Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I don't know what to do. I feel like my world has just been thrown into chaos. I seriously don't have a CLUE how to handle this.

I think my nanny, S, who is my salvation, is smoking.

Let me rephrase that. Or back up. Or both. We found her through an online matching service. We stated that we were looking for a non-smoker; her application said she was a non-smoker. We may or may not have verified this when we interviewed her; I really don't remember.

A couple months ago, she left her bag on my kitchen table, and I noticed a pack of cigarettes. She's French, my nanny, so it's not SO shocking, and I was disappointed, but I figured, OK, what she does on her own time is her own business.

Today, I had to go pick up DD1 from camp. I exited the house into the garage and noticed as I did so that someone -- S, I assumed -- was closing the side door to the house. In other words, that person had been outside and was going back inside. And I thought -- weird, I didn't see her take the trash out. And then I saw a little cigarette butt by the doormat. And my heart sank.

You know what made it sink even lower? The fact that the butt was GONE when I came back from my camp run.

So. It's not that I think S. is smoking so much as that I KNOW she is, and I don't know what to do. I HATE the thought of secondhand smoke being around my kids. Do I get rid of an AMAZING nanny/housekeeper over this? WHAT DO I DO?


3MGA mom said...

That must be stressful. I think that you should just tell her you saw her outside, and that you don't care if she smokes on her own time, but that you don't want it done around your kids or property (house, car, etc.). I think most smokers understand that people don't want to be exposed, especially kids. Try not to attack, but just a "we never really discussed this, but..." and you have your original matching form to fall back on.

If this is the first you're seeing of it, maybe there's something going on with her? As a reformed smoker, I know I only crave a smoke when I'm stressed. Or drinking, but let's hope she's not doing that around the kids, either.

Anonymous said...

oh jeez. i have no idea. i think 3mga mom is right. maybe try to be kind and understanding but very firm and clear in your desire. you can say that when you were screening applicants, she passed the test on that criteria and that it was very important to you, and tell her why. i don't know if she's much of a talker, but maybe she'll help you out and be honest so you don't feel like you're admonishing her. good luck!!

3MGA mom said...

I like people who think I'm right :)

mamatulip said...

I'd feel the exact same way that you do. I'm going to side with 3mga mom on this one -- approach her and see what's going on, and, if needs be, you can make a further decision based on her answer and how she responds to you.

Good luck!