You've already done so much — you've found a suitable spouse,
navigated procreation, balanced your career with your family life, and most
importantly, you've found a nanny that you love.
And that wasn't easy. You endured all the
interviews, figured out how to pay her taxes and survived the false starts. You can even think about that sweet woman who
quit the morning before she was supposed to start or the high-energy dynamo who
failed to produce her citizenship papers without breaking out into a cold sweat.
It's a long, harrowing road to finding the caretaker who
will watch your children when you are busy "having it all." When you find The One, you may be so relieved
to have her as part of your family that you miss signs that the relationship
has changed. Important signs. You may be
cruising along happily through your third anniversary with your nanny, and you, who are smart, insightful and perceptive, may miss the signs that your nanny is
But I'm here to help. There are signs, and underneath your denial, my little ostrich with her
head in the sand, you can read them and prepare yourself for a big, big change
that's coming whether you see it or not.
1. She's got
funky cravings: If your nanny, who
for three straight years has stridently proclaimed that she never eats
breakfast, suddenly starts arriving with kiwi crepes or spinach-egg-and-peanut
butter sandwiches, you should take note. If someone in your household is eating pickles faster than Costco can
jar them, you need to wake up and smell the cliché: Someone is pregnant, and if
it's not you, it might be your nanny.
If the universe sends you this clue, it's a softball. Straight to the head. Don't ignore it.
2. She takes
your kids shopping at Motherhood Maternity: My own denial ran deep. Really
deep. But I remember the day it
shattered around me like a Lincoln log house attacked by a toddler. It went something like this: My daughter came
home and told me that she ran a few errands with the nanny after school. I was thinking the post office, bank or drug
store. Nope. "We went with her to get a new bra because
her breasts were hurting. The place was
called Motherhood." Ya'll, Motherhood is
a maternity store. If the universe sends
you this clue, it's a softball. Straight
to the head. Don't ignore it.
throwing up after meals: One of the reasons I hired my nanny was because
she was bright and loving. I also liked
that I didn't detect a dysfunctional relationship with food. So, when my son told me that she "threw up a
lot after eating," it strained credulity to assume she'd developed
bulimia. If it smells like morning
sickness and looks like morning sickness, then don't diagnose her with an
4. She asks
if you have any old baby clothes you want to get rid of. You're going to be tempted to assume she's
asking for her niece. Or her
neighbor. Or for children back in her
home country. She's not. She asking you for clothes for HER BABY — the one growing in her womb as we speak; the one that's the size of a grapefruit and
will be here before you know it.
5. She asks
to leave early for an ultrasound. Yes, people have ultrasounds for lots of reasons. But if your nanny is leaving work a little
early every month to get one, then
you have something more than a torn meniscus on your hands. You have a pregnant nanny. And you better accept it and make
arrangements before she goes into labor.