeding at fish and when alive getting hammys out

NannyLA Fri 08-Nov-13 18:11:30

I am a nanny and think it is extremely unreasonable to be doing this every day during working hours!
I have only taken charges to my home on rare occasions and always asked my employers first. It has usually been when they have had builders or no heating at their home and on one occasion it was that I had to have a delivery of furniture during working hours so was easier for my employers to do that than take time off and inconvenience their working day.

I think you should have a conversation with her about this ASAP. It is unfair to your child and you as a family. You have employed a nanny to have one on one care, not to be fitting your child into her lifestyle. It may also be that your child is just hanging out at her place without toys, stimulation etc

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 18:43:39

pretty unanimous then. OK need to grow a backbone and bring it up - just feel like a dick. But then, I'm paying the salary I suppose! thanks for all the contributions.

bronya Fri 08-Nov-13 19:24:44

Perhaps approach the subject in conversation and see how it goes?

It could be that she takes him into the sitting room to get the dog (can't leave him in the car on his own after all!), and he knocked something over - or asked for a drink while they were there. I could be that the dog thing became every day because he really enjoys the walk with the dog and looks forward to it. It is recommended that children get outside (suitably dressed) everyday in all weathers, after all.


It is possible she's taking the p and you need to re-establish boundaries. Perhaps best to check first though?

JellyBellies Fri 08-Nov-13 19:25:37

Also, I know you have a cleaner, but does she not do anything when your son is having a nap? Tidy up, make lunch etc?

Rewindtimeplease Fri 08-Nov-13 19:32:36

You make no mention of what kind of a nanny she is and how your son responds to her, and indeed these walks.

If my son was very happy with her and seemed to really enjoy the walks, I would have no problem whatsoever. On the other hand, if he didn't, then I would have a problem with it.

I wouldn't have a problem with it simply because it irked me.

Rewindtimeplease Fri 08-Nov-13 19:33:14

Same applies for being at her home. If my boy loved his nanny, I would have no problem with it at all.

missimperfect Fri 08-Nov-13 19:40:46

I find it a bit odd that she first asks you about your insurance in her interview and then drops into conversation that she may need to claim something on her insurance - an insurance claim usually costs quite a bit in excess and a hike in premiums so it would have had to be a spillage on an expensive item - all seems a bit odd to me esp if she has a dog around.
Also wondering if she is just trying to wear your DS out with a very long walk so he has a good sleep. She doesn't seem to want to vary things at all which also sounds odd. But as has been said - is your DS happy with her?

longjane Fri 08-Nov-13 19:53:30

So you do not want your son to leave your house at all?

Do want take him out in afternoon and he is tried is that what this about?

You do not want him to meet or talk to any one either?
Again you want to take him out for his hour walk and do play date/meet people.

Really what you need to do is work what you want to with you son and do and tell here she not allow to those things.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 20:22:11

I don't think op wants nanny to stay at home all the time but she doesn't want her nanny to go for a walk every day for her dogs sake

But yes nice to get out of a house - to stay in a house all day (well 7hrs) would drive me insane

I'm so Entrigued where you are grin as in there is nothing to do - no m&t - no music/gym groups - no other nannies /cm/mums she can meet?

Just a naff park and a beach

Can nanny drive? Is she allowed to drive 30mins to another area and find stuff to do?

littlegem12 Fri 08-Nov-13 20:26:49

Does your little boy respond well to the dog?
I am a nanny and tbh one of the reasons i became a nanny rather than staying a nursery nurse (we are just private nn's after all) was to have the freedom to take children out, act on their interests and let children experience different environments, if your island is that dull than outdoor play is the obvious choice and if she has a dog your little boy likes are you sure the dog is not the tag along rather than your son, since they are going out anyway may as well stick the dog on a lead too sort of thing?
There was a thread on here yest about what do people do with a 2 year old when its rains and most said welly up not stay in, I'd have to agree with this getting out has amazing benefits to health, tantrum taming and physical development not to mention sensory experience, kids stuck indoors for one reason or another end up having to have sensory play recreated in their kitchens because they don't have the opportunity to make real mud pies or pick up wet sand/ leaves/ twigs.
I'd personally ask where they go if same or different every day and specially what your son actually gets to do. I used to keep an activity diary for my employers but if they were only aware if we were home or out they only would of known we were hardly ever in, nm used to joke that her ds knew more people in the local area than she did because she would take him out on the weekend and people they passed said hello to him and knew him by name.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 21:53:22

Ah some different views coming along! I think after finding out today that they'd been at her house (spilage was on carpet and won't come out) I just had this vision of her really suiting walking, going home (for how long, I don't know). We live round the corner so no need for her to go to her house if he wanted a drink. He doesn't speak yet so cant ask for one anyway smile

blondeshavemorefun I'm chuckling at nanny driving 30 minutes...the island is 3 miles by 1 mile. You can only drive for 5 minutes and you're back at the start. Seeing as I've namechanged I may as well say the island is called Alderney!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 21:58:06

googled lol - hmmmmmmm not a lot to do then pmsl

do you have any friends she can see, maybe she is bored/lonely hence the every day dog walking

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:03:32

Well thats why we thought maybe we were being unreasonable...She may well be a bit bored. But I think we'd rather she mixed it up with some arts/crafts or library or made use of our climbing frame and trampoline which he loves. Rather than the dog walk every single day. Part of the reason we employed her is that I can walk MY dogs without having to drag him too! (Im on maternity leave waiting for baby number 2 so am at home except when out with my dogs, food shopping or upstairs napping!!)

I think we will remind her that we don't want him to go to her house, he has ample toys here, and i've never seen inside her house whereas I know mine is a safe familiar environment.

I sympathise that she may be bored but she's lived here for 10 years so know what it would be like taking a nanny job smile

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 22:08:22

theres your answer then smile you are at home and she needs to escape wink so nice to get out of house for a few hours as you are about - most nannies would be the same tbh

maybe suggest walk every other day with dog, providing your child enjoys it and other 2/3days (if 5 days) to spend in garden/outside

cant believe there is nothing for her to do, must be a church hall/toddler club etc to go to .............

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:15:51

Well she knew I would be at home when she accepted the job, and we don't want to lower our expectations because she wants to escape. It's her job. Tough smile

Toddler group is twice a week in the afternoon, after she has clocked off, and I take DS.

miggy Fri 08-Nov-13 22:16:49

Maybe offer her alternative employment as a dog walker, she walks all the dogs, you get to stay with your son [ grin]
Seriously think its a bit much, few times a week if your son enjoys it and they are going anyway but it doesn't sound that much fun for him on a regular basis

miggy Fri 08-Nov-13 22:17:36

[ fail ] will learn one day !

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 08-Nov-13 22:23:03

I'd be glad my child was getting exercise and fresh air every day tbh. The only issue for me is that she seems to be spending time at her house after you expressly said you didn't want her to do that, but the dog walking thing wouldn't bother me and I think it's weird that you didn't want to take home out for a walk with your own dog! Pets are part of the family and learning about caring for them, along with the benefits of walking every day are important for little ones.

clam Fri 08-Nov-13 22:26:20

Are there many alternatives for childcare on such a small island?

Viviennemary Fri 08-Nov-13 22:26:25

It would irritate me that her whole morning seems to revolve round her dog. She is actually employed and paid by you to look after your son. It wouldn't bother me that they went sometimes to her house but the whole routine round her dog. That is a bit much I think.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:41:30

twosteps he only has little legs! he's 17 months old. I do about 3 miles with the dogs, up hills and along rabbit paths. No way he could come.

clam well there are childminders which we don't wish to use, and we could have advertised for a different nanny. She is a luxury, not an essential and we just wanted someone in place helping before baby 2 is born, and someone to help when I have a newborn so I can get through the experience with a bit more ease! We would not NEED her if you see what i mean.

Floralnomad Fri 08-Nov-13 22:55:43

She must be walking round the whole island ,the bottom line is you are paying so they do what you want ( within reason) ,personally I think in your position I'd get rid and just get a maternity nurse or some such to help after the baby is born .

Callaird Fri 08-Nov-13 23:50:11

I lived in Guernsey for almost 5 years as a nanny and I thought there was nothing to do there!! Loved Alderney when I visited, think yourself lucky, you have a railway!!! One of the main reasons I used to take my charges over to Alderney.

I would not be happy with her taking her dog out for two hours every day. Her nanny insurance will be invalid if she doesn't have your permission to take him there.

A professional nanny has the child's best interests at heart, taking him for a run about on the beach is great, even in the rain occasionally (I have photos of my charges sat in a rock pool at Cobo in November in waterproofs, gloves and hats, having a whale of a time. Hot chocolate, dry clothes, towels and a warm hot water bottle in the car) but doing the same thing for 5 (?) days running would get a bit boring. She should do activities with him too.

I thought the pool was supposed to be finished this year?!

I would tell her that you don't want her to take the dog out every day and tell her that you'll try to stay out of her way while she is there. It is hard to look after and entertain a child who just wants mummy, who keeps popping in to say hello.

longjane Sat 09-Nov-13 06:50:19

Right so this nanny is there to help you not really to look after you son so you can work.

Why are you not working as a team.
One morning one of you takes dogs out . The other plays with son at home.
The next day you all go out dogs and all.nanny show how she makes it fun for you little one.
You see what I mean work as team discuss what you are going to together as you going to need to do this when baby comes. You might well need a dog walker then for dogs.
You are the leader and you tell her what you are doing .

HairyPorter Sat 09-Nov-13 07:05:24

You see this wouldn't bother me at all! I think I'm strange though as I felt strongly about a nanny not entertaining her friends in my home in the other thread recently! My nanny takes my kids to her home at times (she has a cat) and my kids love it. I think as long as the kids are safe and having fun, then I don't really mind where she takes them. It's good for kids to be out anyway. I would get annoyed that she knew you didn't want it to happen and yet did it anyway. That is an issue for me.

neontetra Sat 09-Nov-13 07:07:35

Personally I would be very happy with this. We take our eighteen month old out on long walks with our dog whenever we can, as she loves it, in all weathers. A lot of her words reflect things she sees on the walks - sheep, cows, deer etc. So it seems to be very stimulating for her. We use a baby carrier as she cannot yet walk the whole way.
However, Yes, you are paying the nanny, so if you dont like this as an activity you have the right to say so.

clam Sat 09-Nov-13 08:54:48

But what was her motivation for popping back home - if it was indeed just a "pop?" To put a load of washing on? To let the boiler repair man in? Run the hoover round?
None of which are you paying her for. And it must have been for a long enough period of time for him to have been given a drink.

Mrscupcake23 Sat 09-Nov-13 09:17:43

I think the nanny is trying to get out of the house. It's very hard working when mum is at home unless she gets completely out of the way.

However walking her dog every day is out of order especially when you have dogs she could walk, she is working for you after all. I suspect she is probably walking her dog quick and then having the time at home.

mrswishywashy Sat 09-Nov-13 10:14:06

As its only a part time position she should be not going into her house at all, this you could make clear that you don't want your child going into her house.

As for walking her dog I wouldn't mind a few days a week maybe you can set a maximum eg three days or what you feel comfortable with.

I worked as a nanny in a very rural area and the children and I will rarely in the house or gardens, we did a lot of walking and its good for children to be out and about but maybe more exploring rather than walking dog every day.

Its a very personal thing some employers wouldn't mind and others would so just think what you feel most comfortable with.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 09-Nov-13 15:15:47

'Im on maternity leave waiting for baby number 2 so am at home except when out with my dogs, food shopping or upstairs napping!!)'

As Blondes says, ^^that is the explanation, probably nothing to do with walking the dog. ALL the other activities you list (except the library?) are in your house. I expect she just wants to get out.

If you're not happy with her walking the dog then ask her not to. Maybe it's a good chance for him to do something different though? You don't take him to walk your dogs, so presumably you spend the afternoons and weekends playing in the garden, finger painting, at the library etc. Given that there is so little to do, what will you do with him if she does all those activities in the morning?

littlegem12 Sat 09-Nov-13 19:10:55

Outraged has a good point, at least she is not exhausting the things you would like to do with your ds.
I would feel self consious and lazy being at home with a 18 month old while nm was in, thing is even if she is happy to set up activities around the clock children of that age just have no attention span and they are very quick, would feel like constant free play and trying to distract him from the fact hes mum is in the house.

surpriseme Sat 09-Nov-13 22:31:07

I think going to her house when you requested she didn't is wrong, if she did need to pop there she should of asked.
I think if the dog was a once or twice a wk activity it would be ok. Or even if it was every day, but less time. So a walk for an hour 9-10 and then the library/arts and crafts etc after that

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 13-Nov-13 03:57:39

Have you had a chat? Will nanny be going for a dog walk again?

It's good to get out of the house - esp as you are there and nothing else about in area - as long as your dc is happy

Pennythedog Wed 13-Nov-13 04:39:19

I would say no dog walking at all unless it is your dogs. Her job is to look after your child that is what she is being paid for.

How about setting her up with a list of activities for that day?

NomDeClavier Wed 13-Nov-13 09:47:05

I think every day is a bit off and going to her house wouldn't sit well with me on a regular basis either as you've said no. A 2 hour walk is very long and it doesn't leave time to do other things like the library.

What will the arrangement be once DC2 arrives?

mistlethrush Wed 13-Nov-13 10:02:13

I used to go out with my todler DS for a good two hours when we had the time - it was actually a 30min walk but with DS along it took that long (even if he was pushed some of the way). The fact that the dog was along too just made it more pleasurable for him - from an early age he loved watching her chase her frisbe etc... And he went out every day, whatever the weather - dressed appropriately of course.

I think that you need to work out whether it is walking the dog, doing it every day, or going to her house that you are concerned about... I think suggesting that she perhaps only walks the dog 2 or 3 times a week, with less if the weather is awful, might be a good compromise - but then if you're unhappy about him being at her house, reiterate this and say that you would prefer that he doesn't spend time there. I would also outline some of the things that you think she might do instead of going out with him - eg have you got a box of pasta for gluing and plenty of paints etc for some painting and other crafts? What about asking her to help DS do some christmas cards (or will you do that?) etc etc

NCISaddict Wed 13-Nov-13 10:10:58

Nothing to say about the nanny but envious of Alderney, my DH is off there this week, we have a house on QEII street.
There really isn't much to do there of the type of things we are used to on the mainland. It's like England in the 1950's. Beautiful beaches, I expect your DS will be a really outdoor type.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 15-Nov-13 00:54:01

OK - so she knew you would be at home when she took the job, but, sometimes the reality of the situation is different to how you imagine it would be. It seems (to me) that she is doing what she needs to do, to make the job work for her instead of just leaving. If you'd rather she left than do what she is doing, you need to talk to her. Things will change once the baby is here anyway, so if it were me I'd leave it and see how things are then.

Either you trust her to look after your DS - whether that's at yours, at hers, in the library or you don't - so saying you haven't been to her house isn't relevant. If you only want him at home with you, then you should get a mothers help who is happy to do this.

MaureenFry Sun 17-Nov-13 06:58:54

Exactly how long each day do you think a 17 month old can tolerate doing crafts? He's getting out and about on your deathly dull sounding island, seeing things, "chatting" and getting tired enough for a 90 minute nap. You've got the afternoons free for library and chucking him on the trampoline.

You don't know you're born, woman ! grin

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 17-Nov-13 19:12:13

true maureen - most toddlers get bored of crafts within 15mins or so, if not before

and they are prob bored of the house, and nanny of op lol

if nanny went for a walk, without her dog, would you be ok with that?

or do you want someone in the house all day?

I think the fact the dog is mentioned at all is a complete red herring. There's a lot of comments about how it is to suit her and the dog - I just don't think that's true at all, as you've said she could walk the dog anytime.

She's taking the kid for a two hour walk everyday which is a very stimulating activity and doesn't encroach on anything you do with him.

Is he then mostly at home after she's gone? If so then it's good he's getting so much exercise.

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