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Micro-managed nanny

(76 Posts)
FantasticFeeling Wed 30-Jul-14 16:53:03

I started a new job several months ago. It is well paid for 60 hours a week. My gripe is that the children's day is structured down to the last minute by Mum. I am not to vary the schedule. Mum and Dad also work from home more than they said. I have 10 years of experience. I have not had this in my previous two posts. I could just continue to be micro-managed and be unhappy or .............

Jinxxx Wed 30-Jul-14 18:18:04

Difficult one. This must be frustrating for you as it doesn't allow you to use the expertise and initiative your experience has given you. Do you see any sign of the parents relaxing their grip and letting you do your job as they get to know and trust you? If not, I think I would start looking to move on, as you will surely come to resent them and then it could all end badly.

FlorenceMattell Wed 30-Jul-14 19:19:10

Look for another job.
Parents want Ofsted Registered Nannies to claim the vouchers etc but don't respect nannies as professionals.
I wonder if they would hover over the plumbers as he worked, or tell a dentist , doctor, teacher, etc how to do their job.
Assuming you have a child care qualification, and years of experience but hey they know best.
Leave !

Mintyy Wed 30-Jul-14 19:22:54

Oh God, no, just leave. It sounds awful!

Bettercallsaul1 Wed 30-Jul-14 19:47:51

There is a lot of evidence that the most stressful jobs are those in which people feel they have no control. It is psychologically essential to have some control and input in your job - to have no autonomy at all will make you miserable. You are an adult and a professional, not another child for a parent to micromanage.

If you cannot negotiate a big improvement in this situation, I would cut your losses and start looking for another job asap. No matter what the salary is, it's not worth it. You will know what to look out for in your next job interview.

RandomMess Wed 30-Jul-14 19:51:24

I would ask for a review and discuss this - they dc are older now, you have settled etc.

In the meantime start looking for another job anyway.

Nanny friend had this experience said it was awful!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 30-Jul-14 20:55:48

Did you not discuss routine day to day stuff at interview and suggest activites play dates etc

Wahp are hard. Not as I do anything different but the kids behave different and our job is harder

I personally couldn't be micromanaged

Also at home a lot do you have to do 7-7

nbee84 Wed 30-Jul-14 21:00:04

I've been in this situation. I considered leaving and was looking at job sites but I decided it wouldn't be fair for me to leave without having discussed it with the parents first. I think handing in your notice without having discussed why you are unhappy in your work and giving them a chance to air their views and see if there is any room for compromise would be unprofessional.

In my case, it worked out well. Mum was able to explain her reasons and anxieties and we talked about what could be done differently and changes were put into place immediately. Had the parents been unwilling to compromise then I would have looked for a new job. It's important to be happy with your job and look forward to going to work every most day.

Mintyy Wed 30-Jul-14 21:05:40

I don't think it is ever "unfair" to hand in your notice, in any job. If you don't like it then just leave ... no reason to feel guilty whatsoever.

nbee84 Wed 30-Jul-14 21:16:04

True but .... I would be unhappy if I was told I was no longer required without knowing why and especially if it was something I could easily change that I hadn't realised was a problem.

nbee84 Wed 30-Jul-14 21:20:47

And to clarify - I didn't mean unfair to discuss that I was thinking of leaving, I meant to discuss any aspects of the job that I was unhappy with/was hoping could be changed.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 30-Jul-14 23:10:47

I agree with nbee. Talking to them first is the right thing to do. Just leaving without telling them why is unfair, they can't change if they don't know what the problem is. They'll get another nanny who they will micro-manage, she'll leave, and on and on. It's not fair on the children.

NannyLouise29 Wed 30-Jul-14 23:32:45

Do we have the same job? wink

Micromanagement sucks. Especially when you have experience and are perfectly capable of being autonomous. In my case (for various reasons) I have decided to stay a little while longer.

I actually found that to just relax and go with the flow helped immensely. I'd be so frustrated because I'd get to work with a day all planned, only to be told exactly what we were going to do/see by mum - even though she'd stressed at interview that she wanted a capable, autonomous nanny! They are also home most of the day and have nanny cams everywhere. Now I just go to work with back ups in mind in case mum decides to let us do our own thing.

Same with meal plans. I email them over on a Sunday night, she emails back with any adjustments, and we go from there.

Do talk it through with them before you decide to quit. I look forward to the day when I get back to a job that doesn't feel like work, but in the meantime I'm making the best of it by not fighting it. It's jot something I'd recommend but it's another option. I feel for you though.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 31-Jul-14 08:09:07

Agree you need to have a chat and see if they will relax / change before looking for a new job

Entrigued to what changes mum makes on your menu plans?

Don't think I have ever done a menu plan - I just use whatever is in
The fridge tho if I don't do the shopping I ask for basics like chicken mince Salmon but I don't say what I will be cooking with them

TravellingToad Thu 31-Jul-14 08:26:00

I'll offer the other side of the argument. I think that as the employer it is perfectly acceptable to tell your employee how you would like the job done. Airline pilots are perfectly capable experienced people but they're still managed and must adhere to the strict protocol.Or if I had someone to fit a new bathroom I'd be telling them EXACTLY how I wanted the new bathroom to look. Likewise if i've chosen to have my children in a strict routine I'd expect the nanny to accept that and carry it on.

SuiGeneris Thu 31-Jul-14 08:38:53

Definitely speak to them and explain. Not to do so would be unprofessional, unfair to the children and plain wrong. Also, what would you say at the interview for the next job? That you felt micromanaged so left? As an employer that would raise huge red flags, as it can be interpreted as "I like to do my own thing and do not take direction easily". FWIIW, if I were interviewing you, it would be the end of the process.

Bear in mind that from the employer's point of view having a nanny while working out of the house is like having direct reports in another country. It is quite tricky, most serious companies do not allow managers to run teams overseas without specialist training and frequent trips to the overseas office. So take the parents working from home as you would if you worked in NY and once a month your boss flew in to be with you for a week.

Also think exactly what it is that bothers you about their being at home. Presumably if they are working from home you will not actually see them v much as they will be in the office working? So, do you begrudge them having lunch with the kids? Wanting to play with them for half an hour between conference calls? Do think about how this will come across to them.

Most people with nannies on 60 hours a week do not see much of their children and arrange to work from home (usually at some professional cost) in order to see the children more. I love it that our nanny always plans for the kids to have lunch with me or DH when we work from home: it shows me that she thinks about what is good for the children and me, not just what is easy for her.

eurycantha Thu 31-Jul-14 11:16:19

Travelling toad,we are told to a certain degree what our employers would like us to do with the children and also the types of food and educational activities they want us to do,but we choose when we do these things ,I may be going to do a certain activity but the weather,children's mood even perhaps Me feeling off colour will change the days we do certain things .We all work to some sort of routine but this should be able to be changed by us if something more suitable on that day comes up,especially in tha holiday,This is one of the reasons we like our jobs ,we choose to some degree what we will do with the childrenup..My three charges all had homework but it is up to me to do it when I want ,alot is already done,but to have my bosses tell me what we would be doing on particular days ,or hours I would not may be telling your Plummer what colour you want your bathroom ,or the pilot has to fly his plane to schedule ,but they are the skilled person who is capable of being left alone to do the job properly .You don't find Richard Branson In the cockpit tellin g pilots what knobs to tweak .

munchesmum Thu 31-Jul-14 14:14:26

As a working mummy and nanny employer, some of the answers on here from nannies appall me. It is clear that most of you have little respect for your employer. They are not your children - their parents are paying you to look after them and as the people who pay your wage, are entitled to structure THEIR children's day in the way that they feel is best. If you don't like doing the job you are being paid to do, then find another one.

Mintyy Thu 31-Jul-14 14:17:41

I think that's what op is considering munchesmum. Fair play to her.

TravellingToad Thu 31-Jul-14 14:22:16

I'm afraid I do agree with munchesmum. I employ a nanny and don't act like the OPs employer does but I wouldn't think it a problem if I decided to go down the route. They are my children and I'm paying the salary.

As it happens the only thing I dictate is nap times.

hmc Thu 31-Jul-14 14:24:16

As a mum, but one who doesn't want or need childcare ( so perhaps an objective onlooker), I have read the thread and can't see what is so appalling from the nannies munchiesmum ?!?

nbee84 Thu 31-Jul-14 14:32:12

I have utmost respect for my employers - which is why I discussed the issues with them. I would not have implemented any changes without their agreement - as you say, they are not my children and I will always work within the parents parameters.

As a nanny I look for positions where the parents and my views are similar. In interviews I am interviewing them almost as much as they are interviewing me. I wouldn't be happy in a job where any physical discipline was used, or where affection was not encouraged for instance. In my position mentioned previously I had not picked up on the level of micro management involved - we had talked about food, routines and other general childcare points and, whilst Mum had said she was flexible, when it came down to it she found it hard to 'let go.' I was sensitive to this but it did not get better over time, which is usually the case. As a nanny with 20+ years experience I found it hard to have no autonomy over the day - I know all about child nutrition, age appropriate activities etc and to have all this laid out to me on a day to day basis was difficult for me.

I'm not saying that parents should not be able to do this, but that expectations should be clearly laid out at interview stage. Some nannies are happy to have a highly structured days, others are not. Nanny and family need to match in their expectations.

Anotheronesoon Thu 31-Jul-14 14:41:19

Ugh. Can't think of anything worse than working for the type if person who needs to micromanage your day. It sounds so controlling - it's one thing to say " oh it might be nice to take the kids to the splash pool today" or " there is leftover mince in the fridge for supper" but emailing meal plans, micromanaging days?!?!? Doesn't show much respect to the nanny In my opinion.

PickleMyster Thu 31-Jul-14 14:56:29

It's difficult.
Do you think the parents are having trouble in letting go and allowing someone else to get on with it?
Are the parents actually making your job difficult (one job I had the mum, knowing the children and I are trying to get out of the house would throw in loads of delays, like vetoing every t-shirt I choose for her son to wear that morning and then choosing the 1st t-shirt I picked)
Do you think you could talk to them?
Did you get a job description with your contract? Are there any discrepancies?
It might be worth looking at the jobs market to see what is out there.
Is it worth handing your notice in?
In my case I ended up leaving after three months, she was difficult to talk to.

NannyLouise29 Thu 31-Jul-14 15:28:01

nbee84 I think you just very well articulated the point that I was trying to make. It's all about expectations.

I have utmost respect for my employers as parents. What they say goes whether I agree or not - it is entirely, 100% their decision to make. I will abide by any rules they have for their children and their home. But as pointed out above, there is a massive difference between "There's some mince in the fridge that needs to be used", and "This is the way to cook frozen peas..." Exactly. Like. This. It is about respecting and trusting the nanny to have the common sense, and the experience to go ahead and do things as you want without feeling the need to stand over them as they do their job. Or worse, to watch them, and then pick fault in every other thing. Why get a dog and then bark yourself?

Despite asking lots of questions at interview you never know how a job will be until you get into it (which is why a fairly long probationary period is a good idea sometimes!). If you can deal with this then I guess you stay, but if you can't then you leave. It is, IME, not the way to cultivate a happy nanny/employer relationship though.

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