In a post on Reddit a woman asked for helping trying to keep her nanny from quitting, and after getting advice she got more than she had bargained for. Here's her story.
My husband and I are first-time parents of 6-month-old twins. We hired a nanny to care for them while I work out of the house and my husband WFH. She started with us when they were 8 weeks old.
I was under the impression that he was staying in his office a majority of the day, only coming down during the kids' nap time to eat (there's a bathroom right off his ensuite so there's no reason why he would need to be downstairs otherwise). In the beginning, everything seemed great with our nanny. She was kind and seemed happy to be working for us.
Over the past month, I noticed she was acting weird and couldn't wait to leave. I didn't exactly blame her, she's caring for infant twins. I'm often excited to go to work so I can get a break from them.
But it just wasn't her. I didn't know how to approach it until Friday night I came home a little early. My husband was starting on dinner and nanny was settling the kids in their high chairs. My husband went over to help her and then said 'Oh, I think (son) has a poopy diaper'. I said 'Well, you can change it'.
He told me 'Nanny is still here, it's her job, just let her do it'. I was kind of appalled, it was the end of her shift and we were both home. One of us could easily do it and it seemed very flippant of her job. I apologized to nanny and took my son to change him.
Later that night, I got a text from nanny letting me know that she was requesting a meeting to discuss her future with our family, because she's unsure she wants to continue.
I asked her what was going on and she said DB was often asking her to do things that were outside of her contracted tasks (clean their high chairs after they eat, serve them already prepared food and throw in a load of laundry twice a week, I fold it when I get home).
He had also asked her to come in early several days or stay late on nights I had to work late, which she had told us before starting work she couldn't do. She had already spoken to him several times and nothing had changed. I was embarrassed because I had no clue this was happening and felt awful she had been going through this.
I spoke with my husband and he admitted he felt since we were paying her, she should be performing more tasks while the babies are sleeping. I quickly corrected him and reamed him out for this behavior.
Once I was done explaining why this wasn't appropriate, he got a little sheepish and sent an apology e-mail to the nanny, agreeing to the meeting come Monday evening.
I am worried that she is going to quit and I need advice on how to fix this. She has been an amazing nanny, the babies love her and I really do not want to lose her. Does anyone have advice on how to fix all of this?
The duties I listed are her contractual duties that she agreed to and does without a complaint. My husband was asking her to perform other tasks that exceeded what she's paid to do.
Here are the list of demands my husband had given her: deep clean the nursery and living room, cook meals, reorganize spaces. She didn't mention this but he also said he had asked her to take care of our pets which I had told her in the beginning to not worry about as my husband can feed them on his break and I clean the litter box when I get home.
I was expecting to have an update tonight but my nanny ended up calling me this morning and saying after careful thought, she couldn’t be around my husband another day. He was with me and profusely apologized, nanny thanked him but said she didn’t feel comfortable working for him anymore.
A bonus and raise were offered, she turned both down and recommended daycare for the kids vs a nanny. I promised her a great reference letter, she thanked me and said our keys would be in the mail today.
I have never been so ashamed or humiliated in my life. I’m not blaming her at all, but I’m furious with my husband. My mom is watching the kids while I figure out next steps in terms of childcare. I want to thank you all for the advice
I’m hoping we can find another nanny as I didn’t want to put them in daycare but I also don’t know if I trust my husband to be a good DB going forward. Especially as he told me he felt the nanny overreacted.
Commenter: As a mom, with a nanny, and a former nanny, and a former placement and nanny agency assigner/contract writer… I would strongly recommend asking your former nanny to share with you EVERYTHING your husband did, because if she’s saying not only is it not a good fit for her, but is something she actively advises another nanny not have to deal with, it’s worrying.
As a mom, I’d say your husband need to be finding new care or coordinating emergency care to show him how valuable it is. Also, yes he needs therapy, he treated this woman like sh*t and like kinda a hired help in the 40s way.
OOP: Yeah, I admit my mind is going there. I’m going to reach out again, because I’m honestly scared. We have a daughter...I just hope this wasn’t it.
After a lot of advice, I asked to speak with our ex-nanny in private, without my husband knowing on Wednesday. I encouraged her to speak freely and at first, she was just reiterating what was already said, but I told her I needed to know why she felt I shouldn't bring another nanny into the equation.
I told her it was a safe space and there'd be zero judgment. Eventually, she told me what I had been suspecting. My husband had been asking her to do things that went beyond cleaning and nannying duties. A lot of it was phrased as 'jokes' and at first she thought it was just his sense of humor, but eventually it became clear it wasn't.
That particular day, he had made some comments that made her feel extremely uncomfortable prior to the diaper situation and she had already planned on quitting.
I had already been staying with my mom with the kids and we will be for the foreseeable future. My husband didn't deny what was said, though he claims it was seriously just joking. Given what the nanny has said, I don't think it was.
Thank you all for your advice. My own for you all is to report, report, report. This has rocked my world...but I'm glad I can keep my kids safe for now.
I have purposefully kept things vague for privacy reasons. I will not be sharing what we are doing going forward for that same reason and will not be taking legal advice off of Reddit. While I am thankful for everyone’s advice and concern, some of you are majorly crossing lines.
Commenter: She was concerned for her own safety or the safety of the kids based on his comments?
OOP: She was concerned for her own safety but I am concerned for everyone's given the comments. If he made them towards her, who's to say who he won't make them to.
Commenter: Is there an undercurrent of wondering if he might hide harming the kids?
OOP: To me, the comments he made are concerning. And I do not trust his judgement around the kids.
Commenter: So this is vague was he sexually harassing the nanny? I’m not sure why she wouldn’t quit and you find another nanny? Why would she say she doesn’t think another many is appropriate?
OOP: Yes. I was trying to be vague so as not to trigger anyone. Plus, it seemed quite obvious. But yes, he was sexually harassing her and there was a point to where he touched her.
Commenter: I'm very confused here, maybe I'm missing something.
From what I've gathered he treated the nanny like a maid and he was an ass about it, she was uncomfortable and left. So your husband is an ass. Why didn't she feel safe? What I don't get is why did you take the kids and leave? Why don't you think your kids are safe with their dad? Did he sexually harass her? Did he make threats?
OOP: Yes, there was sexual harassment. No threats, but a lot of inappropriate comments and a point where he touched her.
She didn't feel safe with him and does not feel another nanny would be either. I don't feel safe around him or my children if he is going to talk/touch people that way. Not only are we married and that is a form of cheating, he's doing it without consent. That is not safe.
But you could've connected those dots without me having to spell it out. Thanks so much.