A woman is questioning whether she made a mistake by suggesting to her husband that their nanny should be in charge during the night-time routine with their children.
A mother of three, who we’ll call Julie, is seeking advice after her husband’s reluctance to discipline their children during bath and bedtime routines has caused a rift in their family.
The mother, who works a regular 9-5 job, hired a nanny to help with the children’s care. Her husband’s high-profile job means he is often away from home, leaving her to handle the children’s routines alone, which is why she needed to hire someone to help her with taking care of the children.
Julie explained that the nanny has become like a third parent to their children, and they have developed a routine that works well for everyone.
“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.”
Father Lets Children Do What They Want
However, when the father is home, he allows the children to roughhouse and break the routine, causing delays in bedtime.
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.”
Difficulties In Night Time Routines
The nanny has shared that she feels awkward in these situations, but the father is reluctant to be firm with the children.
“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.
Julie Confronts Her Husband
Julie has suggested that if the father cannot be firm with the children during these routines, he should defer to the nanny’s lead. She argues that the nanny knows the children best and 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.”
Julie acknowledges that this is a privileged issue, but she is seeking perspective on her opinion. She wants to ensure that the nanny is treated fairly and that her husband is not undermining her authority.
Others Agree With Julie
Many agree with Julie’s position. They say that if her husband wants to help with bedtime, he has to provide help and not make the routine more difficult than it already is.
“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.”
What would you do in this situation?