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Almost feeling suffocated by nanny in home

(60 Posts)

I have a brilliant day nanny. She is great with the kids- a little bit strong in doing things her way at times but overall she is fab.

The issue is me. I cannot bear having her(or anyone - it's not personal) in my home. I feel panicky that there isn't anywhere left that is my space. I really need space and solitude and early have people over (but go out lots instead) as I dislike having people in my house.

I just feel suffocated that I don't have anywhere private anymore hmm. House is too small to shut off certain rooms.

Even worse is when she has people around that i don't know. I feel dreadful about this, I feel judged but people I don't even know. I just hate it.

I know I need to lighten up and unclench and all that but this is my home and I feel uncomfortable. I think the only cure is to find different Childcare but that would compromise kids (though significantly help my creaking finances).

Anyone else felt like this?

solveproblem Tue 22-Oct-13 06:36:27

This doesn't sound very nice. We've considered getting an au pair as I feel it would benefit my children (they're bilingual so it would be good if they were looked after b someone speaking their second language) but won't as I'm really scared I'd be feeling exactly what you're feeling.

Have you considered a childminder? Some even come to yours to collect the children. Is there a reason you want a nanny?

CreatureRetorts Tue 22-Oct-13 06:37:18

Are you working from home?

If not, I'm not sure what the issue is as you're not there? If you are then can you go into an office?

The nanny isn't the issue, the feeling claustrophobic when anyone comes around is. What happens when your children are older and want friends over?

PrimalLass Tue 22-Oct-13 06:37:19

Do you work from home? If so, would a rented office help?

Spidermama Tue 22-Oct-13 06:37:46

I would feel exactly the same as you. I can't relax and own my space when there are other, non family members in it and I'd be especially tense about secondary visitors like hers. I wish I wasn't like this but I am.

I have lots of gatherings in my house and parties and I love it when the kids bring home friends and always feed them and make them welcome, but to have a non family adult is very stressful. I even find it stressful to have my mother in law staying and it seems I can't keep control of my space so my personality shrinks back for the duration.

I do not work at home. Nanny works best due our set up. It's not my first choice both financially and for this reason.

It's a control thing as much as anything I think. Friends of my kids would be fine under my supervision.

I have emetophobia and that doesn't help. Other adults I don't know with kids I don't know mooching about in my home is too much for me. I know I'm nuts.

If I could say no to her nanny friends coming over then I would. But I suspect that would be considered unreasonable. Side point I don't get why nannys get to socialise with mates at work when the rest if us don't but that's a side point.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 22-Oct-13 06:54:40

do you work? sounds like you are around a lot/hence personal space being compromised

to be blunt, either you have to deal with this feeling and carry on with nanny, or find diff childcare ie cm/nursery where you wont get other adults in your house

it must be weird/hard having people you dont know in your home (some employers feel the same) but if you are home then least you can get to meet them, where as other mb's dont get that chance

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 22-Oct-13 06:56:52

cross posts

and its not that the nanny is socialising with mates, but more that hopefully she is spending time with similar aged children, so that they benefit from having friends to play/share toys with

plus the average parent would see children (and adults) if they were looking after their children

aaaahyouidiot Tue 22-Oct-13 06:59:25

I would feel exactly the same. I can manage house guests for defined periods but this would drive me crackers, and yes I can sympathise completely with the strangers in your home. Completely. I would hate this.

All I will say is that you need to think about what you want for your DC. My parents, mum especially, were not welcoming to guests and we hardly ever had any. I think that's what my problem is. Do you feel that actually it's a good thing to demonstrate this to your children?

I feel sad for you though. It's a horrible feeling to have no sanctuary.

tumbletumble Tue 22-Oct-13 07:07:02

You say she is a day nanny not a live-in nanny, so presumably she's not often actually there at the same time as you for long? If there is a lot of overlap, couldn't you cut her hours a bit? If there isn't much, then the reasons you give in your OP about personal space and solitude don't seem to quite add up. Is it more about being in your own home with your own family but knowing other people have been there earlier? Do you maybe have OCD tendencies?

I work long hours out of the home. I cannot imagine the luxury of having childcare and not actually working! I cross over with her at only one end of the day for handover.

I just really dislike my stuff being seen, used, eaten by others. A fundamental flaw in having a nanny I know. E.g. I hang out my washing- inside the house, nanny has guests- they see my underwear- this makes my skin crawl. (no choice to hang it somewhere private- no space)

I know I have to get over it - not sure how. I agree about the comment about it not being a great model for the kids. My mum was also like this and i suspect that is why I am. Socialisation is v important for me for the kids...

Re nanny socialising wiht her mates- its seems its that. the other charge (no idea of gender even) is much older than my child. Its nanny socialising in my book. In that situation anyway.

Maybe deep down I want to be the one at home and this is making me not think straight.

dashoflime Tue 22-Oct-13 07:42:08

If there's no way to change the situation perhaps a course of CBT would be useful.

Cindy34 Tue 22-Oct-13 07:50:14

I think that you are wanting to be at home with your children, that could well be part of it.

Why not just tell the nanny they can't have other people over to the house? It is your house and you can impose that rule. Nanny could meet up with others at other venues, such as parks, softplay, toddler groups. Children still get to socialise, they just don't do it at your house.

What country are you in? Are other childcare options viable, given the start/finish time that care is required? Often it is assumed that someone is in the UK but Mumsnet is international and what childcare is available worldwide varies.

NomDeClavier Tue 22-Oct-13 09:50:30

I do feel for you. Having anyone in your home is mildly stressful and it sounds like you have a worse time accepting it than others do.

You could say that due to xyz reason you're going to have to put a brake on socialising at home for a bit. A fear of winter bugs and germs that other people might bring into your home may be something she understands or can work with you to enforce hygiene rules.

How old are your DC? Is there any way they might have feelings you could take into account about this other nanny and charge?

You're happy for her to go and meet other nannies and their charges in public places, it seems, but do you appreciate it will make play dates difficult if she can't return them? If socialising is very important, and part of that is being comfortable having people over, you may need to bite the bullet and let her get on with it.

It sounds like she has one particular friend rather than socialising with lots of people the same age.

I don't think changing childcare would necessarily compromise your DC. If you're in the UK a CM could be a very good halfway option - it's collective care so your DC are socialising but in a domestic setting and your children can easily accept play dates with others and you'll return them when you can.

C0smos Tue 22-Oct-13 10:54:27

I feel exactly the same as you but I'm a bit confused about your set up. If you are out at work all day then how can you feel suffocated in your home. Presumably when you get home from work the nanny leaves right?

I also have a full time nanny, she is absolutely not allowed to have anyone in our home, that to me is a huge security risk so I would put a stop to that now. My nanny meets people at the park etc.

I would also not allow her in personal spaces like bedrooms etc so there is your sanctuary.

I do know what you mean about people being in your personal space though, my nanny used to help herself to my personal items e.g hairspray etc, eat food I'd bought in for the kids, use the landline to call her mates etc. We tackled each of these in turn but it wasn't pleasant. I'm on maternity leave now and the first thing we did was let the nanny go, there is no way I could be in the house with someone else all day I had to hide in my bedroom to breadtfeed and it was very unpleasant.

Leopoldina Tue 22-Oct-13 11:30:49

wash your underwear at the weekends.

bluebayou Tue 22-Oct-13 11:42:10

I think in your particular situation , a childminder would be the better option .

hettienne Tue 22-Oct-13 12:10:41

If the issue is mostly the nanny having friends over, then I think it would be fine to talk to her about it and tell her how uncomfortable you are.

I also think it would be fine to say only friends of your children can come round (children the same age) - as having over a nanny friend with a much older charge is a bit cheeky.

However, surely other nannies and children are only seeing the "public" spaces in your house - living room, kitchen. They aren't rooting around in your bedroom.

CreatureRetorts Tue 22-Oct-13 12:23:56

Ok well you can put stuff in your bedroom so it's hidden away.
You can set rules about who can and can't visit.

Switching childcare would be a headache. I work long hours and having a nanny makes it easier as don't have to rush back and it is better for the children.

Kikibee Tue 22-Oct-13 15:02:08

I'm so with you op, I hate having other people in my house/space, it is why I don't have a cleaner even though we drastically need one untidy buggers

GoldiChops Wed 23-Oct-13 01:32:36

I'm not sure what you mean. I'm in the house of the family I work for 12 hours a day. About 10 mins in the morning the mum is there, she helps me sort the kids out and get them out to the car for the school run. And at the end of the day we do about 15 min handover. So of a 12 hour day only 25-30 mins are me and my boss in the same house, and then yes we are in each others space because we are discussing the children.

Regarding the guests, it's hard to change something once established but you are the boss and if you don't want her to have people over, tell her. She doesn't know how you feel. I only ask other nannies over once I've gotten to know them well in public, spent enough time with them to know they are trustworthy. My boss trusts me to care for her 4 children all day, drive them, take them out and about and meet all their needs so she trusts me to be able to judge who to invite in.

And as a nanny..... don't worry about the underwear. Lots of nannies do parent's laundry too, I have a few HK friends who have to iron their boss's underwear! Everyone wears underwear, no one used to working in a private home gives it a second glance. I've worked with many breastfeeding mums and seen more boobies than Playboy, walked in on dads peeing (former boss didn't know how to lock a door, apparently!)

The only thing is communication. She doesn't know you feel this way, so she can't change. Please don't let it fester, she's only human and would probably change how she works and is around you if you let her know.

GoldiChops Wed 23-Oct-13 01:38:49

Oh and I just want to add- although it's my workplace, I am still very aware that the house I work in is just that, a private residence. I feel very uncomfortable going into the parent's room, in fact in most jobs I avoid it unless necessary. In my current job they are very open-house minded and have no problem with me in their room, in fact they prefer it when I do the childrens' story time on the parent's bed. Quite uncomfortable at first but as I got to know the family, I realised how normal it was to them. None of the rooms are out of bounds. But I'm still very aware of the boundaries of private space.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 23-Oct-13 02:54:49

Sometimes what is practically sensible is not emotionally doable. And sometimes it's ok to admit that you can't change the way you feel to make a situation work.

Maybe try a few strategies to see if you can cope, but be prepared to find another way that works for your emotions as well as your practical concerns.

claraschu Wed 23-Oct-13 03:05:00

Goldichops, you sound amazing.

Thanks for your replies. I guess I will work out how to address it. New childcare would be big compromise to kids and our daily sanity.

Interested that some of you ban guests in your house and that's ok. I assumed if be flamed to shit by the mn nanny mafia for even hinting at this.!!

I have been thinking on this and conclude that friends and parents relating to my kids are ok. Nanny friends with older kids are not.
Personal items- I do mind actually- Again, it's not so much our nanny but the random guests that I'm bothered about.

It would help if my H was helpful in this matter. He will disagree with me for the the sake of it on such matters. confused


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