advice on managing the nanny (or: help me have a spine) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 49 Old 07-18-2008, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've recently plunged back into work on my doctoral dissertation. What has enabled me to do this is taking on a part-time nanny (~20 hrs/wk). There are things I love about the nanny (the kids like her, she likes the kids, and values-wise, we're very closely aligned). She's done some light housekeeping for us, unasked (she often sweeps the floor, will hang up and fold laundry if she has time, etc... and once, she even mopped the floor--and boy, it needed it!). But there are boundary issues. She used my library card to check out children's magazines for the girl she watches on Tu/Th; not a huge deal, but I have a hard enough time keeping track of the library materials at *my* house. (I asked her nicely not to do that again.) She's been using the hair clips which my daughter and I use in *her* hair. (I asked her if she knew where the clips were, and they were in *her* bag, and she retrieved them, but today, she had one of my clips in her hair.) Today, she got a smear of poop on her pants (from my mischievous toddler... sigh)... I was working upstairs, and I came downstairs and offered her a pair of my pants to change into, and put her pants in the washer (and later hung them up to dry). When I got home from working at the library, she was wearing a pair of my shorts and a tank top which she had gotten out of my dresser. She changed out of them before she left, but I do *not* want her rummaging through my dresser. I just feel like some of my boundaries are being violated, and I want to gently reinforce that without offending her.

What can I say without being bitchy? I truly do like her, and childcare-wise, I feel like it's working fine. I'm just so new at this, and while I've managed people in the past, this is my first experience managing a childcare provider.
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#2 of 49 Old 07-19-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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keep asking her nicely not to it again. it's a very tough relationship! honestly, when i am really pissed off about something, i have dh talk to her. they can communicate better, i think because on some level i am jealous of my nanny and vice versa.
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#3 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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Did the kids do her hair or did she just decide to do her hair? I know that dd sometimes loves to put a clip in everyone's hair and she gets really offended if you don't keep it in and when I forget and go out of the house with them in I usually put them in my purse and forget them until I clean out my purse. If you gave her the okay to wear your pants maybe she thought it was okay to change into something else when she got a spill or something gross on her clothes again. You could offer to let her keep some changes of clothes at your house so she has no reason to use your clothes and it may help to put some hair things aside for the kids to play with and tell her the other ones are special and you don't want them used because they are pricy and you like to keep them in the one spot.

When you start a new job in someone's house it takes a while to get the boundary things worked out. This is especially true if you came from a house where there are loose boundaries or if you come from a family who shares everything and doesn't really have boundaries about hair things and clothes. I would be horrified if someone wore my clothes without my permission but my daughter's grandma expects people to just go and make themselves at home in her things and I can see how it would be hard to get used to doing things any other way if you are used to living like my daughter's grandma does. I think the issues you list are really ones that you just have to address when they come up because they seem like issues that really can't be predicted.
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#4 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She did. And she's done it again since I asked her where the clips were. I don't like being the heavy, and I do like her, but I feel like at some point, I may have to do more than just address each thing.

No, nothing was wrong with the pants; she just felt like changing (and by that point, her own pants were clean and dry). I really do think it is a boundaries thing; I am somewhat reserved, and she is less so.

Another thing I have trouble with is asking her to do things. Eg, she wants me to show her how to use my nordic track exerciser (eek, I'm paying her to watch the kids!), which I would really rather not, and I would like her to read to them more.

As my thread title says, some of this is about me having a spine and being able to speak up.
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#5 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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Although it may be true that things work differently at different houses, there is not one of those things that I consider even remotely acceptable. Especially since it doesn't sound like you've known her for very long or she asks permission for anything beforehand.
I had a sitter once who wore my pants because of a spill, but she washed and dried her own pants and washed mine afterwards before I got home, AND called me at work to tell me about it. If someone just put my clothes on, for no good reason, no way! That would creep me out, like "Hand that rocks the cradle" creep me out
I agree with you that it probably won't be sufficient to comment on each thing as it happens - it sounds like you need to have a talk with her about how she is not to use any of your personal things, or anything from the house unless it's for the kids. If in doubt, she should consult you beforehand.
And if she wants to exercise, she can go play and run with the kids! What the heck?!

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#6 of 49 Old 07-20-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Well, you can install a lock on your bedroom door, or you can declare that room off-limits and put things in there that you don't want messed with. Then it's clear. (Though my first college roommate was a borrow first-ask later kind of person, something we never got through no matter how often I asked her...that's where a lock comes in handy).

Re the Nordic Track and how else she might exercise, if the kids still nap, she may be looking for something to do while they're asleep...you know, other than going through your stuff. :

On the reading thing, maybe just put a number on it. You'd like for her to read to them for x minutes/day. Make sure the books are out in the open. Do your kids really enjoy being read to, or is it a struggle to get them to sit still for it?

I'm reminded of the summer I spent babysitting (and doing light housekeeping) an elementary school boy--11? Hard to remember, exactly--over twenty years ago. Anyway, the parents wanted me to get him to read more and play video games less, but there were no books in the house to speak of. The *parents* didn't read a lot, as near as I could tell, and he certainly didn't have a supply (unless he was hiding them ). And I couldn't take him to the library to check out books because the mom kept forgetting to sign the paperwork for his library card. On the plus side, I was able to do a pretty good job on the housecleaning. And I didn't rearrange the dishes.

I don't think the preceding paragraph applies to your situation; it's pretty clear that it doesn't. What I do think is that if you're going to have a person come to your home to take care of your kid, it pays not only to be clear up-front, but to make sure that you've done what you can to facilitate. And then try to be flexible, but within the bounds you've set. I've never had a nanny, but what comes to mind as I think about this is the dynamic between professor and student when doing a research project or some other kind of one-on-one instruction. A close relationship can develop, but it's still the professor's responsibility to set the boundaries upfront--timeline, how much work is expected, what kind of work is expected, how to get in contact, etc. (On that last, just for example, I have colleagues who are cool with students calling their cell phone. I'm not, except in very rare cases. So you have to be clear).

Obviously--from reading various threads about the topic on MDC--there are plenty of in-home childcare providers who are either basically clueless or convinced that their way is best....hopefully that's not what you have here.

Mom of two girls.
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#7 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Eg, she wants me to show her how to use my nordic track exerciser (eek, I'm paying her to watch the kids!), which I would really rather not,
no!
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#8 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All of this has been good food for thought. I had a good talk with my dh about this (and more), and he's actually ready to replace her. I, however, feel like part of the way we got into this has been through unclear expectations and muddled communications, and I'd like to at least try talking with her in a "I have a spine" kind of way. At the very least, *I* have to try to learn something from this experience so I do a better job with our next caregiver. I need the childcare in order to have time to work on the dissertation, but I'm fortunate in that if we *had* to let her go, I wouldn't be immediately desperate for the first warm body to replace her. (And we sort of backed into this arrangement; she had been babysitting for us for occasional date nights, and then her nannying schedule opened up and we figured the time was right for me to get more daytime hours for the diss.)

Thinking out loud... I think that I'm finding it hard to say what I think when I'm seeing it ("What are you doing wearing my clothes??? I don't want you rummaging around in my dresser!") is that I know that my kids are at the end of this chain. (I suppose that if I were being rational, I'd realize that being clear and firm with her almost certainly *benefits* them.) Perhaps I feel a smidge of guilt in the first place that I am relying on childcare, that I'm paying someone to take my place. (No judgment on working and student mamas; I obviously need to cut myself some slack and give myself permission to take care of my own needs.)

Okay, one other thing which I feel a little sheepish talking about... one of the first things she has started doing when she walks in in the morning is to make herself breakfast. Out of our fridge. It was so blatant Friday morning that I was speechless. (Big bowl of fruit and yogurt, salmon burger, pot of tea.) I don't mind if she eats lunch with the kids, but this feels over the line (and like she ought to know that it's over the line; if she's arriving at 9:30, she should have eaten breakfast already at home)... I know that things are tight for her, but we're paying her well (she's quite pleased with what we're paying her, and I think it's fair; she was low on hours for a while and I'm getting the sense that she doesn't always manager her money well, but that's beside the point), but there's that side of it, too.

So I guess I'll try tomorrow with being more firm, being more clear. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won't. Making sure the kids are priority one (and that I can get my work done) should be everyone's goal--mine and hers.
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#9 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 05:48 AM
 
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Wow. I can understand your concern about the breakfast thing. It would be understandable if she started work at, say, 6am, to have breakfast with the children (positive role modelling and all that), but to rock up at 9.30 and start raiding the fridge .... it just seems like she's treating the situation like you are family friends who happen to be paying her, rather than a work environment.

I'm a bit (ok a lot) spineless too, though, so I can understand your reluctance to raise the issues with her. I'm sure I would procrastinate for so long that it became even more uncomfortable to say something.

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#10 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 09:57 AM
 
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We had a similar situation. We got into it for the same reasons, very few expectations were set at the start of the relationship because we figured they would just be common sense. We (DH and I together) had a sit down and just went over the "house rules" and a "contract".

House Rules included things to do with our stuff.
i.e. She could use the computer when DS was sleeping but she needed to bring her own equipment to save work (not use our CD's etc.).

Contract included things we were providing
i.e. We will provide breakfast when starting at 8am and lunch only on days that start later than 10am.

This may be helpful. We feel like we had a much better understanding of the whole situation when this was done and our nanny did a great job with the new guidelines.

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#11 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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You know, my first response this morning--after laughing out loud at the breakfast thing!--was to go with your dh on this one. <sigh> I was irresistibly reminded of certain students I've worked with who will smile sweetly when called to task, say something like, "oh, sorry; I didn't know," and then keep on doing whatever it was they were doing.

But you can give laying down guidelines after the fact a shot. I'd put some very clear timelines/consequences/etc. on it, be as positive as possible, ask for her input to the degree that's possible, and be prepared to follow-through with replacing her if it doesn't work.

ETA In your best case, this is someone who assumes her actions are ok unless she hears otherwise. So if you didn't say something about breakfast the first time it happened, she thinks it's ok. You gave her pants to wear the first time, so she thinks it's ok to wear other things.

Mom of two girls.
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#12 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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I worked as a day nanny for a family with 2 children for a little over two years. The way that the mom set boundaries with me was this...she explained that she was a very private person and that while necessary, it was very difficult for her to have a non-family member intimately involved in the workings of her household 50 hours a week. She was clear that I was to bring a lunch. The grocery shopping that they did was for *their* family. We weren't even close to the same size so clothing wasn't an issue.

Maybe your reluctance comes from not wanting to piss off the person with so much *power* over your kids. Nobody wants a resentful nanny. Of course, no one wants the Mom to feel taken advantage of either. It might not be possible to "get it back to good" with this Nanny. Perhaps you've learned a lot and know how to avoid these issues with the next nanny. I would probably try to work it out though-devil that you know vs. the devil that you don't
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#13 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I worked as a day nanny for a family with 2 children for a little over two years. The way that the mom set boundaries with me was this...she explained that she was a very private person and that while necessary, it was very difficult for her to have a non-family member intimately involved in the workings of her household 50 hours a week. She was clear that I was to bring a lunch. The grocery shopping that they did was for *their* family. We weren't even close to the same size so clothing wasn't an issue.

Maybe your reluctance comes from not wanting to piss off the person with so much *power* over your kids. Nobody wants a resentful nanny. Of course, no one wants the Mom to feel taken advantage of either. It might not be possible to "get it back to good" with this Nanny. Perhaps you've learned a lot and know how to avoid these issues with the next nanny. I would probably try to work it out though-devil that you know vs. the devil that you don't
You so totally nailed it.

And today, she was 20 minutes late (again). It wouldn't have been a big deal, except the kids started swimming lessons today, and I was leaving to take them as she arrived. I took her with me, and I told her we needed to talk later. (As in, during their quiet time, we need to go over our mutual expectations.) Sigh. As you said, might be better to work on growing a spine with the "devil I know" vs the "devil I don't know." Another thing motivating me is that we live in a college town, and students will be coming back to town in a few weeks... If we *do* need to switch caregivers, it might be a good time to do it, as we have had good success with college students as babysitters in the past.
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#14 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The talk went so much better than I feared. I went about it in what I thought was a fair way... "We sort of backed into this set-up without really establishing any expectations, and while I really appreciate and need your help, it would probably be a good idea for us to check in." I'm going to start printing her a weekly schedule of the kids' activities (I keep a google calendar that I share with my dh; it won't be too hard to just print her a weekly "this is what's going on" kind of thing.) I'm also going to start working on a binder that has useful info in it: copy of the health ins. card, suggestions for lunch and snacks (when I haven't made them ahead of time), suggestions for activities, expectations, etc. I think now she knows that I'm the heavy (not my hub), which is good. I let her know that I really appreciate the detailed info that she gives me wrt to what they do all day, etc. I was very clear about the lateness thing, talked about some of the boundaries issues somewhat peripherally, and have resolved to be better about addressing that stuff immediately when it comes up. We'll see how it goes.
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#15 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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As my thread title says, some of this is about me having a spine and being able to speak up.
I find it very helpful to write down what I want to say and give things in letter form when it is something that I feel needs to be addressed but something I feel awkward about addressing. I try to leave a day between when I write it and when I send it and take time to re-read it the next day so that I can make sure that I wasn't being deliberately rude. If more problems come up and you want to address the issue but don't feel you can then that may be an option that will work for you and her, especially if you give it to her at the end of her shift and let her have the night to think about things that she needs to change and respond in writing. Don't sell yourself short when it comes to the spine thing. It takes a lot of spine to tell people on a free discussion board that their answers are low quality because they don't have the time to address the full scope of your problems to your satisfaction. If you need to do it in person try writing it down and then re-reading it several times before you talk to her and remind yourself that you do have a write to put up boundaries and expect her to focus on the kids for twenty hours a week rather than playing with your things.
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#16 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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Just wanted to say I hear you! I have managed in the workplace, and it is infinitely harder to manage someone in your home, IMO. I'm having some similar problems w/my nanny, but unfortunately she's the best option by far at the moment. Sigh.
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#17 of 49 Old 07-21-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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I appreciate the intricacies of the situation, but for me, bad boundaries are bad boundaries. Unless someone has an issue (such as a mental health issue which excuses it), for me there is no excuse for bad boundaries. A person with no sense of this also may not know what is appropriate behavior with your children (how your children differentiate from "her" children), how your spouse is your spouse, and many other things. In my opinion, this is not going to get better and is likely to get worse.

 
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#18 of 49 Old 07-22-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've written up a detailed set of guidelines (I told her I would do this), and it include stuff like house rules, info about food, emergency numbers, some safety guidelines, etc. I wrote it with the idea in mind that I'm writing it to *any* caregiver who will be in our home at any point (so with the idea in mind that this may be for the next person). But yeah, I addressed stuff I talked to her about and more.

I had a long talk with my mom this afternoon about it, and it was really helpful. My mom, like my dh, is of the opinion that I should just let her go. Lauren, I agree with you, I have a bad feeling about the bad boundaries. But at this point, I still feel like my kids are okay. But I'm getting an ad ready to post at the local colleges, too. (I don't know if I ever made this clear, but I am working upstairs in our house.) So I'm going to follow through to the point that I can.
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#19 of 49 Old 07-22-2008, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well... I think I'm just going to let her go tomorrow. I went online and checked my library record in preparation for their trip to the library tomorrow. There were nine items checked out which are not at our house, and there are eight items at my house which are not on my card. (The things which are not at my house are presumably things for herself and for the little girl she watches TuTh, and the things at our house are things on her card which she checked out for my kids.) The things not at my house include 5 things due tomorrow, including 3 toddler magazines which were due a week ago but which she got the librarian to extend. I spoke to her about this over a week ago, was very clear about not wanting this to happen again, that the magazines in particular had to be returned immediately, and she said she would.

I know that the library is not the end of the world, but it's something that I communicated very clearly with her about, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that it was *not* okay to check things out on my card for herself or for the Tu/Th child (hard enough to keep track of things which are in my own house, let alone who knows where!). I called her about it tonight, let her know I didn't like it, reminded her that she said those magazines would go back. She laughed about it, was not taking it seriously. Boundaries again, I feel; if I make a request, I want her to take it seriously. I don't think it was out of line at all.

Ug. Crap. I hate having to deal with this.
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#20 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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KK, I totally support your decision to let her go. When you first described this to me before, I didn't get the scope of the problem. Now that you've laid it out here, it appears this is really the only choice you will have to get to a place of peace on this situation. At this point, every time she does something that makes you uncomfortable, it's just going to add to the situation.

And those library fines are not small. And the cost of replacing 8 books that you never even saw would easily be close to $100.00- that's a lot of childcare. That there is enough to put me over the edge. If I have overdue books on my card, I want to be damn sure that I have some control over that.
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#21 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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Yes. Enough is enough. I feel certain that the next person you find will work out much better, in part because you've had the opportunity to think through (and write down!) what the deal breakers are.

Good luck!

Mom of two girls.
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#22 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 01:12 AM
 
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KK,

laughing when you called her on breaking a boundary AGAIN is not cool. Time to go. . I have someone in my life that laughs when he breaks boundaries. Sadly, he's my dh's dad, so I can't cut him off. Count yourself blessed.
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#23 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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EL, I'm glad you bring that up the fine thing, because I had kind of spaced that out (though that was the original reason I challenged her on it--I don't want my card suspended because of what someone else is doing). I feel a little grinch-y doing this, but I think I'm going to tell her that I'm withholding payment on her final hours until I see that all those items have been returned and that I will subtract any fines and replacement fees. I'm not so much worried about late fines as I am about replacement costs if the things just don't get returned. It's cost of replacement + $5, which can come to $30+/book (my kids misplaced a book last spring).

Last night, I was imagining my parents sitting on my shoulders, and they're both decent, fair people (but no BS). I realized that if I couldn't justify keeping her to them, I owed it to my kids to let her go.

Dh wants me to fire her over the phone and save her the trip to our house, but she has a few things here, and I want to get our house key back right away.
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#24 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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PS I know that I've been the major poster to my own thread, but it has been really, really useful for me to have a place to "think out loud" with other mothers who have more experience in all of this than I do. Thanks!
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#25 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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I was a nanny and generally don't eat my first meal until 9:30ish. I asked permission of the families for whom I worked to put some of my breakfast, lunch, and snack foods on a shelf in the door of their fridge. That way, I provided for myself from my own stock, and they knew it. I also asked for a shelf in the entryway closet to keep a spare set of seasonally apporpriate clothes. I also would ask permission to check out one library book per visit for my own use when the baby/child was sleeping. I kept the book AT their home, but that way it was there for my use when I was done with my "chores" for the day. You might use some of that with your next caregiver. Let them know that you will provide X,Y, and Z space for them to put their things/food, and that they may check out one book and keep it on D shelf in the office when she is not using it. Or NOT for the library thing, if you're worried about fines and don't know the person well enough! But as the carer is going to be there for a significant amount of time during the week, it is helpful for her to have somewhere for some of her stuff...and that also helps to set some of the boundries that you are worried about...if she has her own extras there, she doesn't need to use yours!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#26 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But Courtenay, if you were *arriving* at 9:30 (and often 20 minutes late), would you expect that it would be okay to *very first thing, before attending to the needs of the kids* make yourself a large breakfast from your employers' fridge and then proceed to eat it, even if they needed to be somewhere at 10? Just because the odd person happens to eat at 9:30 doesn't mean I should be obligated to provide her a meal and a break just as soon as she has started working. My entire sense of the situation was once I said it was okay for her to eat lunch with the kids, she saw *all* of our food as her food, and she was looking at is as how she could consume the most calories at our house. (And lately, she's been complaining about the kids, about how *they* want to eat all the time, and that she's decided to space their snacks out... um, NO. My kids are healthy eaters, at healthy weights and BMIs, without much padding on their little bodies. If *they* say they are hungry and they're not asking for food to get out of something or out of boredom, just FEED them. *That* is why the fridge is well-stocked.) I don't really know how to explain it, other than that I've been getting the sense that she's a taker, not a giver, and that more and more, she's looking at this situation as to how she can play us. Regardless of whether that is true or not (and unfortunately, I think it is; I have pretty good people sense), I *can't* have her take care of my kids if that is how I feel about her. The trust has been eroded.
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#27 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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yep - too many blatant boundary issues and the trust is gone. people all have their quirks and it would be different if she had maybe ONE boundary issue. but the sum is too much.

i figure our food is open to any babysitter in our house, but our nanny hardly ever eats anything. she sometimes brings *me* a coffee in the morning if she stops to get one. (there's that sign of a 'giver' personality versus a 'taker'). and her boyfriend always brings her lunch.

that's another common one fyi when you are interviewing new nannies....having the bf stop by. you should lay down your rule about that up front. i met our nanny because she was my boss's nephew's gf, so i knew her bf well and didn't mind. and now she has a new bf who is also sweet. if i felt differently about him i would say no.

the book you've made will be useful for the next one. does it have a list of 'house rules' like 'no friends may stop by while you are working'?

good luck with the letting her go part. and i totally agree on withholding complete payment until the library stuff is all resolved.

i think i am kind of lucky in that my nanny knows ebin is on the list to start daycare when he turns 2, so we have a finite time period for this relationship. although she's been our nighttime babysitter for years before she watched ebin, and i'm sure she will continue to be for years. i'm really happy with her. she's punctual. sweet yet firm with the kids. my biggest compliant is that she doesn't even put dishes in the sink. they'll be on the table. but that i can live with.
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#28 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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KK I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. For me, childcare and schools are far and away the most stressful parts of parenthood. When something isn't right with either of those, it just eats away at my soul :

I'm appalled at some of the things you've described - so much so that I know *I* wouldn't be able to trust her again. I do think there's a lot of great stuff here that will help you and the next person get off on the right foot! I'm taking notes myself.

:
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#29 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it was pretty unpleasant (fortunately, the kids were in the car; we were about to leave to go to swim lessons). She was very argumentative, wanted explanations, and then argued with the explanations (and denied she said/did the things she said/did, denied that I had said some of the things I said). As for the library books (which she said would be returned to the main branch of the library a week ago), she said, "Well, they're not overdue yet, so what's the problem?" But they're due *today*, and they're at the Tu/Th girl's house, so they *will* be overdue. And I asked her to return them *last week*, and she said she would; she didn't get that she was eroding my trust in her. She blamed it all on the librarians... I know the librarians who work Wed. a.m., and they are all very, very good, and I frankly don't believe it's the librarians' fault! Grr. I told her we had boundary issues and brought up the clothes, and she denied that she had gotten them out of my dresser (after she *told* me last week that she did). She DOESN'T GET that it's not okay to do that, doesn't matter whether the clothes were hanging from the lamp (and they weren't, they were in my dresser), it's not okay! And she was upset that I hadn't given her notice. I let her know that I didn't need to give notice when it was something regarding my kids and that if I couldn't trust her, there was no point in continuing.

The kids wanted to know what was up, and I talked to them about how super important they are, and even though Mommy really needs to finish her book (my diss), they come first, and that I really need to be able to trust the person who watches them. We talked about our private stuff and not getting into each other's stuff (big theme for the boys) and how she had gotten into my stuff and that it really upset me, and that when I asked her not to do certain things (the hair clips, the library stuff), she ignored me, and that it affected my ability to trust her. They're not upset, and the oldest definitely "gets it", so I think that's enough.

I saw her walking away as I drove the kids to swimming a few minutes later... I think she stopped and chatted with my neighbor for a bit (to say what? bad mouth me? Anything I could say to them about what she's done in my home trumps *anything* she could say about me).

Ug. I feel better having it over, but it will be *over* over for me when the library materials are returned and I've mailed her check.

Jess, thanks for the tip about visitors/bfs. That is not in there yet, but I will add it.

Juice, I'll even share my "guidelines" if you're interested.

Thanks for letting me blow off steam. Whew. Off to do a family bike ride... I'm going to *enjoy* not working today, darnit.
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#30 of 49 Old 07-23-2008, 07:30 PM
 
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I think you made the right decision. Assuming you live in a right to work state and didn't have a contract, you were right that you didn't have to give her notice. I probably would have given her a week severence, but only if I hadn't set out expectations at the outset some of this would be my responsibility. But I would also have done exactly what you did and without the check until the library books were safely returned.

Good for you for setting up a system so the next round will go better.

There are really good nannies out there. I am so sad that our's is leaving this fall because her school commitment means she can't be available the hours that we need her! I spent almost 4 hours talking about expecations, discipline, general outlook on parenting, schedules, responsibilities, house rules... It was a long afternoon for her, I'm sure. But I felt that the more she knew at the beginning the fewer problems we would have. And really, the one's we've had have been really minor and easily dealt with through a single comment. So take heart, put a lot of time in up front to explain things, and the next one will go better!
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