Monday, December 10, 2012

Mary Poppins...finding the right nanny for baby JOE

When I was younger, one of my favorite movies was Mary Poppins. I love it so much I still remember the words to the song Supercalisfragilisticespealidocious!
It's no surprise then that when J and I started looking for a nanny for little JOE, the image I had in mind for a nanny was skewed. I was expecting a nanny who would come and blow me away with her skills and immediate connection with Jordan. My experience so far during the nanny search process has been far from the way it was in the movie.

J & I started the search 2-weeks ago. Yes, I know we are late in the game but we didn't want to hire someone and tell them they couldn't start for another 2 months.
We decided to use care.com based on some positive feedback we have received from close friends.
So here is an account of our interview process. In hind sight, I can laugh now but when it occurred, it wasn't so funny.

Nanny #1showed up dressed to the 9s. She had on heels that clearly weren't kid friendly and she spent the entire interview playing with her hair! Our ad asked that the nanny be CPR and first aid certified. This lady had neither and when asked if she planned on getting it, her response was "hmmm...you know what? I have seen that a lot of people have been asking about that so perhaps I need to get it." She then spent the rest of the interview talking about the pictures we have around our place. She did not once ask any question about Jordan and never once asked to hold her or see her.

Nanny #2 was really good. We really liked her and since she has worked as a au pair before, she met all of our requirements. However, she didn't want to come to our place to watch JOE. She wanted us to bring her to her house. She lives 15 minutes in the opposite direction of J's and my job so that would add 30 minutes to his commute every morning and to my commute every evening. Needless to say, it was not favorable for us. But even then, we decided to make her an offer with the stipulation that she come to our place. She turned down the offer so we decided to continue the search.

In the meantime, we decided to check out a couple of daycares. That was a traumatizing experience for J & I and mostly because of the way the newborns were being cared for. In one place, one of the caregivers changed a kid and then proceeded to feed another child WITHOUT washing her hands first. That freaked me out. I know they are busy but for a newborn, that's a no no in my book.
The other place had too many coughing kids and was overcrowded. J and I decided we should continue with the nanny search. Plus when we crunched the number,the price difference between a daycare and nanny care was $1.50/hour. J & I were willing to part with that $1.50 to ensure a more personal care for our little JOE.

Nanny #3 cared more about the money than about JOE. When asked about her experience with newborns, she kept referring to her son. Ok...nothing wrong with that except for the fact that her son is 27! Ummm...that doesn't give me much confidence when your last experience was 27 years ago and was only with one kid! Oh and before she left, she wanted to know about the benefits plan. I did mention to her that this is a live-out nanny position AND our ad clearly stated what we were looking for.

Nanny #4 was awesome! She asked for a parents handbook which includes our contact information and who to call when there was an issue. She also gave us quite a few tips during the interview process. AND she was the only candidate who asked to hold JOE to see if there was a connection. JOE was awake and alert and actually smiled at her! We were very impressed with her.

Nanny #5 was "special". There was just too much to go into. The one interesting aspect of the interview was when J asked "what age kids do you typically like to work with?" Her response was "2 - 3 year olds because I don't know what to do when babies cry." I thought I was being punked! Who shows up for a nanny interview for a newborn and isn't comfortable taking care of newborns? Oh and did I mention she used to be an au pair? When asked about that, she said "yes, I watched some babies to fulfill my au pair requirement." Yup...I was ready to end the interview there and then but J wanted to be polite.

2 other candidates confirmed the times but never showed up. Oh well...better they do that now than after I hire them.

At the end of the day, we made an offer to nanny #4. We truly hope it works out! I will keep you posted!

For those who had to make childcare decisions, how did you make it? Do you like your current childcare arrangements?

14 comments:

  1. Wow! People do this type of stuff in real life! Crazy!!

    I hope #4 accepts your offer!

    Mary Poppins is one of my favorite movies :)

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  2. With my older daughter, my baby-sitter actually offered her services to me. I was going to be a teacher at a Catholic school and one day, my future baby-sitter came up to me and said if I needed someone to watch my baby she would be willing to do it. I asked everyone on the faculty about her and she got a ringing endorsement from everyone.

    With my second babe, I was now living across the country. My good friend used Au Pair in America for her two boys. I used them for two years. What I liked about it was that my baby had an awesome au pair who adored her. What I didn't like was that the au pair was only in your life for a year. The other au pairs after the first one was miserable. Then we used a local pre-school that was considered one of the best in the area.

    That is my daycare story.

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    1. Oh wow...that is awesome when your can get a good child care giver. Glad it all worked out in the end for you :-).

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  3. #4 sounds awesome, I hope she's everything u r looking for :)

    Couldn't help but laugh at some of those other nanny's responses.

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    1. Thank you! She did. And yes in hind sight, some of those responses were hilarious!

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  4. Nanny #4 sounds like a winner! Care.com and Sittercity.com are good places to start your search but as you can tell some of the folks on their are whackos. Care.com is where we found our nanny we fired after 1.5 days on the job. Anyway I hope it all works out for you. If you are at all interested in a live in nanny position one of my good friends told me about her family friend, an older African lady in Dallas who is looking to work as a live in nanny. We already have a child care situation I am very happy with so I didn't want to rock the boat, but if you'd like to hear more I can give you the contact info!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! #4 accepted so fingers crossed it all works out. John isn't open to the idea of a live in just yet but I will definitely keep that in mind should the situation change.

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  5. Dude finding someone to trust with your child is probably the hardest thing ever. Nanny#4 does sound pretty good. Wishing you luck with this. Hope to hear some good news about her and JOE getting along and all the great job she is doing.

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  6. You are so right! It is really hard and now even thinking about it scares me but I can't take JOE to work with me so I have to trust someone :-/.

    #4 accepted our offer so now, fingers crossed it all works out.

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  7. I'm glad you were able to find someone you trust...

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  8. I chuckled a little at # 1 and 2...sorry! :) number 4 sounds like a definite winner! I hope she accepts!
    Much Love
    Chari T (deep fried stilettos)

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