EXPERT Q&A

My former nanny family ghosted me. What can I do?

Saying goodbye to your nanny family is never easy. Nanny expert Martha Tyler shares guidance to help cope if your nanny family ghosts you.

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Question

I worked as a full-time nanny for a family with 2 young boys for nearly a year until I moved out of state. I had a great relationship with the parents, and the mom was really upset when I told her I was moving away. They took me out to dinner to say goodbye, and it seemed we were parting ways on good terms. But then I never heard from them again. I’ve occasionally reached out on social media, but every attempt I make is ignored. I’m really hurt by this—after all, I felt like part of the family during my employment. Is this normal, and is there anything I can do?

Answer

Wow, this is such a difficult part of nannying. You are not alone at all in this but it still hurts all the same. Sometimes families believe that their kids can’t handle the change in connection with a nanny after they are no longer the nanny. Sometimes families get overwhelmed later and decide to cut off contact. Whatever their reasons, the hurt you feel is real and valid. Now you have to figure out how to mourn on your own so that you can fully move on. Here are some ideas to help with that:

  • Write them a letter and don’t hold back any feelings—and then don’t send it. Say everything you want to say in the letter, just as if you will send it to them. But don’t. This can help you sort through your feelings and give you some closure even when you can’t actually get it from the family.
  • Write a letter to the kids and maybe do send those. If you wanted to write a kind and heartfelt letter to each child and send it in the mail, I think that would be fine. I would not mention anything about how hurt you are or assign any blame in these letters. But you can say that you miss them and you were thinking about them. You can also ask questions about things you know they love and enjoy. Be sure not to expect an answer as one might not come. But this can also help you find closure.
  • Make a memory book for yourself about those kids and that family. I don’t know about you but I have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of my nanny kids. Creating a book out of those pictures can be a great way to find closure and be able to revisit those kids in the future if only through your pictures.

Sadly, part of our job is to eventually leave. However, when the family cuts you off it can be so hurtful. Do a lot of self-care and be gentle with yourself as you sort through the hurt feelings. Wishing you closure and healing, and remember, we are here for you.

Meet The Expert


Martha Tyler

Martha has her Masters in Education and is a certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. She has worked as a sitter, nanny, tutor, or teaching artist over the past 20+ years. In addition, Martha has hosted a child care podcast, Chronicles of Nannya, for several years. She is also the co-founder of Compassionate Childcare LLC and is thrilled to be able to share her experience, knowledge, and resources with CareNectar!