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Annoyed with my Nanny. Am I being unreasonable????

(25 Posts)
Wills Mon 28-Feb-05 15:39:04

I share our nanny with another family. Both families have 2 kids each. She looks after all 4 some mornings before school and all 4 for 1 - 2 hours after school. During the day she looks after my dd2.

Sometimes when the kids are not well she carries on as though they are fine. DD2 threw up last night (8.00 pm) and although she didn't throw again she obviously had a nasty tummy ache as she woke up hourly crying and wanting one of us to stroke her tummy and when she was sleeping it was in a ball with her face in the pillow and knees curled up underneath her moaning. When I got her up this morning she had bright red cheeks and a temp of approx 38.5. I sent dd2 over to the other mum's house in her sleepware because I knew that the nanny (who picks them up at 7.00) would want to bath her because she smelt of sick. I told the nanny about her suffering etc. I then phoned at 10.40 to find she was just returning from the bank having paid in the other mum's salary cheque (her salary).

I know that she has to take dd2 out to the school etc when picking up and dropping off the other 3 but she'd obviously gone straight from school to shopping and I'm not particularly happy with dd2 being outside and dragged around whilst she's ill. When I mentioned the temperature she assured me that she no longer had one and was fine but I'm struggling to see that after her condition this morning. I think part of the problem is that neither of my girls are the type of children that sit around when ill. I've know both of them happily play inbetween being sick etc as well as drag themselves around trying to play when they feel crap. To an outsider they might look fine but I had hoped that the Nanny that has been with us almost a year now would have built up enough of a relationship with the kids to understand them by now so I'm a little disappointed when this keeps happening. Also to stop either of them talking they would have to have laryngitus! She threw up last night and when I walked in was sitting up muttering baby obscenties at the sick in a most pissed off manner (unfortunately rather cute actually).

She gets on very well with the kids and overall I'm happy with her. She's not fantastic in that she has to be prompted often but she certainly does show genuine care and love towards our kids. She's just moved house (bought her first one) so I'm sure she was keen to put the salary in but even so I didn't want dd2 dragged around.

Reasonable/unreasonable????

uwila Mon 28-Feb-05 16:15:56

To be totally honest, I think your nanny has gone quite beyond the call of duty in looking after a sick child. She could have told you that if she wasn't well you should stay home. Many nanny looks after DD when DD is sick and also when nanny is sick (in the case of the latter it is because I don't know she is sick). I just count my blessings that I am able to go to work, and I'm happy to let nanny get on with the day however she can.

I do appreciate that as a mother, you want your sick child pampered and cared for in the best possible way. But, I think the nanny has done more than she had to. Also, does the other parent know your child was sick? I think some parents wouldn't be too thrilled with the idea of your sick child being around theirs.

I know this isn't what you want to hear. I'm sorry, And I do understand it is difficult when you pay someone tolook after your kids, you need to be at work, and then you are expected to stay home and look after them -- and still pay nanny. But, I also think that you are lucky if your nanny looks after her without complaint -- a lot of nannies wouldn't.

GhostofNatt Mon 28-Feb-05 16:20:06

Really, is it not part of a nanny's duties to look after a sick child? Why not? I am astonished at that point of view. My nanny looks after mine when they are sick; if she is sick, I stay home (and pay her and don't get paid myself but that's life).

BadHair Mon 28-Feb-05 16:29:17

If dd2 was already going out to take the older children to school, I don't really see the problem. Did you say she was able to play? If I was the nanny I'd assume that if she was OK to play she was OK to get a bit of fresh air.

Don't see the problem unless she was still in pain or still vomiting.

jampots Mon 28-Feb-05 16:29:32

I think its up to the nanny to assess the situation and act appropriately. Did she take your dd out in the car or make her walk to town. Ive taken my poorly children to school to collect whichever one of them isnt poorly - its a case of having to really. Also think I would have been inclined to bath dd myself - sorry

GhostofNatt Mon 28-Feb-05 16:33:35

I agree about the bath

WideWebWitch Mon 28-Feb-05 16:39:42

Sorry wills but I think I would have bathed dd too, possibly stayed at home if I thought she was really ill and, if I hadn't, wouldn't have objected to nanny paying in her pay cheque. If she had to go out to do the school run anyway I can't see what difference it made to go to the bank too. sorry if it's not the answer you wanted!

ladymuck Mon 28-Feb-05 16:40:46

A quick dash to the bank wouldn't worry me, but the idea that the nanny would take dd2 out for shopping would seem a bit odd to me, unless I had (exceptionally) asked the nanny to do something for me. I take responsibilty for ensuring that there is enough food etc, so I guess you are better aware of your own arrangements.

Personally I view that the nanny should be able to cover most "normal" illnesses, but that they would do this under your advice, so I guess that I would make my expectations fairly clear. How old is your nanny? Sometimes these things are down to experience.

Is dd2 verbal yet? Can she communicate clearly when she is not happy (and explain why?) My nearly 4 year old is fine, but reading my not quite 2 year old is a fine art that not even dh has mastered!

Sometimes bugs vanish as quickly as they appear, but I'm inclined towards trusting a mother's instinct. I guess you'll know more tonght, but that doesn't help you today...

hatsoff Mon 28-Feb-05 16:42:16

Afraid that if all she was doing was paying a cheque in then it was reasonable of her to do it in work time. Nannies don't get paid much and it might have been the difference between going overdrawn or having a cheque of her own bounced. I've always paid nannies direct into their bank account. It might have been nice of her to ask, if you minded, but if she had to go to school anyway, perhaps she didn't really think it made a big difference. I'd take this one on the chin. Make a note for next time to be very specific about what you want/what you think dd needs, but if she's generally good I wouldn't think it's worth getting upset about.

annh Mon 28-Feb-05 16:54:36

Remember this is a nanny share rather than the nanny staying in Wills house and looking after her dd there so it probably is more reasonable to expect the mum to stay home with a sick child then as otherwise you are taking the sick child out to another house and exposing other children to whatever illness she has. Think it would be different if she was only looking after your children, then I probably would expect her to stay home, but in this case she already had to do the school run and perhaps the other mum had asked her to run an errand or collect something which would explain why she was out for longer

Think this one might have to be chalked up to experience.

HappyMumof2 Mon 28-Feb-05 21:06:32

Message withdrawn

Wills Mon 28-Feb-05 21:12:19

You're all probably right. To answer a couple of unknowns though.

1) I'm very close to the other mum and we've both agreed that if the sick child is up to travel in a car then its acceptable for the child to accompany Nanny on the school run. If not then Mum in question stays home until Nanny can take over and is back in time for afternoon school run.

2) The other mum likes the Nanny to be at her house Mondays and Fridays even if one of mine is ill. I find this odd, personally I'd rather sick were contained in a different house if at all possible but she doesn't feel that way

3) Two of our children share the same class hence the sort of "Oh well they're all going to get it anyway" sort of attitude towards illnesses.

4) I don't think I explained this well enough (shouldn't log on at work for too long). This isn't the first time. She's dragged dd2 (18months) and my other dd1 (4) when they're ill. Often I've measured a high temp but nothing else and stated that I wanted dd1 kept at home to "chill out" etc but then I found later have found that she's "over-ruled" me and sent her in, for me then to get a snotty teacher on the phone asking for her to come and get her. This time I'd asked that dd2 be kept in the warmth. She's had a terrible cough for the weekend and then the temperature on top had developed and I've not been happy. Its not the running to the bank that's upset me its more that it obviously took 1.4 hours so something else also occured.

5) Both my kids adore the setup. The like the nanny and they like the other two children as well. During holidays they miss each other.

6)I've hired a nanny that is supposed to look after my children even if they're ill. If they were very ill I would stay off no hesitation but for coughs, colds, sickness and temps below 40 then its up to her (subject to the above conditions of course).

7) I work in investment banking. Its crap! Anyone read "I don't know how she does it?" - it has the best quote about working mum's I've ever come across.... A man can leave a meeting early to watch his son at the school sports day and he's viewed as a good bloke etc. If a woman does the same thing then she's viewed as not committed. Given that when I returned to work I was basically asked recently by my hr why I'd bothered given that I now have two children I'm actually having a bloody tough time keeping my job. I'd like to change but financially that's not an option at the moment. Hope its not sounded like a sob bit at the end but unfortunately I work in a world that doesn't like mummies and as my husband is ill at the moment I really can't afford to loose my job.

All that said and done I'm certainly not going to get rid of her. Just wanted a reality check as to whether I was being too harsh and I guess I was. Proves once again that when it comes to being my kids parent there's no one as good as their mummy!

hatsoff Mon 28-Feb-05 21:18:56

wills - I realised after I had posted taht the time thing did mean it can't have only been the bank (I was at work too, so couldn't post for long!)Over-ruling you about going to school is not on! Don't really want to suggest anything but wanted to show a bit mroe empathy, given taht this wasn't an isolated incident. Maybe havd a wee word this time, or next...but don't let it build up to resentment stage - coz that's always bad for relationships with nannies. I do know what you mean about banking. DH is in banking and it pisses me off enormously the extent to which his employers basically rely on me (I work too)to deal with the kids. He's doing his best to chip away at this and leaves at 5.30 at least once a week, and gets in at 9.30, and tells them why.

annh Mon 28-Feb-05 21:23:28

Actually Wills your last comment about no kids parent being as good as their mummy was pretty much what I was thinking when I typed my earlier response but didn't think it was particularly helpful to say it! I also work (but ONLY 4 days a week) and have been through the usual stuff of persuading myself that my children are not ill - when they obviously are, because I can't stay home with them, sending my nanny to class assembly because I have a meeting and knowing that I should be there. My nanny is great but there are things she does which drive me crazy sometimes. However, I have to accept that the children are safe and loved in her care and that the price I pay for working is that no-one is ever going to do 100% as I would - and that in any difference of opinion (unvoiced, as of course, I'd be afraid she'd leave me!)MY way is always best!

ScummyMummy Mon 28-Feb-05 21:34:45

Sounds like you have a really very tough juggling act in a family unfriendly profession, wills. Lots of sympathy. Is your husband able to help out at all or is he too unwell?

I do think it's a bit like the decision of whether to send them into school or not really, even if you're lucky enough to have someone who doesn't baulk at looking after kids with sneezy colds. Either you truly think they are just about well enough to cope with the day to day routine, despite being slightly under the weather or you have to look after them yourselves.

Wills Mon 28-Feb-05 21:50:55

Agreed with you all. However will temper that with asking her to say if she's ok with staying in and if not then will have to take decision as to which one of us stays off.

You're right crap profession. But dh does try to help out. In fact he's able to make his work give him more concessions than I. However the future in terms of him continuing to work (or be around) in unsure so I can't afford to give up work.

WideWebWitch Mon 28-Feb-05 22:21:50

Wills, I totally agree that nanny shouldn't overrule you or take your children out against your express wishes. I've read that novel and remember that bit, sympathy. re your dh. Hope your dd is better soon.

mrsdoorframe Mon 28-Feb-05 22:22:01

I think all mothers should stay at home and not go to work until their children go to school.Children need their mothers at home to provide them with the best possible care.They grow up very quickly and it is a shame to miss out on being with them .

hatsoff Mon 28-Feb-05 22:28:04

oooooooooooo (rising up and down intonation)

princesspeahead Mon 28-Feb-05 22:28:21

and we all agree with you, of course, mrsdoorframe. now run along now and play nice. elsewhere.

princesspeahead Mon 28-Feb-05 22:31:37

oh sorry will,s distracted! I'd be (a) apologetic about sending her your dd in vommy pjs (b)a bit cross about her taking her out for longer than absolutely necessary with a temperature - would mention it but not make a big deal of it; (c) spitting about her sending my ill children to school when I had told her that they weren't to go. Overruling you is NOT ON. Not if she didn't phone you first to say "I think they are alright to go - what do you think?". Would necessitate a serious conversation....

Wills Tue 01-Mar-05 08:59:19

Just to clarify the sicky pjs. I'd already given her a bath straight after the sick event so that she could sleep feeling clean etc. But there was a vagueish smell and I KNEW the nanny would bath her again. She was pleased with me for not dressing her in her clothes because she would then have deemed them dirty and wanted more. Sorry felt the need to put the record straight on that. Thanks PPH. After a nights sleep I think you're right. I suspect that I'm dithering around on my wishes and not making them clear to her which is not her fault. I think the issue is with me and making my wishes clearer and then giving her an opportunity to give me feedback i.e. have a clear discussion.

uwila Tue 01-Mar-05 09:09:08

Peahead 10:28 comment

Bozza Tue 01-Mar-05 09:50:34

I'm shocked about her sending your DD to school when you've said otherwise Wills. Seriously not on. And would agree with the others about taking her out on a lengthy expedition. Think you have drawn the right conclusion about making your wishes clearer.

Kittermaster Sat 05-Mar-05 12:42:17

Have you thought of having an au pair?

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