Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I don't brag about my nanny

When someone provides excellent service, you tip well, right? Or at least spread lots of compliments around, right? If it's a nanny who's doing the work, many people brag to family and friends about it. I don't. Here's why:
  1. I'm secretly afraid the nanny will quit. Okay, yes I know this is crazy. If you've hired a great nanny and everything is going well, why would you worry about that employee quitting if you just start bragging a little? Here's the thing, after hiring a live-in nanny a month before Tripped Up Daddy's internship started, then bragging to anyone who would listen how fabulous she was the first 2 days of work, the 4th day brought a sharp change. Our 3 cats made it difficult for her to breathe and breathing tends to be important. So it was a quick search for a new nanny. The day after I bragged about the new nanny, she quit without notice. Call me superstitious if you want, but bragging doesn't come easy to me anymore.
  2. I don't want to admit she's better with my kids than I am. Yep, this is the Mother Guilt piece - the one that creeps up whenever I've paid someone to watch my own kids. It's that inner voice that says, "what if your kids will end up liking her better than you?" Or even worse, what if she's just better at raising your kids than you are altogether? When you see your nanny completely unflappable no matter what the craziness is that's occurring in the house, it's easy to feel a bit inadequate as a Mom, at least it is for me. That's when I smile and tell myself, "hey, that's why I hired that nanny, and you know what, I'm pretty smart for doing that for my kids." But, that doesn't mean I have to broadcast the fact that she can get my temper-tantrum throwing child back on track faster than I can.
  3. I don't want you to steal my nanny. This may be the most obvious reason for anyone. When you have a line on something that's a rare commodity, you try to keep it to yourself, right? Oh, maybe that's just when you have triplets and you really know how hard it is to find a steady babysitter. When I was little I remember seeing re-runs of The Dick Van Dyke Show (I said re-runs, no I'm not that old) and I'll never forget one episode that had to do with Laura's (Mary Tyler Moore) amazing culinary skills. She brought a yummy dish to a party and everyone raved about it. When asked by the neighbor and even her best friend for her recipe, she conveniently left out just 1 ingredient. No one was ever able to make "her" dish. After all, that was her crowning achievement apparently. I guess I fall into that camp a little. At least in regards to the person (or people) I've hired to watch my darlings. So if you do happen to notice how wonderful my nanny is and you ask for her phone number, I don't guarantee that number will really work.
Those are just a few reasons for my "no-brag nanny or sitter" policy. So what about you? Do you brag about your child's caretaker? Why or why not? Do you have any horror stories about finding a sitter/nanny? Or maybe you're lucky and it's always been easy for you. Share your thoughts!