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Nanny making comments about our income

(175 Posts)
MrsLion Sat 02-Mar-13 22:54:08

I have just gone back to work 3 days a week and have hired a nanny to look after my 3 dc- (6,3 and 1). 

She is about 50 and is definitely a 'mrs doubtfire' type of nanny. Very efficient, very proactive, works hard and is great with the kids (a little strict- but they still love her).

But, there are a few comments she has made about our income which have rubbed me up with wrong way.

I'll give you some examples and the context:

1) When talking about ponies and children
Nanny: you better not get DD2 anywhere near a pony, because then she'll want one- and you can't afford it.

2) Telling her what our weekly food budget was (she does grocery shopping sometimes) 
Nanny: Oh right, well, of course I'm used to working for doctors and lawyers

3) Telling her about school drop off and uniform etc
Nanny: Of course I'm more used to private schools as i often work with really wealthy families

4) When talking about dd1 spelling and reading homework 
Nanny: you should see what they're doing in the private schools- way more than this at your age (said to DD) 

So I generally completely ignore these comments and brightly change the subject without responding at all. At first I put them down to an unfortunate turn of phrase but as there have been a few I am now feeling a bit pissed off.

Ok so the last two are not directly income related but felt it was said indirectly. Btw I'm not remotely jealous of private school for a 6yo- we are very happy indeed with her local primary school. 

So, AIBU to think this is rude and out of line to make these comments. I have no desire to prove whether or not we can afford a pony- actually we couldn't. But more annoyed she felt it was her place to comment in the first place.  How do you think should I handle it- especially considering she's an excellent nanny in every other way.

Or am I overeacting - we've had some financial difficulties over the last year or two and maybe I'm a bit oversensitive. 

Hit me with it! 

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 09:33:09

Get shot of her immediately.look for another appropriate,pleasant nanny
Parent and nanny need good rapport,you need to be comfy with her comments
Clearly she has been quite rude,bit frightful and you're understandably unhappy

bakingaddict Sun 03-Mar-13 09:33:20

Flatbread I dont understand why the OP should grow a thick skin towards her nanny when she is paying her salary and keeping her in gainful employment. If the nanny thinks that the OP and her family are too lowly then it's up to the nanny to find something she considers suitable not instead making pointed comments to the OP. The fact she has taken this post means she should 'put up and shut up' regarding her employers perceived financial situation.

As long as she gets her agreed salary each month, the family's finances should be no concern of hers. Working as a nanny for many years she should be more than aware of her 'place' and know what is appropriate to say to her employers and charges.

leeloo1 Sun 03-Mar-13 09:42:09

How long has she been with you?

Can you have a formal review meeting (end of probation? 6 mths), where you say how happy you are with reliability, firm boundaries, pro-activeness, choice/range of activities etc etc.

Then say 'the only issue I have is that some comments you've made have been unsettling as they seem quite critical of our salaries and dd's schooling.'

See what she says - if she has normal amounts of tact and common sense she'll be mortified to have upset you and will try to change. If she has no idea what you're talking about then say your examples and tell her if you notice any comments in future you'll let her know, so she knows what to work on.

It may well be that she's trying to impress you with the 'quality' of family she's worked for and will have no idea that its backfiring and making you feel inadequate.

btw if you want advice from nannies on how to handle the situation then post in the childminders, nannies, au pairs topic. smile

Lavenderhoney Sun 03-Mar-13 09:43:45

Well, can you ask her to stay a bit later/ come in a bit earlier and have a chat? Along the the lines of " I just wanted to have a chat with you. The children like you and so do I. I feel very comfortable with the care you provide as their nanny. However.... now, nanny, when you make comments like xxx, it does make me feel inferior. Dd is a a very good level with her schooling and we are happy with her school. Do you mean to make me feel inferior?"

Then see what she says. She probably doesn't realise what she is saying.

Then say " well, I am glad we cleared that up. I have to go do x now, so I'll see you later"

Do you think that would work?

flatbread Sun 03-Mar-13 09:50:48

It would be rather an odd comment to make just to me- why would I be concerned what other schools, private or not are teaching their students?

Er, because your child will be competing against these other children at some point, whether it is a grammar school place or university place or a job?

If you want your dd to be best prepared in the competitive world, at the very least you need to know whether your dd's school is teaching at par with the best schools.

Honestly, I would be please to have a nanny who has high expectations of educational curriculum and teaching, rather than letting my personal insecurities govern my response.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 09:59:42

Id have no qualms sacking her. You pay the salary, you need to be satisfied
If she's more used to v wealthy families she can seek another employer
I would immediately be recruiting another nanny,and if she agency id give reasons I'm unhappy to agrncy

PureQuintessence Sun 03-Mar-13 10:00:45

I agree with flatbread on that point. If the nanny is used to helping her charges with homework and have seen what homework is set for other children, I would use her as a resource, and ask her to do some extra work with them, maybe getting some books from WHsmith.

Most of my friends children are privately educated, and I would often talk to them about what they are learning in school, etc. Luckily my dc's school is top of the league tables in our borough and very good, so most of the time it was quite similar. But I would want to know if my children s learning was way below what other schools set.

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 10:01:52

Yes flatbread I can see your point about a thicker skin, and YY to the comments about status from employers.

If it grates me too much i should find a new one!

Ok I'm off- not flouncing grin I live abroad and it's bed time here.


Gigondas Sun 03-Mar-13 10:07:28

Pure and flatbread make good points about knowing what other schools are doing. BUT that isn't what op was asking.

But yanbu - It is not on for nanny to make such odd inappropriate comments about lifestyle matters - and you are certainly not employing her to comment on your choice of school.

I would sit down with her and say that you find some of her comments unprofessional - it is not directly related to the well being and condition of your children. It is idle chit chat.

Also some of the "my previous employers had /did x" is very unprofessional. Do you have a clause in your contract about nor disclosing personal circumstances? May want to remind her of that as what one person considers a passing comment/bit of gossip could also be construed as a breach of confidentiality.

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 10:08:55

You pay her wages you don't need a thicker skin,if her values/comments at odds with you.
She sound odd and disgruntled,if she so good with the wealthy she can seek another post
And no parent need to habitually be trying to play competitive keep up about schools,horses

MrsLion Sun 03-Mar-13 10:10:24

Sent too soon- meant to say thanks for the replies they've been very useful. Will take on board all view points.
Yes maybe I should be more concerned about other schools but DDs school is rated very highly. It's used as a selling point for estate agents and has a waiting list years long for families wanting to attend who live out of zone.

I'll update if there's anything else this week.

Teapot13 Sun 03-Mar-13 10:18:51

Also, I would not be impressed about her talking to me about former employers' personal situations. Private school curriculum is not exactly a personal matter, but once you get into things like what other families can afford it could be a breach of privacy. I mean, you have seen her resume and references and know who she's worked for. I wouldn't like someone who had worked in my house talking about how we spend our money.

It's also hilarious (and this is a classic MN discussion) is that she is trying to be superior by talking about money -- everyone knows that's not something posh people talk about.

breatheslowly Sun 03-Mar-13 10:27:21

I think I might have said "we could easily afford a pony if we didn't have a nanny". I appreciate tha this doesn't quite make sense as you need childcare.

MammaTJ Sun 03-Mar-13 10:29:58

Nanny: you should see what they're doing in the private schools- way more than this at your age (said to DD)

That is the most worrying, putting your child down like that.

Yes, the money comments were rude, but I would be more worried by that.

kilmuir Sun 03-Mar-13 10:30:00

She sounds like a bitter old bag.
Get rid, too much to say. She is PAID to work for you

SPBInDisguise Sun 03-Mar-13 10:33:24

You could always just start calling her Mrs Bucket, affectionately

SPBInDisguise Sun 03-Mar-13 10:33:56

Will sail over her head unless she watched 90s sitcoms, of course grin

scottishmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 10:44:45

What's the bucket reference?

SPBInDisguise Sun 03-Mar-13 10:46:55

Mrs Bucket
In my defence I was 10 when I loved that show

Tailtwister Sun 03-Mar-13 10:48:14

I think she's being very rude. You are employing her as a nanny, not to make personal comments about your income. Also, the comment she made to your DD about private schools is uncalled for. She shouldn't be saying anything like that to a child.

I would have a word with her and give her a chance to change. If she doesn't, find someone else.

MagicHouse Sun 03-Mar-13 14:20:15

She sounds like a snob! Personally, even if she seemed like a great nanny, I wouldn't want her and her snotty, tactless attititude around my kids.
I think talking to your dd about other children in private schools having harder words to learn is not appropriate (what exactly is she expecting your dd to reply to that? - it wouldn't exactly reassure me that she has a lot of empathy with/ understanding of children if she thinks it's ok to make comments like that to a young child.)

mrsjay Sun 03-Mar-13 14:29:17

she sounds a bit of a dragon has she always nannied for people, maybe she has worked for richer people and thinks she has come down the chain a wee bit grin you could always mention she is free to go back to the lawyers and Drs anytime she likes, some people are just forward just dont reply to her and keep conversations with the children between you and the children

FlouncingMintyy Sun 03-Mar-13 14:31:17

She seems to have no basic manners and an uncommon interest in status/wealth. I certainly wouldn't want someone like this looking after my children.

mrsjay Sun 03-Mar-13 14:32:26

I certainly wouldn't want someone like this looking after my children.

I wouldn't either she sounds really snooty

AnnieLobeseder Sun 03-Mar-13 14:39:54

I'm guessing that she is finding it a bit of an adjustment to work for a "normal" family instead of a wealthy one, and perhaps she's trying to impress you with her "wealth" of experience (see what I did there? grin ).

But she's overstepping the mark, especially criticising your DD's education in front of her.

I would respond with a simple, "I don't think that comment was appropriate" when she does it, and see if she gets the message. Especially in front of the children.

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