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AIBU - nanny affection towards DC

(391 Posts)
GallopingFox Thu 25-Apr-19 18:50:32

First time poster so please be gentle as well as honest.

I employ a nanny full time to look after my DC who is just over 2 years old. She has worked for us for over a year and so knows my family and DC well. She is highly experienced, qualified and generally very professional.

Recently I have been off work for reasons I won’t go into but which have meant that I have been at home a lot more and able to witness first hand the interaction between my DC and my nanny. They get on very well and I have no concerns about my DC’s welfare or happiness - DC is safe and well looked after and for that I am very grateful.

However, I have noticed my nanny is quite physically affectionate with DC - fondling DC’s hair a lot, massaging DC’s feet, occasionally kissing them on the head or cheeks and very frequently cuddling DC / cuddling up to DC on the sofa and making DC sit on her lap a lot (all while I am around the house or in the room - I rather suspect it goes on even more when I’m not there).

It makes me very uncomfortable. Whilst I want my DC to feel loved and looked after, I don’t feel I am paying my nanny to give DC all the physical affection I instinctively give. Of course if my DC hurt themselves or was upset, I would want my nanny to comfort DC and hold them. But kissing and massaging them routinely or seeking cuddles / proximity from DC throughout the day feels too much. I should stress I am a very affectionate and cuddly person and so I shower my DC in cuddles and kisses all the time - DC does not lack physical affection and is extremely confident (DC is not the clingy type at all so it is not as though DC seeks physical reassurance). Instead, it feels like my nanny just likes cuddling and the affections of a little person.

Am I being unreasonable / should I tell my nanny to rein it in? I don’t want to hurt her as I think she means well and I don’t want to lose her. However, I am finding it increasingly hard to ignore and feel for what I pay her (v decent London salary) I should be entitled to tell her how I want her to behave toward my DC. How would you raise it with her?

rainbowlou Fri 26-Apr-19 23:34:49

I was a nanny for a family with 2 very young children (pre nursery) and worked 8-6 every day, I remember one evening the children clinging to my legs and crying for me not to go when I was leaving for home and their mum became so cross with me!
We then had a chat and I asked her would she prefer that or them crying when I arrived every morning and her leaving them feeling upset with me..things got better and we are all, years on still very good friends.
I now work with children in a different capacity but often give hugs when needed!
It broke my heart when my 5 year old hurt himself quite badly at school and told me nobody hugged him because they weren’t allowed sad

bugeyedbarber Fri 26-Apr-19 23:46:30

My DD adores the socks off our nanny. I love it that DD has someone so loving and affectionate in her life. It's self evident as she talks about it.

I'd lie if I said that on a couple of occasions I didn't let my heart twinge with some weird possessiveness. But that twinge was about me feeling guilty that perhaps I should be there more - the usual mummy guilt nonsense. Own it and move on.

I grew up with a loving nanny. I cherish this so much now and I value it immensely that my DD has the sand experience.

bugeyedbarber Fri 26-Apr-19 23:47:07

*same not sands

LaurC Sat 27-Apr-19 00:29:22

YABU I think you’re being ridiculous. Your nanny is raising your DC and spends more time with DC than you and jealousy is kicking in. Why if you are off work anyway do you have nanny there!

Arkenfield3001 Sat 27-Apr-19 01:45:13

Your DC is 2 years old bless her! Of course she should be showered with affection by her Nanny or her Key worker at Nursery...

I think it would make for a very sad working situation if you ask your Nanny to reign in her affections towards your DC

bmbonanza Sat 27-Apr-19 06:50:23

Nanny has been employed in loco parentis - in all its aspects. You are just jealous. Dont deprive your child of that affection because YABU

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sat 27-Apr-19 06:54:23

Sorry but this is your issue and not hers - or theirs. Be very grateful for a nanny who loves her young charges


Blondeshavemorefun Sat 27-Apr-19 07:51:57

Your nanny obv loves your daughter. Be grateful for this as often read nanny posts saying Nannies are awful

I was a nanny for over 25yrs and now a maternity night nanny solely for newborns

As a nanny I would cuddle and stroke and give kisses etc to the children I cared for

A child’s love is like an elastic band. Their heart can love many people.

You will always be her mum. You will always be your child’s no 1 - but it’s healthy for children to have other people in their lives who love them

Tbh you sound jealous. Not sure why you are home at the moment but if you can manage it spsnd some extra time with your child if not working , and give the nanny some extra time off by allowing her to come in later /finish earlier and you enjoy the cuddles and effection

Now I’m a mum myself I love the fact my daughter now 2 loves everyone she sees and gives them hugs and kisses

Your nanny sounds lovely - don’t let your jealousy or insecurity get the better of you

soberfabulous Sat 27-Apr-19 08:33:43

A child’s love is like an elastic band. Their heart can love many people.

this is beautiful.

We have a nanny and she has been with us since DD was 3 months old. She's now 5.5. Over the years our nanny has been exactly as yours - she showers DD with love and affection and as a result they are now great friends AND i am completely relaxed knowing she is in the care of someone who truly loves her and will always do the right thing for and by her.

I do understand how it can make you twinge sometimes - but ultimately your child knows who is the nanny and who is her mother.

I see our nanny as an amazing complement to our lives, who makes our lives better. she enables us to function better as a family unit and in many ways is the foundation on which our lives are built as she works with us a family to grow and develop.

a child can never have too much love and in my opinion, if you have a nanny like this, you've struck gold.

I give thanks for ours every day.

Ucannotbeserious Sat 27-Apr-19 08:40:30

I do hope OP is actually getting some reassurance particularly from the nannies posting. I’ve had years and years of nannies, from fab all the way to grim. We’ve stayed in touch with the majority even across the world and DCs do so too. I had to work but chose nannies as the next best thing and had to save elsewhere. You have the holy grail of nannies OP, hang on to her for all u are worth. I had to rationalise my choice and examine what I wanted for them and why. It does help that I am not overly jealous as a person. For my DC I wanted people who saw them in the park or in the street to not be aware they were being looked after by a nanny rather than their mum. I wanted them to love the nanny even if that also meant loss. The ability to give love is wonderful both ways and it expands to fit. They actually don’t confuse the roles of mum and nanny. Also if you have a nanny with experience that is just an amazing source of help and advice. Try to allow her to teach your child the value of closeness in your own home. I do hope you are able to ‘reset’ your thought process. There is real joy in opening up the front door at the end of a hard day and hearing joyful homely sounds, I hope you don’t lose this lovely nanny and make a mistake next time and experience the horror of the alternative. I speak from experience, you don’t want to go there. Good luck.

Devora13 Sat 27-Apr-19 09:30:00

Attachment is massively important for children. It sounds to me as though the nanny is giving the child the nurturing needed. She's not just an employee, she is acting in loco parentis in your absence. If she was being too intrusive, you would (hopefully) be able to tell from your child's behaviour. Establishing an attachment with the nanny means your child has a model which will allow him/her to effectively attach to others, including you. She is, after all, the child's primary caregiver.

Mamalicious89 Sat 27-Apr-19 09:43:25

@Gwenhwyfar it isn't selfish if her instincts are telling her something isn't right. Safeguarding her children is most important.
Her children can feel nurture and affection without it being so physical, so often. I would feel uncomfortable with another adult being so touchy with my children. That said, I would never have a nanny so can't share from experience.
Maybe as a teacher I have seen too many instances where my instincts on child protection issues have been right so I maybe have a more cautious viewpoint than others.

tuiblue Sat 27-Apr-19 09:53:24

Could you downsize from London and its very high salaries and raise your child yourself? Maybe that's what your heart is telling you should do. I understand your discomfort, I've never employed a nanny but I have worked and left babies and toddlers with two childminders who became like aunties or extra grandmas. I was lucky how much they cared for my children, but it sometimes hurt (me) because I was torn. I don't think I would have wanted to leave them with a woman who wasn't tactile and affectionate though. In the end I agree with some of the other posters who say there can't be too much love.. hope you work it out smile

Bignosenobum Sat 27-Apr-19 09:53:31

If you are that bothered stay at home more. Spend time with your child. Then you will be able to cuddle your child yourself.

mummmy2017 Sat 27-Apr-19 09:59:44

Do you know how many people would bite your hand off to have your nanny
Your child is loved, just think her as an aunty, and be grateful you can walk out if the house each morning leaving your child with someone who will protect them...

tuiblue Sat 27-Apr-19 10:02:39

Either I need to go to the straight talk workshop or bignose needs to go to the tactfulness training!

shitholiday2018 Sat 27-Apr-19 10:06:44

Omg this is exactly what you want in a nanny, a natural instinct to mother/parent in loco parentis. I see the opposite in so many nannies I see - on their phones whilst in charge, slagging off their employers, disinterested in the kids - and this is exactly what is lacking.

If you don’t want proper parenting in your absence, use a nursery.

Beautga Sat 27-Apr-19 10:08:56

I agree complete with Bignoseobum stay at home you can have a career later you never get these years back.As i said earlier i never had a nanny brought my children up pre school and still managed to break the so called glass ceiling salary wise and now in my fifty enjoying my retirement

Whatafustercluck Sat 27-Apr-19 10:17:48

What you're describing is jealousy OP. Understandable, but jealousy nonetheless. A full time carer like a nanny or ft cm isn't solely there to take care of a child's practical needs. DC need closeness and attachment with all primary carers in order to develop well emotionally. My DC are like this with our cm and I encourage it and always say that if I can't be there to comfort them or provide for their emotional needs, then she's the next best thing. When 2yo dd has had a bad day and cm contacts me to say that she's tearful, I've given her advice to stroke her arms or legs, which completely calms her down. My kids kiss her goodbye, seek her out for a cuddle if they're overwhelmed etc. I see it as extremely positive that they are able to trust someone else in their lives so wholly. And it gives me huge reassurance that she doesn't just see their care as practical/ educational. Yabu op. Be thankful you've found someone so attuned to them.

GingerLiberalFeminist Sat 27-Apr-19 17:52:55

I've now become a bit worried about how affectionate I am towards my friend's kids. In particular odd kisses on the head while we are playing lego or them sitting on my lap while we watch TV. But I genuinely think it's just natural maternal affection and yabu.

A lot of posts comment on jealousy, but I wonder if there is an element of guilt here too. You work full time and therefore are not at home to provide all of this care. There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to work full time and have a stable care giver, and the nanny you have sounds like an excellent choice.

Hanywany Sat 27-Apr-19 17:55:14

kittyInTheCradle_totally agree i always go by my instincts and to be quite honest i'm not usually wrong if something is not sitting right then something needs to be done to rectify it! Im not sure what in that situation! but im not very trusting of anyone other than me and hubby with our children due to crap families etc! So trusting what is inevitably a stranger with my children doesnt sit right with me personally! My children are lovely and very affectionate little souls and i wouldnt get jealous at all because i would want my children to have that positve interaction with other people but as i say trust your mothering instinct and you wont go far wrong! Do what you feel is best for your family! Its very easy for people to assume shes just being really lovely etc but if your witnessing first hand and its making you feel uncomfortable/weird she is then also doing all that stuff etc when your not there! So it really is entirely up to you!smile

HallowZombie Sat 27-Apr-19 17:57:50

Having been a Nanny for a family of 4 kids for 4 years there emotional needs were just as important as their physical and educational. I became part of the family and their mum was probably a little jealous when they cried for me or ran to me for a hug she always said to me that it also made her feel confident whilst at work that they were safe and being taken care of. Their previous nanny was not as caring and the children were never excited when she arrived and were clingy to mum she knew it was t the right fit for the family. It was the best job, and I loved those children. Now I have more own children I understand her and appreciate the trust she put in me to help raise her precious babies.

Aridane Sat 27-Apr-19 18:04:04

This is one of the saddest opening posts I have read on mumsnet

greenpop21 Sat 27-Apr-19 18:24:42

At 2 chn need that kind of close contact for their own wellbeing though it should be child led not adult led.

greenpop21 Sat 27-Apr-19 18:27:01

I do understand OP and it is one of the reasons I was a sahm. These are the choices you have to make. Far better that your child has a warm relationship with their nanny than not.

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