The Scrooge Parent

November 21, 2012

​The other day, we received an email from a stressed parent looking for a Calgary nanny. She’s worried she’ll be referred to as the ‘Scrooge Parent’. What do you think?

My nanny has just informed me that she is going away between Christmas and New Years to be with her family in another province. My husband and I both have to work, so need her to work. Am I a Scrooge if I say she can’t have the time off? It’s too late to find someone for a few weeks!

First, don’t panic! The most important thing is that you get started on a solution right away. Don’t wait, act now! Here are a few possibilities for you:

  • Ask your nanny if there’s another time she can go away, as you really need her to work. Of course she wants to be with her family during the holidays, but see if she would be willing to choose a different holiday, or take less time off. 
  • Let her know that you will try to find someone to cover for her while she’s away. In fact, ask her if she can recommend someone!
  • Look for a short-term nanny. You may be surprised, but there may be nannies in the opposite situation where the family doesn't need them to work, so they’d be available for that week. Ask friends, family and co-workers and post an ad for a short term nanny on
  • For registered families of, post a free ad to share a nanny with another family. This allows you to connect with other families in your area who may be able to share their nanny or take your children in for the week.
  • Do you have friends and/or neighbours that can help you out, or a combination of people? Perhaps you can drop your children off at their friend’s houses for a few days, then a neighbour can entertain them for a day or two.

There really is no nice way to say it… you will seem like Scrooge if you straight out say “no” to your nanny. For the sake of your relationship with your children’s caregiver, it is very important to show her that you care about her needs.

What do you think? What would you do in this situation? Have you been in this situation before?

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