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My 'Mother's Help' took ds out of school early without asking me.

54 replies

clumsymum · 07/11/2006 14:17

Oh blimey, where do I start with this?

I employ a lady to collect ds from school and bring him home, give him tea etc. 2 days a week so I can work full days on those 2 days.

She's a mature lady, lots of experience of children, her own grandson aged 8, and I thought very sensible.

Anyway, yesterday I got home to find the house empty. A note was on the kitchen counter. Her daughter-in-law (heavily pg) had a funny turn, needed MH to go and look after grandson, so she'd taken ds with her. She would drop him at Beavers after she had given him tea (I'd left a casserole cooking for them).

When I collected ds from Beavers he said he'd been to MacD's for tea, then that MH had collected him early out of class (about quarter of an hour I think). Also he was late being dropped at Beavers.

I couldn't raise her on her phone last night (I guess visiting the hospital).

But I'm livid that she didn't ring me, nor mention on her note that ds left school early. I double checked my mobile and voicemail in case I'd missed her call, but I definately didn't.

If she had called me I would have left work and collected ds myself, told her to go and see to her family. I wouldn't have suggested collecting ds early.

She's supposed to be coming tonight to babysit, and I don't know how to express my upset about this. I am really angry, but I know I mustn't lose my temper with her.

What would you say?

OP posts:
suzywong · 07/11/2006 14:19


like you say, she is a mature lady with plenty of experience with kids

don't lose your temper with her as she probably won't understand why and think you are more trouble than you are worth unless you're paying her a mint

clumsymum · 07/11/2006 14:20


OP posts:
bluejelly · 07/11/2006 14:21

Agree with sw. No point getting angry

bluejelly · 07/11/2006 14:21

Maybe she was too worried about her daughter and forgot, why don't you ask her ( in a calm way) why she didn't?

NotQuiteCockney · 07/11/2006 14:22

Presumably you hadn't had this sort of thing happen with her before?

I'm afraid I don't really see the problem, though. She took what she felt was a reasonable decision in a tricky situation. Ok, it wasn't the decision you wanted her to make, but how was she to know that? Missing fifteen minutes of school surely isn't the end of the world? (how old is your DS?)

How long have you been using this woman? Are you otherwise happy with her?

DarrellSHivers · 07/11/2006 14:22

It must have irritating/upsetting not knowing fully about what was going on, but maybe she was trying to manage everything without bothering you at work.
She might have felt that she didn't want her own family circumstances to impact on you so she tried to do what she thought was the next best thing in the situation.
You could just let her know that if something like this happened again, you would be happy for her to contact you.

Blu · 07/11/2006 14:22

I would wait and listen to what exactly happened. it sounds as if she had a sudden emergency, and did everything she could to get your ds picked up, fed, dropped, AND fitting in collecting her gs. Maybe she took a spur of the moment decsion about how she could fit it all in, rather than call you home from work.

She will probably be very apologetic that it all heppend so fast - but your ds was looked after and fed - and did get to Beavers, if a little late. She must have been v stressed about her DIL - but she juggled what she saw as her responsibilities.

Mumpbump · 07/11/2006 14:22

Take a deep breath and say "I understand that there may be the odd family emergency where you have to prioritise your family over mine, but if anything like this happens again, please call me so I can manage ds." And leave it at that. Everyone deserves one chance. If she does anything similar again without contacting you, that's another story...

bluejelly · 07/11/2006 14:23

My cm has my mobile number but spend 6 hours last year worried that I had been blown up in the london tube bombings without ringing me. I rang her around 3 in the afternoon and she burst in to tears ... i couldn't understand why she didn't ring me and she said she wouldn't have know what to do if it ws on voicemail ( many older people hate leaving messages)

noddyholder · 07/11/2006 14:23

She probably did what she thought was best whilst being panicked about her daughters health.She sounds like she didn't want to let you down and it meant you could work all day.You didn't erally need to know as it was only 15 minutes Frankly I would be delighted that she had used her initiative rather than dithering in a tricky situation

LadyMacbeth · 07/11/2006 14:23

Perhaps she didn't want to disturb you at work? Do you have a policy about being contacted while at work? Or am I missing something here? Perhaps to her it wasn't that big a deal

NothingButAttitudeOnMN · 07/11/2006 14:24

She was probably really worried and upset about her daughter-in-law being in hospital. It was 15 mins not any large amount of time.

The only thing I would ask her is if her pregnant Daughter-In-Law is OK.

suzywong · 07/11/2006 14:25

good point NBAOMN

emkana · 07/11/2006 14:26

I think she is to be commended really, she was probably very worried and she did her best to look after your child, see to her family and not disturb you at work.

nailpolish · 07/11/2006 14:26

yes i agree too nothingbut

she probably didnt want to bother you for a measly 15 mins

and she obv has things on her mind

clumsymum · 07/11/2006 14:27

Thanks Mumpbump, Thats more practical.

In her shoes I would deffo have rung the parent to say "This is what I'm doing". As it was, my client was very close, and I could have got back.
If I'd been further away, I might well have agreed with what she did. As it is, I just think she should have asked.

She's been working for us since September. This is the first crisis we've encountered. I must make clearer guidelines, obviously.

OP posts:
HappyMumof2 · 07/11/2006 14:27

Message withdrawn

clumsymum · 07/11/2006 14:28

I have made it clear that I'm always contactable. That's why I have a mobile FGS

OP posts:
oliveoil · 07/11/2006 14:30

I really really wouldn't mention that you are annoyed or ask for any explanation.

I would say that if there is an emergency again with her DIL then she is more than welcome to phone you at work and you will collect your son, other than that I would leave it.

Or are you bothered about the McDonalds?

Beccarolloveragain · 07/11/2006 14:30

I would applaud her for even in the face of an emergency trying her best to accomodate your DS thus not interrupting you at work.

I can understand you being annoyed but IMO it was all done with the best intentions.

I would casually say "DS said he came out of school early, would you mind letting me know things like that if/when they happen just so I know"

She could have just rung you and called in sick so to speak for a family emergency, she was trying to help everyone i think.

nailpolish · 07/11/2006 14:30

she maybe felt that if she had phoned you you would have felt obliged to leave work and collect ds yourself

she managed to work out a way not to do that

FioFio · 07/11/2006 14:32

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

sunnysideup · 07/11/2006 14:34

clumsy, I can see where you are coming from. She did cope admirably well actually, with sorting out her obligations to you and your ds and her obligations to her own family....however, I can see that you would rather she had phoned you, told you there was a family emergency, and you could have come home.

However she obviously doesn't understand that this is your view and in fact probably thinks she did exactly what you wanted, still dealing with your ds despite the emergency!

Try to be calm about it and think about it from her point of view, but just say how much you hated the thought that she had to deal with all of that at once - tell her firmly that in future if anything like that happens, to phone you and you will come home. Some people can't/won't be disturbed from work so she may not realise you'd have been willing.

My mum's friend had a nanny who dealt with her ds having a nasty bump on the head - took him to hospital, had a scan, etc, without disturbing the mother - she told her about it at the end of the day. My mum's friend was going on about this and how WONDERFUL her nanny was for coping, but my mum's view was "Well, I'd have sacked her! I would want to be told!"

Everyone's different in their approach - you just need to spell it out to her!

Hope her DIL is ok now.

oliveoil · 07/11/2006 14:35

I think the consensus is to leave it clumsymum and ask after the DIL welfare and say thanks to your helper for keeping everyone happy EVEN THOUGH you are not too happy about it iyswim

My MIL does things all the time that I think WTF???!!!! about but I find it best to bite my tongue and keep everyone sweet

She sounds like a good find and an asset imo, keep her happy.


suzywong · 07/11/2006 14:36

Give that woman a D for Diplomat to put in the rear window of her car! ( you can park anywhere then )

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