Originally Posted by karina5
Former nanny here!!!!!
And possibly like your nanny, I was really young and didn't handle my quitting in the most honest and graceful way. I look back and think that was kind of schmucky of me, but to be honest, a nanny job is so different than others (you're obviously an employee, but also a part of the family, and it's so weird!) and I just felt so nervous about being honest about why I wanted to leave.
This is why I don't hire nannies anymore, and even try to limit babysitter use. Around here, they're all very young -- college age, or just out of school -- and I have to say that they're really not responsible people yet. I need regular childcare. My deadlines don't go away when the nanny/sitter gets a party invitation or a more attractive gig. I find that the flake rate for babysitters is about 50%, and the most reliable we've gotten has shown up about 80% of the time. There's the usual stream of lies about why they don't show most of the rest of the time. It's particularly rotten when I've got a conference to attend, I've hired a sitter, we're all set, and she emails me the night before I'm supposed to leave and starts a dance about how maybe she can, maybe she can't, something's come up. At that point, of course, I'm stuck scrambling for childcare, begging friends, and sometimes attempting to cancel plane tickets.
When they leave, my daughter's hurt, and will sometimes wait for months for the nanny or sitter to come back.
What shocks me is the lack of responsibility. I was young too, but when I wasn't going to show up for work, I understood that it was my responsibility to find a replacement -- or find a way to show up. In four years of hiring nannies and sitters, I've found exactly one girl who offers to try to find a replacement if she can't make it.
You know, if I had 16 of me, I'd set one to studying how often nannies and sitters flake. There's this great myth in the working world that women can just "get a sitter" and come to meetings, conferences, work late, work early. It'd be nice to do a study of sitter/nanny reliability and turnover, and put an end to that kind of talk. Because I bet that across the board, reliability isn't much better than 65%, and that the average tenure can be measured in months.
Also, if the OP's nanny has just signed a new contract, then I don't understand why she's not liable for breach of contract. It's binding on her just as surely as it's binding on the employers. I would be tempted to say, "Well, I'm willing to tear up the contract and negotiate a 2-month contract with you, to give me time to advertise properly and find someone else. Otherwise you can go, but I'd have to recover my income losses from you, at least till I could replace you."