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Nanny has resigned: can you help me decide what to do?

(25 Posts)
binkie Tue 26-Apr-05 14:01:52

Our nanny has just resigned.

I feel very very sad about this, as I like her tremendously as a person, although I had noticed her ways of doing the job were changing - but I was ready to adapt so long as she wanted to stay, because I so much liked what she brought to the family. (Smiley, sporty, flexible, initiative, etc. etc.)

She says it's because our (well, really dh's - I'm a bit of a agreer-with-everyone) views on childrearing and hers are too different - basically dh is too lax and not consistent on boundaries, and she is finding she is so anxious about our children that it is affecting her health - stopping her sleeping, for instance. She also hinted that because of the long hours I work she felt that over the 8 months she's been with us I hadn't got to know her as a person. (Don't know quite what to do about that one, as I thought I had!)

I agree that she & dh do have different ideas - but at the same time worry that theories of childrearing & how to address problematic behaviour would not really have been an issue if ds were not such a very puzzling and troubling child (and therefore so in need of help with boundaries).

So, ladies:
- should I give up work?
- should I look for a nanny trained in special needs?
- should I shrug my shoulders, say it'll all come out in the wash, and move on?
- should I have a big cup of tea and a sob?

Anything else? Don't all rush at once

ZolaPola Tue 26-Apr-05 14:05:19

don't rush it, unless you have to, I guess she has to work her notice giving you a bit of breathing space? Maybe you could draw up a list of what you now know you need from a nanny and of how maybe you as a family - or your dh - have to be a bit flexible to the nanny's style/personality.
meanwhile, could check out local nurseries as an alternative. good luck.

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 14:12:16

Definitely 4 for now, Binkie - what a horrid shock for you, I'm so sorry. I hope a Krispy Kreme and a large cup of Assam are heading straight for your desk right now.
She sounds very good, and very honest. At least you can take comfort from the fact that she respects you all enough to be open about why she is leaving - she may be moving on, but I am guessing she has also enjoyed working for you much of the time.
I am interested - as it sounds as though she and your dh get to speak (and disagree from the sound of things) more regularly that you and she do, did she give him her notice, or have any (or all) of this conversation with him?
Is he already a SAHD all, or part of the time? Maybe he could give up work...I'm sorry, I hope this is not mis-judged. But I am intrigued at how quickly this has become your headache - it's exactly how things would progress in our house too I might add.

FLUM Tue 26-Apr-05 14:14:50

1. Ermm bit of a sob first

2. Ask for a bit of emergency extended leave at work to make mind up

3. Look for lovely new nanny / give up work which ever wiggles your wippet

ggglimpopo Tue 26-Apr-05 14:23:15

Message withdrawn

beachyhead Tue 26-Apr-05 14:24:04

Good points Marina - I agree that it must come as a slight shock that her ideas and your dh's ideas are so at odds. I agree that nannies have opinions on how boundaries should be set etc and you should ask their advise (as they have often seen it all before) but if I ran a very lax house and set no boundaries or rules, I would be surprised that (1) either the nanny didn't follow my lead or (2) didn't raise it with me and set out an agreed upon way to treat the children.

Typically nannies take the lead on rules and regs from the mum and dad - if there aren't any, either they suggest them or they live with the no rules atmosphere.

I would hate my nanny being so 'worried' about my children that she had sleepless nights - did you see this coming at all?

Looking to the future, I think that you and dh have to come to some agreement as to how the children and the nanny will be treated,and what the boundaries will be, and then lay it out very openly when you first employ someone.......and make sure your dh keeps his side of the bargain.....

It is no one's fault that she left - maybe she wasn't as good a fit for your family as you could find elsewhere......

binkie Tue 26-Apr-05 14:34:08

Thank you so much - ggglimpopo (do you know it took me about a year before I said your name out loud and worked out what it was) we're in London and ideally need an after-school and holiday person. Do you think she might be at all interested?

Yes, I did think there was something coming, and have been making so sure to ask if everything's OK - etc. etc. - she even mentioned when we spoke that she knew I had been trying to help. But that it wasn't going to be any use.

I think the problem is that dh is not so very self-aware - he doesn't hear himself say, yes, I agree we should treat the children in such-and-such a way, and then see himself not doing it. It's a bigger problem than nannies. Maybe this time he will take it to heart.

UKMickey Tue 26-Apr-05 14:35:13

Have a nice cup of T
Look for a nanny exp/trained etc in special needs (incl one poss for daddy ha ha)
It will all come out in the wash & move on

Keep a note of difference of issues from Daddy/Nanny, ask your nanny any others that she might raise that she hasn't to date(because she didn't want to upset the applecart so2speak) this may help to iron out issues when looking for your replacement when discussing at the new nannies interview...how each of you react to !!!! & would like it followed etc or what would have the same outcome etc.

On a Non Professional Note....
When present nanny left & waiting for new nanny to start Have a long HOLIDAY All by yourself leaving daddy @ home f/t to cope by himself, childcare, house, shopping who know ironing...leave a list all what you need to be done whilst your gone so he can hopefully appreciate ALL the hats YOU are wearing...life should hopefully appreciated juggling staff, childcare, getting back on time etc (well for a little whiles until they get back in to their own ways!! ha ha)Sometimes Husbandsssssssssss we do love them Realllllllly

soapbox Tue 26-Apr-05 14:48:30

Oh poor you Binkie!

Give yourself a bit of breathing space before making any big decisions.

If it helps we lost our lovely nanny which we had had since DD was a baby, when DS started school last year. I thought everything would be awful when we changed but it has worked very well.

TBH - I think you may yet find someone who shares your and your DH's view of parenting. Nannies come in all shapes and sizes and in all mindsets too

Go and have a cry and a cuppa for now - the future will just have to wait a while

lunavix Tue 26-Apr-05 15:11:13

What might help you is sitting down with dh and deciding on what your views and boundaries on childrearing are - ie the ones the nanny had problems with, and come up with a policy you are both happy with, for examply ideas on behaviour, food, discipline, every issue that could come up.

Once you have decided all this, when you interview a new nanny you can explain how you both feel childrearing should happen, and see how she feels she could fit in.

Pol25 Tue 26-Apr-05 19:19:31

Aww, poor you! Is she working her notice? As an ex nanny I can see both sides- maybe she just wasn't right for you.
Good luck on your new search!

binkie Tue 26-Apr-05 19:32:55

Yes, she offered to work her notice. We agreed though that I would start the search right away. Her plan is to do emergency temp nannying until she goes back home at the end of the year, so I guess she would be able to start that just whenever she leaves us.

We had another long chat tonight - just as mutually friendly as ever, I felt - so I think you are right, we simply weren't right for each other. In a way it comes down to me being a working mother - I think by nature she finds it difficult to see that someone would want to do that. (Of course we both saw the irony that if there weren't working mothers she wouldn't have a job. Heigh ho.)

I wonder if I should start my search on here?

binkie Tue 26-Apr-05 19:45:30

UKMickey, you're rather fab!! Any more where you came from?

uwila Tue 26-Apr-05 21:29:52

I would try nannyjob.co.uk. I just hired a new nanny to start in August (still need a signed contract to make it official, but otherwise done deal).

To be perfectly honest, I think it's a bit weird when a nanny says she worries too much about the employers children. My nanny said this once (when she was telling me her nutrition rulles for MY child). I was a bit taken aback. And I thought hmmm... your a little too attached to my child. I mean I want my nanny to love my kid and have a good relationship with her. But, let's not forget tha tI am her mother and you work for me.

I also think that it is normal that sometimes nannies and parents just don't click and it's time to move on.

Good luck with your search.

ggglimpopo Wed 27-Apr-05 08:54:24

Message withdrawn

batters Wed 27-Apr-05 09:27:43

binkie, you poor thing .

It is awful when childcare arrangements break down, for whatever reason. Although I do agree with others and think that actually your nanny really does care about doing a good job. Not that that is of any real comfort to you at the moment.

I hope things work out for you. Take care.

binkie Wed 27-Apr-05 09:35:36

Yes, absolutely, she is (should I start saying was?) a person of very genuine principles, and I will give her a good reference for her temp nannying.

ggglp, CAT on way!

ssd Wed 27-Apr-05 09:40:51

I have worked as a nanny and although I did become really attatched to a couple of my charges, I agree with Uwila that it's a bit strange your nanny was so worried about your child she couldn't sleep at night.

At the end of the day the child is yours and whatever you or your dh decide in relation to the child goes. I've worked for a family where the DH swore all the time(and I mean F + B) AND i DIDN'T LIKE THIS OF COURSE, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY THEY ARE THE PARENTS AND i COULDN'T UNDERMIND THEM.(SORRY caps lock on!)

Good luck finding a new nanny, maybe your dh could interview potential nannies with you and explain his take on childcare so the new nanny knows the score?

Anchovy Wed 27-Apr-05 10:05:58

OK, I'm assuming that you've got over the immediate wine/doughnut needs, had a bit of a sob and are looking at what to do next, so here are some very practical thoughts.

Firstly I wouldn't give up work JUST becasue this nanny didn't work out (of course if you want to for other reasons, that's different). There are lots of people on here who have had long and successful nanny arrangements and you can as well.

Secondly, I would think really hard about what you want from a nanny - and I think it is really telling what you said about her attitude to working mothers. When I was interviewing a nanny who was perfect in pretty much every other respect she said 2 things to me that concerned me. Firstly I took her into the baby's room on first interview to show her sleeping DS - she swooned over him (brownie points) and said I just don't know how anyone could leave some one so lovely as that behind every day". She also said something in passing about how she thought it was a bit funny about seeing so many father doing things like swimming classes etc. Well our situation is that DH and I both work full time and have to - and want to - "co-parent" (horrible word, hated it since Ferige used to say it about her and Prince Andrew, but you know what I mean). So if she is not fundamentally happy with me being at work full time, and the fact that she deals with DH and his views are equally important, then she was not the nanny for us. I think this was all subconscious by her, BTW, but it was interesting. So think exactly what you want and interview thoroughly.

Secondly, I try and invest quite a lot of time in my relationship with my nanny as I think it reaps loads of rewards (I'm not suggesting you don't currently, BTW). That means I read her heat magazine and swoon with her about Orlando Bloom and Jon Bon Jovi (eeek to both!) and know more about Brad Pitt/Jennifer Anniston's relationship than I really need to. I also listened patiently and interestedly (yeah!) to full details about her birthday party at the weekend (without betraying that I'd like to dig my own eyes out). I also phone every day at lunchtime when the children are having a nap to check how things are going, which means we get to chat when we are not on the slightly harassed morning or evening handover (its never more than 10 minutes and often a lot less).

Thirdly, we have all accepted that our parentling standards are a bit different. She is stricter than me, DH is slacker than me. I look at this as a plus, in that the DC's get a bit of slack from us at the weekend and are a bit more regimented with her during the week. We all know this, and it works well for all of us. See if you can get your DH and new nanny to work within some sort of framework and accept when each one is "in charge" .

HTH!

binkie Wed 27-Apr-05 10:51:59

Anchovy, thank you so much for that! - very useful indeed.

You know, maybe I didn't have my antennae out at the interview. And it is so interesting what you say about investing time, and how - our previous nanny, with us for 3 and a half years, was someone for whom independence in the "sole charge" aspect of the job was the key - she would have quit on the spot if I'd phoned her every day! So of course with the current one I went on being rather consciously hands-off - without, of course, stopping to think "does that suit this person?" Lack of antennae, again.

ssd, I think your idea about dh taking the forefront with his ideas on childcare at interview is very sensible. Potential nannies would then also get a sense of what a devoted dad he is, which would then give them more of the basic underlying trust that's needed to get over hurdles if they come up.

sis Thu 28-Apr-05 14:46:52

Oh Binkie, just found this (was looking for old threads!) how is it going? As everyone else has said, please don't be too hard on your lifestyles and parenting choices. If giving up work is the right thing for you, by all means do it but only if it is the right thing for your family rather than a misplaced sense of guilt and anxiety.

Has there been any progress? has there been contact with ggglimpopo's ex-nanny? Hope you sortr something out and soon.

binkie Thu 28-Apr-05 23:03:27

Hallo sis my dear!

Just had a very nice review at work so feeling rather pro-working motherhood atm.

And have now had - think I stopped counting at 70 - applications for our job. So the "are we actually evil pariahs" feeling is going, too.

But I'm not going to forget the lessons of this, a huge one being the need to invest in one's relationship with a nanny - I genuinely didn't realise we were getting to be such poles apart, and I've got to take some blame for that.

chalkie Fri 29-Apr-05 00:27:09

Poor you I hate it when our au pairs leave. One was with us for 20 months and the one thing I have learnt is they must fit in with you and take your ideas on.The au pairs come from very nice homes some have had mothers who work and respect this way of life and fit in wonderfully. If you can get current nanny/au pair to meet the final contenders she could do “A trial day” so they are aware of how your family works and you get an insiders view on them from your old nanny before you make a choice. I don’t know if any of this helps hope it does it seems to work for us.

sis Sat 30-Apr-05 13:46:50

I am glad it is looking more positive now. I hope you find your Mary Poppins in the 70+ applications!

motherinferior Sat 30-Apr-05 18:09:42

Oh sweetie, just spotted this. I really do hope it goes well.

Don't forget to get dh reading Heat and Closer too (snigger).
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