(My) Milestone Monday: Why I Let My Nanny Go

I’m going to do a complete 180 here.  I got rid of my nanny and my life is easier. This is  contrary to my post a few months ago when I wrote about why full-time help is necessary.

It has taken me almost 2 months to write about this. It was a painful experience and really hurt me to the core. These people become part of your family; they are taking care of the most precious entity in your life. And even though I know we made the right decision, and it was our choice, the loss hit me hard.

I don’t know why, but I just feel like telling my story. Maybe because I’m still hurt, even though at the same time I’m so relieved.

I won’t go into all the reasons. But the main reason was her complete inability to get here on time. I spoke to her former employers to find out if she was late for them. They claim she wasn’t. She also lived nearer to them, which, in LA traffic, makes a difference. They also had full time jobs in which they had to be out the door at a certain time. Phil and I work from home, so we naturally create a more laid back atmosphere.

I did every sort of tactic. I switched the times around to help her avoid rush hour (didn’t work), I gave her a cushion time, as in between 8:30-9. Not only did that NOT work, it backfired and made things worse. I gave her pep talks, threaten-talks, and on two occasions I lost my sh-t and yelled. And then she cried. And I felt terrible.  So after a year of dealing with this–yes, a year–I realized the situation was exhausting me.

It was time for a final ultimatum.

Phil and I told her calmly and clearly that one more time and she was done. Communication had been a problem in that her accent is heavy and she also doesn’t text (which was another issue altogether). I wanted to make sure she understood how high the stakes were. She said she understood and reiterated that if she were late again, it was on her. She cried saying she would miss our kids so much–the mere thought of it broke her heart. I could tell her feelings were genuine.

That’s the thing about her. I had such a soft spot. Yet she would drive me crazy.

Her life hadn’t been easy. Her mother pulled her from school at a young age in El Salvador so she could care for her handicapped sister. She crossed the border when she was 17. Now she’s 50, a legal resident, and has 5 grown kids. But even though we paid her well above the market rate, money was tight (in part to bad decisions that drove me crazy–though I know–none of my business). With no formal education she is part of the true working class.

She became my project and my boundaries went out the window. I was going to teach her how to read and write (she was extremely limited in that regard, which I found out after hiring her). I offered to give her time off for ESL classes. I told her I could help her learn.  She cried, saying it was her dream to read the newspaper. Never happened. I mentioned it from time to time and she’d say she was going to do it. Then nothing.

There were other things too, because as we all know, no one is perfect. But as mad/frustrated as I’d get, at the end of the day, she did a lot of lovely things for us and ultimately, loved my babies as her own. If there were an earthquake, she would throw herself in front of a crashing beam to protect them. She is that kind of person.  I would tell myself that that is really all that matters. But it’s not. She was still an employee. And there to make our lives easier.

The ultimatum came right before we were giving her a week off (paid) for Thanksgiving.  That following Monday morning she was supposed to be at our house by 8:30. Fifteen minutes later I see a missed call on my phone. Phil called her back. She said her car battery died and she was just leaving her house. Wait, huh? If your battery had died, you would have known before 8 and called us. Which is what Phil said to her. No response. He hung up the phone and looked at me. We both shook our heads. He called her back and told her not to come. I haven’t seen her since.

I then sent her a check for 5 weeks severance. My friend Delia is the one who coaxed–and coached–me on that. I was just going to send her a week’s worth. Delia said, “Jill, there are the haves and the have-nots. We are the haves. You won’t ever miss the money. Consider it one less charity donation. To her, it is everything.”

I remember when I was in Al-Anon; there was a saying about detached compassion. “When the alcoholic is passed out on the cold, hard floor, rather than leaving her in anger, or trying to get her back on the bed, just drape her in a warm blanket.” So, even though I’ll admit the check was a little hard to write, I felt like that was my version of detached compassion. I wanted her to have a nice Christmas. I know how excited she was to buy gifts for her grandkids. And I know what a relief it would be to pay her rent.

She left us a message a few days later, after receiving the check. She thanked us profusely. I could hear her voice cracking. She knows she messed up.

I guess I felt betrayed. Hurt. Why didn’t she call us at 8 that morning? Why, after having a week off, would she not show up on time? On some level, my mind says, “Did she not love my kids enough to get out of bed on time?” But then I know: You can’t change someone.

I did get word that she found another job close to her house. In fact, I gave the woman the recommendation before all this happened, as we were going to take her down to part-time anyway and help her find a family to share with.

I’m sure this post sounds like an “upper class problem” to many people. Some would tell me to just get over it. And I am. But dealing with another human being on a deeply personal level is tough. I’ve never had a nanny before. And I doubt I ever will again. She was with Emmett from the day he was born. He is a special baby and I know she must miss him dearly. But at the end of the day, we are better on our own.

I have now hired a few sitters to work a couple times a week. They are young college graduates from New York. I won’t be taking on their problems. My boundaries are in place.

I also realize I’m utilizing my time far better. Instead of napping when my kids nap, I write or pay bills or make phone calls. I think having full-time help without a full-time job myself gave me license to be lazy. Now, every minute counts. Energy begets energy. I have cleaned out closets and organized photos that have sat for a year. I feel good. I have spent more quality time with my kids in the past 2 months than I did all year. I still don’t have any regrets in how we did it. I had some crucial time to myself and I needed it. I had plenty of delicious moments with my babies. More than most people probably. But now I get even more.

I’m looking forward to 2013 knowing we’ll have loads of adventures. Even if “adventure” means a trip to the grocery store with both babes in tow (something that 6 months ago sounded impossible to me. Granted, Em is almost a year now, so having him older makes all of this a helluva lot easier).

My mind goes back to a line I read not long ago. It’s from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and gives me great perspective when I do get tired from the daily grind.  ”The days are long, but the years are short.”

Like I said when Fia turned 3,when my kids are older and out late with friends, I will be watching the clock, wishing they were home.  I will yearn for these sleep-deprived nights. They are all mine (almost) all the time. And for now, I don’t want it any other way.

Took Em to a fun playspace the other day. Making it a weekly thing now because he had so much fun. And  I had so much fun watching him!

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  1. by Kim

    On January 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I`ve been the nanny, and I can tell you that check probably got her through till that new job.
    I also understand that you were patient above and beyond what many employers would be. When I was a nanny the family I worked for paid little, they couldn`t afford much at all, and expected my schedule to revolve around them 24 hrs a day. Not that I didn`t love those kids, but a week off, forget with pay, would never happen. It was far from unreasonable to expect her to be there on time. Particularly with the amount of trouble you took to acommidate her.

  2. by Jill Cordes

    On January 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Hey Kim, thanks for your kind response. I was fully preparing for backlash from the whole “stay at home versus childcare” debate that becomes so exhausting. I was relieved to read something insightful and caring! Jill

  3. by Megan

    On January 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I realize you are still a little frustrated over the situation and I can see why. I do think it was time to let her go and ultimately it gave you the chance to be the kind of mom you didn’t realize you could be. I’m not making excuses for her but in regards to the issue of time it is a culture difference. Where she is from time is not a factor in their lives. It’s hard for us as Americans to understand this but that is how she was raised. Time is just not an issue. Yes, she should adapt but that’s easier said than done. When you are used to raising your family on no ones time, and in their culture family is first, then everything else falls to the wayside. Just understand I doubt she was trying to intentionally take advantage of you. That may help you sleep a little better at night!

  4. by Mary

    On January 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I am a RN and a single mother and drop my child off at an in-home daycare. Both of us pay others to look after our children. Both of us are paying for a service to be provided to us. Picking out the best person to care for your kids is a much more important decision than who you pay for your internet svc of course, but as an RN I am trusted to show up on time to care for others, and if I was consistently late I would have been fired a long time ago, even if every one of my patients loved me. You made the right decision to let her go, doesn’t make it an an easy decision(especially when you know she loves your kids so much and they love her.)
    Giving her the 5 weeks of pay was a compassionate, kind hearted thing to do. It helps us all when we can show mercy to another, even when the other person was in the wrong. CLASS ACT!!

  5. by Joey Ann

    On January 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Sorry for your loss. I have seen this on both sides of the equation: As the employer, having an untimely nanny, then a few years later as the employee, with the parent never arriving on time. It’s quite annoying all around and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are simply those are timely and those who are not. It never seems to be an intentional slight, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying, and the only ones who are bothered by it all are people like ourselves. Kudos to your classy behavior.

  6. by Tiphani

    On January 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I understand the frustration of dealing with an employee that was constantly late, but you’re right, this comes across as an ‘upper class’ problem….and quite frankly is. Furthermore, you sound a bit snobby in regards to this woman’s lack of education. Granted, there is a level of responsibility she should have taken for herself, but for a woman that is 50, who can not read, the act of even trying to could and probably would be immobilizing. The fear of failure is far more powerful than the hope of success.
    I’m sure you’re a really nice person, but honestly, this piece makes you sound a bit detached and insensitive. Don’t get me wrong, I probably would have fired her too, but if I was to write about it, I would be careful not to sound like such an elitist.

  7. by Lana

    On January 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I think the relationship with your nanny was way too personal than it was supposed to be between the employee and the employer, most of the problems were created by you (sorry to be so harsh). My other question why would you need a nanny if you had time to nap? There are so many mothers out there who would like to do that and they just can’t. As i see at the end you made the right choice and the right decision to take care of your own children.

  8. by Heather

    On January 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    So let me get this straight. She loved your kids like her own and would’ve given her life for them if need be? But because she’s 15 mins late to a job that has a pretty much non working parent at home you fired her. Interesting. Now you hire random college kids who could care less. To each their own I guess. But truthfully you come across Insensitive and privileged. Some people are late. If I knew they’d die for my kid. I very well might look the other way on her tardiness. I feel sorry for your old nanny. But hey just my opinion.

  9. by Susan

    On January 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I cannot fathom being a stay at home mom and having a full time nanny. Maybe Im missing something. And, yes, its hard to take two kids to the store. Buts thats what moms do. Kids learn so much from it as well. My kids are 3 and 1 and really enjoy going to the post office with mom. I cant imagine a world where I would need or even want full time care for my kids unless I was working a full time job. Its called being an actively engaged mom. Pick up a kids crafting book and do some activities. Be a mom, not just a mother. Im baffled by this really. I knew celebrities lived this way, but real actual people become lazy moms who need someone to care for their kids so they can nap? Im so confused.

  10. by Amy

    On January 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I am over these people complaining about you having a nanny. Just because she doesn’t have a full time job doesn’t mean she is a SAHM. I gathered that you and your husband are freelancers. These people can put in just as many hours (if not more) than someone working an 8-5 and still have deadlines. I work from home 3 days a week and people always tell me how lucky I am to get to hang out with my son all day. Um, NO I work a very demanding traditional job and just like I couldn’t take him into the office, I can’t do my job and play with him all day – I would get fired in no time. It just saves me commuting time and I get to sneak in a few hugs during the day when I take a bathroom break. You absolutely should have fired her, she was taking advantage of you. That doesn’t make it any easier.

  11. by Susan

    On January 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    And calling her your personal project is just sick. Im sorry but that is just really unfair. So glad to see that you are trying to take a more active role in your kids lives. I found it quite sad when you said youve spent more time in two months with them than in a whole year. But happy your trying to change that. Kids love going with mommy to the store, to the post office, playig playdough, making cookies.

  12. by Janna

    On January 16, 2013 at 7:03 am

    We also have a nanny. I have 16 month old twins and I work partially from home. I needed someone 3-4 days a week and day care for newborn twins who had some medical needs was beyond our budget. We hired two friends to watch our babies and they split the days. We had to let one go the minute the spring semester was over. She decided after watching them for a month that they were more work than she had ever expected and doubled her rate. We had turned down another person to hire her and that alternate had already picked up another job. Once my 16 week semester was over she was shown the door. We are not on speaking terms and she refuses to even talk to us when he sees us in public. Our other nanny this past sprin was wonderful and loved the twins. Then in summer she was set to watch them 3 days a week and she started showing up hungover and laying on the couch and nap all morning while my husband was getting ready for work. We worked very hard to find our current nanny who we could not live without. It was easier to let this summer nanny go and she and I have talked about what had happened. She apologized for the whole situation and even comes to visit the twins when she’s off of school.

    I find it hard to let go of the anger for the first nanny because there was no resolution to the situation. I think that is the toughest part of this all. However, again, our current nanny is the best fit for our family.

  13. by Heather

    On January 16, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Both my husband and I work full time out of the house. We have a nanny that comes to our house to watch the kids during the day. She also has been perpetually late. After a year an a half, my husband and I are aware of this and make sure we plan accordingly, thankfully our schedules allow that. I love our nanny and I know she loves our kids. We recently decided to put our youngest in a center because he needs to be n more of a social setting. I am going to miss or nanny so much. I can’t imagine getting rid of her a year ago because she is 15-20 late, but I could see if you didn’t have a flexible schedule it would be a problem.

  14. by Nicole

    On January 16, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I can completely relate! I too work from home and our last nanny did the same thing with not being on time. While that was a small thing it was other things like falling asleep on my couch and forgetting to pick up my eldest from school, or not bringing her lunch and then taking my car and son to the grocery store and giving him all sorts of cookies to get him through the store while she picked out her lunch, or taking the kids to her house, feeding them crap junk food and letting them just sit in front of your TV while you do whO knows what. And my last straw was when I too lost it albeit in a professional way, and she said quote…I would never talk to my mom that way! And I told her that she was not my mom, that she was in fact my employee and needed to respect my rules.

  15. by Tara

    On January 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Wow. I have so many issues with this blog, I don’t even know where to begin. First let me say that my husband and I employ a nanny to care for our toddler aged son. We are by no means in the upper class. I am a junior high school principal, and my husband is in real estate. We too, pay our nanny well above market rate. So for you to conclude that only people in the upper class are able to afford a nanny, shows just how out of touch with reality you really are. Moreover, to call her your “project” is just downright dehumanizing. She is a human being–not your project. She is a 50 year old woman. A mother. A grandmother. Clearly so much more than you give her credit for. She is not your plaything. Not to mention, you hired her with a thick El Salvadorian accent, and a very limited ability to read and write. Granted you didn’t know at the time of hire, it was still your responsibility to find out that information. Therefore, it was not your place to push her to learn. What you felt may have been being helpful, she very well could have seen as degrading. Did none of her previous employers inform you? And yes, I do understand the bottom line–she was perpetually late. Our nanny is on occasion late, too. We ask her to arrive at 7am. I have to be at school by 7:30. However, my husband doesn’t leave the house until 8, so if she show’s up at 7:20, no big deal. I would never fire her for that reason, because yes, she, too would guard our son’s life with her own. That kind of loyalty, love and work ethic is not easy to find. Something else that really bothered me, to my core, was were you wrote that you, on two occasions, yelled at her. How classless, unprofessional, and downright unacceptable is that? It is never your place to yell at your nanny, especially for being late! As previously mentioned, I’m a principal. I have a staff made up primarily of women between the ages of 23 and 65. I deal with tardiness, as well as a whole slew of other issues (as I’m sure you can imagine with such a large group of women working so closely together) on a daily basis. I have never, not even one, ever, raised my voice. Shame on you , Jill. I hope your children were nowhere near that debacle. Also, did you really employ a nanny, and then nap during the day? And then now, instead of napping, you have to be productive? Poor, pitiful you. And lastly, the complete and utter foolishness about the “haves and the have-nots.” My God! Just because she doesn’t have a cushioned bank account, that gives you and your friend the right to label this poor woman as a have-not? And then to call the severance pay you gave her a charity donation?! Shame, shame, shame, shame on you! You need a reality check, pronto! For you and the relationship you have with your children, letting go of the nanny was the absolute best thing you could’ve done. You will now learn how to juggle life (i.e.: grocery shopping with two kids in tow), exhaustion (i.e.: no day napping), and love (i.e.: spending more time with your children) with out the need to rely on your illiterate, charity case, “have-not” of a nanny. Good luck.

  16. by Jill Cordes

    On January 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    As always, thank you for your comments. I know no one reading this knows the ins and outs of my day, nor my exact relationship with my nanny. And as I said, I wasn’t going into all the specifics, and I still won’t. But suffice it to say, it was a larger issue Heather, than simply being 15 minutes late. But even if that were the issue, as others have pointed out, at any job, you are required to be on time. I am a freelancer. I missed meetings because of it. I take my daughter to swim lessons every Monday morning. I pay for those. I missed those at times too. My husband is a screenwriter and works 10 hour days. He has brutal deadlines and loads of meetings. He too, missed some things because of her lateness. There are plenty of nannies who would throw themselves in front of a bus for your child who also show up on time. I think your response was simplistic and flippant.

    Susan– I too, take my kids on errands. Sometimes we have loads of fun. Other times it cuts into their nap times. So because I had someone at my house so that I could go run errands while they napped, I’m not fully embracing motherhood? Seriously?

    And finally, the napping thing. Lana–you say many moms would love to nap but they can’t. So why is it so terrible that I was able to take 20 minute naps on occasion? Again, you don’t know my life. On nights where I”m up with Emmett and get 5 hours of sleep, then have to write or take a meeting, a nap is a way for me to plow through the day. Should I not nap and instead fall asleep at the wheel and get in an accident? I love how many moms who don’t have help chose to be martyrs and judge us for having help. There is nothing wrong with help if it makes you a better parent. A better driver. More rested. Less frustrated. The list goes on. So yes, like Amy said, I am over these people too!

  17. by Jill Cordes

    On January 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Tara, I won’t go into all the insults you spewed out, not fully knowing (or asking)about the situation. I saw your comment after I already commented. I’m not going to justify generousity or losing my cool on two occasions. I never thought to ask on a job interview “Do you read and write?” If I had known that was an issue, I would have asked (though I suspect from your judgmental position, that too, would have been demeaning). AFter I started to think she couldn’t write, I asked her former employer about it. She said she forgot to tell me. So there you go.

    I swear, every time I write a post about having help or mentioning that I take a nap I get such insane backlash, I am at a loss. GOOD GOD PEOPLE. IS A NAP THE WORST THING A PERSON CAN DO?? LET’S GET REAL. IT’S LIKE YOU HANG US ON THE CROSS FOR TAKING A 20-MINUTE REST. AND NOT THAT IT MATTERS, BUT FOR THE RECORD, I HAVE ONLY EVER EVER NAPPED WHILE MY KIDS WERE ALSO SLEEPING. AND WITHOUT A NANNY, I STILL NAP WHEN THEY NAP. BUT THAT’S ACCEPTABLE RIGHT? WHY IS EVERYONE SO IN ARMS ABOUT THAT?

    I don’t need a reality check. I won’t justify the things I do because you will judge judge judge. It is pointless and not worth getting angry about. I’ve seen your type a million times on my blog and others. So please continue on with your perception of me as an out of touch elitist and I will continue to perceive you as a mom who harshly judges others for doing things differently than you do.

  18. by Julie

    On January 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I am so confused by some of the comments on this post. Why are we always so ready to attack others women and more importantly other mothers. Why are we so quick to harshly judge, and in this case, borderline condemn other moms?

    Parenting is never easy and I challenge anyone to say they do it all alone (it take a village folks, and sometimes people can afford to pay needed support). I was fortunate enough that my mother lived very close to me when my daughter was young, she’s nine now. Needless to say my mother wouldn’t have accepted any payment for helping me but I found ways to thank her and yes compensate her by picking up the check when we went out or getting her something I know she wanted but wouldn’t pay for herself. Everyone would go on and on about how lucky I was that my mother was there to help and I know that I was. But soon my friends who didn’t have family nearby started dropping by for unscheduled play dates, since my mom was there why should they have to pay for a babysitter. well the reality was my mother gave up work opportunities and income to be there for me. When I mentioned to my “friends” that the couldn’t really “dump” their children on my mom to save money. I was shocked to be attacked in the same way you are attacking the author. I was told I didn’t know how lucky I was that my mom practically lived with us and that I had time to nap after a long night of feeding and going back to work full-time after a short leave. It is not a competition about who has it worst? We moms need to stop being martyrs and start being sisters to our fellow moms.

    And why is it criminal for a mom to nap? Most people don’t get enough sleep let alone mothers of infants and toddlers. As a mom who was also attacked for napping, I say to the author – SLEEP ALL YOU NEED TO AND CAN – you will be a better mom if keep your body in good health and that means getting sleep.

    I also think some folks making comments are filling in a lot of the blanks with a lot of assumptions. Assumption: She is a stay at home mom She is a writer for a parenting magazine so why did anyone assume she was not working? No, it turns out she is a working mom – although unclear if it part-time or not, but frankly what the heck is wrong with a stay at home mom with two little ones having help if she can afford it. I know a lot of stay at home moms who work a hell of a lot more than some of the working moms I know. And the whole thing about upper class problems? Did you read any of her other posts. The wording might not have been great, but she was clearly saying she knows that not everyone can pay to have the support of a part-time or full-time nanny. Seriously, she is getting attacked for acknowledging that she knows she has resources others don’t. And do we really think she ACTUALLY meant that she has spent more time with her children in the last two months than the last year? The entire paragraph is about her reaffirming she made the right choice (which she did no matter what anyone says, because in the end, she and her husband felt that it needed to be done – and those feelings wouldn’t have gone away, they would have just eaten away at the trust and relationship they had with the nanny).

    The author is writing about the difficulty she had in making this decision and her continued emotions regarding the relationship. We can all say what we want about employees but there is a heck of a difference between who we entrust our children’s lives to and who we may hire support staff or assistants. There is simply a different bond. When my daughter was five my mother had to go take care of my ailing grandmother who lived in a different state, but I was lucky enough to have a pair of babysitters who could fill in the gaps, but I can tell you that I was evolved on a much more personal level with those “employees” than the 10 people I supervised at work. These two wonderful ladies were in my house, taking care of my kids, literally seeing my dirty laundry, so of course the lines of the relationship occasionally got blurred.

    Perhaps the only fault I can point out in this author’s post is the title. But I get the feeling that “I fired my nanny and I still feel emotionally confused and hurt by it’ wouldn’t have gotten much response.

    Look no one is perfect. Not the author, not me and not any of the others who posted comments. But can we keep the attacks and insults to minimum. I am sure the author has a mother-in-law or some other judge mental figure in her life and doesn’t need us to add to the stress of trying to be the best mom she can be. I am not saying don’t make a comment, but how about cutting out the judgement and martyrdom.

  19. by valerie

    On January 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I could care less that you had a nanny despite being home a lot (or all the time), but your intense relationship with your employee strikes me as completely unprofessional. Her being consistently late is a problem. And you dealt with it. But what of your problem with boundaries? Who dealt with that? Who could she go to for that? I’m an HR employee and honestly, we would have sat someone who handled themselves the way you did down and there would have been a serious discussion of don’ts. I’m not defending her lateness, I only wish there was someone speaking on her behalf saying you really owe her an apology for your lack of professionalism as well.

  20. by CB

    On January 16, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I think you did the right thing! Having people working for you in your own home is always a sensitive situation. It’s not about love: She was a paid employee. You gave her chances and warnings and ultimately if YOU were consistently late to your job, you’d be fired too.

  21. by Jill Cordes

    On January 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Valerie, having no real knowledge of the situation I am baffled by my “unprofessionalism”…first of all, I’m not to ask her about the fact she can’t read or write? And when I do, and offer to help her find ESL classes and help her with her homework, I’m crossing boundaries? This, from a person who is in your home, doing the most personal work there is. Your judgement of the unprofessional part of all this is simply wrong. Read Julie’s comment (thank you Julie!)… this post is turning into something it wasn’t. If I wanted to really dive into the boundaries thing, I would. But she asked us and shared with us things that were incredibly personal about her life…and if you knew the relationship like I do, you would realize how wrong your assumptions are.

    Tara–I have one more thing to say to you. How did you manage to write such a long post if you are working or watching your kids? Perhaps, you were, god forbid, taking a break. You’d think a mom who naps (me) had just confessed to being a serial killer for all the vitriol spewed in some of these comments. Honestly, I am baffled and more than annoyed at the jump to conclusions so many moms make….

  22. by Nikki

    On January 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Jill–full time teacher here who teaches night and online classes at a local college. Girl–NAP ON. Whatever decision you made to keep your life sane is fine. Kids are safe, you’re not trying to smother yourself, go ahead and do what works.

  23. by Sheila

    On January 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I was a nanny for seven years I always try not get attach with the parents,which was extremely hard, but I was always on time and on schedule doing everything I was asked for and beyond ,but it wasn’t enough for some parents, I got fired for have to much discipline and someone thought I was too cold. but I had great others families that appreciate my professional ways.
    I know history from the nannies world sometimes the nannies aren’t satisfied with the family for many different reasons I can’t complete understand what is going on in here because we don’t have all the reasons your nanny was let go, seems to me not been on time is a valid point ,I’m extremely bless, my daughter stay with me for two years I interview a couple nannies could find me a good fit I work outside the home two to three times a week and my mother law watches her for me which is great when she is on time :)
    For my experience the families I had work with they always talked to me about anything I did wrong but I knew they trust me so much that they would not fired me on my first fall out they would give another chance which seems like you did.
    I worked with parents that went to spa, lunch or simple stay at home in the bedroom reading ,I’m not going to lie and say it did annoy me a bit then, now that I’m a Mom myself I can be more forgiving, was their lost wasting time on their own I had the front seat on every single new discover.
    I’m not judging you, the nap thing really ? I know a lot Moms that naps with their kids every day , so what every household has their on dynamic.
    Yelled at her not ok,and talk about the check you gave to her after she was fired could be left out if you did help her on the good of your heart leave between you guys , said she was your project I think a wrong choice of word but again this is my opinion .The resume should give a head up about how much education she had, besides the point now, I now for a fact losing a nanny that you and your family trust affects everyone evolve , especially your kids .Just make sure they understand and they are ok. Good luck to you!

  24. by Jill Cordes

    On January 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Thanks Shelia. And Nikki. Yes, when I said “project” I guess it came across the wrong way. If I said it in person, you would understand what I meant, as I am the least demeaning person (not that anyone needs to believe me…). It’s like when you email someone and it comes across wrong… that’s what some of the wording does in my post. Apparently. As for the check, you bring up a good point and I did actually debate that. But I wanted to err on the side of generousity and didn’t want people to think I left her with nothing. It takes awhile to find a new job and it was the multiple posts I did on websites out here that got her her new job. She obviously can’t do internet, she doesn’t have a resume (just letters of recommendation that other people wrote, of course), so I knew her options would be limited.

    What is funny is my kids never reacted. Granted, Emmett is too young to react, and he’s at the stage where he only wants me anyway (which, frankly, I secretly love because he’s with me almost all the time now). Fia on the other hand, didn’t ask about her. I kind of got the sense that Emmett was favored, probably because he is a baby and Fia was sometimes an annoyance because she’s an opinionated toddler who requires more energy… and I think Fia picked up on that.

    Anyway, thanks again for your insightful comments.

  25. by Wendy

    On January 20, 2013 at 2:33 am

    I hear you. I’m about to give my cleaning lady an ultimatum. When I hired her she was very upfront (this was in August I think) that she would be gone for the month of November. Fine. Not convenient since my first baby was due Nov. 1, but hey, my mother was coming for a month and I’d manage. Well she came back a week later than expected. Fine, I was tired and distracted and could live with the dust for another week. So she cleaned that week. The next week she had to shuffle me around to accommodate some old lady she helps, fine, I believe in helping old ladies. Then she missed a week because she had bronchitis, fine, I have a baby we don’t need bronchitis in the house, the following week is snowed and the city was shutting down (Jerusalem, Israel) so yeah, she needed to get home before the buses stopped running (my husband drove her). And last week she had to leave early because she is moving. I said fine, but can you come in for a few more hours later this week or early next week to catch up? She said no because she has to limit how many hours she works (has to do with her being older and her pension, etc.) and that now that it’s the new year she’s going to have to figure out her schedule so that she’s not working too many hours…o.k. You’re nice. You speak English, you have dual citizenship (American and Israeli) so you aren’t going to be deported like the last cleaning lady was…but in the end MY HOUSE IS NOT GETTING CLEANED. And if she isn’t here for the full time this week I will be telling her if she can’t make up missed hours by the end of this same week I am going to start looking for someone who actually really can fit us into her schedule. I feel that I’ve been too nice from the beginning and therefore have ever since been the one to get the shaft because let’s face it, most people aren’t going to be as flexible as I have been.