Like Romeo and Juliet, the end of the affair with the nanny can be quite dramatic. KT believes there are three ways this often complicated and dramatic relationship between mommy and nanny can end. There’s the “blindsided” ending, the “long slow goodbye” and the “diplomatic treaty.” From KT’s perspective, few end the diplomatic route but I try to be positive every now and again. So let’s begin. Those of you who have been in the ring know how each of these end.
First, the “blindsider.” That would be the nanny that calls you out of the blue, like an unsuspecting Sunday night, and informs you that it’s not working out and then really gives you no notice. It’s over. Done. You’re left wondering if it really happened. If you’ve been through one nanny before, you skip over the “was it me, not her” mourning and jump right into rage. If you don’t believe me that you can be abruptly blindsided by your nanny quitting, go read Self-Made Mom. Her nanny literally quit by phone on Sunday night. After her second week of vacation.
I’ll get to the evil role of vacation later. Think of vacation as “the other woman.”
Then there’s the “long slow goodbye.” I, personally, experienced that route with my first nanny. Again, there was the vacation. In fact, this was a 6 week vacation and then she didn’t show up on her scheduled return date, only leaving me to conclude worst case scenario: she was stolen by bandits and was tied up in the jungle somewhere. Turns out she just changed her plans, never let me know, and didn’t seem to think anything of it. Meanwhile over in reality, I aged about 15 years trying to get to the bottom of the great disappearing nanny of early 2007. Then she quit about two weeks later. The truth is, all the signs were there that it was going to end, I think I just shoved my fears into the back of my mind and she needed the time to work up the courage to end it all.
I think you’ll note two commonalities in both of these scenarios: vacation. I’ve grown to fear the dreaded vacation on the part of the nanny. Sure, if they are taking vacation when you are taking vacation, then it’s just regular vacation. But I swear, out of the blue vacation is the first major red flag that something is afoot. Where are they going? Do they have a lover in another town? Are they traveling to their homeland and ultimately spend a lot of time with their children only to return with extreme vacation brain: the reminder of why not working is good? Whatever the case may be, vacation is like infidelity. It’s just the beginning and it just gets complicated and ends in divorce.
Now about the third scenario – the “diplomatic treaty.” Again, I’ve yet to find anyone whose nanny relationship ends in an amicable agreement but I’m sure it exists – probably among the school-age set of kids, such as the youngest goes off to school and the full-time nanny is no longer needed. Seeing as how I’m just entering the mean halls of preschool, I’m not there yet and just don’t run with the older crowd. But I have to believe there is a drama free ending to some nanny relationships.
Sure, I’ve covered the role of the nanny breaking up with you, the employer, but we all know that many parents break up with the nanny. It’s a two-way street, this dramatic relationship we enter into.
I think that one of the worst, most stressful parts of working and parenthood is managing the relationship with your child’s caregivers and dealing with the stress of when it ends. Particularly when blindsided like SMM on a regular summer Sunday evening. That is just wrong.
At the end of the day, however, it always works out. There is a nanny out there for all of us, a good one, and one of KT’s older mommy mentors advised me that each nanny just gets better. That truism is the one thing we have to hang our hat on, especially when you start seeing the red flags that the long slow goodbye is upon you…..