Our live out nanny has been looking after our two little ones for a year and a half now. The kids appear to get on with her well and continue to thrive/learn/sleep well/be happy/keep active, so no complaints there. However, and yes I realise the irony of me raising this on an online forum, I'm concerned she may have paranoia and/or would like to hide what she's really getting up to on any given working day. I'm therefore keen to assess whether or not I'm being unreasonable before raising it more broadly with her.
To cut to the chase, here's a handful of examples to help you with your assessment:
- she asks that we give her prior notice of being at home or coming home early
- she covers up or hides any electrical equipment in the house that she's unsure of (presumably due to surveillance paranoia) - think digital phone, alarm system, carbon monoxide alarm - note that if we uncover them, within the hour, they've been covered again
- our security cameras (not in place/operational in any of the 8 or so rooms which she works in) have captured her looking over our belongings like she's looking for something (in rooms which are utterly unreasonable for her to access), then quickly stopping and leaving the room upon realising there is a camera there
- she historically locked us out of our house with the door chain and expected us to ring the doorbell for access citing security as her rationale (the door has an automatic Yale lock anyway so it's not swinging in the wind); since repeatedly asking that she doesn't, she double locks the door using the traditional key locks
- since starting my own business last year and being at home a lot more frequently, she suddenly arranges morning and afternoon activities a million miles from our home on the days that I'm home, or that my husband works from home, having otherwise stuck to purely morning based activities historically (obviously this isn't a complaint - the additional activities for the kids is great - it's simply an example of a changed behaviour)
Am I being unreasonable in thinking this is peculiar behaviour? Is any of this justified and/or normal practice in the nanny community? Clearly I understand that some nannies prefer to work in isolation which is what may trigger some of this behaviour, however, I do try my hardest to give her space and not judge every situation that I'm simply on the periphery of.
She is paranoid probably for a very good reason like having been caught in the past. Until you get rid of her she will continue with this.
Where did you find her, and what were here references like ?
I would find this a bit disturbing. Have you spoken to her about it?
This would make me feel very uneasy tbh. It's odd.
Did you double check her references? Quadruple check them is my advice.
Are your dc able to communicate well enough if need be?
Do you have pets? Are they OK around her? Would be sneaking home and spying through the windows tbh...
I would find this behaviour peculiar, yes, and I therefore wouldn't feel very happy about her looking after my children.
the one that stands out to me is that you caught her on camera looking through your stuff.
That rings alarm bells.
The rest could be her super alert, and scared of eg people coming to the door, but that one is not acceptable.
Did you ask her about it, and what dd she say?
It's your home you should be free to come and go as you please, including that lovely "surprise Mummy's home early" and the excited reaction that gets when they're tiny. Does she think you don't trust her and are checking up on her. Even if you were you are her employer, no different to auditors walking into a bank unannounced or security cameras in warehouses. I'd have to tackle her and ask if she's had experience of being stalked or felt uncomfortable by an overly cautious previous employer. Explain the security measures you have in place and where she can be filmed so you can't be accused of doing it covertly. I'd also be raising why she doesn't seem keen to be at home with the children when you are working at home, does she feel like boundaries are blurred and she doesn't have your trust or that her role is undermined. If that's the case then I don't think she's a good fit. You need to find someone who can look after your children effectively in your home set-up.
oh, and if she was looking for something eg child has lost their teddy, she looke din Mum and Dad's room, then she wouldn't have stopped when she saw the camera.
This sounds a bit out there, I'd be looking at making other arrangements.
She definitely appears to be paranoid about covert surveillance but there may be good reason for this (ie bad experience with previous employer) so I wouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that she is up to no good
Again with the security, she may have had a bad experience in the past so not necessarily inappropriate
The thing I'd be most concerned about is her accessing parts of your house that she shouldn't be in and what is her motive for this? Simple nosiness wouldnt concern me too much but its you obviously don't know if that is the case. I would ask her outright if she has entered certain rooms and why and see how she responds
Assuming nothing has gone missing then she may have been looking for evidence of covert surveillance rather than scoping the house with a view to theft or some other criminal activity
Even one of those points alone would have concerned me enough to find someone else. Why are you tip toeing around her. And why are you ok with her taking your kids to activities so far away from home when you know shes acting dodgy already?
I wouldn't allow someone to dictate to me when I can't be in my own home and also she is literally putting up barriers between you and your dc. I would keep using her.
She is strange.She isn't following your rules and she is obviously feels awkward around you. I wouldn't want her to be looking after my children.
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