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Difficulties with grandchildren's nanny (employed person, not other grandparent).

(111 Posts)
mutti Tue 15-Nov-16 23:09:50

Does anyone else have difficulties (personality clash or clash of styles) with a paid nanny - an employee not another granny - who looks after their grandchildren? I wrote a long post which then annoyingly deleted itself (no doubt I touched something I shouldn't have on the screen) about how this woman seems to be going out of her way to prevent me seeing my little granddaughters during the week because she feels that grandparents belong at the weekends, which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that my hard-working daughter & son-in-law want to socialise with friends at weekends. I would love to hear from anyone who can offer advice on this difficult issue. I fear I'mmaking a bit of a mess of it at the moment because my irritation is showing and the resultant tension isn't good for anyone, least of all my little grandchildren.

Hilltopgran Tue 15-Nov-16 23:22:06

I agree Grandparents who no longer work are ideally placed to spend time with children during the working week. I have a regular day when I go during the week to visit my GD, as do many Grandparents. Can you agree a regular morning or afternoon with your daughter and then let her tell the employee what is arranged. Does the Nanny have other duties she can do whilst you have time with GDS. I would also be concerned why the Nanny would obstruct you, it would make me suspicious of how she behaves with the children. Hope you can resolve this for the children's sake, time with family members is important.

merlotgran Tue 15-Nov-16 23:22:37

Since when did the nanny, a paid help, make the rules?

I think you should make it quite clear that although you don't want to interfere with her job or the children's routine, you are their grandmother so if you want to see your grandchildren during the week the necessary arrangements shouldn't be too difficult to arrange.

Don't let her walk all over you. She needs to respect you as well as the parents.

mutti Tue 15-Nov-16 23:47:31

Thank you Hilltopgran and Merlotgran. You express my feelings exactly. This nanny seems to need to be 'top dog', even to the extent of denigrating my daughter's & son-in-law's parenting skills - never mind my competence: she says things to the children like "You only mess around with your food when Granny's here" or "I'm in charge even when Mummy & Daddy are here; you behave for me". When I told her that I felt half an hour with the youngest (after a 45 minute drive) was a bit short, before she whisked her off out somewhere, I was told: "We have a social life and the children have their own lives now - get over it." This child is three years old, the other one is six.
The trouble is that my daughter & son-in-law really need their household to run smoothly as they work long hours in demanding jobs and, apart from this strange 'professional' jealousy and dislike of what she sees as grandparents impinging on her domain, this person is in other respects a good & reliable nanny. I'm pretty sure that if it comes - in the short term anyway - to a choice between upsetting me or risking upsetting the nanny, my daughter will choose the former. It's safer to hurt the person who loves you, isn't it? And the tension isn't good for the children. Should I simply give in and stop visiting during the week, even though this will mean the children seeing much less of me & my husband? The other grandma has already decided on this course of action.

cornergran Tue 15-Nov-16 23:49:14

Have you spoken with your daughter? The Nanny is her employee and it would seem important that as your daughter and the Nanny's employer she understands that there is currently an unresolved issue concerning her daughters spending time with their grandmother.

I do think it's important to understand your daughter's wishes, if they are the same as yours (and I hope they are), then this will be easily solved. Us grandparents do understandably want to spend time with our grandchildren, something that is sometimes not understood by those younger than ourselves. It is equally important that your daughters wishes are also understood and respected, so talk to her first and then listen to her thoughts. Together with good will you can sort this out.

Please don't sound too cross, maybe present the situation as you experience it and then offer a couple of solutions that seem fair to all. If your daughter makes counter suggestions listen to them and then try to find common ground. It is important that the children spend time with you, but a gentle approach is likely to get the better outcome. Once you have agreed the way forward with your daughter the Nanny can be told what will happen. Good luck, I hope you can enjoy the time ahead.

mutti Wed 16-Nov-16 00:08:32

Re your suggestion, Hilltopgran, I have agreed a regular time with my daughter & this nanny. The trouble is that the nanny periodically changes it, always whittling the time down: my visits were weekly, then she insisted they became fortnightly; the start time gets pushed back, my leave time gets brought forward; the nanny gives daft excuses for this, she arranges activities which will cut into my - now fortnightly - visits. Yesterday I received a text stating that this afternoon's visit was to start an hour later than arranged - for an extremely arbitrary reason. In short, I am left in no doubt that I'm there on sufferance. This hurts because I have never experienced this kind of thing before, being a sociable person who gets on well with others, including previous nannies my daughter had employed, and I always go out of my way to be friendly, appreciative & respectful. This nanny has told my daughter that it's not normal for a grandparent to visit during the working week, that she has never had to put up with it before and that none of her nanny friends have either. I can't believe this is true but I would love to hear of other people's experiences.

mutti Wed 16-Nov-16 00:12:33

Thanks Cornergran .. wise words indeed. The trouble is that unresolved tensions have been allowed to fester and, as always happens, an explosion (hopefully not too damaging) occurred today. I fear I'm into damage limitation now. Fortunately, my husband is a calming influence.

Eloethan Wed 16-Nov-16 00:19:18

I'd be concerned why she is unwilling for you to be around the children during the week - is it cramping her style or something?

Does your daughter agree with the nanny or is she just going along with it for a quiet life? If the latter, it sounds as if the nanny has far too much influence on matters that should be a matter for discussion between the parents and yourself.

cornergran Wed 16-Nov-16 00:29:49

It sounds as if the Nanny is feeling defensive. She may be uncertain of herself and thinks you are a threat. Is she young or new to her role? I do think she is out of order but her services are important to your daughter so yes, proceed with caution. If you usually have a good relationship with your daughter there is every chance this will settle

I am back to can you have a quiet, calm chat with your daughter? Stress you do not wish to impinge on either the Nanny or your granddaughters activities but your relationship with them all is important to you and is it possible for a day/time to be agreed that suits all and that will not be changed unless there is an emergency situation?

I imagine your daughter is very busy and hopes her Nanny will manage day to day issues. She may not actually know how often things are changed at the last minute. You may have to settle for less time than you would like, but that is better than no time! Will your husband help with the negotiations? Try not to dwell on it, easier said than done but it won't help if you stoke the internal flames

I have no personal eexperience of Nanny involvement but can reassure you I hardly ever see grandchildren at weekends, they and their parents are far too busy. Weekday visits when pre-school or school pickups for older ones to suit their parents are the norm. Yes, weekends are family time, but it's wrong to assume that time includes grandparents, it often doesn't although of course it can.

Try not to worry too much, it's good you have your husband to support you and here to let off steam.

Lisalou Wed 16-Nov-16 06:09:27

Having worked in the role of a nanny when young I am shocked to the core regarding how this woman speaks to the children about parents/grandparents. "I am in charge, you behave for me" - "you only mess around when granny is here" as if it were granny's influence! I hate to say this, but this girl is unprofessional in the extreme, she is implying to the children that she is MORE IMPORTANT than their parents. Excuse me? If she were working for me she would be out the door within minutes - how dare she! Is she trained? My feeling would be that there are many more nannies in the sea and a replacement should be found!
Just my opinion, but I would be speaking to your daughter - she may be marvellous in other ways, I presume you mean in terms of routines, baths, beds etc, but this person has a great deal of influence on your gc's minds. I would not want someone like this in my children's lives. If she is bullying you and the other gran into doing what she wants, how do you think she is dealing with the kids= You are adults, what recourse do the little ones have? Hugs to you all.

Jane10 Wed 16-Nov-16 06:20:06

I think Lisalou is right. If she's managing to bully you then what is she doing to the children. Her behaviour is quite out of order! Good luck with resolving this. Could you and the other Gran tackle your daughter about this?

Im68Now Wed 16-Nov-16 08:00:10

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

annsixty Wed 16-Nov-16 08:04:25

Really I'm 68 you are crossing a line which of unacceptable, to me at least.

mumofmadboys Wed 16-Nov-16 08:09:53

I think your posts over a number of threads are getting more OTT and rude Iam68. Are you alright?

Iam64 Wed 16-Nov-16 08:20:00

Im68 is being attention seeking and rude, as is so often the case.

Christinefrance Wed 16-Nov-16 08:34:08

Sounds like the parents are keen to retain the Nanny despite evidence of bad practice. As they are paying her it is down to them to make the rules. You need to talk to them calmly and explain your concerns, this Nanny is behaving inappropriately. Meanwhile help where you can and don't get into disagreements which will affect the children. It's a difficult situation for you so hope things work out,
good luck.
Im68 - there are other ways to get attention which are more acceptable.

emmasnan Wed 16-Nov-16 08:53:09

The Nanny isn't acting or speaking as a professional, that would ring alarm bells with me.

Eloethan Wed 16-Nov-16 09:32:42

I wonder if it's better to just ignore deliberately rude and provocative posts?

mutti Wed 16-Nov-16 09:45:01

Thank you so much for all your responses so far; they are incredibly helpful and they reassure me that I'm not the one behaving oddly (at least not much!). Unfortunately, I had an argument with this nanny yesterday .. after yet another illogical and last-minute change to arrangements (I'm not usually an inflexible person, at least I don't think I am) and the nanny took huge offence which she was not shy about broadcasting. I'm worried about where it will go from here.
Several grandnetters have asked if this nanny is young or untrained. Quite the reverse: she is in early middle-age and highly experienced. She is lovingly strict with the children and keeps them in a good, if to my mind somewhat over-active, routine. Above all, she never lets my daughter down by not turning up .. which is vital to the smooth running of my daughter's household and therefore to her happiness. The nanny has a circle of local nanny friends and has an active social life with them and their charges. With the previous nannies my daughter employed, I would go with them and the GCs to things - always in support role and deferring to the nanny, as I do to my daughter, in matters concerning the GCs - or the nannies would visit my house with the GCs occasionally. The current nanny has refused from the start to allow me to accompany her anywhere with the GCs (I've suggested various local fun things) and she reacts with horror to the idea of visiting us. She is, though, planning to take the GCs to visit her own sister & family.
I'm trying to give a picture here because I'm trying to understand what is going on. I realise it may sound a bit of a whinge or perhaps a bit trivial. I'm genuinely at a loss as to how to go forward. Part of the problem is that my daughter has thus far asked me to sort arrangements with the nanny (as I successfully did with the previous ones) as she's very busy and we don't talk particularly regularly. This is undoubtedly part of the problem. My daughter is angry at what has happened.

Flossieturner Wed 16-Nov-16 10:02:53

Is it possible that you don't have a Nanny problem so much as a daughter problem.

I am not defending the Nanny, but it seems to me that she see you as visiting "her place of Work" and she finds that intrusive. I wonder if her rudeness in expressing this is coming from your daughter. Does she want the Nanny to get on with her work, without the weekly/fortnightly visits? Maybe your daughter feels you visit too often and does not like to say so. Is it possible that your daughter does not speak to the Nanny about her treatment of you as a way of cutting your visits.

You speak of visiting weekly previously, I can't help wondering how many parents would want this many visits. I got on really well with my MiL and she too visited weekly. It was a pain and quite disruptive, as she had her 'own way' of doing things. I could feel her disapproval even when she said nothing.

My advice would be so say no more to your daughter about it and cut the visits down.

Elegran Wed 16-Nov-16 10:03:01

First off, there was just half an hour between your post asking for advice and your next saying that you had followed it but the arrangements had been whittled down. That doesn't seem to make sense. How did all that happen in half an hour?

Next - Tell your daughter that YOU are too busy to waste your time making arrangements with the nanny that are then cancelled or otherwise undermined. She employs her, so she is the one to you to have time with the children?

Can you arrange with your daughter that you take the children out somewhere once a week, picking them up at a definite time and returning them to nanny's control as arranged? There are plenty of places where you can have fun together.

Lastly, how does your daughter feel about your visits, disregarding the nanny for the moment? If she is reluctant, then perhaps she is hiding behind the nanny's bossiness? Your talk with your daughter could include this, and maybe clarify what SHE thinks about the "only playing with your food when Granny's here", and so on. Is that her opinion too?

radicalnan Wed 16-Nov-16 10:08:22

Any body who told me to 'get over it' would get the sharp edge of my tongue. She is not being professional and that was bloody rude.

What example does she set for the children talking to people like that and setting family members against each other. She is paid to mind the children not to interfere in family dynamics.

I would raise it with your daughter if i were you, her employee is undermining everybody by the sound of things.

Angela1961 Wed 16-Nov-16 10:36:42

I think I'd be so worried I'd convince my daughter to put in cctv . I'd worry about the children's mental well-being under the care of this unprofessional sounding woman.

Sheilasue Wed 16-Nov-16 10:39:44

Surely you can see your grandaughter when you want to not when she says.

Nain9bach Wed 16-Nov-16 10:39:49

A nanny tends to have a privileged place within a family. However, her rudeness should not be tolerated. I would be suspect of her motives. She's clearly undermining the parents position as well as yours. Is there a language barrier? I mean is English her first language. Giving her the benefit of a doubt. She may be good but she can be replaced.