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worried about a Nanny being depressed around the two children she looks after

13 replies

Overrun · 28/06/2006 19:32

I see the same Nanny every week at a mother and baby group that I go to, I have also seen her around at local soft plays. She is always really subdued and unanimated with the two children that she looks after. She does talk to them, but only when necesscary and very quietly. Her eye contact seems poor as well.

I worry that she might be depressed, but then maybe she is just a calm quiet person. Occasionally the Mother (who incidently is very vivacious) comes to the same group. Should I mention my concerns?

OP posts:

nannynick · 28/06/2006 20:59

Who would you mention your concerns to? I'd suggest approaching the nanny. Perhaps asking something like 'is everything all right'. Maybe she needs someone to talk to, nannying can get very lonely at times.


Overrun · 28/06/2006 21:58

I'm not sure either, if I should say something to the Nanny or the Mum. I do talk to the Nanny generally, so don't feel that she feels excluded from the group.

Maybe I could ask her if she is okay, but if she confides in me that she is depressed. I still think I would have a dilemma, as being around a some one who is depressed can be quite harmful for a child

OP posts:

CarlyP · 29/06/2006 13:54

please tell me you don't live anywhere near im worried incase its my nanny your talknig about. are you in the south east?


Overrun · 29/06/2006 14:02

don't worry I'm not!

OP posts:

goldenoldie · 29/06/2006 15:39

Overrun - ask yourself the question, if it was your kids, and your nanny would you want to know? I would.

Do understand that you don't really want to get involved, but it sounds like you already are as you have noticed this and it is worrying you.

If worried about the response I might get, I would probably be a bit sneaky and send a really nice, but honest, and annonymous, note addressed to the mum.

Or, if I did not know where she lived, I would address the same note to her (in a sealed envelope), but via one of the workers at the mother and baby club, asking them to pass it on to xxx written on the outside envelope.

I would then post to mother and baby group, or put through letterbox - not hand it over in person.

Let us know what you decide to do.

Good luck


muminaquandary · 30/06/2006 10:30

This is a really tricky one as someone approached me once re our nanny but it turned out the prob was the other mother's, not the nanny's .... not that it is in your case but I was very suspicious of motives of the mum ... so I think it depends how well you know the employer & how they are likely to react. An anonymous letter would have really freaked me out so don't agree with goldenoldie btw! (no offence golden but not my style ...)

If you know mum well, why don't you just ask her if nanny has boyf probs (cliche I know) and then use that as a lead-in to say that she seems a bit downbeat at the group etc.

BTW I know an excellent nanny, whom the kids adore, who is just a very shy person & not as loud as the mum & it is prob a good contrast as the mum puts a lot of people off with her v blunt & often outspoken opinions!!


Overrun · 30/06/2006 18:19

Thanks for your responses muminaquandry and goldenoldie. I don't know the Mum very well, she just came once when I was there but that was about a year ago.
I think an annoymous letter would freak me out, but then at least i would feel as I if I had done something, goldenoldie.
I wonder too, whether she is just very quiet, perhaps Mum picked her as a calming person.

My hunch is that she is depressed though, and some of the other mums think so too, so will probably do something, it's just a case of what

OP posts:

vix1 · 30/06/2006 18:50

Im a Nanny, and if I were depressed Id want you to talk to me not the parents first. Just say, are you ok, you seem really down, if you need to talk about anything im always here. Then maybe wait a week, see response, and mention to parents that she doesnt seem happy at mo. atleast you have given the Nanny prior warning so to speak. She may have a very good reason!


goldenoldie · 30/06/2006 22:51

Agree it could be a bit unnerving getting an annonymous letter, but as a mum i would rather be informed than not because person was worried about how I would take it. Shoot the messenger sort of thing..............

Overrun, let us know what you decide to do, if anything?.

Good luck


soapbox · 30/06/2006 23:09

An interesting subject matter!

What do we do with the children whose mothers are depressed - take them away???

If a nanny is not fit for the job because she is depressed and might 'not be good for the children', is a mother who is depressed also not fit for the job of raising her children????

I've no idea really, but the quesion does have interesting implications!


shimmy21 · 30/06/2006 23:18

Surely the mum has a better idea of how the nanny is generally with the kids than the impression you can get from a public group situation. The nanny may well be very shy when faced with other mums but fantastic with the children when on her own. I think I'd let the mum make up her own mind about who looks after her kids unless you actually see them coming to any physical harm.


Overrun · 01/07/2006 12:10

I wouldn't be in favour of taking children away from depressed Mothers, in fact in previous professional life, did a lot to promote the rights of Mums with mental illnesses to look after their children.

However, if you are paying some one to look after your children, you would want them to get the best care, maybe the Mum only sees the Nanny for a short time in the morning and evening, and seeing the Nanny for a good couple of hours with the children at the group, might be more informative.

Still haven't decided what I will do, but even if I do speak to Nanny or Mum, the worse I can do is offend surely?

My Mum suffered from depression by the way, and i do think that if it goes on for a period of time, it can have quite a powerful effect on children. There is plenty of research to back this up.

Surely if the Nanny isn't doing her job well, just like any job, if the reason is mental health problems she should be entitled to support like any one else. I am not suggesting I think the MUm should just drop her, but as I don't know the Mum, I don't know what she would do with the information.

Thanks for all your responses anyway

OP posts:

jendifa · 01/07/2006 12:17

Hey, I'm quite a shy nanny and so often really quiet in group situations. Maybe just chat to her abit in a one-to-one about the children rather than including her in a group chat. Has she always been quiet or did she used to be louder and bubblier?

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