Finding a nanny is some serious biz-nass. So much so, I could write a book about it, and I feel like one of the lucky ones!
I mean, you are basically recruiting a total stranger to come into your (private) home, see your most personal space and watch your offspring while you’re not present. Someone who will feed your baby, hold your baby, care for your baby, bathe your baby and love your baby the same way you do. I will repeat…you are 100% LEAVING THE SAFETY OF YOUR BABY IN A TOTAL. STRANGERS. HANDS.
This is no easy task ladies. And I never really understood the fear that would ensue until I became a mom.
Famous last words.
Unfortunately, I had to go back to work 4 months after having Grayson, so it was incredibly difficult to even think of leaving him with someone else who wasn’t family. He was still so small and dependent on me for everything. He couldn’t even hold his own bottle or sit up. Although I was ready to find balance between being a mom and returning to work, I knew this was going to be the most important decision I was ever going to make.
I searched everywhere – high and low – to find the best nanny for my son. I first looked into day homes but I soon realized he was too young to be in an environment with one adult and four toddlers. NO WAY was I going to put him in that environment at this young of an age. Not now, maybe not ever.
True to form, I asked friends for references or if they knew of anyone who they could refer. Zilch. Nada. Not gonna happen. No luck there. Then I heard about these nanny search websites, and registered to a few, crossed my fingers, left it up to fate and prayed for the best.
Well, I was one lucky Motherlucker. One of the second ladies I interviewed was ‘the one’. You know that feeling when you first meet ‘the one’ and you just know? The person who I would get along with and whom I felt comfortable with? Well, she was THE ONE for Grayson. And then it happened. Turns out she used to nanny for my close friends back in Vancouver! I wanted to hire here then and there. My gut was right, my instinct was bang on. Call it mothers intuition but it was a match made in nanny heaven. And when I checked with my friends, they couldn’t have said nicer things about her and how she treated their kids.
I’m one of the lucky ones, so here are a few of my tips on finding ‘the one’ for your child in the great nanny pursuit:
- Make sure you and your spouse/partner agree on what type of child care you are looking for (live in, live out, full time vs part time), their experience level, hourly wage etc. Budget for us was a big consideration, but the right person who could care of our son was by far numero uno.
- Follow your gut. If it feels wrong, then it is. If it feels right instinctually, then pursue.
- Ask close friends (or mothers you trust) if they know of anyone or can refer a reputable website or agency. I’m such a marketer…..word of mouth is always the best.
- Start early if you can. You just never know if the search will last 1 week or 6 months.
- First meeting should be in a neutral, public place. I always felt weird letting total strangers into my home, so a Starbucks fits the bill for these types of first-time interviews.
- Hire an agency if you (a) have the money to spend and (b) want to be a bit hands off in the process as they will do most of the leg work once you’re set up.
- Be Inspector Gadget. It’s your Motherluck-ing right to ask difficult questions, get references, criminal background checks, the whole nine yards. This person IS going to be caring for your child after all!