I recently wrote an article on why parents should feel no guilt for hiring a nanny. If a couple has the resources to pay another person to help out every now and then, why not? What's the harm? Having a nanny or babysitter can help with carpools, groceries, errands, athletic practices, and just genuinely being a caregiver. There are tremendous benefits to having someone a parent trusts to take care of their child in their own homes. That being said, not every nanny or babysitter is trustworthy.
While there are many organizations that have nannies for people to hire (organizations that do background checks and make sure their men and women are qualified to do so), some parents simply don't have the time. They end up using a neighbor, a family friend, or a referral from another parent at school. And while most nannies and babysitters turn out great, there are many that turn out disastrous. Interviewing these caregivers is the first step. It's important to have a bond with the person sitting across from them and that they follow directions in taking proper care of their child. From liars to thieves, below are 20 parents who let their nannies go and their reasons why.
20 When Your Nanny Asks To Borrow Clothes
Some of the perks of having a nanny is becoming a confidante for one another. You are both working as a team to better the child. But what happens when your nanny would much rather create a friendly relationship than a professional one?
One mom told Redbook, "She was in her early 20's and it seemed she was more interested in becoming my friend than maintaining a professional relationship. Right off the bat, she would do things like ask to borrow my clothes or suggest we go out for dinner together." Things then turned for the worst. "My son was struggling with his reading, and even though we had a plan in place with his teachers about how to best support him, his nanny would force him to read for hours (I guess she was bookish!). My son would be in tears."
19 When Your Nanny Lies About Speaking Another Language
I think it's so beautiful when there are multiple languages being spoken in a household. After Tiffany needed a nanny that spoke both English and Spanish (her husband spoke Spanish fluently, and it was important that their child also spoke both his mother tongues fluently), she hired one on the spot after feeling a deep connection with her. But it turned out that she lied about her Spanish-speaking abilities... "The first few weeks were fine, but about a month into her employment my husband got home before I did and when he started speaking to the nanny in Spanish she didn't respond. Her eyes got wide and she was frozen in place. After a few awkward minutes, she finally admitted to my husband that she did not speak the language but desperately needed a job so she had lied about it. My husband told her on the spot that we couldn't keep her on."
It can be easy to borrow or take things from a house you work in. After all, it becomes your second home and you're comfortable there — especially if you have a great report with the family. But when "borrowing" becomes theft, that's a game changer.
"I fired my nanny when I found out that she was taking my children's clothes and giving them to her own children. I paid her very well and never had a problem with her but this breach of trust really bothered me. It made me wonder if all those times I was missing a booklet of stamps or some quarters for parking meters that she might have taken them."
17 When The Nanny Cam Reveals All
A few months after having twin girls, Lauren told Redbook she was ready to get back to work. Not having much success in looking for a nanny, she found a pair of sisters who claimed to have nanny experience with doubles. However, her nanny cam proved differently.
"We decided to install a nanny cam, and I realized they weren't really following my instructions. At first, I was open to some of the things they were doing, because I was new to the mom thing," the new mom said, but red flags started popping up. "When I saw something that bothered me, like when they didn't follow the nap schedule, I would bring it up, and they would actually lie about it and say they were following the instructions. At that point, I gave them one week's notice and let them go."
16 Mommy vs. Nanny
It's clear that children spend a lot of time with their nannies — especially if the nanny is full time or lives in the house. But when the child gets confused with who their parents actually are, that's when things get tricky. One mom told Mama Mia "My young child called the nanny 'mummy' instead of me. I feel bad but I couldn’t handle it." While it's not really fair to the nanny or the child, it can be intimidating for the mom knowing their child is calling someone else their name.
15 Poaching Other Family's Kids
When you have a full-time nanny, it's important to trust them. You expect them to be honest with you and to do everything they can for the kids. But what happens when your nanny starts looking for other kids to work for while playing at the playground with your kids?
Redbook shared Jess's story. "One night, I was at a school event and one of the parents came up to me to ask me why I was no longer using my nanny and if I would recommend her. I was a little taken aback and confused. It finally came out that my nanny had been canvassing the school playground for other jobs."
14 Personality Conflicts
It's so important to interview nannies and babysitters because a parent needs to know that they can follow rules and actually mesh well with them. How can you hire someone to watch your kids when you don't trust them?
Monica told Redbook that she had personality conflicts with her nanny right away. After noticing her moody personality, she also found her not abiding by her parenting rules. "Once I caught her out in the neighborhood on her cell phone with my daughter in her stroller when she should have been at home sleeping."
13 When Being On Time Means Nothing
Being a nanny or a babysitter is an important job that runs on a schedule. Kids seem to thrive and react better to a scheduled day, so when a nanny is late — it can have a bad effect on everyone. Including making the parents late.
Megan told Redbook "Every morning, my babysitter would show up late. I was understanding initially—a flat tire, bad traffic, a call from a family member who wasn't well — but it got to the point where she was over 15 or 20 minutes late every day." Eventually, enough was enough and her time with the family was terminated.
12 When The Live-In Nanny Didn't Understand Rules
Having a live-in nanny has a ton of advantages. You always have someone to give a helping hand, your child has someone they can rely on, and the kids can be in the safety of their home. But what happens when you hire a younger live-in nanny; a woman who still has a life of her own? "So we hired a live-in. She seemed great but had a very busy nightlife which involved sneaking men known to her but not to us (strange) through her bedroom window. She did not understand our point of view and told us we were trying to treat her like a child but relied on her to be a responsible adult with our children." They parted ways soon after.
11 Skills: Thievery
An important thing about hiring a nanny is making sure they are capable of taking care of a child; this includes medication if needed. When a family needs additional help to care for a child who has difficulties, following doctor's orders is a must. However, one woman found out that her son's nanny cared more about her pill popping than her son's.
"I fired my nanny for stealing my sons prescription medication for Attention Deficit Disorder. She was happy to leave peacefully when she was caught. She was pretty embarrassed."
10 Inside Jokes Between Nanny And Baby Daddy
One thing that most couples do is friendly banter. I make jokes about my husband's quirk all the time. But if my husband made a joke about me always being sassy in the mornings and our nanny made a knowing look at him — it would be game over. Not only would I not appreciate her agreeing I was sassy in the mornings, I wouldn't appreciate this unspoken bond she had with my husband. And that's exactly what happened to this mom. "I fired my nanny for giving my DH a knowing glance when he made a joke about me. His joke was fine. Her look at him, as if they shared something - was so not okay. I left her a message on her home phone as soon as she left on Friday."
9 When The Employer-Employee Relationship Crosses The Line
Some parents think it's amazing when they get along famously with their nanny or babysitter. But when does friendly become too friendly?
"I had to let our nanny go because her and I became too close, nothing romantic or anything but we where more like friends that shared all our secrets than employer/employee and it began to cause problems in my marriage, because I used her as an example of things he wasn't doing right." However, after firing her and hiring a new nanny — their chemistry was off and things became a nightmare. The family then begged to have that nanny come back to work under new circumstances.
8 Would You Follow Your Nanny?
There's one thing I think all parents can agree on: they'd do anything for their kids. Making sure they're safe is a parent's top priority, and if that means following the nanny to make sure they are where they say they are, then so be it. "I followed her to the park and watched as she kept our 12-month-old in a stroller at the park for two hours while she sat and relaxed on park bench and didn't even look at the baby. She then came home and told me about the wonderful time they had 'playing' at the park."
7 When Your Nanny Prefers One Child To The Other
Oftentimes nannies are asked to watch more than one child — all being different ages, of course. So what happens when a nanny prefers one child to the other? "She neglected our 3-month-old in favor of our 2-1/2-year-old, who she preferred. She stated that a 3-month-old was only capable of sleeping, pooping, and eating (not true)." To make matters worse, the mom continued saying "She left our baby in the swing so many times, she finally asked why it kept turning off (I told her it was on a 30 minute timer). The last straw was when she left our baby on the floor to sleep while she did crafts in a separate room with our 2-1/2-year-old."
6 Social Media Tells All
Social media tells all these days. As soon as a person is applying for a job, it's important they keep their social media pages clean and professional (or at least keep it private).
"Her Facebook account was private — I couldn't see pictures or her personal status updates — but for some reason, anything she was tagged in showed up on her feed. On one status update where she was tagged it said: 'Waiting for my bestie to finish work so we can hang.' Her comment shocked me. It said: 'As soon as I'm done watching the evil monsters I'll be there.' I took a screen snapshot and texted it to her and said that I would no longer be needing her. She never responded. Needless to say, my friends also let her go."
5 Unintentionally Sharing An Uber Account
There are some people who think they can sneak things by their employer without them noticing. But that's a little different when you're working one-on-one, right?
"Over the next six months, we caught her lying about money on multiple occasions. She would say she took our four-year-old out to lunch or for a treat, and needed extra money for that. We had no problem compensating her, but she could never provide any receipts and our child would always tell us they never ate anywhere. It was like she was charging us for little things because we hadn't given her more money. The final straw came when I realized she had been using our Uber account when she wasn't watching our child. We had given her the login for emergencies." The nanny explained the Uber account was a mix-up but at that point, it was too far gone.
4 Different Religions
When religion is big in a household, it's important for a nanny or babysitter to respect that religion even if it's different from their own. After all, they're being paid to help and influence that child, so it would be appreciative if they followed suit. One mom told Reddit that fired their babysitter once their views on religions clashed. "Took it upon herself to explain to my kids that they would go to [expletive] because we are raising them atheist. It would never occur to me to go out and tell your kids God doesn't exist."
3 When Your Nanny Is An Open Book
The great thing about social media sites like Twitter is they're a great outlet for emotions, creating relationships, and even content. However, when you're 19 years old, the last thing you should be doing is talking negatively about your employer and the kids you work for.
"She tweeted about how hungover she was (19 years old), how terrible my toddlers were at playing piano so she was going to break it, and joked about giving them Tylenol and locking them in a different room." I don't know about this mom, but I would have fired her after one tweet.
2 Napping In Chaos
There are a lot of movies and cartoons depicting babysitters and nannies sleeping on the job. Once those kids go down for their nap, some would think their caregivers would take a nap also. But that's not typically the case. Most parents give nannies things to do while the kids are napping, but this one babysitter in particular never got that memo.
"Walked in on mine in the middle of the afternoon asleep on the couch with my kids running around like banshees. Totally unacceptable, so I fired her."
1 When The Sitter Becomes The Child
It's incredibly frustrating when the nanny also acts like a child. Depending on the age of the nanny or sitter, they're stepping in as caregiver, so they need to act like one. There are somethings that should absolutely be ran by the parents (going on a drive, feeding them a new food, watching a scary movie, etc...), but for most of the time, the sitter needs to act as head honcho instead of asking the parents for everything.
"I have had a few babysitters. One girl was perfect. She never asked for anything. Never messaged me unless she needed to. Her parents were fine with her staying at my house and in turn I was fine with her staying with my son. Another girl's mom had her text me for. every. little. thing. I couldn't even enjoy the time away because I was too busy being mom to now two kids! And her mom texted me, too. Asking me when I was coming back and if I was coming back early because she was waiting outside. I felt like I was just waiting for the time to be up to get them away."
Resources: Redbook, Mama Mia, BlogSpot, Reddit, Reddit