A mum-of-one has taken to Reddit to find out whether she was in the wrong for firing her nanny after making a 'creepy' discovery.
Taking to the Am I the A**hole subreddit, the woman wrote, "I (35F) am Asian American and my SO (38M) is white. Our child (2) ended up getting all of my SO’s recessive genes and looks almost entirely white.
"This is a rather sore point for me since I often get mistaken for the babysitter. We have a nanny (Mary) (25F) who coincidentally has the same colour hair and eyes as my child (very light, golden brown hair and greenish hazel eyes). Mary is great with my child and she seems to genuinely care about my child."
She continued, saying she works "unusual and long hours" as an emergency physician and doesn't see her neighbours very often.
"Today, I happened to have a day off and ran into my neighbour while walking with my child. The neighbour said hi to my child and asked if I was the new nanny. I said no, I’m the mom. The neighbour seemed very confused and said that she had been under the impression that Mary was the mom.
"At first I was annoyed but assumed it was an honest mistake (a lot of people think this when they see them together bc of their similar colouring). However, my neighbour then told me that Mary was telling people she was the mom and that she had heard my child refer to Mary as 'mama.'"
The Reddit user added, "I confronted Mary about this the next time she was over and she basically brushed it off and said she didn’t actually tell people that, she just didn’t correct their assumptions. I then asked her about my child calling her 'mama' and Mary told me it’s short for Mary (her name isn’t actually Mary btw, but it is a name that starts with 'Ma' also).
"I was really angry at that point and told her she was fired. She got very upset and started crying, saying she needed the money, that she loved my child, and that this was incredibly unfair. I stood my ground and she left. (I ended up leaving my child with my mom so I could go to work.)"
She added that her husband was upset that she had fired Mary without having a backup plan or consulting him so they could discuss it.
"My husband thinks I overreacted and that I’m just sensitive to this issue bc our child doesn’t look like me," she added. "I do kind of feel like an AH now bc our childcare situation is a mess and Mary is out of work with no notice. But at the same time, it feels really sketchy to me that someone is masquerading as my child’s mother."
The mother also shared an edit to add, "I want to clarify that my sensitivity doesn’t stem from the fact that my child doesn’t look like me physically, but the racial undertones that come with the automatic assumption that I (a POC) must be the babysitter."
"I am bothered by the inherent racism in the fact that the vast majority of people assume that I must be a babysitter, despite the fact that my child is clearly treating me as a mother."
She continued, "This post made me reflect on why I became so upset with Mary and realised that I had excused many microaggressions by Mary because of her youth and her otherwise good relationship with my child. For example, Mary only ever gave my child the lighter-skinned dolls (despite us having dolls of all skin tones), Mary joked about how much safer our neighbourhood was than hers, Mary never gave my child Asian food (even though I would leave a lot in the fridge and encourage her to heat it up), etc.
"Maybe some of you will not understand the significance of such microaggressions, but these sort of subtle actions shape the mindset of young children. That being said, I do sympathise with Mary’s financial situation so I will offer her some severance pay."
Reddit users agreed with the poster, saying she was "NTA [not the a**hole]".
"NTA - that nanny overstepped and is creepy as hell for saying she is the child’s mother," one user commented. "You got rid of her in time before she started acting crazy and doing something that could cause harm to the child so good on you."
"NTA - My mother is Asian and my father is white; he remarried a white woman and has blonde kids with her and I am mistaken for the babysitter all the time," another person wrote. "It IS painful!! I’m validating your pain bc it’s real and legitimate and hurtful when you are constantly reminded that your loved ones don’t look like you and you are made to feel DIFFERENT than them bc of it!
"It’s really f***ing weird she wouldn’t correct people and was possibly even pretending your child was hers?? That definitely crossed a boundary. It could have been a first warning, but I also respect your right to fire the person around your CHILD for this reason too."
"NTA - look, your nanny 100% overstepped and shouldn't have done what she did," a third wrote. "That is a huge breach of trust, and can be confusing for your child. There is no reason to keep her on while you find someone else."
Others compared it to a true crime story, while some said she was in the wrong for making such a "rash decision" when she should have spoken to her husband first, however, they agreed she was in the right to protect her child and for that she was not in the wrong.
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