The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

How we picked a nanny in 2 easy interviews June 3, 2010

Filed under: Space Detritus — anditron @ 10:00 am

The best nanny evar.

For any new parent, going back to work is a terrifying experience. Not only do you have to prepare yourself to leave your child, you have to battle through the minefield that is deciding on daycare. Who do you trust with your child? What can you afford to pay? What do you have to earn to make it worthwhile to even go back to work? And especially when you live in a big city like Chicago, where it’s all but impossible to survive on a single salary, what do you do?

Back when I first got pregnant, I was unemployed, but I was sure I wanted to go back to work. I applied for jobs everyday. I interviewed pretty often, failing horribly to hide my growing belly and pretty much sealing my unemployed fate the whole time. But I hunted anyway. I wanted to be a good example to my daughter, that a woman can work, have a family and manage it all without missing out on anything.

Then came the Bot. The first week I started counting my lucky stars that I was unemployed and getting to spend all day every day with my girl. The first month I started to dread unemployment ending and finding a job. The second and third months my exhaustion was waning, my routine was getting settled in and I started to wish we didn’t have job skills that required us to live in a city. And at the end of the fourth month came a call that I was placed on contract-to-hire with a company that would make me grow professionally more than any other job I’ve ever held. It was the job I’ve always dreamed of. Finally our lives were going to settle back in to normal with both Bob909 and I working… but who would take care of the Bot?

Panic set in! I’m pretty amazing (if I do say so myself) at getting things done when they need to be. I did it when planning our wedding and that was in just three months. But this? I had two weeks to figure out what we were going to do for daycare so my get-it-done-now-ness kicked in full force.

Because of our time-frame, there was no way we’d find a daycare center for her. Those seem to require being on a waiting list for months (yet you can’t get on until you have a kid?) and the cost for those here was a ridiculous near 2000/mth for 6 weeks – 1 year. And more importantly, I didn’t want my daughter stuck in a crib, swing or bouncey seat ignored half the day while the caregiver had to tend to 3 or 4 other kids. Nor did I want her to spend her entire youth in a classroom type regiment situation.

In-home care was possible, but everything I received for in-home care in our area seemed sketchy and just didn’t fill me with confidence.

Bots Bite

So we decided to go for a nanny and ideally a nanny share… which meant trying to find a family with a nanny to share or try to find a nanny and share her. We didn’t find anyone with a nanny to share that was close enough to us. But we did hear from 2 nannies that we decided to interview. I scheduled them both for that weekend and arranged for Grandma to come visit as our backup plan.

The first Nanny was late. I tried to write it off as I knew she was being interviewed by a family before us and she came with a great recommendation. 25 minutes after she was to show, we saw a girl walking back and forth across the street looking for a building. She looked very out of place, we live in a… colorful neighborhood… one where Coach bags and Dolce & Gabbana (I had to look that up) sunglasses are not found. She was young, fashionable and drove a Mercedes. We figured it was her and called out and sure enough it was. She came in and we started to talk. She said all the right things. Her answers were what you’d expect a nanny to say, but I was in a time crunch and needed to find a nanny so I was desperately trying to make her the one. But the conversation left us pretty meh. I liked that she spoke 2 other languages fluently, but she didn’t speak English fluently and when I asked a couple questions, she smiled and said “oh yes!” but her eyes said “I have no idea what I just agreed to.” She only drove, didn’t know our neighborhood, and seemed less than thrilled when the cats came around. When she left, Bob909 was ready to veto her but I was willing to keep her on the list… remember we had just over a week left and only one more nanny to interview.

And then Nanny M showed up. She biked over, had her yoga mat on her back and helmet on her head. She came in and immediately sat down next to our Bot. The cats surrounded her and we introduced her to the whole family. She talked to us about how she spends her days with her current charges, which parks are her favorites, what museums have childrens’ areas and even some free days. She remembered all the cats’ names and even which ones were which (a hard task when you have two all black cats). When she left, we looked at each other and both said, “She’s our nanny”. A couple calls to her references sealed it for us and our daughter has transitioned into her care incredibly.

It’s crazy to think we found a nanny in 2 interviews, but I guess it’s possible. Keep a watch for a post on my nanny tips – I mean things beyond the “Do you know baby CPR” because you can find that information everywhere.


2 Responses to “How we picked a nanny in 2 easy interviews”

  1. bob909 Says:

    I think the first one was a gypsy.

  2. bob909 Says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with gypsies, but that’s what I think 😛

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