Youve Been Caught! – A Nannys Guide

Uh oh. . . you’ve been spotted! That’s right, you’ve been recently scrutinized and tattled on by an overly concerned-too much time on her hands-employs a nanny when she doesn’t really need one-mommy and she’s posted your description along with your blunder on the ‘I Saw Your Nanny’ website. You know, it’s that website that’s had over 1.7 million hits since its launch in August 2006 -well that’s according to it’s counter anyways. . . and yes. . . we are jealous-not to mention it’s the website that your good intentioned employer checks daily. No, we’re not going to bash the website entirely because in actuality, nannies post on the website too and you’d be pleasantly surprised to know that most of the mommies agree that the good nannies get a bad rep because of all the “fakes” and “glorified housekeepers” out there. (Before you get offended, those are the ‘Mommy’ quotes, not ours).

Anyways, you’ve discovered in one way or another that you’re the “nanny with the brown shorts, grey college t-shirt, hoop earrings, black hair, watching infant twins” in your area. Now you’re worried that your employer will find out, side with the “concerned for their safety” mommy and give you the boot with no questions asked. First, if that’s the case, you’re better off working for someone else anyways. However, that’s for another article, another time. Nevertheless, if your employer has already seen the post, talked to you about it and you still have a job-take heart. At least you’re not working for that other mommy. In this case, though, we’re going to assume that your employer doesn’t know your little secret yet but you’re pretty darn sure she that she will soon.

Therefore, we are now going to put you into one of the following categories:

not guilty
guilty

We are going to address the “not guilty” nannies first, because we HOPE that this is the category you have all fallen into. If not and you plead guilty, we here will address you as nannies who have fallen victim of a “purely accidental”, eventually happens to everyone, mishap that was seen by the mommies around you. On the other hand, if you are guilty-no doubt about it because you slacked off-then shame on you!

Not Guilty

Phew-you didn’t do it. Good. Now what? Well, our first suggestion is to make sure that you have all of your ducks in a row (pun not intended). This means analyzing what really happened and why the report is false.

Example:

What the mom reported: You were lazily sitting on a bench and talking on the phone while you were letting the child run around without supervision. The child then fell, hit his head and it took you three minutes to realize what had happened and go over to the child to help him.

What really happened: You were sitting on a bench. Nannies are aloud to have breaks (especially if you’re full time with long days and the kids are with you during your lunch break) just like everyone else. You were on the phone, but you were on the phone with another nanny arranging a play date for the kids. Little Jimmy did fall and yes he does have a scrape, but you know first aid and Jimmy well enough to understand that he was fine. It was NOT three minutes until you administered assistance but you did not want to make a huge deal out of the “boo-boo” right away. Why? Because once little Jimmy figures out that you know he has a “boo-boo”, he immediately goes into victim mode and freaks!

So. . . sounds reasonable, right? If you’re not guilty of anything wrong, then what do you have to worry about?

Here are three things you should think about doing:

1. Get things in order.

Get your story together and smooth it over. You might even want to get the child’s side of the story too as a simple test to see what he/she will say when asked. DO NOT TELL HIM WHAT TO SAY. Just simply see what he/she thinks happened (depending on the age of the child of course).

2. Fight back!

Post underneath the mom’s report, but don’t post anonymously because that defeats the purpose and makes it look like you’re afraid of confrontation. Be eloquent but firm, mature but not afraid. Tell her that you know what you’re doing. Think about this: your employer will eventually be reading this (because you’re going to tell her about it-just keep reading) and it’s going to be between you and the other mom. The mom has posted first and her description of you will most likely be more of a lashing out, hate-nanny type deal so contrast that with your mature, ‘with all do respect’ post. This will tell your employer that you are a professional and while you don’t play into a petty exchange of words, you will defend yourself if need be.

Example:

“Mrs. So and so. . . I am the Nanny you saw that day and have since then read the above complaint you posted about me. I wanted to thank you for keeping an eye out for negligent nannies but have to assure you, I am not one of them. My employer and I have an understanding when it comes to the care of her child and I am more than qualified to do so. I will be showing her your post along with my reply because I know what you have reported is neither entirely true nor accurate. ” Etc. Etc.

Only post once then leave it alone. You have made your defense and now have better things to do. You’re too busy to get into banter with the mom.

3. Tell your employer.

Mention it casually because in reality, it isn’t that big of a deal. Start out with “hey you’ll get a kick out of this” or “you’ll never believe this”. Once your employer looks at the whole mess and sees that you’ve taken steps to clear your name in a MATURE fashion, it will most likely leave a good impression. State that you would never do anything that could lead to the endangerment of their child and that you’ve taken extra measures to ensure their child’s safety. State that if your employer would like to join you and the child one day for observation purposes, that you would make sure to have extra fun activities planned for the three (or more) of you.

Not the end of the world now is it? You’ll be fine you awesome nanny you. . .

Guilty

Now a word for the guilty nannies. Calm down! Yes, little Sally has a horrible purple bump on her forehead now and yes some of the things on the post rang true but no, you’re not a horrible nanny! Things happen! Would I recommend posting a response to the mom who supposedly caught you? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what you want to say and how far you’re willing to take it. As long as things between you and your employer remain in good arrangement, then what really do you need to worry about? It’s a different story though, if you have been mentioned by name (rare) on the website. Then you should try your best to clear your name in a professional manner.

Draw encouragement and support from your fellow nannies but remember to avoid fighting fire with fire. Always be the bigger person when dealing with mom’s who won’t let things go. If you’ve nannied for a few years, you’ve already observed or come to know bitter women who are just never happy with anything. That’s not to say that all of the moms posting on “I Saw Your Nanny” or similar websites are busy bodies or nanny-haters. They may be genuinely concerned for children and their welfare. With that in mind, would you not do the same thing if you thought a child’s safety was being jeopardized?

Just tonight in the store, my husband and I witnessed two girls under the age (I am assuming) of six left alone in the middle of the isle with no one around. The smaller of the two girls in the basket (looked around three years old) kept trying to get out of the cart, nearly falling. The reason I was concerned was that there was no one around but a purse was still with the two girls. I stood there for a few minutes waiting but no one had yet claimed them. People were stopping and noticing so I asked the two girls where their mommy was. They pointed to their friend Esmeralda who was supposedly at the customer service area (which was actually vacant). I stood there maybe three more mi
nutes looking for someone to claim them (remaining also for their protection) when a woman showed up. She had two other children with her and acted as if I wasn’t even there. The woman had been gone long enough for my husband to start worrying about them.

In other words, some moms might post out of genuine concern for the child’s safety. So consider this before jumping to conclusions and posting something you’ll regret.

Not everyone’s perfect although we as nannies strive to be. There is always going to be someone out there who is going to have something to complain about and there’s always going to be someone who ends up creating a website just for them to complain to. Nevertheless, take heart nannies; there are good posts on the website too. After reading a “wonderful nanny sighting” post, NYnanny said. . . “Sometimes I start to wonder if people forget this site is called “i saw your nanny” not “i saw your nanny do something bad” so it’s nice to see someone take the time to let a mother know that her nanny is doing a good job. . . “

Time will only add to your credibility and integrity so keep learning and growing as a nanny. Start forming a support group between the child’s teacher, other parents and other nannies. Soon you will have so many people who can honestly vouch for you that the dishonesty of anyone else will immediately become extinguished.

-end of article

Tiana Purvis
http://www.thenannysden.com