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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?

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 25-Apr-19 19:51:35

This is literally what a nanny is for.

This was my number one criterion for the hiring of a nanny. I wanted someone who would love them. Just love them. My nanny showers my DC in affection and love. She adores them and they her.

You are jealous. You want to deprive your DD of that affection and love because you want it all to yourself. (The nanny enjoys cuddling your child - how could she!) No. Catch yourself on.

Smumzo Thu 25-Apr-19 19:51:36

If your gut tells you something is wrong then listen to it. But if you're just a bit jealous you need to own that and be happy your child is loved. The nanny is your child's main care giver and I would expect her to be affectionate with your child. Our nanny used to shower our kids in kisses and cuddles. It made her a good nanny.

adaline Thu 25-Apr-19 19:54:03

I think you're jealous of the bond they have.

Marilynmansonsthermos Thu 25-Apr-19 19:54:16

I can imagine it would be hard to swallow, but in the long run I think it's good for the child. The more physical affection the better when they are so tiny surely? Its good for them to feel loved by everyone around them. That's what I would have thought anyway.

Halo1234 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:54:35

Dont say anything. You are cant pay her to change who she is.....if she insictivley nurtures children with physical affection with them then asking her to stop is asking her to change what she is naturally like and unfair. She sounds like a lovely nanny and when the children want it to stop I am sure she will take her lead from them....dont try and change her she sounds a nice person. Would hate for u to affect her confidence. U have been at home and your only criticism is she is too affection then u are winning with her.

Isohungy Thu 25-Apr-19 19:55:32

OP this is everything about you and nothing about your nanny.

You've landed on your feet. Think about your kid before you lose your nanny over this- the minute you say anything you accuse her of being inappropriate with a child There is no coming back from that.

Howridiculous1 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:56:29

I will rub my child's feet, stroke his hair, cheek, kiss his little face, give him cuddles without him having to instigate it. It's a shame if children only get affection when they ask for it

Netflixandchilll Thu 25-Apr-19 19:59:16

It’s jealousy from you

cashinnow Thu 25-Apr-19 19:59:53

My nanny was like this. I looked at it in the light of, I’m not there everyday, I want my dc to feel loved and special. My nanny achieved that for me. When I wfh a few days a week after being full time in a far away job I saw how much she cared. She stayed 5 years and visits every month now despite not working for us any longer.

Take it in the most positive light you can if you feel you can. Dc deserve love and nurture especially if the parents aren’t home.
When we finally released the nanny my dc were of course sad but now she’s a memory who is lit up every now and then when my dc remember the nanny doing something special.
I would go back in an instant and hire my one again. It’s not a job you can act in a corporate manner to, you have to form some kind of attachment to the dc else the dc will know.

OKBobble Thu 25-Apr-19 20:02:33

Sack her then and let another family have the benefit of a fab sounding nanny!

Pinkybutterfly Thu 25-Apr-19 20:06:10

Op I think you are conscious of all the evil people out there. Of Ur DD is happy, doesn't react weird to her. I would just leave it. I think you are very lucky smile

Witchend Thu 25-Apr-19 20:06:39

I was a nanny. I adored my babies, and would have laid down my life for them in an instant. They came to me for hugs, and I loved their little hugs and kisses. One of them, my name was one of their first words.

If the children weren't happy with her hugging them, then they'd move away.

Just be thankful that you have a nanny who adores your children as much as you do. I used to sit with the parents and we'd mutually tell each other had absolutely amazing the little ones were and rejoice in each little achievement. Even now, nearly 20 years later when I get a message saying one of them has achieved something I get a rush of pride in them.

InadvertentlyBrilliant Thu 25-Apr-19 20:08:36

I'm clearly in the minority here as it sounds overly demonstrative to me.

OP has said they are very affectionate with their DC and also that it is not DC who seek out the affection, rather that the nanny is the initiator and likes to cuddle.

OP sounds perfectly reasonable and has praised the nanny's qualities, is happy for nanny to show affection, cuddle when DC hurt etc but that the level of affection seems ott.

I think the massaging the feet sounds a bit ott to be honest. I can understand stroking hair, kissing head etc but it depends on how often it is done.

I think if the OP is uncomfortable with the level of affection, she is quite within her rights to ask her to rein it in a bit but just not sure how on earth to do that without nanny being offended.

What I would do in any circumstance where I employed someone to care for my DC (or for parents being looked after by carers) is to fit cameras in my home and access them on my mobile phone in real time to ensure my child(ren)/parents were being cared for appropriately.

GallopingFox Thu 25-Apr-19 20:09:50

Thanks for your replies - some of them have been very kind and helpful. It’s a sensitive issue and my priority is making sure my DC is ok. I chose to have a nanny so my DC would get lots of love and attention when I cannot be there; I’m just trying to work out what that means in practice. I accept there is an element of jealousy which is precisely why I asked for a view on here - it’s hard to be objective. I think I have a clear view on what the consensus is.
FWIW, I’m not “batshit crazy” or selfish or spiteful and I have to work so cannot just stop working to resolve the issue as some posters here have said.

Nofunkingworriesmate Thu 25-Apr-19 20:12:50

Can I have her number ?
Seriously my daughter was cared for by nursery workers and I was worried she was bonding with them more than me as the hours ratio was 8 hours to my 3 a day
We bumped into her key worker who she adored in the shopping mall and the nursery worker was delighted to see my dd after nearly a year and gave her a big hug my daughter was confused and later asked “ who was that !?” So basically your child will ALWAYS favour you. Secondly maybe nanny is ramping up affection just because you’re around to sort of show off how great a bond she has and therefore boost herself in your eyes, it’s backfiring hugely for her but maybe she’d be more relaxed if you weren’t there? Maybe rather than tell her off for the show of affection tell her how happy you are with her and she might dial it down naturally

bellie710 Thu 25-Apr-19 20:13:18

I was a nanny and loved the kids I looked after like my own. I had all of them some from 3 weeks old some from 3 months old and looked after them 10-11 hours a day. Would you honestly expect that there was no cuddles, contact or touching of the child all day while you were out???

You are quite clearly jealous that your nanny has a better relationship with your child than you do which is very worrying. All the people I have worked for were very happy with the relationship we had and 18 years on I am still very close to all of them. I think you need to decide if a nanny is really for you, maybe nursery would be a better idea!

Grumpelstilskin Thu 25-Apr-19 20:15:46

Feck me! I read it all now on MN!

DwayneDibbly Thu 25-Apr-19 20:22:45

@GallopingFox I do understand, but you're so lucky really. This person comes to your home & your DC has a super lovely time with them. I hope you're not feeling too despondent reading the posts here. It's hard going, working and knowing your child is being cared for by other people; but they can never replace you, not with all the hugs & kisses in the world. Try and enjoy the fact your DC is safe and loved.

Heymummee Thu 25-Apr-19 20:23:14

My 16 month old is in nursery 3 days a week, my older son was also in nursery but full time. When my older son was there the staff were stand offish and seriously lacked any kind of affection which I hated. I would go so far as to say they were quite cold, whether that was just “the way” they had to be (this was 10 years ago). The situation with my 16 month old at nursery couldn’t be further from that. He adores his carers and they adore him. He’s a very affectionate baby and often initiates cuddles and kisses, sometimes they initiate them, either way I am absolutely delighted that he has such a loving environment and so many lovely ladies there who are clearly besotted with the babies and children in their care. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

InadvertentlyBrilliant Thu 25-Apr-19 20:23:58


"One of them, my name was one of their first words."
You sound very proud of this yet I would want and encourage their first words to be those of their family, extended family, pets, articles in their environment etc.

When babies start to talk they are usually taught words 'mummy', 'daddy' etc. So are you saying the parents taught the child to say your name or did you teach the child to say your name?

slithytove Thu 25-Apr-19 20:28:10

It sounds lovely for your child. As long as she can say no if she wants and that is respected, it all sounds normal.

Would you have an issue if it were an aunt or grandparent as well?

She has spent a lot of time with your child, in loco parentis. She probably loves her. Is it so terrible to show that?

Charmlight Thu 25-Apr-19 20:33:17

She sounds like a wonderful nanny.
If you don’t like it, do it yourself.

Witchtower Thu 25-Apr-19 20:34:56

It sounds like you are very lucky to have found such a loving and caring nanny.

Witchend Thu 25-Apr-19 20:36:37

InadvertentlyBrilliant no, I didn't actively teach them, what a strange thing to say.
As far as I know the parents didn't teach them either. I just arrived one morning and she came running over saying "Bu-bu" and it quickly became very clear she meant me by it. Parents were delighted to add another word to her vocabulary, they didn't see it a problem.

I didn't teach my dc to say "mummy" or "daddy" either, but they still said it. I haven't come across anyone "teaching" speaking as a general rule unless their dc has needed intervention. You talk to the child and they pick up words you use. Never gone out to teach a child a specific word, didn't need to.

SallyWD Thu 25-Apr-19 20:36:48

I think she sounds really lovely. Kids that age need lots of physical affection and it would be very sad if she was physically cold towards your child given how much time they spend together. I'd have a problem if my nanny was NOT like this. Sorry but I think the issue is with you.

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