Single Dad Slammed for Complaints Over Good-Natured Nanny: 'Just Shut Up'

Internet commenters were in disbelief after one single father claimed his kids' nanny is too much fun.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Adventurous_Bear_596 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said both of his children adore their daily caretaker but expressed concern about her ability to turn the most mundane activities into thrilling adventures.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for trying to make my kids' nanny less fun?" the post has received nearly 4,000 upvotes and 2,000 comments in the last day.

"I (M 35) am a single dad...and I have a babysitter/nanny, a sewing buddy of my mom's," OP began. "Nelly...is pretty flexible hour wise, which I need for my job."

Continuing to explain that behavioral issues have driven other caretakers away, the original poster said Nelly is great with his children, and that her fondness for the pair is reciprocated.

The original poster also issued a major complaint about the nanny—she's too much fun.

"She turns EVERYTHING into a game...lunch becomes a restaurant, car a magic pumpkin or spaceship," OP wrote. "When one of the kids acts out, she hugs them or carries them around. No scolding or correction.

"I see a lot of potential problems with this: I love playing with my kids, but there is a time to play and a time to work," OP continued. "Not everything in life will be fun, some things are boring or sad and they have to learn how to deal with that.

"I want to date again and I am worried the kids will hate every woman that doesn't act like a clown for them after Nelly," OP added. "My mom, who is close to my kids, thinks I should just shut up and be grateful for the flexibility...because I don't have time to find someone new and the kids love her."

Childcare costs in the United States have been skyrocketing since the beginning of the pandemic.

Earlier this year, Care.com's annual Cost of Care Survey revealed that nearly 60 percent of parents in are more concerned about paying for childcare than in previous years.

The 2022 Cost of Care Survey also revealed that while the national threshold for affordable childcare remains at 7 percent of a household's combined income, 72 percent of parents are spending at least 10 percent of their income, and 51 percent are allocating more than 20.

And with daycare centers continuing to close their doors across the country, more and more parents are forced to consider other childcare options, including nannies.

But with flexible hours and greater capacity for one-on-one care, a good family nanny comes at a cost.

Last year, Care.com reports that the average weekly rate for a one-child nanny was $694, up from $565 in 2019. For a nanny responsible for two children, that figure jumps to $715 per week, marking a $130 increase from 2019.

However, more than 214,000 households in the U.S. continue to employ family nannies and according to parenting website BabyCenter, "parents who have good nannies swear by them," especially when their kids do, too.

Arts & crafts with family nanny
A nanny and two children making arts and crafts. Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole were astounded when one father said his kids have too much fun with their nanny. Lordn/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors called out the original poster for his nanny complaints and advised him to appreciate the person who takes care of children and has clearly created a bond with both of them.

"[You're the a**hole]," Redditor u/Standard-Park wrote in the post's top comment, which has received more than 18,000 upvotes. "Instead of firing Nelly, you need to step up and be a better parent.

"Learn the songs and dance with your freaking kids!" they exclaimed. "[I don't know] what you're even complaining about, this woman is literally Mary Poppins."

Redditor u/Motor_Crow4482, whose comment has received more than 5,000 upvotes, echoed that sentiment.

"Nelly sounds terrific and like someone you can collaborate with and learn from," they wrote. "If your kids want to sing and dance while they do chores, why don't you just encourage them to show you how they like to do it?

"I don't see the problem with...creating positive associations with responsibilities - sounds like something that will benefit everyone in the long run," they added. "Nelly's a gem, don't f**k this up."

"I think that asking her to enforce rules is a bit more reasonable," Redditor u/ktjay224 chimed in, receiving more than 2,500 upvotes. "But being mad that she makes chores fun? Super unreasonable.

"Be glad you have someone like that in your children's lives and embrace it," they advised. "Don't decrease it."

Newsweek reached out to u/Adventurous_Bear_596 for comment.