Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The never-ending story of searching for a nanny.

For the past few months, we've been searching for a very part time nanny.

We have a good structure going on here at home with both kids, a good nap schedule, fun playdates on other days of the week that provide social interaction with same-aged peers, and because of tot school - Little Man is ahead of the game in learning, already knowing at least 8-10 shapes, at least 5 colors (and we work on that every day), a bunch of letters, and some numbers.  I'm not a huge fan of really large daycares because you typically don't know the kids your child interacts with every day.  In our case, when around a bunch of kids we don't know, Little Man started to bring home behaviors that he'd never seen in our environment from some of the other kids who were not particularly well-behaved.

Little Man working on a tot school shapes activity

Anyway, center based daycare is out for us regardless because they either require pay for more days per week than we'd need {who wants to pay for services they're not using?} or so cost-prohibitive for the time we did need that what I'd take home after paying daycare wasn't enough to warrant me working.  Having a nanny in the house would help our kids keep their own schedules, decrease the amount of sickness to which they'd be exposed (especially since Little Lady has never been sick yet in her life), and be a whole lot easier for DH and I.

Mainly, I would like to pick up a little bit of work during the week on one day {in addition to my weekend shifts that I already work} to cover some projects we have coming up and help a co-worker begin to transition into retirement.  Additionally, since we have no family here, it'd be nice to have someone we can call upon for a little bit of help every so often for things like date nights, doctor's appointments, and other random things that come up.

{Here's where I disclose that I'm on my last pair of contacts that I've stretched out wayyyy past their prime, I can't remember the last time I had my teeth cleaned, and I only get my hair cut maybe once per year.  I know, I'm totally gross.  We just have no one here that can stop by the house and watch the kids for an hour or two in order for me to do this stuff, and it's impossible to take both kids with.  Believe me, I've tried...}

We've recently interviewed a bunch of applicants to nanny our kids and so far have had not one actually work out for us, which is getting to be massively frustrating.  We've tried personal referrals to people, contacted a nanny staffing service, and messaged the heck out of a TON of people on care dot com and sitter city, to no avail.  However, in the search, we've heard lots of fun suggestions from the possible nanny applicants, including the following:

- That we should have a fence in our yard, because it's endangering our kids not to have one.  {We have a pond out back, but we also have one non-mobile baby and one mobile toddler who minds our limits very well.}

- That Little Lady shouldn't be sleeping in a Rock N' Play sleeper, because it's going to stunt her growth.

- That Little Lady should have a blanket on when she sleeps, because babies just like to cuddle up to something - and not just a sleep sack.  {Um, yep, I'm pretty sure that's against every SIDS recommendation I've ever heard.}

- That I should be cutting up Little Man's food smaller {implying that he was going to choke on the bite sizes I was giving him}

- That I should be giving Little Man castor oil to make him poop in order to potty train him more easily.

- That homeschooling won't ever be successful because children innately don't respond to their parents as authoritative figures {this was right after I went through our daily routine of Tot School activities}

- That I was offering too many options {I typically give Little Man a choice of two to give him some control over his environment}, and I should be just telling him what to do.

- And one of the biggies: when one possible nanny spent like 10 minutes asking our religion, our parents' religions, our thoughts on religion, if we go to church, etc.  Then after I'd expressed our views, she still asked to teach our children bible stories.  A half hour later she asked if she could pray in front of the kids.  

Sadly, these were only a few of the many pieces of parenting advice we were given while searching for a nanny, as there has been so much advice given I can't remember it all.  I'm sort of scratching my head in wonder where it all came from with each person, as I definitely didn't ask.  We're at a stage in parenting where we feel pretty comfortable about our style and our comfort level, and it was pretty off-putting to have people coming into our home and telling us how we should be doing things.

We're still on the hunt, but I'm not holding out too much hope at this point.

Anyone care to share how they found their childcare provider?

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  1. That is so annoying that you've had to go through so many interviews only to not yet find The One (as it often feels when you finally get a great nanny!). I will say we had the best luck with a local nanny agency with our first nanny, and then with our second when we moved. I think it might just be luck of the draw - but other than personal word of mouth I'm not sure there's a better way. I would just keep at it and pre-screen on the phone so you don't waste your time in person. Both times for us it was a "gut" feeling right away, but it can be REALLY challenging when you feel like you are hitting a brick wall. Good luck!

  2. Have you checked with any of the local colleges to see if they have a early childhood program that might have some students that would be interested in gaining some nannying experience? You may be able to post something on a bulletion board in their area or they may be able to refer you to a place students typically look for work. Given the limited amount you actually need a nanny I'm guessing that's why you are getting many of the wierdos and not so much the pick of the nanny litter so to speak.

    1. We did, but mainly we were finding students who only wanted summer work or only half days, and that doesn't work for my schedule or our family's need for a long-term care provider :(

  3. What kind of questions do you typically ask? I haven't yet started our search for a nanny...I guess I'm kind of putting off the inevitable!


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