I have two nannies to care for my twins. Not because I'm rich and fancy and have one for each child (could you imagine?!), but because they work on different days and I have them both as part of a nanny share. I wish I just had one all week -- the original nanny we hired when I went back to work when my kids were 12 weeks old. Oh how easy paying her would be, how I wouldn't be forced to compare and wish the other one was more like this one -- but she's with another family on the other days.
So that other nanny ... well ... she likes to take naps. On the job.
This nanny is sweet and seems to do a good job with my kids who are now very active 18-month-olds. And I work from home sometimes, so I'm there when she's there, except when she goes to the park or playspaces with the kids. I feel I have a good grasp of what goes on when I'm home because I live in a very cramped apartment. So you can imagine my shock when I heard some muted chainsaw sounds coming from the living room while I was in the office and the kids were taking a nap.
At first I thought it was coming from the upstairs apartment. Shzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Shzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Shzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Hmm. Perhaps that's the sound of one of those snake thingies going in and out of a drain to get the clogged icky hairs out. Whatever, I thought. And dove back into work.
Then I heard it again, but on another day. Shzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Shzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Either that drain is really clogged or ... oh my gosh! Could it be? Is the nanny for our upstairs neighbor sleeping on the job? Wow! Do I tell my neighbor? That is just not cool! Yes, these were my thoughts as I got up from my desk and went to the bathroom. Then I saw her. MY nanny. Head down on my dining table. Though she jolted herself up when I passed her on the way to the bathroom. Seriously? I thought.
Was I being an unrealistic ass for thinking it was wrong of her to nap? I mean, my kids were napping. I nap sometimes when they nap. But I'm the mom. I'm in tune with my kids. I wake when they cry out. Would she? And then I remembered that I pay her by the hour. GOOD money, might I add. I live in NYC and nannies get paid well and I know for a fact she's on the higher end of the going rate. So I am paying her to nap?!
I was annoyed but chalked it up to her having a sleepless week for whatever reason. It happens. It has happened quite a few times since then and I ignored it. But then yesterday happened.
There was no snoring this time, but when I came out of the room to use the bathroom, there she was again, forehead plastered to the newspaper on the table. She didn't hear me at all. Didn't hear the bathroom door shut (semi-slam actually because I wanted her to wake up). She didn't hear me in the kitchen making my lunch and clanging dishes. She didn't hear me walk past her again and back into the office. She was in a deep sleep and this just wasn't acceptable. To top it off, I saw an energy drink in the recycle bin that belonged to her. (Not rinsed out and leaking all over might I add but that's another issue.) So now I'm looking for a new nanny. I just feel it's unsafe if she's half asleep and really tired when she's with my kids. What if she falls asleep when at the park and the kids are playing in the sandbox? What if she isn't alert enough when she's crossing a busy intersection?
What would you do? Do you think it's okay for her to nap on the job?
Image via Michele Zipp