Nanny dilemma, please help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-15-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Both my husband and I work full time. I was able to work 3 days per week from home until a few months ago, I am now full time in the office. Our children- ages 6 and 3 attend a Waldorf school, and our son will be starting first grade there in the fall. We have a nanny who started with us in October. We are extremely happy with her. Part of the deal was that we allow her to bring her 5 year old daughter with her to work. This has worked out just fine.

She and her husband are interested in adopting...they are looking for a child between the ages of 2 and 4. She has been very up front since our first interview about her desire to add another child to their family- they have been trying to get pregnant with a second for years now but it hasn't happened. At the time (when we first met) I honestly didn't focus much on the second child- she really wanted the job- we really liked her, and there wasn't anything imminent (they weren't pregnant, hadn't pursued adoption, nothing was definite etc.)

Here is my dilemma, now that they have made a definite decision to adopt, the more I think about it, the more I just don't feel great about having her bring 2 children to work with her. Especially since my kids will be in school for longer hours next year, I really want them to have "down" time at home. Playing with 2 other children is not down time (I see it already with her 1 in the mix- they get along really well but it is a bit like a play date every day!). Also, one of the reasons we pay to have a nanny is so that during summers/school breaks etc. she can bring them to activities, the pool etc. The more children that are involved the more difficult this will be. Also, a 2-4 year old moving in with a new family is going to require an enormous amount of her time and emotional energy.

Like I said, we really love her and I am so happy for her on a personal level that they are deciding to pursue this next path, but I'm not sure if I want to keep her as our nanny. I'm incredibly distraught and have been up at night regularly about this. I know adoption can take a long time - they are only at the beginning of the process- but I think that if I'm going to tell her it is a "dealbreaker" for us then to be fair to her I need to do that soon.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice,


Abby, Mom to Matthew (9/14/06) and new baby Annabelle (10/04/09), Wife to Dan
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#2 of 5 Old 04-15-2013, 11:10 AM
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A nanny is not a family member but an employee. Good thing about an employee is that you can fire them or lay them off with cause or without.


You do not need to make any decisions now because as you said, adoption can take a long time.  If and when it happens, let her go with a good reference and a severance package.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-16-2013, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post



You do not need to make any decisions now because as you said, adoption can take a long time.  If and when it happens, let her go with a good reference and a severance package.

I agree.  I wouldn't make that choice yet.  It could take a very long time, and by that time, anything else could happen to change everything.  In fact, she may want to stay home with her second child for a while to let him or her acclimate.  


I just don't think i'd tell her "It's a deal breaker" because you obviously support her need to adopt...but, it might come off sounding like you will fire her IF she goes through with it.

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#4 of 5 Old 04-16-2013, 06:38 PM
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It could take years for an adoption to happen so I wouldn't say anything until it is more certain. If one child at the house is becoming too much I would say so, give her a timeframe for finding alternate care for her child, and a pay raise if you are paying her less than you would have paid a childless nanny.
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#5 of 5 Old 05-06-2013, 11:45 AM
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I agree, I wouldn't stress about it right this moment.  Also, a lot of adoptions either require or strongly recommend that at least one parent stay home with a child for a period of time following their arrival.  

What I might recommend is exploring together whether she is currently, or could be eligible for FMLA. If it's possibly something you could help set up now, with the idea being that she would be able to take time off when their child arrives, that might be a really great thing.  Who knows, she may be secretly thinking she would leave when they adopt and worrying about telling you! 

Also, after this length of time, the kids should really be getting along more like siblings, and less like a play date.  If the level of energy in the house feels too high to you, maybe that's a conversation you can have with her occasionally over the summer, about your worries and wanting of quiet energy after school in the Fall.  The number of children shouldn't be affecting the energy, one child can be incredibly hyper and loud if encouraged, and five children can be quiet and focused, if encouraged.  Maybe that's really where your focus should lie. 

K, H, and baby E (who is now three!!!)
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