in , , ,

Dad Irate After Wife Insists He Defer To Nanny At Bedtime Because ‘She Knows The Boys Better’

Dad tucking in son for bed
Siri Stafford/Getty Images

Bed and bath time are crucial moments in a child’s development.

Routines are key, and for many families not wavering from that routine is vital.

Redditor ZealousidealWait2698 is currently dealing with a broken routine by her husband and it’s awkward to say the least.

The Original Poster (OP) turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for help.

She asked,

“AITA for telling my husband the nanny is in charge?”

She went on to explain.

“I want to preface this by saying that I am aware this is a very privileged issue but I’m trying to get some perspective on my opinion.”

“My husband and I have 3 kids that are 10 months, 3 years and 6 years old. My husband has a high profile job and it means he’s gone often. I work a regular 9-5.”

“We originally used daycare for our oldest but my middle was born right when the pandemic began, so we hired a nanny.”

“She originally worked when I did. But by the time baby came around, I was very overwhelmed doing bath and bedtime on my own, on top of developing postpartum depression.”

“After a breakdown, we spoke with the nanny and she agreed to adjust her hours so she’s helping me with dinner, bath and bed.”

“We’ve gotten close over the past 6 months doing this. In many ways, she’s become like a third parent to the kids. She’s so good with them.”

“We’ve created a routine that works well. I tend to the baby during bath and bed, she handles the older 2. It’s a nice rhythm and my mental health has gotten so much better.”

“My husband isn’t traveling all the time but most nights, he isn’t even home for dinner and bed. He will help me weekends he’s home.”

“But because he’s gone so often, he’s reluctant to be firm with the kids.”

“There are times he’s come home when our nanny is there.”

“He tries to help her with bath and bed, but allows the boys to rough house, lets them break the routine and it seriously throws them off and delays bedtime.”

“My nanny shared with me she feels awkward. Obviously she doesn’t want to undermine her employer but it just makes her job harder.”

“But my husband also doesn’t want her to go home when he arrives as he says he can’t handle it alone.”

“I told him if that’s the case, then he needs to defer to the nanny and follow her lead. She knows our boys best and she has to deal with the aftermath when they don’t listen and give her a hard time.”

“My husband feels that she’s just an employee and he’s the dad. His salary does pay for her. However, I don’t feel this is fair to her.”

“I told him he either follows her lead for bed and bath or he doesn’t help at all. He told me I’m allowing the nanny to take over and replace him.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:


“I’m so angry reading these responses.”

“Your husband doesn’t want to parent.”

“Your husband wants to be Funtime Uncle, who comes in roles everyone up, dishes out sweets, makes sure they don’t make their bedtimes and then dips out when the children start having unpleasant reactions to the disruption.”

“These Y T A comments are unhinged and blatantly sexist.”

“Dads also have to f*cking parent. It is completely reasonable if the only partner doing any parenting puts their foot down on an unacceptable behavior partner.”

“EDIT: Because I’m feeling salty on OP’s behalf”

“God the sexism is strong here.”

“Why does dad always get to be the Funtime guy and mum always has to be the downer doing the actual parenting?”

“This is a huge problem in society. You’re sitting here perpetuating a sexist system as if it’s good for children.”

“You know what is really good for children having a father who is an active partner in parenting.”

“It’s also completely false that children won’t recognize as the grow that dad didn’t give enough of a sh*t about them to actually be present in their lives.”

“When they look back as adults it’s going to be mum they respect. Mum who provided the safe healthy environment for them to grow in.”

“Edit 2: thank you everyone for the awards and the upvotes! And to everyone else thank you for reminding me how exemplary my dad is!”

“I’ve got to go call him and remind him how awesome I think he is.” – winsomebunny

“NTA. Ignore the aggrieved men in the comments. If your husband wants to help with bedtime, then he needs to actually help with bedtime, not make it harder than it needs to be.”

“Or else he needs to do it alone and deal with the consequences of riling the boys up.” – jmbbl

“Yep if he wants to do bedtime- he could let the nanny go home early if he’s home on time and then genuinely do it.”

“Also everyone feels overwhelmed and like they can’t handle something when they first start doing it- your husband just needs to show up and try.”

“The first few times might be a disaster but he needs to learn.”

“You are 100 percent NTA here but I think the nanny is perhaps also supporting you in ways your husband doesn’t and this is an issue that needs addressing.”

“I sincerely hope your husband will listen to you here” – charlottie22


“‘But my husband also doesn’t want her to go home when he arrives as he says he can’t handle it alone.’”

“This is the crux of your situation. Horseplay and roughhousing are very important for your children’s development.”

“If Dad wants to take over and play hee-haw he can very well do that – that’s great! But, what he can’t do is take over, create a mess, and then have the nanny come to put out the fire.”

“If the nanny is going to be taking care of business we play by her rules. If Dad is going to be taking care of business then we can play by his.” – naisfurious

“NTA. As their dad, it is his job to make sure they are healthy and happy, and sticking to their routine is the best way of doing that. (Aside from special occasions, of course.)”

“Either he needs the nanny there or he doesn’t, but he can’t insist she stays and then makes her job worse.”

“I’m sure at his high profile job he would immediately sack someone who interfered with his ability to competently perform his duties.”

“If he wants to goof off with the kids, let him make time for them that isn’t at bedtime.” – tritoeat

“NTA. He’s trying to Disney Dad his way out of his guilt over being a Mainly-Absent parent. He needs to actually take responsibility for putting the kids to bed if he wants to disrupt the schedule.”

“He’s being very disingenuous by whining about being “replaced” by the nanny, but also refusing to let her go home because he doesn’t want to handle his own children alone.” – Basic-Regret-6263

“‘He told me I’m allowing the nanny to take over and replace him’”

“I mean, he’s not wrong, but that’s the situation. He’s gone all the time for work. You and the nanny are the primary “parents” in this situation.”

“Maybe it’s not the ideal situation, but that is the situation because of his job. He needs to come to terms with that instead of trying to assert his authority over her as the ’dad.’”

“Or he can change jobs to something that allows him to play a more active and present role in his kids’ lives.”

“NTA.” – andromache97

“NTA. Former nanny here. I loved the family, I still do, and I think they’re good parents.”

“My only issue with working for them is that they didn’t always respect my time…”

“…(they’d pay me extra when they were late but wouldn’t give me a heads up and I was a college student and was drowning in homework and a second job after watching their kids for 30-40 hours per week)…”

“…and the dad would come home and want to be the fun parent and ruin the routines.”

“And then the next day, it’s ‘why are the kids so cranky’, ‘why didn’t they do their extra study work’, ‘why didn’t they do their instrument practice’.”

“Oh, idk, maybe bc dad came home, told them they didn’t have to do anything they complained for more than 5 seconds to him about, and then he delayed bedtime by almost two hours???”

“Most kids need structure and routines and discipline, and Fun Dad is actually just Guilty Dad not Thinking About What’s Best for the Kids because He Currently Feels Bad About not Being Home.” – thoughts_are_hard

“‘He told me I’m allowing the nanny to take over and replace him.’”

“Welp. That’s how it goes when you’re never home. He doesn’t even want to parent.”

“He takes the kids for an hour at a time and gives them junk. Then he hands them back to you or your nanny. NTA.” – slendermanismydad

Hopefully, this family can find a routine that works for all of them.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)