There is a reason why babysitters should be properly vetted before you entrust your children to be watched by a complete stranger.
But is it possible to go too far when it comes to checking on babysitters to protect your kids?
One father inadvertently came across something on accident that made him question the identity of the woman he thought he knew who had been taking care of his kids.
After having a discussion with his wife about it, Redditor u/risertalks made a decision with what to do that jeopardized the relationship with their nanny.
So he visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for hiring a private investigator to check into our nanny?”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“We have a nanny (late 20s) who comes to watch our 3 year old and 1 year old when our work schedules overlap or we have to go out together for whatever reason. She’s watching the kids between 10-20 hours a week.”
“Recently I came back and it was time to pay her, but she was in the middle of bathing the kids so said ‘Can you just put it in my purse?’ I said no problem.”
“I went downstairs and found her purse but it was a little cluttered so I put it in her wallet in her purse so it would be easy to find and count.”
“When I opened her wallet to put it inside, I couldn’t help but see her ID in the transparent front pocket, and it had her photo but her name was completely different from the one she had given us and we’d background checked when we had hired her.”
“She’s been great, so I didn’t want to just fire her, but this meant she was either using a fake name with us or carrying a fake ID, so we had to see if she was trying to hide something relevant.”
“She’s someone who spends prolonged time alone with our kids. And as great as she seems to us, our kids can’t really talk yet. So we can only know so much.”
After careful consideration, the OP and his wife reached a decision that would be in the best interest of their children.
“My wife and I discussed it and decided to hire a private investigator to check into her, because whatever story she gave us if we confronted her, we’d then take steps to verify it anyways. So it was best not to give her the opportunity to hide anything or backtrack.”
“The PI discovered she had the ID to circumvent a bureaucratic rule about student living arrangements for the graduate school at her university (something like she wanted to stay on the undergraduate campus when she became a graduate student so used an undergrad friend’s name on her ID to register for housing.) Not a big deal.”
“Then, unfortunately, unbeknownst to us our 3yo overheard us talking about it and said something that tipped her off to the whole thing. We explained that we had become aware, looked into it, but it was all fine now.”
“She was very upset, said it was none of our business why she would have two IDs, and it was a violation of her privacy to look into her life instead of just asking her. Now she’s even considering quitting.”
“We feel awful, but are also weighing that with how awful we’d feel if we didn’t do due diligence and there was something serious to it. We’re conflicted now, because she has always been wonderful.”
“AITA for hiring the private investigator?”
“Edit: The ID was (what appeared to be) a state issued driver’s license. Sorry, should’ve mentioned that.”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
The comments in the thread ranged from NAH to YTA for the OP for invading the nanny’s privacy.
“NAH. She watches your kids, you have the right to know what her deal is. Also, someone’s gotta employ the private investigators, amrite?”
“But, on the other hand, she has every right to be upset and feel like you invaded her privacy, because…you literally did. You literally hired someone to invade her privacy.”
“Try giving her a raise to get her to stay, maybe? Or let her go and hire a PI for the next nanny from the jump.” – Dszquphsbnt
“You’re making a huge leap from ‘you have the right to know what her deal is’ to ‘you should feel free to send out a PI to trawl through her social situation, perhaps follow her, talk to her friends etc etc’.”
“Being a nanny doesn’t mean you consent to any and all investigations the parents subjectively deem to be necessary for their comfort.”
“Edit: I’m actually horrified the more I think about it. Imagine being a young woman and getting wind that someone has been going to your files somewhere, or talking to your roomates, or there’s a weird car that keeps showing up. F’king terrifying.” – beentheredangnabbit
An experienced nanny weighed in with her thoughts.
“I’m a young woman who nannies part-time and I wouldn’t begrudge a family for having me investigated (eta – without notification) if I had a fake ID or something else that seemed sketchy.”
“I’m protective enough over my nanny kids and if I were their parent I’d want to 100% trust the people I let around them; while I do think OP should have asked her first before going full-on with the PI, they’re not the AH for wanting to ensure their kids’ safety while also not firing someone for potentially no reason.” – villanellsy_c9
However, the nanny hired by the OP was not completely exonerated for being fraudulent.
“Wait so the nanny’s not an a**hole for using a fake id, because in this specific case it wasn’t for nefarious reasons? Any other position would fire you for sh*t like that no matter what the reasons is, and some would even sue you for fraud/being hired under false pretense.”
“She sent OP into her purse, and she got caught in a lie. I’m not even a parent and I 100% agree with having someone checked out that lied about something like that and is around your kids.”
“She could very easily have been using a fake name to hide child abuse convictions/accusations as easily as she was using it to hide from her university.” – robbie5643
The OP’s actions remained justified.
“If you are going to be working with someone’s kids, in their home, alone, then you should be willing and expecting a much higher degree of scrutiny.”
“The point is you do not know why they have a fake Id, and a parent cannot take the chance that it might just be something innocent and hope it isn’t for some child abuse related sh*t.”
“Also side note what she is doing isn’t innocent. We may not judge for skirting the university’s work study rules but she is still doing something immoral if not illegal. If she’s willing to go through that many hopes to break the universities rules, what else is she willing to do…” – robbie5643
The general consensus was that while the OP’s approach in looking into the nanny’s identity was perhaps a little extreme, his concern as a parent was totally justified.