Thursday, May 22, 2008

the saga continues

Or, well, I guess it's turning into a saga.

I told the nanny not to come today. The 'little issue' I mentioned seems to have festered. She kind of flipped out when we got home from work yesterday. I told her that I had scheduled our nanny agent to come meet with us on friday to try to work things out, and she flipped out about it. I didn't actually ask the agent to come, she offered. She said she often does working sessions with nanny's and families. It was supposed to be like a coaching session, to help us communicate better, agree on some policies, set some ground rules.

Well the nanny lost it - said she doesn't need coaching, said that everything we had brought up as an issue (some things the housekeeper said she had done) were total lies, she was totally offended, etc. Telling me that she never gets stressed and never gets angry and the houskeeper saying so was a lie. I'm thinking - "well it's hard for me to believe that you never get stressed or angry when you are clearly stressed and angry right now".

So anyway - she went a little off the deep end. I understand that she's feeling threatened, that her career is threatened. But still, you don't react like that to your employer. I have received negative feedback in my job before, and I don't flip out. She was practically yelling at me, not letting me talk. Jim had to actually step in and tell her to stop. I was crying.

So I told her that I thought it was best if she take Thursday off, and then come at 1:00 on friday for our meeting with the agent, and we would figure out whether we could salvage things enough to move forward, or not.

So if I find myself without a nanny on friday (which I think is what's going to happen), then we have to decide what to do. Because if I'm to continue working then we have to find another nanny fast. Our latest thought (but not very well thought through) is that maybe I see if I can go to part time at my job, and we hire just a part time nanny (mabye 2 or 3 days a week). So maybe splittin the difference - I don't quit completely, we don't completely give up my income or my independance, but I'm here with the kids more than I'm away. I'm not even sure I could go part time, but I think my boss would rather have me part time than not at all.

So that's the latest. It's all crumbling around me.


Karen said...

Wow. That's significant. I've been really having a hard time with the whole working mother thing. My nanny is awesome and I have no concerns about her and I'd be DEVASTATED if I had to let her go, but at the same time, the math says that my TAKE HOME salary is only slightly higher than my nanny's GROSS salary. It's frightening.

Still, we can't afford for me not to be working either... So we're between a rock and a hard place. Sigh.

Could you ask that your nanny agent point out the inherent conflict between your nanny saying "I never get stressed or angry" at the same time that she was getting stressed and angry and yelling at you?

I hope you can find a viable solution that works well for your family.

Thalia said...

I'm sure this is horribly stressful. Our nanny is lovely and I still don't like leaving pob with her, I can't imagine what I'd feel like if I didn't trust the nanny.

Is there any kind of emergency childcare where you live? A nice daycare which has places on a day by day basis you could use for a few hours perhaps to take the strain off.

NB re karen's point, naomi wolf makes a good point about this calculation in her book, misconceptions - why do we only take the mothers salary into account when we figure out teh cost of childcare? Its both parents who are working, just like its both parents who are paying the mortgage. It's not just about how much you earn.

hoping you can find a good solution.

JV said...

The nanny flipping out at your reasonable criticism - ouch, not a good thing. I can only imagine how stressful it is to be dealing with such nanny issues.

I do miss the work environment - the interaction and getting out in the "real" world every day - but overall I am deeply satisfied staying at home with the baby, and very grateful to have the opportunity. It is not a sacrifice-free option, it has its cons, but I remind myself that babies are little for a very short time.

I often wonder how I'd go about hiring a nanny - and actually I think I would install a hidden camera just to check in on things. That's paranoid mommy over here :-) Because it takes so much patience, sooo much patience (my baby is about 4 months old, and very refluxy and fussy). So I think about how someone else would handle her all day long. Even though of course I know that there are a lot of caring and skillful professional out there who'd do an amazing job, and if it had made more financial sense for our household we would have looked into it.

Staying at home is working for us, even though we had to take a small budget cut to make it happen. But it was small, after everything was counted in. I do wonder how I'll re-enter the workforce in a couple of years, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In a few months, when the routine is more defined and I don't have to spend as much time nursing, I hope to be able to enroll in a night class or find the time to take on some freelance projects. I know many moms who are happier to be working out of the house though, and we all agree it is such an individual choice. The part-time setup sounds good too.

I hope you find your balance, and from reading your blog I know you will, you'll make the right decision for yourself.

Sorry for the very long comment, I lurk all the time from before you got pregnant, and comment little. I like your stories and your mommy tips, and I felt like putting in my two cents on this one. Even though I have no direct experience with nannies, I did give a lot of thought to the staying home option before deciding to go for it. Hope I didn't say anything upsetting, I sure don't mean to!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a nightmare, I am also back at work and my twins are 8 months old so I can relate! One other suggestion...don't know if it is applicable to your situation or to work at home and have a(nother) nanny come in. It has worked fairly well for me these past 5 months. I hired my nanny on my own with no agency, only a very simple background check, so I was leery. But being at home I know everything she does and I'm still able to work. When I was breastfeeding I could even do that on my lunch break.

Whatever you decide, I hope things work out for you! Michele

Jamie said...

I just read your twitter update about firing the nanny. I am curious to hear the whole story of what happened. Have you talked to your boss about going part time? What are your current thoughts?

Isabel said...

Sorry, sounds rough. Hope you get a good second nanny.