Dear Ms. Demeanor,
We are moving apartments soon - it is stressful but exciting. However, our nanny is not very excited and her bad attitude is rubbing off on the children. She keeps making comments about the new apartment (which she has not yet seen) and telling the kids how much she will miss our current apartment. I am not asking her to do any work related to the move but I think her attitude is both unprofessional and very unhelpful at a stressful time.
Signed, On The Move
Dear On The Move,
First of all, congratulations. I wish you and your family all the best in your new home. Moving, though hopefully to better circumstances and for good reasons, ranks among the most stressful life events. It is right up there with loss of a spouse and a loss of a job. Your nanny is hired to look after the physical well-being of your children and she should be just as mindful of their emotional well-being. Furthermore, no matter how much you consider her 'part of the family', she is still your employee and should act accordingly.
Perhaps the move is unsettling her for some particular reason, such as a concern with a change in duties or job circumstance. Perhaps the move will affect her commute. I think can think of a million reasons that a move may upset her, but I cannot think of a single excuse for her behavior particularly as it impacts your children.
I would speak openly and frankly to her about the move, the new apartment (a visit is definitely warranted at this point if possible), and her responsibilities to you and her charges. If she does not seem willing to move and move forward with you, it may be time to move on to a new caregiver.
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandariesto[email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.