18 Jan
Don’t You Go Talking To My Nanny

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I was recently over at the house of a friend who has a full time nanny. I need some help picking up my daughter after school two days a week and asked the nanny if she had any friends that she thought would be interested. Since I’ve never used a nanny (both my children were in daycare), I also wanted to know what she thought was a fair price to offer. My friend got upset with me and said that it was “inappropriate to discuss money with her employee.”

I was certainly not trying to steal my friend’s nanny, nor was I going behind her back (I asked the questions in front of my friend). Although I apologized to my friend for making her uncomfortable, I am not sure that I did anything wrong. Did I?


Franny Faux Pas


Dear Franny,

First of all, I’m relieved. When I first started reading this question, I thought you were involved in some kind of international nanny poaching ring and with a heavy heart, I was going to be obligated to turn you into the feds.

Then I read a bit further and thought, “Oh no. This is Nannygate all over again!” I feared your nomination for United States Attorney General was in grave danger of being derailed because of your plans to hire an illegal alien as a caretaker for your child.

But it turns out that you haven’t broken any laws. Except maybe the eleventh commandment, “Thou shalt not talk to my nanny without my permission, especially pertaining to issues of money.”   Sure, it would have been a bit more polite to talk to your friend before approaching her nanny. Your friend probably could have given you a lot of insight into what people generally pay their babysitters. There is usually a range based on the region of the country, the experience and the responsibilities. And then you could have spoken to the nanny directly about possible friends who might be looking for work.

But this is hardly some unforgivable atrocity. It sounds like you have already apologized, so don’t give it another thought.   Instead focus on finding the right babysitter for your own kids.

Good luck!

Kelcey, TMH

9 Responses to “Don’t You Go Talking To My Nanny”


Comment by Lady Jennie.

Great answer.

At first I thought you were poaching too, but I don’t think you made a huge social gaffe. Although perhaps if your friend was present, it would have been better to just ask if she knew of anyone and not what a good rate was. If she was a witch, she could have used it as an opportunity to humiliate your friend.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

I swear, moms get so weird about their nannies. You would think you were propositioning her husband or something. Don’t give it another thought.


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I’ve been in my new town 6 months now and am only meeting my first sitter today because women will sooner share their husband than their help.

You did nothing wrong!


Comment by Marinka.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a nanny for my kids, so perhaps the rules have changed, but your friend doesn’t actually “own” the nanny, so she is able to participate in any conversation she likes.


Comment by Liz @ Peace, Love & Guacamole.

One of the best ways to find a good sitter/nanny is through another good one…so your friend should take it as compliment that you asked for her nanny’s advice.

But I agree about the money talk–probably best left for the friend to share.


Comment by Grace {formerly gracie}.

I can see how discussing money in front of both an employee and employer would have been super uncomfortable. Just imagine if someone being interviewed at your company asked what you thought you should be paid and right in front of you boss. AWK-WARD!

Otherwise, I don’t think you did anything wrong by talking to the nanny. It’s kind of silly to be mad about that.


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