Nanny problems

For the past weeks we have had a nanny to take care of Scott. Quite convenient, as we could sleep a little bit more (no changing of diapers in the middle of the night) and she also did some of the special cooking for my wife (Chinese tradition is that women need to eat healthy and more nutritious food when they nurse the baby). The nanny was a Chinese lady in her late forties, and she was quite traditional in her views of how to care of the baby and the mother. If it had been up to her, my wife would have not been allowed to drink juice or normal water, and she could have taken a shower only once per week. She did not even allow my wife to use a laptop! Luckily my wife has more Western views, and already took a shower the day after the delivery. Of course she also went online not long after Scott was born. Some minor ‘fights’ erupted because of this, but in the end the nanny always gave in. Reluctantly, I have to say, but from experience I know that fighting with my wife and winning is not easy 🙂

Then nanny walked around in her pajamas since the day she arrived in our apartment, and even went out in her pajamas to buy food. Now I am used to seeing Shanghainese running around the city in pajamas, but if someone lives in your house and does not wear anything but a sleeping suit, it gets on your nerves. Both my wife and I decided not to say too much about it, because it turned out the nanny did not have any other clothes. She carried all her belongings in a plastic bag, and moved from family to family. She did not even have her own apartment, but lived at the premises of the nanny company in between jobs. A strange way of living for me, but she seems to enjoy taking care of kids so much, that she did not care.

Scott was her 52nd baby already, and she seemed just as happy with him as with all the others. Or actually a bit too happy, because after a couple of days she started to call him ‘my son’. Also, it seemed that she became more unwilling to let me hold my own baby, as if she was jealous. Honestly, at that point my wife and I both started wondering if employing a nanny was really such a good idea. Eventually, however, we were convinced that she just really loved kids, and she took very good care of our son. Life as new parents was a lot easier with such a nanny around.

Yesterday morning the nanny suddenly announced that she had had a fight with her boss (the owner of the nanny company) and that she was resigning. She would therefore leave us as well, and by lunchtime she was gone. It is a bit of an adjustment, I have to say, but we are coping well. We are now thinking about whether we should get a new nanny or not. The timing is not optimal, because in two weeks the Chinese New Year will start, and most people want to spend the first 15 days of the New Year with their families in their hometowns. We’ll see. My wife’s parents will help us out a bit the coming time, but if it is too difficult we might resort to paying a bit more for a new nanny. For sure it will be a less traditional one!

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  1. Hilarious. I can confirm with you I have experienced the same thing with my own mother…well, difference is that you can neither pay her to stay nor fire her to let her go..hehe Hmmm a less traditional one, have you seen the newspaper that there is the shortage of nanny in Guangzhou and Beijing? Dunno if it is the case in Shanghai…I hope not.

  2. Didn’t know there is a shortage, but I am not surprised given the baby boom that the newspapers report about. I guess it also depends on what you are willing to pay. In our apartment the nanny has her own bedroom and bathroom, which was much better than she normally gets. I suppose those factors also play a role.

  3. We offered the same thing(a seperate bedroom equipped with bathroom) next to the kids’ room but the nanny next door told me that they prefer not to mix up with their boss since they prefer to have some quiet time of the day for some rest which I can fully understand, sometimes they prefer to stay in a so-called nannyroom in the garage next to the boiler given this consideration. Well, we finally decide to hire a nanny who works from 12 to 8pm, heard from the nanny company the supply of these kind of needs is actually more sufficient…

  4. You can always say that you don’t accept those clothes. Think of all those employers who employ young girls (in their teens and 20’s) as live-in maid/nannies and also require them to wear uniforms (like skirts, blouses and aprons).