For the past couple years I’ve been working part-part time for New Dimensions, Inc. Yep. The company that built my home. Nope. I did not receive a free house.
I have more to say on my job later. But this post is about finding a nanny.
I tried to skate along without childcare for a long time. Until the point where it became ridiculous. Why didn’t I want childcare? I don’t have a great reason. I like to do everything myself. It felt complicated to add another person to our mix. And I didn’t want to deal with it. And I didn’t work quite enough hours to justify help to myself.
But then I was asked to increase my hours and define the type of job I wanted to do. That opportunity I could not let pass me by.
So it was time to get help.
Dan and I decided that the nanny route would be best for us for a couple reasons:
+I did not want to pull Michael out of his preschool and into a different facility.
+I did not want to drive to three different places to drop off three kids every morning and every afternoon.
+Financially, a nanny would be a better fit than paying for two kids in daycare.
I was resistant to a nanny because I didn’t know how to manage that relationship. I also didn’t know how to go about finding a nanny. I wanted someone who would feel like a member of our family. Someone I would feel comfortable around in my bathroom (because I’m often not dressed until 5 minutes before I have to leave the house). I doubted that I could find that person.
At first, I asked for personal recommendations. I interviewed a couple of people, but either I didn’t feel a good connection or the days/times didn’t work out or both. I tried posting on my mom’s group Facebook page. I tried asking other preschool moms. But no one felt like quite the right fit for our family and our needs.
Very reluctantly I opened a care.com account. I’ve heard people who had great success on care.com. And people who didn’t. But we needed someone, and I was running out of options.
At first I felt overwhelmed on the site. There are a lot of caregivers. And trying to sift through them to find a match felt impossible. Here’s a few things I did:
+I created a very specific ad. I clearly spelled out the days and times I needed. I also asked for someone who was okay with pets and could drive. And also someone who would be willing to care for a child home sick from school. And she couldn’t live too far away.
+I put up personal information about us. I added a picture of our family. And I was upfront in saying I wanted someone who felt like a member of our family. If someone didn’t want that type of relationship, that’s fine. But then we would not be a good match.
+I was clear about who I was and our life. I said that I sometimes worked from home, sometimes would be gone all day, sometimes would be in and out. I needed someone who was okay with that.
I think being clear in my ad helped the people who were applying. When they messaged me about the job, I made sure a candidate was okay with the days/times before having her over for an interview. Sometimes I found the candidate met almost all the requirements…but could not work Wednesdays. Wednesdays are a must for me, so I had to be clear on that point.
I received several good matches, so I asked the candidates to come to our house to meet us. I needed a potential nanny to meet all of us – Dan included – because, I wanted someone comfortable with everyone in our family.
When I met with potential nannies, I was interested in a couple things:
+Can we communicate? Communicate is SUPER important to me. I know things will come up, she’d be stuck in traffic, she’d have a question about something with the kids, etc… I’m okay with all that – just tell me! I wanted someone who I felt could communicate well and let me know if she needs anything, if something’s going on and she needed help, etc…
+Good judgement. I prefer to not have to give a lot of directions. I wanted someone I could give minimal direction to and have her make herself at home and come up with a routine that works for her and the kids. Since she’s in charge, I need to trust her that she will keep everyone safe.
+Willing to do a few things for me around the house. I desperately needed help just putting the kid’s laundry away. If she was willing to help me with just that, I’d be over the moon.
+Kind. Someone who is kind is super important to me.
+And, of course, someone who loves the kids. If she could communicate and exercise good judgment, I wasn’t too concerned about her years of experience with kids. Just that she loved them in her way.
I’m so happy to report that I found her! I could not have found a better nanny if I cooked one up in a lab!
I can’t remember if she messaged me or I found her, but she was willing to come meet us, and I felt a connection to her from the minute I opened the door. She was honest, an excellent communicator, and I could tell she would be a great fit for our family.
Our sweet nanny, L, has been with us for a couple weeks now, and we all adore her. I’m glad I waited and really thought about what I needed and who I wanted to work with. L feels like part of our family, and we are truly lucky to have found her. I view her as a part of my support system – she supports me as much as she helps with the kids. She’s so easy to talk to and a dream to work with. I never worry when she’s in charge. I know she can handle anything, and she will let me know if she needs help.
I’m so impressed with her, and I tell her all the time how much we care for her and value her. She’s just the best.