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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so my wonderful trusted sitter who has looked after dd for the past year is now coming under scrutiny. First let me tell you how hard it is for me to trust someone with my child. I have video taped people in the past, I flipped out last year at the playgroup where she goes two mornings a week becuse they left the front door of the place hanging open in the wind with no adult in the room to watch the toddlers from leaving (or being taken) - I got through that one ok. They lock up now and my dd has been very happy ther ever since.<br><br>
Anyhoo - now that you have context. I have had this big chubby Honduran woman who speaks no English caring for dd the once a week when I have to go out and shoot all day - charcteristically a 10 hour day. In the past she has seemed so engaged - they play and laugh and have a great time. When I come home dd is happy and clean and the house is even better than when I left it.<br><br>
Well, lately the past two months, things have been different.<br><br>
1. It has been really hard to get her on the phone when I am on location to check in! I call 10-20 times before she picks up! All kinds of excuses - we were outside - I couldn't hear - yadda yadda (WTF?) I call at bath time and dinner time when they are supposed to be inside near the phone - she doesn't answer.<br><br>
2. She fails to take dd outside as I request stating that she is too unamanageable to look after outside, that she tries to run in the street and pitches a fit when told no. (this has NEVER happened with me or anyone else) in other words - I am seeing it as an excuse not to take her outside because it's too much trouble.<br><br>
3. She has failed to feed her as I have directed the past two times, failed to put her to bed on time. Has no explanation for it when I come home and acts like I am giving her grief for asking.<br><br>
4. The worst of all - I came home last weekend to find everything taken off my bedside table and thrown all over the floor - my table is on the far side of the room and not that easy for dd to reach without some effort. then I saw that dd had taken a grease pencil from my desk (off limits) and scribbled all over the living room table.<br><br>
This troubled me greatly and I called the sitter to ask her where she was and what she was doing while all this was taking place. She had no good excuse, got defensive and is probably pissed at me now.<br><br>
Is it my imagination or is she neglecting my daughter? I pay her $120 every time she comes over so I am paying her extremely well for a person with no car and no English. We have treated her very well. I want an expereinced mother who I can trust with my dd. I am starting to wonder if she is trustworthy after all.<br><br>
Am I making stuff up?
 

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How long had she been watching your child before this started to happen? I am not making excuses for her but maybe there is something going in in her life that is distracting her. Is she legal? She may be having trouble.If you have video taped people in the past and you suspect that something is off you should certainly think about taping her now. How does your DD act with her? (like will she go to her willingly(SP))
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought if that. I think she has a boyfriend - maybe he's being a turd to her. She's been watching dd for a year.<br><br>
Getting a nanny cam is too much $ for me right now.<br><br>
Dd seemed to go to her the last couple of times she showed up - big smiles - happy too see her.<br><br>
If I am gone ten hours I do not want my daughter being ignored for how long it takes for her to find a grease pencil in my desk and go wrtie on the table. I don't pay the money for that kind of thing. Plus she naps for 2 + HOURS - IF THE SITTER WANTS TO GAB ON THE PHONE OT HER BF OR WHOEVER THEN SHE HAS TWO HOURS TO SIT AROUND AND RELAX. (sorry I hit caps lock accident.)<br><br>
It really bothers me.
 

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You are paying her well for someone with no car and no English? What does that mean?<br><br>
In any case, maybe she had a bad day the day of the pencil incident...you know, one of those days where you ate something that didn't agree with you and you spent more time than you'd like in the washroom? At least it was only a table that was hurt and not your child.<br><br>
As for feeding, sometimes my little ones do not eat what I have planned for them either. Actually, most days I spend worrying about their nutrition. Do you mean that your sitter is feeding junk food all day, or just not what you had chosen?<br><br>
As for going outside, I agree that children must get outside every day. Maybe if your child is a handful at home (and just because she is an angel with you does not mean that she is ALL the time!) then there is a park within walking distance? Or a way for your sitter to take her for a stroll? I would insist that she take your child for outdoor time and that this is non-negotiable, it is part of her job.<br><br>
Maybe you should talk with her, in a non-accusatory tone, and ask her if there is anything giving her trouble right now, maybe you can help, because you have noticed that she does not seem as happy to be working with your child as before. If she is as invaluable as you say, you owe it to her and to your child to ask and to be upfront with your concerns.
 

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I wondered about that comment, too (good pay for someone with no car/no English), and also the description of her as a big chubby Honduran woman. Do you respect her? Does she feel respected and appreciated? That can have a huge affect on performance in any type of job.
 

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I pose the same questions as Panda on these comments:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I have had this big chubby Honduran woman who speaks no English</td>
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and
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I pay her $120 every time she comes over so I am paying her extremely well for a person with no car and no English.</td>
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I would be concerned if it seems like she is not paying attention to your child. If it hasn't been consistant, she may be having a bad day. Having been a nanny, you can have a bad day. Just like anyone else...<br><br>
 

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If she really doesn't speak English than how can she possibly respond to your concerns? It seems to me that communication is the big problem here. All these things could be explained but if you aren't able to communicate with each other then you will never know. My babysitter's English is not great but we work hard to make sure we understand each other. I trust her implicitly. Your sitter may be getting more and more defensive with each concern you voice so is less likely to try very hard to make you understand. Either you need to make a concerted effort to communicate to make sure everything is alright (and really try not to put her on the defensive - you just want to know what is going on and work with her on a solution) or get another babysitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The comment about her being chubby comes from the fact that my dd has enjoyed being hugged and cuddled by this big booby woman - also I think her physicality plays into her general characteristic for me as being motherly.<br><br>
I speak Spanish at about 80% so we can communicate but probably not as fluently as I can communicate with an<br>
English speaker in terms of idioms etc.<br><br>
3rdly I am in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles EVERYTHING is based on whether or not you have a car. 9 times out of ten I deal with extreme stress with this woman because she starts calling me while I am working and threatening to leave at 11 o'clock if Ican't get home because she has to take the bus. A lot of times I have to drive her back and forth long distances - she lives downtown - it's a lot of extra work and time on me for the money I pay her. I also know she has a full time job that pays $6 an hour where she takes care of four kids and cleans house all week.<br><br>
So that's where I get the fact aht I am paying her well. I feel like if I am paying her that well becasue I want my dd to be taken good care of - then my dd should not be left all alone long enough to get into the things I am seeing she is into while I am gone. If I want her fed something or taken outside to play then I feel like my requests should be respected.<br><br>
Overall I see that moms don't have very much sympathy for my concerns so I should probably just withdraw the discussion now.<br><br>
Thanks
 

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As someone with a full time nanny, and who's employed this person for over two years, I suspect that one of two things are going on: 1. something is up in this woman's life that's seriously distracting her, or 2. she's fixing to leave your employment. Are you friendly with this person? If so, then as someone else suggested, you might want to talk with her and ask her if something's up. Tell her that you've noticed some changes lately in how she's taking care of your child, and that you're concerned that something might be wrong. This might be enough of an opening for her to give you some insight into what's going on.<br><br>
And just by the by, re the grease pencil incident, it's just part of the gig (hate to break it to ya). Unless this woman isn't interested in having you as a reference for further work, and doesn't want the job anymore, she's going to care what your child thinks of her, and want her to like her. Ergo, she's not likely to discipline her significantly (this is hardly to say that discipline = dislike, but rather an observation). Also, the way your daughter acts with the sitter may be quite different than how she acts with you. And your sitter (again, unless she just doesn't care anymore) is likely to be concerned that your dd doesn't scream or cry or get audibly angry while outside, within earshot of the neighbors.<br><br>
Oh, and also by the by, I think I understood what you meant by your description of your sitter. I'm in spread-out, no-public-transport Houston, and my nanny is also buxom and "motherly" in that way (though she speaks reasonable English).
 

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I consider myself an attentive SAHM. I'm not paid well at all, but I do think I feel motivated to care for my children as well as possible. Never-the-less:<br><br>
1) It is *often* difficult for me to answer the phone.<br>
2) There are times (and phases) when I can't take my ds outdoors because of his mood or behavior.<br>
3) Bedtimes and feedings rarely go as I expect. Its really not possible to have total control over how a toddler eats or when they go to sleep.<br>
4) My personal items and my spouse's personal items are often attacked by little hands. And there has been writing on the walls more times than I can count.<br><br>
I don't think I'm a neglectful mother.<br><br>
I dunno. Its possible there is a real problem. Its also possible that she's doing fine and these are just the sorts of things that happen. I agree that you need to connect with her and get a better understanding of what's going on while you are at work. If your dd seems happy than I would not rush to snap conclusions.
 

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Wow, I'd be concerned too. It seems to me that you and the babysitter are not loving each other at the moment, kwim? We had a nanny, and at first it was great, but slowly went downhill...not sure why, but we had similar issues, albeit a la our house and ultimately fired her--nicely, without burning bridges, but fired nevertheless.<br><br>
If it were me, I think I'd contact an agency. There's some scare in that, but I'd suspect a nanny would cost you less and then maybe you'd have the cash to buy the nanny cam. I'd imagine that's a scary thought for you, it certainly is for me--having someone I didn't already know come into my house alone with my child--but it doesn't sound as if you believe dd is particularly safe with this woman either...just a thought. Good luck.
 

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The thing no one has mentioned is that she doesn't answer the phone. Given the language barrier, she might not feel comfortable answering it if she doesn't know who is on the other line. But that concerns me way more than what dd didn't eat, going outside, or being unsupervised for five minutes. If you are unable to reach her, what would happen in an emergency-type situation? If you had to go to the doctor, your car broke down, whatever. You need to be able to contact her.<br>
Secondly, there should be no issue with when you arrive home. Does she have reason to believe you'll be later than the two of you have already talked about, do you have a bad track record? If you are late home and she misses the last bus of the day you should have to drive her, without bitching, home. That could even be explained in the morning so she doesn't worry all day.<br>
Third, I'd ask her to clean the grease pencil off the wall. She might have even been cleaning when dd snatched it off the table? Is having a clean home when you arrive a priority?<br><br>
Having said all this I want to clarify that I was a nanny for 12 years and so my sight is biased. There are issues, you have to decide what they are and how important they are to you. How often do you work? Is dd safe? happy? (with the babysitter) How would you feel with a new sitter, more or less uneasy than you feel now?
 

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It sounds like you are not happy with her and she does not respect your parenting style/wishes. Can you find someone else or consider a preschool with more reliable hours and personnel? As an AP mom, I had a nanny previously who believed in crying it out, obviously, we did not agree on much.
 

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Oatmeal - sorry if I read to much into a few comments.<br><br>
Just wanted to add that I do sympathize - this must be such a tough situation. You do have a right to expect that your requests and wishes be honored, and that she spend the time focused on your dd, since that's what she's being paid for. If she's not accomplishing these things, she should have some good explanation. I think you have reason to be upset and disappointed.<br><br>
I'd say follow your gut feeling and stop calling her. But it's not that easy, especially if you don't have alternatives lined up. sigh. I think it means a lot that your dd likes her. I don't have any solutions for you, but it must be very hard. I hope you can either work it out, or find some other arrangement soon.<br><br>
Maybe it will help to ask very open ended questions? Will she respond and fill you in if you ask her "What did you two do today?" From your post it sounds like she's responding in a defensive way, or like it's none of your business what goes on (acting annoyed when you ask specific questions), and that's not right at all. Of course you're interested in everything that goes on, and she should share that with you.<br><br>
I don't know. Good luck to you!
 

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Oatmeal-<br><br>
If you say these problems have started the last few months, then I would look for a new sitter. It is obvious that you aren't happy with her right now and you need a sitter that works well for the whole family.<br><br>
Good luck in your search
 

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I have read and believe that if you are at the point that you want to video tape someone caring for your child, you already have your answer as to whether they should be watching them or not. I am a nanny myself and I have been told that good ones are hard to come by. Have you read "protecting the gift" by Gavin De Becker, he talks alot about how to determine who to trust and not trust, and hiring a sitter. It is an excellent book that made me feel much more confident in who to trust with my child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just read the de Becker chapter on babysitters - I had stoppedreading the book becasue I got so disturbed from reading bout the kidnappings.<br><br>
I think I need to find another sitter. I am having bad intuition about her for areason. There has also been aguy in a car out front a couple of times when I have come home - she said she called a "taxi" but it was aguy in a regular car with tinted windows. I don't like it.
 

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Sorry about seeming unsupportive...I seem to be stick in Nanny mode and just finish reading the Nanny Diaries.<br><br>
I agree you have to go with what you feel. A mother's intuition is NEVER wrong. And I would definately have a problem with some guy sitting outside my house and her saying it was a taxi. BAD LIE!<br><br>
Good luck in your search ...
 

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I say follow your instincts. There is no excuse for not answering the phone. Absolutely none.<br><br>
Find a sitter that you can trust and who is more engaged.
 
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