Finding a reliable nanny is hard. Finding a trustworthy nanny is harder. That’s what I learned from the previous nannies I’ve had. If you haven’t read the first part of this 2-part post, you can check it out here. Also, read other cringeworthy nanny stories in the comments section.
I didn’t hire a new nanny after the third one left. My mom took the responsibility of taking care of Z for a year and a half. I tried looking for one, even my family tried searching as well. It wasn’t easy. Referrals are hard to come by these days.
But here’s the thing. Letting my mom handle my responsibility in taking care of my son made me feel guilty. She already sacrificed a lot since I gave birth and taking her time away to do the things she loves away from her again didn’t sit well with me. I knew that I needed to find a nanny whatever it takes. Don’t get me wrong. My family has been very helpful in my situation as a solo parent. But I know that they also have things they want to pursue, responsibilities and obligations to take care of, lives to live.
The fact that Z is already growing up, the more that I need to take the reins back in rearing him. And so, I finally bit the bullet and turned to an agency. I took precautions as well by installing IP cameras at home so I could monitor what’s going on whenever I am at work.
She was in her early 20s. I laid down the house rules as soon as she was brought to the house. One of which is: wifi is free but use it responsibly. The first thing she asked: “what’s the wifi password?” *facepalm*
Given that Nanny #3 set the standard, Nanny #4 had a lot to be desired. She needed a lot of prompting and instruction. She read Z a bedtime story even if she was not a good reader. And I liked that about her.
I took on the cooking duties for breakfast and lunch because she said she didn’t know how to cook. But during times that I get home so late, I leave instructions on the table on what to cook and how to cook it. One time, I asked her to cook the lumpia I made the day before for breakfast. Next thing I know, she used up half a litre of cooking oil in a non-stick pan to cook 7 pieces of lumpia. *double facepalm*
Three traits that I hated about her:
1) she takes forever to take a bath and do things I asked her to do. I’m not kidding about the bath. She takes an hour on the average. I would have had been okay with it had she left the bathroom sparkling clean after but no, I had to do the cleaning every night. Oh, and it takes her 3 hours to finish washing my son’s clothes which consist of 3 shorts, 6 shirts, and 3 pyjama bottoms.
2) She’s the typical nanny who thinks that everything in the house is unlimited. She was wasteful of water when washing dishes and clothes, the dishwashing liquid lasted only for a week instead of 3 weeks, even the coffee creamer lasted only for a few days.
3) She claimed to be on diet but eats whenever Z and I are in the room for the night. She doesn’t eat leftovers, too. And yet, whenever we dine out, she eats like there’s no tomorrow.
Four weeks in, she asked for a day off. I let her. I let my nannies take their day off starting Saturday as long as I don’t have any appointments scheduled on that day. So she left Saturday morning. I told her to get the key as I was planning to be out with Z the next day and would not probably be home by the time she planned to get back. She left the key at the kitchen counter.
Evening the next day, she didn’t return at the time she specified. I had to text her before I got some lame excuses for not being able to return. She said she didn’t know when she can return. And that was the end of Nanny #4.
I called the agency to send a replacement of Nanny #4. It took a week and a half for them to send one over. I was hesitant to hire her, to be honest. You see, my mom is in her late 50s and could no longer handle my son for long. And the one sent by the agency was already in her mid-50s.
She was a household helper, not a nanny. But she took on the job wholeheartedly. And while there may be things to be desired from her, I knew that she was for keeps. She was mindful of schedules and routines. And I appreciated that.
She was awkward at first, always staying in my kitchen or laundry area when she thought she was not needed. She wasn’t used to eating with her employers as, in her experience, the helpers were always separated. I had to remind her that there’s no such separation in my house. I mean, it’s just my son and I plus her plus my mom when she comes for a visit. It is ridiculous to even think about separation when you only have 3 people in the house.
She eventually got comfortable with us. And it was working great. Until an unfortunate event happened. I had to send her home to the province immediately because her husband died. It was tragic. Agency didn’t have a temporary replacement on hand.
Nanny #5 asked for two weeks. While I hoped that she would return, I also anticipated the worst. I just couldn’t trust her words based on past experiences. And while the worst didn’t happen, something close did. Nanny #5 needed to extend her stay in the province to finish some paperwork.
She was a temporary replacement recommended by Nanny #5. I sent her money for her fare and picked her up from the port on a Sunday afternoon. My sister also took pity on me and came to stay for a couple of days to watch Nanny #6. She was two years older than me, based on her ID card.
I gave her instructions and Z’s schedule on the night she arrived then let her rest for the evening so she can start her duties the next day. I asked her to do the laundry and cook for lunch while we were out in the morning for Z’s therapy session.
She was the most horrible nanny we’ve had. After Z and I returned from therapy, she said that she couldn’t handle the job. She wanted to find another job and will just pay the money I sent for her fare once she finds one. It went downhill from there.
She was always on her phone, she was not mindful of the time and would always ask if it was time for Z’s lunch. Z’s schedule and routine were thrown off because she never followed the instructions. She didn’t read bedtime stories because she said she couldn’t read very well, she would just literally watch Z jumping and playing during bedtime instead of putting the kid to sleep. The worst thing she did? She was yelling at my son.
There’s no issue with me if nannies scold my son for something he did wrong. But yelling at him just because the nanny didn’t have the patience to try and understand what my son is saying, that’s foul. The video clips of her yelling at my son still make my blood boil.
Every single day she kept saying that she couldn’t handle the job. And yet she never followed any of the instructions given to her.
9 days in, she made a phone call to someone. She was angry and speaking in her local dialect which I couldn’t understand. All I could decipher was that she needed money to pay the one I sent for her fare so she could leave. All of a sudden, she was wailing and crying like a child whose candy was stolen from her. It took a good ten minutes at least before she came out of my kitchen and started packing her bags. And then she left.
I could have called security right there and then not to let her out of the compound. But instinct tells me that if I didn’t let her leave, she might take it out on my son. I’d rather suffer the consequences of not being able to go to work than risking my son’s well being under her care for a couple of days.
And so, Nanny #6 was gone after 9 days. I didn’t pay her salary, which was not enough to pay back the fare I sent her anyway. She caused me too much stress in those 9 days that I couldn’t do my job properly. But I was glad that she was gone.
The Nanny Returns
I let a sigh of relief when Nanny #5 came back as she said she would. She may be the oldest among the nannies I’ve had, but she’s been a lot of help. Z likes her very much too. So much so that he would always pull Ate to help him. I do hope that she will be able to stay with us longer. Even if I have to scold her for not stopping working. I always have to remind her to rest. And not to carry Z.
The world – my world, that is – is starting to become right again. There will be a few more challenges along the way, that’s for sure but I think we will be okay.
This nanny business is exhausting. But once you find a gem among the stones, make sure to also take care of them.
Got a nanny story to share? Share your stories in the comments. 😊