The right nanny can make a major difference in the atmosphere of your home. You want someone who is competent and experienced taking care of children (obviously), but who also loves and cherishes your child, too. Finding that perfect person feels like a godsend … that is, until something happens to rock the boat. This one mom on Reddit got frustrated when her nanny demanded payment for some unauthorized purchases, but Redditors had her back for a very compelling reason.
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a mom wrote in that her nanny wanted reimbursement for books she bought her 12-year-old daughter named Ruby. “Ruby is also a big reader and has started to collect a few of the old Star Trek books that she finds in used bookstores and thrift stores,” the mom wrote, adding that these books are usually no more than a couple dollars at most.
The nanny, a 22-year-old named Tessa, has been with the family for over a year and they “get along great.” In fact, Tessa seems to like Ruby so much that she keeps an eye out for books she might be interested while she’s out thrift shopping. “This is not typically a problem and Ruby always pays Tessa back for the books using her allowance,” the mom continued.
How thoughtful! It seems like they have a sweet relationship, but it all came to a head during a recent family vacation that Tessa went on. She went thrifting during the trip and texted Ruby to ask if she should buy some books that she’d found.
“Well Tessa returned yesterday with a stack of about 35 books and told Ruby they cost $50,” the mom continued. “Ruby doesn’t have this much money and told Tessa. Tessa then asked me if I would cover the cost. I said no as Tessa had never asked me about buying Ruby the books, nor was I aware of the conversation between the two of them.”
I can see how this would be hard for the nanny. She just wants to get the girl something she would enjoy and probably didn’t even realize the mom would refuse to pay her back.
The mom explained that after Tessa got upset, she asked Ruby to show her the texts, “which made no mention of price, or even the amount of books she was buying. Tessa only said that she found ‘some’ books for Ruby.”
Later, the mom explained that because Tessa had only ever bought Ruby one or two books at a time before, Ruby would have had no idea about the cost. “I told her that she should have clarified with Ruby regarding the amount, or double checked with me before purchasing, and that I would not be paying the $50,” the mom went on. “Tessa said she could not return the books because they came from the thrift store. I stood firm in my decision and reiterated that she should have asked me first.”
“Tessa left and Ruby is very upset,” the mom continued. “I know Tessa is a student and does not have a ton of money so am I the asshole for not paying Tessa for the books?”
I mean, I get that you weren’t expecting to have to dish out $50, but it’s for books for your kid. Sure, have a talk with your nanny about not making such a large purchase without running it by you again, but just pay the $50 and move on. Especially since the mom added in a note that “$50 will not make or break the bank.” C’mon!
The mom doesn’t even pay for Tessa’s services in the first place: “Because Ruby is on the [autism] spectrum, she is entitled to benefits from our state, including care. The agency I work with pays Tessa. I am not involved in that process at all,” she explained. So, yeah, you can afford to cough up the cash for your child’s books.
She does provide extra money each month for Tessa to take Ruby to the mall or movies, but “she had already used it up” when buying those $50 worth of books. It’s just the nit-picking that is so exhausting. Why ruin a perfectly good relationship over something so small?
“Sometimes it’s better to salvage an important relationship than to be right,” a comment with 33.4k likes said. “Pay for the books. Let Tessa know that you can’t do so in the future, though, without talking about it. Tell her how much you appreciate her thoughtfulness, now and always.”
“This is the right answer,” another chimed in. “And then get your daughter a library card.” Win-win for everyone!
“Yep. As the old saying goes … would you rather be right? Or would you rather be happy? Some battles just aren’t worth it,” someone else noted.
Others had some problems with Tessa not going straight to the mom. “What sort of nanny asks a twelve year old if they want something (of course they’re going to say yes) and then asks them to fork out $50?” one person said. “What sort of nanny doesn’t get parental approval first? That’s so inappropriate and shows poor judgment and etiquette.”
Fair point, but also, what’s done is done. Use this as a learning moment and keep the great relationship that you’ve built up with your daughter and her nanny over the last year.
“Yes, OP isn’t wrong to be upset, but is the $50 worth damaging the relationship with the nanny/potentially having to find a new one?” someone else commented. “OP could even deduct the $50 in increments from the extra $ she gives Tessa to spend on/with Ruby or from Ruby’s allowance.”
Another wrote, “YTA. Jesus, you’re stingy. You’re blessed with a very thoughtful nanny who thinks of your child even when she’s not at work. There was a misunderstanding about the cost. All you had to do to behave decently was pay her but ask her to please confirm amounts with Ruby in the future and that if it happens again you won’t be able to pay for it.”
“Your nanny thought she was doing something great for your kid,” someone else said. “It’s fine to set a boundary after a misunderstanding but your really not going to reimburse a young adult who was just trying to encourage and care for your kid? Seriously think about it.”
Exactly. It may be annoying — and, fine, pay her back in increments if you have to! — but don’t ruin an amazing nanny-child relationship over something this petty. It was a misunderstanding, and one that popped up out of genuine love for the daughter. The mom should consider herself lucky to have someone that cares about her child that much, even while on vacation!
Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s most ridiculous grown children.
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