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Really need your advice

85 replies

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 00:16

Exp has made a suggestion:

His gf (who he left us for) has a full time live in nanny for her school-going child ( I know!). He has suggested that our child is also cared for by the nanny in gf's home. (Ex will be moving in there soon)

Reasons he put forward for this are:

  • it will save money ( not much tbh)
  • it will be more stable for DD
  • he will get to see DD more (he already has her twice a week as it is)
  • there wont be any rushing on my part to get hime from work like I currently do/less stress etc. (this is true, its a mega strain)

My gut instinct was to say no, so I did. Reasons for this are:
  • she is happy with current childminder, although has only been there 2 months, so wouldn't be too upset by change I guess.

-it will be like my DD lives there, and spends evenings with me. I will be like the non-resident parent
-I'm afraid my DD will become very attached to them, being there all day every day, plus 2 nights per week, and so forget me
  • he is a controlling person. It feels like they are trying to shove me out of the picture
  • Something doesn't feel right about letting ow's nanny look after my child.

There are a few tempting reasons why the arrangent would be good- namely the benefit of having no time restrictions on me for when she needs to be collected, and it would save (some) money.

What do you think? Would it be more stable for my child? I want to do whatever is right for her, regardless of whether I actually like it or not. My reasons have to be valid ifyswim.

Need advice big time.
OP posts:
TheAntiFlounce · 24/03/2008 09:08


No no no no no.

She's not a dolly, to be slotted neatly into his happy family games. Just Say No. If he starts accusing you of awkwardness, say breezily "This is not a conversation I wish to have now, thank you, goodbye for now, speak to you soon!"

AMAZINWOMAN · 24/03/2008 09:36

No. Something tells you it isn't right, and you need to follow your gut instincts. So please don't do it.

Imagine when you pick your daughter up, your ex would say, "oh look she's happy, why don't we let her stay over tonight" there may be days where it is difficult to get your daughter home.

Also in a the nursery where you are now, you can easily ask members of staff if your daughter is happy, any days out etc. If you worried when in work you can phone the nursery and ask how she is. Would this happen if the other arrangenments happen? Would you feel OK phoning or asking about your daughter?

please follow your gut instincts

skeletonbones · 24/03/2008 10:14

I would say no. If it was a different sort of arrangement, where the nanny wasnt a relative of the OW and the nanny split the time between both your houses or something,might be workable , but the arrangement youve described sounds like too much of an unequal balance of power. It would be very difficult for you to have any say in what the nanny does when she is your ex's new womans sister.
I think I would say 'thankyou for the kind offer, but I am happy with my current childminder and would have to unsettle dd/let CM down after only two months, also I am worried that the arrangement you have suggested would cause conflict which would be a shame as we get on so well at the moment'

gillybean2 · 24/03/2008 10:39

I think there are several issues here which are clouding things, the two most obvious ones to me are

  1. You are concerned about your ex's motives
  2. You are under stress and pressure time wise and can see some benefits to the idea.

    Sort out what is important here for you, and what is best for your child overall.

    Your child alreay is going to a childminder. Where and who that childcare is with is your responsibility as a parent. If you are going to share a nanny (and lots of people do for various reasons) then you need to think seriously about the consequences and if the arrangement is good and right for your child and for you.

    Ignoring the fact they are a family member of the OW... You have to be comfortable with this person. If you were to hire a nanny yourself you would want to know a lot of things about the arrangement first...

    a) Have you met them, what qualifications do they have, do they work through an agency?
    b) Is this a proper job or simply a fill in arrangement till something better comes along? Who is ensuring this person pays the correct tax for example, is she self employed or employed by the sister?
    c) Is there a proper contract? What is the arrangement for holidays etc (do you still have to pay for example of she has 2 weeks off, or if you have a week off).
    d) Would you be able to fire this person if you had serious doubts or concerns? Normally you would, but the family connection might make this an issue
    e) If things didn't work out would you be able to discuss this with the other person employing the nanny (ie the OW). Will there be any issues of two against one should you want to change the arrangements (ex and OW against you).

    Once you decide if this person is someone you would employ to take care of your child(independantly of the fact she is already employed and you'll be joining that) then you have other questions to consider...

    a) Where is this nanny to work? There is no reason for example that you can't keep your current childminder and use the nanny two days a week only, or that the nanny splits the time between your house and the OW's house.

    Getting home on time is an issue for you. Your ex picks your child up from the childminder 1 day a week, keep that arrangement maybe as it's a day you don't have to rush back. You can then perhaps have the nanny look after her one day at his house and one day at yours and then you'll only be rushing back to the childminder the other two days. Or some other combination.

    It can be disorientationg for a child to be swapped between carers, but if that carer is in their life long term it is far easier. They become attached, even to a childminder. This person may then suddenly vanishes from their life. In some ways it would be better to have a family memmber, your ex, mum etc to have your child if possible, because that person will always be a part of their life, a child minder won't. But this arrangement is about a nanny, and although they are a part of the OW's family and may become a part of your child's extended family, they might equally not. This is not about spending time with dad, this is about spending time with a nanny and dad being able to see child for a hour or two extra when he gets home.

    There is nothing wrong with your child spending more time with your ex. However the arrangement is for your child to spend more time at your ex's soon to be house with a nanny, not with your ex. Your ex is therefore going to spend how much additional time with your child in reality?

    You say you have no residency order in place. Why not voluntarily agree to a SRO (shared residency order) to avoid possible conflict on this point in the future? This doesn't mean the child spends equal time with both parents, but it does mean that the parents have equal rights and responsibilities in all areas. A shared residency order in place makes it less likely that one or other parent will apply to court for a sole residency order in order to resolve the residency issue. If a child has two parents and spends significant time with both then it is better imo for everyone to recognise they have two homes of equal value. This might help dispell some of your ex's concerns over the concerns he raised, plus might help any concerns you have about him having more time with his child in an attempt to gain residency (as others have suggested might be a reason). It also shows that you want him to be an equal and important part in your childs life. Whetehr he's spending more time with your child because of the OW or despite it it must be a good thing for your child. Try and encourange it in any way you can, and hopefully he'll stick with it even if things don't work out between him and the new partner in the long term.

    Lots to think about, only you know your ex. Perhaps speak to him about some of your concerns and find ways of resolving them. For example you might agree to sharing a nanny, but the nanny might be better to be someone you both agree on and choose via a proper agency, rather than a relative with no proper contract.

    Best of luck
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 10:52

Yes, this is the man who tried to tell me what to dress her in- although he has chilled significantly in that dept. He still passes advice incessantly from said medically trained gf.

It does feel tempting in a practical sense, although as you rightly suggessted- he would be looking to change my maintanence arrangements, basically stop giving me any money and instead use what he would normally give me, to pay the new nanny. In essence- there is no real financial benefit to me (apart from hols etc), its more of a practical thing, i.e., less pressure to get to my DD in time.

I'd be worried more from the point of view, that she will quite literally only be spending her evenings and half the weekend with me. Our current arrangements are that she spends 2 nights a week with him, and as of recently- one full weekend per month. This suits me more or less, but if she was to be in full time childcare there- it would feel like she lived there, and so I would have 'access' to her, ifyswim.

I think by all accounts, he would let me meet the nanny.

OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:10


OP posts:
madamez · 24/03/2008 11:10

You need some independent legal advice, and quickly. Controlling men often come out with a lot of bull about how they want to keep things 'amicable so let's leave the lawyers out of it' - what they mean is that they want things all their own way and to bully, coax or coerce you into accepting their wishes. This really does sound as though what your XP wants is to play housey and happy fambly with his new partner, include his daughter and forget all about the inconvenient ex ie you. DOn't let him. How disastrous would it be for your DD to grow up with a father who thinks that women are replaceable and interchangeable and only his wishes matter?

KerryMum · 24/03/2008 11:13

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jellies · 24/03/2008 11:16

Be very carefull as it would mean she is 'in his care' for a huge preportion of time.. seek legal advice but say no just now and review in a year.. you have child care arranged already!

RosaIsRed · 24/03/2008 11:20

I actually went to bed thinking about your situation last night because it worried me so much. I have to say I agree with Kerrymum. All that free parenting advice he is giving you - it sounds like he thinks he and OW could be better parents to your DD than you can. Get good legal advice ASAP. And DON'T agree to this proposal.

CarGirl · 24/03/2008 11:23

The only thing I woul be prepare to do in your situation is swap nights. That he has her Thursday morning until Sat lunch time, therefore 2 days with the nanny but they count as his days! Then more time on the weekend with you to compensate.

Although tbh I'd stick to your guns 9months is the wrong age to start messing about with childcare arrangements. Also if the nanny is the ow sister then it is not impartial care and could nasty if he goes for increased contact/custody.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:30


That wouldn't really work, as my work commitments mean he has to be flexible about which day of the week he has her, which thankfully, he is.

OP posts:
gillybean2 · 24/03/2008 11:32

There's no need for him to pay the nanny instead of maintenance. In fact maintenance is for everyday expenses like feeding clothing and putting a roof over her head, not for childcare as such.

With a registered childminder, and even with a proper nanny (through an agency) you can get help towards this childcare cost, up to 80%. So him paying the nanny instead of giving you the maintenance is not an option you should agree too.

The maintenace as per the CSA calculation only gets reduced for overnights anyhow. So unless the child is staying any additional overnights it won't change the calculation. Plus he's not actually going to be paying the nanny to have your child as well. They are paying the nanny's full costs at the moment, the cost isn't going to go up when she has your child as well. It's not going to cost him anything. Childminders charge per child, nannys usually charge a fixed rate per family regardless of how many children there are.

Your first questions to your ex should be is this nanny qualified to look after children? Is she working through an agency and does she pay her taxes?

Your registered childminder has to go on a course, she has first iad training and insurance. Your nanny is unlikely to have all these things. At least through an agency you have some come back, but it doesn't sound like this is the case here.

You sound like you will be worse off using this particular nanny, less maintenance, can't claim back costs of childcare through CTC and no idea if she is qualified to look after children. Has she even been CRB checked?!

And you say you think he'd let you meet her? Well i'm sorry but i would never leave my child with anyone that i wasn't able to meet before hand and didn't feel entirely happy and confident about.

I think this nanny will have more loyalty to her sister and you are not going to hear about any issues or problems. For example, my sisters last child minder had to speak to her as her own child was becoming increasingly jealous of my nephew and was becoming physical towards him. In the end she had to admit she couldn't handle it and that it would be better for my nephew not to come any more as he was being put at risk by her own child. Would your ex's new partners sister be honest with you about a situation like that?

By all means consider using a nanny, and a joint nanny, but think very carefully about the kind of person you would choose yourself as a nanny rather than having one 'inflicted' upon you that you have no authority or control over and can not question or expect an honest answer or accountability from.

Would you entrust this person with a briefcase containing £1millin cash? Is your son not worth more than £1million? I'm pretty sure he's priceless and ireplaceable. You wouldn't trust money to a stranger, or the sister of a stranger, or the sister of the OW now would you? SO why entrust your child without a lot more questions and answers! She might well be fine, she might even be a fully qualified nanny with insurance and an agency behind her and pay her taxes and she might be brilliant with your son. But you need to find out first.


Tinkerbel6 · 24/03/2008 11:35

Pingu your ex is being unreasonable not you as it was he who decided to walk out on his family, I think this is a snide way of him and the ow of getting full custody by playing happy families with your baby and it would be something he could use against you in court if he has her the majority of the time, I would question the ow's sister nanny experience, is she really a registered and trained nanny or is she someone who is bunged a couple of quid each week to look after her sister's kids ?

If it looks like fish and smells like fish then it is fish and a big stinking trout at that, please listen to the warning bells cause they are ringing loud and clear.

CarGirl · 24/03/2008 11:37

In that case, just say sorry no, I am thrilled with the CM and it works best for us thanks very much.

KerryMum · 24/03/2008 11:37

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:38

Thank you al so much for your input, I appreciate the time you're taking.

Yes, this woman is a qualified childminder, but she is not through an agency, no. i know that I would be able to meet her, but as you rightly point out, her loyalties would probably lie with her sister and ex, not me.

Theres no way I would consider it unless I was 100% happy with her as a nanny- that goes without saying. At this point, I'm merely discussing the idea, from the point of view of WHO she is, rather than her ability to care for my DD.

OP posts:
KerryMum · 24/03/2008 11:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:45

Also gilly- It's unlikely that I would be able to claim back most of my childare costs. At the moment I'm entitled to some help because I was on mat leave last year and my earnings were reduced. As of april, I won't be entitled to any help with childcare costs, so thats a worry to me.

He gives me £300pm. my current childcare costs are £400pm. He reckons the nanny (who is live-in btw) would cahrge an extra £300 to take my child on, therefore he will simply pay her, rather than give me any money. He claims that I will make a saving of £100pm and I wont have to think about paying the cm every month as he will be taking care of it.

I told him that I didn't believe she would be charging that musch extra to have our DD, and if she did, she was having a laugh. She isn't exactly a highly paid nanny btw- owing to the fact that she is OW's sister, and is living in.

OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:48

Kerry- I am listening. What I wanted to clarify with everyone, is that my motives for saying no were valid- i.e., not about my dislike for the ow. I'm very keen to make sure my DD is stable, even if that means doing things I don't like. I considered it fromt he point of view that she would be cared for in a familiar environment. (He takes dd to her house twice a week anyway)

OP posts:
Tinkerbel6 · 24/03/2008 11:48

pingu it does seem like you are considering it and it is up to you if you do, but, before you know it he will be asking you not to bother coming to pick her up as she has fallen asleep and will stay the night and before you know it he has her more times than you then he will be entitled to the child benefit and child tax credits and you are no longer the parent with care, and not only that he will have 2 other witnesses to say that you were more than happy to leave your child with them for all that time, you know yourself how controlling the ex is so why would you even consider it ????

CarGirl · 24/03/2008 11:49

Is the amount of maintenance you get via the CSA or a private arrangement?

You may be better off working 16 hours per week and getting increased CTC - it would be less stressful, do you have a mortgage or rented accommodation?

Freckle · 24/03/2008 11:50

How about if the nanny has your dd in your home and ex's g/f's dd comes to your house when necessary? Would they agree to that? I doubt it.

I would be very reluctant to go down this route. It sounds very much as though your ex and his g/f have thought this through and it is very likely that, at some point, ex will apply for a residency order so that you become the non-resident parent. He will argue that dd spends significantly more time in his home than in yours and you will be hard pressed to counter that argument.

Tinkerbel6 · 24/03/2008 11:53

pingu maintenance is for the upkeep of the child so to take that away to pay the ' nanny ' is a snidey way of not paying you anything, he has an alterior motive and its not to say you £100 per month, whether he gets someone to look after your child or not he still has to pay you maintenance.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:53

Girls- I said no last night. I just wanted to maek sure I was saying no for the right reasons, and thats why I asked for your opinions.

I work full time, and am about to take on a mortgage. Reducing my working hourse wouldn't be a option I'd be able to (or want to ) consider.

You're absolutely right that I'd doubt the nanny would come to my home.

OP posts:
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