Fire the nanny?

I’m so confused… I think I want someone to tell me it’s okay to fire a nanny after one week, even if I don’t have a true list of reasons why she’s terrible. I just don’t feel like she’s right. There are things she has done that I don’t really like, but none of them put our children in danger. I think ultimately she is a baby-sitter, someone who comes while I’m away, or even while I’m here, keeps an eye on the girls, feeds them, but isn’t overly interactive with them. I know she watches TV while she’s here, but I watch TV when I’m home with the girls too… She certainly doesn’t take as much initiative as I’d like, which I suppose could be spelled out to her. She doesn’t even strike me as someone who loves kids… in fact, I’m wondering why she took this job. The money maybe, as I’m paying her $14 an hour. And so far it’s only been one child a day, as we’ve had appointments with one or the other most days. She has three 5-star reviews on care.com, but who knows if she asked those people to write them for her… Her personality is rather dull, and I get you probably shouldn’t fire someone for that, but I can’t help feeling uncomfortable around her. She is polite, has been on-time, but I’m just not sure that’s enough for me. Maybe my standards are too high…

I’m really leaning toward getting rid of her. But how? Ugh, I hate confrontation. I don’t want to tell her to leave Monday morning when she gets here. Am I supposed to give her notice? Pay her for next week but tell her not to come? Email her? I don’t feel like I have good reasons, can I just say I don’t think she’s a good fit? Having her as our nanny is stressing me out, so that alone tells me it’s not right. But the thought of interviewing again and starting all over with someone new overwhelms me too. Maybe lesson learned, I need to lay out my expectations. Maybe I’ll start typing up some stuff to make sure the new person reads and understands before they take the position.

18 thoughts on “Fire the nanny?

  1. We fired one nanny 3 weeks into her job and never left her alone with little MPB during the entire 3 weeks because we really just didn’t trust her. I wanted to fire her after day 1 because she didn’t feel right. But week 3 Mr. MPB agreed and she was gone. Honestly, we should have fired her after day 1.
    When it comes to nannies and childcare in general, I say go with your gut.

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      1. If you hire another nanny you could include in the contract the amount of TV to be watched during the day. My contract has a 30 minute tv limit written in (thought the parents are flexible if one of the kids is sick or something). Make sure you get references and ask them questions specific to their interaction with children. Also you can ask what they plan to do with the children

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  2. I’m a big believer in gut feelings. If she doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t a good match. Maybe when you talk to her she will have the same feelings — that it isn’t a good fit. Bottom line — you should feel good about the person who is spending time alone with your children.

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  3. Fire her. Girls her age need to learn that taking initiative is essential to keeping a job like this. She should be playing with your girls as well as helping around the house if she sees a need. Especially for $14 an hour.

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  4. I don’t have any advice for this situation, but when you sign on another one, perhaps have a built in two-week “get out of jail free” clause; take someone on for a two-week trial period after which either of you can terminate without having to give reason.

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  5. I would email her and explain it’s not a good fit. You do not owe her money. I’d look for an older woman, if possible. While you’re paying someone, they should not be be watching tv. They are getting paid to play with the children, make food, take them on walks, etc.

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  6. Honestly I would fire her. You are going to be around her a lot and you should have a good relationship with her. She should interact with the girls all the time that is what a nanny does. Heck even the girl we have watch the kids on date nights plays with them the whole time and game she teaches them. Doesn’t watch TV until they are in bed unless they watch a movie. I would not want someone that I couldn’t have conversations with and enjoy being around if that makes sense. Find someone you like.

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  7. You’re mom…you don’t need a good reason besides your gut! Honestly, she sounds very sub-par in terms of her initiative and interaction. I can imagine it would be difficult to feel peace leaving the girls with her for any extended amount of time. Ke that you’ve witnessed her nannying style. You don’t owe her an explanation but maybe say that your family has had a change of circumstances and will no longer need her services but appreciate everything she has done for the family to date.

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  8. I have been a Nanny to the same family about a year and a half. You need to make out a contract that specifies what you are wanting. You say you want her to take “initiative”, then you need to tell her what you want done. Its not too late to get her to agree to a contract and have both parties sign. In my contract it specifically says that tending to the house such as laundry, dishes, ect is NOT part of my job description. I understand most nannies do have those responsibilities but they need to be told that is the case. If you decide to fire, thats where the contract comes in handy as well. My contract states specifically that they can fire me without reason, however they owe me 4 weeks pay if i am let go and have not breached the contract. In return, if i decide to quit i must give 4 weeks notice. Yes, i watch tv during the day. Mostly cartoons until nap time now that he is older. When he was a baby though, i had to have something on to keep my sanity and get my mind off the screaming for a minute. We are not just babysitters, we are helping raise your children – not an easy job. I do most of my blogging while at work as well. The reason i have this job is so i can get stuff done and still be able to pay my rent. We have a life, just like you do when you are home with your kids. If you want them to be more interactive, get them things to be interactive. Baby flash cards, let them take them places, get a membership to a community baby zumba class or something. I am so invested in my kids lives that i even take them with me to family events because my family loves them as much as i do. Trust me, i have two college degrees and worked at a pre school for two years. I could have another job if i didnt love what it do.

    From my point of view, its hard for the family to understand the day to day of the nanny. It is hard raising someone elses children. You need to give them direction and specifically state what you want done. Otherwise, we will raise them the way we see fit. My biggest tip is to try to not treat them like an employee. They are a huge part of your life and your childrens life. Try to treat them like family. I have the best job and i try to remember to not take it for granted. However, i am constantly comparing it to jobs that i could have that pay more, have benefits, and dont have screaming children in my face all day. . You want a new family member, not an employee. Dont take them for granted. This is their job. They get frustrated, hate their boss sometimes, wish they could get some paid vacation, and all the other issues you have with your own job. If you start treating them like an employee , they will start treating it like a job.

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