On Nannies…

The plan since the beginning has been that Meg is going back to work part-time in January. We’ve realized that means we have to decide on what to do with Leanne during the day. I suggested we just put out a few cans of food in the pack and play with her and she’d be fine. Even when we’re paying attention to her she shits through the diaper, so it’s not like she wouldn’t be used to it overflowing.

Our options centered around two ideas: day care and an in house nanny. Ultimately, we want Leanne to have the social interaction of day care, but we’re just not ready yet to trust her off in some strange place with a bunch of strangers. Instead, we’re more comfortable with her here in our familiar house and just one stranger.

Meg put an ad out on Craig’s List. It sounds really shady, but we didn’t really know what else to do. We got a bunch of replies, the majority of which can be filed into one of two categories:
– young chicks in college looking to baby sit part time for money
– older women who have kids that have grown up and miss being around them

It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that Meg and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye on where to begin the interview process. While I was investigating the legal ramifications of filtering the college chick list looking for red heads, Meg set up our first interview.

And so one night, Maureen came over for an interview. I’ve interviewed a lot of people at my various jobs. At one place in particular, I was doing at least 2-3 a week for a solid year. My interview style is simple: I try to make the interviewee cry. It was pretty easy with the amazing lack of talent HR would waste time with. Needless to say, I was a bit worried that I really had no idea what to ask this woman about.

“Here is my resume, security papers, and a photo album the last family I nannied gave me on my last day.”
“Ah… good… uh, security papers…”

Bad start for the interviewer: the interviewee knows more than you. I totally hadn’t even thought to ask people about that. Hell, I didn’t really know a certification like that existed.

The interview only got better from there. She arrived at 7, which is right around Leanne’s fussy time. But amazingly, Maureen held Leanne the entire time and we didn’t hear a peep. She had Leanne’s seal of approval. We called her references, but realistically, we didn’t need to. We couldn’t believe our luck in finding her on our first attempt. She’s also a wealth of knowledge from both raising her kids and previous nanny jobs, so it’ll be nice to have an extra opinion.

So now we not only have a plan for January, but a babysitter in the meantime. We’re aiming to have her come out a few times between now and January to get to know Leanne better (not that she really needs to based on her interview). All that’s left is to make sure Meg doesn’t decide she likes staying at home every day :)

3 comments

  1. I gotta put my two cents in here…While I chose to stay home with my kids I am in no way biased against Moms who work outside the home. That being said and being a cop’s daughter I’m ESPECIALLY paranoid about the people that I let my kids around. For the better part of my life I have heard countless stories about horrific things that happen to children not to mention all those shows on tv with the hidden cameras. I would suggest finding an agency who specifically handles Nanny placement. If you can’t find that, go with a reputable daycare. At least with a daycare center, you can drop in unexpectedly, they have to be certified by the state and all the people who work there have to have background checks. You should probably do that with a potential nanny too. Ask people you know or work with where they bring their kids, rather than calling a bunch of people who are listed as references, honestly, you never know who you’re really talking to. If you don’t know anyone, drop by a daycare center around 5-6pm when most parents are picking up their kids ask them how they like it!

  2. I have been truly blessed and have been able to stay at home with my kids since our second one was born. I had to find daycare for my oldest son when he was little and we went through a babysitting agency. I honestly don’t know how this woman got licensed! She was a foster mom for the State and had several children in her home, plus watched a few during the day. As time passed, the foster kids got comfortable talking to me and let me in on a few things she was doing to all of them. Horror stories here–she CLEARLY was in this only for the money. The next woman we went to was an angel sent from heaven. She had her daycare in her home, a huge fenced in yard for the kids to play in, and numerous activities for the kids to do–a somewhat set routine for them, which I wholeheartedly believe in. Consistancy in a child’s life makes them a better person. While I’m sure that there are many wonderful daycares out there, I personally like the Mom at home minding a few kids if you cannot find one to come to your home. As for the college chick coming, unless it was someone you really know, I would be hesitant. I’d prefer someone who has lots of experience and are focussed on Leanne not how much homework they have to do after the job, or are attempting to get it done while they are suppose to be minding Leanne. Just my 2cents.

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