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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?

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:15:51

Well she knew I would be at home when she accepted the job, and we don't want to lower our expectations because she wants to escape. It's her job. Tough smile

Toddler group is twice a week in the afternoon, after she has clocked off, and I take DS.

miggy Fri 08-Nov-13 22:16:49

Maybe offer her alternative employment as a dog walker, she walks all the dogs, you get to stay with your son [ grin]
Seriously think its a bit much, few times a week if your son enjoys it and they are going anyway but it doesn't sound that much fun for him on a regular basis

miggy Fri 08-Nov-13 22:17:36

[ fail ] will learn one day !

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 08-Nov-13 22:23:03

I'd be glad my child was getting exercise and fresh air every day tbh. The only issue for me is that she seems to be spending time at her house after you expressly said you didn't want her to do that, but the dog walking thing wouldn't bother me and I think it's weird that you didn't want to take home out for a walk with your own dog! Pets are part of the family and learning about caring for them, along with the benefits of walking every day are important for little ones.

clam Fri 08-Nov-13 22:26:20

Are there many alternatives for childcare on such a small island?

Viviennemary Fri 08-Nov-13 22:26:25

It would irritate me that her whole morning seems to revolve round her dog. She is actually employed and paid by you to look after your son. It wouldn't bother me that they went sometimes to her house but the whole routine round her dog. That is a bit much I think.

VictorJames Fri 08-Nov-13 22:41:30

twosteps he only has little legs! he's 17 months old. I do about 3 miles with the dogs, up hills and along rabbit paths. No way he could come.

clam well there are childminders which we don't wish to use, and we could have advertised for a different nanny. She is a luxury, not an essential and we just wanted someone in place helping before baby 2 is born, and someone to help when I have a newborn so I can get through the experience with a bit more ease! We would not NEED her if you see what i mean.

Floralnomad Fri 08-Nov-13 22:55:43

She must be walking round the whole island ,the bottom line is you are paying so they do what you want ( within reason) ,personally I think in your position I'd get rid and just get a maternity nurse or some such to help after the baby is born .

Callaird Fri 08-Nov-13 23:50:11

I lived in Guernsey for almost 5 years as a nanny and I thought there was nothing to do there!! Loved Alderney when I visited, think yourself lucky, you have a railway!!! One of the main reasons I used to take my charges over to Alderney.

I would not be happy with her taking her dog out for two hours every day. Her nanny insurance will be invalid if she doesn't have your permission to take him there.

A professional nanny has the child's best interests at heart, taking him for a run about on the beach is great, even in the rain occasionally (I have photos of my charges sat in a rock pool at Cobo in November in waterproofs, gloves and hats, having a whale of a time. Hot chocolate, dry clothes, towels and a warm hot water bottle in the car) but doing the same thing for 5 (?) days running would get a bit boring. She should do activities with him too.

I thought the pool was supposed to be finished this year?!

I would tell her that you don't want her to take the dog out every day and tell her that you'll try to stay out of her way while she is there. It is hard to look after and entertain a child who just wants mummy, who keeps popping in to say hello.

longjane Sat 09-Nov-13 06:50:19

Right so this nanny is there to help you not really to look after you son so you can work.

Why are you not working as a team.
One morning one of you takes dogs out . The other plays with son at home.
The next day you all go out dogs and all.nanny show how she makes it fun for you little one.
You see what I mean work as team discuss what you are going to together as you going to need to do this when baby comes. You might well need a dog walker then for dogs.
You are the leader and you tell her what you are doing .

HairyPorter Sat 09-Nov-13 07:05:24

You see this wouldn't bother me at all! I think I'm strange though as I felt strongly about a nanny not entertaining her friends in my home in the other thread recently! My nanny takes my kids to her home at times (she has a cat) and my kids love it. I think as long as the kids are safe and having fun, then I don't really mind where she takes them. It's good for kids to be out anyway. I would get annoyed that she knew you didn't want it to happen and yet did it anyway. That is an issue for me.

neontetra Sat 09-Nov-13 07:07:35

Personally I would be very happy with this. We take our eighteen month old out on long walks with our dog whenever we can, as she loves it, in all weathers. A lot of her words reflect things she sees on the walks - sheep, cows, deer etc. So it seems to be very stimulating for her. We use a baby carrier as she cannot yet walk the whole way.
However, Yes, you are paying the nanny, so if you dont like this as an activity you have the right to say so.

clam Sat 09-Nov-13 08:54:48

But what was her motivation for popping back home - if it was indeed just a "pop?" To put a load of washing on? To let the boiler repair man in? Run the hoover round?
None of which are you paying her for. And it must have been for a long enough period of time for him to have been given a drink.

Mrscupcake23 Sat 09-Nov-13 09:17:43

I think the nanny is trying to get out of the house. It's very hard working when mum is at home unless she gets completely out of the way.

However walking her dog every day is out of order especially when you have dogs she could walk, she is working for you after all. I suspect she is probably walking her dog quick and then having the time at home.

mrswishywashy Sat 09-Nov-13 10:14:06

As its only a part time position she should be not going into her house at all, this you could make clear that you don't want your child going into her house.

As for walking her dog I wouldn't mind a few days a week maybe you can set a maximum eg three days or what you feel comfortable with.

I worked as a nanny in a very rural area and the children and I will rarely in the house or gardens, we did a lot of walking and its good for children to be out and about but maybe more exploring rather than walking dog every day.

Its a very personal thing some employers wouldn't mind and others would so just think what you feel most comfortable with.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 09-Nov-13 15:15:47

'Im on maternity leave waiting for baby number 2 so am at home except when out with my dogs, food shopping or upstairs napping!!)'

As Blondes says, ^^that is the explanation, probably nothing to do with walking the dog. ALL the other activities you list (except the library?) are in your house. I expect she just wants to get out.

If you're not happy with her walking the dog then ask her not to. Maybe it's a good chance for him to do something different though? You don't take him to walk your dogs, so presumably you spend the afternoons and weekends playing in the garden, finger painting, at the library etc. Given that there is so little to do, what will you do with him if she does all those activities in the morning?

littlegem12 Sat 09-Nov-13 19:10:55

Outraged has a good point, at least she is not exhausting the things you would like to do with your ds.
I would feel self consious and lazy being at home with a 18 month old while nm was in, thing is even if she is happy to set up activities around the clock children of that age just have no attention span and they are very quick, would feel like constant free play and trying to distract him from the fact hes mum is in the house.

surpriseme Sat 09-Nov-13 22:31:07

I think going to her house when you requested she didn't is wrong, if she did need to pop there she should of asked.
I think if the dog was a once or twice a wk activity it would be ok. Or even if it was every day, but less time. So a walk for an hour 9-10 and then the library/arts and crafts etc after that

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 13-Nov-13 03:57:39

Have you had a chat? Will nanny be going for a dog walk again?

It's good to get out of the house - esp as you are there and nothing else about in area - as long as your dc is happy

Pennythedog Wed 13-Nov-13 04:39:19

I would say no dog walking at all unless it is your dogs. Her job is to look after your child that is what she is being paid for.

How about setting her up with a list of activities for that day?

NomDeClavier Wed 13-Nov-13 09:47:05

I think every day is a bit off and going to her house wouldn't sit well with me on a regular basis either as you've said no. A 2 hour walk is very long and it doesn't leave time to do other things like the library.

What will the arrangement be once DC2 arrives?

mistlethrush Wed 13-Nov-13 10:02:13

I used to go out with my todler DS for a good two hours when we had the time - it was actually a 30min walk but with DS along it took that long (even if he was pushed some of the way). The fact that the dog was along too just made it more pleasurable for him - from an early age he loved watching her chase her frisbe etc... And he went out every day, whatever the weather - dressed appropriately of course.

I think that you need to work out whether it is walking the dog, doing it every day, or going to her house that you are concerned about... I think suggesting that she perhaps only walks the dog 2 or 3 times a week, with less if the weather is awful, might be a good compromise - but then if you're unhappy about him being at her house, reiterate this and say that you would prefer that he doesn't spend time there. I would also outline some of the things that you think she might do instead of going out with him - eg have you got a box of pasta for gluing and plenty of paints etc for some painting and other crafts? What about asking her to help DS do some christmas cards (or will you do that?) etc etc

NCISaddict Wed 13-Nov-13 10:10:58

Nothing to say about the nanny but envious of Alderney, my DH is off there this week, we have a house on QEII street.
There really isn't much to do there of the type of things we are used to on the mainland. It's like England in the 1950's. Beautiful beaches, I expect your DS will be a really outdoor type.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 15-Nov-13 00:54:01

OK - so she knew you would be at home when she took the job, but, sometimes the reality of the situation is different to how you imagine it would be. It seems (to me) that she is doing what she needs to do, to make the job work for her instead of just leaving. If you'd rather she left than do what she is doing, you need to talk to her. Things will change once the baby is here anyway, so if it were me I'd leave it and see how things are then.

Either you trust her to look after your DS - whether that's at yours, at hers, in the library or you don't - so saying you haven't been to her house isn't relevant. If you only want him at home with you, then you should get a mothers help who is happy to do this.

MaureenFry Sun 17-Nov-13 06:58:54

Exactly how long each day do you think a 17 month old can tolerate doing crafts? He's getting out and about on your deathly dull sounding island, seeing things, "chatting" and getting tired enough for a 90 minute nap. You've got the afternoons free for library and chucking him on the trampoline.

You don't know you're born, woman ! grin

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