Have You Ever Been Mistaken As Your Charge’s Mother?

Mother Mistaken for the Nanny of Her Mixed-Race Daughter by Colleen Egan

We posted this link to parentdish web site on our Be the Best Nanny Newsletter Facebook Page and asked if nannies have ever been mistaken as their charge’s mother and got some cute responses. So, we want to know if our blog readers have ever been mistaken as their charge’s mothers?

The article describes how Indian-American writer Nandini D’Souza’s daughter has her Irish-German husband’s fair skin and hair. She finds many people think she is her daughter’s nanny.

Click here to see the rest of the story.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook Page see more stories of nannies being mistaken as their charge’s mother.

Nannies and au pairs, do you have a funny story about being mistaken as a child’s mother?


  1. In relation to the article (rather than your question) a nanny friend of mine is white and is a nanny for African American family and everyone asks her when she adopted the kids?! That is outrageous and rude. I felt like it was racism when I have heard mothers ask her that, even though it might not qualify as racism.

  2. The first family I worked for 20 yrs ago called their grandmother "Nanny" so they were upset when anyone called me the nanny! Every family after that the confusion happens constantly. Even the teachers approach me as the mother. I just ALWAYS explain I am the nanny. Never want kids thinking I'm trying to replace their mother.

  3. I was really young at my first job and salespeople always thought the mother was the grandmother and I was the mother. It upset the mother a lot. I was always wondering how could they think at 18 yrs old I could have such a big kid?Yvonne in Austin

  4. I've been mistaken for their mom, aunt, and grandma. None of it bothers me.

  5. It is often hard to tell if a woman is a mother or a nanny/ People often ask me if I'm the nanny or the mom, or if my kids are adopted, since they're all very blonde and my hair is black. And no one ever believes me that my hair was that blonde when I was a baby. I am never insulted.

  6. It happens to me all the time because I am one of a few white nannies in town in a majorly white neighborhood in the Bible Belt. Back at home in NJ it wouldn't matter. No one cares about race or makes judgements about race. But it doesn't matter to me if people think I'm the mom or the nanny because I talk to moms and nannies the same way. Respect them all, approach them all, just tell them I'm the nanny if they ask or greet me as a mom.

  7. I am 64 yrs old and people ask, "He's not yours is he?" Imagine if he were, that would be embarrassing!

  8. I am 64 yrs old and people ask, "He's not yours is he?" Imagine if he were, that would be embarrassing!

  9. It is very common that nannies are often mistaken as the parents. It happens all the time. The real question should be.. are you treated differently after they find out you are the nanny and the parent?Kari

  10. They think I'm the grandmother all the time!

  11. In my first nanny job, I sometimes took my charges to church with me on Sunday mornings and even took them along on a choir retreat once to the mountains. I often worked on the week-end since my employers were in real estate. One Sunday, a woman from my church asked where the kids were and I replied, "Wow, I am so glad to get a day off on a Sunday!" She gave me a shocked look and said, "I would NEVER want a day off from my children, ESPECIALLY on a Sunday!" At first I was taken off guard, but soon got it that she assumed my charges were my children. I am sure there had been many parents who had made this assumption from just seeing us together so frequently. The next time I saw this woman I explained the situation and she was quite relieved that I was not really the monster of a mother she had assumed on our prior encounter!Hope you enjoyed the story,Cindy Wilkinson

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