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“Deez chil’ren hav no respeck-t for their par-unts. But sometimes me hav to blame de par-unts because they too sof wit de kidz. That’s why me no play games wit dem. Sometimes you hav to be tuff. But in de end, they still luv me you nah. Look at me? I picked dem up from sk-ool and giv em a little snack. Around tr-ee o’clock or so me started to cook for dem. I then clean-d up a bit e-round de house. Suddenly it becomes six or seven tur-ty and me hav-unt gwon home yet because me hav to bathe them now. And de par-unts iz home."
We doormen hear stuff like this all the time from the nannies who work in the building. And believe me, we sympathize. Many of these women have children of their own and sacrifice their time and much loving care with another family.
But sometimes doormen and nannies can clash because we feel “caregivers" have become a little too comfortable with their surroundings, such as:
1. A nanny who walks up to a door and waits for the doorman to open it.
2. One who leaves a stroller at the bottom of the stairs-expecting us to take care of it--without even asking for help.
3. A nanny who takes up all the machines when doing laundry, leaving other residents to complain to us.
4. One who complains as if they live in an apartment, like there’s no heat or something needs fixing.
5. Holding large and frequent playdates (or “nanny conferences" as we call them), which means an influx of strollers entering and leaving that day.
On the flip side of the coin, we see how dedicated many nannies are to their jobs. They get dragged along on local outings, or maybe even going on a vacation with their employers, all so that they can watch the children while mommy and daddy chill out by the pool.
It’s no wonder that many children become attached to their “other” mothers, caring for them, and heeding their stern words over the words of their own parents. I’ve personally witnessed tirades and tantrums by some children who seem oblivious to the repetitive warnings of a “time-out" by their parents because the kids don’t have respect for their parents, or their parents just don’t know how to take over discipline-wise, or these children spend so much time with these nannies that they can’t distinguish who the higher authority really is--mom and dad or nanny.
I understand that parents need help while they earn a living. But what about some stay-at-home moms? I’ve also witnessed many in my time who choose to run around taking care of errands while the nanny is up and down with the children. Who do you blame then?
But the most heartbreaking thing of all is when the parents decide it’s time to move on.
One nanny in my building worked for a couple who had two small children. She was around these children for seven or so years, in their lives from birth to elementary school. Needing bigger space, the couple eventually sold their apartment and bought a home out in the suburbs somewhere.
Upon seeing this nanny one day walking up the block, I asked about her former employers, and how they were doing, especially the kids. I figured, having been in this family’s life and taking care of the children for several years, the family would have at least stayed in touch with the nanny.
She sadly replied, “I don’t know. I never heard from them again."