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Nanny and her mobile phone... wwyd?

(108 Posts)
mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 09:37:54

I have noticed when working at home that my nanny ALWAYS has her mobile with her, no matter what they are doing; and I've heard the text noise go - so its sometimes switched on - or was on that occasion.

Now when I'm at work, my phone is on silent - although I have it close by just in case DS is ill and she needs to ring me. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for her to have her mobile at work so she can get hold of me. But often I am in the same house, working ...and I am concerned that she may be texting when she's supposed to be entertaining the DS! She is supposed to be working after all.

She has no children, her family live abroad so not sure if she has any elderly relatives who are at death's door etc...and that would require her to have her phone with her at all times.

Apart from being 10 mins late EVERY morning (which I am dealing with separately) we are happy with her and DS seems happy.

What would you do? I am not great at confrontation and personality wise I feel she would get angry and defensive if I asked her about it... I don't want to spy on her to see if she is using the phone or not!

Simplyme Mon 01-Mar-10 09:43:36

TBH the person who call's or texts me the most in the day is my MB. Also I often arrange playdates or check things like school matches etc by text with other parent/nannies etc. I do also have quick texts re things like what time are we meeting tonight etc?

I work really hard all day and I don't thing taking a few second out now and then is really that big a deal.

If you were my MB and brought this up I would prob be a bit pissed off and think you were being very petty. If she is working hard and children are happy then why worry about her getting a few texts in the day?

nbee84 Mon 01-Mar-10 09:47:02

Ummm.... as a nanny I always have my phone in my pocket - switched on and not on silent. I get texts from nannies about playdates. A parent might call me. I send texts occasionally (takes seconds!) If a friend were to phone I would answer and tell her I was working and that I'd call back.

As a Mum do you never take calls or send/receive texts while your children are with you? I really can't see the problem with your nanny having her phone on - unless she is spending lots of time sending texts or chatting.

nbee84 Mon 01-Mar-10 09:49:21

Wouldn't even have occurred to me to turn my phone off or have it on silent while I'm working and I agree with simplyme if my boss came to me with that request it would look very petty and I'd be more than a bit peeved!

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 09:57:09

hmm.. but when I am in the same house she doesn't need to text or call me! There are no playdates... they do other things.

I know that texts take seconds but even so that's not the point - I think personal calls / texts are really inappropriate at work, unless emergencies obviously.

I don't hang around and watch what she's doing tbh, so I don't actually know if she spends ages texting and on facebook etc... but I'm not the spying sort!

I guess I sort of want to say to her I'm ok with having your phone on, and as long as you're not on it all the time! (But I am a wimp so that's the problem I guess!) Plus I also don't want to upset the relationship... and also I know how lonely it can be and a few texts here and there cheers you up!

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 09:58:56

Mobile phones are todays method of communication. I use it alot to communicate with my boss (either by text, Twitter, or e-mail) and with other childcarers whom I meet up with. In the morning my phone will often beep quite a bit, as other childcarers are letting me know what they are doing and asking if we are meeting up - the children love getting together with other children they know.

I avoid taking voice calls during my working day, as those could take up some time and my attention. Whereas looking at and responding to a text does not take much time at all and can be done when I have spare moment. Most texts I get and send are work related.

As employer you can set the rules but I would consider this to not be something to get overly concerned about... the lateness issue is far more important.

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 10:02:20

If she puts the phone on silent, then you would not know if she was sending or receiving texts.

Nannying isn't like other jobs... it is very lonely. Is your DS's care suffering? Is he happy? Is he getting out and about meeting children of similar age? Is he seeing the world around him?

Look at the bigger picture... is the texting really affecting the care of your DS?

Bleenherbe Mon 01-Mar-10 10:06:10

I don't have a problem with nannies texting / using mobile as long as they don't do what one nanny did and sit on a bench in the park constantly looking at phone rather than toddlers. it comes down to whether the person is sensible and trustworthy generally!

Simplyme Mon 01-Mar-10 10:06:55

You've just said you don't want to upset the relationship and think it's ok to have a few texts so why are you going to talk to her about this. IMO you will cause upset by doing this.
I feel when working with children you have to pick your battles as it were. Ie. I can't abide rudeness or whinging but I let them get away with other stuff.

It's the same with hiring a nanny surely, lateness is not ok nor is dishonesty etc but surely a few texts are ok?

Its up to you how you want to play this and yes ultimately you are the employer so you can set the rules but if you micromanage too much and are too controlling then you may find yourself down the line with either an unhappy nanny or none at all.

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 10:17:35

I don't want to micro-manage, really not my style. Plus I would not want to make things awkward.

I think I've identified the problem really - its about trust and I don't know her well enough, even though she's been with us for a while and we chat a bit when she's here.

I do see a lot of nannies/mothers sat texting whilst kids running amok and I guess I wonder if she is doing the same thing?!

and DS is my PFB!

TheDevilWearsPrimark Mon 01-Mar-10 10:19:41

Surely reading/ replying to a text takes seconds. Do you actually want her to be constantly hovering over your DC?

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 10:19:55

...nannynick you twitter with your boss?! I think I must be living in a different world!

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 10:21:59

Children running amok - where do you see that? Soft-play? That's the place for children running around having fun. Soft-play is very boring for adults!

Are there any other reasons why you don't fully trust her yet? Could this issue be a tip of an iceberg that you are not telling us about?

Perhaps describing a typical day would help - do you know roughly what your nanny does most of the day? Mileage logs and Photos help to show what happens - which reminds me, it's the beginning of the month so I must do my mileage claim form today.

electra Mon 01-Mar-10 10:22:46

The main thing that jumps out at me from the OP is that you say she would get 'angry and defensive'. I would be a little concerned if I had a nanny who I didn't feel I could be open with or who would easily take offense.

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 10:25:07

Er you are all making me feel Like I am a control freak and I'm actually quite chilled!

I think I'm just a bit of a perfectionist and that's the problem. Of course I text and get on MN whilst with DS - but nobody's paying me to work!

Maybe I am worrying overly then!

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 10:25:41

Oh yes, if I'm out and about I may twitter my location - which my boss will then pick up and know where her children have been, so can then ask them about their trip out when they get home. I even sometimes upload pictures to TwitPic (note: no identifiable children in pictures available to public).

BettyAndLenny Mon 01-Mar-10 10:27:50

The nanny can't control when she receives a text.

The problem here is if you confront her she'll put it on silent when you're around, who's to say she'll remember to turn the sound on - you may find the one time you're out of the house and really need to contact her, you won't be able to because she won't hear the phone.

At least with the sound on you can hear the frequency of the text noise, and if it's all the time then you need to broach it.

I get loads of texts though don't particularly send them - from my network provider telling me my bill is ready, from my Mum wanting to leave me a message in her lunch hour. I can't bear sending them, too much hassle on a touch screen phone.

The bigger issue here is that you don't trust her. Why employ her if you don't trust her?

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 10:30:57

Thanks for the replies - good to see things from a nanny's pov.

I think she could easily take offence elctra as she is good at her job. And as said I find handling these icky situations, well icky!

Honestly don't know why I don't fully trust her tbh. I used to but recently a few things have irritated me a bit. She's a bit off form because of a few personal things - nothing serious - and I guess I've noticed that's all.

No mileage log on the buggy! I guess I'm just not sure what she does with him all day! Have never had a nanny before and I actually find it quite hard being someone's manager!

greybird Mon 01-Mar-10 10:36:03

i don't think you are controlling at all, but I do think it's interesting that you feel you couldn't have an open honest conversation with your nanny about this.

One of my ex-nannies had her phone on all the time. That didn't bother me, but when she finally went (after not paying back money owed and not turning up during notice period etc), my DD told me "[XX] had this problem, whenever her phone went off, she couldn't stop talking!" I was doubly glad she had gone.

"Why employ her if you don't trust her? "
Well trust doesn't come automatically with employment even of a nanny, it's something you have to build together. I think it's understandable not to be able to trust your nanny to start with, but it's not OK not being able to work on it together.

BlingLoving Mon 01-Mar-10 10:38:30

Just because someone works for you doesn't mean they have to be cut off from all other aspects of their lives while at work. I understand your concern if you think she's on the phone and not playing with DS, but it sounds like really you don't think she is, just that you think she might. Wait until you actually feel his care is suffering before you get upset about her taking the odd call or text message.

I am not a nanny and don't have a nanny but I'd have thought it's clearly not the kind of job where you get specific breaks worked in or can wander off for 10 minutes and no one will notice, so communicating with people by text message while with your charge/s seems entirely natural and reasonable.

mummywoowoo Mon 01-Mar-10 10:42:26

I don't feel I can have an open conversation with her about her phone b/c I also feel its a bit petty I suppose.

You're right - need to build that trust. I will spend more time chatting to her about what they get up to when I'm not around as well.

Really appreciate the input - thanks so much all.

greybird Mon 01-Mar-10 10:47:07

Hope it goes wellsmile I learnt the hard way that nothing is too petty when you're trying to build trust with a nanny, and that without trust, it will end badly sooner or later.

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 10:48:22

GPS Tracker Another GPS Tracker, at 1/2 the cost. - Using a GPS Tracker though may be going to a bit of an extreme! Would log the buggy location though smile

nannynick Mon 01-Mar-10 10:51:10

Does the phone have a camera on it (most do). She could use it to take photos of the places they go to. I upload photos once a week, so my boss can see where we have been, what we have done. Though can be quite lacking at times, especially if we have been swimming lots - no photos at the swimming pool.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 01-Mar-10 11:19:13

phones are the easiest way of communication

i often send emails/textx to my mb/db of things we have done, at the park/playing at friends house/swimming etc and they LOVE getting the pics

if i have something to mention to mb/db , often i send a text/email as then they can reply at their own time

just sent one saying have had 3 poos shock so far and what on earth did they feed baby at weekend - i didnt include a pic of nappy grin

as nick says , i get lots of textx/calls throughout the day - my mb/db love it that the children get out+about

my phone is on so that school/nursery can call me if children are ill/mb can get hold of me as often not in the house as we are out|+about lots

it comes down to trust, if you dont trust her then dont employ her

the 10mins late is another matter, that would seriously piss me off

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