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Should I be honest with friend about her childcare issues

(111 Posts)
Waiting4cakes Tue 25-Oct-16 21:20:32

So my friend has asked me for advice but I'm not sure I should be honest with her.
Friend has 3 DCs (9,6 and 5) and she and her husband work full time so for the past 3 years or so they have had a nanny look after the DCs during the week.
However they have never had a nanny for more than 6 months as they keep leaving. The most recent has handed her notice in after 2 months.

Usually when she tells me they have left I just say something vague and change the subject but she has asked me over text today why I think they are leaving.

But I believe the problem is my friend.
For example she tells the nannies not to give the DCs sweets but then if the DCs come home and tell her the nanny wouldn't buy them sweets she will tell the nanny off for not spoiling the DCs. If the nanny does buy the DCs sweets then she tells them off for not following her instruction.

She will ask then to work for an extra half hour or so and then forget to pay them for a few weeks.

She asks the nannies to do too much with the DCs so for example in the 3 hours between getting home from school to friend coming home from work she expects the DCs to have done.
All their homework, music practice for at least half an hour, have eaten something, have had at least an hour of exercise and outdoors time, to have made the DCs clean their room and the living room and kitchen, to have done a creative activity like painting or drawing and that all their school stuff is ready for the next day.

She has also refused to allow time off for illness or hospital appointment and made them take unpaid leave.

And that's just the stuff I know about.
So should I be honest with her and tell her I think it's her fault or should I just lie.

ilovesooty Tue 25-Oct-16 21:23:14

You could always ask her why she thinks they're leaving, I suppose.
She sounds pretty thick skinned though.

ballsdeep Tue 25-Oct-16 21:23:30

I would. She sounds horrific to work for. I bet she wouldn't get all that done in such a small space of time. She is being completely unrealistic. Good luck!

Bumbleclat Tue 25-Oct-16 21:24:55

I nannied for a family like this and left very quickly.
She sounds like an absolute nightmare.

Lumpylumperson Tue 25-Oct-16 21:25:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kissmethere Tue 25-Oct-16 21:26:46

I'd tell her. God help the next nanny she sounds awful.

notnowbernadette Tue 25-Oct-16 21:27:26

You need to find a way to give her some honest feedback as she clearly can't see the issues.

HarryPottersMagicWand Tue 25-Oct-16 21:29:55

Yes tell her. She is an idiot if she thinks she can act like that and keep a nanny.

Iparasi Tue 25-Oct-16 21:30:04

Honesty is the best policy and that's what friends are there for. To be the honest person that no one else can. But yes, I would first ask her why she thinks they are leaving as that may give her abit of self-reflection and realisation before you tell her why you think they are leaving...As a friend in this situation being the one who the nanny is leaving, I would want to know so I can correct the situation for the kids sake!

PippaPug Tue 25-Oct-16 21:31:12

Does she get nannies through a agency?
Can't they tell her?

Batteriesallgone Tue 25-Oct-16 21:31:24

I think I would probably try and toe a middle line - so the sweets thing, presumably it would be harder for her to be a dick to the nanny if it was written in black and white 'no sweets' so I'd suggest something like written rules on treats.

The time thing - id suggest she split time into half hour blocks and ask the nanny to note what was done in that half hour - so in three hours, 2 blocks of outside play, 1 block for music practice, 1 block preparing and eating food, 1 block cleaning their rooms, 1 block getting school stuff ready. Then it should be easier for her to analyse if the nannies really are time wasters (clearly they're not, but that's her POV) or if she is being unrealistic.

I have no idea if a nanny would agree to lots of written rules and answering to every half hour of the day in a diary tbh! If she can't find one that will then I would probably join in with the tsk, ridiculous, can't believe you can't get a decent nanny....(I don't like confrontation).

monkeywithacowface Tue 25-Oct-16 21:32:16

Well you could be vague and say maybe her expectations are not equally matched to the nanny's and if she asks you for specifics you can say that maybe it's not realistic to expect all those things to get done every day. See how she responds to that and if she's open to feedback you can tell her the other examples but TBH she sounds like a bit of an arse so she may not take it on board

RattieOfCatan Tue 25-Oct-16 21:34:18

I'd tell her. I've worked for a family like that and lasted only a few months, it's not conducive to a good nanny/employer relationship at all!

Yerazig Tue 25-Oct-16 21:34:52

I'm a nanny she sounds absolutely awful, but on the other hand If you was to tell her the truth would your friendship survive. And surely after how many nannies how on earth has she not figured out what the issue could be.

Nofunkingworriesmate Tue 25-Oct-16 21:43:08

Offer to contact all the the nannies she's had in the past and pretend to be a prospective nanny who has two options for work your friend, and another person..... Can they say why they left and what it was like working for her ??
Take notes and share

Waiting4cakes Tue 25-Oct-16 21:43:38

I don't know why she can't see the problems. I have tried the what do you think line before. She just says that she hasn't found the right nanny for them yet.

Trifleorbust Tue 25-Oct-16 21:45:58

Tell her if she is a really good friend.

Bluebolt Tue 25-Oct-16 21:46:59

I would not tell her, if she really can not see her faults she is unlikely to listen either.

Believeitornot Tue 25-Oct-16 21:48:46

Tell her but not over text.

And do it in a softer way "what must it have been like for the nanny when you do x/y/z"

arethereanyleftatall Tue 25-Oct-16 21:50:42

If she had 3 hours free with her children, would she do a similar amount of activity?
If yes, then that might be why she's not seeing a problem.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 25-Oct-16 21:51:30

I would say that her way of acting towards her nannies isn't typical, without giving her your opinion about whether it is good/ bad, and that nannies are used to different ways of working.

E.g. usually Nannies make their own plan for after school activities and maybe they prefer that, the nannies are probably used to having some paid sick leave from previous employers,

She sounds like she is vvvv thick skinned though!

ShebaShimmyShake Tue 25-Oct-16 21:51:31

Since she's asked you, you should tell her.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 25-Oct-16 21:53:10

She sounds like a right entitled madam who looks down on "staff" so I doubt anything you say would help.

At a push, you could suggest she asks the agency if there is anything she and her DH could do to help the next nanny fit into the family better.

Waiting4cakes Tue 25-Oct-16 21:53:25

She doesn't do that many activities with the DCs herself.
I think she sees it as getting value for her money.

MuseumGardens Tue 25-Oct-16 21:55:56

*But I believe the problem is my friend.
For example she tells the nannies not to give the DCs sweets but then if the DCs come home and tell her the nanny wouldn't buy them sweets she will tell the nanny off for not spoiling the DCs. If the nanny does buy the DCs sweets then she tells them off for not following her instruction.*

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