Monday Problem: I don’t get over-time.

Monday Problem: I don’t get over-time.






Disclaimer: all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 




Dear Nanny X

I have a few issues..

#1 being the mother is often late coming home.. I tried bringing this up  
with her and she seemed very stressed about the situation. She told me I  
needed to be okay with her being late because she's already stressed enough  
about

Monday Problem: I work with entitled children

Monday Problem: I work with entitled children

=&0=&all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential.  =&1=& =&2=& =&3=& =&2=&
  1. The children are not being provided with proper boundaries. 
  2. The parents are undermining your position as an authority figure.
=&7=&Until kids mature into young adults and have internalized a sense of impulse control they need an external figure or figures to work with. When younger children push a boundary and find it non-existent this reinforces an intrinsic insecurity.  It also conveys to them that the grown-ups are not showing up to do their job. If both parents work full-time this role during the day and in the week often falls onto a nanny or another caregiver. It is imperative that this adult be seen as a figure of definitive authority. Without such a figure-head the children of the household will run riot and any system of functionality (mealtimes, bedtimes, hygiene, homework) will fail.  =&8=& The second problem is that your position of authority is being undermined. This is an agonizing and occasionally an humiliating transition. The consequences are that once compliant and contented children transform into angry, unhappy and rude preteens. 

You have to make a choice. Are you done with this position? Think honestly about this question. If you are still invested in the family then you need to speak directly to the parents and make your case. Explain to them what the implications of their choices in ‘changing

Monday Problem: My nanny smells of cigarettes

Monday Problem: My nanny smells of cigarettes

=&0=&all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 
Dear Nanny X,
my ‘nanny beef’ is awkward. My nanny is a sweet, energetic, kind lady and my kids adore her. She is clean in her appearance and totally on top of her game. My problem is that she obviously just has a cigarette before coming to work and I can smell it on her. She does not smoke while at work so I feel kind of weird even bringing it up but my guess is she must chain-smoke off the job to smell that strongly. It’s kind of gross to me and I don’t want my kids getting used to it. Should I say something?
Healthy Mom

Hi Healthy Mom,


I think you can bring it up. She probably has no idea she carries the smoke smell into your home.  And one cigarette can make anyone smell like they just smoked an entire pack. So, ask to speak to her privately and say something like:

Monday Problem: … Yes … I’m that kind of Nanny

Monday Problem: … Yes … I’m that kind of Nanny

=&0=&all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 
Dear Nanny X, I’m not sure what to do. I’m having an affair with my boss. Before you judge me please understand I did not set out to break up a family. In fact I feel awful. It’s like text book … I am 20 years younger than he is. His wife doesn’t understand how sensitive he is. He has three children that I adore and who adore me. And his wife is a cold-hearted woman so wrapped up in her career she doesn’t care about anyone or anything.  I began with the family last year after Grad school and within a few months realized that my crush on my boss was reciprocal. My parents do not want me to become a step-mom as I am only 25, but I love this man and want to be with him forever. He wants to marry me but I am the only reason he hasn’t filed for divorce yet …  A part of me feels bad for splitting up a family. 
Haylee H

Dear Haylee,


I know you probably see yourself as more like a Julie Andrews type heroine but you are not. Unfortunately for you, the rest of the world will not see true love, they will see you as an opportunist. It’s not your

Monday Problem: The Uppity Nanny

Monday Problem: The Uppity Nanny

Mr. Uppity (Mr. Men series, all rights reserved) By Nanny X, Sometimes I admit I get emails that trouble or perplex me. I tend to leave answering them until I have thought through what is really going on under the surface in a household.  Last week I received a ‘problem’ email from a mom who felt her nanny was getting “too big for her own boots”. The woman cited various evidences such as, “she questions our schedule,” and “she talks about her childcare experience a lot” to “she’s too over-confident like smug”.  I couldn’t help wondering whether the nanny in question was a woman of color. Some might argue that the nanny’s ethnicity shouldn’t matter but truthfully and painfully – often – it does. Because despite our best efforts we continue to live in a country divided along lines of class gender and race.  While metropolitan hubs like NYC boast more diversity in terms of wealth and race, this needn’t dispel old belief patterns.  Let’s examine the problem first without a reference to race.  A wise old nanny from the islands once advised me, “don’t be too smart, or too capable or too loving a nanny.” I was astonished at her words. Were nannies really set up to fail? Over time it became apparent that in most instances but not all, nannies must be willing to the proverbial ‘fall guy’ if parents are to emerge from years of relative absence without blame or guilt in their children’s eyes. Our intimate experiences, joys and nurturing within a family must become a distant memory once the children become adults.  The taboo of motherhood in all of its complexity decrees that none shall replace her from her pivotal position within the family unit, and quite rightly so. Nannies do not yearn or conspire to dethrone a mother. Nannies have families of their own and yet at times, navigating that delicate maternal ego is excruciating. After all, are nannies not commanded to love a child unconditionally in its parent’s absence? Nannies are driven to embrace that recently vacated parental space. It is not a nanny’s fault that she has fun with her charges or witnesses their first milestones. And what nanny hasn’t caught an employer’s spark of jealousy when a toddler has run first to her and not to its parent when an accident occurs?  Amidst this mush of repressed expectations and emotions the nanny must perform her job and do it well but not too well. Is the crying, clutching toddler with separation anxiety preferable to  the happy well-adjusted infant who waves her parents good-bye of a morning? In other words, does a nanny who exudes professional confidence soon discover herself despised?  So let us turn back to this week’s problem. I have termed it: “the Uppity Nanny”. If our capable nanny is a woman of color, the domestic landscape she inhabits becomes more murky. Any hint of professional pride might be taken as arrogance. If our nanny is proactive and assertive her employers might misread this as being “uppity”. In a Caucasian nanny these traits can often be dismissed as being a go-getter, not always so for the brown-skinned or immigrant woman.  We have all heard the negative stereotype of the “Angry Black Woman”. In childcare, that archetype is very real. Racial profiling most notably came to the fore after the tragic Yoselyn Ortega/Krim case. On forums and boards for days after the double-homicide, there were scores of negative comments about Ortega’s racial background. As though there was a legitimate link between violence and ethnicity? True, many mothers were in a collective state of shock but that’s exactly when the unconscious tends to peek through. 

Thus, a nanny of color must be prepared to be over-burdened without remonstration indeed, she should be grateful. As a working nanny in Manhattan one of the things I noted time and again was the difference in what certain types of nannies were asked to do. Some will venture this has more to do with