We’ve likely all had one of those jobs where we didn’t feel valued or like our employer was willing to take care of us as a human being, inevitably making it that much easier to eventually walk away from that job.
It’s well-known now that employers should take care of their employees if they expect them to take, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, even if it’s not widely put into practice.
But Redditor A**holezconnoisseur clearly had not gotten that memo, based on how he recently treated his full-time nanny on a family trip.
When he overheard her talking to a friend about potentially quitting, the Original Poster (OP) and his wife wondered if they were too inconsiderate of her needs.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting our nanny leave for a date during our vacation?”
The OP was looking forward to his anniversary plans with his wife.
“My wife and I had our first child last year and it’s been quite an intense few months.”
“My wife has been on an extended ‘maternity leave’ but on top of that, we’ve also hired a nanny/maid to assist us with the baby as well as keep the house in order. She stays in our guest house.”
“To celebrate our anniversary, I planned for us to take a trip by ourselves just to reconnect and give her some proper time away from our son.”
“She was excited about leaving but was slightly concerned about leaving our son behind (her mother was going to come down and babysit with the nanny).”
The OP then decided to turn the trip into a family vacation, nanny included.
“Trying to ease things, I asked the nanny if she’d be willing to come along with us on our trip and take care of the baby, stressing that this was supposed to be our couple’s vacation, so most of the childcare would be hers and more than usual.”
“She jumped at the idea, and so I also arranged her ticket and accommodations (to be clear, she was also paid extra for the ‘overtime’).”
The trip went well for the OP until the last night.
“The trip was a week long and our arrangement was going quite well at first. My wife was relaxed, we reconnected and our son was close by whenever we missed him.”
“We would take our son and give the nanny a break either in the mornings or afternoons.”
“On our last day, she asked if we could take the night shift as she’d met someone who’d asked her on a date.”
“Besides that going against our arrangement (the point was to give us a break from the sleepless nights), I’d already paid and planned an intimate date on the beach with my wife for our last night.”
“It became a bit of an issue with her trying to guilt my wife and saying we were being unfair but by the end of it, we didn’t give in and she looked after the kid.”
But then the couple wondered if they pushed the nanny too far.
“Upon returning my wife heard her on the phone saying that she was thinking of quitting over all of this and that we were blocking her future, so here we are.”
“My wife thinks we made a mistake, I don’t disagree that it might’ve been a-holish but ultimately, it was our arrangement and she was paid extra for it.”
“Are we the a**holes?”
After receiving some initial feedback, the OP gave a few clarifications.
“The post has been up for 12 hours at the time of writing this, and this is the first time checking in since the first hour due to life, but I just wanted to clarify some things I’ve seen come up.”
“The nanny got paid double her usual daily rate. Since she has consistent hours daily, we just refer to it as a daily rate where she ‘works’ for eight hours. So we paid her for 16 hours of work daily.”
“Our expectations were very clearly expressed to her, and she agreed that it wouldn’t be a problem. Depending on our plans, sometimes we took mornings, and sometimes we took afternoons, but on any given day, it was one of the two. This was also preplanned since our trip had an itinerary.”
“Each of these breaks averaged about five hours, and that excludes the spontaneous breaks whenever we missed him and prepared him for bed.”
“Also, this assumption that my wife and I can’t and don’t take care of our child is silly. The nanny is there only to assist whenever my wife needs to nap or rest. My wife takes care of most of the childcare, and I step in when I return from work.”
“Most of her [maids] work is housework. My wife is staying at home because of her traumatic birth, which had complications she’s still recovering from. She fully plans on returning to work when she’s fit, and our child is old enough.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were irked by the entitlement and boundary-crossing of this couple.
“You have a baby and then, ‘Oh we are so tired, so let’s drag the nanny with us on a vacation and work her 24 hours a day. That will get us relaxed!'”
“And also, ‘let’s listen in on her phone calls.'”
“For people who couldn’t leave the baby behind, you did not spend much time with the babe. There was no reason to drag the child along.” – iamltr
“What’s doing it for me, is the fact that he booked a week-long vacation and left their nanny to watch the kid for basically the entire week with only a few hours off each day.”
“Buddy is only bonding with his kid a few hours each day if that.” – redrummaybe54
“The nanny had to be at their beck and call, at their whim with no notice… so she just was just ON CALL 24 hours a day, for seven days straight… and is being shamed for wanting one night off.”
“What’s even worse is he was originally gonna do an entire week away from their child but didn’t because the wife was stressed about it. I could not imagine leaving the infant I just had for a week. One that’s still clinging to their parents because they’re still learning the world.”
“I get parents needing a break, and I’m all for parents taking breaks but sh*t. An entire week? And only giving the nanny a few hours between? She was on call and used alllllllll week.”
“She had the night shift AND the day/afternoon depending on when they wanted to give her a couple of hours off.”
“Do they even want this kid? I get a hard first year, but most first years of an infant’s life is hard, but most parents don’t usually want to drop their kid off with grandma and a nanny for a week.”
“Imagine the stress on that baby.” – Amazing_Cabinet1404
“YTA. I don’t care how much extra you paid.”
“You told her more childcare. A few hours off a day is not more childcare. That’s abuse.”
“She had a right to ask for a night off. Nanny or not, to expect someone to pretty much take over 24 hours per day, seven days per week, when they are not the parent, is insane. She is a nanny and has no kids. You needed a break even with a nanny, but yet expected her to handle it all.”
“So it was your vacation. You invited her to watch your child but gave her no chance to do anything. So you paid for her accommodation and ticket. Well, you should have, as it was you paying her a job. That’s not an extra. That’s common sense.”
“To be upset, she wanted one night to enjoy after a week of not getting to decide when she could take a break if she needed one and then only a few hours, which means not getting to leave or sightsee or anything because who knew when you would decide when she was back on duty is insane.”
“Let me put it this way. Unless you explicitly told her, ‘You have a few hours off a day,’ and that she didn’t get to decide what time she had off, that she wouldn’t get a day or even afternoon or evening off…”
“Unless you told her that. Unless the extra you paid her for was hourly, then that’s abusing the contract for any childcare. That’s taking advantage of someone who sounds young, not understanding, and able to grasp what you meant and how hard it would be.”
“That’s you showing as the person paying her for that. Not only are you not understanding, but you are not saying in no uncertain terms what is expected. Of course, she wants to quit. You have proven that you can’t be trusted to make sure as the one in charge that she is fully informed to be fully able to make a decision so why would she think it wouldn’t happen again.” – tiny-pest
“I mean, she couldn’t get ONE evening off in a week. She should just quit. I wouldn’t work for OP in any capacity.”
“They try to make it sound like the nanny was clamoring for the awesome opportunity for the trip, but she ended up spending the entire time taking care of a less-than-year-old baby. It’s like thinking you are generous for bringing someone to an amazing restaurant and not giving them a chance to eat. What an ingrate the nanny is!” – Justbedecent42
Others were concerned about the nanny’s services being exploited.
“Even if the nanny initially agreed with the OP’s terms for the trip… the terms provided to her by her employer are illegal (assuming she’s in the US). US labor laws exist, in part, to protect the lower working classes from exploitation.”
“It really doesn’t matter if she understood the terms of what they were offering her or not. They’re in violation of labor law if they’re offering her a flat daily rate (i.e., salaried) rather than hourly pay. Nannies are not classed as an exempt position according to labor laws.”
“And frankly, part of labor law is that it doesn’t matter if the worker agrees or not. Things like break and pay and exempt/non-exempt status all exist as protections against exploitation.”
“The nanny may not even realize how unethical the arrangement is. She might be too young to know labor law. Or she might be uneducated about it. Or she might come from a class of minority that has been historically exploited.”
“This isn’t about whether they are rich enough to pay better. This is about exploitation.”
“What tips it AGAINST the OP for me is that they appear to be in violation of labor law (based on their remarks about daily rates rather than hourly) in a way that is exploitative for which the law specifically protects against.”
“F**k the terms of the original agreement if they’re illegal.” – VisibleBug1840
“Legally, if the baby was sleeping in the nanny’s room, to ‘let the parents catch up on their sleep,’ that’s not only questionable, but they*must* pay her for 24 hours per day at her hourly rate, minimum. YTA.” – shelwood46
“And he says they gave gee a break in the morning or afternoon. So what, a one- or two-hour break, with the nanny working 22 to 23 hours a day for a whole week? I bet he wasn’t paying her for all that time, it sounds very exploitative.” – Estrellathestarfish
“You just know in his mind the fact he paid for her air ticket and booked a room that he thinks that’s payment enough that she should be grateful for… (eye roll).”
“I have met nannies before who work for people like OP and this is how most of them say OP thinks like whenever they have to work couples vacations. YTA.” – Ali_Cat222
“I would quit as soon as I stepped off the plane. They want to be parents on social media. Not in real life. I would not be a party to it.” – sparksgirl1223
The subReddit was disgusted on behalf of the OP’s nanny and could not believe that he found it acceptable to treat her this way and to, in the same breath, expect her to stay.
While the family trip should have focused on the family’s and couple’s needs, no question, there still should have been time made for the nanny to be her own person, including going on that date. If they wanted to keep their nanny, they clearly needed to treat her better to keep her happy.