Nanny and the Ex-Wife: the showdown (or just the introduction)

July 27th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  6 Comments

My custody arrangement for JP includes the provision that his mother and I cooperate on hiring anyone who will provide care for him. His mother lives very close to her parents, which means if she needs after school help, she can get it for free. Not that I have any complaint about that, but I also have no control over it. My parents can’t provide the same service, so, for example, we’ve hired a nanny for Ellie.

Under the custody arrangement, say I wanted to step out to the store for a second while the nanny and JP are in the house. It could be considered that the nanny, in those five minutes, was providing care for JP. I would therefore have to let his mother interview, and possibly even approve, this person who I hired to look after my other child. Needless to say I don’t want this.

From the start, then, our nanny has spent no time alone with JP. This has caused some tension, I think. JP immediately understood that the nanny was not there for him–unlike most guests to the house, she wouldn’t be roped into games, or reading him books, or any of the other things he likes. He isn’t mean to the nanny, exactly, just a little cool, as a result.

A couple of weeks ago, I forgot to take money out of the bank to pay the nanny on a Friday. I had JP in the house, Tomoko wasn’t around, and the nanny needed to go pick up her own children from daycare. I decided, in the interest of speed, to leave JP in the house with her and rush to the bank for the money.

I was on the street pedaling my bike for a grand total of two minutes when my ex wife passed me in her car, going the other way. Ten minutes after that, on my home, I received a text message from her stating that if the nanny was watching JP then she would like to conduct an interview and see what she thought. I told her no (although those weren’t the words I used).

Today, though, I had a change of heart. She is going to drop JP off at my house this evening before I get home. She will, then, get to meet our nanny. My understanding is that introductions will be made, but the bodyscan (my ex carries this sort of equipment with her everywhere) will be postponed for another day.

Here’s my thinking: the nanny doesn’t take care of JP because we don’t pay her to do so. Her job, and she does it well, is to take care of Ellie. Does that mean she can’t spend five minutes alone with JP during the very short period of time when we’re all in the house together (she usually leaves when I get home)? I think not. If, by introducing them, I can short-circuit later conflict–giving the dog my ex a bone–then I can only benefit.


  1. theslynch says:

    August 31st, 2011at 10:08 pm(#)

    I mean absolutely no disrespect–and I totally understand the power struggle–but really already. What’s the harm in having your ex-wife meet the damn nanny and then moving on with it?

  2. Mary says:

    September 1st, 2011at 4:29 pm(#)

    Sorry. Your ex wife is in the right here.

    If you’re leaving her child alone with another person to watch him, she has an absolute right to judge — since you seem to be rather immature and short-sighted — the quality of the person who wil be assuming control of him.

    Do you know what can happen in just a few short minutes when you have a child under your care? Is your nanny for the second child capable of caring for an infant and a toddler both?

    Let your wife make that decision. If you can’t care for your own two without outside help (and nice digs at the inlaws who gave you FREE child support for years, btw), then absolutely the more mature parent should step in and see for herself.

    Just please: no third Baby Momma for you, eh fella? Jokes aside about using the new one to pick up chicks, you seem verrrry immature for a man, and right now, those kids need to come before your inner kid.

    Glad that the first family you created understands that. They are stuck with you now, via the boy. (ps. Did your wife agree to have her new lesbian relationship splattered across the pages of the NYT? If not, nice job on invading your son’s private life like that, for the sake of your “who am I???” writing career.

    ps. Marry first, then make the babies. Who exactly is paying for their birth costs, the government (via the unwed mothers fund)?

    Grow up and take a bit of responsibility man. It’s not just about you, despite your special, superior Jewish genetics. 😉

  3. Lisa says:

    September 1st, 2011at 6:40 pm(#)

    You and your ex-wife are learning how to work together. That sometimes involves a bit of struggle, like now.

    Insofar as your mutual child is concerned, and in the interest of getting some inter-family harmony going on here (you two are going to be dealing with one another for a LOOOOOOOONG time, under the watchful gaze of your kid) it’s always a good idea, me thinks, to invite your ex over (with her significant person, if you’re comfortable) for a cup of coffee, during that time when your child is to be transitioned from your care to hers. Make it clear that you’re inviting her to drop by for coffee and to meet the nanny, that this trusted woman is already in your family’s employ, so this will be a meeting, not an interview.

    In that short amount of time – let’s say 15 to 25 minutes – you can have the nanny on hand, so as to “introduce” her to JP’s family. Everyone will be on their best and most progressive behavior, and this too shall blow over.

    You and the ex are in it for a long while. Might as well find a way to be dignified about it.

  4. Jill/Twipply Skood says:

    January 19th, 2012at 7:55 am(#)

    :-( It’s a hard, hard situation. I was lucky because my ex-husband really depends a lot on his mom so I more or less knew who would be taking care of the kids if he wasn’t around. Except of course for his girlfriend-then fiancee-then wife. But…the kids never complain about her so I’m guessing things have turned out ok in that regard. Still there are going to be soooooooooooo many other things – when is old enough to leave him alone and with no nanny or babysitter at all? When does he get to see an R rated movie. Tons and tons of stuff that you will either cooperate on OR he’ll have two sets of rules (or a combination of both. Or the same “rules” at both sets of houses, but he knows which ones he actually has to follow at which house and which house he can just pay lip service at which one). Either way, I don’t know your ex-wife and I’ve never even read your blog before (visiting from blogger father) and I imagine you have your reasons, but…if it would build up good will, it seems worth letting her meet the nanny. Unless Ellie is super, super attached to the nanny and she’s the most wonderful nanny in the world and you think your wife might get rid of her just to exercise power rather than thinking about what’s best for her kid. Other than that…

  5. Liz says:

    July 21st, 2012at 12:42 am(#)

    You really have to call your ex-wife a dog? That’s just not very classy. After all, she is the mother of your child. This is how your son will learn to treat women. Man up, buddy.


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