I worked as a nanny for more than a decade. I also organized nanny placements for caregivers from around the world as an agency coordinator. In other words, I have plenty of experience in all things Mary Poppins. I've fielded complaints from both nannies and parents, too, covering all sorts of strange behaviors, habits, and unfair practices. So, when I asked moms to reveal the weirdest thing their nanny ever did, I experienced a little deja vu. I guess nothing really surprises me anymore.
Being a nanny is a wonderful job, don't get me wrong. As a caregiver you get to play, imagine, and supervise children all day. It's a difficult job, though, usually accompanied by long hours and low pay. Working in someone else's home can can a little uncomfortable, too. When a caregiver works in the family home, it's not uncommon for certain parents to take liberties with the nanny's time. They may come home later than agreed, give little notice for changes to schedules, or expect the nanny to do chores that have not been agreed in the employment contract.
Choosing someone to care for the most precious person in your life can be stressful and difficult and nothing short of overwhelming, but most nannies are amazing professionals who deserve your trust and respect. However, if they do any of these weird things, well, you might want to have a discussion:
"I employed a young nanny from France. Two days after she arrived she broke up with her boyfriend back home, and spent the next six weeks bursting into tears every couple of minutes. I understood she was heartbroken, but she had a job to do and it made family life so awkward."
"My nanny tried to teach my children a made up language. It made me feel so uncomfortable and like a stranger in my own home. She did not last."
"I took a long time to choose my child's caregiver. I had been a nanny myself, so I knew what to look out for. I thought I had chosen the perfect person. Then, one day after she started work, I caught her having sex with some random guy in my bed!"
"I hired a girl for the summer break. I just had a baby and needed someone to play with my preschooler. One morning I noticed she had given my son coffee. I snatched it away from him and confronted her, but she didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with it. She kept saying, 'he likes it.' I had to fire her."
"I used a girl from the neighborhood once, as all my neighbors raved about how good she was. When I got home she told me my kid had been great, but the whole time she picked her nose and then wiped it on her jeans. I was dry heaving, it was so gross!"
"I hired a babysitter from a recommendation from my girlfriend. When I got home everything seemed fine, so I paid her and she left. Then, when I looked around, I realized she had eaten everything! A whole cooked chicken in the fridge, a container of pasta, bag of chips, and some candy!"
I have a great nanny. She has been with us for five years and is an absolute gem! However, she does have a few funny habits. She sings some super creepy German lullabies that sound like something from a horror movie, and she always spits on a tissue and wipes [my kids'] dirty faces."
"My first nanny called me 'missus.' I told her she could call me by my first name, but she refused. It made me feel elitist and guilty for even having a nanny."
"We had a nanny that flirted with my husband. It made us both so uncomfortable. I am not sure she even knew she was doing it, because she would do it in front of me, but it was creepy and weird."