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Nanny starting to grate - is this just normal?

(16 Posts)
MrsNuckyT Thu 19-Nov-15 09:56:42

Our nanny has been with us just over two years. My DS loves her and he has undoubtedly come on really well in her care. She's clean and tidy around the house, does lots of activities with him and has focussed on some educational things with him that i'm not sure I would have had I been at home with him.

But some things she says/ does are really starting to grate on me. I suspect this is just part and parcel of having someone coming in and out of your home on a day to day basis. It's just little things but a few recent examples:

- by accident rather than design we have a car for her to use. We've had a lot of trouble with it and are probably going to sell. We recognise that things have now been set up in terms of activities etc that she really needs a car to get DS to things, so have down graded by taking my mum's old car off her hands. It's older and not fancy, but is safe and reliable. Honestly, the hassle she's given me over this flippin car, suggesting that we just buy something nice 'like an Audi'. It's like she thinks money means nothing to us - we both work bloody hard in professional jobs but the cost of paying a nanny is not insignificant to us and it annoys me that she's so ungrateful to complain that we're getting her a 'lesser' car to drive.

- she complains about things in quite a passive aggressive way. So rather than just having a conversation about something she sort of makes snide remarks or hints at things.

- she is extremely picky on the food that I buy for her. Obviously I understand that providing lunch is the done thing and I don't mind doing this. At the start I told her there was no point in me buying things for her she didn't like so if she could leave me a list I'll be sure to pick up the things she'd want. She will repeatedly ask for things in quite a vague way eg cherry tomatoes but then refuse to eat them because they're not the right ones - 'oh I only like the vine cherry tomatoes'. I like avocados and she ate a couple of mine last week, which I didn't mind. So I asked her if she wanted me to buy some extra and she says yes and mentioned a particular type she wanted me to get. So I buy them and this week they have been left while mine have been eaten (by original intention had been to just double up on the ones I buy myself!).

- DH works excessively long hours and usually isn't home until after 10pm at night. But almost every week she tells him he didn't bring the bins in on a Thursday after they'd been collected. He just pulls them round to the front of the gate to bring them through at the weekend. God, the man doesn't get home until it's pitch dark and no one is asking HER to do the job so why does she feel the need to tell him?

Oh god, all these things written down just sound silly, but increasingly I drive off to work in the morning just annoyed at the latest complaint she's made about something. Do I need to talk to her about this ? Let sleeping dogs lie? Is this just quite normal when you have a third party who is part of your intimate family set up? Am I an ungrateful cow?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 19-Nov-15 10:36:25

I've always had a car during working hours - don't mind what it is but guess if went from a lovely newish car to an older banger nanny may be a tad peeved but wouldn't bother me

Food is rude if you buy in something particular and she leaves so just buy usual shopping and she can ask again or eat what you have - but nice you asked smile

Bins - maybe she finds annoying if by gate and she can't get in easily on a Friday? Or has to move them herself? Not sure really

A 2yr chat /review may help. If everything else is ok and your child happy in her cage I would leave it

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 19-Nov-15 10:37:17

Care not cage

Hopefully nanny doesn't put your dc in a cage grin

MrsNuckyT Thu 19-Nov-15 11:22:43

I'm pretty sure she doesn't blonde... :D

wizzywig Thu 19-Nov-15 14:32:35

I can see that it'd be really annoying especially the food as id hate to waste food and money. My nanny was/ similar in that she is very happy to spend my money on food that takes me out of my weekly food budget and then not use it as she didnt get round to making whatever she had planned. Im left seething as i have a strict budget and she clearly doesnt. But its one of those situations where you need to put on yr big girl pants and just tell her.

jclm Thu 19-Nov-15 20:33:24

These are the aspects of having a nanny that I dislike. Particularly the expectation that you will provide her with a gourmet lunch! (When you yourself may be making do with cheap left over!). Also the expectation of a car (and a nice new one!). Running costs are extortionate and plenty of families cannot even afford one car let alone one for the nanny's sole use.

I would do a review, as the other mum has suggested, and ask her how she is feeling in her job. Is she worried that she will soon be out of a job due to school starting? Or is she just not finding it challenging enough?

PowerPantsRule Thu 19-Nov-15 23:54:55

A review is a great idea. At least she has not got the two year inertia as I call it - where the routine is exactly the same every day, she never ever initiates anything new, children do the same thing every week, that we are suffering from.

She's taking the mick about the car and the food - it's all a bit 'well you're rich, you can afford it' isn't it.

TheClacksAreDown Fri 20-Nov-15 10:14:58

I occasionally get tinges of this from my nanny. I think some nannies can assume that because you can get the money together to pay them, you're rolling in it. And that grates when you find your money is going on more expensive food (the more esoteric out of season soft fruits, for example) that you wouldn't buy for yourself.

Awful as it is, you may need to have a straight up conversation, particularly about the car. I wouldn't get into a debate but I'd make clear that that car that is coming is the car that is coming - you are happy it is safe and reliable and you certainly won't be getting something newer as the nanny car and that is how it is.

PA comments I'd pick up on the time when she makes them. I wouldn't be aggressive but perhaps look confused and say something like "I don't understand what you're getting at - can you clarify what the issue is please?" She'll either then drop the point or will have to explain. If you do it consistently hopefully her commuication will improve.

On the bins, the next time she brings it up your DH needs to say that she makes this comment a lot, he is happy with how he is handling it and he doesn't wish to discuss it further with her.

OVienna Fri 20-Nov-15 18:44:53

Car thing would roll right off my back TBH. "Maybe we should look at doing things at places where you can walk everywhere," might be my PA response to "Buy an Audi" if the older car is a problem for her. wink But I would just actually ignore it. Yes, it's very annoying.

I would also no longer ask her what food she wants. Have a well stocked fridge, stress she can help herself, and that would be it for me at this point.

What clacks said about the bins and the pa comments.

MaybeDoctor Sat 21-Nov-15 08:57:31

I think there is merit in keeping her happy to a certain extent, so a few avocados won't break the bank. But your husband needs to tell her straight with regards to the bins. I would also be straight about the car: "An Audi? Well, a used Audi hatchback will cost £8,000 and we frankly have not got that kind of money to spend. So DH and I are happy with the choice we have made."

poocatcherchampion Sat 21-Nov-15 09:07:07

My nanny gets on my swede from time to time too. Not about money. I discuss it with dh and he always decides I'm just picky. He is right.

Things that annoy me include:
- her joking I'm going to sack her if I ask he to do something differently
- saying toilet and kinckers
- using more plastic beakers than I deem acceptable
- taking the crap catcher plug out of the sink a million times a day.


I'd brush off the car ans bins with a jokey comment to shut it down and maybe have a chat about food

ssd Sat 21-Nov-15 09:11:47

I nannied in the 1980's in London, I know times will have changed but here's things from the other side, op....

I worked for a couple, she was a famous singer, they were loaded, he was a right arse and didnt work....they both drove top of the range audi's and gave me an old banger, which once broke down at the roundabout in Sloane Square at 3pm, with my charge and me in it....maybe the nanny sees you and your dh driving nice cars and thinks, oh the grans old car is good enough for their kid then.....and as to the cost of food, as a young girl I wouldn't have had a clue about this, maybe the nanny hasn't either?

I'd love to hear your nanny's side of it..

there are loads and loads of others, its hard for 2 parties to work together regularly when they dont really understand what drives each other...

Wolfie2 Sat 21-Nov-15 09:19:51

She would do my nut. Totally high maintenance. Picky.

How old is she OP? Does she live with her parents. Maybe she doesn't realise the value/cost of things?

Wolfie2 Sat 21-Nov-15 09:21:01

I would stop asking about food as long as you provide a range of things.

Luckygirlcharlie Tue 01-Dec-15 11:35:00

She sounds like a bloody diva. Our nanny does most of the shopping - ie pops into supermarket most days and buys kids food and also gets herself whatever she wants for lunch. That would solve that one? Or maybe your local supermarket isn't up to her exacting standards! Don't see why she would care about the car as long as it's safe. Dont see why she couldnt wheel the bins round either!

JaneAustinAllegro Thu 03-Dec-15 10:02:41

the car thing is pretty common I think. We had a very young (naive) nanny once who would bang on at length about the cars that other nannies had bought "for them" by their employers (as if they were being GIVEN these brand new cars) - always with a tinge of resentment. SHe left to work for a very wealthy family and was gone from them within months, disappointed that their largesse didn't extend automatically to her
GEnerally when they're doing the comparing, they're looking at the perks of nannies who've been with families for many years and who go beyond the bounds of their job description on a regular basis, whereas yours wants an audi but won't deign to bring in the bins. It's youth and a lack of initiative; really professional support staff (whether nannies / housekeepers / PAs) can spot those things that make their employer's life better and just do them (god bless the person who puts a jug of water and glass on my desk every morning, unbidden - it genuinely makes my life better)

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