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to have sacked my nanny? (Be warned, this is probably a bit of a rant!)

(116 Posts)
Fillybuster Sat 04-Dec-10 14:44:14

OK, its a done deal now, but I'd appreciate your feedback regardless...sorry this is a bit long:

Background: I have 3 dcs: DS 5. DD1 nearly 3, DD2 5 months

We had our nanny for 4.5 years: she looked after DS1 full-time from 8 months; took a break during the second part of my maternity leave with DD1 then came back 4 days a week when DD1 was 9 months. When I was pregnant with DD2 we agreed she would work full time until DD2 was 3 months and DD1 started nursery, then reduced hours until Christmas and would probably stop around then.

Although our nanny was great with the dcs - she clearly loved them and they loved her - she is a challenging person with some 'issues', particularly with anger management and emotional maturity. These have caused some problems during her time with us, but on the whole we've let a lot of things go. In particular, we were aware (from a lot of people) that she didn't have a good word to say about us behind our backs - in particular, she was vile about me.

Recently she has been pretty unpleasant to my face, too. I liked being told when DD2 was 10 days old that "there's no reason for you to be tired, all you do is sit around on your arse feeding the baby" shock....and I had just made her lunch! She has always been slightly over-involved with DS1 in particular, calling him "her boyfriend" and "the love of her life", but I put that down to being very loving....


We gave her formal notice at the end of last week that we didn't have a job for her from January. She's known it for a while, but we wanted to confirm. She begged us not to tell the DCs as "she couldn't cope with them knowing". We agreed that we would all tell them together during her last week.

I was aware that she was telling everyone at the school gates, as various mums had been in touch, but was fine with that, as long as me DCs didn't find out.

On Thursday DS's school called and asked me to come in for an urgent meeting. The meeting was with the Headmistress and his class teacher (Year 1) and both were very concerned. Apparently his behaviour had changed "alarmingly" since Monday, and although it was only 3 days, the change was so noticeable, and so out of character that they felt that had to call me in. This was the same child who had an overwhelmingly positive review at Parents Evening 2 weeks ago, so something was clearly very wrong. Amongst other things he had punched a Yr 4 girl in the playground on Wednesday for no reason and had been trying to kiss and cuddle a group of Yr 5 girls despite them asking him to stop.

His teacher had asked DS if anything was wrong, or if he had any secrets, but he had clammed up and looked terrified. He had told her that he has "no good thoughts" in his head, and couldn't sleep because he was worried

They asked if there were any changes going on - I explained the nanny was leaving (they knew....she had told both of them!) but that he didn't know. I started wondering....

On Thursday night I had a long chat with DS about hitting the girl (he said "I felt like I had to hit someone, so I did", but wouldn't tell me why he felt so sad), about how family are there to look after you, how you don't need to have secrets from mummy and daddy (even if someone tell you that you do) etc and then asked him if he had any secrets or if something was making him unhappy. He insisted not.

Then I told him that our nanny was going to be leaving in a few weeks.

He said "I know". I asked him how he knew. He told me that our nanny had told him on Monday but had told him that he absolutely mustn't tell Mummy or Daddy or his teacher that he knew, or he would get into really big trouble. He also told me that she had promised to phone him every morning and every evening, and write every day, and visit him and that when he was big he could go and stay with her. I asked him if this was why he had been so sad at school and he said it was because he wasn't allowed to tell anyone or talk about it.


So in the space of 3 days, my happy, confident, school-loving, gentle DS was compltely changed by the weight of a secret he couldn't cope with. He was very relieved finally to be able to talk about it, and went to bed much happier.

Effectively, she tried to turn DS against his family and prioritised her emotional needs (wanting to be loved more than anyone else) over his.

She only briefly denied it when confronted by DH and myself - demanded that we "bring DS in here right now and have it out with him" - then claimed she had every right to tell whoever she wanted, then claimed we were only sacking her to get out of paying her. At which point I handed her a cheque for the full amount (including annual leave etc) and told her to get out.

So, WIBU to sack her when she turned up for work yesterday? I could cope with all her unpleasantness when directed at me, but always thought she would protect my children and never hurt them?

lifeinagoldfishbowl Sat 04-Dec-10 14:47:28

YADNBU shock [anger]

pjmama Sat 04-Dec-10 14:47:32

Let's hope the door didn't hit her in the arse on her way out. I assume you won't be giving her a reference.

lifeinagoldfishbowl Sat 04-Dec-10 14:47:56


rubyslippers Sat 04-Dec-10 14:48:20


You did the right thing

KaraStarbuckThrace Sat 04-Dec-10 14:49:11

OMG she sounds like such a bitch!!!

At the very least she has been completely unprofessional - you should have gotten rid of her when you found out she was bad mouthing you to other people.

Please don't allow your DS to have any further contact this woman, she sounds poisonous, I don't think I would have felt at all comfortable with her referring to your ds as "the love of her life".

She sounds unhinged!

sarah293 Sat 04-Dec-10 14:49:48

Message withdrawn

FakePlasticTrees Sat 04-Dec-10 14:50:46

good thing you're rid of her. I hope DS is ok.

BurningBuntingFlipFlop Sat 04-Dec-10 14:51:24

Erm... No. Not at all unreasonable!

Fillybuster Sat 04-Dec-10 14:51:56

Phew! I thought I was going to get flamed....

We've known for a while that she had Grade 1 Fruit Loop tendencies, but they had always come out in ways not related to childcare, IYSWIM. Initially we had planned to replace her a year ago....then I was pregnant and we couldn't find any good candidates, and we didn't want to make too many changes in the DCs lives at the same time....

MilkNoSugarPlease Sat 04-Dec-10 14:52:08

shock Am a nanny myself and am astouded at her saying that!

one thing I will never ever do is anything along the lines of "Don't tell mummy/daddy etc" it's absolutely not fair on the kids

The way she went about this is awful and frankly I think your well shot of her!

Calling your DS her Boyfriend is frankly odd tbh!

Your absolutely well shot of her and I hope your DS is ok, and starts to return to his normal self

Marlinspike Sat 04-Dec-10 14:52:11

She sounds like she's got some serious "ishoos".

Don't want to alarm you, but you need to consider whether she might try to make contact with DS at any time. maybe best to alert the school that she's not to have contact without your consent.

I am sure DS will soon move on and his memories of her will fade.

diddl Sat 04-Dec-10 14:53:18

Is there a register that she can be taken off?

Imarriedafrog Sat 04-Dec-10 14:53:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

samay Sat 04-Dec-10 14:53:58

Message withdrawn

Onetoomanycornettos Sat 04-Dec-10 14:54:10

I can't imagine anyone saying you were unreasonable, she sounds really emotionally immature, if not unstable, and you are well rid. Asking a little boy to keep secrets is just not on, nor is promising unrealistic (and secret?) contact. Wow, consider yourself lucky she's gone. I wouldn't bad-mouth her to the children (I'm sure you would't anyway as you have prioritized their feelings over your own) as your son will presumably be still very attached to her. But thank goodness she is out of your lives.

purepurple Sat 04-Dec-10 14:54:13

You and your children have had a lucky escape.
Children do recover from emotional trauma, and with you to help them, they will soon forget this woman.
Please do not ever give her a reference. she should not be around children.

Fillybuster Sat 04-Dec-10 14:54:37

We're going to tell the DCs that she has caught my stinking (really stinking!) cold, so is off work for a few days. I think that will just lengthen into her not coming back...

I don't want DS to have any abandonment issues over this (now that its all out in the open he's talking about making her a leaving present and card, etc), but at some point when he doesn't hear from her I will have to gently explain that there's a difference between someone loving you because they are your family or friends or loving you because they are being paid to do so.

Although that may not be a bad lesson for a boy to learn early....hmm

colditz Sat 04-Dec-10 14:55:44

Oh my Christ, your poor kid.

You'll need to watch him very carefully now, he will be feeling guilt for the fact that he 'told' when the nanny who 'loves him' told him he mustn't, and to compound that, she's been sacked.

Onetoomanycornettos Sat 04-Dec-10 14:56:39

I wouldn't assume a five year old will forget her though, my eldest still remembers my mum's previous partner from when she was three. I just acknowledge him in photos etc but I don't think you can wipe her existance out completely, he may want to talk more about her going etc, even though you may want to move on and never think of her again!

colditz Sat 04-Dec-10 14:56:39

give her a reference along the lines of "Please DO NOT HESITATE to ring me to discuss this condidate IN PERSON"

KaraStarbuckThrace Sat 04-Dec-10 14:57:13

Your poor DS.
It is a hard lesson to learn, but he will get over it, especially if there is no further contact.

LIZS Sat 04-Dec-10 14:57:51

I don't think you should lie to them . just say you have mutually decided that she could leave sooner than planned. I bet you'll find out more over the coming weeks from other mums too.

Fillybuster Sat 04-Dec-10 14:58:20

I must say that I'm very sad that a 4.5 year relationship has ended this way....even though I had reservations about some aspects of her behaviour, she has mostly looked after the DCs brilliantly through that time and I would have been giving her a good (not stonking, but solid) reference and allowed her to visit the dcs. Obviously not, now

And I do feel sorry for her - she wasn't able to have her own children, which is why she became a nanny, and her weirdnesses only really came out when I was pregnant with DD1....its all been downhill from here, now I look back, but there was clearly a lot of jealousy and pain. And a desperate need to be loved. Which is very sad

AllOverIt Sat 04-Dec-10 15:00:54

She sounds like a toxic loon. You were definitely right to get rid of her instantly. Who knows what more emotional damage she could have inflicted on your poor DS in the time she had left.

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