Q: My nanny communicates frequently with my husband instead of me. He and I both work full-time. She’s been with us for a year and knows how to care for our 5-year-old daughter. I’ve noticed that she’s texting him several times a day, asking unnecessary questions such as what time she is expected to be somewhere. He then texts me and asks me. I initially thought that maybe it’s because he’s more easygoing.
However, when I had to get a number from his cellphone contact list, I found she’d texted him a lot that day, and said things I feel are inappropriate. Example: “Thanks, you’re always so extra sweet to me.” And, “I’ll try to get her home for your return, so we can all be together. You always make me smile.”
I spoke to my husband and he said he’d noticed that she was a bit forward but thought maybe it was just her way. But he swore he hadn’t encouraged her and that nothing has happened between them. I believe him, but am still uncomfortable. My daughter likes this nanny a lot, yet I’m torn as to whether I should be firing her before something does happen as a result of her flirtatious comments.
A: The onus is on your husband to close the door on any attempts to get closer to him. Whether it’s “her way” or not, it’s inappropriate. And he has misled her by not reacting immediately, which can be done by establishing a polite distance. He should tell her clearly that she’s to check with you when she has a question. When she says she’ll time activities in order to see him, he must answer that she’s not to do so. If these rebuffs don’t end her flirting, you must let her go. If she’s developed a crush on your husband, things could get worse, and ugly. And if he has encouraged her, he must see that you won’t tolerate it.