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AIBU? Nanny taking charge to own home to walk her dog?

(52 Posts)
VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:17:36

My husband and I have an issue we're torn on and are not totally sure if we are just being arseholes or have a point!

Firstly, we live on a tiny island. There is not much to do, we have no soft play/petting zoo/swimming pool etc. The activities for our toddler son (18m) are limited to playing at home with vast mountain of toys, reading books (which he loves), visiting the library, crafty stuff (playdoh, finger paints), helping to bake something, playing in our garden (giant trampoline and climbing frame), visiting the (crap) park for the swings, going for a walk in the ample countryside/beaches.

So we understand that there isn't a huge list of things to nanny to do with him, we really do.

When nanny started she wanted us to add into her contract that our employers insurance would cover son at her house if they ever popped by there for some reason. We refused to do this, saying that we did not want him at her house (round the corner). For us we choose a nanny over a childminder as I want him in his own home. So we already did cover that point.

We;ve employed her for 6 months and now they have got into a bit of a routine whereby after breakfast they go out (between about 9am-11am). She is driving to her house, collecting her dog and then the dog is accompanying them on a walk. On the one hand I'm happy that he is getting out and about, stretching his legs (he doesn't go in a pushchair) and splashing in puddles. On the other hand, they go even if it's chucking it down (in suitable clothing) and I feel that maybe they shouldnt be planning the morning around nannys dog getting a walk and there are other things (see list above) which they could do. They arrive home at 11am, son sleeps 11am-12:30 then they have lunch about 1pm and she clocks off at 2pm. So there isn't any other time in the day for these other activities. The morning is the only time.

Today nanny dropped into conversation about her and DS being in her sitting room at home and he spilt something and she may need to claim on her house insurance. Well we didn't want him at her house! Now I'm imagining her coming here, having bfast,going back home, taking her dog out, going home, sitting on her sofa in her own home and only returning here for his nap (90 mins that she sits on the sofa here which we've agreed as we have a cleaner so don't need her to do anything else) Then they both eat lunch and she clocks off.

AIBU? Would we be total arseholes to be mentioning that whilst we understand that there isn't masses to do, perhaps they could be mixing it up a little bit and not walking the dog every single day. On a rainy day they could do crafts/library. Or are we dicks and have to accept that son is getting fresh air and is happy and healthy?

MildDrPepperAddiction Fri 08-Nov-13 17:20:47

If she only works until 2 could she not walk her dog in the afternoon? Or early, before she starts work? I wouldn't mind occasionally but I agree I wouldn't want my DCs day planned around a nanny's pet.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:23:13

She works 7am-2pm

There is no problem with the dog, her DH comes home for his lunch about 12 noon and she is home for good at 2pm so dog isn't left for 12 hours a day or anything. I think she just sees it as killing 2 birds with one stone, something to do with the toddler, and if they're walking she may as well swing by home and take her dog.

rubyslippers Fri 08-Nov-13 17:27:34

it would tick me off if it was every day

i am a nanny employer and understand that there are times when my nanny needs to do stuff in her working hours and the kids need to accompany her

you aren't being arseholes - you are her employers

Floralnomad Fri 08-Nov-13 17:30:22

I'm afraid she wouldn't be doing it on my time ,occasionally maybe but not as a routine thing . Was she telling you about the spillage because she thought you'd offer to pay ?

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 17:30:59

what about her taking him to her house? We'd rather he was here. It's why I wanted a nanny. Something grates about paying her to sit in her own house. Would we be unreasonable to re-iterate what we said before employment started that he is not to go there? Nobody else gets to pop home in the working day and hang out at home for a bit!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 08-Nov-13 17:34:22

well first and foremost you stated you did not want your son in her house and she has gone against that rule so I would issue a verbal warning for that.

secondly, the odd walk with the dog maybe once or twice a week I would be fine with if a walk was on the agenda for that day anyway but not everyday and not in bad weather.

she is prioritising her dog over your child when she is being paid to look after your son.

not on in my book.

I would be having words. saying no to son being in her house and no to the dog walks. because I think even if you said "occasional dog walks are fine" she sounds like she's take the piss tbh.

is she your only childcare option?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 08-Nov-13 17:36:18

and she really has no need to be walking the dog if her partner is home at 12! not that it would be your problem if she was leaving the dog all day. it would be her problem to sort- like hiring a dog walker.

starfishmummy Fri 08-Nov-13 17:41:17

Yanbu at all. You are paying her to look after your son not to walk her dog with your son tagging along every day (once in a while might be ok but not every day).

You also expressly told her that you didn't want your son going into to her house and she has ignored that. In your shoes I would be considering if the arrangement was working for me.

bamboostalks Fri 08-Nov-13 17:46:02

A 2 hour walk is a long time! Could she not walk dog for 30 mins, then get on with whatever you think your son needs. Just tell her, you're the employer paying a wage here.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 18:06:14

a walk once a week would be nice but not every day, but she is your nanny and you are entitled to ask her to play with your son and not walk the dog iyswim

esp as finishes work at 2pm so she can walk the dog then

she has gone against your wishes by taking child to her house- tho again i dont see the harm in it every now and again - my kiddiwinks love coming to my house and playing with my toys/looking/feeding at fish and when alive getting hammys out

NannyLA Fri 08-Nov-13 18:11:30

I am a nanny and think it is extremely unreasonable to be doing this every day during working hours!
I have only taken charges to my home on rare occasions and always asked my employers first. It has usually been when they have had builders or no heating at their home and on one occasion it was that I had to have a delivery of furniture during working hours so was easier for my employers to do that than take time off and inconvenience their working day.

I think you should have a conversation with her about this ASAP. It is unfair to your child and you as a family. You have employed a nanny to have one on one care, not to be fitting your child into her lifestyle. It may also be that your child is just hanging out at her place without toys, stimulation etc

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 18:43:39

pretty unanimous then. OK need to grow a backbone and bring it up - just feel like a dick. But then, I'm paying the salary I suppose! thanks for all the contributions.

bronya Fri 08-Nov-13 19:24:44

Perhaps approach the subject in conversation and see how it goes?

It could be that she takes him into the sitting room to get the dog (can't leave him in the car on his own after all!), and he knocked something over - or asked for a drink while they were there. I could be that the dog thing became every day because he really enjoys the walk with the dog and looks forward to it. It is recommended that children get outside (suitably dressed) everyday in all weathers, after all.


It is possible she's taking the p and you need to re-establish boundaries. Perhaps best to check first though?

JellyBellies Fri 08-Nov-13 19:25:37

Also, I know you have a cleaner, but does she not do anything when your son is having a nap? Tidy up, make lunch etc?

Rewindtimeplease Fri 08-Nov-13 19:32:36

You make no mention of what kind of a nanny she is and how your son responds to her, and indeed these walks.

If my son was very happy with her and seemed to really enjoy the walks, I would have no problem whatsoever. On the other hand, if he didn't, then I would have a problem with it.

I wouldn't have a problem with it simply because it irked me.

Rewindtimeplease Fri 08-Nov-13 19:33:14

Same applies for being at her home. If my boy loved his nanny, I would have no problem with it at all.

missimperfect Fri 08-Nov-13 19:40:46

I find it a bit odd that she first asks you about your insurance in her interview and then drops into conversation that she may need to claim something on her insurance - an insurance claim usually costs quite a bit in excess and a hike in premiums so it would have had to be a spillage on an expensive item - all seems a bit odd to me esp if she has a dog around.
Also wondering if she is just trying to wear your DS out with a very long walk so he has a good sleep. She doesn't seem to want to vary things at all which also sounds odd. But as has been said - is your DS happy with her?

longjane Fri 08-Nov-13 19:53:30

So you do not want your son to leave your house at all?

Do want take him out in afternoon and he is tried is that what this about?

You do not want him to meet or talk to any one either?
Again you want to take him out for his hour walk and do play date/meet people.

Really what you need to do is work what you want to with you son and do and tell here she not allow to those things.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 20:22:11

I don't think op wants nanny to stay at home all the time but she doesn't want her nanny to go for a walk every day for her dogs sake

But yes nice to get out of a house - to stay in a house all day (well 7hrs) would drive me insane

I'm so Entrigued where you are grin as in there is nothing to do - no m&t - no music/gym groups - no other nannies /cm/mums she can meet?

Just a naff park and a beach

Can nanny drive? Is she allowed to drive 30mins to another area and find stuff to do?

littlegem12 Fri 08-Nov-13 20:26:49

Does your little boy respond well to the dog?
I am a nanny and tbh one of the reasons i became a nanny rather than staying a nursery nurse (we are just private nn's after all) was to have the freedom to take children out, act on their interests and let children experience different environments, if your island is that dull than outdoor play is the obvious choice and if she has a dog your little boy likes are you sure the dog is not the tag along rather than your son, since they are going out anyway may as well stick the dog on a lead too sort of thing?
There was a thread on here yest about what do people do with a 2 year old when its rains and most said welly up not stay in, I'd have to agree with this getting out has amazing benefits to health, tantrum taming and physical development not to mention sensory experience, kids stuck indoors for one reason or another end up having to have sensory play recreated in their kitchens because they don't have the opportunity to make real mud pies or pick up wet sand/ leaves/ twigs.
I'd personally ask where they go if same or different every day and specially what your son actually gets to do. I used to keep an activity diary for my employers but if they were only aware if we were home or out they only would of known we were hardly ever in, nm used to joke that her ds knew more people in the local area than she did because she would take him out on the weekend and people they passed said hello to him and knew him by name.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 21:53:22

Ah some different views coming along! I think after finding out today that they'd been at her house (spilage was on carpet and won't come out) I just had this vision of her really suiting walking, going home (for how long, I don't know). We live round the corner so no need for her to go to her house if he wanted a drink. He doesn't speak yet so cant ask for one anyway smile

blondeshavemorefun I'm chuckling at nanny driving 30 minutes...the island is 3 miles by 1 mile. You can only drive for 5 minutes and you're back at the start. Seeing as I've namechanged I may as well say the island is called Alderney!

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 21:58:06

googled lol - hmmmmmmm not a lot to do then pmsl

do you have any friends she can see, maybe she is bored/lonely hence the every day dog walking

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:03:32

Well thats why we thought maybe we were being unreasonable...She may well be a bit bored. But I think we'd rather she mixed it up with some arts/crafts or library or made use of our climbing frame and trampoline which he loves. Rather than the dog walk every single day. Part of the reason we employed her is that I can walk MY dogs without having to drag him too! (Im on maternity leave waiting for baby number 2 so am at home except when out with my dogs, food shopping or upstairs napping!!)

I think we will remind her that we don't want him to go to her house, he has ample toys here, and i've never seen inside her house whereas I know mine is a safe familiar environment.

I sympathise that she may be bored but she's lived here for 10 years so know what it would be like taking a nanny job smile

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 08-Nov-13 22:08:22

theres your answer then smile you are at home and she needs to escape wink so nice to get out of house for a few hours as you are about - most nannies would be the same tbh

maybe suggest walk every other day with dog, providing your child enjoys it and other 2/3days (if 5 days) to spend in garden/outside

cant believe there is nothing for her to do, must be a church hall/toddler club etc to go to .............

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