Talk

Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Nanny giving notice while I'm pregnant - AIBU?

(42 Posts)
JinxyCat Thu 01-Sep-11 01:10:01

Hullo!

Our nanny has given notice that she'd like to finish up, the reasons that she's given is that she didn't want to commit to a nanny share once I started maternity leave (as we couldn't afford to keep her on full time), and that she wants to think about going travelling.

She did say that she'd like to stay until the new baby arrives (I'm due 22OCT), as she doesn't want to leave us in the lurch, and that she is going to miss our DS1 who is going through a pretty adorable phase (always wanting cuddles and kisses).

So, I asked her if she could stay until the end of October, or the first week in November - as the baby could arrive either two weeks before or after my due date - and to let me know which of those dates she'd prefer. That was on Thursday (and she had a long weekend off).

Today she has said to my DH that she doesn't want to stay that long, and that she wants to agree a different date and then went out before actually saying what date she wanted (although apparently she mumbled something about a 'date in the middle).

Now I know that she's perfectly within her rights to have an end date which is four weeks after she's given notice (which would be end of September) - and that we are asking her to stay on for over double her agreed four week notice period.

However, I'm a bit peeved as I really do feel that we need her in those last few weeks, because I'm currently booked to finish work on 7 October and I don't want to be running around after my 2.5yr old when heavily pregnant, and we don't have any family who live nearby who could help me with childcare - so we'd have to get a temporary nanny, which would be hugely disruptive for DS1 - or do without any help (which scares me somewhat).

We do have a good relationship with her (or I thought we did!), and I thought she understood that we needed her at least until the baby arrives, and preferably at least one week after so that we can settle into a good routine before DH takes paternity leave (his job are being a bit touchy about when he takes PL b/c he has an important release date around that my due date).

I think I would understand more if she said that she had a new job which wanted her to start earlier than end October - but as far as I understand, she doesn't.

I'm annoyed because I thought that because she's live-in, she's more than just an 'employee' to us, we've really tried to treat her like one of the family, and it feels like she's letting us down in our hour of need.

Am I being unreasonable to want her to stay on until after my due date? And how should I raise this with her?

I have to say that I would feel that I would want to mention this feeling of being let down in any reference I gave her as well, of course I'd mention all the positive things which she's done - but I would want to say something like "we were very sorry to see <x> leave, especially as she requested an end date which was before my due date as we would have liked her to stay on until the new baby arrived to minimise disruption to the household".

Maybe that's something I could say if called to give a verbal reference though...

Phew, that feels good to write down - pregnancy insommnia plus a whirling mind does not make it easy to sleep!!!

tryingtoleave Thu 01-Sep-11 01:24:38

It sounds like she is unhappy that you have changed the terms of her employment. Suddenly she will have to care for three children ( is that right - your two and another?) in a nanny share instead of one child. That is a vastly different job. And she will then have two employers, one of which she has had no say in choosing. I'm not surprised she wants to go - she probably thinks it is quite unfair. It is not really the way you would treat 'one of the family'.

As for you, it would probably be better for your ds to be settled with a new nanny before the baby arrives. It would be a huge amount of change for him to deal with all at once otherwise.

ASByatt Thu 01-Sep-11 01:25:35

-disclaimer - I don't have a nanny.

However, somehow this caught my eye.
Sorry, but I do feel that YABU - your nanny has given notice in time to leave when she wants to, it's not her fault that you're having a baby! I think it would be very unfair of you to put it into a reference for her.

tryingtoleave Thu 01-Sep-11 01:26:54

Oh - I just saw the bit about the reference. That is MEAN. You are the one changing her conditions, letting her down.

colditz Thu 01-Sep-11 01:30:47

"I'm annoyed because I thought that because she's live-in, she's more than just an 'employee' to us"

You're wrong. She's an employee, and has the rights of an employee. The privileges you choose to give her do not affect her rights. YABU.

colditz Thu 01-Sep-11 01:32:07

And no, you certainly should NOT fuck up her reference, she has done nothing wrong and to hint that she has is pure malice. Stop whining. Your baby, your responsibility.

elmofan Thu 01-Sep-11 01:33:38

Sorry but yabu.

KatieMiddleton Thu 01-Sep-11 01:34:21

Yabu. You sound precious and entitled and I am struggling to believe you genuinely believe your needs outweigh hers. She has offered to work in excess of her notice. You cannot give her a bad reference for exercising her legal rights! (In the nicest possible way) get a grip!

And I do have a nanny. But she is an employee. There is no moral obligation for her to be at my beck and call depending on my needs outside of her contract.

JinxyCat Thu 01-Sep-11 01:53:34

Hmm, I clearly pushed a lot of people's button's here. Thanks for your opinions.

I clearly didn't think I was being precious, just that it seems slightly wrong after having discussed and agreed a date for her to change her mind and leave us (I feel) in the lurch. Personally, I wouldn't do that to my employer (leave around a challenging deadline), although I do recognise she's totally within her rights to leave within her agreed notice period.

Am taking your views on board though, sometimes when you're in a situation - and emotional b/c of pregnancy hormones etc - it's hard to see the other side, and I do want to be a fair and good employer - hence asking for advice/thoughts.

@tryingtoleave - Regarding the nanny sharing, we looked at families together - to see what would be a good fit for her, our needs, and theirs. And we did discuss increasing her salary accordingly - so it definitely was a change in terms - one which was discussed in detail, and again - I have no issue with her not being happy with her role changing, it was just the only way we could think of to keep her on, and stay financially afloat whilst I was on ML.

She would have looked after our DS1, and their children. I think her issue was around the fact the other families wanted her to commit to a year of nanny-sharing rather than the changing terms (although I may be misinterpreting).

MrsRhettButler Thu 01-Sep-11 02:03:14

i personally would have thought she picked a good enough time to leave, you will have finished work so will be able to look after your ds. (whether or not you want to)

i actually cant believe you would think it ok to ruin a reference for her!

YAsoooBU

tryingtoleave Thu 01-Sep-11 02:14:18

Give her a good reference and find someone who will suit your needs when you are on ml. Maybe a babysitter to help you out in the afternoon and evening. Or maybe your ds is old enough for a playgroup? The nanny sharing still sounds like an unfair change. Looking after a few children is vastly different to one, as you will soon see.

NorthLondonDoulas Thu 01-Sep-11 02:46:10

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

hifi Thu 01-Sep-11 03:05:56

you are scared to be without any help? are you from a royal background?
why are you having another child if you have to rely on someone else. im gobsmacked.

ninedragons Thu 01-Sep-11 03:16:26

If I interviewed a nanny with that reference, I would infer that her last boss was a bitch who thought there was some sort of feudal ownership system happening with her staff.

If I had my workload trebled, I'd leave my job too. She has been more than accommodating to you.

nannynick Thu 01-Sep-11 06:24:08

She didn't want to commit to a nannyshare. You didn't want to commit to continue to pay her as per your agreement. Is that right? If so, not surprised she has given notice and as you say she is entitled to give notice as per the contract terms. It could even be seen as redundancy as her current job is redundant - whilst you are offering another one, its not the same job.

A nanny is an employee, they do the work for payment. They are not your friend. Whilst they may be flexible and help you out, it's only going to happen if it suits them to do so.

Maybe they thought they would give doing a share a try, thus helped with looking for a share family but then decided it was going to be a lot of trouble and a commitment. Did the share family want a contract that specified a minimum period? What if it didn't work out, stuck then in a job someone dislikes for a year! That's why contracts have probation periods so eitherside can terminate quickly if it isn't working out.

nannynick Thu 01-Sep-11 06:24:20

She didn't want to commit to a nannyshare. You didn't want to commit to continue to pay her as per your agreement. Is that right? If so, not surprised she has given notice and as you say she is entitled to give notice as per the contract terms. It could even be seen as redundancy as her current job is redundant - whilst you are offering another one, its not the same job.

A nanny is an employee, they do the work for payment. They are not your friend. Whilst they may be flexible and help you out, it's only going to happen if it suits them to do so.

Maybe they thought they would give doing a share a try, thus helped with looking for a share family but then decided it was going to be a lot of trouble and a commitment. Did the share family want a contract that specified a minimum period? What if it didn't work out, stuck then in a job someone dislikes for a year! That's why contracts have probation periods so eitherside can terminate quickly if it isn't working out.

JinxyCat Thu 01-Sep-11 08:23:09

Wow, to clarify - I can accept that my initial thoughts about the reference were wrong, and I appreciate the other points of view so will make sure to give her the good reference I think she deserves without mentioning anything about leave dates.

Thank you to those of you who were being supportive in your comments, I appreciated it.

I know that looking after multiple children is very different to looking after one, again I have no issue with her not being interested in changing her role to a nanny-sharing one. It is going to be an equal change for me too - changing from looking after one to two, and I do think it's quite usual to be apprehensive about the change as a parent.

NannyNick, you're right - we are effectively making her role redundant - althou as she's been with us less than a year I'm confident we are adhering to our legal obligations with that.

It was the other family who wanted a minimum commitment although we stressed to them (and our nanny) that circumstances could change for any of us - and suggested a settling in period at the conclusion of which we would have all been able to say whether it was working or not and there would have been standard notice conditions (4wks) for any party, if we had gone forward. It was certainly never our intention to "lock" anyone into the arrangement.

I was very much treating her as an equal party in all the discussions and we were looking for a family with just one child as we were conscious of not tripling her workload overnight. We looked at two families, and neither were a great match.

Regarding my childcare needs after the birth, I was hoping she'd be able to stay on for a week after the birth - much like a post-natal Doula (thanks Victoria, I do know a little bit about them) - and then we were going to look at other options. It was not my intention to keep DS1 in full time care after the initial week or two - but more to give me some breathing time/space where I could get adjusted to life with two children as I had a hard time at home with my first and am feeling a bit anxious about the change - althou I'm sure I'll be fine once I'm into the swing of it.

I very much want my son to feel involved in the experience of the new baby, and am very conscious of not making him feel left out or adding to the disruption which is going to happen with our nanny leaving and the new baby displacing some of my attention to him/her.

My feelings around being let down were purely personal - I've extended my end date at work as we've got an important release two weeks after I wanted to finish that I want to help my team meet - but I recognise that good working relationships don't always generate that feeling (or it's not enough perhaps).

I hope none of this has come across as being too defensive (I did feel some comments were particularly personal) and I appreciate all those people
Who were supportive in their responses - despite thinking I was being unreasonable. Big life changes are hard for everyone, and I'm more than willing to accept that how I'm feeling was "wrong" and to work to change that.

Northernlurkerr Thu 01-Sep-11 08:32:45

I think you've got a bit locked in to life with a nanny tbh. Of course you can manage your ds when heavily pregnant - this website is full of people who do that. Ask for tips. Equally most people find themselves coping with toddler and newborn alone. Again - ask for tips.

You seem to feel your nanny has let you down. She really hasn't. She is entitled to leave when she wishes as she has given you ample notice. Is there any chance you've been a bit tetchy recently? Late pregnancy can make people a mite grumpy.

Your maternity leave - so are you working till 38 weeks? I think you need to gird your loins and put your health and your ds before your team. Go on maternity leave - you are v pregnant, the baby could arrive at any point and you will be worn out by then. The working world will keep turning without you. Your family world is far more dependant on you.

perfectstorm Thu 01-Sep-11 08:39:27

"I know that looking after multiple children is very different to looking after one, again I have no issue with her not being interested in changing her role to a nanny-sharing one. It is going to be an equal change for me too - changing from looking after one to two, and I do think it's quite usual to be apprehensive about the change as a parent."

I think that right there is why you're struggling. You are equating your decision to expand your family with her employment situation. You are comparing asking someone to accept seriously adverse changes to their terms and conditions of employment, with your decision to have another baby and expand your family. I honestly don't think the two are comparable in any way or on any level. At some level you don't see her as an employee, whose labour you are purchasing. You really do seem to see her as a member of your family. But you have control over family size etc and she just doesn't - she won't be there in ten years, they aren't her kids and it isn't her life choice. A newborn in the house is a hell of a stressful time for everyone, and while I do absolutely understand why you want her there to help you ease that passage it does seem a huge ask of someone who is already leaving.

You've clearly indicated that she is a great nanny, from the fact you are so sure having here in the house with you around the time you give birth would be a great boon. I think that means you owe her a glowing reference, yes.

I do sympathise, though. It's such a hugely emotional and stressful time, late pregnancy, and you wouldn't be human if you weren't anxious about a nanny change being flung into the mix. It's one more massive shift in how your family functions, and obviously you must be bothered by how it will affect your eldest at a vulnerable time, too. Really hope it all works out for you and you find a new nanny who meets your family's needs really well.

nbee84 Thu 01-Sep-11 08:56:04

Just to throw something else into the mix here - maybe the nanny prefers to work sole charge (a lot do) and so is wanting to leave once you are finished work and will be in the home all of the time. Sole charge and shared care jobs are very different, the dynamics change hugely - ask any nanny that has done both.

nannyl Thu 01-Sep-11 08:58:43

OMG

why would you ruin a reference for a perfectly good nanny?

She has given you notice, she is prepared to work it.
She has her own life too and if she decided to give notice and leave then she can and it should NOT affect her reference.

You better hope she doesnt come on here and work out you are her boss, otherwise id expect her to be leaving in 4 weeks time regardless of what she previously thought.

I expect she knows that you finish on 7 October so thought in her mind she could work until then.
(not many nannies particularly like their bosses around full time as children do generally play up more and make life a lot harder than when parents are out of the house at work)

and maybe your DH should be the one insisting is PL is when he / you want / need it to be. (though i appreciate he probably has no legal right to insist it either) Its really not your nannies responsibility to think about caring for you all immediately after baby is born, while your DH just goes to work....

KatieMiddleton Thu 01-Sep-11 09:18:23

What do you think you'll do OP? Will you get a temp nanny/baby sitter? If you're in London I can suggest a few places to try.

Could your Dh take a week's annual leave straight after paternity leave giving you all 3 weeks together? That extra week can make all the difference.

It sounds to me like you need to be in control and know what's happening to feel comfortable (sound familiar?) so I think once there's a firm plan in place you'll feel better and think less emotionally about the situation and more logically.

IthinkIamUndecided Thu 01-Sep-11 09:45:10

what's an "important release"?

mrswoodentop Thu 01-Sep-11 10:53:57

Yes I was wondering that too,

leeloo1 Thu 01-Sep-11 11:35:14

FWIW My cousin had a nanny who recently gave notice to leave the week before my cousin was moving house and 3 weeks before she was due to give birth to twins! Not ideal (big understatement!), but it was her right as an employee to decide she didn't want her working conditions changing so dramatically (from sole charge of almost 3yr old, to joint care for her plus new twins - then to sole care for all 3 after her ML ended). They decided to put the older child in nursery rather than get a new nanny straight away - I don't know if thats an option for you?

It is hard mentally thinking about how you'll care for more than 1 child - perhaps especially so if you're used to having help around the house? I'm assuming the nanny did some nursery duties? Perhaps you could care for the 2 children yourself but get a cleaner/housekeeper/doula in (easier and less emotive to recruit?) to help in other ways?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now