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Family tension rises as husband pressures wife to quit job, fire beloved nanny. AITA?

Family tension rises as husband pressures wife to quit job, fire beloved nanny. AITA?


"AITA for refusing to fire my nanny, and telling my husband I would rather divorce him than fire her?"


My husband, John, (40M) and I (26F) have been together* 5 years (married for 3) and have 3 kids (ages 3mos, 2, 4). We met when I was still in college working part time as a nanny for his friend's family.

We crossed paths a few times at my nanny family's functions, and my nanny family gave him my number and encouraged me to go out with him. Initially I only did because I didn't want to offend them, but we ended up hitting it off really well.

I accidentally got pregnant with my oldest about a year into seeing him. (3 kinds of birth control and still got pregnant, what are the chances ha) At first I was devastated because I was just about to graduate and had already been offered an amazing internship in my field.

The internship would require me to move across the country and so I was already planning to leave my current job and break up with John so I could pursue my dream job, so my initial plan was to terminate the pregnancy.

However, long story short, I ended up staying with John and having my oldest but under the agreement that I would start working asap and John would pay for childcare so I didn't have to be a SAHM and permanently walk away from career goals that I had worked very hard toward for basically my whole life.

As soon as my son was born I fell instantly in love and the few resentments I had about the way things turned out completely disappeared. While I did stay home with him for the first year because I couldn't stand to leave him for more than a few hours, I was open with John about my plans to find a job in my field as soon as I could, and he was always on board and never expressed any issue with it.

John and I got married when my oldest was 1, and John started pushing me to have more kids but I refused because I felt ready to start working. I ended up getting a really great job offer at the company I'm still with today.

I started looking for nannies and was put in contact with our current nanny, Sarah (21F). She has honestly been a godsend. She is the sole reason I made it through being apart from my baby and she does such an amazing job I honestly cannot imagine my life without her.

Shortly after I started my job I accidentally got pregnant again (another birth control baby!), and my husband tried to talk me into staying home with the kids again after my 2nd was born, but I was too happy with my job. They offered to let me WFH part time which worked out perfectly.

My husband wanted to cut back Sarah's hours as I would be home a lot more but I refused because while I'd be able to breastfeed and help take care of my newborn, I still wanted her there to help with our rambunctious toddler while I was working. Our arrangement worked out really well, and I recently did the same with our 3rd baby, while Sarah watches the older two during the days when I'm working.

Sarah and I get along great. We have a lot in common and I see her as a friend as much as an employee. My kids love her very much and ask about her whenever she isn't there.

Since I was also a nanny I am able to work with her effectively and I have so much respect and admiration for the job she does with my kids as she's even more patient and hands-on than I ever was with my nanny family's kids.

Even though we pay her a lot, I honestly think she's worth even more than that and I tip her as much as I can. For some reason my husband does not feel the same way. He is very critical of her (not to her face, he has very little interaction with her as most days she leaves before he gets home).

To me he is always nitpicking how she does things, like if a few toys get left out in the playroom, if she used too much gas in the car, if she got fast food for the kids instead of cooking them a meal, etc. He tells me she is not worth what we're paying her, and that she's doing an "easy" job I was fine doing for free.

This irritates me like nothing else, because while yes I don't find looking after my kids particularly difficult, I wouldn't call it remotely easy, and it's much different when it comes to dedicating most of your free time to looking after someone else's kids. And Sarah goes above and beyond to make sure my kids are safe, happy and entertained every day, and even does some pre schooling with them.

Last week my husband confronted me with some of the footage from our security cameras of Sarah "neglecting" our kids. The whole thing was completely ridiculous. There was one video where she left my 2 yo in her high chair crying for 5 minutes while taking my 4yo to the bathroom 3 feet away.

There was one where she let them stay up past bedtime to finish a movie while she worked on schoolwork. All relatively innocuous things like that that I couldn't care less about.

The worst of it was a video of her texting on her phone for like 30 minutes while my kids were playing, which we have asked her to not be on the phone while playing with the kids. But even though she technically did something "wrong" she's a human being she's not going to be perfect 100% of the time.

Once he was done showing me I asked him "is the neglect in the room with us right now?" and that made him really mad. He accused me of not caring about our children's well-being because if I did I would agree with him that we need to fire her.

I told him we're firing her over my dead body and if it wasn't for her our children would actually be neglected because we both work full time. He told me that Sarah was trying to take over my role as a mother in my children's eyes and she was coming between me and our family and if I cared about our family I would want to fire her too.

I laughed in his face and told him I would rather divorce him and pay for her myself than fire her and quit my job. He stormed out and hasn't spoken to me since. AITA?

As comments started streaming in, the OP added some more information.


Edit: Thank you so much to everyone who has offered advice and support. I'm trying to read over everyone's comments and process everything. Honestly, I thought this was just an annoying ongoing argument between myself and my husband about our nanny but you all have opened my eyes to a much deeper issue.

Firstly I want to say I'm a bit worried it came across like I resent getting pregnant or having kids because I really don't. I love my kids more than anything and I would not trade them for the life I wanted before or choose my job over them if it ultimately came to that.

I do stress about the accidental pregnancies a lot because it makes me feel out of control of my own life and body but I hope that doesn't come across as me having regrets over them.

The last thing I want is for people to think my kids are a burden who have ruined my life because they are a gift and have brought more love to my life than I knew I was capable of. I really don't feel "trapped" by then or anything like that.

On that note, however, a lot of people have pointed out the possibility of my husband tampering with my birth control. This has me really shaken up I'm not going to lie.

The scariest thing about this is that he's a medical professional and started writing my scripts for BC after we got married, and he often recommends and prescribes me supplements and things for my health.

He also convinced me that IUD's were dangerous and ineffective, and that it's not uncommon to get pregnant on BC if you're extremely fertile. I don't even want to think about the implications of him having messed with something to get me pregnant.

I trust him a lot with medical decisions and opinions, and while I know he's not as vigilant about birth control as I am I didn't even consider the chance he was actively sabotaging it...

Not really sure where to go from here or how to investigate this further. Many of you were concerned about having an emergency fund/ safety plan and I do keep my finances separate from his and luckily I make good enough money that I could leave if I really needed to. Thank you again to everyone who commented, I will try to update for those of you who asked.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA at all. Your husband wants to keep you pregnant and at home as his wife. Keep you career and make sure you have a fund set aside in case you need to make a quick exit. Also, does anyone else think he tampered with the BC??


NTA. Your husband says Sarah is "doing an easy job I was fine doing for free" - the I being you - which shows he puts no value on your career or happiness outside of the roles of wife and mother.

Since you make enough money to cover her wages, it's not about the money - he wanted you to be a SAHM and you wouldn't have brought in any income. Sounds like he wanted a trad wife and probably thought with each baby- now she'll stay home and do her real job.

I cant see this going anywhere good. I don't know what his problem is unless he thinks you and Sarah are having an affair. Start pestering him about quitting his job to be a SAHD.


A mid thirties man pursues a college student, gets her number and is recommended by her EMPLOYER, she only starts dating him to not offend her employer, she just happens to get pregnant right before breaking things off to pursue opportunities on the other side of the country, repeatedly gets pregnant right as she reenters the work force to continue growing her career...

Every time this relationship has progressed to the next big step has been against OP's initial wishes, I'm feeling like John has been subtly steering things from the start.


NTA. But the vibes I’m getting from him — issues of control (if you were the only caregiver, he’d have control), and, ironically, he’s attracted to Sarah? (Because he’s hyper focused on her).


NTA but he is trying to control you and your power. If you don't have a job, he controls all the money. Don't give in. The age difference is showing.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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