Helping little ones transition to a new nanny and how to fire a nanny? - Mothering Forums
Working and Student Parents > Helping little ones transition to a new nanny and how to fire a nanny?
Michelle Renee's Avatar Michelle Renee 12:45 AM 02-06-2009
Well...

I dont even know where to start. I am having MASSIVE nanny drama. (Long story made short - amazing nanny, mid 40's, going through nasty divorce, been being "patient" for 3 months for her to get head together, work performance is slipping, diapers not being changed enough, nanny is on computer all day long surfing for dates, taking in extra children w/o my consent or approval, turning my house into a daycare, children no longer go on activities, lost her car due to financial troubles (now we provide her with husbands beater which is basic transportation but not suitable for kids), has absolutely no personal responsibility to change her situation, doesnt get the baby dressed, doesnt pick up the macaroni and cheese from under the table, doesnt keep up with her duties, etc) (have offered to drive my husbands care to work for her to use of my station wagon to keep the kids in activities BUT she cant do it because she took on other children)

So -Im at the end of the line. I have tried friendly chats and they get nowhere. She is older than I am and has a "Ill do what I want attitude" and well -its not ok. She makes excuses. Some of it is my doing..in the sense I have lost professional boundaries with her and I see her as a close friend.

How do I make this easier for my kids? My daughter who is near 3 has some pretty serious shyness issues and is very timid and apprehensive. She has some sensory issues as well. I had to take her out of daycare because she just stood in the corner and sucked her thumb and twirled her hair -wouldnt interact. (One of the HUGE reasons DD MUST be taken on outings -she needs to be socialized in small doses). My 8 month old is not high needs but has a HUGE warm up period. She will have some bad days but she will adjust. I am SO concerned about my oldest. Our nanny has been with us for over a year and she loves her. And one of the little girls our nanny watches, my oldest LOVES to play with her. Asks for her all the time.

I dont doubt our nanny cares for our children. I don't doubt that she loves them fiercely. However, she doesn't take stellar care of them. We live by the standby if you start to think you need a nanny cam, you need a new nanny. I give up A LOT to have in home care. It is a huge sacrifice for me. We don't pay well enough for an agency or have enough space for an aupair but we pay well enough that for our area, we don't have trouble finding someone.


In talking to my husband, I think we will continue to let her use our car for a month or so. She is in school at night and we dont want to leave her stranded. I really wish she would WAKE UP and see what she is doing to herself. I feel awful because we are her only source of true income. (I dont think she always gets paid for the kids she watches--- she wants to "help" her friends out). I dont think we can afford to give her severance.

So... How do I do this? And how do I prepare my toddler?

Signed the passive, conflict hating, easily intimated mommy.

FancyPants's Avatar FancyPants 02:22 AM 02-06-2009
Wow. What a horrible situation for you.

Well will you be interviewing potential nannies over the weekends? Bring the one you want in as a babysitter for a weekend. She/he will not be completely new to the kids that way. At the point I start looking, perhaps you could write her a heart felt letter and tell her all your concerns and that you believe she is disregarding you and your kids and you are going to start looking for another employee. This may be the consequence that brings her to her senses.
ChichosMama's Avatar ChichosMama 03:10 AM 02-06-2009
As a nanny I would expect to be fired if I acted in such a manner, and I'm a young nanny! I worked through a terrible divorce for a single dad who had 3 children; I never brought my personal issues to work. Whenever my boss EFFECTIVELY communicated what he wanted done I did it.
I would mos'def' find a new nanny. It seems like she doesn't look at her job as profession, kwim? I would be open to hiring a younger woman. The thing with nannies is you have to be a strong judge of character when interviewing.
I know its hard bc it feels like you are severing a bond with you children, but if you really like her, maybe occasional date-night babysitting? Fortunately I am not familiar with this type of situation; I have never been fired therefore keeping in touch with families was never an issue.
I'm sorry mama.
<3
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 04:52 AM 02-06-2009
She's got other kids at your house? I would tell her to get the OTHER KIDS OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW. If something happens, you could be liable, and that thought scares me.

Give the old nanny a letter with 2 weeks' notice (and tell her that you're doing so at the same time).

Invite the new nanny over for a weekend visit or two.

See if you can cut back your hours for a couple of weeks while the kids transition to the new nanny.

Have your dd make the old nanny a goodbye card.
lovemykeiki's Avatar lovemykeiki 05:49 AM 02-06-2009
Regarding your concern that the children will miss the old nanny and have trouble bonding with a new one - - -

I can tell you from personal experience with having several nannies that if you find the Right One, your children will love her.

I am going through a nanny search right now, and my kids have no problem letting me know whether or not they like the possible nannies that we've been meeting.

And I agree - you cannot have your nanny watching other children in your home. You are asking for a lawsuit.

Sit down with her, and tell her nicely that you can't have her working for you anymore. Give her two weeks notice (or more if you need it), and be prepared for her to start crying and yelling at you. I know that doesn't sound fun - but if you are mentally prepared for it, it won't be a shock, and then you can handle it better by not falling apart yourself.

Give her some kleenex and a hug, if she will let you, and just be strong about it. Don't cave in.
Michelle Renee's Avatar Michelle Renee 09:31 AM 02-06-2009
*sigh*

Im not willing to give her 2 weeks notice. Personally, the idea of someone being in my home with my little ones when they know they will be terminated sounds like a recipe for disaster.

We have interviewed nanny's and have selected 2 candidates. Because our nanny works Tues- Friday, we can test out candidate one on Monday. I have AWESOME friend and family support - our first Nanny ( a local MDC mamma) will be coming monday for a half day to re-screen and show her the ropes. When she has to leave for her job she is either leaving the children alone with her or my mom (who took the day off) will come over to finish the day.

I have to do similar for the first one.

At first I was blaming myself because of what I pay but my BFF was talking to other nannys who live/work an hour from here where the SES is MUCH higher and they even said - she needs to go.

This is just awful.
Michelle Renee's Avatar Michelle Renee 09:34 AM 02-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
She's got other kids at your house? I would tell her to get the OTHER KIDS OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW. If something happens, you could be liable, and that thought scares me.

Give the old nanny a letter with 2 weeks' notice (and tell her that you're doing so at the same time).

Invite the new nanny over for a weekend visit or two.

See if you can cut back your hours for a couple of weeks while the kids transition to the new nanny.

Have your dd make the old nanny a goodbye card.
I think Ill do the card with my DD.
I cant cut back hours because I teach and DH cant work from home.
If it was holiday break -we would be golden.
audmommy's Avatar audmommy 11:13 AM 02-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle Renee View Post
*sigh*

Im not willing to give her 2 weeks notice. Personally, the idea of someone being in my home with my little ones when they know they will be terminated sounds like a recipe for disaster.
.
Could you pay her for 2 weeks and let her go on the same day, as well as give her a termination letter? I think that would be more than fair of you. I totally agree about not having someone in your home who knows they will be let go in 2 weeks. You might want to have all of her stuff she has at your house ready to go as well, and not have the kids at home when you give her the news. I had a nanny cry and tell my daughter she was sorry. Thankfully my daughter was only 2 but it was an incident I do not plan to repeat!!

Angie
therdogg's Avatar therdogg 03:47 PM 02-06-2009
I agree, do not have her alone with kids after she has learned she will be terminated. I would also not let someone use your car after termination. Have a complete paycheck ready, in hand (including wages from that day).
pranamama's Avatar pranamama 06:26 PM 02-06-2009
Interesting about the liability concerns, how do those in nanny-shares worry about it?

I think you are better off to be generous in firing someone than not, have cash for 2 weeks on hand and keep your mouth generally shut for liability issues regarding termination.
Michelle Renee's Avatar Michelle Renee 06:37 PM 02-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
Interesting about the liability concerns, how do those in nanny-shares worry about it?

I think you are better off to be generous in firing someone than not, have cash for 2 weeks on hand and keep your mouth generally shut for liability issues regarding termination.

Heh.
I think if I gave her severance uhm I cant pay my mortgage.
Or I have to cash out a creditcard.
Her salary is over half mine.

Hmm. Who knows. This just stinks.
Ola_'s Avatar Ola_ 07:23 PM 02-06-2009
You might need to look into your employment laws depending on what your agreement with her is. Around here it's sufficient notice or severance pay if the employer lets you go. I would research this so you don't get stuck with a lawsuit - but it all depends on state laws.
lovemykeiki's Avatar lovemykeiki 08:45 PM 02-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle Renee View Post

Im not willing to give her 2 weeks notice. Personally, the idea of someone being in my home with my little ones when they know they will be terminated sounds like a recipe for disaster.
.
I agree.

If you can't give her any severance, then you just can't.

Do you pay into your state's unemployment fund? If you fire her for cause, she may not be able to collect unemployment. I don't know if you care about this or not, but it's another thing to find out from your state.
therdogg's Avatar therdogg 09:14 PM 02-06-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post
You might need to look into your employment laws depending on what your agreement with her is. Around here it's sufficient notice or severance pay if the employer lets you go. I would research this so you don't get stuck with a lawsuit - but it all depends on state laws.
WHat state requires severance or notice? This is a surprise to me!
Ola_'s Avatar Ola_ 01:39 AM 02-08-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by therdogg View Post
WHat state requires severance or notice? This is a surprise to me!
Well, I'm in Canada and I'm sure it's different, which is why I suggested looking up the laws where the OP is so she doesn't get stuck with something after the fact. I just looked it up on some Canadian government website and it says:
"When an employee has been dismissed without notice or without pay in lieu of notice, he or she becomes a creditor with a claim for wages against his or her employer. The employee may, in most jurisdictions, initiate an ordinary civil action to recover the amount due." The amount required seems to vary by province and length of employment.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting that the OP should pay the severance (and can definitely understand not wanting to give her notice!). I'm just saying it might be worth some googling on this topic.
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