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Mom tells husband to let nanny take lead during bedtime, he says 'you're replacing me.'

Mom tells husband to let nanny take lead during bedtime, he says 'you're replacing me.'

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Being able to hire and find a nanny who truly loves and understands your kids can be a godsend for stressed parents. A great nanny can help maintain a regular routine with the kids, while providing them the emotional stability of another consistent caretaker.

However, the emotional logistics can get tricky since nannies work in the home, and often aren't afforded the same clear boundaries as other workplaces. Given the personal relationships, it can be awkward for nannies to advocate for themselves, and even more awkward when parents don't respect the position they're in. Or worse yet, if the parents can't agree and take a united front.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she's wrong for telling her husband to give the nanny full reigns at bedtime.

She wrote:

AITA for telling my husband the nanny is in charge?

I want to preface this by saying that I am aware this is a very privileged issue but I’m trying to get some perspective on my opinion. My husband and I have 3 kids that are 10 months, 3 years, and 6 years old. My husband has a high profile job and it means he’s gone often. I work a regular 9-5. We originally used daycare for our oldest but my middle was born right when the pandemic began, so we hired a nanny.

She originally worked when I did. But by the time baby came around, I was very overwhelmed doing bath and bedtime on my own, on top of developing postpartum depression. After a breakdown, we spoke with the nanny and she agreed to adjust her hours so she’s helping me with dinner, bath, and bed. We’ve gotten close over the past 6 months doing this.

In many ways, she’s become like a third parent to the kids. She’s so good with them. We’ve created a routine that works well. I tend to the baby during bath and bed, she handles the older 2. It’s a nice rhythm and my mental health has gotten so much better. My husband isn’t traveling all the time but most nights, he isn’t even home for dinner and bed.

He will help me weekends he’s home. But because he’s gone so often, he’s reluctant to be firm with the kids. There are times he’s come home when our nanny is there. He tries to help her with bath and bed, but allows the boys to rough house, lets them break the routine and it seriously throws them off and delays bedtime. My nanny shared with me she feels awkward.

Obviously she doesn’t want to undermine her employer but it just makes her job harder. But my husband also doesn’t want her to go home when he arrives as he says he can’t handle it alone. I told him if that’s the case, then he needs to defer to the nanny and follow her lead. She knows our boys best and she has to deal with the aftermath when they don’t listen and give her a hard time.

My husband feels that she’s just an employee and he’s the dad. His salary does pay for her. However, I don’t feel this is fair to her. I told him he either follows her lead for bed and bath or he doesn’t help at all. He told me I’m allowing the nanny to take over and replace him. AITA?

People had strong feelings about this one.

winsomebunny wrote:

NTA.

I’m so angry reading these responses.

Your husband doesn’t want to parent. Your husband wants to be Funtime Uncle, who comes in roles everyone up, dishes out sweets, makes sure they don’t make their bedtimes and then dips out when the children start having unpleasant reactions to the disruption. These Y T A comments are unhinged and blatantly sexist.

Dads also have to f**king parent. It is completely reasonable if the only partner doing any parenting puts their foot down on an unacceptable behavior partner.

EDIT: Because I’m feeling salty on OP’s behalf

God the sexism is strong here. Why does dad always get to be the Funtime guy and mum always has to be the downer doing the actual parenting? This is a huge problem in society. You’re sitting here perpetuating a sexist system as if it’s good for children. You know what is really good for children having a father who is an active partner in parenting.

It’s also completely false that children won’t recognize as the grow that dad didn’t give enough of a sh*t about them to actually be present in their lives. When they look back as adults it’s going to be mum they respect. Mum who provided the safe healthy environment for them to grow in.

naisfurious wrote:

NTA.

'But my husband also doesn’t want her to go home when he arrives as he says he can’t handle it alone.'

This is the crux of your situation. Horseplay and roughhousing are very important for your children's development. If Dad wants to take over and play hee-haw he can very well do that - that's great!

But, what he can't do is take over, create a mess and then have the nanny come put out the fire. If the nanny is going to be taking care of business we play by her rules. If Dad is going to be taking care of business then we can play by his.

busyshrew wrote:

How willing is your husband to lose the nanny? Because that's the real problem.

'...My husband feels that she’s just an employee and he’s the dad. - WOW. Just WOW.'

Nannies are employees yes, but they straddle a very unique line because a good nanny IS part of the children's family. If your husband consistently disrespects that, you will probably lose yours. So NTA if you stick up for her.

Basic-Regret-6263 wrote:

NTA. He's trying to Disney Dad his way out of his guilt over being a Mainly-Absent parent. He needs to actually take responsibility for putting the kids to bed if he wants to disrupt the schedule. He's being very disingenuous by whining about being 'replaced' by the nanny, but also refusing to let her go home because he doesn't want to handle his own children alone.

thoughts_are_hard wrote:

NTA. Former nanny here. I loved the family, I still do, and I think they’re good parents. My only issues with working for them is that they didn’t always respect my time (they’d pay me extra when they were late but wouldn’t give me a heads up and I was a college student and was drowning in homework and a second job after watching their kids for 30-40 hours per week).

The dad would come home and want to be the fun parent and ruin the routines. And then the next day, it’s “why are the kids so cranky”, “why didn’t they do their extra study work”, “why didn’t they do their instrument practice”. Oh, idk, maybe bc dad came home, told them they didn’t have to do anything they complained for more than 5 seconds to him about, and then he delayed bedtime by almost two hours?

Most kids need structure and routines and discipline, and Fun Dad is actually just Guilty Dad not Thinking About What’s Best for the Kids because He Currently Feels Bad About not Being Home.

OP is definitely NTA, if anything, it sounds like the dad is a bit in denial about the scope of his role.

Sources: Reddit
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